Best Life Alert Alternatives

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Key Takeaways

  • Life Alert is one of the most well-known medical alert companies and responds to more than 2 million calls per year.
  • Life Alert offers standard at-home systems with landline and cellular connection options, waterproof help buttons, and a mobile system with GPS tracking.
  • Shoppers can’t order Life Alert directly from the site, and it’s difficult to get pricing and product information without speaking with a sales representative.
  • Bay Alarm Medical, Medical Guardian, MobileHelp, or Aloe Care Health may be a better choice if you’re looking for a medical alert system with fall detection, no long-term contracts, and more modern devices compared to Life Alert.

What Are the Best Alternatives to Life Alert?

life alert logo

When discussing medical alert systems, one of the first things people think of is the catchphrase, “Help! I’ve fallen and I can’t get up!” coined by the market leader Life Alert. The company was one of the first to bring medical alert systems to the forefront. Life Alert has been dominating medical alert advertising ever since its debut, especially commercials airing on daytime television. 

It’s no surprise that many people lump all medical alert systems under the title “Life Alert” and are unaware of the many medical alert system alternatives on the market today. 

As a pioneer in the market of personal emergency response systems, Life Alert handles more than 2 million calls per year. In 2020, 40,095 people were saved from a catastrophic event by utilizing Life Alert. A company like Life Alert offers clear benefits to older adults and anyone more prone to medical emergencies. However, it’s crucial to evaluate your options and choose a system that best aligns with your lifestyle and medical needs. Only you can decide which medical alert system is right for you. 

While this article focuses on reasons you might choose a medical alert system other than Life Alert, there are some pros to choosing this medical alert company.

Life Alert Pros

  1. The medical alert company has been in the business since 1987 and is an established, reliable brand. 
  1. Built-in backup batteries in the base station last 72 hours, ensuring continued connection to the Life Alert emergency response center during a power outage. Most competitor base stations have only 24- to 32-hour backup batteries.
  1. Life Alert’s waterproof pendants or medical alert bracelets can be worn in the shower. Most packages also include waterproof help buttons to place in your shower, bathroom or other high-risk areas for extra protection. 

When determining where most falls occur, it was found that around 60% of falls occur within someone’s home. The National Institutes of Health determined that a fall in the bathroom was almost two and a half times more likely to result in injury than a fall in the living room. Waterproof equipment helps protect you or your loved one in more high-risk areas. 

Six Reasons to Consider an Alternative to Life Alert

The benefits of a medical alert device such as Life Alert are obvious when it comes to preventing serious injury in older adults. Although Life Alert is a commonly recognized brand, it’s not the only option. Let’s take a closer look at some of the drawbacks of Life Alert. 

Life Alert Cost

Life Alert is more costly than other medical alert devices. Monthly subscription fees range anywhere from $49–$89, depending on the package you purchase. Its equipment activation fees range from $95–$198; however, shipping is free and there are no equipment fees. 

Life Alert Pricing Compared

Life Alert Monthly Cost Compared to other brands

Length of Contract

Life Alert requires a three-year contract that you can only cancel under specific circumstances. Many medical alert systems don’t have long-term contracts and let you cancel your subscription at any time. 

Lack of Pricing Transparency

Life Alert’s website does not offer clearly noted packages and pricing. You’ll need to speak with a Life Alert sales representative to learn more about each package and the total cost. Many other companies have their features, prices, and additional fees listed on their website. 

No Automatic Fall Detection Available

Life Alert doesn’t offer fall detection for any of its devices. Automatic fall detection technology triggers an alert to the emergency call system if the sensor detects a rapid change in position or fall. Some medical alert devices do this using accelerometers. The help button does not need to be pressed for a fall detection alert to be sent to the monitoring center. This is especially helpful if you lose consciousness or hit your head.  According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are around 36 million falls reported among older adults annually. One out of every five of these falls results in serious injury, such as a broken bone or traumatic head injury, requiring emergency medical care. This technology can greatly reduce the risk of serious injury and help decrease medical treatment costs. 

No Trial Period

Once you’ve purchased your package, you are locked into your subscription until the contract expires or is up for renewal. 

Additional Features Not Available

The medical alert industry is constantly evolving to offer add-ons based on changing needs for older adults and their loved ones. These features might include medication reminders, appointment reminders, activity tracking, and home environment monitoring, which can help family members and caregivers customize their package to their loved one’s needs. While Life Alert offers a mobile system with GPS tracking, it doesn’t have other common add-on perks like secure lockboxes, a caregiver app, or medication reminders.

Compare Alternatives to Life Alert

Life Alert
Minimum Monthly Fee$49.95/month
Activation Cost$95-$198
Contract3-year minimum
Fall DetectionNot available
Medical Guardian
Minimum Monthly Fee$29.95/month
Activation CostNone
ContractNot required, but discounts come with annual contracts
Fall Detection$10/month
MobileHelp
Minimum Monthly Fee$19.95/month
Activation Cost$49.95 for Classic system
ContractNone
Fall Detection$10/month
Bay Alarm Medical
Minimum Monthly Fee$24.95/month
Activation CostNone
ContractNone
Fall Detection$10/month
Aloe Care Health
Minimum Monthly Fee$24.99/month
Activation CostNone
ContractNone
Fall DetectionIncluded with some plans

Best Life Alert Alternatives

Top Features
  1. 1,300-foot range for the at-home landline system and 1,400-foot protection range for the at-home cellular system
  2. Lightweight mobile devices and smartwatch option
  3. Less than 15-second response time during our system test

Pros

  • No charge for cancellation and pro-rated refund

  • TMA Five Diamond Certified monitoring center

  • Five packages available: two at-home and three on-the-go, including the MGMove Smartwatch

  • Product quiz to help find the best device

Cons

  • Device protection plan costs extra

  • Contracts are month-to-month after a three-month minimum commitment

Medical Guardian offers an incredible variety of at-home and mobile packages. If you’re constantly on the go and lead a more active lifestyle, Medical Guardian’s lightweight and mobile medical alert systems or smartwatch may be the device for you.

Unlike Life Alert, which requires you sign a contract, Medical Guardian can be cancelled anytime at no charge.

Let’s take a closer look at the different at-home and mobile systems available:

Classic Guardian: The standard at-home system includes a base station that connects to your landline, offering direct two-way communication with the emergency monitoring center. It has a 1,300-foot protection range from the base station with the wearable help button.

Home 2.0: The other at-home option is similar to the Classic, but it connects to the monitoring center via AT&T cellular network and has a 1,400-foot protection range from the base station when wearing the help button.

Mobile 2.0: A small, portable device that can be worn on your wristband, clipped to your belt, or placed in your pocket for protection at home or on the go. The Mobile 2.0 uses GPS tracking, 4G LTE cellular connection, and Wi-Fi to monitor your location and keep you connected to the monitoring center at all times.

Mini Guardian: This is Medical Guardian’s smallest mobile device and is available in black, silver, or white. The Mini Guardian has all of the same features as the Mobile 2.0, but it’s more lightweight and compact than the Mobile 2.0.

MGMove Smartwatch: A modern-looking, sleek medical alert smartwatch with an emergency button and two-way speaker. You can also message loved ones, track your activity, check the weather, and plan your day with the MGMove. Fall detection isn’t available with the smartwatch.

The Active Guardian mobile medical alert system has been retired.

See our full Medical Guardian Review

Medical Guardian Vs. Life Alert

Medical Guardian
In-home system$29.95/month*
Mobile System$39.95/month*
Equipment Fee$0–$199.95
Activation FeeNone
ContractNot required but annual contracts offered at a discount
Automatic Fall Detection$10/month
GPSYes
Life Alert
In-home system$49.95/month
Mobile System$89.95/month
Equipment Fee$0
Activation Fee$95–$198
Contract3-year minimum requirement
Automatic Fall DetectionNot available
GPSYes

Pricing listed for in-home system is based on the Classic Guardian system and pricing for mobile system is based on the Mobile 2.0, which are the company’s most affordable options.

Top Features:
  1. 1,400-foot protection range with at-home cellular system
  2. Offers three at-home options and more advanced at-home devices like the digital tablet Touch Classic
  3. Connect virtually with a board-certified doctor with MDLIVE telehealth for an additional monthly fee

Pros

  • 30-day money-back guarantee

  • Medication reminder available

  • Product quiz to help find the best device

  • Eight packages available: three at-home options, two on-the-go options, and three bundle options

Cons

  • $49.95–$99.95 processing fee charged for some devices

  • Monitoring center not TMA Five Diamond Certified

MobileHelp offers eight unique medical alert system packages. These systems include advanced features like medication reminders, GPS tracking, a smartwatch option, and automatic fall detection (which Life Alert does not offer). 

We love MobileHelp’s three at-home options and the advanced features available with the at-home smart tablet base station. Most companies only reserve advanced tech features for their mobile devices, but MobileHelp gives you the option of a high-tech at-home system.

Classic: This is MobileHelp’s cellular connection in-home system with a 1,400-foot protection range. It includes a base station and wearable help button available as a wrist pendant or lanyard. 

Wired Home: This landline in-home system is an excellent option if you don’t have strong cellular reception in your home or neighborhood. The Wired Home has a range of 600 feet and includes a wearable waterproof help button.

Touch Classic: This is a smart tablet that doubles as a base station. It includes special features like photo storage, brain games, and medication reminders. 

Solo: This portable system is ideal for people who spend a lot of time out of the home, as it uses AT&T’s cellular network and works anywhere with a cellular connection. It includes a mobile base station and wearable help button. 

Micro: This is MobileHelp’s smallest mobile device. The lightweight system has GPS tracking and can be worn in the shower. 

Duo: This package combines the Classic and Solo options, giving you an in-home base station, mobile base station, and wearable help button. It’s a great option if you spend a lot of time at home but also enjoy being out and about in your community.

Mobile Duo: This unique plan is designed for couples or roommates who both need protection. It’s a two-for-one bundle that includes two portable devices and two personal help buttons.

Touch Duo: This package includes the smart tablet base station plus a mobile unit. 

See our full MobileHelp Review.

MobileHelp Vs. Life Alert

MobileHelp
In-home system$19.95/month*
Mobile System$37.95/month*
Equipment Fee$0–$49.95
Activation Fee$49.95 for Classic system
ContractNone
Automatic Fall Detection$10/month
GPSYes
Life Alert
In-home system$49.95/month
Mobile System$89.95/month
Equipment Fee$0
Activation Fee$95–$198
Contract3-year minimum requirement
Automatic Fall DetectionNot available
GPSYes

*Pricing listed for MobileHelp are based on the Classic in-home system and Solo mobile system, which are the company’s most affordable options. 

TOp features:
  1. The mobile system’s monthly fee is lower than most competitors ($29.95 per month)
  2. Free GPS monitoring services with mobile and smartwatch subscriptions
  3. Can add at-home monitoring for your partner or roommate by purchasing an additional help button—no additional subscription required

Pros

  • 30-day money-back guarantee

  • The Monitoring Association (TMA) Five Diamond Certified monitoring center

  • Locked into original monthly price even if cost increases over time

  • A+ rating on Better Business Bureau and a customer review rating of over 4 out of 5 stars

Cons

  • Landline and cellular at-home systems have the same protection range from the base station (1,000 feet)

  • Device protection plan costs extra

When it comes to affordability, Bay Alarm Medical is an excellent option. With its lowest-priced package starting at $24.95 per month, Bay Alarm offers high-quality protection and a wide variety of options at a much better price than Life Alert’s offerings.

Bay Alarm offers eight subscription packages:

In-Home Basic: The standard at-home system requires a landline connection and has a 1,000-foot protection range from the base station. 

In-Home Preferred: This at-home system connects to the monitoring station via 4G LTE. You’ll also have a 1,000-foot protection range from the base station when wearing your help button. 

In-Home Premium: This package is the same as the In-Home Preferred but also includes four wall-mounted help buttons for additional protection in high-risk fall areas.

Mobile LITE: The GPS button uses 4G LTE to connect to the monitoring center anywhere outside of your home. Caregivers can monitor your location and receive low battery notifications with the Caregiver tracking app.

Mobile PLUS: This subscription includes all of Mobile LITE’s features plus automatic fall detection for an additional $10 per month

Mobile 360º: This in-home and on-the-go bundle includes the at-home base station, wearable help button, and GPS button with fall detection at a special discount. 

SOS Smartwatch: The discrete medical alert watch has a simple touchscreen, an emergency button that connects to the monitoring center, a two-way speaker, and built-in GPS services. Fall detection isn’t available with the smartwatch. 

In-Home + SOS Smartwatch: An in-home system can be bundled with the smartwatch for complete at-home and on-the-go protection at a discounted price. 

See our full Bay Alarm Medical Review.

Bay Alarm Medical Vs. Life Alert

Bay Alarm Medical
In-home system$24.95/month*
Mobile System$29.95/month*
Equipment Fee$0–$159
Activation FeeNone
ContractNone
Automatic Fall Detection$10/month
GPSYes
Life Alert
In-home system$49.95/month
Mobile System$89.95/month
Equipment Fee$0
Activation Fee$95–$198
Contract3-year minimum requirement
Automatic Fall DetectionNot available
GPSYes

*Pricing listed for Bay Alarm Medical are based on the In-Home Basic system and Mobile Lite, which are the company´s most affordable options.

Top features:
  1. The base station (the Hub) has built in motion, home temperature, and air quality sensors
  2. The Aloe Care app is included with all subscriptions. Caregivers receive updates during an emergency and call the base station, all by using the app
  3. Free fall detection is included with the Mobile Companion (but fall detection isn’t available with other devices)

Pros

  • 30-day money-back guarantee

  • TMA Five Diamond Certified monitoring center

  • Free caregiver app with unlimited users

Cons

  • Only a 200-foot range from the base station

  • Must say “Emergency” several times to get an emergency response from the Smart Hub or fall detection sensor

  • In-home fall detection is only available in one room unless you buy the Mobile Companion

  • Expensive equipment fees ($99–$349.99)

Aloe Care Health’s base station—called the Smart Hub—has excellent safety monitoring features. The Hub can monitor movement, has two-way speakers, and a voice-activation option to contact the emergency monitoring center. The Hub also monitors your air quality and room temperature and will connect to the monitoring center if either reaches dangerous levels.

Aloe Care Health subscription options: 

Essentials: This is Aloe Care Health’s classic at-home system. It includes the Smart Hub and wearable help button (Care Button). 

Mobile Companion:  The portable device connects to the monitoring center via 4G LTE for protection in and outside your home. Wearable fall detection is included with the Mobile Companion at no extra cost. Most companies charge an additional $10 per month for fall detection, and Life Alert doesn’t offer any fall detection features. 

Essentials Plus: This package includes the Hub, Care Button, and the Mobile Companion.

Total Care: This top-of-the-line package includes everything in Essentials Plus, as well as a wall-mounted fall detection system and two motion sensors that can notify the monitoring center of any unusual activity.

See our full Aloe Care Health Review.

Aloe Care Health Vs. Life Alert

Aloe Care Health
In-home system$29.99/month*
Mobile SystemMobile Companion available at $24.99/month
Equipment Fee$99.99–$349.99
Activation FeeNone
ContractNone
Automatic Fall DetectionIncluded with some plans
GPSYes
Life Alert
In-home system$49.95/month
Mobile System$89.95/month
Equipment Fee$0
Activation Fee$95–$198
Contract3-year minimum requirement
Automatic Fall DetectionNot available
GPSYes

*Pricing for Aloe Care Health is based on the Essentials package, which is the company’s most affordable option. 

Bottom Line

There is a wide variety of medical alert devices available. Empowering yourself with the right medical alert system can help you maintain your independence and remain in your own home knowing you’re always protected during an emergency.

Why You Can Trust Our Review

Our experts independently research and recommend products we believe provide value to the lives of our readers. We’ve collectively spent more than 1,700 hours conducting in-depth research on medical alert systems. 

Our team tested multiple medical alert devices, including Medical Guardian, Aloe Care Health, Bay Alarm Medical, and MobileHelp to better understand features and provide the most accurate feedback and recommendations for our readers.  All four of these brands are featured in our best medical alert systems review. We didn’t include Life Alert in our testing process because we believe its products have too many drawbacks.

To decide on our top picks, here’s what we did:

  • Engaged in ongoing independent research
  • Consulted with geriatricians and adult caregivers
  • Mystery shopped the brands
  • Surveyed medical alert system users
  • Tested various medical alert systems
  • Interviewed experts in the field
  • Read hundreds of verified customer reviews from trusted third parties such as Better Business Bureau and Consumer Reports

We grade each medical alert company using a 1-10 rating scale and score them according to the following categories:

  • Essential features
  • Product functionality
  • Special features
  • Customer service
  • Purchasing process

Features and criteria within each of these five categories are assigned point values. The more points a company receives for each criteria, the higher the company scores in the overall category.


See our full explanation of how we rate medical alert systems for a full breakdown of our scoring

Frequently Asked Questions

There are many Life Alert alternatives on the market today. Popular Life Alert alternatives include Bay Alarm Medical, Medical Guardian, MobileHelp, and Aloe Care Health. There are plenty of other companies that offer medical alert systems, such as ADT, LifeStation, Lively, and more.

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WRITTEN BY

Danielle Pagano is a board certified Family Nurse Practitioner currently practicing Internal Medicine in rural Illinois. She has extensive experience in primary and long term care, including preventive medicine and complex chronic disease management. Danielle has participated in several medical mission trips, serving communities in Brazil, Kenya, and Ethiopia. As a working mother of three young children, Danielle appreciates spending her time outside connecting with nature while hiking or running, or relaxing with her husband.

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MEDICALLY REVIEWED BY

Jenny is an Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner in NYC with a passion for working with aging adults and their family members. Prior to her clinical training at Vanderbilt School of Nursing, she worked in business and medical research at Harvard Business School and Massachusetts General Hospital. As a Caregiving Coach at Givers, Jenny helps family members manage the financial, emotional, and educational stresses of caring for their loved ones who are aging in place.

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