We often have women ask us about recommendations for activity trackers or a sports watch that is more suitable for smaller wrists.
The problem we often found is that the smaller fitness tracking devices tend to have fewer features or not work that well.
But, it seems like technology has finally done some catching up for small wrists, and our team set out to test as many fitness trackers as we could find that were a maximum of 40mm in size.
The good news is that your options are better than they were a year ago, and we listed down the best fitness trackers for small wrists based on our research.
Our Top Fitness Trackers For Small Wrists
1 - Garmin fēnix 5S Plus (Editor's Choice)
If you’re very active and want to avoid scratches on your activity tracker, then you need a watch face made of sapphire crystal. This Garmin tracker has exactly that, and many people have confirmed it may work well.
It also has a long battery life of up to 7 days, so you don’t have to plug it in every day.
And women would probably like the different styles that would even make it quite dressy.
- What it measures: heart rate, activity, GPS
- Sapphire glass may help prevent scratches
- Many women like the nice selection of colors and straps
- You may get up to 7 days of battery life
- Some people have reported problems with iPhone connections to the Garmin mobile app
We did notice in a few reviews that some users had connection problems with the iPhone. It didn’t seem to happen to me and I still consider it the best fitness tracker for small wrists, but it might be worth keeping in mind.
2 - Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2
The Samsung Active 2 seems to have accurate HR monitoring, which a lot of athletes have become reliant on to adjust their training intensity.
This is one of the cheaper fitness trackers with a large watch face and GPS. Most others in this size tend to be quite a bit more expensive.
It also has a better battery life compared to the iPhone, but it’s not as feature-rich either.
- What it measures: heart rate, activity, sleep, GPS
- Claims to have an advanced sleep and recovery tracking feature
- Positive reviews about the pace coaching
- Many people like the slim design of the round watch face
- Some users have reported that calorie calculation isn’t accurate
One thing we noted in the reviews is that it doesn’t tend to be that accurate when calculating calories burned.
3 - Apple Watch Series 5
The Apple Watch Series 5 has become very popular in the health and fitness industry. One reason I believe this has happened is the heart rate monitor accuracy and ECG features.
But it also has one of the slimmer designs that shouldn’t give a bulky appearance on a small wrist.
Personally, among the best fitness trackers on this list, I think the way information is displayed is so much easier to read during a workout.
- What it measures: heart rate, activity, ECG, GPS
- Slim watch face design with 40mm size
- Claims to have one of the most advanced heart rate monitor features
- Activity and motion sensor may support a large database of movements
- Many people like how easy it is to use
- Only syncs with iPhones
Now, the battery life isn’t great, but that wouldn’t bother me considering the features you get. The main problem would be that you need an iPhone and it won’t work with Android.
4 - Garmin Forerunner 45S
This activity tracker is the smallest watch style we could find. At just 39mm, it shouldn’t stand out even on small wrists.
Many athletes like the V02max feature, which could be helpful in figuring out your maximum aerobic performance during training .
People also like the way the information is displayed, as it should give you what you need with just a glance. What you don’t want is an activity tracking watch where you have to get into different menus for all the details.
- What it measures: heart rate, V02max, activity, GPS
- One of the smallest watch faces at 39mm
- User-friendly display to get quick info during training
- Garmin Coach available for training plan support
- Battery power indicator doesn’t seem very accurate
The only annoying thing I found about it is that the battery level doesn’t seem to be accurate. It tends to jump in large steps.
5 - Fitbit Inspire HR Heart Rate and Fitness Tracker
Many people with small wrists favor Fitbits because they have a small rectangular shape. But that sometimes meant having to give up on certain features.
But the Fitbit Inspire model may have bundled a lot of stuff into a small package.
The heart rate monitor should give you accurate data throughout the day, but it may be particularly helpful while you’re exercising.
It also has a reasonably long battery life of 5 days, and you should be able to fully charge it within about 30 minutes.
- What it measures: activity, heart rate, sleep
- May be ideal for people who want a simple display
- Comes with some sleep tracking features to monitor recovery
- Has a decent battery time of 5 days
- May count steps when you wave your hand
The one thing we’ve found with Fitbits is that hand movements sometimes get counted as steps. That could also throw off the calories burned data.
6 - Garmin Venu
This is a popular running watch mainly because it has an easy to use and bright touch display. It should give you quick info about your workout without having to try and read a very small font size.
Some of our clients also like to use it for swimming, which might be interesting for triathletes who wouldn’t want to rely on different devices.
- What it measures: activity, pulse ox, sleep
- Allows you to preset your types of activities
- Positive comments about the clear and easy to read display
- Water-resistant making it suitable for swimming as well
- Only tracks estimated heart rate
The one thing we think is missing is real time heart rate monitoring rather than the estimated data being calculated.
7 - Garmin vívoactive 4S
Some of our female clients have been favoring this activity tracker as it also allows them to track menstrual cycles.
It may also be helpful when you combine the sleep data with your activity levels to figure when you might want to increase or decrease your training intensity levels.
We also noted that the battery might last quite a bit longer than most other devices with up to 7 days on each charge.
- What it measures: activity, pulse ox, sleep, GPS
- Seems to help women track their menstrual cycle
- Easy to personalize the watch face for any occasion
- Battery life may last up to 7 days
- Some reports that the apps freeze
We did notice that some apps froze up for a short while during training. It seemed to be sporadic, but it might be a bit annoying if you rely on the device a lot during training.
8 - Fitbit Charge 4 Fitness and Activity Tracker
If you tend to do a lot of running, then one of the main features you may need is accurate distance and pace tracking. We have found that most Fitbits with GPS seem to have pretty accurate data.
And when you keep track of your heart rate info for each run, you might be in a better position to judge your improvements .
We also liked that the display is a bit higher quality than some of the cheaper Fitbits, which makes reading them a lot easier.
- What it measures: heart rate, sleep, activity, GPS
- Pace and distance tracking seems to be accurate
- Monitors your sleep to see how well you’re recovering
- Simple display shows you only the data you need
- Some people find that their hand movements may count as steps
Just keep in mind that your step counting could be a bit wrong as Fitbits still tend to count some hand movements.
9 - Polar A370 Fitness Tracker
What we like about the Polar devices is that they tend to be compatible with a load of different apps.
Don’t get me wrong; the Polar mobile app is great, but some people have a favorite service they like or pay for, and it’s good to have the option.
The A370 is small, light, and many people say it’s barely noticeable during exercise.
It also tracks your sleep pattern and quality and uses that to try and make recommendations for better rest and recovery time.
- What it measures: heart rate, activity, sleep
- Light and soft materials make it barely noticeable
- People like the sleep tracking and rest recommendations
- May be synced with many different apps for activity tracking
- Requires your phone’s GPS tracking for distance and pace
Just keep in mind that if you like mapping your runs, this device would need your phone’s GPS as it doesn't have a built-in GPS chip.
10 - Bellabeat Leaf Urban Smart Jewelry Health Tracker
This is one of the simpler devices which is very different from a fitness watch. It’s more like a piece of jewelry that you may wear around your neck or wrist.
Apparently, the coin battery should last up to 6 months, which means you won’t need to worry too much about changing it out regularly.
The tracking is limited to activity and sleep, but it claims to provide you with information on stress levels as well.
- What it measures: activity, sleep
- May be worn as a bracelet or necklace
- Coin batteries may last up to 6 months
- Claims to track your sleep and stress levels
- Doesn’t have a display to check data
If you need an easy access screen to see all the collected information, then this wouldn’t be a good choice as you need your phone to actually see that information.
During our research, we made sure we didn’t just look at the headline advertising info. But we also dug a bit deeper to specifically look at these five features.
1 - Minimum And Maximum Strap Size
It’s important not to just focus on the minimum strap size when you’re looking for activity trackers for small wrists.
Let me explain what I mean.
We’ve seen some running watches that cover quite a wide range of wrist sizes all in one strap. What can happen then is that once you adjust it to the smallest setting, you end up with a long piece of strap that may end up hanging loose.
You could cut it off, but that might just make it look ugly.
So always look at the min and max length before you make a decision.
2 - Display Size
If you prefer a fitness watch, then we would recommend choosing one with a 40mm or smaller size. That should still be sleek enough for a small wrist.
But it’s also important to look at the thickness of the display, as you don’t want something that stands out a lot.
Modern technology like OLED seems to have solved that problem as it’s now possible to pack a lot more into a small space for a fitness watch.
“OLED displays are an ideal technology for smart watches because they are thin single layer solid-state displays with high pixels-per-inch (ppi) that can be manufactured and cut into small smart watch sized screens with resolutions.”
- Dr. Raymond M. Soneira, President, DisplayMate Technologies Corporation.
3 - Heart Rate Monitor
We would always suggest buying a product that has more than just the basic fitness tracking features. Definitely consider a heart rate monitor if your budget allows.
Heart rate training is possibly one of the most underused features in the fitness industry.
“The length of time it takes for heart rate to return to normal is a good measure of fitness. The more fit you are, the faster the recovery.”
- UC Berkeley School of Public Health
4 - Size Of Activity Database
Many people just want to keep track of their steps and running. But activity trackers have become a lot more powerful than that.
Your sports watch should now also be able to tell you how many stairs you climbed, whether you did some yoga or pilates, and if you had a tough CrossFit session.
This is possible because the motion sensors are a lot more sensitive now. And when the device has a large database of different movements, then it should be possible to get a much more complete picture of your day.
5 - Battery Life And Charging Time
OK, this is sometimes a heated topic for debate here at the office.
And I get it.
People don’t like plugging in their devices every day. But the more features you have, especially GPS tracking, the more you’ll drain the battery .
And because you’re looking for a smaller device to start with, the battery life could be a bit more limited.
You should also check out the charging time, and ideally choose a fast charging model.
Which Fitbit Is Best for Small Wrists?
The Fitbit Inspire HR is best for small wrists as it has the smallest profile while still providing good features. It even has GPS, which may be a good choice if you like tracking your running distances.
What Is the Smallest Fitness Tracker?
The Bellabeat Leaf is the smallest fitness tracker we were able to find. But keep in mind that while it might be perfect for small wrists, it doesn’t have a display and would require checking an app on your phone.
Can You Get Replacement Straps for Fitness Trackers?
Yes, you can get replacement straps for most fitness trackers. There are only a few on the market that come as one unit, but we would generally recommend choosing one which may have a good selection of sizes and materials.
Should You Measure Your Wrist Before Buying a Fitness Tracker?
Yes, you should always measure your wrist before buying a fitness tracker. Most manufacturers will provide a minimum and maximum strap size range, and if you have a particularly small wrist, then it’s best to measure before buying.
Our Best Fitness Tracker For Small Wrists
We decided to ask our clients when the debate got too heated here at the office. Initially, I thought there seems to be too much of an Apple vs. Android divide in this best fitness trackers debate.
However, the impression we got from clients is that they thought the best fitness tracker for small wrists would be the Garmin fēnix 5S Plus. It’s difficult to find a device that has the same amount of features in a small design, and it’s just so easy to use.
Make sure you reach out to us on social media once you’ve ordered one and used for a few days.
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