Monthly Cost (Winner: Medical Guardian)
Medical Guardian's monthly fee ranges from $29.95–$44.95. Customers can choose between an at-home or on-the-go medical alert device to better customize the alert system to fit their lifestyle. The on-the-go plans are more expensive but include additional alert device features, such as a louder speaker in the button and base station. For all medical alert device plans, you can add on fall detection ($10 extra per month), backup batteries, water-resistant emergency buttons, and more.
Life Alert's monthly cost is $69.99. Although little information is available on its website regarding equipment, medical alert packages, and other details, we know that fall detection is not provided for any Life Alert plans. Unlike Medical Guardian, Life Alert is not transparent about its packages and prices on its website. If you want additional information, Life Alert requires that you request a brochure or call one of its customer service representatives.
With much more information readily available and more affordable monthly fees, Medical Guardian is the cheaper and more robust medical alert option.
Upfront Fees (Winner: Medical Guardian)
Medical Guardian does not charge an equipment fee* or activation fee, so you can sign up for its services with no upfront fees. Life Alert, on the other hand, charges a $96 equipment fee for the alert button and activation. With a higher monthly fee and upfront cost, Life Alert is more expensive than Medical Guardian and includes fewer medical alert features. If you're looking for the cheaper option, Medical Guardian is definitely the better choice.
*The Mini Guardian and Freedom Guardian have equipment fees.
Special Promotions (Winner: Medical Guardian)
Many consumers look for companies that offer special promotions to make doing business with them more worth it. Life Alert does not list any special promotions on its website other than a free first aid kit when you order a product. Medical Guardian, however, offers a free month of service, free ground shipping, a free lock box, and a free additional pendant when you order with the company. (To redeem the offer, you can call Medical Guardian
and mention promo code "4FREE".)*
*These promotions are available with an annual purchase.
Contract (Winner: Medical Guardian)
The majority of medical alert companies do not require a contract. Medical Guardian is on par with other providers and offers month-to-month services with no long-term contracts.
In comparison, Life Alert does require a long-term contract with its services. Customers must sign a three-year contract, and Life Alert reviews note this as a frustrating requirement, with many consumers noting it as the number one reason for being unsatisfied with the company.
Online Ordering (Winner: Medical Guardian)
With online ordering offering convenience, many consumers prefer to order medical device products online rather than in person or over the phone. Medical Guardian offers online ordering for all of its medical alert packages, in addition to thorough information regarding the equipment and pricing.
Life Alert does not offer online ordering, and little information is available on the company's website. To get any information about offered packages or pricing, you need to request a brochure online or over the phone. This is inconvenient for consumers looking to make the purchasing process as simple and as quick as possible. If online ordering and transparency are important to you, Medical Guardian is the best option.
Equipment Quality (Winner: Medical Guardian)
Medical Guardian has advanced medical alert equipment with more modern features compared to Life Alert. Medical Guardian offers a smartwatch medical alert system that includes advanced location tracking, medication reminders and alerts, text-to-speech messaging, and weather forecasts. The watch is also compatible with Medical Guardian's mobile app and is available on iOS and Android devices.
Although Life Alert's alert device is on par with other providers by being waterproof and including two-way communication, the company is still behind in equipment quality. Life Alert equipment is basic and straightforward, while other medical alert providers, such as Medical Guardian, have gone the extra mile by implementing more advanced technology into equipment and including additional capabilities, such as a compatible cell phone app, to improve the user experience.
If you're looking for basic medical alert equipment and monitoring services, Life Alert is a fine choice. If you're looking to expand your medical alert service beyond the basic and purchase high-quality equipment with technological advances, Medical Guardian is the company you'd be happier with.
Equipment Warranty (Winner: Medical Guardian and Life Alert)
Because you'll likely use your medical alert equipment every single day, an equipment warranty is important if you want to make sure your products are covered free of charge. Medical Guardian and Life Alert both offer lifetime equipment warranties, giving peace of mind to their customers. If your equipment ever malfunctions, Medical Guardian and Life Alert will replace the products free of charge.
However, certain companies will exclude certain items from their warranties, so make sure your desired equipment is covered under warranty before purchasing.
Battery Life (Winner: Medical Guardian)
Life Alert's on-the-go medical alert system has a backup battery that lasts 72 hours. Medical Guardian's battery backup for its wearable alert device lasts up to seven days. Medical Guardian's at-home batteries last from 30–32 hours. If you want peace of mind by having a medical alert device with a longer battery life, Medical Guardian is your best option.
Range/Distance from Base Station (Winner: Medical Guardian)
Especially if you have an active lifestyle, the distance you can travel with your alert button, while away from the base unit, will factor into your purchasing decision. Medical Guardian has a base unit range of 1,300 feet, a farther distance than many medical alert providers, which is typically around 1,000. Life Alert has one of the shorter offerings of 800 feet, making travel flexibility around the home more limited. Depending on the size of your house, 800 feet may not be far enough to even get you outside in the yard.
If you want to travel farther distances and still have coverage with your medical alert system, Medical Guardian is the way to go.
Automatic Fall Detection (Winner: Medical Guardian)
Many consumers purchase medical alert systems for the automatic fall detection capabilities alone. Because fall detection technology can detect a fall and alert the medical alert monitoring center and emergency responders without any help from the user, it's more than just an emergency button. It's protection for users that doesn't require any effort on their part other than wearing the alert button.
Most medical alert companies have incorporated fall detection into their offerings because it is so important to users. However, even with its hefty price point, Life Alert does not offer fall detection, making its services less robust than other companies.
In comparison, Medical Guardian offers fall detection as an add-on for all of its medical alert packages and is also a leader in fall detection technology. All fall alert pendants are also waterproof, so you can wear the button in fall-prone places, such as the bathroom and kitchen.
Safety Certification (Winner: Medical Guardian and Life Alert)
Medical Guardian and Life Alert are both UL Listed and Five Diamond certified. This is on par with most medical alert providers and ensures both companies are equipped with the training and certifications they need to best help their customers in an emergency situation. With additional qualifications, Medical Guardian is also ESA Security certified and FM approved, which ensures the company's emergency responders have high standards.
Website (Winner: Medical Guardian)
Company websites are typically a useful resource for consumers looking to research a company and its offerings. Unfortunately, Life Alert has an outdated website with limited information, making it difficult to find out much about the company without calling a customer service representative.
Medical Guardian, however, has an extensive website with most of the information you would need to determine if the company is right for you. The company is transparent about its equipment, pricing, certifications, customer satisfaction, and much more. Also with online ordering, Medical Guardian's purchasing process is quick and painless.
Customer Reviews (Winner: Medical Guardian)
Customer reviews are a great indicator of customer satisfaction levels and what companies do well and what they could improve upon. Life Alert reviews are mostly negative, a concerning fact when the company has more than one hundred reviews. With more than 80 percent of consumers rating the company a one-star, Life Alert reviews highlight cancellation difficulties, device issues, expensive prices, and poor customer service to name a few.
With much better customer satisfaction, Medical Guardian has thousands of reviews, the majority of consumers rating the company a five-star service. Medical Guardian reviews note impressive and prompt customer service, quality equipment, and affordable prices.
Medical Guardian vs. Life Alert: Which is the Better Option?
When comparing the two medical alert providers, Medical Guardian comes out on top. The only advantage Life Alert has over Medical Guardian in our comparison is a longer battery life for its emergency button.
The medical alert providers are similar in that they both are UL Listed and Five Diamond certified, and they offer two-way communication and lifetime equipment warranties.
With a cheaper monthly cost, no equipment fee or activation fee, no long-term contract, and special promotions for its customers, Medical Guardian is much more affordable than Life Alert. Medical Guardian also offers online ordering, a robust website, and automatic fall detection, all of which Life Alert does not provide. Medical Guardian reviews are mostly five-star, while the majority of Life Alert's reviews are one-star.
All-in-all, Medical Guardian offers its customers more value for your money, equipment quality, customer service, and company trustworthiness.
If you want a trusted medical alert service for you or your loved one, Medical Guardian is the better option compared to Life Alert.