Fitbits are great for tracking your health metrics, and the options available for seniors take compiling stats to a new level. However, there are some common characteristics and features that make some models better for seniors than others. Fitbit enjoys a deserved reputation for the accuracy and quality of their smartwatches and fitness trackers. I took an in-depth look at the models currently available, from advanced watches that provide ECG (electrocardiogram), electrodermal activity (EDA), and oxygen saturation (SpO2) info, to simple fitness-oriented models that are more focused on activity tracking, heart rate, steps, and sleep duration. I’ve found that the best Fitbit for seniors tracks the metrics that are important to the individual wearer and is easy to use so they’re not a hassle. 

Best Overall: Fitbit Sense
Best Budget: Fitbit Versa 2
Best for Women: Fitbit Luxe
Best Simple: Fitbit Inspire 2
Best Fitness Tracker: Fitbit Charge 5

How We Picked the Best Fitbit for Seniors

I’ve been a Fitbit user for over a decade. I currently use a Fitbit Inspire 2, and before that, I used the original Fitbit Charge. There were two more Fitbits before that, so I’m very familiar with these devices, what they can do, and how they work. When picking the models for this list, I kept in mind ease of use, visibility, monitored health metrics, and purpose.

Ease of Use: Some Fitbits are easier to use than others, with advanced features that may require a Fitbit premium subscription to access. I considered how easy Fitbit was to use for both those who are tech-savvy and those who may not be. 

Visibility: Screen visibility can be a big issue for some seniors. Low-light screens can improve visibility, as can models that let you change the watch face, including making numbers larger.

Health Metrics: A Fitbit is not a registered medical device. However, there are metrics you can share with your doctor, knowing that there’s a degree of error. Some models go into more depth than others, so I considered which metrics each model monitored and how accurate those metrics are. 

Purpose: Not everyone needs the most advanced smartwatch or fitness tracker on the market, though we also reviewed the best smartwatches. I included Fitbits for those who want to keep an eye on almost everything and models with paired-down features for simplicity and price.

Best Fitbit for Seniors: Reviews and Recommendations

Best Overall: Fitbit Sense

Advanced Monitoring and Functionality. Fitbit 

Why It Made The Cut: The Sense gives seniors access to advanced health metrics like AFib assessments, along with convenient smartwatch features that make it the best overall option for tech-savvy seniors. 

Specs:
Screen Size: 1.59 inches
Waterproof Rating: Up to 50 meters
Connectivity: Bluetooth, WiFi, GPS (no cellular) 

Pros:
— Excellent health metric options, including ECG and EDA
— Easy to use
— Less expensive than similar smartwatches
— Excellent connectivity options

Cons:
— Feature-heavy design can be overwhelming
— Bulky

The Fitbit Sense is the premium smartwatch in Fitbit’s line, making it the most expensive watch or fitness tracker they offer. The Sense is more like the best health watch for seniors because of the in-depth health metrics and big, bright customizable screen. However, in comparison to similar smartwatches, it’s a good deal. 

This model can assess the heart rhythm irregularity called atrial fibrillation, which could be an important health feature for some seniors. You can also receive notifications for low or high heart rates, too. For seniors on the go, it has a built-in GPS to track runs, rides, hikes, and other workouts, which you can then view on the Fitbit app. The Sense automatically recognizes over 20 exercises, or you can set the exercise to get real-time info during your workouts. 

Because it’s a smartwatch, you can customize the apps available on the watch to keep everything you need at your fingertips, and it’s compatible with Google Assistant and Alexa. Seniors may also like the option of answering calls from their wrists, so they don’t have to find their phones. The Sense also has access to hundreds of clock faces, so you can customize (bigger numbers or more stats) your view. Finally, I love that it has a built-in Find My Phone app, because everyone loses their phone once in a while. Take note that the Sense is on the bulky side, and there are enough features that it can be overwhelming at first.

Best Budget: Fitbit Versa 2 

Affordable Smart Watch. Fitbit

Why It Made The Cut: The Versa 2 is an affordable fitness tracker with a few smartwatch conveniences at an exceptionally reasonable price.

Specs:
Screen Size: 1.57 inches
Waterproof Rating: Up to 50 m
Connectivity: Bluetooth and WiFi

Pros:
— Irregular heart rhythm notifications and oxygen saturation monitoring
— Always-on display mode
— Control music
— Get on-wrist alerts for calls, text, and calendar items

Cons:
— No built-in GPS
— Not compatible with Apple Health or Google Fit

The Fitbit Versa 2 was Fitbit’s first foray into smartwatches. While they’ve come out with more advanced and feature-heavy models, the Versa 2 is an excellent option if you want basic smartwatch assets with Fitbit’s great health and fitness features. In fact, it’s one of the most affordable smartwatches on the market today.

The Versa 2’s always-on screen reduces frustration, and you can receive call, text, and calendar alerts as well as send quick replies to texts. It has the Find My Phone app built-in when the phone just seems to hide. The Versa 2 monitors the basics of what Fitbit offers, including irregular heart rhythm notifications, 24/7 heart rate, and automatic activity tracking. This model includes six months of the Fitbit Premium Membership to access features that provide training and health information in addition to raw stats.  

This lightweight watch also comes with an always-on display, which might be easier for some seniors to manage. For the price, it includes a decent six-day battery life. On the downside, there’s no built-in GPS, and it can’t be integrated with popular third-party fitness apps.

Best for Women: Fitbit Luxe

Versatile Appearance. Fitbit

Why It Made The Cut: Women who like to change their look or prefer a classic band to a silicone sports band will appreciate the Luxe’s aesthetic versatility. 

Specs:
Screen Size: 1.43 inches
Waterproof Rating: Up to 50 meters
Connectivity: Bluetooth

Pros:
— Slim, attractive design
— Easy-to-change band
— Includes Fitbit’s standard fitness tracking features
— Always-on display

Cons:
— Small face may be hard to see
— No GPS

The Fitbit Luxe is a fashionable take on a traditional fitness tracker. It has a smaller, narrower screen than other Fitbits, with band options that look more like jewelry than a sports watch. For women with petite wrists or those who prefer to disguise their fitness trackers, the Luxe is the model for you. Fitbit offers a wider range of bands, from steel mesh to metal links, leather, and croc double wrap bands. It’s definitely the best Fitbit for older ladies who appreciate changing things up. 

The Luxe still includes 24/7 heart-rate monitoring, irregular heart rhythm notifications, oxygen saturation monitoring, and real-time pace and distance. For seniors who like to take to the water, it’s fully ready to track your swims. The Luxe can receive calendar, text, and call notifications, however, be forewarned that the small screen can make them hard to see. I wish the Luxe had a built-in GPS, but it’s still a great option for seniors who want to keep track of their health without looking like they’re tracking their health.

Best Simple: Fitbit Inspire 2

Simple and Effective. Photo by Stacey L. Nash

Why It Made The Cut: The Inspire 2 comes with a 12-month Fitbit premium membership, tracks heart rate, and irregular heart rhythms, plus lets you customize the watch face.  

Specs:
Screen Size: 1.47 inches
Waterproof Rating: Up to 50 meters
Connectivity: Bluetooth 

Pros:
— Simple and easy to use
— Irregular heartbeat and notifications
— Customizable watch faces
— Comes with 12 months of the Fitbit premium

Cons:
— No built-in GPS
— Difficult to see in bright light

The Fitbit Inspire 2 is Fitbit’s basic model but sometimes basic is best. I’ve owned a Fitbit Inspire 2 for two years. I just recently upgraded to a Garmin Instinct 2S Solar, which is a great smartwatch, but there are times when I miss the simplicity of the Inspire 2. The Inspire 2 has a slim profile that won’t eat up your wrist if you’re petite, and you can also choose from a few watch faces to give it a look that works for you. I use a stats-rich view, but there are watch faces with large numerals if you prefer less clutter or have vision issues.

The Inspire 2 sticks almost exclusively to fitness tracking, making it the easiest Fitbit to use. But it still shows everything from heart rate and sleep patterns to sending irregular heart rhythm notifications. The Inspire 2 also includes skin temperature tracking and stress management scores like other Fitbit devices. 

Despite its low price, you can track over 20 exercises and this basic model auto-recognizes the most common ones.. I appreciate the option to set move reminders that give me a nudge to get up from my desk and take a walk at least once an hour. 

If you like in-depth tracking of your routes, you will miss that with this model since there’s no built-in GPS. You also can’t use it for real-time pace information for the senior athletes out there. Finally, the Luxe’s watch face is somewhat dim in bright light, even when on full brightness.

Best Fitness Tracker: Fitbit Charge 5

For the Active Lifestyle. Fitbit

Why It Made The Cut: The Charge 5 provides advanced health and fitness information, like skin temperature, blood oxygen levels, and ECG, for seniors on the move.

Specs:
Screen Size: 1.45 inches
Waterproof Rating: Up to 50 m
Connectivity: Bluetooth and GPS

Pros:
— Stores movement history in the tracker for up to seven days
— Provides ECG and EDA monitoring
— Always-on display mode
— Impressive battery life

Cons:
— Can’t customize available clock faces

The Fitbit Charge 5 is Fitbit’s most advanced fitness tracker. Like the Sense, it combines smartwatch features with a fitness tracker. This model leans more toward fitness, while the Sense leans toward a smartwatch. The Charge 5 can assess your heart rhythm for atrial fibrillation and offers irregular heart rhythm notifications. With a compatible electrodermal activity scan app (EDA), it monitors your sweat level to monitor stress response and offers suggestions to control stress. Among its other health features, it monitors blood oxygen levels, skin temperature, and of course, keeps track of sleep. 

The Charge 5 automatically recognizes common activities but can also track the stats for over 20 individual exercises. This tracker goes above and beyond by storing that information for up to seven days. (If you happen to be away from your phone for several days, you won’t lose your information.) 

A built-in GPS provides accurate pace and distance information. I also like that it has an always-on display, making it easier to see in adverse conditions. For the number of advanced health features it has, the Charge 5 has a great seven-day battery life. The only place I really feel like it falls short is on the watch faces. There are several to choose from, but you can’t customize them.

Things to Consider Before Buying the Best Fitbit for Seniors

Ease of Use

If you’re a senior or you’re someone buying a fitness tracker for seniors, consider how tech-savvy the wearer is. Some Fitbit models, like the Fitbit Charge 5, are excellent fitness trackers that border on smartwatches. These models monitor oxygen levels and track routes with GPS to provide real-time pace and distance information. However, these advanced models also have a bit of a learning curve that some seniors may find frustrating. Some wearers may prefer a simple fitness tracker for seniors that tracks fewer metrics, so keep in mind the person’s affinity for technology and whether they’d like to access everything through the Fitbit or Fitbit app. 

Smartwatch vs. Fitness Tracker

Fitbit makes three smartwatch models and four fitness trackers. Smartwatch models have smart features like voice assistant, call, text, and app notifications, on-watch music control, and Fitbit pay. Smartwatches also have the option of changing the watch face, which can be helpful for visibility. You also get the option of adding apps to the watch to view photos or access your favorite phone apps.

Fitness trackers focus solely on health, fitness, and sleep. (Take a look at these overall top fitness trackers.) However, there’s a lot that goes into those three categories, such as a daily readiness score that tells you whether you need to focus on recovery or are safe to work out. Fitness trackers typically have a longer battery life because they have fewer energy-zapping features. Fitbit offers a few different clock faces for their fitness trackers, but there are fewer than for their smartwatch. Fitbit’s fitness trackers may give you call and text notifications, but they don’t let you answer or respond to that communication via the tracker.

Style and Fit

Fitbit’s smartwatches look similar to an Apple Watch, with a square-faced touchscreen and silicone band. Their fitness trackers have a narrower rectangular face. The smartwatches are larger, and both types have different band options. Smartwatches take up more space on your wrist, while fitness trackers are a bit more sleek and dynamic in appearance. However, Fitbit also has the Fitbit Luxe that’s designed to look like jewelry rather than a smartwatch or sports watch.

FAQs

Q: Do you need to have a smartphone to use a Fitbit?

You don’t need a smartphone to use a Fitbit, but you do need a compatible device that will sync with the watch using the Fitbit Connect Software or Fitbit app. You can use a computer or laptop running the Windows 10 app, an iPhone or Android, or an iPad or Android tablet to use a Fitbit for seniors without a smartphone. 

Q: How much do the best Fitbit for seniors cost?

Fitbits cost anywhere from $100 to around $250, although you can find them on sale quite often for a fairly significant discount.

Q: Do Fitbits track blood pressure?

No, Fitbits do not track blood pressure.

Q: Where do I recycle my Fitbit?

Fitbit runs a recycling program through a third-party recycling partner in association with Google. They provide all the information you need on the Fitbit site. However, they do recommend that you factory reset the Fitbit before recycling. If you have other old tech, check out how to recycle it properly.

Q: Can Fitbit detect heart problems?

A Fitbit is not a medical device, but there are certain heart abnormalities some Fitbits can detect. They have options to receive notifications about irregular heart rates, with some of the more advanced models monitoring atrial fibrillation. Of course, they all track your heart rate 24/7, too. 

Final Thoughts on the Best Fitbit for Seniors

The Fitbit Sense offers Fitbit’s most advanced features that will give seniors access to advanced fitness metrics, as well as convenient smartwatch features. For the senior who doesn’t mind tinkering with devices, the Sense will give them a host of information to digest. However, if you want a smartwatch with excellent health metric info that’s easier on your wallet, the Fitbit Versa 2 is the best option. Even though it was Fitbit’s first smartwatch, it’s still a great option for people who want a smartwatch that helps with their health but won’t leave them feeling overwhelmed by advanced features. 

This post was created by a non-news editorial team at Recurrent Media, Futurism’s owner. Futurism may receive a portion of sales on products linked within this post.

 


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