MobileHelp Vs. Life Alert Comparison

Updated: Jul 17, 2022

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Having the ability to maintain your independence while still feeling safe can significantly impact your overall health and well-being. It can also provide peace of mind for your caregivers and family. One way to make this a reality is to use a medical alert system called a personal emergency response system (PERS). 

Medical alert systems come with a wearable device that allows you to connect with a staffed monitoring center or loved one with a simple press of a button. Depending on the system and plan, you will have coverage at home and on the go.

While finding the right medical alert system to meet your budget and needs can feel daunting, narrowing down the choices can help. The following side-by-side comparison of two popular systems–MobileHelp vs. Life Alert–can help you do just that. Keep reading to discover the pros, cons, costs and features of MobileHelp vs. Life Alert.

Key Takeaways

  • MobileHelp and Life Alert both offer in-home and mobile medical alert systems that use a wearable help button to alert the response center in case of an emergency.
  • Life Alert requires a strict three-year contract. MobileHelp allows you to pay as you go month-to-month.
  • The monthly fees associated with Life Alert are significantly higher than MobileHelp.
  • Not all medical alert devices come with automatic fall detection. If this is one of your requirements, consider comparing MobileHelp to another medical alert company. Life Alert does not have fall detection available for any of its devices. MobileHelp does offer a fall detection button with several plans.

Overview of the MobileHelp vs. Life Alert

MobileHelp and Life Alert are two medical alert companies that offer in-home and mobile medical alert systems with wearable help buttons. Because the help button allows you to connect directly to a call center, these devices are considered monitored medical alert systems. This means they require a monthly fee to connect to a response center operator who can assist you in determining if a call to emergency services is needed, or if a loved one or family member can help instead. 

While the two companies have some key elements in common, they also have several differences that are critical to consider when choosing the best medical alert system for your needs.

MobileHelp vs. Life Alert Comparison

Side-by-Side Comparison
Cost
MobileHelp
Life Alert
Monthly Cost
MobileHelpMonthly costs of $19.95-$49.95, depending on the system; does not include add-on services
Life AlertMonthly cost of $49.95-$89.95, depending on the system; does not include add-on services
Upfront And Activation Fees
MobileHelpThree plans require a processing fee if you choose the monthly plan: Classic-$49.95 Touch-$99.95 Touch Duo-$99.95
Life AlertOne-time activation fee can range from $96-$198, depending on plan
Contract
MobileHelpNo contract; service is month-to-month; monthly fees are lower if prepaying for 3, 6, 9 or 12 months
Life Alert3-year contract
Add-On Services
MobileHelpFall detection $10/month Additional help buttons $2/month Wall help button $2/month Waterproof wall button $2.95/month MDLive $9.95/month Connect Premium $5/month Medication reminders $5/month
Life AlertWall-mounted help button $19.95/month Spouse monitoring $5/month
Features
MobileHelp
Life Alert
Connection
MobileHelpLandline or cellular
Life AlertLandline or cellularYes, $19.95/month, waterproof
Wall Mount Buttons
MobileHelpYes, $2.95/month, waterproof
Life AlertYes, $19.95/month, waterproof
2-Way Communication
MobileHelpYes, mobile/GPS device and base station
Life AlertYes
Battery Life
MobileHelpMobile devices, 24 hours; base station, 30-hour backup; neck pendant and wrist button, 5 years
Life AlertUp to 10 years; 72-hour backup for base unit
Water Resistance Yes Yes
MobileHelpYes
Life AlertYes
Automatic Fall Detection
MobileHelp Yes, add-on option for $10/month
Life AlertNo
GPS Locator Yes, with mobile/cellular-based plans
MobileHelpYes, with mobile/cellular-based plans
Life AlertYes, with help on the go + 14
Call Center Locations And Hours
MobileHelp24/7 call center hours; U.S.-based monitoring, with call centers in New York and California
Life Alert24/7 call center hours; U.S.-based monitoring
Optional Features
MobileHelp
Life Alert
Lockboxes
MobileHelp Yes, free with any plan
Life AlertYes
Extra Wearable Buttons
MobileHelpYes $2/month each
Life Alert Yes, price varies
Spouse Monitoring Device
MobileHelpYes, with MobileHelp Duo System
Life AlertYes, $10/month

MobileHelp Overview

MobileHelp offers several medical alert systems at home and on the go. Although this company gets many things right with its systems, there are a few main reasons we suggest you consider purchasing a MobileHelp medical alert device.

Firstly, the company has some of the lowest monthly rates, with its basic plan starting at $19.95 per month. The devices also provide an in-home range of 1,400 feet, making this an excellent system for older adults who spend most of their time at home. Access to the MobileHelp Connect app, which provides notification and tracking for family members and caregivers, is another reason to consider MobileHelp.

More great news is that with so many medical alert plans to choose from, there’s a good chance you’ll find one that works for you. Here are some more key details and features of MobileHelp’s medical alert systems.

Pros

  • Comes with a 30-day risk-free trial

  • The in-home medical alert system has one of the best ranges of any system on the market.

  • Jewelry-style pendants are available to make help buttons appear more stylish.

  • Access to the Connect App, which provides notification and tracking for family and loved ones.

  • Touch device available for in-home coverage

Cons

  • Additional monthly fee for automatic fall detection

  • Some plans require an activation fee.

  • Extra features can make monthly fees pricey.

Different Plans and Models of MobileHelp

The Classic gives you all the protection you need while at home. This system comes with a base unit and a waterproof help button you can wear as a pendant or on your wrist. The base connects to the call center 24/7 via cellular service. The Classic has a 1,400-foot range from the base station, which is ideal for most apartments, condos, and homes. It’s also compatible with the MobileHelp Fall Button. MobileHelp Classic costs $19.95 per month plus a one-time processing fee of $49.95.

Wired Home is MobileHelp’s in-home landline system. It comes with the same features and operating instructions as the Classic, but instead of connecting to the monitoring center via cellular service, the base unit uses your landline to call for help. If you have poor cell service in your area, this is the plan for you. MobileHelp Wired Home costs $24.95 per month.

Touch Classic is an easy-to-use tablet and medical alert device that gives you access to 24/7 monitoring and two-way communication during an emergency. It also doubles as an interactive tablet that you can use for playing cognitive games, looking at pictures, and managing your medications. It is 4G LTE compatible and Wi-Fi and Bluetooth-enabled. The Touch comes with a pendant or wrist-style help wearable help button and costs $54.95 per month plus a one-time processing fee of $99.95.

MobileHelp Solo is a mobile alert system that provides coverage at home and on the go. This system includes a mobile unit and one waterproof help button you can wear around your neck on the wrist. In addition, the Solo pendant has GPS tracking for extra safety while away from home. It connects to the monitoring center via cellular connection while at home and on the go. No base unit or landline is required. It’s also compatible with the MobileHelp Fall Button. MobileHelp Micro Solo costs $37.95 per month.

This is MobileHelp’s smallest and lightest mobile help button. The Micro is a GPS-enabled device you can wear around your neck, or you can detach it from the lanyard and place it in a pocket or purse when you’re on the go. It weighs 1.8 ounces, so it’s ideal for seniors who want something discreet. The Micro also has voice guidance and high-quality speakers to help you communicate with the call center. MobileHelp Micro costs $33.95 per month.

The Duo is MobileHelp’s answer to comprehensive coverage. This system gives you access to emergency help at home and on the go by connecting to the monitoring center via the base station at home or mobile device and GPS-tracking unit when you’re away from home. The Duo comes with a pendant and wrist-style waterproof help button that works within a 1,400-foot range from the base station while the user is at home. It’s also compatible with the MobileHelp Fall Button. MobileHelp Duo costs $41.95 per month.

If you need coverage for two people, consider the MobileHelp Duo. The Duo provides protection at home and on the go with an in-home base unit and mobile unit with GPS tracking and a wearable neck pendant or wrist help button. This system provides services and buttons for two people at a discounted rate. MobileHelp Mobile Duo costs $44.95 per month.

The Touch Duo provides the same great features as the Touch Classic and adds a wearable pendant, mobile device, and charger you can use when on the go. This system provides 24/7 emergency monitoring directly from the home screen with soft key touch or the wearable help button. The Touch Duo costs $54.95 per month plus a one-time processing fee of $99.95.

See our full MobileHelp Medical Alert System Review.

Life Alert Overview

Life Alert is one of the oldest companies in the medical alert market, dating back to 1987. The company is based in Encino, California. Life Alert was one of only a few systems available for several years and continues to be a simple and popular choice for many older adults. Fortunately, the market is growing, and there are now several medical alert companies and systems available with more affordable prices, better systems, and fewer restrictions.

That being said, Life Alert is a decent system if you need a device and base station with excellent battery life or an easy-to-see waterproof, wall-mounted help button. Here are some more details about Life Alert medical alert devices.

Pros

  • Help button pendants are safe for use in the bathtub and shower.

  • Option to add a wall-mounted help button to the shower

  • Life Alert has a TMA Five Diamond Certification designation, which indicates that they maintain a high-quality call center.

Cons

  • Requires customers to sign a three-year service contract, while most other companies have a month-to-month option

  • Higher monthly fees compared to other medical alert systems

  • Pricing and plan options are not clear on the website. Potential customers need to call customer service for more information.

  • Automatic fall detection is not available.

Different Plans and Models of Life Alert

The Master Unit is the required system when using a Life Alert medical alert system. You can add other features like the help button and GPS + Mobile device to it. The Master Unit system plugs into the wall and has a large help button you can press to contact the call center. You can also use the wearable pendant or wrist-style help button with the system. When using the wearable help button, Life Alert advertises an 800-foot coverage range from the base station. The main unit comes with a choice of cellular or landline to connect with the emergency monitoring center. This system can range from $49.95-$89.95, depending on add-ons and if you’re approved to purchase the Master Unit on its own without a bundle package.

The Mobile System or help on the go + GPS is Life Alert’s answer to dealing with emergencies that occur away from home. This add-on unit comes with a small GPS-enabled help button you can wear or carry in a bag or pocket. You will be connected to the emergency monitoring center via cell service using the mobile Life Alert button. This is not a standalone system. You must purchase the Life Alert Master Unit in order to use the GPS-enabled device. If you bundle the Master Unit and Mobile + GPS, you will pay $69.90 per month.

The help button is a wall-mount device with two-way communication. You can mount the help button in the shower, bathtub wall, bedrooms or any other location in your house. In a medical emergency, simply press the large red help button to connect with a dispatcher. The Life Alert help button is an add-on service that is available for $19.95 per month.

See our full Life Alert Medical Alert System Review.

Similarities & Differences Between MobileHelp and Life Alert

When deciding on a medical alert system, it’s helpful to look at the similarities and differences between companies. While both MobileHelp and Life Alert provide access to a call center and emergency services, there are some key similarities and differences worth pointing out. Here are a few similarities and differences between MobileHelp and Life Alert.

Similarities:

  • Both are monitored medical alert systems with base units that connect to a call center in case of any emergency.
  • Both offer an in-home and mobile medical alert system.
  • Both require a monthly service fee.
  • Equipment is leased with both companies.
  • Both offer wall-mounted help buttons for an additional fee.
  • Both have waterproof pendants.
  • The monitoring centers of both companies operate 24/7 and are U.S.-based.

Differences:

  • Life Alert requires a long-term contract; Mobile Help does not.
  • Life Alert does not have fall detection. MobileHelp offers automatic fall detection for $10 per month with certain systems.
  • MobileHelp has transparent pricing on its website. Life Alert is vague and offers no easy access to plans or pricing.
  • Life Alert requires an activation fee for all products. MobileHelp only has a one-time fee for a few systems.
  • Life Alert has professional installation; MobileHelp does not.
  • MobileHelp’s maximum in-home range is 1,400 feet. Life Alert is 800 feet.

What Customers Are Saying about Both Brands

Reading customer reviews is one of the best ways to get a good read on how a company responds to complaints and stands by its product. Before settling on a medical alert system, consider reviews from various sites like the Better Business Bureau (BBB), Trustpilot, Consumer Reports, Google reviews and Yelp. Most companies publish their reviews from customers, but you should always compare these to a site not affiliated with that medical alert system in order to get the most objective opinions.

What Customers Are Saying About MobileHelp

1/12/2022
“I ordered mobile help a medical alarm Monitoring company and there central dispatch did not respond to my pushing of the button for at least 10 plus minutes to a half an hour . I have a heart arrhythmia and time is of the essence. I asked to return there equipment and was promised a refund once they received there unit. Once they received there unit they wouldn’t refund me shipping even though it’s there system that does not work correctly I asked for a supervisor on multiple occasions and was refused. This is not a company that should be in business and in my opinion is an endangerment to someone’s life in an emergency.” BBB notes the company resolved this issue with the customer.

“As a family member requesting this for my father, the ordering process was easy and straightforward. Was able to choose the solution that best met our needs. When issues have arisen with the operation of the base unit and testing of devices, support has been readily available via phone to help guide through testing and resolving issues. Have not had to use the system for real, but response has been quick during tests.”

David Rice, Verified Customer (Review from Bestcompany.com)

“New user. So far, I am impressed with the features of my Mobile Help. I have the use of the basic unit plus the On The Go ability. My daughters feel that they don’t need to ” hover” over me as much. I like that Mobil Help has the button near my commode and shower for help.”

Joyce Guthrie, Verified Customer (Review from Bestcompany.com)

What Customers Are Saying About Life Alert

Life Alert complaints date back several years. However, if you go just by the information posted on the company’s website, customers are always happy because Life Alert fails to publish reviews that acknowledge any downsides of the product. Unfortunately, most of the reviews we read online were from customers complaining of unresolved issues, a poor customer service experience, or failure to have anyone from the company contact them regarding a product.

The BBB website currently lists a rating of 3.69 out of 5 for 186 customer reviews. Here are a few recent reviews on the BBB site.

1/10/2022
“The service left the customer, a 96 year old man, on the floor with no help. After an hour of the device telling him he would be connected to dispatch center, no one picked up at the dispatch center. He had to crawl on the floor to call 911 himself because dispatch never picked up his alert to send him rescue. Now, that I am trying to cancel the service due to their lack of service at this customer’s time of need, they are very uncooperative. They are out of line trying to accuse customer of providing false information. It is very frustrating to be treated as though I am making false claims after a very upsetting emergency.”

11/24/2021
“A couple of years ago, I signed my 86 year old mother up for Life Alert. The price seemed a little high and I did give into the Sales staff that basically made me feel that if I didn’t get it, I must not care for my mother. At the time I ordered it, I was gone a lot for work. Covid came and I became unemployed. Now we have someone with mom 24/7. I have tried explaining to them that this things have changed and we cannot afford the service. They will not let us break the 3 year contract. She is to the point that its either being able to afford medication or life alert service. They do not care about the customers well being, but rather the locked in contracts that they have. Every time we have contacted them they try and make us feel small and are very condescending to us.”

“I had chest pains and trouble breathing. The person stayed on the line and kept me calm until the police and ambulance got here.”

Barbara, verified customer (Review from Better Business Bureau)

“I called Life Alert twice to get some pricing as my mom just passed away, and I needed something for my dad. They hung up on me twice because I would not give them my full address. I just had 2 questions and they would not answer them for me- I was told they are in ‘the free brochure they will mail me.’ So ridiculous. They just lost a customer.”

Terry, verified customer (Review from Best Company)

Bottom Line

MobileHelp and Life Alert offer medical alert systems at home and on the go. While both companies provide medical alert monitoring services, we feel that MobileHelp is a clear winner when comparing the two systems. The company offers monthly plans with no contract, automatic fall detection, multiple systems and device options, affordable pricing and excellent customer service.

On the other hand, Life Alert requires a long-term contract that seems almost impossible to terminate. We also dislike the lack of transparency regarding monthly fees, activation costs, and add-on services. Also worthy of note: Our experience when calling the Life Alert customer service number for an informational brochure was not positive. The agents use aggressive sales tactics and refuse to answer simple questions, without even getting your contact information first. This reason alone makes us hesitant to recommend Life Alert.

Why You Can Trust Our Expert Review

You deserve the best products for a better quality of life. We strive to create honest, helpful reviews backed by firsthand shopping, testing, and research. Our content is medically reviewed and unbiased to help you choose the right medical alert system for you or your loved one.

From over 1,000 hours of research, we chose 11 of the top brands that we believe are the best medical alert systems. We did the following throughout our research process:

  • 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 (BBB) and Trustpilot

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, there are plenty of medical alert devices priced lower than Life Alert, and they don’t require a lengthy contract. If you want a high-quality, affordable medical alert device, consider looking at Medical Guardian, Aloe Care Health, or Bay Alarm Medical and MobileHelp.

Pricing accurate as of April 14, 2022.

Our Comparisons of Medical Alert System

Other Medical Alert Systems That We Have Reviewed

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WRITTEN BY

Sara Lindberg is a freelance writer specializing in health, fitness, senior care and nutrition. With a master’s in education and bachelor’s in exercise science, she has worked as a personal trainer and group exercise specialist for older adults. Her work has appeared in several national print and media publications. In her own life, caring for a parent with health issues has allowed her to see firsthand how critical it is for seniors and their families to have accurate, compassionate, and relatable information as they make decisions about aging in place.

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