Life Alert or Medical Alert, which brand has the better products, services, features, and price? They are two of the biggest names in the medical alert industry, and if you're doing some comparison shopping, there's a good chance you'll be asking yourself this question at some point or another.
So, let's take a closer look and help you to decide which brand offers the best medical alert system.
The Basics = Medical Alert
Life Alert has been around since the late 1980s, and it looks like its site hasn't been updated since then.
Maybe that's a little mean, but it certainly doesn't look like something crafted by a million-dollar company in 2021. Not only is the design a little poor, but you can't buy the company's medical alert systems through the site and it won't even give you a rundown of the costs!
It insists on a pretty old-school method of phone calls and brochures, and while we understand that this will be perfectly acceptable with a chunk of the brand's demographic, the majority prefer a more direct and straightforward approach.
Medical Alert has a much cleaner, more detailed, and more accessible website. The monthly cost and other prices are clearly defined, and everything is laid out in front of you. There is no ambiguity here and for that reason, Medical Alert takes the first points in our Life Alert vs. Medical Alert contest.
Cost = Medical Alert
As noted above, Life Alert isn’t very forthcoming with its prices, but we have found these listed elsewhere. As a result, we can't guarantee that the prices we’ve listed here are 100% accurate.
Firstly, there is no activation fee associated with Life Alert and Medical Alert systems, but you will need to pay anywhere from $95 to $198 for an initial setup with Life Alert. Medical Alert doesn't charge any setup fees, although it does charge a small shipping fee.
The actual monthly cost varies from around $50 to $90 with Life Alert and between $22.95 and $64.95 with Medical Alert. Both of these services provide access to a 24/7 monitoring center via a wearable help button. You can pay a little extra to add a wall-mounted help button with Life Alert, while Medical Alert offers automatic fall detection for $10 per month and a protection plan for $5 a month (this has been reduced to just $1 per month at the time of writing).
Not only is Medical Alert the cheaper option, but you have a little more variety to choose from and it's easier to process your order. It should be noted, however, that the lack of an activation fee is great for both of these companies and once you get over the initial setup cost, Life Alert is still very affordable.
Features and Choices = Medical Alert
Both of these brands offer base units that allow you to opt for landline or cellular. They have water-resistant help buttons that connect to a dedicated monitoring center and provide an emergency response service when needed.
If we stick with the most basic home base unit, the Life Alert has a greater reach and the battery promises to remain operational for up to 10 years, compared to only 2 for Medical Alert.
However, just as Life Alert is nudging ahead, it's ultimately let down by the lack of automatic fall detection, which is an optional extra with Medical Alert. It does offer a wall-mounted help button and spare wearable buttons, along with a GPS tracker for the mobile systems, but the lack of fall detection is a pretty big deal.
Verdict = Medical Alert
Based on the above comparison, Medical Alert clearly comes out on top. However, that doesn't mean you should avoid Life Alert entirely. In fact, depending on your budget and your needs, it might even be the better option for you. Both companies are great, both have an affordable monthly cost, and you'll get solid support and customer service from them as well.
Hopefully, this guide will help you make the right choice, but please remember that there is no single "best" product, only the "best product for you."