If you have a blood pressure related health problem, you need to stay on top of your blood pressure numbers. In fact, your life may even depend on how well you pay attention.
If you’re on medication, you need to record accurate blood pressure readings. Without good data, there’s no way for your doctor to know how much medicine to give you.
Failing to keep up with the data could be a fatal mistake. Around the world, high blood pressure is responsible for 12.8 percent of all deaths. According to the Center for Disease Control, 1 out of every 3 Americans have high blood pressure.
Fortunately, those in need of a blood pressure monitoring system have lots of different options. Today’s best blood pressure monitors are inexpensive, accurate, portable and discreet.
4 Types of Blood Pressure Monitors
Upper arm style. Most doctors use an upper arm style monitor to take your blood pressure. That’s because arm cuff blood pressure monitors are very accurate. However, some are bulky and uncomfortable compared to other blood pressure monitoring devices.
Wrist style. Wrist blood pressure monitors are significantly smaller and more discreet than upper arm style devices. The technology is continuing to improve, but overall wrist blood pressure monitors are still not quite as accurate as upper arm blood pressure monitoring devices.
Manual. Old-fashioned manual blood pressure monitors (aka sphygmomanometers) can be very accurate– if they are calibrated correctly. Manual blood pressure monitors tend to be cheaper than their digital counterparts. Another benefit is that electricity is not required.
Digital. Automatic digital blood pressure monitors are capable of self-inflating. Some can even upload info to the internet or to a smartphone. Of course, in order to run a digital blood pressure monitor you’ll need a source of electricity. Most digital blood pressure monitors run on batteries, but some come with A/C adapters.
Questions to Ask When Buying a Blood Pressure Monitor
How complicated is it? If you’re tech savvy, you may feel comfortable using a smartphone compatible blood pressure monitor. But if not, then you may be better off with a simpler product. Most feature-rich digital blood pressure monitors are complicated compared to simpler types of blood pressure monitoring machines.
Will the cuff fit? Upper arm style blood pressure monitors are usually– but not always– adjustable. If your arm is too big or too small for the cuff, you won’t be able to use it. Most manufacturers list the size of the cuff on the side of the box. If you’re buying via the internet, check the product’s Amazon page or the manufacturer’s website for size info.
What’s the procedure? Some types of blood pressure monitors require you to move your arm in certain ways as you take a measurement. For example, some wrist style blood pressure monitors necessitate moving your hand toward your heart. If you’re not consistent in the way that you measure, you won’t get accurate results. Other types of blood pressure monitors don’t require any special movements.
Natural Ways to Lower Your Blood Pressure
In recent years, researchers have discovered a few interesting ways to lower your blood pressure using natural methods. All of the techniques listed below are totally safe. So if any of these ideas sound appealing, feel free to try them out– and don’t forget to use your blood pressure monitor to record your results.
Get some sun. Researchers at the University of Edinburgh found that people exposed to the UV rays experienced a significant blood pressure drop.
Meditate. According to the American Medical Association, meditating for just a few minutes can help you let go of stress and reduce blood pressure issues.
Hug somebody. Some scientists believe that there could be a link between physical affection and blood pressure. A recent study in the journal Biological Psychology revealed that women who often hug their husbands have lower blood pressure compared to women who dislike physical contact.
Dance. According to a report published in the Journal of the American Society of Hypertension, aerobic dance therapy reduces the number of antihypertensive drugs needed to achieve blood pressure control.
The Top 7 Blood Pressure Monitors of 2017
Are you looking for a cutting edge blood pressure monitor that can send your health stats to a smartphone app? Or, are you looking to buy a monitor for a relative who can’t see so well anymore?
Our “best of” list has a little something for everyone. Read on to discover the top 7 blood pressure monitors of 2017.
1. The Best Deluxe Blood Pressure Monitor: the BP785 10 by Omron
This blood pressure monitor from Omron does it all. The BP785 is the most feature rich blood pressure monitoring device on our list. One of the best things about this gadget is that it double checks each result, which lowers the chance that it’ll display a false alarm.
- Detects irregular heartbeat patterns. This monitor’s advanced computer algorithms can read your heart pattern and find out if there’s anything abnormal happening.
- No false alarms. The internal computer double checks each result, ensuring that you won’t be alerted to a problem unless there’s really something wrong.
- Advanced calculation features. Like several other blood pressure monitors on our list, this one automatically averages your latest heartbeat measurements together.
- Displays hypertension alerts. If your blood pressure spikes, the display will let you know you that it’s time to relax.
Fans of previous versions of this blood pressure monitor may be thrown off by this unit’s complicated user interface. Omron added on many new features this time around, but figuring out how to use them takes a bit of practice.
The sheer number of built-in features is the best thing about the BP785 10. However, the learning curve is a little steep. If you’re looking for a basic, easy-to-use blood pressure monitor, Panasonic’s EW3109W or Santamedical’s Adult Deluxe Aneroid Sphygmomanometer are better choices.
2. The Best Wrist Blood Pressure Monitor: the BP652 7 by Omron
Omron’s BP652 7 is one of the most comfortable and portable blood pressure monitors out there right now in the wristband style blood pressure monitor category. The BP652 is ultra portable, discreet and accurate.
- Inflates automatically for highly accurate readings. All that’s required to get a reading is a single button press. The wristband quickly fills with air and checks your blood pressure.
- It’s totally silent. Some wristband style blood pressure monitors make a lot of noise when they inflate, but this one’s very quiet.
- It looks like an ordinary wristwatch. Some blood pressure monitors are bulky, but this one is compact and portable.
- Review your blood pressure history with ease. This blood pressure monitor stores your health info to memory.
The instructions are confusing and hard to understand.
There are several wristband style blood pressure monitors on our list, but the BP652 7 is the smallest, most discreet option. The only downside is that the included instructions are poorly written. However, those who figured out how to use this device properly were pleased with the results.
3. The Best Armband Blood Pressure Monitor: the BP786N 10 by Omron
Armband blood pressure monitors are bulkier than wrist style devices, but they’re also more accurate. The BP786N 10 comes with an array of attractive features including a free smartphone app, which may be why it is currently listed as the most popular digital blood pressure monitor on Amazon.
- It’s one of the most popular blood pressure monitors on Amazon. This blood pressure monitor device recently made it to the top spot on Amazon’s digital blood pressure monitor bestsellers list.
- It’s compatible with Apple and Android smartphones. The BP786N is the only item on our list that’s compatible with smartphones. You can transfer information to and from your smartphone by using the free app.
- The large, backlit LCD display is easy to read. Some blood pressure monitors have small, crowded screens. But the BP786N’s screen is big and the readings are easy to see.
- It’s comfortable. This device’s patented Easy Wrap ComfFit cuff won’t scratch or pinch your skin.
The good news is that this device allows you to export your health data to a spreadsheet. The bad news is that you’ll probably have to do some editing to fix a few irritating formatting errors if you plan on organizing the data.
Most doctors use armband style blood pressure monitors to get blood pressure information. That’s because they’re more accurate compared to other types of blood pressure monitors. The only problem is that most armband style blood pressure monitors are uncomfortable and hard to use. The BP786N is an exception. Its ComFit cuff is actually quite comfortable.
4. The Most User Friendly Digital Blood Pressure Monitor: EW3109W by Panasonic
It’s nice to have options. But sometimes, simpler is better. If you’re looking for a bare bones digital blood pressure monitor that’s super easy to use, look no further. Panasonic’s EW3109W is the most user friendly blood pressure monitor on our list. It’s the perfect choice for anyone look for a hassle-free way to check their blood pressure.
- One touch operation. You won’t need to dig through the instruction manual to figure out how to use this device. Just press the button whenever you want to get a reading.
- Built-in memory saves your last 90 readings. When it comes to monitoring blood pressure, it’s important to be able to look at trends. This device’s built-in memory allows you to do just that.
- It comes with a carrying pouch. If you want to carry this monitor with you, just wrap the cuff around the monitor and slide it in the carrying bag.
- The large display is easy to read. The large display makes this blood pressure monitor a good choice for people with vision problems.
It doesn’t come with an A/C adaptor. This blood pressure monitor does feature an A/C adapter plug, but you have to buy your own A/C adaptor if you want to plug it into an outlet.
Though the EW3109W doesn’t include “gee whiz” features found on other blood pressure monitors, it does its basic job quite well. If you’re looking for a modern, digital blood pressure monitor with tons of cutting edge features, Omron’s BP786N or BP785N are better choices.
5. The Blood Pressure Monitor With the Most Storage Space: BP2M by Ozeri
The BP2M can hold more stats than any other blood pressure monitoring devices on our list. Even though this monitor’s body is quite small, it can hold 1197 different blood pressure readings. We also liked this device’s display. The BP2M is the only blood pressure monitor on our list that’s capable of displaying multiple colors. The color coded results allow for quick and easy blood pressure tests.
- It has a ton of built-in memory. This monitor can hold 1197 data points.
- The multicolored LCD display. When your blood pressure goes up, the display changes from green to yellow to red.
- One size fits all. This armband style monitor can be adjusted to fit any size arm.
- Quick results. The BP2M automatically inflates to just the right level– no manual adjustments required. You’ll only have to wait a few seconds to get a reading.
It isn’t very power efficient compared to other blood pressure monitors.
Ozeri’s BP2M has a lot going for it. We love the LCD display because the colored alerts allow you to instantly get up to speed on your blood pressure status. It’s also great for tracking your blood pressure over time, because it has a ton of on-board storage space. This device’s main weakness is its short battery life.
6. The Best Manual Blood Pressure Monitor: Adult Deluxe Aneroid Sphygmomanometer by Santamedical
Digital blood pressure monitors have lots of interesting features. But if all you want to do is take a simple blood pressure reading, an old-fashioned aneroid sphygmomanometer may be more your speed. As long as you keep it calibrated, this aneroid sphygmomanometer will provide you with highly accurate blood pressure readings.
- It’s one of the most popular sphygmomanometers on Amazon. This product has great reviews, plus it’s inexpensive compared to other sphygmomanometers.
- No batteries necessary. You don’t need electricity to use this monitor.
- Comes with a discreet carrying case. The carrying case allows you to easily bring this blood pressure monitor with you wherever you go.
- Affordable price. This is the cheapest blood pressure monitor on our list.
This manual blood pressure monitor lacks the features found on most modern digital blood pressure monitors. Also, you have to manually calibrate this device yourself if you want accurate readings.
If you’re looking for a good manual blood pressure monitor, this offering from Santamedical won’t disappoint. As long as you know how to use one properly, this type of device is capable of delivering very accurate readings.
7. The Best Budget Blood Pressure Monitor: the BP629 3 by Omron
The BP629 3 is a budget monitor– but it isn’t cheaply made. This device is built for accuracy. The manufacturer’s experience and attention to detail has enabled the BP629 3 to outperform several more expensive blood pressure monitoring devices. Omron has been making portable blood pressure monitors for three decades. Their experience in the field of health electronics really shows here.
- It’s accurate. If you use it correctly, the BP629 3 will deliver reasonably accurate results.
- It’s easy to use. The included instructions are well-written and the user interface takes just a few minutes to figure out.
- Portable and lightweight. This monitor is small enough to fit in your pocket.
- Low price. The BP629 3 is one of the most inexpensive items on our list.
If you change the batteries, you have to go through the setup process all over again.
The BP629 is a simple, inexpensive device– so don’t expect it to match the performance of more expensive machines. On the other hand, if all you want is a simple machine more comfortable, more portable and more accurate compared to similar types of devices in this price range.
If you’re looking for an inexpensive blood pressure monitor that’ll give you a realistic idea of what your blood pressure status is, the BP629 is worth a look.