Choosing the Right Blood Pressure Monitor for You

According to Bloodpressureuk.org, if you do decide to measure your blood pressure at home, you will need to get a home blood pressure monitor. There is a wide range of home blood pressure monitors available, but it is important to be sure that the blood pressure monitor you choose is accurate and the right one for you.

Here’s how to choose the one that’s right for you:

Automatic Blood Pressure Monitors

There are many different kinds of home blood pressure monitor, but it is easiest to use a monitor that is fully automatic (digital). Choose one that measures your blood pressure at your upper arm, rather than at your wrist or finger. Upper-arm blood pressure monitors usually give the most accurate and consistent results.

Make Sure Your Monitor is Accurate

Make sure that the home blood pressure monitor you choose has been listed as ‘clinically validated’ for accuracy by the British Hypertension Society. This means that the digital monitor has gone through a series of tests to make sure it gives results that you and your doctor can trust.

Make Sure You Have the Right Cuff Size

An upper-arm blood pressure monitor will come with a cuff that you need to wrap around your arm. If you use a cuff that is the wrong size for you, your blood pressure reading will not be correct. Measure around your upper arm at the midpoint between your shoulder and elbow, and choose your cuff size from the chart below.

Upper Arm Blood Pressure Monitor Cuff sizes

Measurement (cm)Measurement (inches) Cuff Size
18-22 cm7.1-8.7″Small
22-32 cm8.8-12.8″Medium
32-45 cm12.8-18″Large

Most home blood pressure monitors will come with a medium-sized cuff. You may have to order a different-sized cuff separately.

Choose A Digital Monitor to Suit Your Budget

Blood pressure monitors can vary in price. This usually depends on the number of extra features that the digital monitor has, like a built-in memory for example.

All you need to measure your blood pressure correctly is a clinically validated monitor, and a pen and paper to record your readings. Extra features can be helpful but they are not necessary. Choose a home blood pressure monitor that you can afford.

Keep Your Home Blood Pressure Monitor Calibrated

Because your blood pressure monitor works automatically, it will need to be re-calibrated at least once every two years to be sure it is giving you accurate results. To have your automatic home monitor re-calibrated, you will need to send it back to the manufacturer. There will probably be a fee for this service.

This is our recommendation but please note that individual manufacturers may say differently. 

Below are links to clinically validated blood pressure monitors

For home use: http://bhsoc.org/files/8414/5710/6814/Home_Use.pdf

For clinical use: http://bhsoc.org/files/2814/5710/6732/Clinical_Use.pdf 

Next: 8 Best Blood Pressure Monitors for at-Home Use

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