Medical Guardian vs. Lifeline

A Side-by-Side Comparison of Medical Guardian and Lifeline Alert Systems in 2024

Jeff Hoyt Jeff Hoyt Editor in Chief is supported by commissions from providers listed on our site. Read our Editorial Guidelines

Medical Guardian Is Best For:

  • Active seniors who want the latest, high-tech devices like a smartwatch system
  • Medium and large homes
  • Those who have wiggle room in their budget
  • Seniors looking for sleek equipment
  • Families who want a companion mobile app to monitor the user’s activity

Lifeline Is Best For:

  • Those who want a simple system without bells and whistles
  • Seniors who live in an area with reliable AT&T coverage
  • Users looking for professional installation
  • Older adults who want a provider with decades of industry experience
  • Those who aren’t on a tight budget

If you’re looking for a high-quality medical alert device backed by a company with a solid reputation and reliable 24/7 service, Lifeline and Medical Guardian are two excellent choices.

Lifeline has a long history of success in medical alert devices, and the company pioneered some of the first techs in the industry. On the other hand, Medical Guardian is a much newer company with a big heart for its customers and some snazzy new tech like a medical alert watch and discreet, mobile options. We outline everything you need to know about these providers below!

Comparing Medical Guardian and Lifeline Side by Side

Our favorite is Medical Guardian
  Medical Guardian logo Lifeline Logo
24/7 monitoring Yes Yes
Two-way communication Yes Yes
GPS options Yes Yes
Mobile app Yes Yes
Water-resistant devices Yes Yes
Cellular connection AT&T or Verizon AT&T
Smartwatch option Yes No
Language support Yes Yes
Average response times under one minute Yes Yes
Long-term contracts No No
Battery life Up to 5 days Up to 3 days

More About Medical Guardian

If your interest is piqued, let’s talk a little bit more about Medical Guardian. Founded in 2005, the company has earned its place as one of the industry’s most innovative providers. Medical Guardian is committed to improving medical alert technology and offering a wide range of modern services to break down the negative stigmas associated with alert systems. Their unique medical alert watch, sleek equipment, and diverse product lineup are just a few ways the company demonstrates this commitment.

Medical Guardian offers a professional, U.S.-based 24/7 monitoring center staffed with multi-lingual representatives. Their centers are UL-listed and TMA Five Diamond certified, indicating the quality and reliability of their monitoring.

More About Lifeline

For more than 50 years, Lifeline has been a mainstay in the medical alert industry. In 1972, Lifeline was the first provider to pioneer a medical alert system in North America to help seniors live safely and independently. Lifeline offers professional, 24/7 monitoring to all customers, and the company has an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau.1

Medical Guardian vs. Lifeline: Comparing Costs and Commitments

Medical alert provider Medical Guardian Lifeline
Pricing $29.95 – $44.95 per month $29.95 – $58.95 per month
Setup or activation fees No $50 for basic activation fee; $99 for fall detection
Equipment fees Yes, on select systems Yes, on select systems
Installation fees None $19.95 self-installation; $99 professional installation
Trial period or money-back guarantee No free trial period 30-day return window
Warranty None One-year warranty
Fall detection $10 per month Included in certain packages

Medical Guardian and Lifeline Medical Alert Systems

Medical Guardian

Medical Guardian offers a wide range of products and services to meet seniors’ needs inside and outside the home. With both basic solutions and high-tech systems, you’ll find that Medical Guardian offers more variety than Lifeline.

Medical Guardian’s in-home solutions include:



MGClassic with Landline

MGClassic has a traditional landline connection with a monthly cost of $29.95. This is perfect for seniors with unreliable cell service or those who want a simple at-home system. It offers a coverage range up to 1,300 feet and includes a water-resistant wearable pendant. That means you can call for help anywhere in the home.

MGHome Cellular

MGHome Cellular

MGHome Cellular

A step up from MGClassic, MGHome Cellular starts at $37.95 per month with a $149.95 one-time equipment fee. The main difference with this system is that it uses AT&T’s cellular network instead of a phone line, and the base station is a bit sleeker than MGClassic. Remember, MGHome Cellular offers an impressive coverage area of up to 1,400 feet.

Medical Guardian’s mobile alert systems for on-the-go use include:

Mini Guardian

Mini Guardian

Mini Guardian

Mini Guardian is an all-in-one, discreet system priced at $44.95 per month. It also has a one-time equipment fee of $149.95. This mobile system comes in several colors for all you fashion-forward seniors. Every package includes a charging cradle, lanyard, and belt clip. As a bonus, it only weighs 1.3 ounces!

MGMini Lite

Medical Guardian's MGMini Lite

Medical Guardian’s MGMini Lite

This cellular system comes with a simple watch featuring a built-in help button. The watch can be worn for long periods with up to 36 hours of battery life. It is also water-resistant, so you can wear it in the shower in case of slips or falls. MGMini Lite is excellent for older adults who like to go out and about daily. The watch has features like step tracking and calendar reminders (for an additional fee). The watch’s design is sleek, and it looks like a smartwatch without a screen. Monthly rates start at $44.95, along with a one-time $149.95 equipment fee.

Money-Saving Tip:

Money-Saving Tip: Medical Guardian offers additional ways to save by signing up for a quarterly, semi-annual, or annual payment plan. Since they do not require long-term commitments, you are free to cancel anytime to receive a refund for any unused portion of your service.


MGMove Watch

MGMove Watch

MGMove, a smartwatch alert system, is Medical Guardian’s latest and most high-tech system. Priced at $39.95 per month with a one-time $199.95 equipment fee, MGMove is an excellent choice for active users. You can track your steps, send and receive messages, and take your protection with you wherever you go. Plus, it looks similar to popular non-medical smartwatches, so it is a very discreet option. This watch is unique for the industry, which sets it apart from Lifeline’s more traditional systems.

For more details on Medical Guardian’s pricing, review our Medical Guardian pricing page.

Lifeline Products and Services

Lifeline Equipment

Lifeline Equipment

Lifeline’s product lineup consists of three systems. The company’s systems are more traditional and simplistic than Medical Guardian’s, so they’re best for those who don’t need extra, high-tech features or customizable options.

Money-Saving Tip:

Money-Saving Tip: Lifeline has an ongoing deal to waive activation and shipping fees and, sometimes, a free month of service for new customers, but you must request it. Call a Lifeline representative for a coupon code before placing an order.

HomeSafe Standard

Lifeline HomeSafe Standard

Lifeline HomeSafe Standard

This entry-level in-home system works on a landline or cellular connection, with prices starting as low as $29.95 per month. Every system has a base unit, access to the Lifeline Cares app, and a personalized care plan. For comparison, HomeSafe Standard is similar to Medical Guardian’s MGClassic in price and features.

HomeSafe with AutoAlert

The HomeSafe with AutoAlert is an upgrade from the base package. It starts at $44.95 per month for a landline connection and has the same features with the addition of fall detection; the wearable pendant comes with technology that automatically detects a fall and contacts the monitoring center. If you are unable to respond, first responders will quickly come to your aid. Adding fall detection bumps up the monthly price by about $15, which is a bit pricey for the industry. If you choose the AutoAlert option with a cellular connection, you’re looking at prices starting at $58.95 per month. For comparison, you can add fall detection to Medical Guardian’s systems for $10 per month, so it’s slightly more expensive.

On The Go

Editor Jeff Hoyt testing GoSafe2

Editor Jeff Hoyt testing GoSafe 2

On The Go is an all-in-one wearable help button equipped with GPS and WiFi tracking and a built-in two-way communicator, so there’s no base unit needed. This device works with the Lifeline Cares app and personalized care team services. Prices start at $49.95 per month with a one-time $99.95 device fee. You’ll find that Medical Guardian’s comparable mobile units are around $5 to $10 cheaper per month.

If you’d like more information on this provider’s pricing and value, check out our Lifeline pricing page.

Add-On Features and Equipment

By now, you’ve probably noticed that Medical Guardian is known for extra bells and whistles, while Lifeline keeps things simple. This trend applies to their add-on features as well. Lifeline provides all of the essential add-ons, like a communicator extender for larger homes and key lockboxes for easy EMS access. Medical Guardian offers similar add-ons along with a few extras, including wall help buttons, alert notifications for caregivers, and voice-activated help buttons.

For those who don’t want to tack on a lot of extra monthly fees, Lifeline will be your best bet. On the other hand, if you’re all about the add-ons, Medical Guardian is the better pick.

Similarities Between Medical Guardian and Lifeline

Now that we’ve covered the significant differences between Medical Guardian and Lifeline, let’s take a look at what they have in common:

  • Monthly rates: Both providers have rates starting at $29.95 per month for their basic systems, though Lifeline’s on-the-go and cellular systems are a bit pricier than Medical Guardian’s advanced offerings.
  • Connection options: There are landline-based and AT&T cellular-based systems with both companies. Whether you live in a major city with reliable cell service or a rural area, you’ll be set. A few of Medical Guardian’s systems also run on Verizon’s cellular network for additional options.
  • 24/7 monitoring: Medical Guardian and Lifeline both include professional 24/7 monitoring with all of their packages for round-the-clock support.
  • Fall detection: Medical Guardian offers automatic fall detection as an add-on, while Lifeline includes the feature with two of their systems for those more at risk of a fall.
  • Mobile app: Both providers offer a companion mobile app that is compatible with select devices and features.
  • Mobile GPS options: Both companies offer mobile options that are usable away from home; however, Medical Guardian has a broader selection.
Insider Tip:

Insider Tip: Want to compare Medical Guardian and Lifeline to other popular providers? Check out our top picks for medical alert systems.

Final Thoughts on Medical Guardian vs. Lifeline

Medical Guardian and Lifeline offer reliable medical alert systems, 24/7 protection, and options for at-home and on-the-go use. In our book, you’ll be in good hands with either provider. If you need more help deciding, Medical Guardian is our pick for the latest high-tech features, sleek equipment, and a diverse product lineup. Lifeline is best for seniors who want a more basic system with all of the essential features. Lifeline systems are also a great option if you’re looking for a provider with long-term industry experience. Still not sure? Visit this year’s Lifeline review and our hands-on Medical Guardian review for details.

  1. Better Business Bureau. (2020). Lifeline.

Written By:
Jeff Hoyt
Editor in Chief
Read About Our Panel of Experts
As Editor-in-Chief of the personal finance site, Jeff produced hundreds of articles on the subject of retirement, including preventing identity theft, minimizing taxes, investing successfully, preparing for retirement medical costs, protecting your credit score, and making your money last… Learn More About Jeff Hoyt