Best Step Counters (Pedometers) Reviewed
It is recommended that everyone fits in at least 10,000 steps per day. Keeping a simple pedometer on your belt loop or in your pocket is a great way to keep tabs on your progress throughout the day.
Using these step counters is a great way to count your steps- and nothing more. Smartwatches and fitness trackers often get a little overly complicated and bogged down in extra features. A pedometer has a simple design that uses very little battery power and is incredibly lightweight and easy to use
If you are in the market for a simple way to count each and every step that you take throughout the day, a pedometer is a great tool to have on hand. In this guide, we have compiled a list of some of the best pedometers out there on the market to make sure that every step counts!
In a Hurry? The test winner after 7 hrs of research
Syncs with phone
Step Counter Reviews
1. Fitbit Zip
Syncs with phone
It wouldn’t be a party if FitBit didn’t make an appearance! What we love about the Fitbit Zip is that it is incredibly simple and easy to use and it comes from the trusted brand of Fitbit. This device is incredibly small and fits clips just about anywhere on your body without getting in the way. Plus, it has a few extra features that prove to be quite handy.
The interface of this design is sleek and simple like any effective pedometer. At a glance, the screen shows you how many steps you have earned so far in the day. When you press on the screen, you have the option to toggle between steps, calories burned, and distance traveled.
All of the information compiled on the Fitbit Zip is sent to a FitBit app on your phone. This app sends you motivation alerts to get moving when you become too sedentary and tracks your progress over the months. You can also add friends to the app to track their progress as well as send them motivational alerts to get moving!
If you are in the market for something that is simple and easy to use that comes from a trusted brand, the Fitbit Zip is our favorite device currently out there on the market. It’s small and simple to use but also slips in a few bonus features to make moving a little more fun.
Easy to use
Long battery life
Poorly placed reset
What we loved most about this design from 3DFitBud is that is in insanely easy to use. There is no requirement to download any apps or sync it to your phone. It doesn’t require nightly charging, and it doesn’t even come with any additional charging cables. To use this device from 3DFitBud, simply take it out of the box and start moving!
One of the best features of this device from 3DFitBud is that it has an incredibly large screen that allows you to check your progress at a glance. You can pop it in your pocket, or use the loop and lanyard to affix it to the zipper on your sweatshirt or just wear it around your neck. It also comes with a small clip that attaches to the unit so you can wear it on your belt.
Another great feature of this option is that it doesn’t need to be charged. It uses a battery that is loaded on the back of the unit that very seldom needs to be replaced. In fact, most users use their pedometer each and every day and only need to replace the battery once every 12 months!
If you are in the market for something that is easy to use and doesn’t require the use of a smartphone to track all of your steps, this is an excellent option. What we loved most about this design is that it is incredibly easy to use, and it holds a charge for up to a year before you need to replace the batteries!
3. Fitbit One
Easy to use
Syncs with phone
Fitbit is making our list yet again with the Fitbit One! What makes this option just a little bit different from the Fitbit Zip is that it offers a few more added features, and it has a different base design. It may be a little more difficult to use, but the added features make it worth the hassle.
The best part of this option lies in the design. It has an egg-shaped frame that makes it simple to slip right into your pocket without it feeling too big or bulky. It also comes with an additional shell that makes it easy to clip onto your belt loop or sweatshirt for a firm fit with easy access.
Another thing that we really loved about this model is that it uses a rechargeable battery. To charge it up, simply plug it into any USB port for a quick charge. It typically only takes about 1-2 hours to charge completely. Plus, the battery lasts up to 7 days, which means you will not have to charge it every night like to have to charge your phone.
If you are in the market for a sleek step counter that comes from a trusted brand, this is one of your best options. It accurately measures each and every stride for a great fitness picture of the day, and it even syncs with your phone so you can really keep tabs of how you are doing day-to-day.
4. OZO Fitness
Easy to use
Small and compact
Simplicity is the name of the game when it comes to this option from OZO Fitness. It has a small round shell with a large screen. The large screen makes checking in on your progress quick and easy. It doesn’t have a lot of additional features like some of the higher-end models, but it does a great job at making each and every step count.
What users love most about this model is that getting started is quick and easy. Simply take the unit out of the box, turn it on, and you are ready to go! The large screen indicated how many steps you have earned at any given point of the day.
Plus, it is able to tell you how many calories you have burned, the distance you have traveled, and even miles per hour! It comes with a battery mounted to the back that will need to be replaced once it is depleted. However, the good news here is that one fully charged battery lasts up to 12 months before it needs to be replaced!
If you are in the market for a step counter that goes just a little bit above and beyond without draining the battery, this is a great option. It is small and compact, and it doesn’t require the headache of pairing it with your smartphone via Bluetooth!
5. Omron Alvita
Easy to use
No syncing required
Limited battery life
Omron is a brand that you may already be familiar with. They are one of the leading brands in the small health electronics world, and they were founded in 1933. What we loved most about the Alvita is that it does a great job at tracking your steps, and it is really easy to use.
Our favorite feature of this device is that it is a cinch to set up and go. Simply take it out of its packaging, turn it on, and you are ready to go. It has easy to read buttons along the face to toggle between the information displayed on the screen. Not only can you track average steps, but cardio activity, distance, and calories burned as well.
It comes with a battery included with purchase, and it should last you about 6 months of continued use before it needs to be replaced. The great news about this design is that you won’t have to track down those tiny little screwdrivers to change the battery. The back clip simply slides off to make battery replacement quick and easy.
For those in the market for something quick and easy that is ready to go right out of the box, this desgin is a great option. It has a large screen that is easy to read at a glance and comes from a brand that excels in health electronics. This means that you know that the reading on the screen is an accurate picture of your day!
Easy to use
Difficult battery replacement
This style of option from OneTweak is a little on the retro side in the style department, but it is super easy to use. It has a long shell that is easy to slip into your pocket without feeling very bulky. Plus, it has a wider screen that makes checking your progress at a glance that much easier.
As we mentioned earlier, the size of this LCD screen is one of its best features. It is able to relay detailed progress of your steps for the day at a single glance. This screen tells you how many steps you have achieved for the day, as well as the time. Just take it out of the box, and you are ready to go!
Another thing that we really liked about this design is that it comes with a lanyard included with purchase so that you can wear it around your neck instead of keeping it in your pocket. It runs off od a disposable battery, and you will need to use a small screwdriver to remove the backing to replace the battery.
What we loved most about this step counter from OneTweak is that it is incredibly easy to use. You will not need to sync it to your phone, and it is able to store the progress of your daily steps up to 7 days. Plus, a long battery life means you won’t have to worry about charging it up daily.
Easy to use
Falls out of holder
If accuracy is your number one concern, this option from U-Trak has you covered. What we liked most about this design is that uses special technology to really track each and every step. This means you will have a clear picture at the end of the day. Plus, it has a sleek shell that will make you even forget that you have it on you!
The large screen on this design tells you how many steps you racked up for the day, and it even has a small bar graph to show you just how close you are to reaching your targeted movement goal. It uses 3D triaxial sensor technology to deliver accurate results at the end of each and every day. This means it tracks vibrations instead of standard movements.
We also really liked that this design also has a battery power indicator light on the side of the screen. This gives you a clear picture when the time comes to replace the battery. To replace the battery, simply remove the backing from the pedometer and slide a new battery in its place.
For those that want something that is really simple to use and delivers accurate results each and every day, this step counter from U-Trak is worth checking out! Its simple design makes it easy to set up and use right out of the box.
Long battery life
Difficult to clip
The most notable feature of this desgin from Sportline lies in its size. It is one of the smallest options out there on the market, which means it can fit just about anywhere. Users clip this device right to the laces of their sneakers, but it can also be worn on your belt loop or carried in the pocket of your sweatpants.
One notable feature about this option is that the results are incredibly accurate. Many users have found that this little device does a great job of accurately counting each and every step so that you get a clear picture of the movement of your day. Plus, it is so small you may even forget that you are wearing it!
This design uses a lithium battery that is included with your purchase. Some users have found that removing the backing to replace the battery is a little difficult. However, the good news here is that one lithium battery will last you for years before you feel the need to replace it.
If you are in the market for something that is incredibly accurate, this is a great choice. Plus, it’s very small size makes it easy to wear just about anywhere on your body without getting in the way.
9. Omron Tri-Axis
Easy to use
The Tri-Axis is another great option from the trusted brand of Omron. What we loved about this design is that it has a large face that makes reading your progress at a glance simple and easy, and it also has a sleek frame that fits just about anywhere.
One of the most notable features of this design is that it tracks steps no matter how it is positioned. Some devices only work accurately when positioned at a specific angle, but this design works horizontally or vertically, and the results are the same. Plus, the screen indicates steps walked, calories burned, and aerobic steps earned as well.
It comes with a lithium battery that has a very long life. This means that it will works for months before you need to replace the battery. What we loved about this design is that it actually comes with the small screwdriver needed to remove the backing when the times comes to replace the battery.
If you want something that is incredibly reliable the comes from a trusted brand, this option from Omron is a great choice. Users love the small and sleek shell that fits just about anywhere. Plus, the long life of the lithium battery will hold up for months and months before it needs to be replaced.
Easy to use
Short battery life
Ozeri may be a brand that you have never heard of before, but we feel that this design is worth checking out. It has a large LCD screen that makes checking your progress quick and easy. It also comes in a small frame with a few extra features that allow you to clip it pretty much anywhere on your body.
The very first thing that we noticed about this design is that it comes with a belt clip as well as a lanyard to allow you to clip it to wherever it is the most comfortable. The large LCD screen shows you not only the steps to have walked but also the time and your average step count for the days you have used it.
Another thing that users really love about this design is that it only weighs half of an ounce, and it one of the thinnest models out there on the market. It uses Tri-Axis technology that delivers accurate readings no matter how you position it on your body.
If you are in the market for something that is incredibly accurate and easy to use, this option from Ozeri is a great choice. With its small and compact frame, you may even forget that you are wearing it!
Criteria Used for Evaluation
At the end of the day, you want something that will give you a detailed picture of your day.
We wanted to select designs that were not only easy to use, but that was accurate as well. To determine how well a product performed, we first needed to learn how pedometers actually work.
Many of standard designs work by detecting basic movement. Inside of the case is a hammer with a circuit board. Every time you move, the hammer makes contact with the circuit board and the step count goes up by one. While this is a great way to track steps, it can sometimes be a little faulty if you are moving your body without actually walking.
The modern styles uses vibration technology in the replacement of the standard hammer. Different activities produce different vibrations. If you are walking to your car after a long day of work, the vibrations are minimal. This indicates to your device that you are simply walking.
If you are being chased to your car by a bear, the vibrations are much higher! This indicates to your device that you are engaging in an aerobic activity (such as HIIT training) and therefore categorizes it into an aerobic activity, and increases the calories that are burned during your workout.
We made sure to select devices that offered a more accurate reading by using modern vibration technology for accurate results. The benefits of measuring vibrations don’t just stop at accuracy, however.
Trix-Axis vibration tech also means that you can wear your device in any method that you wish, whether it be vertical or horizontal. Many old fashioned designs only work if you wear them right side up, which can lead to inaccurate readings if you carry it in your pocket.
No one likes to be weighed down by bulky gadgets.
While there is no scientific proof to back us up, but we feel that users are more inclined to wear a step counter every day if it stays out of their way. To reduce the risk of your device falling victim to the unused fitness gadget drawer in your home, they need to be small!
That’s why we wanted to make sure that we only included the smaller designs out there on the market. There were a few different shapes that these products come in, and many boils down to a matter of personal preference.
The smallest option that we found came from a brand called Sportline. This design is small enough that you have the option to lace it into your sneakers without feeling weighed down. We loved this design because it is something that you won’t need to put on every day. As soon as you put on your shoes to leave the house, your step counter is tracking your steps.
However, some users do not like the smaller options because they are a lot easier to lose. While most devices aren’t incredibly expensive, it still stings to go to check how many steps you have earned only to find your device is gone! That’s why we wanted to include a few larger options as well.
One of the most important things that we considered when selecting a large design is how thick it was. Thinner options are often a lot easier to hang off of your sweatshirt or loop on your belt loop without getting in the way. The lighter a design is, the more prone you will be to wear it each and every day.
To get a detailed picture of your level of movement in your daily life, a step counter is something you need to wear each and every day- not just the days that you work out!
There are some brands that everyone knows, and other brands that fly under the radar.
Fitbit, for instance, is a brand that everyone is familiar with. They are considered one of the founders of wearable fitness tech, and their line has grown in leaps and bounds over the years. When you buy a Fitbit product, you know you are buying something from an established brand.
Omron is another brand that has been around for quite some time. They were founded in the early 1930s, and make quality home health electronics that you may already have in your medicine cabinet. We love Omron because the put a lot of research into their health products so you know you are getting something that is of the best quality.
However, there are some other brands that made our list that doesn’t carry the same recognizable weight as Fitbit of Omron. Brands such as OZO Fitness and U-Trak fall under the radar, but they are still worth checking out!
Whenever we come across a product that specializes in just one product and doesn’t have a brand name, we do a little bit of digging. To ensure that each and every product comes from a trusted company, we make sure to do our research in many of the lesser-known brands.
OZO Fitness, for example, is a very small company that focuses primarily on fitness trackers and step counters. Their line of products are accessible and reliable, and they pride themselves on their superb customer service. If you ever run into a problem with one of their products, the easy to access customer service will help you resolve your issue.
Everyone wants their wearable tech to look good!
The style of each and every step counter that we considered was an important factor! We loved brands that offered users just a little bit something extra to make it look good so it is something that you are excited to wear!
Many brands out there offer quite a few different styles of cases. One style isn’t necessarily better than the next. It mainly boils down to a matter of personal preference, and how you intend on wearing your pedometer.
If you want something that you can slip into your pocket, the long and slender rectangular models are your best option. Users love this design because it is generally lightweight, and fits inside of your pocket without feeling bulky.
If you like the idea of wearing a design on your clothing such as a sweatshirt zipper or even the laces of your sneakers, the smaller and rounded options will be a better fit for your needs. Many of these smaller rounded options have a loop at the top that allows you to affix it to your clothing. Plus, many of them even come with a lanyard to wear it around your neck.
Many of the designs we found do not come in a lot of color options, however. If the color is something that is super important to you, we suggest checking out some of the options from Fitbit. Fitbit is a brand that often has a long line of devices that come in a lot of fun color options to match your personal style.
Ease of Use
No one likes tech that is difficult to set up.
Ideally, we want to live in a world where we use products that are ready to go right out of the box. With complicated devices, the set up can be a real nightmare- especially when it comes to BlueTooth! That’s why we wanted to select devices that were as easy to use as possible
There were a few things that we took into consideration when selecting the perfect step counter to make our list. While additional features and communication with smartphones can be wonderful, faulty pairing or a set up that isn’t clear can make the product ineffective. That’s why we were drawn to devices that worked independently from your smartphone.
If you simply want to track your steps, all you need is a screen that is easy to read, and internal tech that is effective. Additional features such as paired Bluetooth may be good for some, but not all. Many of the simple devices that we selected for our list simply require you to turn it on, and start walking!
Plus, it is important to note that not everyone has an up-to-date smartphone that pairs with all devices. No one wants to be a slave to their phones and devices, so independent step counters is a real benefit for those that want to free themselves from their devices!
Independent step counters also make them a perfect give for the young or old friends and family that want to keep tabs on their health. If you want to buy a gift for your grandmother that still uses a landline as her primary source of communication, a simple battery-powered pedometer is a great option!
However, we didn’t omit designs that are meant to be paired with your smartphone. The FitBit Zip sends information straight to your phone and only requires that you link it to your phone with a BlueTooth connection. What we loved most about the Fitbit Zip is that if you don’t want to go through the hassle of pairing it, it works just fine on its own!
Expert Interviews & Opinions
Step counters aren’t some new trend hitting the scene- they have actually been around for hundreds of years. In fact, Leonardo DiVinci is credited with inventing the first step counter almost 500 years ago!
If you found that your daily steps are far under 10,000, don’t worry! Many suggest that when working up to your target of 10,000 steps, it’s better to start small. Make small goals of adding 500-1000 additional steps per week until you hit your mark.
Racking up steps when you work at a desk all day is tough. Simple changes like parking at the end of the parking lot, taking the stairs, or walking to the coffee shop are great ways to squeeze in a few more steps into your busy day.
Other Factors to Consider
A step counter is a very simple tool to help you gauge how active you are throughout the day. Even if you think that you move around enough throughout the course of your day, you may be surprised! If you work at a desk and you only workout for 30 minutes in the evening on the treadmill at the gym, you may find your movement lacking.
Many current smartphones have a step counter built into the system, but these designs are notoriously faulty. Plus, there are times throughout the day where you actually don’t have your phone on you, or it is stuffed into your bag or tote.
Current desgins on the market use special technology that is designed to accurately measure each and every step that you take so that you have a clear picture of your movement for the day. We love them because they are generally affordable, and small enough that you may even forget that you are wearing them!
Frequently Asked Questions
q: Why do I need to wear one?
So, you think you are getting enough steps throughout your day? Even if you workout at the gym after work, you may find that your daily steps are far under what would be considered active. To graduate out of the sedentary category, you need to walk at least 10,000 steps per day.
Even if you run at the park for 3 miles at the end of the day, that only equates to about 6,000-7,000 steps. Many users found that wearing a step counter actually makes them walk more than if they weren’t wearing one.
Simple things like parking at the end of the parking lot or taking the stairs rather than the elevator make a big difference. When you have a daily goal that you need to achieve and you have a device that lets to know your progress, you are more inclined to stay active.
Even if you think you are active, we suggest giving one of these products a try for a week. You may be surprised at how 10,000 steps actually feel!
q: How accurate are they?
Modern step counters are incredibly accurate at gauging how many steps you get in throughout the day. Older models work by using a hammer and a circuit board on the inside of the device. Every time you move, the hammer makes contact with the board and calculates a step.
Newer models ditch the hammer and opt for a Tri-Axis vibration method instead. Instead of identifying movement (which doesn’t always equate to steps taken), it detects vibrations that are a side effect of walking or movement.
This means that modern devices can not only detect steps, but they can distinguish between walking and running as well.
q: How often will I need to replace the battery on my device?
The answer to the question depends upon the style that you selected. Brands such as Fitbit often need a lot more power to operate and use a rechargeable battery. They can run continuously for about 5-7 days before they need to be placed on their respective USB charging cable. Some users prefer rechargeable batteries because they will never need to replace the battery.
Other brands opt for the standard lithium battery that will need to be replaced. While it may seem like a bother to select a design that needs the battery to be replaced, there is an upside to this model.
For many, these batteries run continuously for months (and sometimes years) before you ever need to replace the battery. This means that you won’t have to bother charging your device every week!
q: Can they detect my heart rate?
No, most standard designs are not able to detect your heart rate. If you want to detect your heart rate, a device needs to have a light indicator that is placed by your heart or a vein. Due to the fact that these products slip into your pocket or on your clothing, heartrate detection just isn’t possible.
Many fitness trackers from brands such as Fitbit out there on the market offer excellent heart rate monitoring, which may be a better option for your needs over a standard step counter. Just keep in mind that wrist-bound fitness trackers will cost you quite a bit more money, and are a little bit more difficult to use.
q: Do I need a smartphone to use my device?
Absolutely not! The great thing about your standard designs is that they are ready to go right out of the box. This makes them the perfect gift for those people in your life that fumble with modern tech, but still want something to help keep tabs on their health and fitness.
However, some of the higher-end options from Fitbit have the capability to pair with your phone. This feature allows you to store months of progress and even set goals for yourself via the app. The good news, however, is that this is just a feature. If you wish to your step counter without pairing it to your phone, you have the freedom to do so!
q: Where should I wear my step counter?
The great thing about these devices is that you can wear them wherever you want! With devices such as fitness trackers, you can only wear them on your wrist. These pedometers can be placed anywhere on your body, and accurately detect your movement!
Many users simply opt to tuck their step counters into the pocket of their running pants or sweatshirt to gain quick and easy access while staying out of sight. Other prefer to wear their around their neck so they can always see their progress throughout the course of the day.
Smaller models like the design from Sportline allows you to even affix your device to the laces of your sneakers! This is a great option because as long as you are wearing shoes, you will always have access to how many steps you have walked (and you won’t accidentally forget it at home!).