5 Affordable Alternatives to Life Alert (2024)

Performance issues aside, Life Alert costs far more than most medical alert companies. These five alternatives work better and are more affordable.
Medical Alert Wristband Help Button
Share: copied!

The Senior List is compensated when you click on the provider links listed on this page. This compensation does not impact our ratings or reviews. Click here to learn more about our editorial review process and click here to learn more about how we are compensated.

Regardless of your age, you’ve probably heard of Life Alert. As a result of their famous commercials, the phrase, “I’ve fallen, and I can’t get up!” is well known by many Americans. In fact, many of my clients — when planning to live alone — tell me they “need a Life Alert,” not knowing that there are better options.

Life Alert fits into a broader category of technology known as medical alert devices. While these devices vary in terms of shape and size, they all accomplish the same function. With the press of a button, a medical alert system allows a user to contact help in the event of an emergency.

While Life Alert can certainly accomplish this function, there are some major drawbacks to this company. In our extensive testing of their systems, we found some serious issues that should give pause to potential subscribers.

FYI: Some medical alert systems come with no monthly fee. To learn more, read our rundown of the best unmonitored medical alert systems.

Our Favorite Alternatives to Life Alert

One of the most important things to remember about medical alert systems is that there are better options than Life Alert. We have tested many devices and can attest to the quality of the following choices. Not only do they offer reliable equipment, but they are also more affordable and do not require a long-term contract.

Alternatives to Life Alert Compared

Life Alert Bay Alarm Medical Medical Guardian Alexa Together ADT Health Medical Alert
In-home system $49.95 per month $24.95 per month $29.95 per month $19.99 per month $29.99 per month $22.95 per month
Mobile system $89.95 per month* $29.95 per month $39.95 per month Not available $39.99 per month $42.95 per month
Activation $96-$198 None on home systems; $99+ on the mobile unit None on home systems; varies on mobile systems $39.99-$129.99 for an Echo device None None
Contract 3-year contract required Not required; discounts offered for annual contracts Not required; discounts offered for annual contracts Not required Not required Not required
Fall detection N/A $10 per month $10 per month One-time cost for extra device $10 per month $10 per month

* Life Alert does not currently offer its mobile system as a standalone purchase, so this price reflects the cost of the combined in-home and mobile system.

Pro Tip: Read my Life Alert review to learn more about my experience with this system.

5 Affordable Alternatives to Life Alert

1. Bay Alarm Medical

Bay Alarm Medical Logo
4.8 / 5
View Packages
Call for best price:
855-675-0754
What We Like Most:
  • 30-day risk-free trial
  • Optional fall detection
  • Location tracking on mobile units
  • Systems starting at $24.95 per month

Overview

Bay Alarm Medical is one of the more affordable medical alert providers on the market. With their in-home systems starting as low as $24.95 per month, you could add on fall detection and still save significantly when compared to a Life Alert system.

Bay Alarm Medical Equipment
Bay Alarm Medical Equipment

Bay Alarm Medical alert systems include a traditional in-home system, a medical alert with GPS, an in-car system, and a medical alert smartwatch. You may also add on extra help buttons for $2 per month, making Bay Alarm Medical a great option for those who live with spouses or roommates.

Compared to Life Alert, Bay Alarm Medical does not require any long-term contracts, and they offer a 30-day money-back guarantee. If you wish to cancel your service at any time, you may do so by returning your equipment, though you’ll have to pay the cost of shipping.

To learn more about this company, read my Bay Alarm Medical review.

Tip: To learn about my favorite providers overall, check out my rundown of the best medical alerts for seniors.

Pros
  • One-time $35 fee for additional help buttons
  • $15 per month for additional fall buttons
  • 1,000-foot in-home range
  • Two U.S.-based monitoring centers
  • 32-hour in-home backup battery
  • Water-resistant devices
Cons
  • Equipment fees for some systems
  • Extra cost for fall detection

2. Medical Guardian

Medical Guardian Logo
4.9 / 5
View Packages
Call for best price:
877-947-4512
What We Like Most:
  • No long-term contracts
  • Quick response times
  • Fall detection available
  • 24/7 U.S. based monitoring

Overview

The Mini Guardian worn as a medical alert necklace.
Medical Guardian’s MGMini has built-in fall detection. No extra devices are required.

What makes Medical Guardian one of the best medical alert systems is the variety of its equipment. With two in-home systems and three mobile systems, they are an ideal option for anyone looking to stay safe in or outside their home. What’s more, their customer support and U.S.-based monitoring centers provide a stellar customer experience.

Medical Guardian costs as little as $29.95 per month, making them nearly half the cost of Life Alert’s most basic system. Additionally, Medical Guardian does not require long-term contracts, meaning that you may cancel your service and return your equipment with little hassle and no extra costs.

To learn more about Medical Guardian, read my full Medical Guardian review, including our hands-on MGMini review and MGMini Lite review, both of which are systems with GPS.

Pros
  • All-in-one mobile system
  • Landline and cellular options
  • Smartwatch option
  • Accurate location tracking
  • Fall detection available on most systems
  • No long-term contracts
  • Free month of service on annual subscriptions
  • Up to seven-day mobile battery life
Cons
  • Occasional false alarms with fall detection
  • Limited activity monitoring

3. ADT

ADT Medical Alert - Logo
4.6 / 5
View Packages
Call for best price:
855-571-0361
What We Like Most:
  • Waterproof help buttons
  • Optional fall detection
  • Quick response times
  • Straightforward pricing

Overview

While ADT is widely known for its range of home security systems for seniors, ADT offers a trio of reliable and durable medical alert systems. ADT medical alert systems include three products: Medical Alert Basic System for in-home use, Medical Alert Plus System, and On-the-Go Medical Alert System — all of which can be paired with fall detection.

ADT Medical Alert Systems
ADT Medical Alert Systems

ADT’s medical alert systems also cost far less than those of Life Alert. Their in-home, landline-based system starts at $29.99 per month, and their mobile system costs $39.99 per month. None of these systems requires a long-term contract, and includes free battery replacements.

To learn more about my experience with these systems, check out my ADT Health medical alert review.

Pros
  • Waterproof help buttons
  • No long-term contracts
  • Automatic fall detection
  • Personalized response plans
  • Quick response times
  • Landline options available
Cons
  • Relatively small in-home range
  • No smart features
  • No caregiver tracking

4. Alexa Together

Alexa Logo
4.6 / 5
What We Like Most:
  • $19.99 per month
  • Video calling capabilities
  • Controlled through one’s voice
  • In-depth features for caregivers

Overview

We’ve written extensively about a number of Alexa’s features for seniors. Recently, however, Amazon has introduced Alexa Together, a medical alert service that comes with a variety of features for communication with caregivers.

The Amazon Echo Show 8

To use Alexa Together, you’ll need a compatible Amazon Echo device. We recommend the Echo Show, which features a large touchscreen and a camera. With this device, users can place urgent response calls as well as drop-in video calls with loved ones. Additionally, as with any Echo device, you can also use Alexa Together to listen to music, set reminders, or look up information online – all controlled through your voice.

With the purchase of an Echo Show, you’ll receive six free months of Alexa Together. After this time, Alexa Together will cost $19.99 per month.

To learn more about our experience with Alexa Together, read our Alexa Together review.

Pros
  • Six-month free trial
  • Video and voice calling features
  • All features controllable through voice commands
  • 1,000-foot rangeOptional fall detection
Cons
  • Additional Echo devices required for video calls

5. Medical Alert

Medical Alert logo. Medical Alert is a medical alert company.
4.3 / 5
View Packages
Call for best price:
(855) 583-3364
What We Like Most:
  • Simple Setup Process
  • At-Home and On-The-Go Options
  • Automatic Fall Detection
  • Full-Featured Mobile App

Overview

With systems available from $19.95 per month, Medical Alert is another solid option. They offer in-home systems and mobile systems. Like the other systems on this list, they do not require a long-term contract, and they also offer fall detection for the standard $10 per month. If you opt for their semi-annual or annual payment plans, you’ll get more discounts including free shipping and other perks like a free lockbox.

Medical Alert Landline
Medical Alert Landline

They also feature a handy smartphone app that allows caregivers to monitor their loved one’s device through the ability to check in on any distress calls and ensure that the device is functioning properly.

To learn more about these systems, check out my Medical Alert review.

Pros
  • No Equipment Fees
  • Affordable Monthly Costs
  • Monthly Contract Options
  • Discounts for Annual Contracts
  • In-Home and On-The-Go Options
  • Simple Setup
  • 24/7 Professional Monitoring
Cons
  • No Option to Purchase Equipment

Life Alert Alternatives Frequently Asked Questions

  • What are the alternatives to Life Alert?

    Bay Alarm Medical, Medical Guardian, and ADT are some of the best alternatives to Life Alert, and none of them require long-term contracts.

  • Is any service better than Life Alert?

    Bay Alarm Medical is a better medical alert provider than Life Alert, as they offer fall detection and don’t require a long-term contract.

  • Are medical alert systems covered by Medicare?

    Medicare will not cover the cost of a medical alert system, as they are not considered durable medical equipment. Luckily, many medical alert systems cost less than $30 per month.

  • Can you get Life Alert for free?

    While you likely can’t get Life Alert for free, local Area Agencies on Aging have been known to cover the cost of other medical alert systems. Reach out to your local branch to learn more.

  • What is the best personal alarm for the elderly?

    While Bay Alarm Medical offers one of the best personal alarms for the elderly, Medical Guardian, ADT, Lively, and LifeFone are all solid choices. It all depends on the user’s preferences.

  • Does Life Alert require a contract?

    Yes, Life Alert requires a three-year service agreement, one you can only exit through death or transition to long-term care.

ryan-molloy
Written By
Ryan Molloy

Ryan has years of experience researching and testing products that help people successfully age in place. After years of working for various publications such as Boston Magazine and The Believer, he has found his home at The Senior List, writing about all things related to caregiving and senior healthcare.