LifeFone Medical Alert System Review

LifeFone offers some of the best prices and caregiver services we’ve seen from a medical alert system.
Best in-home medical alert
4 out of 5 stars
  • Pros
    Lifetime warranty
  • Pros
    Free spouse coverage
  • Pros
    Landline and cellular options
  • Pros
    Starts at $24.95/mo.
Kasey Tross
Researcher & Writer
Read More
Published on November 30, 2021

If you’re trying to choose a medical alert system, LifeFone is a great starting point. It’s among the most affordable medical alert systems we’ve found and has one of the best GPS units in the industry.

We like that LifeFone offers support for older adults and their caregivers with an array of medical alert systems, emergency response devices, and extra care services.

From at-home systems to a full kit for smoke, fire, and carbon monoxide detection, you can expect competitive pricing, friendly customer service, and a whole buffet of product options from LifeFone.

Pro Heading
Pro Bullet No contracts
Pro Bullet Quick medical response
Pro Bullet Excellent signal range
Pro Bullet Caregiver resources
Con Heading
Con Bullet Pricey add-ons
Con Bullet English-only services

Compare LifeFone packages

Monthly fee
Base equipment
Maximum range
Optional fall detection
Learn more
At-Home Landline
Base unit,
Waterproof pendant or wristband
1,300 ft.+$5.00/mo.
At-Home Cellular
Base unit,
Waterproof pendant or wristband
1,300 ft.+$5.00/mo.
lifefone at home and on the go medical alert equipmentAt-Home and On-the-Go
Base unit,
Waterproof pendant or wristband,
Mobile unit with charger
At home:
600 ft.

lifefone voice in pendantVIP (Voice in Pendant)
Water-resistant mobile help button with speaker and charger Unlimited +$5.00/mo.
Water-resistant mobile help button with speaker and charger Unlimited +$5.00/mo.
lifefone completeComplete Home Package
At-home medical alert system,
wall button,
smoke detector,
CO detector
1,300 ft. Not specified

Info current as of post date. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

LifeFone pricing and plans

LifeFone provides the option for flexible payments. You can choose to pay monthly, quarterly, or annually. And while monthly fees are divided out into smaller chunks, you’ll pay less total when you choose the annual option.

In our book, it’s one of the most affordable medical alert systems out there since there's no up-front equipment cost. But LifeFone offers extra services that can quickly add up, such as medication reminders, daily check-ins, and activity assurance.

Free spouse coverage

On the plus side, LifeFone will provide an additional pendant and monitoring service for your spouse for no additional charge. Automatic fall detection for spouses is an additional $5 a month, one of the many reasons it earned a top spot for medical alerts with the best automatic fall detection.

No activation fee 

Our favorite things about LifeFone’s pricing are no installation fees, no activation fees, no contracts, and no complicated cancellation policies.

Pricing is listed right on the website (which means no pesky sales calls). And if you decide you don’t want the system anymore, you can cancel anytime by mail, email, or phone. 

Prorated refunds

If you’ve already paid for a year up front and you cancel halfway through, all you have to do is return the equipment, and LifeFone will refund the money for the unused months.

If you do become a long-time customer, though, you can rest assured that LifeFone’s price-lock guarantee will keep your monthly fees the same from year to year, unless you choose to upgrade your system.

Just be careful not to lose or break the system. You'll have to pay for it, which could cost several hundred dollars.

LifeFone vs. other medical alert systems

Fall detection
In-home range
Landline system
GPS pendant
Learn more
1,300 ft.
Icon Yes  LightYes
Icon Yes  LightYes
Bay AlarmBay Alarm Medical
1,000 ft.
Icon Yes  LightYes
Icon Yes  LightYes
Get SafeGetSafe
1,300 ft.
Icon No  LightNo
Icon Yes  LightYes
Medical GuardianMedical Guardian
1,300 ft.
Icon Yes  LightYes
Icon Yes  LightYes
Philips LifelinePhilips Lifeline
400 ft.
Icon Yes  LightYes
Icon Yes  LightYes

Info current as of post date. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

How LifeFone stacks up

LifeFone blends in when it comes to starting prices, but its price range is much tighter than the others. Companies like Bay Alarm Medical and Philips Lifeline start just under $30 but can cost up to $50 to $60 per month with higher-tiered packages.

Once you zoom out on LifeFone, its 1,300-foot base station range is a little less impressive. This is about standard for other at-home systems in the industry, but this isn’t a bad thing. If your loved one prefers to stay cozy at home, they have plenty of options.

Where LifeFone really comes on top is with add-on features and fair prices. It charges half the price for fall detection per month, offers caregiver services and emergency packages the others don’t.

LifeFone tech and equipment

In-home base station

The LifeFone’s at-home Medical Alert systems use a base station that plugs into the wall. 

Once installed and ready to go, the base station provides a direct line to the monitoring center. When you press the emergency button on your pendant, wristband, or the base station itself, you’ll get a helpful monitoring pro to assist you with your emergency.

You can choose a cellular connection or one through your home’s landline. Either way, the system has a 32-hour backup battery to get you through power outages or electrical problems

Medical alert pendant or watch

All systems also come with your choice of a waterproof emergency button pendant or watch that you can use up to 1,300 feet away from the base unit. If you choose a fall detection pendant, you’ll have a range of only up to 600 feet. When you press the help button on the medical alert device, it sends a signal to the base unit, and the base unit will call the LifeFone monitoring center for you. 

Thumbs Up
Button batteries replaced for free

LifeFone's medical alert pendant and watch help buttons have batteries designed to last two to five years, and LifeFone monitors their battery life for you.

When LifeFone agents detect that the battery life has dropped below 20%, they will send you a fully charged replacement device at no cost, so you never have to worry about changing batteries.

At-home and on-the-go devices: VIP and VIPx

The VIP and VIPx units from LifeFone give you the freedom to leave the house, city, and state without being far away from help. They're like a tiny wearable base station you can tuck under your shirt or into your pocket.

Just like the LifeFone base station, you can call for help directly from these devices using two-way talk. They also have vibration feedback for those with hearing or vision impairments.

Difference between LifeFone VIP and VIPx

The LifeFone VIPx can be paired with a couple of extra features that aren't available with the VIP medical alert device:

  • Optional fall detection ($5 per month)
  • A caregiver app ($8 per month)
  • Two extra colors (white and bronze)

The VIP device has a longer battery life, lasting up to 30 days versus the VIPx's limit of 16 days. The fall detection system and caregiver tool place extra strain on the VIPx, so its functional battery life is around just five days with these features.

Add-on devices

Add-on devices include fall detection, a vanity pendant, lock boxes, a wall-mounted help button. Add-on services include caregiver tools like check-in calls by LifeFone agents or medication reminders.

Compare LifeFone's mobile apps

Equipment requirements
OS requirements
Intended for
Learn more
Mobile AlertNoneiOS 11.4+
Android 4.4+
Family GuardNoneiOS 11.4+
Android 4.4+
Individuals and families
VIPx Caregiver VIPxiOS 11.4+
Android 4.4+

Info current as of post date. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

LifeFone Mobile Alert app for individuals

LifeFone’s Mobile Alert app turns your mobile device into a medical alert system with a simple download and a monthly subscription.

This add-on feature is available for LifeFone users or caregivers. It includes three buttons so you can get specific help:

  • Panic mode connects you with a call center operator. They'll dispatch emergency responders to your location even if you can't speak.
  • Concern mode keeps a LifeFone agent on the line with you until you feel safe. 
  • Medical mode summons EMTs to your location.

The Mobile Alert app costs $8.95 for new LifeFone customers and $5.95 for current customers. 

LifeFone Family Guard app

LifeFone's Family Guard app is the same as the Mobile Alert app but includes GPS tracking for up to three family members. You can also do the following:

  • Set up geofencing alerts to know when a family member has arrived at their destination.
  • Get "lead foot" alerts to know if teen drivers are going too fast. 
  • Choose whether you want to receive alerts through email or text (or both). 

The Family Guard app starts at $9.95 per month for individuals. Each additional user increases the price by approximately $5.95 per month. Call LifeFone for a custom quote if you want to add more than three people to your account.

LifeFone VIPx caregiver app

The VIPx Caregiver Mobile App pairs with the VIPx device to keep caregivers in the loop. 

Here's what caregivers can see on the VIPx app:

  • Device location
  • Device battery level
  • Button press history
  • Step goals and step history
  • First motion of the day

There's also a "find my device" feature that prompts the VIPx to ring until located.

The LifeFone VIPx caregiver app costs $8 per month.

LifeFone installation and setup

Setting up your LifeFone is as simple as plugging it into a wall outlet. All units come preprogrammed and ready to go.

Once you have your unit plugged in, you press the help button and an agent will walk you through the rest of the setup and testing process. Agents will make sure your medical alert button pendant or watch works in all areas of your home.

LifeFone customer service

When we started researching other LifeFone reviews, we kept expecting to dig up some dirt, but LifeFone came up surprisingly clean.

It gets rave reviews from the majority of users, and the few who give it lower reviews are usually still pretty satisfied, with no major problems.

Like any product, there are a handful of decidedly unsatisfied customers, but we didn't notice any recurring trends or major red flags with this medical alert company.1 It gets an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau.

LifeFone's customer service is 24/7, and we like that you can pay your bills and update your customer care profile online or by snail mail.

Emergency Care Plan

Another LifeFone feature we like is the Emergency Care Plan.

Rather than an automatic call to emergency services, or a standard list of people to call in an emergency, you can create your own customized plans of action for various potential emergency situations.

For example, if you've just gotten into a tricky spot and need a hand getting up, LifeFone can call a neighbor or nearby family member to come assist you rather than calling emergency responders.

You can make changes to your Emergency Care Plan by phone, email, web portal, or through the mail. LifeFone never charges for false alarms.

Final word

If we were to create our own medical alert system, LifeFone would be it. It's simple to install, it has quick response times, and it's easy to cancel at any time. We like the straightforward pricing and wide variety of add-on options and devices for helping seniors and their families have more peace of mind, like fall detection, smoke detection, and the mobile app.

Like any consumer, we always love a better deal, so we wouldn't mind an even lower monthly price. Still, as it is you get a lot for your money, and LifeFone outperforms competitors on enough fronts to make the moderately higher fees worth it.

LifeFone FAQ

Yes. The LifeFone base station can use any landline connection. Just call LifeFone when you're ready to move (or even just go on vacation), and agents will update the address on your account to ensure that emergency services can find you if you call for help.

It depends. If you're still independent and like to go out on your own, but you worry about the risk of medical emergencies, an on-the-go plan with GPS is a good option.

If you're more of a homebody, or if you usually have a companion with you when you leave the house, then an at-home plan will be sufficient and cost less. Keep in mind that you can always transition between the two by subscribing to a combination plan.

In addition to getting a medical alert system with fall detection, it's important to do what you can to reduce the risk of falls.

Regular checkups to test hearing, balance, and vision are important, as well as frequent blood pressure testing and treatment of illnesses that may cause low blood pressure or muscle weakness.

At home, you can look for and remove potential trip hazards like loose rugs and items on the floor. Add secure handholds and extra traction to areas that might be tricky to navigate, like the tub.2

Our Senior Safety FAQ can help you learn more about keeping your aging loved ones safe.

How we reviewed LifeFone Medical Alert

For our LifeFone review, we combed through the LifeFone website, watched every video, and read every FAQ to better understand the ins and outs. We read what LifeFone customers had to say about using the service, and we checked its Better Business Bureau profile for red flags.

Read our full methodology to better understand how we rate and review products.

Related articles on SafeWise


  1. Consumer Affairs, "Top 734 Reviews and Complaints about LifeFone," August 2021. Accessed November 23, 2021. 
  2. National Institute on Aging, "Prevent Falls and Fractures," March 2017. Accessed November 23, 2021.
Kasey Tross
Written by
Kasey Tross
Kasey is a trained Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) member and a freelance writer with expertise in emergency preparedness and security. As the mother of four kids, including two teens, Kasey knows the safety concerns parents face as they raise tech-savvy kids in a connected world, and she loves to research the latest security options for her own family and for SafeWise readers.

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