Life Alert vs. Bay Alarm Medical

Life Alert lags behind Bay Alarm Medical in nearly all of the 40+ specs we compared.
Best overall medical alert
Bay Alarm Medical
4.8 out of 5 stars
Starts at
  • pro
    No contract
  • pro
    Fall-detection option
  • pro
    Price lock guarantee
Expensive medical alert
Life Alert logo
Life Alert
2 out of 5 stars
Starting from
  • con
    3-year contract
  • con
    No fall-detection option
  • con
    No caregiver features

Info current as of post date. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

SafeWise experts have years of firsthand experience testing the products we recommend. Learn how we test and review

Most of our readers will find Bay Alarm Medical’s prices and policies much more palatable than Life Alert’s. Plus, anyone interested in fall detection or caregiver features—including app-based GPS tracking—should steer clear of Life Alert by default.

That said, we gotta give Life Alert props for selling a better wall button than Bay Alarm Medical. Life Alert also has a slight edge in terms of battery life, but we don’t think that’s enough to justify its staggeringly high prices.

All in all, Bay Alarm Medical’s the runaway winner when compared to Life Alert.

Life Alert vs. Bay Alarm Medical at a glance

Bay Alarm Medical pros and cons

Bay Alarm pros
pro Five Diamond–certified monitoring
pro Free price lock guarantee
pro Free spouse coverage
pro Optional fall detection
pro Caregiver app
Bay Alarm Medical cons
con Paid warranty only
con No 2-way talk in wall button

Bay Alarm Medical is best overall

Bay Alarm Medical is one of the best medical alert companies on the market. Its systems are fairly priced, easy to use, and customizable. 

Bay Alarm Medical is also one of the few medical alert companies to offer a full 30-day refund period and a price lock guarantee.

Read our Bay Alarm Medical review to learn more.

Life Alert pros and cons

Life Alert pros
pro Five Diamond–certified monitoring
pro Long-lasting batteries
pro Wall button with 2-way talk
pro 30+ years in business
pro Reputation for fast response
Life Alert cons
con High monthly fees
con Hidden fees
con Pushy sales representatives
con Phone ordering only
con No fall detection
con Limited equipment and features

Life Alert is best to avoid

We don’t recommend Life Alert because we don’t want you to be overcharged. Even though we admire Life Alert’s long-lasting batteries and two-way-talk shower button, we don’t think that justifies a nearly $90/mo. service fee.

Read our Life Alert review to learn more.

How Life Alert and Bay Alarm Medical compare

Lowest monitoring price
Star rating
Refund period
Fall detection
Learn more
Read review
4.8 out of 5 stars
30 daysMonth-to-month
Icon Yes  LightYes
2 out of 5 stars
None3 years
Icon No  LightNo

Info current as of post date. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

Video: Bay Alarm Medical Review

Play Video

Subscribe to our YouTube channel and learn how to protect your home, loved ones, and belongings.

Life Alert vs. Bay Alarm Medical similarities

Here’s what Life Alert and Bay Alarm Medical have in common:

  • Landline, cellular, and mobile devices
  • Wall buttons
  • Five Diamond–certified monitoring centers
  • Paid warranty
  • No voice-activated buttons
  • No medication reminders
  • No motion sensors or inactivity alerts

Life Alert vs. Bay Alarm Medical differences

Bay Alarm Medical boasts more customer-friendly policies and a greater variety of safety features compared to Life Alert.

Even if you think you don’t need fall detection, spouse coverage, or a caregiver app right now, consider whether you might need them in the future. If you choose Life Alert, there’s no way to add those services—Life Alert simply doesn’t offer them, and it’s tough to cancel your Life Alert contract early.

On the other hand, it’s easy to add or remove services from your Bay Alarm Medical package or to cancel the service altogether.

Life AlertBay Alarm Medical
Icon No  LightNo fall detection
Icon Yes  LightFall detection
Icon No  LightNo caregiver app
Icon Yes  LightCaregiver app
Icon No  LightNo trial period
Icon Yes  Light30-day trial period
Icon Yes  LightDiscounted spouse coverage
Icon Yes  LightFree spouse coverage
Icon No  Light3-year contract
Icon Yes  LightMonth-to-month

Best price: Bay Alarm Medical

No matter how you slice it, Bay Alarm Medical is more affordable than Life Alert.

Monthly fee comparison

Bay Alarm Medical’s monitoring fees start at $24.99/month, whereas Life Alert’s start at $49.95/month for the same type of equipment. Yes, you read that right—Life Alert costs twice as much as Bay Alarm Medical.

That said, you can still rack up quite a monthly bill with Bay Alarm Medical, but you’ll get way more equipment in return. We went hog-wild on the Bay Alarm Medical Website and added this to our cart for a total of $84.90 a month:

  • In-home cellular system
  • SOS Smartwatch
  • 4 wall buttons
  • 2 fall detection pendants
  • Extra help button for a spouse
  • 4 stylish pendant covers
  • Lock box
  • Vial of Life
  • Extended warranty

Let’s compare that to what you get from Life Alert for $89.95 a month:

  • In-home cellular system
  • Mobile system
  • 1 shower button

Your money stretches much further with Bay Alarm Medical.

Upfront fee comparison

Life Alert and Bay Alarm Medical both charge one-time fees. Bay Alarm Medical sticks to equipment and shipping fees, whereas Life Alert charges equipment, shipping, and activation fees.

Life Alert charges around $200 to $300 in one-time activation and equipment fees, but the price increases with every piece of equipment you add to the package.

Bay Alarm Medical doesn’t charge any equipment fees for its in-home systems. Fall detection pendants cost $30 upfront and mobile systems cost up to $200. Optional accessories—like Bella Charms, extra pendants, and a Vial of Life form—also increase the price of a Bay Alarm Medical package.

As with the monthly charges, you get more for your money when you pay Bay Alarm Medical’s upfront fees.

Best battery life: Life Alert

Although we strongly suggest our readers consider alternatives to Life Alert due to its exorbitant price, we have to admit this medical alert company does a couple of things right.

First up: battery life. Life Alert claims its “batteries never need charging.” That’s possible because Life Alert’s equipment doesn’t include battery-draining features like fall detection or caregiver GPS tracking.

Expect up to 72 hours of backup battery life from the Life Alert base station and up to 10 years of battery life from the pendant battery. In contrast, Bay Alarm Medical’s base station lasts up to 32 hours on a backup battery, and its pendant buttons should be replaced every 5 years or so.

Plus, Life Alert monitors the button battery life from afar and sends you a new pendant when the battery starts to fade. Bay Alarm Medical offers the same service, but only to customers who pay for the extended warranty.

Learn more about our recommended medical alerts with the best battery life.

Best wall button: Life Alert

The second thing we like about Life Alert is its wall button. It includes a built-in speaker and microphone so you can talk to the monitoring center without having to shout at a base station in the other room.

In contrast, Bay Alarm Medical’s button triggers a call on the base station, and you might not be able to communicate your needs if you’re too far away for the monitor to hear you.

Thumbs Down
Still not a good reason to choose Life Alert

Life Alert charges an extra $20/month just for one wall button. You don’t have to spend that much.

If you want a two-way-talk button at an affordable price, we highly recommend GetSafe—which happens to be monitored by the same folks as Bay Alarm Medical since the two brands are owned by the same parent company.

Learn more about the differences between Bay Alarm Medical and GetSafe.

Winner: Bay Alarm Medical beats Life Alert

We like exactly two things about Life Alert—and that’s definitely not enough for us to whip out the pom-poms and sing its praises.

On the other hand, Bay Alarm Medical offers a variety of features at a great price. And since we’ve tested Bay Alarm’s system ourselves, we can confirm that it’s not just a matter of looking good on paper: the folks at the other end of the line are friendly and easy to understand.

  • Bay Alarm Medical: You’ll love this company’s low prices, price-lock guarantee, and fall detection option.
  • Life Alert: If budget-friendly prices, fall detection, and caregiver features aren’t priorities, you’ll appreciate the convenience of long-lasting batteries and a wall button with a speaker.

Still undecided? Read our full Life Alert and Bay Alarm Medical reviews.

How we decided: Life Alert vs. Bay Alarm Medical

Screenshot: Cathy Habas, SafeWise

We compared Bay Alarm Medical and Life Alert across more than 40 objective attributes and ranked them according to our own weighted system. We also spoke to representatives from both companies and tested Bay Alarm Medical equipment hands-on. To learn more about how we rank and review products, visit the SafeWise methodology page.

Cathy Habas
Written by
Cathy Habas
With over eight years of experience as a content writer, Cathy has a knack for untangling complex information. Her natural curiosity and ability to empathize help Cathy offer insightful, friendly advice. She believes in empowering readers who may not feel confident about a purchase, project, or topic. Cathy earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Indiana University Southeast and began her professional writing career immediately after graduation. She is a certified Safe Sleep Ambassador and has contributed to sites like,, Hunker, and Thumbtack. Cathy’s pride and joy is her Appaloosa “Chacos.” She also likes to crochet while watching stand-up comedy specials on Netflix.

Recent Articles

woman adjusting thermostat in bright home
The Best Home Security Systems of 2024
After thousands of hours of tests and research, we picked Vivint and SimpliSafe as the...
The Best Fall Detection Devices
Find the best medical alert systems with fall detection. Compare equipment, price, accuracy, customer reviews,...
medical alert products on an illustrated background
Best Medical Alert Systems
See which medical alert system is the best to keep you and your loved one...
Man and woman couple wife husband set up surveillance security camera
Best Apartment Security Systems
These renter-friendly apartment security systems help keep you safe and require less commitment than your...