Medical Guardian and Bay Alarm are two of the biggest providers of medical alert systems in the United States. They both have a wide spectrum of products, reasonable prices, and everything else you would expect from such established companies. That said, which one is best, and how do they compare when you break down their products, features, prices, and service?
Let's find out.
Product Range: It’s A Tie
Medical Guardian and Bay Alarm have an impressive and similar range. The features of their products differ slightly, and we'll get to those soon, but the products are similar and include:
- At Home Medical Alert System = Classic Guardian for Medical Guardian and In The Home for Bay Alarm
- Mobile Medical Alert System = Mobile Guardian for Medical Guardian and On the Go for Bay Alarm
- Smartwatch: Freedom Guardian for Medical Guardian and SOS Smartwatch for Bay Alarm
Bay Alarm has a device made specifically for use in the car and it also sells separate wall buttons and something known as a Vial of Life, which stores all your essential medical documents for use in an emergency. However, Medical Guardian has the Home Guardian and Mini Guardian, giving both home and mobile users more options.
It's impossible to pick a winner here and it really all comes down to your preference. If it's all about a well-made base unit, both options are worth investigating. If you need more mobile options, you might lean more toward Medical Guardian, but if you want more layers of protection in the home, Bay Alarm could be your best bet.
Pricing: Bay Alarm is the Winner
Both Medical Guardian and Bay Alarm offer reasonably priced solutions, but Bay Alarm has the edge in our opinion. The Basic Protect package is available from just $19.95 per month and comes with the aforementioned Vial of Life, as well as the company's mobile app. For $29.95 per month, you will get free shipping and 4 help buttons.
That $29.95 per month is the lowest price for the most basic Medical Guardian unit, the Classic Guardian. The extras (fall detection and a lockbox) are not provided free of charge and will cost you $2.99 and $10 per month, respectively.
Price is very important, and while there isn't a massive difference between the two, it all adds up and even just a few dollars a month can equate to a sizeable annual cost.
The price differences aren't the same throughout these product ranges, though. In fact, if you need a mobile solution, Medical Guardian may be the better option, as the All-in-One Active Guardian is reasonably priced and great for this application.
Features = Medical Guardian is the Winner
Although Bay Alarm has a similar range and variety of features, we feel that Medical Guardian has the edge overall. Its mobile medical alert systems are more varied, and customers can opt for the Active Guardian, Mini Guardian, and Mobile Guardian.
There are more color options and the battery life on the Mini Guardian extends to an impressive 5 days. There are some downsides to these additional features, including the fact that many of them come with an initial activation cost, but that takes us back to pricing, and we've already covered that.
Of course, Bay Alarm has a few great features of its own, but Medical Guardian nudges ahead.
Customer Service = Bay Alarm is the Winner
Although both Medical Guardian and Bay Alarm have fantastic customer support, with 24/7 customer service centers and emergency services, we feel that Bay Alarm has a more user-friendly cancellation and refund policy.
The Bay Alarm website makes it clear that you can return your item within 30-days if it's not what you were expecting and doesn’t suit your needs. There is no charge for doing so and the only thing you'll lose is the initial shipping cost, as it will not be refunded.
On the Medical Guardian website, it states that you could be charged up to $350 if the unit is damaged, which seems a little extreme considering they're not worth this amount to begin with. More specifically, the website states the following:
"A lost or damaged equipment fee of up to $350 will be charged for the Classic Guardian, Home Guardian, Family Guardian, Mobile Guardian, Premium Guardian, and Active Guardian."
Summary: Medical Guardian vs. Bay Alarm
Overall, these are two fantastic companies with a lot to offer. It was a close call throughout and there are plenty of reasons for you to consider both companies. With such a tight contest, even something as small as a $5 monthly discount could swing it either way. However, as this review suggests, Bay Alarm has the edge. It's a small edge, but it's there, nonetheless.