Lifeline vs. Medical Guardian

We compared each company across 35 policies, features, and specs. Medical Guardian wins over Lifeline.
Medical Guardian
Medical Guardian
4 out of 5 stars
Starts at
  • pro
    Caregivers can track location
  • pro
    No activation or installation fees
Runner up
3.8 out of 5 stars
Starts at
  • con
    Caregivers can’t track location
  • con
    Activation and installation fees

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

Lifeline and Medical Guardian don’t have much in common. We prefer Medical Guardian thanks to its larger selection of medical alert systems and accessories, but people at high-risk for falls might want Lifeline for its superior fall detection technology.

Medical Guardian pros and cons

Medical Guardian pros
pro 14-day money-back period
pro No activation or installation fees
pro Free spouse coverage
pro App-based location tracking
pro Standard and voice-activated wall buttons
pro TMA Five Diamond certified
Medical Guardian cons
con No AARP member discounts
con Lifetime warranty costs extra

Medical Guardian is best overall

We like how easy it is to customize a medical alert system through Medical Guardian. It has five starter packages and multiple accessories, including a rare voice-activated button that allows you to get help when you aren’t wearing a button.

Compared to Lifeline, Medical Guardian also has more customer-friendly policies and fewer up-front fees.

Read our Medical Guardian review to learn more.

Lifeline pros and cons

Lifeline pros
pro Multiple fall detection sensors
pro Voice range extender
pro 30-day free trial
pro AARP member discounts
pro Free with some Medicare Advantage plans
pro 1-year warranty
Lifeline cons
con Activation and installation fees
con No TMA Five Diamond certification
con No free spouse coverage
con No app-based location tracking
con No wall buttons

Lifeline is best for automatic fall detection

Lifeline uses better fall detection technology than Medical Guardian, so it gets our vote if you’re at high risk of falling or passing out. The AutoAlert device calls the monitoring center for you, so you can get help even if you’re feeling confused after your fall.

Other than that, Lifeline doesn’t have any outstanding products, policies, or prices compared to Medical Guardian.

Read our Lifeline review to learn more.

Compare the top features of Medical Guardian vs. Lifeline

Trial period
Free spouse coverage
Five Diamond certified
AARP-member discount
Learn more
Paid lifetime14-day money-back guarantee
Icon Yes  LightYes
Icon Yes  LightYes
Icon No  LightNo
1 year30-day free trial
Icon No  LightNo
Icon No  LightNo
Icon Yes  LightYes

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

Medical Guardian vs. Lifeline similarities

Medical Guardian and Lifeline don’t share many features or policies. Here’s where they do overlap:

  • No contract
  • Landline option
  • Free lease options
  • Free caregiver app
  • Free button battery replacements
  • Cellular connections via AT&T’s 4G network

Lifeline vs. Medical Guardian differences

Best in-home equipment: Medical Guardian

Lifeline’s product line is limited to a base unit, wearable button, and optional second speaker for larger homes.

The wearable button—available as a pendant or wristband—works within 400 feet of the base unit. That’s one of the shortest ranges in the industry and 1,000 feet shorter than Medical Guardian’s maximum range. While 400 feet is sufficient for many homes, it may not do the trick if you like to spend time in the yard.

In contrast, Medical Guardian sells wall buttons, voice-activated equipment, and jewelry pendants. These accessories are important if you’re not sold on the idea of wearing a help button or there’s a chance you’ll forget to put it on:

  • The wall buttons keep help within reach when you aren’t wearing a button.
  • The voice-activated buttons allow you to get help if you fall, aren’t wearing a button, and can’t reach a wall button.
  • The gorgeous jewelry pendants can give you the confidence to wear the help button more often.

Just take note of the price when adding these accessories to your cart: Medical Guardian charges a monthly fee for each one. It adds up fast. Learn more in our Medical Guardian product guide.

Compare Medical Guardian vs. Lifeline in-home equipment

Max. signal range
Backup battery
Wall buttons
Voice-activated button
Voice range extender
Jewelry pendants
Learn more
1,400 ft.32 hrs.$2.99/mo. ea.$4.99/mo. ea. None$2.99/mo. ea.
400 ft.30 hrs.NoneNone$10.00/mo. None

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

Best location tracking: Medical Guardian

Lifeline’s On the Go and Medical Guardian’s Mini Guardian combine GPS, Wi-Fi, and 4G LTE data for accurate location tracking. But each company shares your location differently:

  • Medical Guardian’s app shows your location to loved ones and caregivers. The monitoring center can also see your location.
  • Lifeline’s GPS tracking data isn’t shared with caregivers. Only the monitoring center gets your coordinates.

We think app-based GPS tracking (like Medical Guardian’s) is more user-friendly since it allows loved ones to check on your location at any time.

Best price: Medical Guardian

As long as you don’t go overboard with accessories, you’ll get a better monthly price from Medical Guardian versus Lifeline. Medical Guardian’s equipment costs more, but we think it’s worth paying a little more upfront to save money on your monthly bill.

We don’t like that Lifeline hits customers with extraneous fees like $50 for activation and $20 for self-installation. However, we found Lifeline’s customer service representatives were willing to waive the activation fee to make a sale. Consider ordering your system over the phone and negotiating a better price.

If you’re an AARP member, you can get a 15% discount on a Lifeline system. You might be eligible to get one for free if you have a certain Medicare Advantage plan. Read our Lifeline review for more information. We aren’t aware of any member- or insurance-based discounts for Medical Guardian systems.

Compare Lifeline vs. Medical Guardian prices

Starting price
Equipment fee
Fall detection
Learn more
Free lease$15.00/mo.In-home landline
Free leaseN/AIn-home landline
Free lease$15.00/mo.In-home cellular
$124.95$10.00/mo.In-home cellular
$99.95IncludedMobile unit
$124.95$10.00/mo.Mobile unit

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

Best automatic fall detection: Lifeline

Lifeline’s saving grace is its automatic fall detection technology. If you have a high risk of falling, Lifeline is worth the extra money.

Lifeline’s AutoAlert fall detection pendant is one of the few in the industry with two fall sensors, which reduces false alarms and the likelihood of an undetected fall. Medical Guardian’s devices contain just one automatic fall detection sensor.

That’s not to say that Medical Guardian’s fall detection pendants don’t work. You just might experience more false alarms or undetected falls compared to the Lifeline pendant.

Winner: Medical Guardian beats Lifeline

We think Medical Guardian offers better protection than Lifeline thanks to a more diverse product line. With so many options available, you can outfit your home with equipment that you’re comfortable using. Medical Guardian’s also the better choice for keeping loved ones in the loop, especially in terms of location tracking.

But if you need serious fall detection, consider Lifeline instead.

Still undecided? Read our full Medical Guardian and Lifeline reviews to learn more.

How we decided: Medical Guardian vs. Lifeline

Image: SafeWise. 

We compared Medical Guardian and Lifeline’s in-home systems, mobile systems, company policies, and caregiver features to determine which company offered the best value. We talked to customer service representatives when necessary to make sure we accurately compared these two brands across more than 35 criteria.

Learn more on 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.

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