Life Alert vs Medical Alert

McCall Robison
McCall Robison | Senior Editor
Life Alert and Medical Alert are a couple of the largest, most well-known providers of personal emergency response systems in the industry. Both companies offer on-the-go and at-home medical alert systems, so consumers can customize their plans to best fit their lifestyles. 

Although Life Alert and Medical Alert have their similarities, such as industry experience, medical alert battery life, and lifetime equipment warranty, there are key differences to be aware of if you want peace of mind that the company you choose is the best option for you or your loved one. 

When comparing monthly cost, upfront fees, contract requirements, customer satisfaction, and other company offerings, Medical Alert has Life Alert beat. Keep reading to explore the mentioned differences. 
Life Alert logo
#22 Life Alert
2.4 Overall Score
1.4
star star_half star_border star_border star_border
(132)
Medical Alert logo verified_user
#5 Medical Alert
7.8 Overall Score
4.2
star star star star star_half
(1,275)

Overview

Life Alert

Monthly Monitoring Price

$49.95–$89.95

Equipment Fee

$95–$198

Activation Fee

None

Contract Length

3 Year

Warranty

Lifetime

Range/Distance from Base Station

800 ft

Time in Business

34 Years

Medical Alert

$19.95–$42.95

None

None

None

Lifetime

600 ft

17 Years

Ratings

Life Alert

Overall Score
2.4 of 10
Review Score
1.4
star star_half star_border star_border star_border
Value for Money
1.6
star star_half star_border star_border star_border
Quality of Product or Service
1.7
star star_half star_border star_border star_border
Company Trustworthiness
1.4
star star_half star_border star_border star_border
Likely to Recommend
1.0 of 10

Medical Alert

7.8 of 10
4.2
star star star star star_half
3.5
star star star star_half star_border
3.6
star star star star_half star_border
4.0
star star star star star_border
7.5 of 10

Reviews

Life Alert

Number of Reviews
132
Review Breakdown
1.4
star star_half star_border star_border star_border
5 star
6%
4 star
2%
3 star
2%
2 star
7%
1 star
83%

Medical Alert

1,275
4.2
star star star star star_half
5 star
59%
4 star
21%
3 star
9%
2 star
3%
1 star
8%

Reviews for Life Alert

Helpful Favorable Review

star star star star star

Sarah Westly Dallas, TX

I am very surprised to see negative comments about this company. I am 84 years old and I have had nothing but the most fabulous experience with Life Alert. I had two bad falls and if I didn't have my button, I would have been in big trouble. They are always so nice to me and pleasant. I feel peace because I know I have my helper no matter what. I wouldn't give Life Alert up for anything. God bless.

1 year ago

Helpful Critical Review

star star_border star_border star_border star_border

CHRISTINE Stony Point, NY

When I signed up for my uncle, my aunt was in a nursing home. We were tricked into adding her name to the account as well in case she needed help when she came home. Now that my uncle has died, they will not cancel because my aunt is still living and on the contract. SCAM SCAM SCAM and shame on them for ripping off seniors. When these snot nosed employees of the company reach their senior years I only hope they are treated as bad.

2 months ago

Reviews for Medical Alert

Helpful Favorable Review

star star star star star

Katie Gotro Fort Myers, FL

My 91-year-old blind mother falls frequently, and when she cannot get up, she simply pushes her button and within minutes the EMS team arrives and helps her up and make sure she is OK. Before she had the medical alert, she fell and laid on the floor all night long next to her bed. I never want this to happen again! The device allows my mom to live independently for as long as possible.

2 weeks ago

Helpful Critical Review

star star_border star_border star_border star_border

David Dodd Lakewood, WA Lakewood, WA

I have had to have my unit replaced three times in the first year. I understand that electronic items can go bad, but three times in the first year seems like defective design to me. I have even been not wearing in the show because it might get wet. That bothers me because that is one place I should be using it. I have several falls this year and it went on as advertised. Fortunately I have been able to get up by myself and did not need help.

3 months ago

The Final Word

Monthly Cost (Winner: Medical Alert)
Medical Alert's monthly fee ranges from $18.29–$32.04 (annual), $19.95–$34.95 (semi-annual), or $22.95–$37.99 (month-to-month), depending on which plan you choose. Paying annually will give you the biggest savings. We'll use the month-to-month prices to explain additional Medical Alert package details. You can add an automatic fall detection pendant to any of Medical Alert's plans for an additional $10 per month.

The At-Home Landline package costs $22.95 per month and includes a waterproof emergency button pendant or bracelet and a base unit with two-way audio. The At-Home No Landline package costs $32.95 per month and includes a waterproof emergency button pendant or bracelet and a base unit with two-way communication, but it does not include a landline. The system is wirelessly connected to Medical Alert's emergency response operators.

Medical Alert's On-the-Go package is $37.95 per month and includes a newly designed help button for the wrist or a necklace button. You also receive GPS location services and a handheld device with a carrying case.

Life Alert's price point is quite a bit more expensive at $69.99 per month. Life Alert is also not transparent about its pricing and doesn't include any information regarding its package options or pricing on its website.

Medical Alert has cheaper prices and allows for more flexibility with its plans.

Upfront Fees (Winner: Medical Alert)
Medical Alert does not have an equipment fee or activation fee, making its services completely free upfront other than the monthly cost. Life Alert, however, requires a $96 equipment fee.

With Life Alert's high monthly monitoring cost and expensive upfront fee, Medical Alert is the cheaper medical alert option.

Special Promotions (Winner: Medical Alert)

Medical Alert offers free shipping (annual plans only), a free month of service (annual plans only), and a 30-day money-back guarantee (all packages eligible). Life Alert promotions are limited, as no promotions are listed on its website other than a free first aid kit when you order.

Contract (Winner: Medical Alert)
Medical Alert does not require a contract with its services, although you can receive a discount if you pay semi-annually or annually.

Life Alert requires a three-year contract, typically unheard of in the medical alert industry. The majority of medical alert companies are similar to Medical Alert and do not require any sort of long-term contract.

It's concerning that Life Alert has such a lengthy contract, and its company reviews note this as one of the most frustrating details about its services.

Online Ordering (Winner: Medical Alert)
Medical Alert offers online ordering for all of its products, making the purchasing process quick and easy.

Life Alert does not offer online ordering, and its website is outdated and offers little information.

Equipment Warranty (Winner: Medical Alert and Life Alert)
Both Life Alert and Medical Alert offer lifetime warranties on their equipment. This is on par with other medical alert providers. However, many companies have warranty limitations, so be sure to double-check that Life Alert and Medical Alert cover your desired equipment under warranty before purchasing.

Battery Life (Winner: Medical Alert and Life Alert)
Medical Alert's and Life Alert's backup battery life for their at-home medical alert system both last 72 hours. Many medical alert providers only have backup batteries that last 24 hours or less.

Range/Distance from Base Station (Winner: Life Alert)
Medical Alert's range/distance from the base station is 600 feet, while Life Alert's is 800 feet. Although not a huge difference, Life Alert is the company to go with if you're looking for the longer range.

Automatic Fall Detection (Winner: Medical Alert)
Medical Alert offers fall detection for all of its medical alert systems for $10 extra per month. Life Alert, however, does not have fall detection capabilities for any of its products. If you're looking for peace of mind that a fall will be detected without having to manually press the panic button, we suggest choosing Medical Alert.

Safety Certification (Winner: Medical Alert and Life Alert)
Life Alert and Medical Alert are both UL Accredited and Five Diamond Certified. This means that both of their monitoring centers are complete with a fully trained and licensed staff to assist you or your loved one in an emergency situation.

Mobile App (Winner: Medical Alert)
Medical Alert offers a Caregiver App that allows you to check on your loved one who is using the medical alert device. The app has location monitoring, communication capabilities, alert notifications, and additional resources.

Life Alert does not have its own mobile app, making Medical Alert's services more convenient for consumers looking to stay on top of their loved one's status at all times.

Customer Reviews (Winner: Medical Alert)
Consumer reviews are a great indication of whether you can trust a company and its services to be satisfactory. Unfortunately, Life Alert has more than 100 reviews, and 80 percent of those reviews are one-star. Customers mainly complain about poor customer service and cancellation issues because of the required three-year contract.

Medical Alert reviews are quite the opposite; with more than 1,000 reviews, the majority of Medical Alert's reviews are five-star. Customers highlight exceptional customer service, quality equipment, and quick response times.

If you're looking for a trusted company with a satisfied customer base, Medical Alert is the best choice.

Life Alert vs Medical Alert: Which is the better option?
Although Life Alert and Medical alert have a similar equipment warranty, backup battery life, and safety certification, Medical Alert still comes out on top for a number of reasons. 

With cheaper monthly fees, no equipment fee or activation fee, no long-term contract, and special promotions for its customers, Medical Alert is the more affordable medical alert provider. In addition, Medical Alert has automatic fall detection available for all of its medical alert systems as well as a mobile app for you to check in on your loved one who is using the alert device. Life Alert provides neither of those, making its technology less advanced. Also offering a robust website with online ordering, Medical Alert is more transparent about its prices and offerings when compared to Life Alert. 

Finally, the majority of Medical Alert reviews are positive and highlight the company as a trusted medical resource, while Life Alert has almost all negative reviews that note the company as a dissatisfactory service. 

When comparing Life Alert vs. Medical Alert, we definitely recommend Medical Alert.

Top Choice

Medical Alert Logo
Medical Alert

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