Philips Lifeline vs. Medical Guardian

We compared each company across 35 policies, features, and specs. Medical Guardian wins over Philips Lifeline.
Winner
Medical Guardian
Medical Guardian
4 out of 5 stars
4
Starts at
$29.95
/mo
  • Icon Pros  Light
    Caregivers can track location
  • Icon Pros  Light
    No activation or installation fees
Runner up
Philips Lifeline
Philips Lifeline
3.8 out of 5 stars
3.75
Starts at
$29.95
/mo
  • Icon Cons  Light
    Caregivers can’t track location
  • Icon Cons  Light
    Activation and installation fees

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

Philips Lifeline and Medical Guardian don’t have much in common. We prefer Medical Guardian thanks to its larger selection of medical alert systems and accessories, but people at high-risk for falls might want Philips Lifeline for its superior fall detection technology.



Medical Guardian pros and cons

Pro Heading
Medical Guardian pros
Pro Bullet 14-day money-back period
Pro Bullet No activation or installation fees
Pro Bullet Free spouse coverage
Pro Bullet App-based location tracking
Pro Bullet Standard and voice-activated wall buttons
Pro Bullet TMA Five Diamond certified
Con Heading
Medical Guardian cons
Con Bullet No AARP member discounts
Con Bullet Lifetime warranty costs extra

Medical Guardian is best overall

We like how easy it is to customize a medical alert system through Medical Guardian. It has five starter packages and multiple accessories, including a rare voice-activated button that allows you to get help when you aren’t wearing a button.

Compared to Philips Lifeline, Medical Guardian also has more customer-friendly policies and fewer up-front fees.

Read our Medical Guardian review to learn more.

Philips Lifeline pros and cons

Pro Heading
Philips Lifeline pros
Pro Bullet Multiple fall detection sensors
Pro Bullet Voice range extender
Pro Bullet 30-day free trial
Pro Bullet AARP member discounts
Pro Bullet Free with some Medicare Advantage plans
Pro Bullet 1-year warranty
Con Heading
Philips Lifeline cons
Con Bullet Activation and installation fees
Con Bullet No TMA Five Diamond certification
Con Bullet No free spouse coverage
Con Bullet No app-based location tracking
Con Bullet No wall buttons

Philips Lifeline is best for automatic fall detection

Philips Lifeline uses better fall detection technology than Medical Guardian, so it gets our vote if you’re at high risk of falling or passing out. The AutoAlert device calls the monitoring center for you, so you can get help even if you’re feeling confused after your fall.

Other than that, Philips Lifeline doesn’t have any outstanding products, policies, or prices compared to Medical Guardian.

Read our Philips Lifeline review to learn more.

Compare the top features of Medical Guardian vs. Philips Lifeline

Brand
Warranty
Trial period
Free spouse coverage
Five Diamond certified
AARP-member discount
Learn more
Medical GuardianMedical Guardian
Paid lifetime14-day money-back guarantee
Icon Yes  LightYes
Icon Yes  LightYes
Icon No  LightNo
Philips LifelinePhilips Lifeline
1 year30-day free trial
Icon No  LightNo
Icon No  LightNo
Icon Yes  LightYes

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

Medical Guardian vs. Philips Lifeline similarities

Medical Guardian and Philips Lifeline don’t share many features or policies. Here’s where they do overlap:

  • No contract
  • Landline option
  • Free lease options
  • Free caregiver app
  • Free button battery replacements
  • Cellular connections via AT&T’s 4G network

Philips Lifeline vs. Medical Guardian differences

Best in-home equipment: Medical Guardian

Philips Lifeline’s product line is limited to a base unit, wearable button, and optional second speaker for larger homes.

The wearable button—available as a pendant or wristband—works within 400 feet of the base unit. That’s one of the shortest ranges in the industry and 1,000 feet shorter than Medical Guardian’s maximum range. While 400 feet is sufficient for many homes, it may not do the trick if you like to spend time in the yard.

In contrast, Medical Guardian sells wall buttons, voice-activated equipment, and jewelry pendants. These accessories are important if you’re not sold on the idea of wearing a help button or there’s a chance you’ll forget to put it on:

  • The wall buttons keep help within reach when you aren’t wearing a button.
  • The voice-activated buttons allow you to get help if you fall, aren’t wearing a button, and can’t reach a wall button.
  • The gorgeous jewelry pendants can give you the confidence to wear the help button more often.

Just take note of the price when adding these accessories to your cart: Medical Guardian charges a monthly fee for each one. It adds up fast.

Compare Medical Guardian vs. Philips Lifeline in-home equipment

Brand
Max. signal range
Backup battery
Wall buttons
Voice-activated button
Voice range extender
Jewelry pendants
Learn more
Medical GuardianMedical Guardian
1,400 ft.32 hrs.$2.99/mo. ea.$4.99/mo. ea. None$2.99/mo. ea.
Philips LifelinePhilips Lifeline
400 ft.30 hrs.NoneNone$10.00/mo. None

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

Best location tracking: Medical Guardian

Philips Lifeline’s GoSafe 2 and Medical Guardian’s Mini Guardian combine GPS, Wi-Fi, and 4G LTE data for accurate location tracking. But each company shares your location differently:

  • Medical Guardian’s app shows your location to loved ones and caregivers. The monitoring center can also see your location.
  • Philips Lifeline’s GPS tracking data isn’t shared with caregivers. Only the monitoring center gets your coordinates.

We think app-based GPS tracking (like Medical Guardian’s) is more user-friendly since it allows loved ones to check on your location at any time.

Best price: Medical Guardian

As long as you don’t go overboard with accessories, you’ll get a better monthly price from Medical Guardian versus Philips Lifeline. Medical Guardian’s equipment costs more, but we think it’s worth paying a little more up front to save money on your monthly bill.

We don’t like that Philips Lifeline hits customers with extraneous fees like $50 for activation and $20 for self-installation. However, we found Philips Lifeline’s customer service representatives were willing to waive the activation fee to make a sale. Consider ordering your system over the phone and negotiating a better price.

If you’re an AARP member, you can get a 15% discount on a Philips Lifeline system. You might be eligible to get one for free if you have a certain Medicare Advantage plan. Read our Philips Lifeline review for more information. We aren’t aware of any member- or insurance-based discounts for Medical Guardian systems.

Compare Philips Lifeline vs. Medical Guardian prices

Package
Starting price
Equipment fee
Fall detection
Type
Learn more
Philips HomeSafe StandardPhilips Lifeline HomeSafe Landline
Free lease$15.00/mo.In-home landline
Medical Guardian Classic Guardian systemMedical Guardian Classic Guardian
Free leaseN/AIn-home landline
Philips HomeSafe StandardPhilips Lifeline HomeSafe Cellular
Free lease$15.00/mo.In-home cellular
Medical Guardian Home 2 (1)Medical Guardian Home 2.0
$124.95$10.00/mo.In-home cellular
philips lifeline gosafe equipmentPhilips Lifeline GoSafe 2
$99.95IncludedMobile unit
Medical Guardian Mini Guardian GPS medical alert systemMedical Guardian Mini Guardian
$124.95$10.00/mo.Mobile unit

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

Best automatic fall detection: Philips Lifeline

Philips Lifeline’s saving grace is its automatic fall detection technology. If you have a high risk of falling, Philips Lifeline is worth the extra money.

Philips Lifeline’s AutoAlert fall detection pendant is one of the few in the industry with two fall sensors, which reduces false alarms and the likelihood of an undetected fall. Medical Guardian’s devices contain just one automatic fall detection sensor.

That’s not to say that Medical Guardian’s fall detection pendants don’t work. You just might experience more false alarms or undetected falls compared to the Philips Lifeline pendant.

Winner: Medical Guardian beats Philips Lifeline

We think Medical Guardian offers better protection than Philips Lifeline thanks to a more diverse product line. With so many options available, you can outfit your home with equipment that you’re comfortable using. Medical Guardian’s also the better choice for keeping loved ones in the loop, especially in terms of location tracking.

But if you need serious fall detection, consider Philips Lifeline instead.

Still undecided? Read our full Medical Guardian and Philips Lifeline reviews to learn more.

How we decided: Medical Guardian vs. Philips Lifeline

Image: SafeWise. 

We compared Medical Guardian and Philips Lifeline’s in-home systems, mobile systems, company policies, and caregiver features to determine which company offered the best value. We talked to customer service representatives when necessary to make sure we accurately compared these two brands across more than 35 criteria.

Learn more on the SafeWise methodology page.

Cathy Habas
Written by
Cathy Habas
With over seven years of experience as a content writer, Cathy has a knack for untangling complex information. Her natural curiosity and ability to empathize help Cathy offer insightful, friendly advice. She believes in empowering readers who may not feel confident about a purchase, project, or topic. Cathy earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Indiana University Southeast and began her professional writing career immediately after graduation. She has contributed to sites like Safety.com, Reviews.com, Hunker, and Thumbtack. Cathy’s pride and joy is her Appaloosa “Chacos.” She also likes to crochet while watching stand-up comedy specials on Netflix.

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