After over 160 hours of extensive research and 10 different pedometers tested, we found that Fitbit One Wireless Activity Plus Sleep Tracker is the best pedometer out there, with its ability to track your activity and calories burned, and the ability to monitor quality of your sleep, enabling you to get a clearer picture of your overall activity and rest balance. As a fitness enthusiast, I always search for the best new gadgets that promote a healthy lifestyle, and help you stay active, and this is exactly what Fitbit One Wireless Activity Plus Sleep Tracker does. It’s also small and discreet and its modern design won’t make it stand out, so you can wear all the time without having to think if it will look flattering.
The Best Pedometer: Fitbit One Wireless Activity Plus Sleep Tracker
If you want a pedometer that makes fitness a lifestyle and motivates you to see physical activity as a fun thing to do, rather than a dreaded chore, Fitbit One Wireless Activity Plus Sleep Tracker is the right choice for you. It isn’t strictly focused on just counting your steps and measuring calories burned, but it also focuses on two things that are very important if you wish to maintain a healthy lifestyle- good sleep and proper nutrition. By tracking your sleep quality and allowing you to enter food you eat during the day, it creates a unique picture of your personal lifestyle, helping you to see what areas can be improved and what you’re already doing right. Fitbit One Wireless Activity Plus Sleep Tracker will sync your data to your profile on Fitbit website, offering you the chance to see your complete progress, but also to participate in community goals and enjoy a bit of friendly competition.
Step-up pick: Fitbit Alta Fitness Tracker
In case you’re worried that our top pick is only focused on your stepping activities, like counting your steps, stairs you climbed and distance traveled, but isn’t able to recognize and track your exercise, Fitbit Alta Fitness Tracker with its SmartTrack automatic exercise recognition would be worth investing to. As our step-up pick, the Fitbit Alta Fitness Tracker, provides you with additional features that save you the effort that is needed to manually insert information about your daily exercise and calories burned during that time. One of the features that stand out the most is the ability of Fitbit Alta Fitness Tracker to notify you about incoming calls or texts, by wirelessly syncing with your phone, and keeps you up to date with all the stats and time tracker. Same as our top pick, it will enable you to sync your activity with your profile on Fitbit.com which will additionally motivate you to keep up your activity levels.
Budget Pick: Garmin Vivofit Fitness Band
For fitness enthusiasts with a tight budget, Garmin Vivofit Fitness Band is the best option. Even though it may not be as refined and advanced as its more expensive competitors, it is a reliable pedometer that tracks your daily activity by counting your steps, distances you walk during the day and the calories you burn away by doing so, and it also monitors your sleep in order to ensure you’re resting properly. Garmin Vivofit Fitness Band creates customized daily goals based on the level of your activity, so you can set your own pace. By gradually adjusting your activity levels in order to achieve higher goals, Garmin Vivofit Fitness Band is great if you need to take your time to adjust to more active lifestyle.
Table of Contents
- What you should know before buying
- Will a pedometer improve my health?
- How do pedometers work?
- How we picked our contenders
- How we tested
- Our pick
- Flaws but not dealbreakers
- The step-up
- The budget pick
- Wrapping it up
What you should know before buying
Even though pedometers are, basically, just devices created to help you keep track of your walking activity, through time their functions evolved, and modern-day pedometers can offer you a variety of different features that help you achieve and maintain a healthy, active lifestyle. According to researchers at Stanford University School of Medicine , use of pedometer can significantly improve your overall health, by motivating users to increase their physical activity which reflected on their weight and blood pressure, without any special diets or expenses for gym memberships.
By simply walking, pedometer users achieved their goals same as they would in a gym, just without pricey memberships, in comfort of their preferred environment, at their own pace. Experts from College of health , propose 10,000 steps as a daily goal for healthy, active adults, and promote the use of pedometers in order to achieve that goal. Not only that counting that many steps every day would be virtually an impossible task without a pedometer, you’ll also feel more motivated to beat the numbers if you have a clear goal set in front of you, with your progress tracked in real-time.
Will pedometer improve my health?
As it was previously mentioned, use of pedometer is strongly encouraged by medical and health experts, because of its link to health improvement and benefits. Experts from Harvard Medical School concluded that people who use pedometers walked an average of 2,000 steps more than people who don’t have a pedometer, and the result of 26 different studies conducted by Harvard researchers have shown that pedometers can increase a person’s activity level up to 27% percent.
Pedometer use combined with personal motivation and previously set goals can have a major impact on your health- not only it will help you become more active, it can prevent cardiovascular diseases often linked with sedentary lifestyle, help with weight loss and reduce risk of diabetes, hypertension and many other diseases.
How do pedometers work?
Leonardo Da Vinci came up with the basic idea for pedometers, according to his sketches, which show a device who uses pendulum that simultaneously moves with person’s each step. Many, many years later his pendulum concept remains the foundation of pedometers, even though the mechanisms are more in tune with modern technologies.
In modern day pedometers, pendulum arm is connected to electronic circuit with a thin spring. Pendulum reacts every time you step, and its arm touches the center of the circuit, sending signal which produces enables flow of the current. This flow allows the circuit to register your steps and count them.
Some new generation pedometers use accelerometers instead, which are basically microchips that detect your movements. This system makes pedometers even more reliable and accurate, and more durable than they were ever before.
How we picked our contenders
These days, when we’re all glued to our smartphones, laptops and tablets, we often choose gadgets that are easily synced with all of our devices. The ability to access data about your activity level on your phone or computer is of great help when setting goals and planning your activities in advance. If a pedometer offers additional features that help you determine how healthy your overall lifestyle is, even better. Sleep monitoring, option to log your daily meals and additional workouts, combined with weight tracking were considered as a big plus, since it allows you to use your pedometer to keep track all of your daily activities and progress, and store in one, easily accessible, place.
Another thing that we considered when we chose the best pedometer, is how easily it could be incorporated in your everyday style and if it’s easy to wear. Since pedometer use isn’t limited only to your sports activities and time you spend working out, but rather tracks your activity throughout day and night, it made sense to look for pedometers that had versatile design that could enable you to use your pedometer in any circumstance, whether you’re on work, on a date or enjoying a stroll in the outdoors. It would be important for a pedometer to be easily concealed, or to possess design features that enable it to seamlessly fit with any outfit. So, unobtrusive, stylish and simple design was set as an ideal. Another important thing to look for was a pedometer that can be worn while sleeping, so it can monitor the quality of your sleep, so it was important that a pedometer isn’t clunky or uncomfortable.
Since I conducted my research with some help from my friends, I quickly realized how fun it is to share your achievements and how you get easily motivated when you include social aspects to your activity. If a pedometer has an ability to share your activity levels with your friends and vice versa, it can make keeping up with personal goals easier with motivation from friendly competition and mutual support. In case your friends don’t share your fitness enthusiasm, having a pedometer that can motivate you with a system of premade achievements and rewards can be of great help. The less physical activity feels like a chore, and more as a fun and easy way to stay healthy and fit, the bigger chances are that you’ll stay on track and persist in accomplishing your own goals.
In short, we were looking for a pedometer that offers best quality and range of features for the best price, and, luckily, we found it all in our top pick.
How we tested
After an extensive search for pedometers with best user reviews and good price that also fit our criteria, we came up with a list of 10 pedometers. We spent a week using each, carefully reviewing all of the features and taking note of all their upsides and downsides, in order to find the best pedometer on the market.
As a fitness enthusiast, I had previous experience with different kinds of activity trackers and fitness gadgets, so I knew what to look for in an ideal pedometer. But, I wasn’t the only one who was conducting a research- I contacted four of my friends that had different activity levels from me, some were more fit, some were just starting an active lifestyle, but they all wanted to find the best pedometer that would allow them to maintain their activity level and motivate them to gradually increase them. So, five people tested for 70 days, and we unanimously decided that Fitbit One Wireless Activity Plus Sleep Tracker would be the best pedometer for most people. It was important to include people who had different activity levels and experience with pedometers, in order to gain a clearer picture about which pedometer could be the best choice for a wide range of people, and to ensure the results weren’t biased and subjective.
Fitbit One Wireless Activity Plus Sleep Tracker proved to have the best price-performance ratio, and delivered a well-rounded variety of features for a fraction of the price. Fitbit One Wireless Activity Plus Sleep tracker keeps tabs on all three things that are essential if you want to maintain a healthy lifestyle- your activity, quality of your sleep and your eating habits. If you want a pedometer that is small and easy to wear, Fitbit One is your best option, since the clip-on mechanism allows for it to be easily concealed, and isn’t uncomfortable to wear. Personally, I preferred that it can be attached on a bra, so no one could even notice I’m wearing it, but you can also clip it on your pocket or your belt if it’s easier for you.
The fact that the clip is made from silicone proved as a smart move, since it’s less prone to breaking, and it feels better when in contact with skin than plastic. It comes in two colors- burgundy and black, so you’re not limited to just one color option. Another plus was the battery life- after an hour of charging, battery lasted for the whole week, without the need to recharge, which is a big advantage- you won’t be faced with a situation where your pedometer turns off in inconvenient circumstances and you’ll save money due to rechargeable battery which doesn’t need to be charged often.
Fitbit One is a pedometer that allows you to keep track of your activity levels not only on the monitor of the pedometer, but also via Android and iPhone apps or on your computer. Fitbit one tracks steps you walked, the distance traveled and the number of stairs you climbed, as well as the calories burned, and also monitors your sleep, but, by creating your own profile, either in an app or on Fitbit’s website, the functionality of this pedometer gets even better- all of your progress is displayed in charts and graphs that make your achievements visually beautiful, and help you get a clear picture of your activity levels. To ensure you’re taking care of every aspect of a healthy lifestyle, Fitbit’s apps and website offer you to manually insert your meals, helping you to count calorie intake and motivating you to make smarter choices. In case you had a work out that couldn’t be registered by a pedometer, such as cycling, you can manually enter the data and it will reflect on your progress.
If you’re not keen on manually entering exercise data, you can invest some more money and go for our step up pick, which has integrated exercise recognition, Fitbit Alta Fitness Tracker.
Some people don’t realize the importance of good, quality sleep and sleeping habits for maintenance of a healthy lifestyle. Without proper rest, you won’t be able to be fit and healthy, and you’ll see improvements much more slowly. Fitbit One monitors your sleep, keeping track of how many times you get up at night, and time spent sleeping, calculating your overall sleep efficiency, which gets you the insight you couldn’t otherwise get. A special bonus is that Fitbit One has a silent alarm- it vibrates to wake you up, and, it really is efficient. It didn’t disrupt my sleep like the sound of my alarm usually does, but it got me up on time. Plus, my husband was extremely happy that my early getting up didn’t disturb his sleep.
Fitbit One is water resistant, but I can only account for it being sweat proof- since it’s attached to clothes when worn, I didn’t have the chance to fully test its water resistance in the shower.
In the end, Fitbit One did all it promised- it kept track of my activity levels and monitored my sleep, and integration with apps just additionally motivated me to do my best, which is especially great for those of us who sometimes need a little bit of a push.
Flaws but not dealbreakers
Even though the clip-on mechanism did wonders to make this pedometers versatile and appropriate for any event, there is a chance that you could lose your Fitbit One if it slips out of the silicone case, which can happen if you don’t take care. I almost lost it in my room when I was changing clothes, but, with a little extra care, you’ll be safe, and it is surely worth it.
Something that may present as a flaw, but I personally didn’t have a problem with it, is the need for manual entering of some of the data. I’m more of a runner, so adding my meals manually was the only thing I had to do, but some of my friends that had different exercise plans that included cycling and paddle boarding, thought it could present as potential let down to some users, since Fitbit One couldn’t accurately register their exercise. Keeping in mind that it’s not even an option pedometer should have, I’d say that manual entering isn’t that big of a deal.
As the pricier runner up in our competition, Fitbit Alta Fitness Tracker is an option worth considering if you’re willing to spend more money for some additional features. I must say that everyone was really impressed with its design- the variety of colors and wristbands make Fitbit Alta really tempting if you want your pedometer to act as a fashion statement, too. In addition to multiple choices when it comes to design of the wristband, you can choose the display interface, and decide if you wish Fitbit Alta to display information on display horizontally or vertically, which is a great feature. In addition to its advanced design options, it also offers most interaction with the user. All the other picks did affect our motivation, but this pedometer actually tells you when it’s time to move with reminders. This can have a productive effect on some people, but some may feel it’s too pushy, so, depending on your personality, this can make or break the deal for you.
When it comes to pedometer’s ability to sync with other devices, Fitbit Alta offers the same options as our top pick, with a bonus feature- it shows call, text and calendar notification on its display, but, those additional features reflect on battery life- whereas our top pick can easily last for seven day straight, Fitbit Alta barely manages to last five days, if you’re lucky.
The main feature that makes Fitbit Alta stand out from the competition is SmartTrack automatic exercise recognition, which recognizes your exercise and records it onto your profile, without the need to manually enter it, and broadening the scope of tracking activity.
Overall, even though it’s more expensive than our top pick, with the exception of SmartTrack automatic exercise recognition, Fitbit Alta doesn’t offer enough additional features that would justify its price.
The budget pick
Garmin Vivofit Fitness Band is a great option in case our top pick isn’t in stock, and you don’t want to spend more money for the step-up pick. This is a budget friendly pedometer that offers a lot of options- but, the difference in price may reflect in lack of sophistication that our top and step-up pick have. The first thing we all noticed when compared with other contenders is how, even though it tries, Garmin Vivofit Fitness Band just doesn’t look as smooth and sleek as our previous two picks. Even with its simplistic design, the display looks too big and the overall impression was that it lacks in ability to blend in perfectly in any occasion.
With its battery life of 1 year, it sounds like a dream, but the two batteries need to be bought again at some point, and since no one can account for their availability or price after a year, Fitbit One’s rechargeable battery presents as a smarter option.
Garmin Vivofit also has the option to sync your activities with its app or website, but, unlike our top pick, it doesn’t have the option to enter your food choices, which reduces the possibility to track all aspects that create healthy lifestyle in one place.
Sleep tracking is consistent with other pedometers that we picked earlier, but Garmin Vivofit doesn’t have the option of silent alarm, so you’ll have to rely on your regular alarm.
Overall, Garmin Vivofit isn’t our first choice, but if you’re on a tight budget and don’t mind that it lacks some additional features, this pedometer could be just what you need.
If you don’t have a problem to sacrifice display for innovative edgy design, go for UP2 by Jawbone Activity. For us, modern design and multiple features seemed promising, but in the end, the lack of display turned out to be a huge downside.
If you don’t mind that, you’ll certainly love the fact that in addition to tracking activity, UP2 also monitors your sleep, allows you to log food you eat and offers personal guides through their Smart Coach option.
In case you love retro design and colorful gadgets, FitBit Zip Wireless Activity Tracker is the pedometer you’ll fall in love with. It offers synchronization with apps and computer, same as other Fitbit products, so in addition to tracking your activity, you’ll also be able to manually add your eating habits and workouts, and participate in Fitbit community’s challenges and stay fit while having fun.
With its sporty, futuristic design Misfit Wearables Flash – Fitness and Sleep Monitor may not be a match for every occasion, but it certainly stands out. With its low price and a wide range of features, it will be a good choice for people who like unusual designs. It offers synchronization with various fitness apps for both Android and iPhone, so you’ll be able to track your progress on other devices, which is especially convenient since the display of this pedometer will show your activity through halo made of 12 LED lights, which was a bit confusing and complicated.
Polar A300 Fitness and Activity Monitor, on the other hand, keeps it simple and functional. This pedometer tracks all the basics, but includes some additional perks like silent reminders to keep you going, and Smart Coaching, that will help you do your best. Simplistic wristband design is easily transformed with a variety of available wristband colors, so if you wish to change your pedometers style from time to time, it won’t be a problem.
For a truly unique way to keep track of your activity, choose Striiv Smart Pedometer, who completely changes the game in the world of pedometers with first ever fitness game that challenges you and help you increase your activity levels. MyLand is a virtual world, and your goal is to build it and inhabit it with animals, and the only way to achieve that is by walking or taking the stairs. It’s a highly addictive and interesting way to track your activity. It also offers two more unique ways to get you motivated- without any additional cost, Striiv company will donate money to charity, if you earn the designated amount by simply walking. It also takes friendly competition to another level, allowing you to compete with your friends and place bets that will give you additional enthusiasm to win.
Keeping track of your overall body movement, Nike+ Fuelband SE Fitness Tracker takes pedometers on another level, by not only counting your steps, but also tracks how much you move overall. It’s a bit unconventional when it comes to pedometers, but Nike’s different approach is certainly worth trying out.
If you want to keep it as simple as possible, we included Omron Tri Axis Pedometer for those of you who like to keep it old school. It is also the cheapest pedometer on our list, but its low price reflects on its features. This pedometer only offers to count steps, distance walked and calories burned, and keeps your data stored and displayed for a week.
Wrapping it up
When trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle, your psychical activity plays an important role. In addition to healthy eating and quality sleep, simply walking more everyday can keep you fit and increase your activity and improve your overall health. If you wish to use a pedometer that offers most features, but has a good price, decide on Fitbit One, since it offers keeping tabs on all aspects of a healthy lifestyle. If you want to splurge a bit, and pay more for some additional features that make the whole process even easier with automatic exercise tracking, Fitbit Alta is a match made in heaven. And, finally, if you’re willing to sacrifice some bonus features for a more budget-friendly pedometer, but still be able to hold on to basic features of our top pick, Garmin Vivofit could be the best choice for you.