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Life Alert vs Philips Lifeline Comparison

Our experts compared these two reputable, feature-rich medical alert systems. Read on to find which one is right for you.

Side-by-side comparison:

Side-by-side comparison: Life Alert Logo
Editor's Rating
3 / 5 stars
4.5 / 5 stars
Cost
Equipment Costs N/A
  • $99.95 for GoSafe 2
  • $0 for all other systems
Monthly Price Range $50 - $90 $30 - $50
Contract Required Yes No
Activation Fee Set-up costs start at $95 $50
Shipping Cost Free Depends on the installation type
Contracts 3-year contract Monthly
Return Policy Only in the event of a move to a care facility or death Full refund if returned within 30 days of ordering
Product Features
Connection Landline or cellular Landline or cellular
Two-Way Talk Yes Yes
In-Home Range 800 feet 800 feet
On-the-Go Battery Life Up to ten years Depends on model
Water-Resistant Help Button Yes Yes
GPS Yes Yes
24/7 USA-Based Monitoring Yes Yes
Add-Ons
Fall Detection No Yes
Spouse Monitoring Yes No
Wall-Mounted Help Buttons Yes No
Lockboxes No Yes
Contact
Phone Number* 1-855-681-5357
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 If you identify any outdated or inaccurate information, please contact us here.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 Lifeline over Life Alert due to the lower cost of monthly monitoring service and the optional fall detection. Both companies charge upfront costs either activation fees or installation costs. However, if you are looking for a larger in-home range or long battery life on the mobile medical alert, Life Alert scored better in these areas.

There are a number of factors to consider for seniors looking to increase their safety at home, especially for those that live alone. When it comes to peace of mind for you and your loved ones, you may want to think about buying a medical alert system.

Medical alert systems differ from home security systems but can be just as important for overall safety. With the press of a button on a pendant or on the wall, medical alert systems notify the proper first responders and send help in the event of a fall or other injury. As with most products, there is a wide range of medical alert companies that offer a number of options to meet your personal lifestyle needs.

Two of the oldest names in the medical alert system business are Life Alert and Lifeline. While they share many similarities in the products they offer, there are some key differences you will want to explore before making the best choice for you.

FYI: The National Council on Aging provides a free online assessment for seniors to help determine their risk of fall-related injury.

Life Alert Overview

Life Alert Equipment
Life Alert Base Station and Pendants

Life Alert has been a name in the medical alert systems business since 1987. You may remember seeing their commercials on television. Their I’ve fallen and I can’t get up catchphrase made Life Alert one of the most recognizable names in the field, and they continue to serve Americans across the nation.

They claim to save a life every eleven minutes, and they offer an array of products to provide seniors with added security from falls around the house, in the shower, and even on the go with their GPS feature. While Life Alert has a long history of providing reliable service, they do come at a higher cost than some other comparable systems.

With that said, Life Alert prices start at a steep $50 per month, making them much more expensive than other options.

To learn more about this company, read my Life Alert review.

Life Alert Systems

System Monthly Starting Cost Connection For Use Ideal For
Life Alert Basic starts at $50/mo. landline or cellular at home Individuals that want personal security around the house.
Life Alert Basic with Shower Button starts at $69/mo. landline or cellular at home Individuals that want personal security around the house with added protection against falls in the shower.
Life Alert Basic with Shower Button + Mobile starts at $89/mo. landline or cellular at home, on the go Individuals that want personal security around the house with added protection against falls in the shower, and would like additional coverage outside the home as well.

Lifeline Overview

Lifeline HomeSafe with AutoAlert (Landline)
Lifeline HomeSafe with Auto Alert

One of the few companies that has been in the medical alert business even longer than Life Alert is Philips Lifeline. Founded in 1974 by Dr. Andrew Dibner, Lifeline was the first in North America to provide a personal medical alert system. In 2006 Lifeline was purchased by Philips, a globally recognized technology company.

Offering a few options for medical alert systems, Lifeline has an easy-to-navigate website, produces a highly-rated mobile app for iPhone and Android users, and does not require customers to sign a contract but rather operates on a monthly basis. Lifeline does offer fall detection technology options, and some systems come with a choice between a pendant worn around the neck or around the wrist. A drawback to Lifeline is that they do not offer wall-mounted help buttons for the shower.

Philips Lifeline prices start as low as $29.95 per month, making them much more affordable than Life Alert. To learn more about this company, read my full review of Philips Lifeline.

Lifeline Systems

System Monthly Starting Cost Connection For Use Ideal For
HomeSafe Standard $29.95/mo. plus $50 activation fee landline or cellular at home For those who want standard protection at home.
HomeSafe with AutoAlert $44.95/mo. plus $50 activation fee landline or cellular at home For those who want standard protection at home, and would like the added protection of fall detection.
GoSafe 2 $49.95/mo. plus $99.95 device fee cellular at home and away For those that would like medical alert protection while both home and on the go.

Lifeline and Life Alert Similarities

Two of the oldest, most trusted names in medical alert systems, Lifeline and Life Alert share many similarities. These include 24/7 nationwide coverage, two-way talk capability, wearable pendants, and short response times.

Some other similarities include:

    • GPS: Both Life Alert and Philips Lifeline offer medical alerts with GPS for on-the-go use that allow users to call for help when away from home using GPS technology to get help to their location no matter where the emergency occurs.
    • Water-Resistant Devices: Life Alert and Lifeline both offer water-resistant devices for use in the bath or shower.
    • Activation/Device Fees: When it comes to cost, both start-up and monthly prices for Life Alert and Lifeline are noticeably higher than systems offered by other companies that include similar features.

Life Alert and Lifeline Differences

    • Fall Detection: Lifeline products include fall detection, which is a feature not offered with any Life Alert devices.
    • Wristband Option: Lifeline offers a wristband option in addition to the pendants worn around the neck offered by Life Alert.
    • Wall-Mounted Help Buttons: As far as physical safety and fall prevention goes, bathrooms can pose an added risk. Life Alert provides a wall-mounted help button for the shower that is not available through Lifeline.
    • Contracts: Life Alert requires a three-year contract while Lifeline operates on a month-to-month basis.
    • Mobile App: Both of these medical alert companies offer mobile apps; however, Lifeline is more accessible and user-friendly both through their mobile app for cellular phones and through their website.

Emergency Response & Call Centers

Both Life Alert and Lifeline offer nationwide, 24/7 coverage in the event of an emergency. Each of these companies boasts short response times and operators that are fluent in Spanish as well as English. Life Alert’s monitoring center is Five Diamond Certified, while Lifeline offers translator services to provide help in over 140 languages.

FYI: The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has a number of suggestions on how to create a safer living space for older adults.

Our Favorite

When exploring which is the best option for your needs, there are a number of factors that come into play. Life Alert and Lifeline both have decades of experience in providing protection in the event of a medical emergency at home. They offer comparable plans and products and they both charge higher set-up and monthly costs than some other companies out there.

Life Alert and Lifeline offer basic plans for around the house and on-the-go protection. However, It is important to consider additional specific needs when choosing a medical alert system, as some other companies offer services that cater to conditions such as medical alerts for disabilities or medical alerts for Alzheimer’s and dementia.

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