How to Choose a Blood Pressure Monitor

If you suffer from high blood pressure, it is essential to monitor it regularly. This can be done by visiting your doctor or using a home blood pressure monitor. Two home monitors are available- the arm monitor and the wrist monitor. In this article, we will discuss the pros and cons of each type so that you can make a smarter decision about which monitor is best for you. We will also provide tips on how to choose a blood pressure monitor that fits your needs and budget.

High blood pressure is a condition in which the force of your blood against your artery walls is high enough that it could cause health concerns in the future. According to the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association, a reading of 130/80 mmHg or higher is considered high blood pressure.

If you have been diagnosed with high blood pressure, your doctor may recommend that you monitor your blood pressure at home. Home blood pressure monitoring can help you track your progress in managing hypertension and see if your treatments are working. These types of monitors are also beneficial as they may bring attention to a potential problems early, and you can then take care of it before it gets out of hand. 

What types of monitors will you use from home?

The two home blood pressure monitors are the arm and wrist monitor. The arms monitor is the most common type of monitor used in homes. It is easy to use and usually provides accurate readings. The cuff is placed around your upper arm and inflated. The reading is then displayed on the screen.

Arm Monitor

An arm blood pressure monitor is a device you strap to your upper arm and inflates a cuff around your bicep. The cuff then deflates, and the monitor displays your reading.

Example of an excellent home blood pressure monitor is those from OMRON.

Read about our best blood pressure monitors

Best Blood Pressure Monitor Reviews

Read about our best OMRON Monitors

Best Blood Pressure Monitor Reviews

OMRON Bronze Blood Pressure Monitor
25,175 Reviews
OMRON Bronze Blood Pressure Monitor, Upper Arm Cuff, Digital Blood Pressure Machine, Stores Up To 14 Readings
  • The OMRON Bronze Upper Arm Monitor stores 14 total blood pressure readings for 1 user.
  • The OMRON Bronze monitor captures your readings and any irregular heartbeats and body movement during measurement.
  • The OMRON Bronze monitor features One Touch Use and body movement detection to help ensure easy use and accurate readings.
  • The Bronze cuff fits all large and standard adult upper arms 9” to 17” in circumference. This soft, wide-range D-ring cuff is designed for a more comfortable measurement.
  • Backed with a 2- year warranty. OMRON stands behind the accuracy and quality of our products, and believes in the longevity of our blood pressure monitors. Registered with the FDA as a medical device.
  • This product meets the Validated Device Listing (“VDL”) criteria for validation of clinical accuracy, based on the independent review and acceptance of documentation submitted by the manufacturer.

Pros and cons of arm monitors

Pros

The arms monitor is considered the more accurate option of the two types of monitors.

This type of monitor can be used on people of different arm sizes because the cuff is adjustable.

Cons

The arms monitor can be less comfortable to wear than the wrist monitor.

This type of monitor may be more expensive than the wrist monitor.

Not having a proper fit can cause inaccurate readings

Wrist Monitor

A wrist blood pressure monitor is a device you wear on your wrist that inflates a cuff around your wrist. The cuff then deflates, and the monitor displays your reading.

Care Touch Fully Automatic Wrist Blood Pressure Cuff Monitor – Platinum Series, 5.5″ – 8.5″ Cuff Size- Batteries Included, 1 Count (Pack of 1)
  • IRREGULAR HEARTBEAT INDICATOR – If an irregular heartbeat is detected the irregular heartbeat symbol will be displayed to inform you.
  • MEMORY FUNCTION – Memory storage with date and time stamps allows you to review the last 60 readings with just a touch of a button.
  • FAST READING – Get your blood pressure readings in under a minute with our fully automatic wrist blood pressure monitor that gives you clinically accurate results.

Pros and cons of wrist monitors

Pros

The wrist monitor is more comfortable to wear than the arm monitor.

This type of monitor is typically less expensive than the arm monitor.

Easy to travel with.

Cons

The wrist monitor is considered less accurate than the arm monitor.

This type of monitor may be harder to use if you have small wrists.

Wrist need to be positioned at heart level for the most accurate readings. Because of this it is more difficult to get a true reading for some users.

How to choose a blood pressure monitor

Choosing a blood pressure monitor

When choosing a blood pressure monitor, it is important to consider the device’s cost, accuracy, comfort, and features. For example, the arm blood pressure monitor is generally more accurate than the wrist blood pressure monitor, but the wrist blood pressure monitor is usually more comfortable to wear. The arm blood pressure monitor may also be more expensive than the wrist blood pressure monitor. Consider the features of each type of device before making a purchase. Make sure the device you choose has the features you need and that it fits your budget.

Size matters a lot when choosing a blood pressure monitor.

You want to ensure the cuff size is appropriate for your arm size. If the cuff is too small, it may give you an inaccurate reading. If the cuff is too big, it can be uncomfortable to wear. When speaking about size, this is the upper arm circumference. The cuff must fit correctly, or you may get an inaccurate reading. Here are some size recommendations when it comes to an adult:

Adult sizeArm circumference (Centimeters)Arm circumference (Inch)
Small22-268.5 – 10
Average27-3410.5 – 13
Large35-4413.5 – 17

Ease of use when using a blood pressure monitor

Ease of use is essential when selecting a blood pressure monitor for home use. If the device is not easy to operate, you are less likely to use it regularly. Wrist monitors may be more convenient since they can be worn like a watch and do not require an inflatable cuff. However, arm monitors may provide more accurate readings. Most screens use a large LCD screen, so seeing the numbers is typically easy, even in darker situations.

Cost

Cost is another critical consideration. Blood pressure monitors can range in price from $30 to $100. More expensive models may have more features, such as storing readings or connecting to a smartphone. However, a basic model will still provide accurate readings.

Cuff size in a blood pressure monitor is extremely important when making a choice

You must ensure the cuff size is appropriate and fits your arm as best as possible. This is a very important aspect to look at when purchasing a blood pressure monitor for home use. If the cuff is too small, it may cause inaccurate readings. If the cuff is too large, it can be uncomfortable to wear. Most blood pressure monitors come with an adjustable cuff to find the perfect fit for your arm.

Portability when traveling

Both the arm and wrist models are easy to travel with. Some even come with a travel bag that makes taking your device easier. When deciding on a monitor, consider how often you will be traveling and whether portability is a priority.

Additional features of blood pressure monitors

Features to look for include automatic inflation and deflation of the cuff, an easy-to-read display, and the ability to store readings. Some monitors also offer features such as an irregular heartbeat detector and a risk category indicator.

In closing

Learning how to choose a blood pressure monitor is not hard as long as you follow a few simple rules. When shopping for a blood pressure monitor, there are several factors you should consider, including cost, accuracy, comfort, and additional features. The arm blood pressure monitor is generally more accurate than the wrist blood pressure monitor but may be more expensive. The wrist blood pressure monitor is usually more comfortable and easier to travel. Consider the features of each type of device before making a purchase. Make sure the device you choose has the parts you need and fits your budget.

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About ASmith

Adam Smith is the main researcher and contributor at Mobility Medical Supply. Adam has many years of research in public data, and software security. With Mobility issues within Adam's family, he decided to dedicate in-depth guides on mobility products to anyone looking to improve movement and gain independence.