Record every step with one of the best pedometers – plus what to look for when buying one
Walking 10,000 steps a day can have a big positive impact on your overall health and fitness, but trying to keep count in your head isn’t practical. The answer, of course, is a pedometer.
But which should you choose? Pedometers come in all shapes and sizes, and modern designs offer all manner of clever features in addition to basic step-tracking. Here’s our pick of the best pedometers and fitness trackers to suit every budget and lifestyle – but first, let’s dive into the key questions you need to ask when you’re looking to buy a pedometer.
How to choose the best pedometer for you
First, ask yourself whether a basic step counter is right for you or whether you want a more feature-packed fitness tracker. These devices typically include capabilities such as sports and sleep tracking, along with heart-rate monitoring. They can also upload the data they record to apps and websites so you can monitor your progress over time. But if you just want to keep track of your walking habits, a simple pedometer is your ideal companion.
What key features should I look out for?
One important thing to check is the battery life and what kind of battery it uses. Almost all basic pedometers will have a replaceable battery that lasts for several months; fitness trackers tend to have a rechargeable battery that usually only lasts a week at the most before needing a top-up.
What types of pedometer are there?
Fitness trackers tend to be worn on the wrist, and there are plenty of pedometers that use a similar design – but if you want to save that space for something more stylish, you can also find pedometers that can be clipped onto your belt, put in a pocket or even kept in your bag. Just make sure you always have it with you or you’ll miss out on steps.
How much do I need to spend?
The simplest devices that simply count your steps can be bought for around £11 and even the best basic pedometers won’t cost more than £20. Once you go above that, you’re into the realm of fitness trackers.
There are some quite capable budget trackers available for under £30, and around £50 you’ll start to find sophisticated devices that track sports automatically and, importantly, look good.
Push the budget a little higher and you’ll find smart devices that can automatically adjust your step goal to take account of your sporting activity. Brands such as Fitbit also offer step-based challenges via a partner app. For example, your daily steps can count towards completing a virtual trek around Yosemite National Park, and you can compete with friends to see who can log the highest step count.
READ NEXT: Best fitness trackers
The best pedometers you can buy in 2024
1. Pingko Walking Pedometer: Best value pedometer
Price when reviewed: £11 | Check price at Amazon
As simple as it gets, this pedometer can be clipped wherever it feels comfortable for you, or tucked inside a pocket or a bag. Your step count is displayed on the large, clear screen, and you also get an estimate of how many calories you’ve burned and the distance you’ve covered in miles or kilometres. The replaceable AG13 battery (included) should last you several months, as the Pingko pedometer automatically powers itself down if you don’t move for a minute. Just be aware that the Pingko doesn’t link to an app, so if you want to track your step count over time you’ll need to write all the figures down manually.
2. Omron Walking Style IV Step Counter: Best pedometer under £40
Price when reviewed: £35 | Check price at Argos
This basic-looking pedometer has one very clever feature: it can differentiate between regular steps and aerobic walking, where you set a brisker pace and reap greater benefits to your cardiovascular fitness. It also tracks your distance covered and calories burned, and stores the results for seven days – though there’s no facility for uploading this data to an app.
The pedometer also features an action mode, which allows you to record specific walking or running sessions. Start it up and it will keep track of the steps taken, calories burned and distance travelled during the workout. The Omron can be slipped in a pocket or bag and has a clip to attach it to a belt, with a replaceable CR2032 battery that will last several months.
3. Honor Band 7: Best pedometer for fitness fans
Price when reviewed: £50 | Check price at Amazon
The fact that a fitness tracker of this quality is available for £50 just shows how far wearables have come in the past 10 years. The slim and stylish Honor Band 7 has a bright 1.47in AMOLED touchscreen and offers an array of features that wouldn’t look out of place on trackers costing twice as much. It’s the same display as the Honor Band 6 that came before it.
Those features include no less than 96 fitness modes, 24/7 heart rate and stress monitoring, sleep tracking and an SpO2 sensor to measure your blood oxygen saturation. Despite all of these features and its big screen, the Band 7 lasts up to 14 days on a single charge. There’s even a rapid power feature to free you from the shackles of lengthy charge times.
4. Fitbit Inspire 3: Best Fitbit pedometer
Price when reviewed: £85 | Check price at Argos
Fitbit’s devices have always had step tracking at the heart of their being, and that remains the case here, but to call the Inspire 3 a mere pedometer would be doing it a disservice. Every step goes towards your daily target, which can be adjusted to suit your activity level and, once you hit your goal, a celebration will play on screen.
Perhaps the best part about having a Fitbit pedometer, however, is the competitions you can have with friends and family, because it’s almost certain you’ll know at least one other person who owns one. You can compete with them over who can log the most steps each week, which is the perfect motivation for the more competitively inclined to get moving.
While there are more advanced devices in Fitbit’s range, and some might prefer the more stylish design of the Fitbit Luxe, the Inspire 3 is the best entry-level tracker. It tracks your heart 24/7, has a 10-day battery life, SpO2 tracking and it offers Fitbit’s Active Zone Minutes, which is another great activity to focus on each week alongside your steps.
The Inspire 3 also comes with six months’ free access to Fitbit Premium, which unlocks more detail on things like your sleep tracking and includes a whole load of fitness and nutrition content to help you live more healthily.
Read our full Fitbit Inspire 3 review
5. Fitbit Ace 3: Best pedometer for kids
Price when reviewed: £49 | Check price at John Lewis
Fitbit’s children’s fitness tracker is aimed at kids over six, logging their steps and active minutes to help them get into the habit of regular exercise. The robust, waterproof Ace 3 can withstand pretty much anything your kid might throw at it, and you can swap out the bands for a variety of colourful options.
When your little one hits their daily target, they’re rewarded with an onscreen animation to celebrate the achievement. These feature things such as rockets and plants and are, frankly, far more exciting than the celebrations on adult Fitbits. You can also link the Ace 3 with your own Fitbit and compete with your offspring over who can log the most steps.
The Ace 3 also tracks sleep and has an eight-day battery life. It doesn’t log some stats common to standard Fitbits like active calories, which aren’t the kind of thing a child should be worrying about, but you can monitor your kid’s stats in a special section of your Fitbit app. If they have their own smartphone, they also get a limited view of the app.
Read our full Fitbit Ace 3 review
6. Garmin Vivofit 4: Best pedometer for battery life
Price when reviewed: £70 | Check price at Amazon
This excellent fitness tracker has a small, but clear, screen and a mammoth one-year battery life (after which you simply need to pop in a fresh battery). It tracks your steps and marks you hitting your daily target with a mini onscreen celebration. It can also automatically adjust your step target over time, so if you’re cruising to 10,000 steps each day the challenge will be increased, and if you’re struggling to reach your goal it will be reduced a little to help you stay motivated and provide an attainable goal.
The Vivofit 4 also tracks sports such as running automatically and will highlight long walks as a distinct activity in the excellent partner app, Garmin Connect. It’s also waterproof so you can wear it while showering and swimming for the entire year its battery lasts. The only thing the Vivofit 4 lacks is a built-in heart-rate monitor.
7. Fitbit Charge 5: Best pedometer with GPS
Price when reviewed: £129 | Check price at Currys
The Fitbit Charge 5 is the most advanced fitness band the company has made to date, and key to that is the built-in GPS, which allows for basic navigation and accurate distance tracking when undertaking outdoors activities like running, cycling and hiking.
Past Fitbit Charge bands would need to link to your phone to use its GPS on these activities, but with the Charge 5 you can leave it at home when you head out to exercise.
Of course, that’s just one of the many features. The Charge 5 also comes with accurate step and sleep tracking, 24/7 heart rate monitoring, and Fitbit’s new Active Zone Minutes feature. This uses your heart rate to track your progress towards the 150 minutes of activity that the NHS recommends adults should shoot for each week.
If you want an extra goal to target alongside your daily step count, Active Zone Minutes is perfect. As if all of that wasn’t enough, it will run for up to seven whole days on a single charge.
Read our full Fitbit Charge 5 review