As you may recall, my last article centered around what your blood pressure means, why you should monitor it, and how to do that. If you missed that article you should read it first and then come back to this one. One thing I definitely recommended is that you buy a home blood pressure monitor so you may check your own blood pressure at home. What I didn’t cover is which is the best blood pressure monitor you can buy. There are dozens of models available from several different manufacturers and at lots of different price points. I have chosen four home blood pressure monitors to recommend to you. I have tried to include one monitor each at four different price points. I will discuss the features of each monitor and why I recommend each one. This should make your buying decision an easy one.
The first point I want to make is that you need to purchase a monitor that utilizes a cuff that goes on your upper arm. Most monitors do work this way, but you can find some that go on your wrist or your finger. You should avoid these other types, as they have not proven to be as accurate as the ones with the arm cuffs. Having the proper cuff size is also very important. If your cuff is too tight or too loose on your arm, you may not get a proper reading. Most home blood pressure monitors will include a medium size cuff. If your arm is really small, or really large, you might need to buy a separate cuff. Proper technique is also a crucial step in getting accurate results. I will go over the steps again for you to be sure you know the proper technique.
- Sit still in a chair with your feet flat on the floor (not crossed), and rest your back against the chair for a couple of minutes before taking your reading.
- Prop your arm up near the level of your heart on a table or armrest, palm facing upward.
- Tighten the cuff around the upper part of your arm. Be sure you have the proper size cuff for your arm. You will get the best results if you put the cuff over bare skin, not clothing.
- Adjust the cuff so that the cord from the cuff runs down the inside of your arm toward your palm.
- Press the button and remain still and quiet while the machine takes its reading.
- Try to take a couple of readings separated by about a minute to ensure accuracy. Some monitors will do this for you automatically.
- Remember that medications or physical activity can alter your blood pressure. Keep those factors in mind when you receive your reading.
Here are my recommendations for the best blood pressure monitors that you can buy. You will notice Amazon links with each description. I find that they have the best prices and I wanted to share those with you. Any purchases you make using the Amazon link will generate a (very) small commission for me. I want to be very up-front about that.
LotFancy Home Blood Pressure Monitor
This is kind of an ironic name because this is not a fancy blood pressure monitor. The LotFancy model is the best blood pressure monitor for someone who has a small budget, or is looking for something that would be used infrequently. If you want to have a blood pressure monitor at home but don’t really have health issues at this time, and you don’t want to spend a lot of money, this would be a good choice. It has all of the basic functions you would need. The reason I like this model over a lot of others in the less expensive category is that it has a 180 reading memory and can be set up for 2 users (90 readings each). This way, you and your spouse can both use it and it can track your readings separately. It also can be set up to take 3 readings and give you the average. Pretty good functionality for a $23 blood pressure monitor. There is also an upgraded model for a few extra dollars that will audibly tell you the results. This would be a great feature for someone who is vision impaired.
Omron 5-Series Blood Pressure Monitor
Omron is the most recognized brand in home blood pressure monitors, as well as other home-use medical devices. We sell a lot of these at my store. This machine is easy to use and has a large display to make it easy to read. It features a cuff that will adjust to fit arms that range from 9-17 inches. I would expect better durability from this machine and would recommend it for someone who wants a simple machine for every day use. It has a 2 user mode and will keep the readings separate in the memory. The memory is a bit lacking on this one, only keeping 30 readings per person. You would probably want to keep your own records manually if you choose this blood pressure monitor. I believe you are paying a bit extra for the brand name here but this is still a solid machine at a pretty good price.
Omron 10-Series Wireless Blood Pressure Monitor with ComFit Cuff
This is Omron’s top of the line offering and is featured as their best blood pressure monitor for home use. This one will sync with the Omron Wellness app on your phone via Bluetooth. This way you can always have your readings available. You can even email your results to your doctor or nosy kids. It will also work with the Apple Health App. This model has several features that are not included in the 5-series. It costs more than the 5-series but it may be worth it if you are a person who enjoys extras. I will summarize a few of these for you:
- The ComFit Cuff is designed to expand to arms between 9 and 17 inches. No more fighting with how to wrap your arm properly. It also has an indicator that will tell you when the cuff is fitted correctly.
- BP level indicator will instantly tell you where your readings stand as compared to recommended guidelines.
- TruRead technology takes 3 separate readings one minute apart and gives you the average. This assures accuracy and prevents you from having outliers from a bad reading.
- Calibration Check system uses two sensors to double-check your readings.
- AC Adapter included so you can plug your machine into the wall instead of relying on the batteries.
- 200 reading memory and can accommodate 2 users (100 readings each)
Now, do you need all of these features? No, you don’t but this is a quality machine with lots of functionality. If you have a few technical skills and are looking for the best blood pressure monitor you can find, you should consider this one.
Withings Wireless Blood Pressure Monitor for Apple and Android
If you are a gadget person, this is the best blood pressure monitor for you! Withings has a very cool line of home gadgets and devices in the healthcare arena. This blood pressure monitor only has a cuff. No base. No cords. It works completely with your phone. Just put the cuff on and it will launch the Withings Health Mate app which will guide you through the rest of the process. The app will store all of your data and help you track any trends. The Health Mate app can track a lot more than just your blood pressure and can sync with other health apps.
One of my friends owns the Withings monitor and he swears by it. The app is fantastic and so is the Withings website if you prefer to use your home computer. It can sync directly to your desktop via USB if you prefer that over using your phone. Sharing information is extremely easy. From a technology standpoint, this one surpasses what the Omron machine can do for you.
I selected the Withings machine as the best blood pressure monitor in the highest price range but, looking at Amazon, they offer a much better price than on the Withings site. This one is a great buy at the current price.
I hope this information will encourage you to pick up a machine for your home and help you understand which is the best blood pressure monitor for you. If you have any further questions on this, please reach out to me. I would be happy to help you.