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LifeStation vs. Medical Guardian, Compared and Reviewed by Tech Experts

LifeStation offers simple medical alert systems, while Medical Guardian is known for its sleek devices and large product selection.

Taylor Shuman Taylor Shuman Senior Tech Expert & Editor
Linda Schlenker Linda Schlenker Occupational Therapist

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Key Takeaways

  • LifeStation is our top pick for those who want a simple system, along with Alexa users, thanks to its Alexa integration.
  • Medical Guardian is best if you’re looking for a more advanced system with lots of add-on services. The company also made our list of the best medical alert systems in 2024.

As you shop for a medical alert system, you’re sure to encounter LifeStation and Medical Guardian systems. Both businesses have strong reputations and long-term histories of offering quality systems and services. You might notice LifeStation has fewer device and service options than Medical Guardian, but don’t make your decision based on that fact alone. There are some key differences between features, devices, and pricing that you’ll need to understand to decide which option is right for you.

Our tech expats have tested medical alert systems from both businesses and have included not only our firsthand experience, but plenty of comparison charts to make it easy to see how these companies stack up. Read on for the must-know details that will help you decide which option is right for you.

A Side-by-Side Look at LifeStation vs. Medical Guardian

Our favorite is Medical Guardian
  LifeStation Medical Guardian logo
Price range $34.95 to $46.95 per month $29.95 to $44.95 per month
Discounts for quarterly or annual payment plans Quarterly payments receive free shipping, annual payments receive free shipping and one month free Annual payments save 16%, get a free lockbox and free shipping
Equipment fees $99.95 activation fee; no equipment fees No activation fees; equipment fees range from $0 to $199.95
Contracts No contracts No contracts
Money-back guarantee 30 days Prorated refund available for unused service period for monthly or annual subscriptions
Fall-detection cost $14 per month $10 per month
Mobile app Integrates with the Alexa app Yes
Water-resistant equipment Yes Yes
24/7 monitoring Yes Yes
Two-way communication Yes Yes
In-home range Up to 600 feet Up to 1,300 feet
Battery life for on-the-go systems Not specified Up to five days
Cellular connection AT&T 4G LTE AT&T or Verizon
Language support Translation services available for Spanish and many other languages English and Spanish translation service available for other languages
Website

About LifeStation

LifeStation offers a few different systems, including the Sidekick Smart, a smartwatch-style system.

LifeStation offers a few different systems, including the Sidekick Smart, a smartwatch-style system.

LifeStation has a more than 40-year history of providing medical alert systems and services. The company offers four cellular medical alert system options, as well as a handful of add-ons. These options are more limited than what you’ll find from companies like Medical Guardian, but LifeStation may be ideal for anyone looking for a basic, quality system without tons of choices, which can get overwhelming.

Although features are somewhat limited, one major advantage is that there are no equipment fees, making for easy-to-understand pricing. Additionally, LifeStation’s Find My Loved One feature allows you to send LifeStation a text when you need to locate your loved one. LifeStation responds with the loved one’s location on a map. While this is useful, Medical Guardian offers a mobile app that makes it easier to locate the system at any time without sending a text. The feature also works with Amazon Alexa devices; Medical Guardian doesn’t offer a similar Alexa feature.

Pro Tip:

Pro Tip: LifeStation is just one medical alert system that features fall protection. Learn about the best medical alert systems with fall detection.

While testing and reviewing LifeStation systems, we found the equipment was easy to set up and we were quickly connected to an operator. In fact, LifeStation’s average response time is 20 seconds, which is on the lower end of the medical alert industry’s average response time of anywhere from 15 to 45 seconds.

We found customer service representatives to be personable, patient, and helpful. Unlike Medical Guardian, LifeStation doesn’t charge any equipment fees. However, the company’s $99.95 activation fee will increase the overall costs. LifeStation also charges $14 for fall detection, while Medical Guardian only charges $10. Overall, LifeStation’s prices are comparable to Medical Guardian.

» Learn More: LifeStation Review

Pros About LifeStation

  • Option to locate a user with your phone or Amazon Echo
  • No contracts and the ability to cancel service at any time
  • 20-second average response time
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Smart home-friendly devices
  • No equipment fees

Cons About LifeStation

  • $99.95 activation fee
  • Only four devices available
  • No landline option available
  • In-home range is only 600 feet
  • Limited accessories and options
  • Fall detection add-on is $14 per month

About Medical Guardian

Testing out Medical Guardian's MGHome Cellular system

Testing out Medical Guardian's MGHome Cellular system

Medical Guardian offers five different medical alert systems and a variety of add-ons. You’ll have more customization options with Medical Guardian than with LifeStation. Medical Guardian’s subscription prices are reasonable, but the company charges equipment fees that increase the overall costs. While LifeStation doesn’t charge equipment fees, it charges a $99.95 activation fee, so ultimately, these two companies have pretty comparable pricing.

» Learn More: Medical Guardian Review

Medical Guardian’s add-ons and accessories make this company stand out. For example, its OnGuard alerts will notify everyone on your care list via email or text when an emergency occurs. Based on our experience with Medical Guardian, the website is easy to understand and navigate. Medical Guardian’s customer service representatives are friendly and helpful. We’re also big fans of the company’s mobile app, which lets you track your system, view its status, receive real-time alerts, and more. We could easily see where our device was at any time with just a few taps.

Checking our system's location in Medical Guardian's MyGuardian mobile app

Checking our system's location in Medical Guardian's MyGuardian mobile app

Pros About Medical Guardian

  • Systems include home, on-the-go, and smartwatch options
  • Both landline and cellular services are available
  • U.S.-based monitoring services
  • Fall detection available
  • Many add-on accessories
  • Online member portal and mobile app allows for easy device management
  • No contracts, so you can cancel your service at any time

Cons About Medical Guardian

  • No money-back guarantee
  • Equipment fees for many systems

Comparing LifeFone and Medical Guardian Medical Alert Systems

LifeStation

System Price Equipment fee Connection Designed for Best for
In Home Medical Alert System $34.95 per month None Wireless In home Seniors who spend lots of time at home
Sidekick Mobile Medical Alert $39.95 per month None Wireless On the go Active older persons who want a pendant-style system
Sidekick Smart Wearable Alert $46.95 per month None Wireless On the go Active older adults who want a smartwatch system
Luxury $46.95 per month None Wireless On the go Those who want a more discrete, fashionable system

Medical Guardian

System Price Equipment fee Connection Designed for Best for
MGClassic $29.95 per month None Landline In home Those who spend lots of time at home and don’t have reliable cellular service
MGHome Cellular $37.95 per month $149.95 Cellular In home Those who spend lots of time at home
MGMini Lite $44.95 per month $149.95 Cellular On the go Seniors who want a slim, simple watch
MGMini $39.95 per month $149.95 Cellular On the go Older adults who want a slim, stylish, wearable device they can take anywhere
MGMove $39.95 per month $199.95 Cellular On the go Active seniors who want a smartwatch device
Pro Tip:

Pro Tip: Medical Guardian offers a quality medical alert smartwatch that’s ideal for active seniors. Explore the best medical alert smartwatches to learn more.

Add-On Features and Equipment

In addition to the base services and equipment, LifeStation and Medical Guardian offer several add-ons.

LifeStation

  • A lockbox, which gives first responders to family members access to a key, costs $2.95 per month.
  • A fall detection pendant detects if you’ve fallen and signals the monitoring station. It costs $14 per month.
  • A protection plan helps cover the cost of lost or damaged equipment and costs $47 per month.

Medical Guardian

  • Fall detection is available as an add-on for $10 per month.
  • OnGuard alerts will inform everyone on your caregiver list when an emergency occurs. This optional service costs $2.99 per month.
  • A wall-mounted or voice-activated wall-mounted button is available for your home, allowing you to call the monitoring center in an emergency. Prices range from $2.99 to $4.99 per month
  • A lock box gives emergency responders and family members emergency access to your home without having to break in. It costs $2.99 per month, though it is free with some packages.

Our Final Thoughts on LifeStation vs. Medical Guardian

LifeStation and Medical Guardian are both known for providing quality medical alert systems. While you’ll have fewer options with LifeStation, that can be a benefit if you’re looking for your first system and don’t want to deal with lots of add-ons. Medical Guardian, on the other hand, gives you more options, so you can build the system to suit your needs. Both suppliers offer quality systems with 24-hour monitoring and two-way voice communication, so they can be ideal for seniors whether they’re at home or on the go.

LifeStation is best for:

  • Those who want a simple system
  • Those who don’t want a landline system
  • Those who don’t want to pay equipment fees
  • Those who want to connect their system with Amazon Alexa

Medical Guardian is best for: 

  • Those who want high-tech options
  • Those who want lots of customization or add-ons
  • Those who want a landline system
Written By:
Taylor Shuman
Senior Tech Expert & Editor
As SeniorLiving.org’s tech expert and editor, Taylor has years of experience reviewing products and services for seniors. She is passionate about breaking down stigmas related to seniors and technology. She loves finding innovative ways to teach seniors about products and… Learn More About Taylor Shuman
Reviewed By:
Linda Schlenker
Occupational Therapist
Linda earned her Master’s degree in Occupational Therapy from Tufts University and has assisted 10,000+ seniors throughout her 25-year career. She specializes in home health care and fall prevention for seniors and has nearly three decades of experience recommending medical… Learn More About Linda Schlenker