A good home blood pressure monitor is an essential tool in the early detection and treatment of high blood pressure, aka hypertension. With these monitors, you can check your blood pressure no matter where you are to maintain heart health.
Home monitoring can give you an accurate picture of your blood pressure if you follow these guidelines:
- The American Heart Association recommends using an automatic cuff monitor on your arm for the most accurate readings; wrist and finger monitors are not as accurate.
- Make sure you have the correct cuff size for your arm and put it directly on your arm in the right place when measuring your pressure. To determine your cuff size, measure your arm at the middle of your bicep with a soft tape measure, making sure to wrap it snugly but not too tight. Place the cuff one inch above the bend of your elbow directly on your skin.
- Don’t take your blood pressure right after you wake up; take it in the morning before taking medications, eating, or exercising. Avoid caffeine, tobacco, and alcohol 30 minutes before taking a measurement.
- Sit quietly for five minutes before taking a measurement, then be still and don’t talk during the process.
- Keep your arm at heart level while taking a measurement and sit with your feet flat on the floor while the monitor is working.
- Take a repeat measurement one to three minutes after your first measurement to check for accuracy.
Note: Never stop taking blood pressure medication without consulting your doctor, even if your blood pressure numbers are in the normal range when you measure at home. Visit your doctor regularly to maintain your health.
Choosing the Right Blood Pressure Monitor
If you’re looking for a home blood pressure monitor, consider these features:
- Accuracy: Look for these phrases that indicate monitor accuracy: medically validated, clinically validated, or FDA cleared. If you don’t see these phrases, take your monitor to your doctor’s office and compare their reading to your monitor’s reading. A monitor reading that’s within plus or minus ten of your doctor’s reading is acceptably accurate.
- Display: The display should be easy to read and have large-sized buttons to make the monitor easy to use. A monitor that automatically takes multiple readings and displays the average is a plus.
- Data Storage: Storing readings can be useful for long-term blood pressure tracking, and if you’re sharing your monitor with others, the option to store data for multiple users is a must.
Also, check with your health insurance provider to determine if your policy covers the cost of a home blood pressure monitor!
Top Choice: Omron Platinum Blood Pressure Monitor
The Omron Blood Pressure Monitor is on the list of U.S. Blood Pressure Device Listing (VDL), an American Medical Association independent review committee list of devices that have been validated for clinical accuracy. The monitor has a dual backlit display and offers unlimited memory and users with a free app. The device automatically takes three readings as intervals and displays the average.
It includes an AC adapter and protective storage case.
OMRON Platinum Blood Pressure Monitor, Premium Upper Arm Cuff, Digital Bluetooth Blood Pressure Machine, Stores Up To 200 Readings for Two Users (100 readings each)
This device automatically takes three readings at a time for greater accuracy.
Large Display: Lazle Blood Pressure Monitor
The Lazle blood pressure monitor is the largest backlit display on the market, with a large LED screen that displays blood pressure and heart rate and includes an irregular heartbeat alert. The device stores up to 200 measurements in its memory for two users.
The monitor has a USB port for power and includes a storage case.
ALL NEW 2021 LAZLE Blood Pressure Monitor - Automatic Upper Arm Machine & Accurate Adjustable Digital BP Cuff Kit - Largest Backlit Display - 200 Sets Memory, Includes Batteries, Carrying Case
The largest backlit display on the market makes this monitor very easy to read.
Best Portable: Withings Blood Pressure Monitor
This FDA-cleared blood pressure monitor gives you instant color-coded results on the device’s LED screen and gives you the option to monitor your data using the free Health Mate app via Wi-Fi or Bluetooth synchronization. The design is lightweight and compact, and a single charge will keep the monitor in operation for six months.
Withings BPM Connect, Wi-Fi Smart Blood Pressure Monitor: Medically Accurate, FSA/HSA Eligible, Connects Easily to app for iOS & Android, Grey
The lightweight, compact design of this FDA-cleared monitor makes for great on-the-go results.
Extra-Large Cuff: Life Source Blood Pressure Monitor
The extra-large cuff included with this clinically validated blood pressure monitor fits arms that are 16.5 to 23.6 inches in circumference at the midpoint of the distance between shoulder and elbow. The device stores up to 60 readings in its memory, and the large LCD screen is very easy to read.
LifeSource Upper Arm Blood Pressure Monitor with Extra Large Cuff (UA-789AC)
The cuff included with this clinically validated monitor fits arms that are 16.5 to 23.6 inches in diameter.