Alert1 vs. Life Alert

Our experts compared these established medical alert companies that each deliver top value at different price points. Read on for their recommendation.

Side-by-side comparison:

Side-by-side comparison: Alert1 Life Alert Logo
Editor's Rating
3.7 / 5 stars
3 / 5 stars
Costs
Monthly Price Range $20-$62 $50-$90
Set-Up Fee None $95 and up
Contract Required No 3 year
Shipping Cost Free with a 10-month subscription. Free
Contracts Monthly and Annual options 3-year contract
Return Policy Equipment can be returned at any time Only in the event of a move to a care facility or death
Product Features
Connection Landline or Cellular Landline or Cellular
Two-Way Talk Yes Yes
In-Home Range 600 feet 800 feet
On-the-Go Battery Life Depends on model Ten years
Water-Resistant Help Button Yes Yes
GPS Yes Yes
24/7 USA-Based Monitoring Yes Yes
Add-Ons
Fall Detection $10/month No
Spouse Monitoring Yes Yes
Wall-Mounted Help Buttons Yes Yes
Lockboxes Yes Yes
Contact
Website View Website  

*We recommend calling because representatives can sometimes offer special deals or pricing. We make every effort to provide and maintain accurate information on our site. However, the businesses reviewed on our site may periodically change their pricing, equipment, and packages and there may be a lag between the time they make such changes and the time we become aware of such changes. If you identify any outdated or inaccurate information, please contact us here.

Editors Recommendation

Generally, we recommend Alert1 over Life Alert for their month-to-month (no contracts) service agreements and equipment variety. Alert1’s products are also priced at a lower monthly cost and do not require any installation fees.

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), falls are the number one cause of injury among adults 65 years of age and older. The risk of serious injury increases when a person falls and cannot reach for a phone or a way to call for help. One of the best ways to avoid this kind of danger of being stuck after a fall is to consider a medical alert system. There are many options to explore when it comes to these systems, and they range in cost as well as the range of services offered.

Two popular medical alert system companies are Alert1 and Life Alert. Each of these companies operates nationwide and has more than 30 years of experience in the medical alert industry. Alert1 and Life Alert both offer a wide range of services for seniors that could benefit from an added sense of medical and physical security.

FYI: AARP offers a guide to understanding medical alert systems, as well as a list of tips when it comes to approaching mobility issues.

Alert1 Overview

Alert1 On the Go cellular medical alert system to keep you covered even when you aren't at home.
Alert1 On the Go Cellular

Alert1 is a medical alert system company founded in 1988. Serving all fifty states, Alert1 provides unlimited button presses and talk time, even in the event that a user just wants to have a conversation and doesn’t have an immediate emergency. Alert1 devices have automatic fall detection, and the company does not lock customers into long-term contracts.

Alert1 Systems

System Monthly Starting Cost Connection For Use Ideal For
In-the-Home $19.95 Landline at home Those who are looking for peace of mind around their home.
In-the-Home + Fall Detection $27.95 Landline at home Those who are looking for peace of mind around their home and would like the added feature of fall detection.
On-the-Go $36.95 Cellular away from home Those who are looking for a system that will protect them while they are away from home.
On-the-Go + Fall Detection $44.95 Cellular away from home Those who are looking for a system that will protect them while they are away from home and would like the added feature of fall detection.
On-the-Go + In-the-Home + Fall Detection $52.95 Landline + Cellular at home, in the car, away from home Those looking for the full package: protection at and away from home with the added feature of fall detection.

FYI: Costs can vary when it comes to medical alert systems, and it is a good idea to consider when and how insurance coverage works with these systems when exploring your options.


Life Alert Overview

Life Alert Equipment
Life Alert Base Station and Pendants

Life Alert is one of the most popular medical alert systems in America. Founded in 1987, Life Alert claims to save a life once every eleven minutes, and they handle over two million calls a year. Providing services for falls in the home, the shower, or even out and about with the GPS feature, Life Alert notifies the appropriate first responders to get help to where it is needed as quickly as possible. They also offer a free lifetime warranty on their products.

Though one of the most recognizable names in medical alert systems, Life Alert does have some drawbacks, such as long contracts and a high cost compared to other similar systems.

Life Alert Systems

System Monthly Starting Cost Connection For Use Ideal For
Life Alert Basic $19.95 Landline at home Those who are looking for peace of mind around their home.
Life Alert Basic + Shower Button $59 landline or cellular at home Those who are looking for peace of mind around their home with added protection from falls in the bathroom.
Life Alert Basic with Shower Button + Mobile $89 landline or cellular at home and on the go Those who are looking for peace of mind around their home with added protection from falls in the bathroom.

Life Alert and Alert1 Similarities

Most Medical Alert Systems function in basically the same way. With the press of a button, users can contact a monitoring center that will immediately send help to their location. Depending on the lifestyle and need of the individual, different levels of services and products are offered by these companies, including buttons for the shower and optional GPS technology for help needed on the go. Life Alert and Alert1 share these qualities as well as some others.

Some other similarities include:

  • Pendants and Wall-Mounted Help Buttons: Life Alert and Alert1 each offer pressable pendants that can be worn around the neck as well as buttons that can be mounted on the walls (or in the shower) to call for help.
  • Five Diamond Certified Monitoring Center: Life Alert and Alert1 Medical Alert Systems boast a Five Diamond Certified monitoring center. These centers meet rigorous standards, employing highly trained operators to provide effective assistance for any emergency. They will stay on the phone with you through the duration of the emergency.
  • Connectivity: Both Life Alert and Alert1 have landline and cellular options, so those without a landline are still able to utilize these services; both companies also offer GPS for mobile use.
  • Water-Resistant equipment: Life Alert and Alert1 each offer water-resistant products, including buttons specifically designed for use in the shower.

Alert1 and Life Alert Differences

While Alert1 and Life Alert share many similarities in the services they offer, there are some significant differences:

    • Fall Detection: Alert1 offers optional Fall Detection technology with all of their products. Fall Detection provides extra peace of mind by providing an automatic call when a fall has been detected. Life Alert does not provide this service.
    • Cost and Contracts: Alert1 offers monthly and yearly subscriptions, so there is less of a risk in signing up to try it out. Life Alert requires members to sign a three-year contract. Life Alert is also more expensive when it comes to start-up as well as recurring costs.
    • Emergency Response & Call Centers: Both Alert1 and Life Alert have Five Diamond Certified Monitoring Centers, with operators that are highly trained and dispatch emergency services immediately and stay on the line through the duration of the emergency. However, Alert1 has the added benefit of 190 language options for customers that may not be able to effectively communicate in English during a crisis.

Our Favorite

Alert1 and Life Alert provide many of the same basic functions. They both offer wearable pendants, wall-mounted help buttons, and GPS technology for mobile use. Life Alert is one of the most recognizable names in the business, but this brand name comes at a higher cost and a longer commitment, while Alert1 offers similar services for less.

When it came to our tests, it was hard to tell much of a difference between Life Alert and Alert1. Both medical alert systems contacted monitoring agents in a prompt manner, and they addressed our needs accordingly. Since Life Alert costs nearly twice as much as Alert1 (not to mention the required three-year contract), it’s hard to wholeheartedly recommend this provider. Alert1 also has the option of fall detection, which can be a real life-saver.

FYI: Some medical alert systems come with features like Bluetooth and voice activation. You should be sure to explore your options before making the choice that works best for you.

Written By
Amie Clark

Amie has been writing about senior care products and services for the last decade. She is particularly passionate about new technologies that help improve the quality of life for seniors and their families. Seeing her parents and grandparents age made Amie ask herself, “Would this be good enough for my loved ones?” In her spare time, Amie enjoys outdoor adventures and spontaneous road trips. Learn more about Amie here