We often have women, along with some men, ask us for recommendations for the most accurate fitness tracker for small wrists, especially those designed for comfort and style.
The problem we often faced with many clients throughout the years 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. Our team set out to test as many fitness trackers as we could find that were a maximum of 40mm in size. Together with a group of our clients, we personally tested these fitness trackers, checked the battery, features, and more.
Here's our list of the best fitness trackers for small wrists based on our extensive in-depth research.
The Best Fitness Trackers for Small Wrists
- Best Overall Fitness Tracker for Small Wrists: Apple Watch Series 8
- Cheapest Fitness Tracker for Small Wrists: Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2
- Best Battery Life Smartwatch for Small Wrists: Garmin fēnix 5S Plus
- Best Small Fitness Tracker for Swimming: Garmin Venu
- Most Durable Fitness Tracker for Small Wrists: Garmin fēnix 5S Plus
- Best Non-Watch Fitness Tracker: Bellabeat Leaf Urban Smart Jewelry
Our Top Fitness Trackers For Small Wrists (December 2023)
1 - Apple Watch Series 8 (Best Overall)
This device has seen changes over time with the introduction of a significant new feature with the series 8: a temperature sensor. This sensor is utilized during sleep to measure temperature every five seconds.
In addition, the classical Apple watch design makes this piece of fitness equipment perfect for all people with small wrists due to its adjustable and comfortable band wrist.
You can even play music, check your body temperature and know exactly where you are outside when running due to excellent GPS technology.
However, some people experience discomfort when flexing their wrists when bench pressing or overhead pressing.
During my time testing this device, it gave me instant stats like heart rate and elevation as I went about activities like running, weightlifting, or hiking. It is smart enough to automatically detect when you're exercising and begin tracking.
- Comfortable to wear
- Excellent for health tracking
- Highly accurate
- There is not much app available
2 - Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2 (Cheapest Option)
The Samsung Active 2 seems to have accurate HR monitoring, with cutting-edge technology, which a lot of athletes, both amateur and professional, 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.
I noticed that 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 - Garmin Forerunner 45S
Having personally tried a plethora of trackers, the Garmin Forerunner 45S stood out to me. Its sleek design, at just 39mm, felt like it was tailor-made for my small wrist. It's not just functional but also an elegant accessory for everyday wear.
Many athletes like the V02max feature, which could be helpful in figuring out your maximum aerobic performance during training.
I liked 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.
4 - Garmin fēnix 5S Plus (Best Durability and Battery Life)
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.
I found that navigating through the menu options was a breeze, and I appreciated the versatile setup that can be customized based on the specific activity you want to monitor.
- 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, but it might be worth keeping in mind.
5 - Fitbit Inspire HR Heart Rate and Fitness Tracker
Fitbit Inspire model has 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.
I observed that this digital watch accurately tracks metrics like heart rate, steps, and activity time. However, the sleep tracking feature isn't entirely precise; but, I believe it's sufficiently accurate to offer some valuable insights into your sleep patterns.
- 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 (Best for Swimming)
I gave the Garmin Venu a spin during one of my morning runs. Its bright touch display was a game-changer. I could easily glance and get all the info I needed without squinting or pausing my run. Truly, it's designed keeping user convenience in mind.
I 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.
We noted that it might be helpful when you combine the sleep data with your activity levels to figure out when you might want to increase or decrease your training intensity levels.
We also noticed 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 any physical activity, you might be in a better position to judge your improvements and increase your motivation .
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
From my experience, what sets Polar devices apart is their compatibility. I've seamlessly synced the Polar A370 with various fitness apps I use, making my fitness journey more integrated and smooth.
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.
I personally used this device to track my sleep pattern and quality, using the data to make recommendations for improving 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 (Best Non-Watch)
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. Existing research has highlighted the potential benefits of tracking stress levels as a valuable tool for improving mental health and enhancing resilience .
- 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.
How We Chose the Products
Here's a breakdown of our meticulous selection process:
Our primary concern was the safety of the wearers. We immediately ruled out fitness trackers that emitted high levels of radiation or had materials known to cause skin irritations.
Given that individuals with smaller wrists often have more delicate skin, it was imperative to ensure that the trackers were hypoallergenic and free from harmful substances.
Moreover, we ensured that the trackers had a secure fit to prevent any accidental slips or falls during rigorous activities. After all, a tracker is only useful if it stays on your wrist.
Features and Benefits
A fitness tracker's primary job is to, well, track. But we wanted more than just basic step counting. We prioritized devices that offered a holistic health overview – from sleep tracking to stress management, menstrual cycle logging to hydration reminders.
We delved deep into the tech specs, ensuring that the trackers not only promised these features but delivered on them effectively.
The real test of a product's worth is in the hands of its users. We scoured the internet for genuine user reviews, focusing on feedback from individuals with smaller wrists.
This helped us gauge the comfort, fit, and real-world functionality of the trackers. Only products with consistently high ratings and positive feedback made their way to our list.
Price and Warranty
Value for money is crucial. We ensured that the fitness trackers on our list were competitively priced without compromising on quality. Additionally, a good warranty period was a must. It's a testament to the manufacturer's confidence in their product and offers users peace of mind.
Furthermore, we kept an eye out for brands that offered additional perks like free delivery, extended warranty options, and promotional discounts.
To evaluate this, we put each fitness tracker through a series of endurance tests. We recorded the time it took for the battery to deplete under a typical usage scenario, which included all-day wear with a moderate amount of activity tracking and notifications.
We also tested the battery performance under more demanding conditions, such as continuous GPS usage and high-brightness settings.
Additionally, we noted the time required to charge the device from zero to full capacity. Our goal was to provide potential users with a realistic expectation of how often they would need to charge their fitness tracker under various conditions of use.
Here's what to look for when choosing the best fitness tracker for small wrists.
1 - Minimum And Maximum Strap Size
When looking for activity trackers for small wrists, it’s important to consider both the minimum and maximum strap size.
I would advise against getting one that adapts to a wide range of wrist sizes, as the end of the strap might hang loose when you adjust it to the tightest setting.
My advice is to choose one that is just right for your size—not too short, but also not too long.
2 - Display Size
If you prefer a fitness watch, then we would recommend choosing one with a 40mm or smaller size, considering both aesthetics and functionality. That should still be sleek enough for a small wrist and provide a comfortable fit for daily use.
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 to increase their physical activity . 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. It allows you to compensate for the shorter battery lifespan, especially if you're leading an active lifestyle.
Which Fitbit Is Best for Small Wrists?
The best Fitbit app for small wrists is Fitbit Inspire HR as it has the smallest profile while still providing good features.
What Is the Smallest Fitness Tracker?
The smallest fitness tracker is The Bellabeat Leaf. 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 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 Verdict on the 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.
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 it for a few days.
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