Swim and Shower with Your Fitbit: What You Need to Know

Last Updated: December 18, 2023By
A black Fitbit fitness tracker showing time and date on a wooden surface

Ever wondered if your trusty Fitbit can brave the waters with you? Whether it’s powering through laps in the pool or simply surviving a shower, the question of a Fitbit’s water-friendliness is a hot topic for many users. This isn’t just a matter of curiosity; it’s about maximizing the potential of your fitness tracker.

We’re going to tackle the big question head-on: Can your Fitbit be your swim buddy, or does it need to sit out during your aquatic adventures? From deciphering those cryptic water resistance ratings to understanding how your device reacts to different water environments, we’ve got you covered.

Understanding Water Resistance Ratings

When considering taking your Fitbit into wet environments, it’s crucial to know what it can handle. Water resistance in electronic devices is often indicated by IP (Ingress Protection) and ATM (atmospheres) ratings.

These ratings are not just random numbers; they provide valuable information about how well your device can withstand exposure to water.

Decoding IP Ratings

IP ratings are a two-digit system used to specify the level of protection a device offers against solid objects and liquids. The first digit, ranging from 0 to 6, indicates protection against solids like dust.

The second digit, which varies from 0 to 8, reflects the device’s resistance to water. For instance, an IP67 rating means the device is completely protected against dust (6) and can withstand immersion in water up to 1 meter for 30 minutes (7).

Understanding ATM Ratings

ATM ratings, on the other hand, measure pressure resistance and are often used for devices like watches and fitness trackers. An ATM rating tells you how much pressure your Fitbit can endure, which is particularly relevant for swimming.

A device with a rating of 1 ATM can withstand the pressure equivalent to being 10 meters underwater, but this doesn’t necessarily mean it’s suitable for swimming. Generally, a device should have at least a 5 ATM rating to be considered safe for swimming.

Real-World Implications

It’s important to note that these ratings are based on controlled laboratory conditions and may not directly translate to all real-life situations. Factors like temperature, movement, and chemical exposure (such as chlorine in pools) can affect a device’s water resistance.

Therefore, while these ratings provide a good baseline, they should not be the sole factor in deciding whether to swim or shower with your Fitbit.

Swimming with a Fitbit

Taking your Fitbit for a swim can be a great way to track your aquatic exercises, but it’s vital to know how your device will perform in the water. Not all Fitbit models are created equal when it comes to swimming, and understanding the limitations and capabilities of your particular model is key to keeping it functional.

Fitbit Models Suitable for Swimming

Before jumping into the pool, check if your Fitbit model is designed for swimming. Models with a water resistance rating of 5 ATM or higher are generally considered safe for swimming.

These models are designed to withstand the pressure and conditions encountered in a pool, like the Fitbit Versa series and certain Charge models. However, always refer to the manufacturer’s guidelines for your specific model.

Risks and Precautions in the Pool

While a swim-proof Fitbit can handle water immersion, there are still risks involved. Prolonged exposure to chlorinated water in pools can affect the device’s sealing and overall water resistance.

Similarly, salt water can be corrosive. After swimming in a chlorinated pool or the ocean, rinse your Fitbit with fresh water to mitigate these risks.

Swimming Features and Tracking

Swim-proof Fitbits often come with features specifically designed for swimmers, like swim tracking, which records laps, duration, and pace. These features can provide valuable insights into your swimming workouts, helping you track your progress and improve your performance.

Setting Up Your Fitbit for Swimming

To get the most out of your Fitbit while swimming:

  • Ensure the device is snugly fastened on your wrist.
  • Activate the swim tracking feature if your model has it.
  • Familiarize yourself with how to start and stop swim workouts on your device.

After Your Swim

Post-swim care is just as important for maintaining your Fitbit. Dry it thoroughly after each swim session, and check for any signs of water damage, especially if the device was subjected to depths or conditions beyond its specified limits.

Regular maintenance ensures the longevity and accuracy of your Fitbit.

Showering with a Fitbit

Taking your Fitbit into the shower may seem convenient, especially if you’re someone who rarely takes off their wearable device. However, showering with a Fitbit requires a bit more consideration than swimming.

Factors like hot water, steam, and soap can impact the device differently than plain water.

Assessing Fitbit’s Suitability for the Shower

First and foremost, it’s essential to check your Fitbit model’s water resistance rating. While some models can handle immersion in water, exposure to hot water and steam may be a different story.

The increased temperature and chemicals found in soaps and shampoos can potentially harm the device, even if it’s rated as water-resistant.

Impact of Soaps and Shampoos

Soaps, shampoos, and other shower products can affect the sealing and overall integrity of your Fitbit. These substances can degrade the water-resistant materials and adhesives used in the device.

If you do wear your Fitbit in the shower, it’s advisable to keep it away from direct exposure to these substances.

Hot Water Considerations

The effect of hot water on a Fitbit shouldn’t be underestimated. High temperatures can damage the device’s components and compromise its water resistance.

If your Fitbit is essential to your daily routine, consider removing it before a hot shower to avoid potential damage.

Tips for Fitbit Care in the Shower

If you decide to shower with your Fitbit:

  • Avoid exposing it to high-pressure water jets.
  • Minimize contact with soaps and shampoos.
  • Rinse the device with fresh water after the shower.
  • Dry it thoroughly before charging or using it again.

Monitoring for Water Damage

Regularly check your Fitbit for signs of water damage, especially if you frequently shower with it. Look for fogging under the screen, issues with the touch screen, or problems with charging, as these can be indicators of water affecting the device. 

Proper care and attentiveness can prolong the life of your Fitbit, ensuring it remains a reliable fitness companion.

Long-Term Care and Maintenance

A Fitbit smartwatch displaying health metrics on a yellow background

Maintaining the longevity and functionality of your Fitbit is crucial, especially if you frequently expose it to water. Whether it’s from swimming, showering, or just daily wear and tear, understanding how to care for your device will help ensure it remains a dependable health and fitness tool for years to come.

Regular Cleaning and Care

Keeping your Fitbit clean is essential. Regular cleaning helps prevent skin irritation and keeps the device in top condition.

Use a lint-free cloth and, if necessary, a small amount of mild soap with water to clean the band. Avoid using hand sanitizers, cleaning wipes, or household cleaners, which can damage the material.

Post-Water Exposure Maintenance

After swimming or showering with your Fitbit, rinse it with fresh water, especially if exposed to chlorine or salt water. Dry it thoroughly with a soft towel before putting it back on.

Ensure the charging ports are dry before plugging the device in for charging.

Inspecting for Water Damage

Regularly inspect your Fitbit for signs of water damage. This includes checking for condensation under the screen, malfunctions in the touchscreen, or charging issues. 

Early detection of these problems can prevent further damage and potentially save your device.

Band and Screen Care

The band of your Fitbit also requires attention. If you have interchangeable bands, rotate them periodically to reduce wear.

For the screen, consider using a screen protector to guard against scratches and other physical damage.

Software Updates and Battery Health

Keep your Fitbit’s software up to date. Firmware updates often include improvements and bug fixes that can enhance the device’s performance and longevity.

Also, monitor your battery’s health. Recharge your Fitbit before it completely dies and avoid overcharging, as both can affect the battery life.

Warranty and Coverage

Understanding the warranty and coverage for your Fitbit is as important as knowing how to use and maintain it. A warranty can be a lifesaver in situations where your device encounters problems or malfunctions.

It’s essential to be aware of what the Fitbit warranty covers, especially in relation to water damage, to ensure you are using your device within its intended boundaries.

Overview of Fitbit’s Warranty

Fitbit typically offers a limited warranty that covers manufacturing defects and workmanship issues for a specific period from the date of purchase. This warranty is crucial for peace of mind, assuring you that your investment is protected against certain types of problems that are not caused by the user.

Scope of Water Damage Coverage

When it comes to water damage, the warranty’s applicability can be a bit complex. Fitbit devices rated for water resistance are covered for defects related to their water-resistant capabilities within the warranty period.

However, this does not include damage from wearing the device in conditions beyond its rated capacity (like diving with a device not rated for that depth).

Exclusions and Limitations

It’s important to note that the warranty does not cover damage caused by misuse, accidents, or non-compliance with the care instructions provided by Fitbit. This includes exposing the device to harsh chemicals, extreme temperatures, and environments beyond its specified resistance ratings.

Claiming Warranty

In the event of a malfunction or defect within the warranty period, contact Fitbit customer support. Be prepared with your purchase details and a description of the issue.

Fitbit may offer a repair, replacement, or other solutions based on the warranty terms and the nature of the problem.

Additional Protection Plans

Consider purchasing additional protection plans if available, especially if you use your Fitbit in rigorous conditions. These plans can provide extended coverage and peace of mind beyond the standard warranty.


We’ve journeyed through the important aspects of using a Fitbit in water, from understanding its water resistance ratings to the specifics of swimming and showering with it. Along the way, we highlighted the importance of proper care and maintenance to ensure the device’s longevity.

Knowing the limits of your Fitbit’s warranty, especially in relation to water damage, is essential for responsible use.

Fitbits are designed to be a part of your daily life, including your water-based activities. However, it’s vital to remember that even the most water-resistant models have their limitations.

By being aware of these and taking the necessary precautions, you can enjoy the benefits of your Fitbit without risking its functionality. Regular maintenance and careful usage will not only extend the life of your device but also ensure it remains an accurate and reliable fitness tracker.

So, whether you’re swimming laps or just taking a quick shower, keep these tips in mind to keep your Fitbit in top shape.