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The Best Cellular Medical Alert Systems

Our experts tested out the best medical alert systems without a landline and narrowed the list down to their top five picks.

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As of June 2020, only 16.5 percent of adults 65 and over reported that they mostly use landline phones, while 10.4 percent reported that they only have a landline.1 If you’re one of the many older adults that have ditched their landline connection in favor of a cellular option, you may be wondering if you can still use an in-home medical alert system. Well, good news: You can! In-home cellular medical alert systems keep you just as safe and independent as landline systems do.

Below, we’ve pared it down to the top five best cellular medical alert systems that don’t require a landline. Keep reading to get the details you need to select the right one for you.

How We Chose the Best Cellular Medical Alert Systems

Shopping for a medical alert system can quickly become overwhelming. We get it; there are so many options! We’ve done a lot of comparing to narrow it down for you. To select our top five cellular medical alert systems without a landline, we used a couple of metrics. To make our list, here’s what the systems had to offer customers:

  • Value: Nothing’s more frustrating than spending your money on a product or service only to find out the quality doesn’t match the price tag. We only included systems we think are worth the cost.
  • Features: For some older adults, technology is exciting. For others, it can be intimidating. Whether you prefer to keep it simple or embrace new tech, these systems have features for everyone. We made sure they can accommodate most lifestyles, preferences, and technology skill levels.
  • Protection: Our top five systems offer 24/7 monitoring and then some. You can rest assured you or your loved one will have reliable, trusted emergency alert protection with any of the devices below.
  • 1. Bay Alarm Medical

    We’ve reviewed Bay Alarm Medical systems several times over the years, and they never fail to impress. The in-home cellular unit has a 32-hour backup battery, a 1,000-foot button-to-base range, and optional fall detection. They do this at a competitive price and one that is especially favorable to spouses or roommates. The in-home cellular system costs $29.95 per month and does have an equipment fee. Even better, there’s no additional monthly fee to add a spouse or roommate to your plan. You’ll just need to purchase an extra wearable help button for a one-time $39 fee.

    Bay Alarm Medical also offers an on-the-go cellular unit, a system for use at home and on the go, and a smartwatch system if you spend a lot of time out and about. The company is known for great customer support, reliable equipment, and no long-term contracts. Better yet, Bay Alarm Medical’s prices are some of the lowest in the industry. At-home and on-the-go cellular medical alert systems start at $29.95 (with landline options starting at $24.95) per month.

    Ease of use Equipment Service & Response Features & Tech Pricing
    Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent
    Please scroll to the right for more info.
    Pros
    • Affordable prices
    • No activation fees
    • No equipment fees on in-home systems
    • Manufacturing and monitoring in the U.S.
    • No long-term contracts
    • Free spouse monitoring
    • 30-day risk-free trial
    • 4G LTE connection
    • Landline or cellular in-home options
    Cons
    • Fewer high-tech features
    Our editor Taylor Shuman's grandma testing out Bay Alarm Medical's Mobile Help Button

    Our editor Taylor Shuman’s grandma testing out Bay Alarm Medical’s Mobile Help Button

    The Bottom Line

    If you’re looking for a reliable, inexpensive cellular medical alert system that doesn’t require a landline, Bay Alarm Medical is a great choice. It doesn’t offer a lot of high-tech features, but if you prefer to keep it simple anyway, that shouldn’t be a problem. The company’s 30-day risk-free trial makes it easy to test out the device to make sure it is right for you.

    Call Bay Alarm Medical

    Call to speak with a Bay Alarm Medical representative. Get your questions answered, products recommended, and ask about current deals and promotions.

    Visit BayAlarmMedical.com

    Answer a few questions on Bay Alarm Medical's website to get a quote on the best product and plan for you. This process is slower than calling a representative.

  • 2. Medical Guardian

    Medical Guardian can adjust its products to meet your needs and preferences, which is why it earned a top spot on our list! Fall detection, jewelry pendants, wall-mounted help buttons, and enhanced emergency notifications are options to boost the protection of your Medical Guardian system (well, OK, the jewelry boosts the style!). Unfortunately, these add-ons aren’t free. So, before you select these features, make sure you have the extra room in your budget for them. Medical Guardian’s monthly price for the in-home cellular system is $34.95. If you want a mobile cellular system, prices start at $39.95 per month.

    Ease of use Equipment Service & Response Features & Tech Pricing
    Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent
    Please scroll to the right for more info.
    Pros
    • No long-term contracts
    • Customizable systems
    • Easy installation
    • Free activation
    • U.S.-based monitoring
    • Versatile product lineup
    Cons
    • No trial period
    • Potentially pricey add-ons
    Mobile Guardian

    Our Editor Jeff Hoyt testing Mobile Guardian

    The Bottom Line

    When we tested out Medical Guardian’s systems, we found them easy to use and appreciated the friendly customer service. Medical Guardian is ideal for seniors who need a cellular medical alert system and want access to features that provide extra protection. Just make sure you live in an area with good AT&T coverage, because the cellular in-home system uses AT&T service. Some of Medical Guardian’s on-the-go systems use Verizon’s network, so you still have options.

    Call Medical Guardian

    Call to speak with a Medical Guardian representative. Get your questions answered, products recommended, and ask about current deals and promotions.

    Visit MedicalGuardian.com

    Answer a few questions on Medical Guardian's website to get a quote on the best product and plan for you. This process is slower than calling a representative.

  • 3. LifeFone

    Since an older adult experiences a fall every second,2 it may be a good idea to add automatic fall detection to your cellular medical alert system. LifeFone made our list because it offers some of the lowest-priced fall detection in the industry starting at just $5 per month. The in-home cellular system itself is $34.95 per month, and LifeFone offers a price-lock guarantee, so you won’t have to worry about the price of your service going up in the future.

    Ease of use Equipment Service & Response Features & Tech Pricing
    Above Average Above Average Above Average Above Average
    Please scroll to the right for more info.
    Pros
    • No activation or equipment fees
    • No long-term contracts
    • Price-lock guarantee
    • Inexpensive automatic fall detection
    • 30-day money-back guarantee
    • 1,300-foot button-to-base range
    • Free spouse monitoring
    Cons
    • Free shipping only available on certain billing plans
    • Only English- and Spanish-speaking agents
    LifeFone - At Home (Landline or Cellular) Equipment

    LifeFone – At Home (Landline or Cellular) Equipment

    The Bottom Line

    Older adults who want fall detection could save $5 to $10 per month by going with LifeFone over another provider. In addition to affordable fall detection, it offers valuable perks such as a price-lock guarantee and free spouse monitoring. In our review of LifeFone, we found that it offers discounts to veterans and AARP members, so take advantage of these if you qualify.

    FYI: If none of these systems seem right for you, check out this year’s list of the best medical alert systems for a rundown on all the systems reviewed and recommended by our experts.

  • 4. QMedic

    QMedic uses intelligent activity monitoring to provide helpful insights to caregivers. In addition to offering medical alert protection, QMedic systems monitor the user’s activity patterns, sleep, and compliance with wearing the help button. For caregivers who want to closely monitor their loved one when they’re away, QMedic provides optimal data, which earned it a spot on our list.

    QMedic’s pricing is a bit different from its competitors’ models. Though the cellular medical alert system is an affordable $25 per month, the company requires you to pay for a year of service in advance, which comes out to $300 for the-home cellular system. For the mobile cellular option, the price goes up to $400 per year, or almost $35 a month. When we tested QMedic’s system, we found the technology to be worth the upfront cost if you don’t mind prepaying for your service.

    Ease of use Equipment Service & Response Features & Tech Pricing
    Average Average Below Average Below Average
    Please scroll to the right for more info.
    Pros
    • Detailed activity and compliance monitoring
    • No equipment fees
    • Free shipping
    • 30-day money-back guarantee
    • Free spouse monitoring
    • Caregiver dashboard
    Cons
    • Annual payment required for service
    • No refund after 30 days

    The Bottom Line

    Unfortunately, QMedic doesn’t refund customers for unused service after their 30-day trial period, so make sure QMedic is the best fit for your needs first. Caregivers of seniors with mobility issues or dementia may benefit from the activity monitoring, but QMedic doesn’t offer fall detection. If your loved one has a history of falling, see our list of the best medical alert systems with fall detection.

  • 5. Aloe Care Health

    If you’re an older adult who embraces advanced technology, Aloe Care Health is right up your alley. Its Essentials package, powered by 4G service, uses a Smart Hub and help button to provide medical alert protection, motion and temperature monitoring, and check-in calls. This modern technology is why it made our top five. The cost of an Aloe Care Health system is a bit more than competitors’ prices, starting at $149.99 for one-time equipment fees for their Essentials system and $29.99 per month for monitoring service. Prices continue to climb for top-tier packages, but we believe the technology is worth the cost. Aloe Care Health also offers a mobile cellular medical alert system for on-the-go seniors.

    Ease of use Equipment Service & Response Features & Tech Pricing
    Above Average Above Average Above Average Above Average
    Please scroll to the right for more info.
    Pros
    • Motion, temperature, and air-quality sensors
    • Secure app for caregivers
    • Two-way check-in calls via Smart Hub
    • 30-day money-back guarantee
    • No long-term contracts
    • Assistance available by voice or by pressing the help button
    Cons
    • Fall detection only available with top-tier packages
    • High equipment fee
    My uncle trying out the Aloe Care Health Mobile Companion

    My uncle trying out the Aloe Care Health Mobile Companion

    The Bottom Line

    Aloe Care Health’s equipment fee and monthly service fees are a bit higher than competitors’, but you’ll benefit from advanced features and technology that other providers simply don’t offer. For seniors who want a reliable cellular medical alert system with all the bells and whistles, an Aloe Care Health system checks that box. Learn more by reading our hands-on review of Aloe Care Health.

The Pros and Cons of a Cellular Medical Alert System

Still trying to decide between a landline and cellular in-home system? We’ll look at the advantages and drawbacks of a system without a landline below.

What We Like About Medical Alert Systems Without a Landline

  • Convenience: The number of U.S. homes without a landline keeps increasing. As landlines become a thing of the past, a medical alert system that uses cellular service to provide protection is convenient and will only grow more popular.
  • Mobility: For seniors who like to travel or are snowbirds, a cellular medical alert system can be carried from home to home. If you get a landline system, you’ll have to worry about the homes you visit having landlines too. With an in-home cellular medical alert system, all you need is a power outlet. If you choose an on-the-go cellular system, you won’t even need a power outlet. Just throw your system on like a necklace, and you’re good to go!

Things to Keep in Mind About Medical Alert Systems Without a Landline

  • Cost: In-home systems range from $20 to $60 per month, depending on the provider and add-ons you select. Typically, in-home cellular medical alert systems without a landline are $5 to $10 more per month than systems that use a landline. On-the-go cellular medical alert systems tend to be a bit pricier than in-home options, starting at around $30 per month.
  • Reception: Just as your cell phone needs good reception to connect your phone calls, so does a cellular medical alert system. If you don’t have a landline, the medical alert system will rely on cellular coverage to make calls to the emergency monitoring center. If you live in a rural area, make sure you’ll have strong, reliable reception for your cellular medical alert system. If you have concerns, ask the customer service representative before you purchase a cellular system.

Do I Need Wi-Fi for a Cellular Medical Alert System?

About 64 percent of U.S. adults over the age of 65 have a broadband connection in their home.3 Though the majority of older adults have an internet connection, it isn’t necessary to have one for an in-home or on-the-go cellular medical alert system. This is because a medical alert system without a landline uses cellular coverage (think Verizon or AT&T) to connect you to the emergency monitoring center when you need help. That’s why it’s important to make sure the medical alert provider has good cellular coverage in your area if you are without a landline.

Mobile System vs. In-Home Cellular Medical Alert System

A mobile system (sometimes called an on-the-go or GPS system) provides protection no matter where you are — whether you’re taking a stroll on the beach, hiking, or relaxing by the pool. An in-home system provides protection (you guessed it!) in the home. They both use cellular service to connect you to the monitoring center in an emergency, but an in-home system has a limited range — about 400 to 1,300 feet, depending on the system you purchase.

For homebodies without a landline, an in-home cellular system, like the ones we listed above, will work just fine. But if you’re someone who is active and wants your cellular medical alert system to be as mobile as you are, an on-the-go system is probably more your style. These systems are usually a bit more expensive than in-home systems, but the comprehensive protection they offer is worth the extra bucks, if you ask us. If you’re interested in a mobile system, check out our list of the best GPS medical alert systems.

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Reviewed By

Linda Schlenker

Senior Safety Expert

Linda’s Acclaimed Career in Senior Care Linda Schlenker is a comforting voice for seniors and caregivers across the U.S. For nearly three decades, Linda has helped seniors remain safe in their own homes, while helping them to regain priceless independence and peace… Learn More About Linda Schlenker

Written By

Jeff Hoyt

Editor in Chief

Since graduating from Harvard with an honors degree in Statistics, Jeff has been creating content in print, online, and on television. Much of his work has been dedicated to informing seniors on how to live better lives. As Editor-in-Chief of the personal… Learn More About Jeff Hoyt