Medical Guardian vs Life Alert

Both medical alert systems offer stellar service and quality equipment. But our experts compared them and found a clear winner.

Side-by-side comparison:

Side-by-side comparison: Medical Guardian Logo Life Alert Logo
Editor's Rating
4.8 / 5 stars
3 / 5 stars
4.5 / 5
3.7 / 5
Price Range$29.95 - $49.95/mo$49.95 - $89.95/mo
Upfront CostsNoYes - varies
Contract RequiredNoYes
Return PolicyStandardStrict
Product OptionsIn-home traditional, in-home cellular, cellular +GPS, smartwatchLandline & cellular in-home, mobile + GPS
Battery Life24 hours10 years
In-home Ranges1300 ft800 ft
Water-safe OptionsYesYes
Fall Detection$10/moNo
Smart Watch$99 + $44.95/moNo
Spouse Monitoring$2/mo$49/ one time fee
Phone Number*800-520-5889
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 If you identify any outdated or inaccurate information, please contact us here.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 Medical Guardian over Life Alert because they offer lower cost medical alert equipment and monitoring for a lower cost with no installation fees. Medical Guardian also offers optional fall detection and has developed one of the first medical alert smartwatches. However, Life Alert claims to have a mobile unit with a battery life of 10 years, which is more than any other cellular unit on the market.

Medical Guardian and Life Alert are two of the most well-known and well-respected of all the medical alert systems. Both offer technologically advanced equipment capable of notifying emergency responders whether you are at home or away. Both companies offer multiple plans and packages that allow adequate coverage for an affordable cost no matter what your personal needs are. Call centers for both companies are Five Diamond Certified and offer response times under 45 seconds.

Medical Guardian vs Life Alert Differences

Some of the biggest differences have to do with discounts, installation, and contracts. Medical Guardian offers a 10% discount to AARP members and Veterans. Life Alert requires professional installation to be performed by one of their trained professionals. While Life Alert requires a 3-year contract to start service, Medical Guardian only requests a 3-month service agreement which can be waived under certain circumstances. Life Alert offers a cell phone app to provide added convenience for subscribers who are on the go.

Life Alert vs Medical Guardian Similarities

Medical Guardian and Life Alert offer many of the same devices and features. Wearable devices are waterproof and designed to be worn in the shower. Both systems operate using a cellular platform and wireless devices. 24/7 monitoring is available with both systems with each having a response time of less than one minute. Medical Guardian and Life Alert also have solid reputations in terms of service and quality equipment.


Medical Guardian offers pendants, clip-on devices, and wristbands. Most wearables offer two-way communication and are waterproof so they can be worn in the shower. Fall detection is an option that can be included for an additional monthly fee for Medical Guardian only. Lockboxes are available that come with a medical history card. Codes to the lockbox are given to responders so they can gain access to your home without having to break in through a window or door to get to you. Base units have a range of approximately 1300 feet in and around the home.

Life Alert provides traditional medical alert support through a wearable pendant that is both waterproof and very durable. They also offer a cell phone app for people who like to be on the go. Their base unit is the only piece of equipment that offers two-way communication with the touch of a button. Life Alert's devices can detect home intrusions, falls, mobile emergencies, and a variety of other types of accidents.

Systems & Devices

In addition to Medical Guardian's base unit, they also offer the traditional pendants, wristbands, and clip-on devices. All of the devices offer two-way communication and the wearables are waterproof. The Classic Guardian offers a 1300 foot range from the base unit while you are inside the home or just outside. Equipment is UL Certified and sends monthly tests to the monitoring center.

With Life Alert, only the base unit is capable of two-way communication. Pendants, wristbands, and shower buttons are all waterproof and extremely durable. Life Alert offers both a cell phone app for a reliable emergency response while you are away from home. The range from the base unit for most devices is approximately 800 feet. All equipment is UL Certified. No weekly or monthly tests are performed by the system, but trouble signals are sent to the monitoring center if a problem arises.

Costs & Contracts

Medical Guardian offers multiple packages and plans that are designed to meet most subscribers' needs. They include the Classic Guardian for $30 per month, the Home Guardian for $35 per month, the Active Guardian for $50 per month, and the Mobile Guardian for $40 per month. Their family package covers the entire family and starts at $80 per month. There are no long-term contracts, but a 90-service agreement is required. Veterans and AARP members receive a 10% discount for their services. Advance payment discounts are available when you pay for the entire year upfront.

With Life Alert, you can expect to pay anywhere from $96 to $200 for the installation of your system. Package prices range from $50 to $90 per month. There are no activation fees, but fall detection and some of the other features may cost you $10 per month per feature. If you pay for your service by the year, you will get one month free. There are no discounts unless you refer a customer to them and they remain with the company for 90 days. Life Alert requires a 3-year contract.

Emergency Response & Call Centers

Medical Guardian is a wireless system that operates using a cellular-based platform. Call centers are Five Diamond Certified and offer response times of less than 45 seconds. The call centers are not owned by the company but are specifically trained to respond promptly to all alerts and to notify members on your contact list as well as the local authorities.

Life Alert also uses a cellular platform for emergency alerts. Call centers are Five Diamond Certified and provide response times of 15 to 20 seconds. Family members are immediately notified of emergencies as they occur and emergency personnel and law enforcement are dispatched to your location as soon as possible.

Our Conclusion

Medical Guardian is a good choice for people who don't want the long-term contract but want the security of a well-known system that is proven effective and easy to use.

Life Alerts is a well-respected name that is known for reliable service. It is a great choice if you don't mind the long-term contract or professional installation fees.

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