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Best Medical Alert Necklaces

Medical alert necklaces can be more stylish than you’d think. We found fashionable and functional necklaces you can use to call for help.
Written by | Updated July 27, 2020
Best overall
Lively Mobile MonitorLively Mobile Plus
  • Low monthly costs
  • Two-way communication
  • Waterproof
  • Low monthly costs
  • Two-way communication
  • Waterproof
Best GPS necklace
mobilehelp solo medical alert equipmentMobileHelp Solo
  • No equipment fee
  • Compact alert button
  • GPS tracking
  • No equipment fee
  • Compact alert button
  • GPS tracking
Best in-home pick
Bay Alarm Medical charmsBay Alarm Medical
  • Four clip-on charms
  • Waterproof jewelry
  • Optional fall detection
  • Four clip-on charms
  • Waterproof jewelry
  • Optional fall detection

Lively Mobile Plus: the practical pick for a medical alert necklace 

The Lively Mobile Plus isn’t your everyday necklace. This medical alert necklace comes with an emergency button to call for help and a built-in two-way speaker to talk to the emergency operator on the other side. 

When you press the button, a trained GreatCall professional can help you out and call emergency responders or your emergency contacts. It also offers optional automatic fall detection, a feature that can sense when you’ve fallen and can’t call for help. 

So while you won’t see the Lively Mobile Plus on the runway anytime soon, it’s the most affordable and practical medical alert necklace we came across. This device comes with a lanyard or belt clip for easy wearing at home, out on the town, in the garden, or on the golf course.

Best medical alert necklaces

Monthly price
Emergency button
GPS location
Two-way communication
Waterproof
Disguised as jewerly
Best overall
Best GPS necklace
Best in-home pick
Best fall detection
Style pick
Lively Mobile Plus MobileHelp Solo Bay Alarm Medical Philips GoSafe 2 Medical Guardian Icons Collection
Lively Mobile Monitor mobilehelp solo medical alert equipment Bay Alarm Medical charms Phillips Lideline GoSafe 2 Medical Guardian Icons necklace
$24.99 $37.95 $24.95 $49.95 $37.94 or $52.94*
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
No
X
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
No
X
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
No
X
No
X
No
X
Yes
No
X
Yes
Visit GreatCall Visit MobileHelp Visit Bay Alarm Medical Visit Philips Lifeline Visit Medical Guardian

Info current as of 07/24/2020. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.
*The Icons Collections necklace is a $2.99 add-on feature. These prices represent the monthly costs for the Home Guardian and Mobile Guardian systems per month with this add-on fee applied.

Our approach 

All of the best medical alert systems have a lanyard or necklace option of some kind. We wanted to find the perfect combination of style, functionality, and comfort. We put practical features first, so devices with features like two-way talk and fall detection landed on top. 

Showers and bathtubs can be a dangerous place for older adults due to slippery surfaces. That’s why we added waterproofing to our list of considerations. It’s important to have a medical alert necklace that can go with you everywhere (we’re talking about the greatest bath accessory since the rubber ducky). 

And of course, we considered style. A medical alert necklace isn’t much use if you don’t want to wear it every day. We found a couple options that were more fashion forward choices disguised as everyday jewelry. 

Learn more about how we approach reviews like this one from our methodology page.

What is Medical ID jewelry?

Medical alert necklaces are often confused with medical ID jewelry. Medical ID jewelry is more like traditional jewelry or dog tags. They can be as fashionable or practical as you want and are usually engraved with personal information.
If you have an emergency, these pieces will make it easier for first responders to start treatment. Emergency contact info, allergies, medications, and other data are common on medical ID necklaces and bracelets. People with diabetes or other conditions often wear medical ID jewelry, but we’ve also seen medical ID necklaces for kids and adults.
While these necklaces are different from the medical alert devices on our list, we do have medical ID bracelet recommendations, most of which have options for medical ID necklaces as well.

Medical alert necklace reviews 

1. GreatCall Lively Mobile Plus: Best Overall

Best overall
Lively Mobile Monitor

Lively Mobile Plus

The GreatCall Lively Mobile Plus medical alert necklace can call for help anywhere it has a cellular signal. One standout feature is its GPS location, which helps emergency responders or your emergency contacts to find you when you call for help. It also has a built-in two way speaker so that you can talk to the emergency operator directly through the device. 

If you’re looking for a medical alert necklace for a loved one, GreatCall has a companion app that lets you keep an eye on them directly through your phone. 

Like most medical alert devices, you can get fall detection built into Lively Mobile Plus. But you’ll need to pay a little extra per month for this feature. If you’ve been injured from a fall before, it’s worth the money.

The starting price for the Lively Mobile Plus is $49.99 for the device and $24.95 for the Basic monthly subscription. But the Basic plan provides only emergency calling services. You’ll have to pay $29.95 per month or more if you want features like the mobile app or fall detection. Read our full review of GreatCall to learn more about this device.

Pros

  • Two-way communication
  • Automatic fall detection
  • Caregiver app

Cons

  • Best features cost more
  • Larger than most necklaces

2. MobileHelp Solo: Best GPS

Best GPS necklace
mobilehelp solo medical alert equipment

MobileHelp Solo

The MobileHelp Solo is a two-piece medical alert device made of a mobile GPS unit and a simple one-button emergency necklace. The GPS unit is small enough to fit comfortably in pockets, purses, and bags. The necklace is compact and comfortable to wear. Having two pieces to carry with you at all times may take getting used to, but neither device is large enough to get in your way.

GPS medical alerts like the MobileHelp Solo replace an at-home base station with a small GPS device (about the size of a pager). When you’re in trouble, press the button on the necklace or GPS unit to call for help. You’ll speak to a MobileHelp monitoring professional through the portable GPS unit. 

One of our favorite parts about MobileHelp as a medical alert company is the option for flexible payments. You can pay yearly or break up your payments into small monthly chunks—whatever works best for you. Usually, the larger the payment, the bigger the discount, but it’s nice to have options

Both units are waterproof, so you can wear the necklace while in the shower with the GPS nearby. Fall detection is available through MobileHelp for $10 extra per month. 

As for looks, it’s not exactly a head-turning accessory, but it could save your life when you need it. Learn more about MobileHelp Solo and MobileHelp’s other medical alert devices from our full review

Pros

  • Portable device
  • Flexible payments
  • Waterproof build

Cons

  • Not aesthetically pleasing
  • Must stay in range of GPS device

3. Bay Alarm Medical: Best in-home pick

Best in-home pick
Bay Alarm Medical charms

Bay Alarm Medical

Bay Alarm Medical is one of our favorite medical alert systems. It offers affordable monitoring with plenty of options for in-home, GPS, and even auto medical alert devices. 

If you’re looking for an in-home system that will compliment your style, you can customize the med alert necklace with one of four “Bella Charm” clip-on pendants to go over your lanyard button. 

They cost just under $28 and make your med alert look like a piece of wearable art. These clips are waterproof, so you can wear them in the shower and bath like a standard medical alert necklace.

Unfortunately, this charm clip add-on is available only for in-home systems through Bay Alarm Medical. These systems come with a landline or cellular option. And you can opt for additional buttons to place throughout your house. 

Like many in-home medical alert systems, you’ll need to stay within range of the base station, but you get 1,000 feet of roaming space, which is plenty of room to move around your house and still call for help when you need it. Read our full review of Bay Alarm Medical to learn more about this medical alert system.

Pros

  • Waterproof build
  • Easy installation
  • Stylish design

Cons

  • Available for in-home systems only
  • Must stay in range of base station

4. Philips GoSafe 2: Best fall detection

Best fall detection
Phillips Lideline GoSafe 2

Philips GoSafe 2

Like our top pick, the Philips GoSafe 2 is another all-in-one medical alert necklace. It has automatic fall detection already built in, GPS tracking, an emergency button, and two-way communication. 

Unlike other picks of ours, fall detection comes included in the monthly bill. It’s nice not to debate adding that extra $10 per month, but the bill already sits at a steep $49.99 per month. 

It’s not what we’d call fashionable, but it’s small enough to wear comfortably wherever you go. The device itself is only a couple inches long, so you can slip it under your shirt or jacket and keep it out of the way until you need it.

It uses five GPS locating technologies too, so EMTs and your emergency contacts will get an accurate location when you call for help. If you’ve ever fallen for nonsense directions from your vehicle GPS system, you’ll understand how helpful this increased accuracy is. 

Our biggest complaint about the Philips Go Safe 2 is the pricing and fees. For this Philips device and all the ones we’ve come across, you have to pay an installation fee, even if you install the device yourself. And for just under $50 per month, you may need to make room in your budget to accommodate it. Read our review of Philips Lifeline medical alert systems to see more products like this.

Pros

  • Fall detection included
  • Five types of GPS technology
  • Small and comfortable to wear

Cons

  • Expensive monthly fee
  • Self-installation fee

5. Medical Guardian Icons Collection: Style pick

Style pick
Medical Guardian Icons necklace

Medical Guardian Icons Collection

The Medical Guardian Icons Collection has four gorgeous medical alert pendants styled after Audrey Hepburn, Dolly Parton, Tippi Hedron, and Farrah Fawcett. These devices are genuinely pretty pieces of jewelry, but they aren’t as practical as our other picks on this list. 

The Icons Collection pendants are available only with the Home Guardian and Mobile Guardian kits. They cost an extra $2.99 per month. They work as a simple alert button but lack two-way communication and fall detection. They aren’t waterproof either, so you won’t be able to wear one in the shower.  

Luckily, the Icons pendants come paired with other devices. The Home Guardian home unit is made of a simple base station and a wearable (your Icons Collection necklace). At 600 feet, its range is significantly shorter than other in-home units. But it has a loud two-way speaker, power outage protection, and strong cellular signal to stay connected with the monitoring center. 

The Mobile Guardian kit is the other compatible system for the Icons Collection. Like the MobileHelp Solo, the Mobile Guardian is a two-piece GPS system with a GPS unit and the necklace wearable. You’ll need to stay within 350 feet of the GPS unit, but you can call for help using the Icons necklace anywhere your GPS device is. So you can go to lunch with friends, go to your grandkids’ recital, and take a walk in style (and safety). 

We love the way the Icons Collections medical alert jewelry looks, especially if you don’t want a clunky medical alert necklace. But you’ll have to sacrifice a few features in the name of fashion. 

Learn more about Medical Guardian from our full review.

Pros

  • Looks like real jewelry
  • Built-in help button
  • Works with Home Guardian and Mobile Guardian systems

Cons

  • No two-way communication
  • Not waterproof
  • No automatic fall detection

Final word

Medical alert devices don’t have to be clunky and unfashionable. But when you have to call for help in an emergency, practical features win over style. Take the Lively Mobile Plus, for example, which lacks in looks but wins overall for core features. In contrast, the Medical Guardian Icons Collection looks more like jewelry but is limited in function. 

Look for a medical alert necklace that connects to a monitoring center quickly, whether you’re home or on the go. Automatic fall detection, waterproofing, and two-way communication should be features you look for in any medical alert system.    

Medical alert necklace FAQ 

What’s the difference between a medical ID necklace and a medical alert necklace?

Medical ID jewelry like bracelets and necklaces are usually standard gold or silver pieces with emergency information like allergies, contacts, and medications engraved. 

Medical alert necklaces come equipped with a call button that contacts an emergency operator who will send help to your location when you need it. 

Should I get a medical alert necklace or bracelet?

Both necklaces (or lanyards for some devices) and bracelets have a one-touch call button to contact help when you need it. 

The choice boils down to personal preference and comfort. You’ll need to wear your device at all times, so choose one that won’t get in the way of your daily activities. Most medical alert systems give you a choice between the two. 

What is automatic fall detection?

Automatic fall detection is a feature built into medical alert devices that detects a change in altitude and speed. If you fall down, trip, or slip, the device will automatically call the monitoring center in case you need assistance. 

Can I find a medical alert necklace in stores?

Most medical alert systems require you to order online or call in to have one shipped to your home. The only device we found available in stores is the Lively Mobile Plus by GreatCall which you can find at local Walgreens or Rite Aid stores. GreatCall has a store locator on its website if you want to find one near you.

Written by Katie McEntire

Katie McEntire has tested home security systems in her own apartment, installed GPS trackers in her own car, and watched her cat, Toki, nap all day through a live nanny cam feed. As an expert reviewer, she believes that firsthand experience is the best way to learn about new products (even if it requires being the guinea pig). She specializes in pet safety and DIY security and has contributed to publications like DigitalCare.org and TechGuySmartBuy. Learn more

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