Best Medical Alert Systems 2019


Afraid of falling? Live alone? Get peace of mind with a medical alert system. Medical alert systems remain one of the most widely recommended solutions by doctors, nurses and hospitals for older adults living alone who want to maintain their independence.

Whether you’re looking for fall detection, GPS tracking, 24X7 monitoring, a mobile system or a low cost option, there are more solutions than ever to fit individual needs and unique circumstances.

We ranked the best medical alert systems (and the worst) on the market today. Learn everything you need to know to make the right decision for yourself or your loved one.

Medical Guardian Life Alert LifeFone LifeStation ADT MobileHelp Philips Lifeline Bay Alarm Medical
Compare Medical Alert Systems Medical Guardian Life Alert LifeFone Medical Alert Services LifeStation ADT Medical Alerts MobileHelp Philips Lifeline Medical Alert Systems Bay Alarm Medical
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Starting Cost / Month $29.95 $49.95 $24.95 $19.95 $29.99 $19.95 $29.95 $19.95
Up-Front Fees $0 $96-$198 $0 $0 $38.98 $64.95 $70-$100 $0
Range 1,300 ft 800 ft 1,300 ft 1,000 ft 300 ft 600 ft 600 ft 1,000 ft
Response Time 25 sec 33 sec 48 sec 43 sec 36 sec 45 sec 35 sec 49 sec
Emergency Buttons 2 1 1 1 1 1 1 1
Fall Detection $10/mo N/A $5/mo $7/mo N/A $10/mo $15/mo $9.95/mo
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Whether you’re looking for the best technology, service, comfort, aesthetics, reputation, track record or pricing, we’re here to help you with our Annual List of The Best Medical Alert Systems for 2019.

Here are the criteria we used for companies to get rated as one of the best Medical Alert Systems on our list:

  • Excellent support & customer care
    • Patient and empathetic service for seniors and family members. Quick emergency response times. Highly trained staff for emergency medical situations.
  • Fair & transparent pricing
    • No hidden activation, shipping or equipment fees. No price increases soon after you sign your contract. No usage charges for pressing the help button too often.
  • No long term contracts
    • None of the top rated companies on our list lock you into long term contracts, and all offer cancellable contracts. Some companies even offer 30 day money-back trial periods. 
  • Reliable technology that works as promised
    • Reliability is more important than the latest technology fad or the absolute lowest price. The goal is simple, the help button, GPS, fall detection and 2 way speakers should work flawlessly, in real life conditions.

The Best Medical Alert Systems of 2019

Medical Guardian Logo Medical Guardian Rating: Excellent

Medical Guardian has been one of our top choices for years. They come with a great reputation for customer service, transparent contracts, professional monitoring center staff and excellent product. Feedback from our readers has been very positive as well. We like their focus on service to seniors and family members. They get it. Aside from service and a broad range of the latest product, our testing also revealed it had some of the fastest emergency response times.

Medical Guardian

Bottom Line:

    • Fastest average emergency response times (25 seconds)
    • Longest range in the industry for an in home system (1,300 feet)
    • Longest battery life in the industry for a mobile system (120 hours)
    • Most accurate fall detection
    • Excellent, senior friendly customer service, no long term contracts, free cancellation
    • Breast Cancer Awareness promotion (PINK19 Extended promo code expires October 31, 2019)- 1 month free, free lock box, free extra button & free ground shipping on the annual plan.

Visit Site  (800) 889-4116

Bay Alarm Medical Logo Bay Alarm Medical Rating: Good

We can’t say enough about Bay Alarm Medical. We’ve talked with their senior management and we love their focus on customer service and making medical alert systems as affordable as possible without sacrificing quality or service. Their contracts are fully transparent, refundable in the first 30 days, and cancellable anytime thereafter, something many other medical alert companies have stopped doing. If you’re looking for a basic medical alert system, at a low $19.95 per month, Bay Alarm tested very well.

The only thing we didn’t love is that the website seemed to have a few gotcha’s like charging for shipping, unless you subscribed for the more expensive plans.

Bay Alarm Medical

Bottom Line:

  • Great pricing on basic in-home landline system at $19.95 per month
  • Excellent customer service 
  • Broad range of product
  • Halloween Special Special (expires October 28, 2019): Free cancellation, 30 day money back guarantee

Visit Site (855) 692-0104 

Life Alert Logo Life Alert Rating: Poor

While Life Alert made themselves famous with the “I’ve fallen and can’t get up” commercials, we do not recommend them to our readers. Our review reveals that Life Alert fails on price, transparency and customer care. First their contracts are for 3 years. Want to return your system because you don’t wear it anymore, tough. There’s no opportunity to try before you buy. Second, they’re significantly more expensive at $49.95 per month with $96-$198 in up front fees (we got even more expensive quotes depending on who we were talking to). Lastly, over 200 complaints were lodged with the Better Business Bureau regarding Life Alert – unacceptable.

Life Alert

Bottom Line:

  • Too pricey, relative to the competition. High up-front costs.
  • 3 year contracts make it a non-starter for us
  • Too many complaints with the Better Business Bureau
  • Dependable equipment

Visit Site (800) 360-0329

Philips Lifeline LogoPhilips Lifeline Rating: Good

Philips Lifeline is one of the heavyweights in the industry. As one of the largest healthcare technology companies in the world, Philips has a lot of medical alert system partnerships with hospitals across the country. That said, they tend to be a little more expensive than most, at $29.95 per month plus up-front fees of $69.95. Some of their in-home equipment is a little dated as well, offering a range of only 600 feet from the base station. It’s new GoSafe2 mobile system however, is really good. It has the emergency button, GPS, fall detection and two voice in one relatively small pendent that hangs around your neck.

Philips Lifeline

Bottom Line:

  • Excellent reputation
  • GoSafe2 Mobile is a great all in-one mobile device (2 way talk, GPS, fall detection)
  • Overall a little pricier than most, up-front costs (if no promotion)

Visit Site (855) 410-3191

LifeStation Logo LifeStation Review: Very Good

Did you know that LifeStation is actually one of the largest monitoring centers for the entire medical alert system industry? In fact, many of the top medical alert companies actually use LifeStation’s monitoring centers! LifeStation knows emergency response better than most, because they actually deliver it, while most outsource it. LifeStation offers a range of in-home and mobile solutions and they recently dropped their pricing to $19.95 a month, with fully cancellable contracts. They also offer a neat new GPS locating device for family members called “Find My Loved One”, which allows you to see where your loved one is anytime.


Bottom Line:

  • Excellent emergency response center
  • “Find My Loved One” is good GPS tracker on Mobile device
  • Free cancellation, 30 day money back guarantee
  • $24.95 to $19.95 promotion ends October 31, 2019

Visit Site (855) 622-5040

LifeFone Logo LifeFone Review: Very Good

We really like the management team at LifeFone when we spoke to them. The company is one of the pioneers in the industry and they’ve been around since 1976. They’ve just come out with some new and exciting products as well. If you’re looking for more than just a medical alert system, LifeFone has some great services you may want to explore. Their Caregiver Tools include services like making daily check-in calls to your loved one, medication reminders and GPS location services. Of course you have to pay a little extra for the service. Their contracts are fully cancellable and it also comes with a 30 day money back guarantee, so you can try before you buy.

LifeFone Medical Alert Services

Bottom Line:

  • Excellent broad range of product solutions
  • Largest offering of caregiver solutions (check-in calls, medication reminders, etc…)
  • Transparent contract
  • Free cancellation, 30 day money back guarantee

Visit Site (844) 263-7216

MobileHelp Logo MobileHelp Review: Good

MobileHelp is actually one of the leading equipment manufacturers for the medical alert industry. In fact, many medical alert companies buy their equipment from MobileHelp! They only offer cellular based products, so if a cell signal is spotty in your area, you may want to look for a different provider (they use AT&T). They’ve really grown over the past few years rounding out their excellence in technology with improved customer service as well. Their pricing is average, and they offer a 30 day money back guarantee and fully cancellable contracts.


Bottom Line:

  • Good range of product
  • Of note, they do not have a landline based system
  • Cancellable contracts

Visit Site (800) 920-1745

ADT Logo ADT Medical Alert Review: Average

Although ADT comes with a great reputation in the home security industry, we’re a little less enthusiastic about its medical alert system offering. To us, it seems like they’re in the industry because they want to cross sell to their existing home security customer base. Their equipment is dated, with their in home landline system only having a range of 300 feet. In addition, while many of the top providers have all in one mobile alert offerings, ADT requires you to carry 2 separate pieces of hardware for its mobile system, which is just not practical.

ADT Medical Alert

Bottom Line:

  • Well-established brand
  • In-home landline system equipment looks and feels dated
  • Do not like their mobile solution – requires carrying 2 devices

Visit Site (800) 588-1934

GreatCall Logo GreatCall Lively Review: Good

GreatCall Lively Mobile currently unavailable due to product recall / issues. GreatCall only offers a mobile medical alert system. The biggest problem we have with GreatCall is the size of its medical alert device and the length of its battery charge. Readers have consistently said the device is too large and bulky, making it a nuisance to wear. While GreatCall advertises its battery should last for 24 hours, several readers have complained it only lasts for 8 hours, making midday charging a necessity. That said, GreatCall’s emergency response time was exceptional and it offers some cool extra’s like a nurse help line and a partnership with Lyft for taxi service.

GreatCall Lively Mobile

Bottom Line:

  • GreatCall Lively Mobile currently unavailable due to undisclosed product issues.
  • Greatcall offers excellent emergency response times
  • Good pricing for a mobile system, but up-front hardware cost
  • Don’t like the size of the GreatCall Lively Mobile, feels bulky, especially compared to the competition
  • Biggest complaint is short battery life of 8 hours in some tests, requiring daily charging

Visit Site (866) 829-4527

Three Important Tips Before You Buy

Check return policies. You want a system that’s easy to return, so that if you no longer need it, don’t like it or want a different technology, you can make that choice at your discretion. Never sign a long term contract. Many companies offer discounts if you pay for your system a year in advance, the good ones will return your money for the unused portion if you cancel before your year is up.

Call for a discount or a deal. We’ve tested it ourselves. Many companies are willing to do even better than the promotions they’re advertising on their websites. But you have to call. Be assertive. Ask for better pricing, free equipment (pendent, lock box, etc…). Let them know you’ve done your research and you’re shopping around.

Check your mobile coverage if you go cellular. If you get an in-home system with cellular coverage, or you get a mobile system, find out what provider they’re using (e.g. AT&T or Verizon) and see if you get good coverage in your area. Make sure there is no long term contract so if coverage ends up being poor in your house or area, you can return the medical alert system. A 30 day money back guarantee is even better.

10 Questions To Help You Choose The Right Medical Alert System For You

1. Do I need a traditional home-based medical alert system or a cellular medical alert system?

If you mostly stay in your home and have a landline, a traditional in home medical alert system is probably the right choice for you. However, if you mostly stay in your home but do NOT have a landline, a cellular in home system is a perfect solution for you.

2. Do I need an in home medical alert system or a mobile medical alert system?

If you mostly stay in your home or only leave your home when accompanied by others, an in home medical alert system (traditiona or cellular) is best for you. However, if you’re active outside your home, and do things on your own, you may want to consider a mobile medical alert system.

A mobile medical alert will let you press the help button no matter where you are, speak to an operator through your pendent and help will be sent to your exact location via GPS. The biggest downside to a mobile system is you need to recharge it frequently (not great if you’re forgetful), it’s a little more expensive and you need to have good cellular service in your area.

3. Who staffs the monitoring center? Is the monitoring center staffed by trained agents? Who are they certified by? Do they speak my language or the language of my loved one?

4. How fast are response times? It should be less than 30 seconds for an emergency response center to respond, but some less reputable medical alert companies may take over a minute. 

5. What other services come with the medical alert system? Check what other services might be included with your medical alert system like a lock box (highly recommended), medication reminders, check-in calls or speaking to a nurse or doctor.

6. What is the total cost of the system? What are the monthly costs? What are the up-front costs (activation, shipping, installation, equipment, etc…) Are there incentives if you pre-pay annually? Do you get your pre-paid money back if you cancel early?

7. Can I cancel the contract any time? You want a contract that allows you to cancel at any time without a penalty. Moreover, you want a contract that returns the unused portion of you pre-payment, even if you cancel early. There are operators out there (like Life Alert) that have 3 year contracts, we recommend you stay away from any long term commitment. Make sure to ask if there are any cancellation penalties.

8. What happens if the medical alert system breaks? If it stops working through no fault of your own who’s responsible for fixing it? If you drop and break it, is it covered under warranty? For how long?

9. Should you get automatic fall detection?

Automatic fall detection is one of the best additions to medical alert systems in recent years in our opinion. Some claim to detect up to 95% of falls, removing a lot of anxiety of what will happen if you fall and you’re alone, knocked unconscious or can’t press your emergency button.

The biggest complaint regarding fall detection our readers have shared with us is that sometimes there are too many false alarms. You have to judge if the inconvenience of some false alarms is worth the extra protection. That said, if you’ve had a fall within the last year, we highly recommend it.

10. Am I buying the hardware or leasing it? Do I have to return the medical alert system when you end your contract? Do I get to keep it and give it to someone else? If you’re leasing it, make sure to keep it in good condition.

Should You Get a Medical Alert System?

Medical alert systems for seniors

Are You At Risk of Falling?

If you or a loved one answer yes to any of the following questions asked by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), you’re at risk of falling and you should consider getting a medical alert system:

  1. Have you fallen in the past year?
  2. Do you feel unsteady when standing or walking?
  3. Do you worry about falling?

Are You At Risk of Getting a Stroke, Seizure or Heart Attack?

Medical alert systems can be critical to getting you help in a situation where every second counts.

Heart Attack: According to the Journal of the American Heart Association, those who receive lifesaving attention within 1 hour of a heart attack are 3 times more likely to survive!

Stroke: According to the American Stroke Association “if you’re having a stroke, it’s critical that you get medical attention right away. Immediate treatment may minimize the long-term effects of a stroke and even prevent death.”

Medical alert systems also ensure you get help even if you can’t talk, or lack the dexterity to dial numbers on a phone pad.

3 Keys To Getting The Best Medical Alert System Equipment

  • Ease of Use: You want a system that is simple to install, easy to use and easy to maintain. In our view, a one button watch or pendent remains the safest option, especially in the panic and confusion of an emergency. One click and help is on the way.
  • Wearability: Having a help button that is comfortable and not too bulky is essential to wearability. When you compare medical alert systems, make sure you narrow it down to a company that offers both a watch and pendent.
  • Range: Range is the maximum distance the pendent can still work from the base station. Not everyone needs 1,300 feet (more than 3 football fields long), but having it can protect you when gardening, going to the mailbox or taking out the trash.

Emergency Response Service

  • Average response times: Response time is the amount of time it takes for the monitoring station to answer you once you’ve pressed the help button. In general, you should look for an average response time of less than 45 seconds. The best medical alert systems will have response times in the 20 second range.
  • Multiple emergency contacts: One of the advantages medical alert systems have over 911, is that operators can dispatch ambulance services or contact family members depending on the situation. Verify how many emergency contacts and phone numbers you’re allowed to list and that it suits your situation.
  • Reputation / experience: There are a LOT of medical alert companies out there. You do not want to put you or a loved one’s life in the hands of an outfit that is just starting out, has a poor reputation or a bad track record. We believe our list above is a great starting point to find the best medical alert system company. For more research, check a site like the Better Business Bureau (BBB) to review complaints.
  • Certification: All of our top ranked medical alert companies have third party certified monitoring centers that are either 5 Diamond certified by the Central Station Alarm Association (CSAA) or certified by Underwriters Laboratory (UL). Meeting either of those standards provides assurance staff will be able to handle your emergency call properly.