Top 7 Best Heart Rate Monitor Watches for Running, Cycling & Swimming (2021 Reviews)

best heart rate monitor watches

These days, the demand for monitoring heart rate while doing exercises is rapidly increasing. However, a wide range of pulse watches in the market varies from colors and designs to prices, making it harder to find a suitable one.

For this reason, the article below will give you the best heart rate monitor on a watch and some additional pieces of knowledge so that you can have the best time to run, cycle, or go swimming.

Top 7 Best Heart Rate Monitor Watches 2021 Reviews

#1 Best Heart Rate Monitor Watch Overall: Garmin Forerunner 245 Music

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The best heart rate monitor on a watch on our list is Garmin Forerunner 245 Music. At a reasonable price, the watch performs much better than other more expensive competitors. A great feature of the device is its simple navigation with a free training program for beginner runners. You can also show other people where you are in case you are in an accident with the watch.

Furthermore, the watch comes with long battery life, 24 hours with GPS and 8 hours with GPS and music, a connection with Bluetooth, Wi-fi, and ANT+. A small and compact design also makes every customer comfortable.


  • Neat format
  • Additional Spotify giving great music player
  • Many exercise types


  • Mediocre battery life while playing music

Garmin Forerunner 245 Music is the most popular pulse watch recently. Not only does it have a neat format, but it also provides many exercise types and a good music player.

#2 Best Heart Rate Monitor Watch for Running: Garmin Forerunner 945

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One of the additional best heart rate monitor watches on our list is Garmin Forerunner 945, the most suitable for runners. While this device has a higher price than its siblings above, it is well-equipped with extremely accurate location-tracking and biometrics. It also has an exceptional heart rate monitor with a Traning Load monitor, helping runners measure their training over the last seven days. What’s more, its full-color on-screen maps are quite impressive, making it a great training aid for serious runners. 


  • Accurate GPS and biometrics
  • Full-color maps
  • Excellent battery life


  • Very expensive

Although Garmin Forerunner 945 is relatively expensive, it has many functions serving both the former and professional runners. There are a great GPS and biometrics available, full-color maps, and an incredibly long battery life equipped with the watch. 

#3 Best Heart Rate Monitor Watch for Cycling: Huawei Watch GT2e

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The Huawei Watch GT2e is the best pulse watch for cycling for many of its great features. Produced by Huawei, a famous brand for exercise watches, Watch GT2e is a better watch model GT2 with longer battery life, and significantly less sweat accumulates under the bracelet. While riding, you could be satisfied with its reasonable-sized 1.39 inch AMOLED screen with impressive contrast, making it easier to read the information whenever you want.


  • Excellent cycling watch
  • Fantastic battery life


  • Not a fully-fledged smartwatch 

While Huawei Watch GT2e may not be thoroughly developed, it has excellent riding features on any road. Besides, with long battery life, not only is it suitable for cycling, but it also can be used for many other activities such as swimming or gym work.

#4 Best Heart Rate Monitor Watch for Heart Patients: Garmin Fenix 5X Plus

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For heart patients, an excellent device to measure their heart rate and see how environmental factors affect their heartbeat is essential. For this reason, Garmin Fenix 5X Plus is produced to meet their needs with a built-in GPS, accurate heart rate tracking, and a range of activity trackers. Additionally, the battery life can last for up to 32 hours in heart rate and GPS mode. In smartwatch mode, the battery can go as long as 20 days, which is exceptional.


  • Good battery life for monitoring heart rate
  • A considerable amount of well-built functions
  • Straightforward music management


  • Several primary music services are missing.

Garmin Fenix 5X has a long battery life and a variety of additional functions. While there are not many music services, this pale into insignificance compared to its advantages for heart patients.

#5 Best Heart Rate Monitor Watch for Swimming: Polar Vantage M

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The fifth heart rate monitor watch on our list is Polar Vantage M, also the best swimming pool. One of its remarkable features is that it still supports measuring open water swimming and truly exhaustive analysis functions for exercise, sleep, and daily activities at a reasonable price. However, there’s no “fixed connection” to the mobile while using this device.


  • Many functions
  • Great pulse meter
  • Good analysis functions
  • Great for swimming


  • Not good plasticky bracelet 
  • Slightly quirky GPS measurement
  • Not great mobile connection

Polar Vantage M is quite suitable for someone often going swimming. Although the GPS measurement, bracelet, and mobile connection are not its strength, there are still exceptional merits. This watch gives you, such as a variety of functions and an incredible pulse meter.

#6 Best Budget Heart Rate Monitor Watch: Garmin Forerunner 45/ 45s

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If you are on a tight budget, the Garmin Forerunner 45 and the smaller model Forerunner 45S are the best options. Produced by a famous brand, Garmen, this watch comes with a sleek format and useful platform. Furthermore, there is a built-in optical reading at the wrist and an external pulse strap to measure heart rate. This watch has many functions, such as the emergency function, the support of Garmin’s free training program, and a handful of indoor sports.


  • Small size
  • Affordable
  • Useful functions in the app


  • The division into small and large models is unnecessary.

Despite the unimportant division into small and big models, Garmin Forerunner 45 and Forerunner 45S works incredibly well with their low price tag. 

#7 Best Heart Rate Monitor Watch with GPS: Suunto 5

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The last best option with GPS on our list is Suunto 5, a mid-price multisport watch which Suunto give their best shot. Not only the GPS, but Suunto 5 also has a long battery life, 20 hours with GPS mode, the compass, and the vibration alarm.


  • Fair use of everyday data
  • Well-equipped
  • Reasonable price


  • The viewing angle on the screen is not very good.

Suunto 5 is the best heart rate monitor watch with GPS. It can give you a lot of extra data for everyday things and suitable components at a low price.

Features to Consider When Choosing a Heart Rate Monitor Watch

Heart Rate Target Zones

Multiple heart rate target zones allow you to preprogram your heart rate monitor for series of different workouts. A typical model offers up to 3 target zones; better models have from three to six target zones.

Battery Life

The battery life is the second important factor you should consider before buying any pulse watch. Often, the more expensive watches, the longer they can run in one charging time. However, if an everyday watch with a 13 to 20 hours battery life with GPS is enough for your demands, choosing a more costly one seems to be unnecessary.

Water Proof

While doing exercise and daily activities, you can not avoid water or sweat, affecting your watch. Therefore, a sweatproof and waterproof bracelet is much better, especially for swimmers.

GPS Built-In

Many customers prefer a heart rate monitor watch with a GPS available because it can track their positions and work as an emergency function if they meet any unexpected accidents. However, using GPS mode can draw a lot of power from the battery, so you have to recharge the cardiac rate monitor watch quite often. When GPS tracking turns off, the watches can be used continuously throughout a long day.


Which watch has the most accurate heart rate monitor?

The Garmin Forerunner 945 is the best one for this question. It can measure the correct heart rate in most circumstances, and even you are running or swimming.

Our heart rate monitor watches accurate?

The accuracy of heart rate monitors is high, incredibly advanced. However, if you want to measure your heartbeat more correctly, you can choose a chest-worn heart monitor, which won’t change even in serious workouts. 

What is the best watch for health monitoring?

Garmin Fenix 5X Plus is the best one for health monitoring. Its heart rate measurement is entirely accurate, and it also has a lot of well-built functions.

How do watch heart rate monitors work?

Heart rate monitor watches work entirely only. It picks up the electric signal and then sends an electromagnetic signal containing heart rate data to the receiver, displaying the heart rate.

Final Words 

Garmin Forerunner 945 has the best heart rate monitor on a watch on our list. Other than that, it also has accurate GPS, full-color maps, and excellent battery life. However, if you want to save money, the Garmin Forerunner 45 and the smaller model Forerunner 45S may be great choices. With a small size, low price, and proper functions in the app, this watch can give you great experiences as more expensive ones.

In summary, above are the seven best heart rate monitor watches in 2021. Besides, the article also gives you a little basic knowledge to choose your suitable watch. Hopefully, you will find your pulse watch to serve your exercises!

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