Your heart is the engine that powers your circulatory system. It works ceaselessly on your behalf to move your blood to your muscles, organs and all the other parts of your body that require constant energy and oxygen. The force created by the movement of blood throughout your body is known as blood pressure. The moment after your heart beats, your blood pressure goes up. When your heart is relaxed, your blood pressure falls. That’s why you get two different numbers each time you take a blood pressure measurement.
Most people that monitor their blood pressure at home are concerned about hypertension, or high blood pressure. Hypertension doesn’t have any serious immediate effects, but it can definitely damage you over a long period of time. According to the Mayo Clinic, half of people that do nothing about their high blood pressure die of ischemic heart disease and another third end up dying from strokes. There are many different causes of high blood pressure, ranging from obesity to family history. Fortunately, there are also many ways to control high blood pressure once you’ve identified the problem.
One way to protect yourself against the dangers of hypertension is to get in the habit of monitoring your blood pressure at home. All kinds of blood pressure monitors are available via the internet, ranging from digital smart blood pressure monitors to easy to use devices that can measure your blood pressure at your wrist and more.
Here are the best blood pressure monitors you can buy:
- Omron’s 10 Series blood pressure monitor offers excellent all-around value. It’s a mid-range device that’s more accurate than most blood pressure monitors at this price range. Other perks include its large, backlit display and Amazon Alexa compatability.
- Greater Goods’ Blood Pressure Monitor Cuff Kit is designed to meet the needs of people who hate spending a lot of time learning how to use an electronic device. Once you turn it on, all you have to do is put your arm in the cuff and press a button to get started.
- If you don’t like the way most blood pressure monitors make a loud hissing noise, you may want to take a look at Omron’s 7 Series. It’s quiet enough to use discreetly at work or in a public restroom.
- It normally only takes a few minutes for a digital blood pressure monitor to do its job. However, that time starts to add up– especially when you take multiple readings throughout the day. That’s where Care Touch’s Fully Automatic Wrist Blood Pressure Cuff Monitor comes in. It’s faster than most other blood pressure monitors you’ll find, plus it looks nice and is easy to use.
- Omron Evolv is highly accurate because it’s equipped with more sensors than most other digital blood pressure monitors. Its patented algorithm corrects for movements and body posture issues that often cause other devices to generate error messages.
The best value blood pressure monitor
Omron’s 10 Series blood pressure monitor combines a range of high end features with a surprisingly affordable price tag. The fact that it automatically averages your results when you take your blood pressure three times in a row is especially convenient. If you’re trying to use exercise or medication to bring your blood pressure down, Omron’s free app will help you chart your progress.
- Averages three readings together automatically. Most doctors recommend to take several blood pressure readings in a row when measuring yourself at home. This device does this automatically.
- You can switch between two different users. The switch that’s located on the front of the device lets you instantly switch between two different profiles.
- Track your statistics with Omron’s free app. You can download an unlimited number of readings to Omron’s health app. The device itself holds up to 200 readings.
- Backlit display. The illuminated display makes this device easier to read and use, especially in low light conditions.
- Works with Amazon Alexa. Once you connect, you can ask Alexa blood pressure related questions.
- Use battery power or the included A/C adapter instead. Some blood pressure monitors only use batteries, but this one can also draw power straight from a wall socket.
- User friendly interface. The two-user toggle switch and the convenient start/stop button add to this device’s ease of use.
- Lacks an irregular heartbeat detector feature. If you’ve recently had heart surgery or intend to monitor for coronary artery disease symptoms, you may be better off with a blood pressure monitor that can check for cardiovascular irregularities.
In a nutshell
If you’re looking for a basic yet high quality blood pressure monitor, Omron’s 10 Series hits all the marks. It doesn’t cost much, but it’s reasonably accurate. Features like the backlit display and Amazon Alexa integration sweeten the deal.
The most user-friendly blood pressure monitor
All the blood pressure monitors listed in this article are fairly user friendly, but Greater Goods’ Blood Pressure Monitor Cuff Kit is even more so. The large, bright display is clearly labeled, and a convenient color-coded bar helps you interpret your results. The fact that you can switch between battery power and wall socket power adds flexibility and convenience. Greater Goods’ St. Louis, Missouri-based support staff is standing by to help out if you run into any issues or encounter any problems.
- Intuitive interface. The display is not only large and easy to read, but also organized in a way that makes sense.
- One-button operation. Just click the large start/stop button when you’re ready to take a measurement.
- Two power options. When you run out of batteries, you use the included A/C adapter instead.
- Easy to store and transport. The device, A/C adapter and the cuff can be folded up in the handy storage bag.
- Excellent customer service. People who bought this product often complemented Greater Goods’ support team.
- Timestamps each reading. A date and time gets attached to each blood pressure reading. This information is useful for analyzing blood pressure fluctuations throughout the day.
- Detects irregular heartbeat patterns. In addition to measuring your blood pressure, this device is capable of detecting arrhythmia and other similar conditions.
- There’s no way to export your results. If you want to use this device with a health app, you have to manually type or write down your results and enter them yourself.
In a nutshell
This blood pressure monitor isn’t fancy, but it gets the job done. If you don’t use medical apps and you just want to monitor your heart health at home, it could be your best option.
The best wrist blood pressure monitor
If you intend to check your blood pressure when you’re at home alone or with your family, you may not care if your device makes a lot of noise. However, taking readings at work, while in a restaurant or in other public situations is another story. Omron’s 7 Series blood pressure monitor is designed for discreet use. Because it doesn’t make much noise when it inflates, you can use it almost anywhere.
- Portable and discreet. This device’s most unique feature is its extra quiet inflation motor.
- More comfortable than most blood pressure monitors. It does squeeze your wrist a bit, but the pressure is not as intense as blood pressure monitors that take readings from the upper arm area.
- Guides you into the correct position. A light activates after you’ve achieved the body posture required for optimal accuracy.
- Detects irregular heartbeats. Unlike Ormon’s 10 Series device, the 7 Series can detect arrhythmia and other cardiovascular issues that cause heartbeat irregularities.
- Comes with a convenient storage case. Simply fold up your device and pack it away when you’re not using it.
- Automatically averages your latest readings. Any measurements you take 10 minutes after your first measurement are automatically averaged together.
- Five-year warranty. If you get a lemon, you can send it back to Omron and they’ll either repair or replace your device.
- No support for Bluetooth or Amazon Alexa. There’s no way to send your blood pressure data to an app or transfer your information to a computer.
In a nutshell
If you’re really serious about tracking your blood pressure, there will probably be occasions where you’ll need to take some readings in public. Omron’s 7 Series lets you do that quietly, without drawing attention to yourself.
The fastest blood pressure monitor
Care Touch’s Automatic Wrist Blood Pressure Cuff Monitor is both fast and easy to use. The color-coded bar lets you know where you stand instantly, which is especially convenient for beginners. Another nice thing about this device is its display, which is large for a wrist style digital blood pressure monitor.
- 60-second response time. Some blood pressure monitors require several minutes for calculation, but this one will deliver your results in a minute or less.
- Large display. Even though this is a relatively small sized blood pressure monitor, the screen is easy to read.
- Use the color-coded bar to interpret your results. This colored bar lets you know if your blood pressure is within healthy limits.
- Detects irregular heartbeats. Check for signs of a leaky valve and other issues that cause cardiovascular irregularities.
- Small and portable. Measuring just 2.9 inches long and 2.6 inches across, this device is small enough to take with you almost anywhere.
- Fits most wrist sizes. The included cuff can be adjusted to accommodate wrists as small as 5.5 inches around or as large as 8.5 inches around.
- One-year satisfaction guarantee. If for some reason you don’t like it, just return it within a year for a full refund.
- You need batteries to use it. Batteries are your only option for powering this device. There’s no way to plug it into an A/C adapter.
In a nutshell
Care Touch’s no-questions-asked satisfaction guarantee shows that it believes in this product. The fact that it’s quicker than the competition is an added bonus.
The most accurate blood pressure monitor
Omron Evolv’s added sensors and patented algorithm makes it even more accurate than the other blood pressure monitors listed above. Most digital blood pressure monitors require you to sit a certain way, but that isn’t the case with Omron Evolv. You can not only position yourself however you like, but also leave your sleeve rolled down when it’s time to take a measurement.
- Your body position doesn’t matter. You don’t need to assume a certain posture– all you have to do is sit still and relax.
- Works with Amazon Alexa. If you own an Amazon Alexa compatible device, you can ask it questions about your heart health once you link it to your Omron Evolv.
- Use the free app to track your health statistics. Omron’s free app lets you upload your health data from your device so that you can look for patterns and send your information to your doctor.
- More accurate than most digital blood pressure monitors. The added sensors and Omron’s patented algorithm add to this device’s accuracy.
- Thin and lightweight. This device has a slimmer profile compared to most other upper arm style blood pressure monitors.
- Set up as many profiles as you like. Most blood pressure monitors limit you to two profiles, but Evolv lets you create as many as you need.
- Remains accurate when used over shirt sleeves. The sensors are sensitive enough to take accurate measurements over most types of clothing.
- The inflation motor is somewhat noisy. This device is not loud, but may attract unwanted attention if used in a public place.
In a nutshell
If accuracy is your priority, this device is your best option. It doesn’t cost much more than competing devices, yet it is considerably more precise. The fact that you can use it over a shirt sleeve makes it easier to use than most upper arm blood pressure monitors.
Buying guide for blood pressure monitors
Comfort vs. accuracy
This should be one of the first things you should think about before buying a blood pressure monitor. Generally speaking, the more comfortable a blood pressure monitor is, the less accurate it becomes. The most precise type of blood pressure monitor is the kind that measures from your upper arm. The problem is that some people are sensitive to the way that blood pressure monitors apply pressure there. Blood pressure monitors that measure from the wrist are easier to use, smaller and more comfortable, but can be inaccurate if you don’t use them correctly.
Digital vs. analog
The main benefit of manual blood pressure monitors is that they don’t require an external power source. Since they don’t have any electronic parts, they tend to last longer and are handy in emergency situations. However, if you have bad eyesight or are hard of hearing, they can be difficult to use. People with arthritis may struggle to use a manual blood pressure monitor’s hand pump, which inflates the cuff.
Do you plan to share your blood pressure device with a loved one?
If you and your spouse are both interested in keeping track of blood pressure, you may want to consider buying a digital blood pressure monitor that can store readings for two different people. Otherwise, you’ll probably need to buy two separate devices.
Do you need to be connected to the internet to use it?
All the electronic blood pressure monitors mentioned above have built-in internal storage. This feature is handy because it lets you use your device when you’re not connected to the internet. Some digital blood pressure monitors won’t work without an internet connection.
Portability and storage
How much space do you have to store your device? If your answer was “not much,” you may want to go with a wrist blood pressure monitor. These tend to be much smaller than blood pressure monitors that are designed to take measurements from the upper arm area.
If you lift weights or just happen to have big arms, you may need an extra large blood pressure monitor cuff. Measure your arms with measuring tape before you buy. If your arm is more than 16 inches around, you probably won’t be able to fit into a standard size blood pressure cuff.
Ease of use
Electronic blood pressure monitors are easy to use compared to manual ones. All you have to do is press a button, and the machine takes care of the rest. If you’ve never checked your blood pressure before, you may want to get a device that has a color-coded indicator on the interface. This feature is useful for learning how to interpret your results.
Wrist blood pressure monitors tend to be the cheapest. You can get a good basic one for around $30. Manual blood pressure monitors also fall within this price range.
If you want more precise readings, you may want to consider investing in a more sensitive electronic blood pressure monitor. These typically cost around $40.
The most expensive type of blood pressure monitors are equipped with special features, like additional sensors and slimmer form factors. Prices start at around $60.
Frequently asked questions
Q: What’s the difference between systolic and diastolic blood pressure?
A: Systolic pressure is the maximum pressure that your heart creates right after it beats. Diastolic pressure tells you what your blood pressure is between beats. If both numbers are high, that could mean that your aorta is stiff. The difference between the systolic and diastolic blood pressure is referred to as pulse pressure. A pulse pressure reading that’s greater than 60 sometimes indicates the presence of a leaky valve.
Q: My blood pressure is higher than usual. Should I contact a doctor?
A: According to Harvard Health, if your systolic blood pressure is greater than 180 and/or your systolic blood pressure exceeds 120, you should contact a doctor immediately.
Q: What time of the day is best for measuring blood pressure?
A: The Mayo Clinic recommends two daily measurements. The first should be in the morning before breakfast and the second should be in the evening before bed.
Tips and tricks
- After you get your blood pressure monitor, you may want to take it to the hospital with you next time you get a check up. This will give you a chance to compare your device to the one your doctor uses. If the readings that your device delivers are way off, you may need to recalibrate.
- Many substances and physical activities can temporarily elevate blood pressure. If you smoke cigarettes or drink coffee or alcohol ahead of a blood pressure reading, you won’t get an accurate picture of what your blood pressure is normally like when you’re at rest.
- Try to be as consistent as possible each time you measure your blood pressure. Don’t switch arms or sit in a different position.
- For improved accuracy, consider taking two or three readings in a row. This way, you can average the three measurements together when you log them. Some digital blood pressure monitors do this automatically.