What’s The Best Heart Rate Variability Monitor?

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Lady measuring heart rate on a chart
What Are The Best Heart Rate Variability Monitors?
Reviewed by the BioHackers Lab Team | Last updated: June 15, 2020

I was interested to find out what are some of the best heart rate variability (HRV) measuring devices to use for me to review.

So I went out researching online for what are the top rated & most recommended brands who make good heart rate monitor products to help measure your heart rate variability score that are available to buy online.

The best hrv monitors that I found are:

The Best Heart Rate Variability Monitors in 2020

Here is a list of HRV trackers on the market we reviewed for you to compare.



1. Polar H10 Heart Rate Sensor

Polar H10 Heart Rate Sensor

Overview
  • Transmitter Battery Life: Up to 400 hours
  • Type of Sensor: Chest strap sensor
  • Strap Length Sizing: 51 – 116 cm (20 – 46 in)
  • Bluetooth Smart Compatible: Yes
  • Ant+ Compatible: Yes
  • HRV Apps: Connects to the free Polar Beat app and other iOS and Android apps
  • Water Resistant: Yes

The Polar H10 Bluetooth Heart Rate Sensor available on Amazon is the latest HR model available.

The H10 integrates to the Polar Beat app, and can be used while swimming. You can use the H10 sensor to perform the 4 min daily orthostatic test through the Polar Vantage V watch to track your HRV average and recovery status each day.

User manual available here.

  • Compatible with GoPro, so you can overlay your heart rate onto your video
  • The device can store data from one training session, so you don’t have to keep your phone with you
  • Chest strap is comfortable to wear, even after sweating
  • Available in two sizes
  • The product is made by an established company that specializes in exercise and heart rate products
  • The H10 is waterproof and can be used while swimming
  • According to reviews, the device tends to have trouble connecting to the Polar Beat app and may cut the connection mid-workout
  • The company is reported to have poor customer service


2. Polar H7 Bluetooth Heart Rate Sensor

Overview
  • Transmitter Battery Life: Up to 200 hours
  • Type of Sensor: Chest strap sensor
  • Strap Length Sizing: 51 – 116 cm (20 – 46 in)
  • Bluetooth Smart Compatible: Yes
  • Ant+ Compatible: No
  • HRV Apps: Connects to the free Polar Beat plus other iOS and Android apps
  • Water Resistant: Yes

The Polar H7 Bluetooth Heart Rate Sensor available on Amazon is still a recommended HR sensor by all HRV app developers.

Polar has been producing world class heart rate monitors for exercise for more than 30 years since 1979. The H7 model integrates to the Polar Beat app, and tracks calories burned as well as heart rate. You can use the H7 sensor to perform the 4 min daily orthostatic test through the Polar Vantage V watch to track your HRV average and recovery status each day.

User manual available here.

  • Chest strap is comfortable to wear, even after sweating
  • Available in two sizes
  • The product is made by an established company that specializes in exercise and heart rate products
  • According to reviews, the device tends to have trouble connecting to the Polar Beat app and may cut the connection mid-workout
  • The company is reported to have poor customer service


3. Garmin Premium Heart Rate Monitor

Overview
  • Transmitter Battery Life: Up to four and half years (based on one hour of use per day)
  • Type of Sensor: Chest strap sensor
  • Bluetooth Smart Compatible: No
  • Ant+ Compatible: Yes
  • HRV Apps: Connects with any Garmin fitness tracker, as well as other Garmin devices and iOS and Android apps
  • Water Resistant: Yes

The Garmin Premium Heart Rate Monitor available on Amazon is great alternative to the popular Polar models.

In addition to making accurate health wearables, Garmin manufacture tracking and GPS devices for aviation, automobiles, and marine activities. Like the Garmin fitness trackers, the Garmin heart rate monitor uses a battery and does not require regular charging. It is on the less expensive side and may be a practical option for more casual users.

User manual available here.

  • The H10 is waterproof and can be used while swimming
  • The chest strap is made of soft elastic fabric for comfort
  • Garmin is a trusted, global company with a broad range of tracking devices
  • The battery is difficult to replace, as the screws are tiny and tightly fitted
  • According to reviews, the device breaks easily and has trouble giving an accurate reading

4. 4iiii Viiiiva Heart Rate Monitor



Overview
  • Transmitter Battery Life: Up to 200 hours
  • Type of Sensor: Chest strap sensor
  • Strap Length Sizing: 57 – 132 cm (23 – 52 in)
  • Bluetooth Smart Compatible: Yes
  • Ant+ Compatible: Yes
  • HRV Apps: Connects to the 4iiii app and other iOS and Android apps
  • Water Resistant: Yes

The 4iiii Viiiiva Heart Rate Monitor available on Amazon is another good choice especially for swimmers as it is waterproof up to 3m deep water.

4iiii Innovations is a company run by athletes, for athletes. They are committed to improving sports performance and creating a safer world for athletes. Like the Garmin monitor mentioned above, the Viiiiva Heart Rate Monitor uses a replaceable battery and does not need to be charged. Its most notable feature is its ability to integrate with any ANT+ sensor.

User manual available here.

  • This heart rate monitor is very sensitive and takes accurate measurements
  • 4iiii has good customer service and will refund or replace defective products
  • The ANT+ bridge allows it to connect to other ANT+ sensors, allowing more flexibility in integrations
  • According to reviews, the chest strap is comfortable
  • Has a poor connection with certain apps
  • The chest strap wears out quickly and may need to be replaced


5. SUUNTO Smart Heart Rate Sensor

SUUNTO Ambit3 Peak Smart Heart Rate Sensor

Overview
  • Transmitter Battery Life: 500 hours
  • Type of Sensor: Chest strap sensor
  • Strap Length Sizing: 56 – 160 cm (20 – 63 in)
  • Bluetooth Smart Compatible: Yes
  • Ant+ Compatible: No
  • HRV Apps: Connects to the Elite HRV app and other iOS apps
  • Water Resistant: Yes

The Suunto smart heart rate monitor is a sensor that you can monitor your HRV status using their ‘Recovery Status’ option built into the Suunto Ambit3 watch.

The companies manual says this is the smallest Bluetooth Smart compatible heart rate sensor on the market. It is originally designed to pair with the Suunto Ambit3 Peak GPS watch and Suunto Movescount App to show you your HRV recovery status, heart rate, speed and GPS tracking. However, it can be used with other HRV apps, but only on iOS devices and not on Android.

User manual available here.

Top Rated HRV Devices Compared

BrandBattery LifeiOS & Android AppSensor Placement
Polar H10400 hoursYesChest strap
Polar H7200 hoursYesChest strap
Garmin Premium Heart Rate Monitor Strap4.5 years (1 hour per day)YesChest strap
4iiii Viiiiva Heart Rate Monitor160 hoursYesChest strap
Suunto Smart Sensor500 hoursiOS onlyChest Strap

Frequently Asked Questions

I know you were looking for what are the best options, but here is some more detail as to why we need to monitor our heart rate variability.

What is Heart Rate Variability?

Heart Rate Variability (HRV) is a measure of beat-to-beat variation over a period of time e.g., the heart’s ability to accelerate and decelerate quickly and efficiently to meet the body’s immediate needs.

HRV is considered to be a more insightful measure of heart health than your basic Resting Heart Rate (RHR) , which only measures the number of beats per minute. HRV can also be used to determine other health factors like mood, body recovery, stress level, and fatigue.

HRV is used by medical professionals to diagnose and treat patients, as well as high performance athletes looking to improve their athletic endurance and efficiency. (ref)

What Are the Benefits of HRV Biofeedback Training?

HRV biofeedback training is a method used to control your breathing and heart rhythm in order to keep a consistent HRV. It shows results similar to those of meditation or yoga. (ref)

Knowing your HRV can help you better understand your body and how it responds to physical overload, which can help you optimize your lifestyle and training regimen. (ref)

List of some of the benefits of HRV biofeedback training include:

What Types of HRV Devices Are Available?

Most HRV devices use similar techniques and technology to give you an accurate measurement.

Most of the devices reviewed here are portable wearables that measure HRV using a sensor. There are, however, some differences in sensor placement on the body, device type, and if waterproof.

Below is a list of some different types of HRV equipment:

When To Use HRV Training?

For Medical Use Testing your autonomic nervous system to assess stress management, risk of diabetes and more. (ref) For Athletic Training Use To monitor how hard you can train on a day or how your recovery days are going. (ref)

Check Device Compatibility with Your HRV App

Not all heart rate monitors are compatible with all HRV apps on either Android or iOS phones. It is always a good idea to double check with your favorite HRV app developer to see what devices they recommend.

One very popular HRV app is called Elite HRV, which is free for personal use, and offers a paid upgrade for access to more features.

Elite HRV App Recommended Devices

Elite HRV is available on iOS (iPhone, iPad, etc.) and Android (Samsung, Nexus, etc.) devices and is compatible with ten different heart rate monitors, including:

Download on the Apple Store Here | Download on Google Play Store Here

Source

HRV4Training App

Download on the Apple Store Here | Download on Google Play Store Here

Source

SweetBeat HRV App Recommended Devices

Download on the Apple Store Here | Not Available to Download on Google Play Store Here

Source

ithlete HRV App Recommended Devices

Download on the Apple Store Here | Download on Google Play Store Here

Source

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