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|– No contracts
– Affordable monthly plans
– Fall detection
– 30-day money-back guarantee
– No activation fees for most products
– Fully waterproof devices
– A+ Better Business Bureau rating
|– Add-ons can add up
– Activation fee with some plans
– No landline system
– Can only purchase over the phone
|– Has a mobile app you can use without pendant or wall unit
– Company has its own dispatch, so calls are answered immediately
– Devices have a battery life of up to 10 years
– A+ from the Better Business Bureau, Five Diamond certified, and UL certified
|– Higher monthly rates than LifeStation
– No risk-free trial
– 3-year contract required
– No fall detection
– Systems are more expensive than competitors
LifeStation and Life Alert are two recognizable names in the medical alert system industry. Both of these providers have worked hard to build a reputation and systems their subscribers can rely on; if you've been searching for a medical alert system, you can't go wrong with either of these companies.
So how do you decide between the two? There are a few key differences that we'll cover to help make your decision. We recommend Life Alert for those who want a more traditional design and don’t mind signing long-term contracts. LifeStation is an ideal pick for seniors seeking a more budget-friendly, yet dependable, device.
LifeStation and Life Alert offer state-of-the-art medical alert devices with helpful features that allow older adults to age in place from the comfort of their own homes. Below is an overview of what these providers have to offer.
LifeStation is a family-owned business that has more than 43 years of success in the industry. This provider ranks in our top picks for medical alert providers and has several monitoring centers that are Five Diamond certified by The Monitoring Association (TMA). LifeStation has an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB),1 making it all the more appealing. Their affordable monthly rates and high-quality equipment make them a great choice for many older adults.
Whether you know a lot about medical alert systems or not, it's no secret that Life Alert is one of the most recognizable names in the industry. They are a well-established medical alert company with more than 30 years of experience. Life Alert has its own dispatch center, which means they have agents that can answer calls and send help immediately.
Similar to LifeStation, this provider also has an A+ rating with the BBB,2 is Five Diamond certified, and UL certified. Although they are the more expensive choice for a system (more on price later), Life Alert offers a level of familiarity and long-term experience that several other companies don't.
LifeStation offers three different medical alert systems. They have an at-home cellular option, a wearable mobile unit for on-the-go coverage, and a smartwatch system. With options for homebodies and active users, LifeStation offers affordable products that suit most lifestyles.
When compared to Life Alert, LifeStation also has several beneficial add-ons to choose from, including automatic fall detection, lockboxes, wall-mounted units, and extra medical alert buttons for additional users.
Quick Tip: While both providers offer 24/7 professional monitoring and two-way communication, LifeStation offers unique and helpful add-ons, like lockboxes and automatic fall detection.
LifeStation's top-tier systems have a unique feature called Find My Loved One, which is perfect for family members or caregivers who want to keep a close eye on the user. You can send a text to LifeStation to receive the user's exact location pinpointed on a map. This feature is also compatible with Amazon Alexa, so you can locate your loved one quickly with just the sound of your voice. Those looking for more high-tech, modern systems will appreciate these advanced features.
Life Alert offers the Master Unit, an in-home medical alert system, along with two systems that you can add to the Master Unit as extras: an on-the-go Mobile + GPS system and a wall Help Button. Whether you're just looking for the Master Unit's basic in-home protection or you also want protection away from home, you have options. One of our favorite things about Life Alert is their systems' battery life, which blows LifeStation out of the water. All of Life Alert's pendants and the Help Button have a battery life of up to 10 years, so you won't need to recharge your system or change batteries for an entire decade. Since the company has its own dispatch, they offer 24/7 monitoring and assistance with speedy response times.
One gripe we have with Life Alert is that they don’t offer fall detection for any of their devices, which is an essential add-on for seniors worried about falling. The company does not provide any extra accessories, wristbands, or protection plans. This lack of extras may be a deal-breaker for some older adults. On the other hand, it's perfect for those who want to keep things simple without extra bells and whistles. Life Alert is an excellent system for seniors who want the peace of mind that comes with Life Alert’s reputation and around-the-clock support.
Below is a side-by-side comparison of the essential features that Life Station and Life Alert offer.
|Unique features||LifeStation||Life Alert|
|Connection type||Cellular||Landline or cellular|
|In-home coverage range||Up to 1,000 feet||Up to 800 feet|
|Battery life||Pendants will last up to 4 years
Mobile GPS batteries will last up to 5 days
|Mobile GPS system||Yes||Yes|
|Automatic fall detection available||Yes||No|
When deciding on a medical alert system, price is an essential factor to consider. So, here's a quick overview of the different costs of LifeStation and Life Alert.
LifeStation's monthly rates start at $32.95 per month for the basic In-Home No Landline system and climb up to $43.95 per month for their smartwatch system, the Sidekick Smart. They also offer add-ons like bathroom and hallway buttons for an extra $2.95 per month, as well as a lockbox to store an emergency house key for $2.95 per month.
LifeStation charges additional fees for shipping and activation on some packages. Even then, LifeStation is a less expensive option than Life Alert. The company also offers a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you can try your system out risk-free. We recommend LifeStation for older adults who want to get more bang for their buck and prefer a customizable plan.
Life Alert is one of the country's top medical alert providers when it comes to revenue.3 Their medical alert systems start at $49 per month, and new subscribers must also pay a one-time fee ranging from $96 to $197, depending on the device you choose. This fee includes shipping, programming, processing, and installation. Life Alert requires all subscribers to sign a three-year contract and does not offer any money-back guarantees.
FYI: Life Alert doesn't offer fall detection. If you're prone to falls or want an added level of protection, we'd recommend LifeStation. They offer automatic fall detection for an extra $9.95 per month.
If you decide to bundle Life Alert's Master Unit with the Wall Button or Mobile + GPS system, you're looking at a monthly rate of $69.90. Want all three systems? You'll pay $89.95 per month for the three-system bundle. We wish you could purchase the two add-on systems separately, but, as we've mentioned, Life Alert requires you to bundle them with the in-home unit, which hikes up the price.
Life Alert has higher monthly prices, less flexibility, and longer commitments than LifeStation. Still, if you're looking for a more traditional system from a provider that offers reliability and durability, Life Alert is a great choice; just make sure you have some wiggle room in your budget.
|Monthly rates||$32.95-$43.95 per month||$49.95-$89.95 per month|
|Free trial||30-day risk-free trial||N/A|
|Fall detection||$9.95 per month||N/A|
|Additional fees||Activation and shipping fees for some plans||$96-$197 for shipping, processing, and installation|
|Cancellation fees||No||Must pay out the remainder of your 3-year contract*|
*Users can only cancel before the three-year contract is up if they pass away or require 24-hour care.
LifeStation and Life Alert are both reliable companies in the medical alert system industry. However, that doesn't make them equally appealing to everyone. Before making a decision, you may want to consider our recommendations.
LifeStation is an excellent option for older adults worried about falling in their homes since they offer automatic fall detection and water-resistant wearable tech for the shower. And, of course, LifeStation is our choice for seniors on the hunt for a more budget-friendly system.
For older adults in the market for a more traditional device who don't need many add-ons or extra features, Life Alert may be your best bet. If you don't mind spending more on a medical alert system and like the peace of mind a household name like Life Alert can offer, you may want to give this provider a shot.
From our point of view, LifeStation and Life Alert are both reliable and trustworthy providers. Picking one company over the other mainly comes down to your preference, needs, and budget. The obvious choice for those on a tighter budget is LifeStation, especially if you need more than one device. A few other things we like about LifeStation are their selection of add-ons and high-tech features.
On the other hand, Life Alert is a household name with a long history protecting seniors, unlike many providers in the medical alert system industry. Their systems also offer some of the longest battery lives we've ever seen. If you have some extra cash in your pocket and don't care for extra bells and whistles, Life Alert might be a prime choice for you. If you're thinking about choosing one of these providers, check out our latest LifeStation review and Life Alert review.