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Compare the best blood pressure monitors

Compare automatic and manual blood pressure cuffs to use at home.

If you have high blood pressure or haven’t had your blood pressure monitored recently, you might want to consider using a blood pressure monitor at home to keep track of your blood pressure levels.

Compare some of the best blood pressure monitors

NameAverage price (USD)Pressure range (mmHg)Pulse range (beats/minute)MemoryOperating temperaturePurchase
Omron BP742N
Omron BP742N
$58.580-29940-18050 readings10°C to 40°C
A&D Medical UA‌-1030T
A&D Medical UA‌-1030T
$120.240-29940-18090 readings10°C to 40°C
iHealth Feel
iHealth Feel
$94.970-29540-180200 readings5°C to 35°C
Beurer BM 47
Beurer BM 47
$43.380-30040-18030 readings10°C to 40°C
$99.0040-25040-20010°C to 40°C
Data obtained February 2019. Prices are subject to change and should be used only as a general guide.

What is a blood pressure monitor?

A blood pressure monitor is a device used to measure the pressure of the blood in your blood vessels, referred to as blood pressure. Your blood pressure will vary depending on the time of day, your activity level, your salt and liquid intake and any medications you may be taking.

Blood pressure is measured as systolic pressure over diastolic pressure. Systolic pressure is the pressure of your heartbeat, and diastolic pressure is the pressure in between your heartbeats. According to the Heart Foundation, optimal blood pressure is 120/80 mmHg. A regular blood pressure reading of 139/89 mmHg or more is considered to be high blood pressure or hypertension. Uncontrolled high blood pressure is one of the biggest risk factors for heart disease and can lead to a stroke, heart attack or cardiovascular disease.

With regular monitoring, you can get a better understanding of what affects your blood pressure and be alert to changes before they lead to greater problems. Your doctor or another medical professional can tell you how regularly you should be monitoring your blood pressure.

Who should use a home blood pressure monitor?

While anyone can benefit from tracking their blood pressure, doctors typically recommend regular monitoring for the following groups:

  • People who have been diagnosed with hypertension
  • People who have high blood pressure
  • People who have risk factors for high blood pressure
  • Pregnant women with hypertension or preeclampsia
  • Anyone who is taking blood pressure medication
  • Those whose nerves cause their blood pressure to rise while at the doctor’s office, making it difficult to get an accurate reading

If you are unsure if you should be monitoring your blood pressure regularly at home, ask your PCP or another medical practitioner.

What types are available?

Blood pressure monitors are available in both automatic and manual models and are designed to be placed on the upper arm, wrist or finger.

Automatic vs. manual

Automatic blood pressure monitors are generally easier to use than manual models, as they inflate with just the touch of a button. Manual models require the user to inflate them by hand by pumping a rubber bulb. Most people without medical training find the automatic models easier to use, but neither type is considered more accurate than the other, so choose whichever type you prefer.

Upper arm vs. wrist vs. finger cuffs

Upper arm cuff
  • The most accurate type as it is easy to keep the cuff at heart height
  • The only type of cuff recommended by the Heart Foundation
  • Can be difficult to put on one-handed
Wrist cuff
  • Easy to put on without help
  • Smaller and more portable than arm cuffs
  • Not recommended by the Heart Foundation
  • Generally considered to be less accurate than upper arm cuffs
  • Difficult to keep the cuff at heart level
Finger cuff
  • Very easy to put on
  • Small enough to fit in your pocket
  • Not recommended by the Heart Foundation
  • Difficult to get accurate readings
  • Not widely available in Australia

There are also a few companies who have developed apps to read blood pressure. They work by picking up your heartbeat when you place your smartphone near your heart, but they are widely considered to be inaccurate.

What to look for in a blood pressure monitor

Look for a device that is easy for you to use and fits comfortably on your arm. While cuffs are adjustable within a certain range, you should still check that it fits properly to make sure you can get accurate readings.

When looking for a blood pressure monitor, consider the following:

  • Reading time. The reading time of blood pressure monitors ranges from around 20 seconds to over a minute. Generally, the shorter the reading time, the better — especially if you have to check your blood pressure multiple times per day.
  • Calibration. Blood pressure monitors need to be calibrated to give you accurate results. Your monitor will need to be calibrated every year or two depending on the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Storage. Some models allow you to store your results on the device, while others don’t. A few models allow storage for multiple users.
  • Connectivity. Many modern blood pressure monitors have apps that you can download to your smartphone or tablet. These apps typically store your blood pressure readings and allow you to track them and share them with your doctor more easily.
  • Display. Look for a display that is large enough for you to read. If you have visual difficulties, look for a model that reads your results out loud.
  • Warranty. Warranties for blood pressure monitors typically range from one to three years.

8 tips to help you get accurate blood pressure readings

  1. Make sure you know exactly how to use your device. If you are unsure if you are using it correctly, bring it to your doctor and ask them to watch your technique.
  2. Consistency is key. Try to measure your blood pressure at the same time and in the same conditions each day.
  3. Try to be relaxed and undistracted when taking a reading.
  4. If you are taking a seated reading, make sure to sit still with your legs uncrossed, your feet flat on the floor and your back supported.
  5. If you are taking a standing blood pressure reading, wait at least two minutes after you stand up before taking the reading.
  6. Don’t use your blood pressure cuff on top of your clothing.
  7. No matter what type of cuff you are using, the cuff should remain at heart level for the duration of the reading.
  8. Remember to write down the readings if they are not automatically stored in your device. If anything of note happened prior to a reading, write it down so you can mention it to your doctor.

Bottom line

Having a blood pressure monitor that you can easily use at home can help you keep track of and improve your blood pressure readings. Compare a few different models before deciding on the best fit for your needs.

How did we choose these products?

To choose our list of the best blood pressure monitors, we considered factors such as type, price, ease of use and overall features. We also took into consideration third-party product reviews.

Frequently asked questions

Are blood pressure monitors covered by health insurance?

It depends on your insurance coverage. But many insurance companies do not cover the cost of blood pressure monitors.

Are blood pressure watches accurate?

Blood pressure watches should give you a ballpark idea of what your blood pressure is, but blood pressure measured at the wrist is typically not as accurate as when it is measured from you arm.

How can I lower my blood pressure?

Work with your doctor if you have high blood pressure. Some general recommendations to lower your blood pressure include:

  • Getting regular exercise
  • Reducing salt intake
  • Drinking enough water
  • Limiting caffeine
  • Managing stress

Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

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