Alert1 vs. Life Alert: What Every Senior Needs to Know

Alert1 vs. Life Alert: What Every Senior Needs to Know

There is no doubt that when it comes to aging in place solutions that allow seniors to live independently longer, there’s a lot of competition out there. Elderly adults can choose from a wide variety of products from many reputable companies.

If you are looking for a medical alert device, also known as a PERS (personal emergency response system), you might remember that old “I’ve fallen and I cannot get up” commercial from the 70s.

There are other choices these days, as many companies now offer new technologies. According to Vicert, 54% of U.S. adults use some sort of alert technology, and 86% of those who use alert devices claim that the device has saved their lives or the life of a loved one.That’s an incredible testimony to just how important these panic buttons are for the elderly and others looking for affordable 24/7 protection and security.


Alert1 has been in the medical alert business for decades. One of Alert1’s most serious competitors is Life Alert. But there are many reasons why Alert1 is the better choice at the best price. Let’s take a look at what Life Alert offers and compare that to what you can find at Alert1.


A Basic Overview of Life Alert Medical Alerts


We’ll start with an overview of Life Alert medical alert systems. This company has been around since 1987. As mentioned above, they are the company with the “I’ve fallen and cannot get up!” commercials.


Life Alert offers in-home devices that connect via landline, as well as on-the-go options. They use the nationwide cellular network to connect to mobile devices, with all calls going to a UL-certified monitoring center. Their medical alert pendants have a battery that is non-replaceable, non-rechargeable, and lasts from seven to 10 years before you need a new one. Most of their pendants are shower proof.


A Basic Overview of Alert1 Medical Alert Systems


Alert1 was founded in 1988, so the company is as established as Life Alert. Alert1 provides in-home landline, wireless, and on-the-go (mobile) options for their personal alarm button. All the pendants are shower proof and the company encourages members to wear them while bathing.


The monitoring center is based in the United States and offers help in up to 190 languages; just choose your preferred language when you sign up. In-home med alert system batteries last for years with no need to re-charge or replace them. Mobile devices have rechargeable batteries that are easy to charge roughly once every 16 days or so, and the device itself will let you know if the battery is low, to ensure you always have help available to you, around the clock, wherever you are.


Comparing Alert1 to Life Alert


Now it’s time to look at the details of each company’s offerings to help you figure out which one is right for you.


Signing the Contract


Alert1 has no contracts. The company offers month-to-month or annual payment plans and you can cancel the monitoring service at any time, with no penalty. You don’t even have to provide a reason!


Life Alert requires a long-term contract of at least three years. That contract can be broken without penalty only if the customer passes away, requires 24/7 care, or is placed in a skilled nursing facility. In other words, once you choose Life Alert, prepare to be locked in for a long time.


On-the-Go Options


Alert1 provides the same type of mobile options but uses both Verizon and AT&T cellular networks (included in their service), which allows for coverage across the vast majority of the United States, Canada, and Puerto Rico. GPS monitoring also comes standard with their mobile options.


In addition to pendants and the medical alert bracelet or wristband, Alert1 also offers the unique medical alert watch. The watch is a modern take on the classic wristwatch, but this one includes a 24/7 emergency call button, GPS location tracking, and even a pedometer for more sporty customers.


Life Alert offers mobile options that use the AT&T cellular network, and some of the buttons include GPS monitoring. The calls go to their monitoring center that takes up to 2 million calls each year.


Coverage Area


Life Alert uses the AT&T cellular network while Alert1 offers both the Verizon and AT&T networks to ensure back-up coverage is available for their on-the-go devices. When it comes to landline-based devices, each provides impressive coverage that will keep you safe in your home and outdoors near your home, as long as you are within appropriate range of the base unit.




Alert1 charges no equipment fees at all, there is no shipping fee for their FedEx 2 Day Shipping, and there is never a charge for pressing the button to get help. The monthly fee ranges from $19 to $58. A fall detection feature may be added to most devices for $10 per month. Alert1 pricing is affordable and very transparent, with all costs clearly listed on the Alert1 site. Alert1 has the best prices in the industry.



Getting pricing from Life Alert isn’t nearly as easy – you must call the company to learn what your options are, which makes it tough to compare and doesn’t provide much in the way of transparency. This can be especially problematic since many of Life Alert’s reviews mention that their salespeople are aggressive.


It appears that Life Alert charges an equipment fee of anywhere from $95 to $195, depending upon which medical alert button you choose. Their monthly fee ranges from $49 to $68, which is again dependent upon the alert options selected.


Both companies offer a discount for a second user in the home, whether it is a spouse or a roommate.


Med Alerts with Fall Detection


Many seniors consider fall detection a vital medical alert feature. According to the CDC, over 3 million elderly adults went to the emergency department in 2020 as a result of falls, and 36,000 of them died as a result of their fall-related injuries. More than one in four elderly adults falls each year, and after one fall, the odds of falling again are doubled. Many of those falls result in serious injury, including hip fractures and traumatic brain injuries.2


Fall detection provides the peace of mind that if you do fall, the medical alert device can automatically send an alert for help as soon as the fall occurs. Tiny fall sensors in the device sense the movement, determine that a fall has occurred, and alert the monitoring center on your behalf. You don’t even have to touch the button to get help.


Alert1 offers both the in-home and mobile medical alert system with fall detection.


Life Alert, however, does not offer fall detection technology on any of its products. That could potentially leave you in a desperate situation if you fall and are unconscious or can’t press the button for any reason.


You can get that peace of mind with Alert1.


Customer Service and Business Practices

Alert1 offers customer service via email or phone, as well as a very comprehensive FAQ page and 24/7 technical support for those who need help with their devices or accessories. There are no high-pressure sales tactics, no contracts, and canceling service is easy. If a member presses their button alert, a trained professional stays on the line with them until help arrives.

Life Alert has many online complaints about their customer service, the long contract required, and high-pressure sales tactics.

After looking over the comparison of Alert1 medical alert systems and Life Alert, it’s clear that Alert1 is the better choice. With the best pricing, good customer service, numerous options to choose from, and the incredibly valuable fall detection system, seniors and elderly adults can be rest assured that they are in excellent hands with a company that has been saving lives for over 35 years.