Many hours of research on the best blood pressure monitors for home use led us to our top pick: Panasonic EW2109W Portable Upper ArmBlood Pressure Monitor. For anyone who must monitor blood pressure at home, it is important to have the most accurate equipment.
Our step-up pick is the Omron 10 Series Wireless Upper Arm Blood Pressure Monitor.
Our budget pick is the Choice MMed Automatic Digital Upper Arm Blood Pressure Monitor.
Table of Contents
- Blood Pressure Explained
- How we Picked
- Best Upper Arm Blood Pressure Monitor
- Step-Up Pick
- Budget Pick
- Best Wrist Blood Pressure Monitor
- Step-Up Pick
- Budget Pick
- Not A Deal Breaker
- American Health Association Suggestions
- Mayo Clinic Suggestions For Home Monitoring Blood Pressure
- Family Doctor Org Tips For Tubing
- WHO World Health Organization Suggestions
- Wrapping Up
Blood Pressure Explained
Before we begin discussing our picks, we want to answer the question: “What is blood pressure?” It is the force that is created by the heart beating and causing the blood to pump through the body, pushing the blood up against the walls of the arteries. Blood pressure measurement is done in millimeters of mercury (mm Hg). It is written as 2 numbers with one number being over the other. The top number is the systolic blood pressure. That part of the measurement happens when the heart beats. That is the highest the pressure that is in the arteries. The bottom number is the diastolic number. This measurement happens in between the beats of the heart. This is the lowest pressure that is in the arteries. Normal adult blood pressure is 120 mm Hg/80 mmHg. This is read as 120 over 80.
High blood pressure, or hypertension, happens when the arteries have pressure that is consistently raised. The higher the pressure of the blood the more it makes the heart work harder to pump the blood properly. If high blood pressure is not treated it can cause a stroke, a heart attack, enlarge the heart, and finally lead to heart failure. Blood vessels become weakened and stretched out by constant high pressure. When this happens an aneurysm, or a bulge in the artery, forms, which can eventually get stopped up and break through the wall of the artery. Depending on where it happens, and depending on how fast the blood will clot in the burst area, the person may or may not survive. If it happens in the brain it can cause a stroke, which can lead to mental and physical impairment, blindness, and can be fatal.
Arrhythmias are abnormal rhythms of the heart. If the arrhythmia lasts too long it can keep the heart from being able to pump enough blood throughout the body. Most of the time arrhythmias are not severe, but occasionally they will need medical attention. Arrhythmias can show a lot of different symptoms. It can be felt in the chest like a skipped beat of the heart, also known as a palpitation. It can also feel like several quick heartbeats, like a fluttering feeling in the chest and sometimes the neck. If the arrhythmia continues to happen and affects the heart’s ability to pump blood then other symptoms appear. These symptoms are fatigue, rapid heartbeat, lightheadedness, chest pain, dizziness, and sometimes a heart attack.
There is also another type of hypertension called pulmonary hypertension. It affects the arteries that are in the lungs. The word pulmonary suggests oxygen is being received by the lungs. The word systemic suggests that oxygen is being delivered to the body. Pulmonary hypertension has a different way of measuring the pressures because of those differences. This measurement shows how much pressure it is taking the heart to pump blood from the heart into the arteries in the lungs. This type of monitoring must be done by a health care provider using special testing.
There are many heart-healthy organizations, as well as medical clinics and doctors who recommend home blood pressure monitoring. When blood pressure issues arise, the purchase of a home monitoring system will help doctors give more accurate treatment. Owning a home monitoring system will also help people take an active role in their care.
High blood pressure (hypertension) is a disease that can lead to heart disease, strokes, kidney failure, early death and some disabilities. Hypertension is considered a silent killer because there are often no symptoms. Although, there are some people do experience symptoms such as headache, dizziness, heart palpitations, shortness of breath, chest pain, and nosebleeds. Heart-healthy organizations and health care providers urge people with any of these symptoms to never ignore them, but that they are not exclusively symptoms that mean high blood pressure exists. On occasion, some people have anxiety about going to see their healthcare provider which raises blood pressure temporarily. This is called the”white coat syndrome”. To determine if this is the case, several blood pressure measurements may be taken during the healthcare provider visit and home blood pressure monitoring should be done.
How we Picked
There are several factors we used for picking the top, step-up, and budget pick blood pressure monitors. The first factor is the accuracy of the monitor’s measurements. The next factor is the cuff size, since it is important to have a proper fit for accurate readings, as well as for comfort. Another factor is the ease of using the monitor, along with the readability of the display. Yet another factor in picking the best monitor is the ability to store pressure readings taken for future reference. The final factor is price.
There are 3 types of blood pressure monitors. The first type is aneroid. It includes an upper arm cuff, a bulb with an air pressure release valve, a stethoscope and a sphygmomanometer dial, all with tubing. This is the type that had been standardly used in doctors’ offices and hospitals and some homes due to the accuracy of the readings. It does take a certain set of skills to be able to use this method correctly. There are many steps that must be learned, therefore it is more difficult to use.
The second type of monitor is an upper arm automatic/digital blood pressure monitor. It includes the cuff and the digital measurement device as separate components connected by tubing. This kind of monitor is easy to use by following a few simple instructions as to the placement of the cuff on the arm while the pressure is being taken.
The third kind of monitor is the wrist device. It includes the cuff and measurement device paired together. This monitor is also simple to use by following instructions for cuff placement on the wrist.
Best Upper Arm Blood Pressure Monitor
The Panasonic EW2109W Portable Upper Arm Blood Pressure Monitor is our top pick for the best upper arm blood pressure monitor. The monitor is easy to use, as well as having an easy to read display. It will store 90 readings. With a comfortable arm cuff, the monitor is very accurate. It has Panasonic’s Digital Filter Technology which means it will focus on the sound of the pulse rather than other surrounding noises. An important addition is an alert that will flash if the blood pressure measurement is high.
The Omron 10 Series Wireless Upper Arm Blood Pressure Monitor is our step-up pick. The cuff expands to fit different size arms. With Bluetooth capability, readings can be stored online. There are many apps that help manage blood pressure issues when they have access to the blood pressure measurements that are stored. A green light indicates normal blood pressure. An orange light indicates high blood pressure. The monitor takes 3 measurements in 1 minute increments, then shows the average of those 3 readings. With back-lighting the display is easy to read. It will store 200 readings for one person, or 100 readings apiece for 2 people. The monitor uses 4 AA batteries, or a separate AC adapter can be purchased for electrical use.
Choice MMed Automatic Digital Upper Arm Blood Pressure Monitor is our budget pick. The monitor will measure blood pressure and pulse rate. It will store 120 readings, as well as display the average of the last 3 measurements. It has an alert if arrhythmia (abnormal heart rate) is detected. It has an adjustable cuff that fits from 8.67 inches to 12.50 inches. It uses green light for normal blood pressures, orange light for pressure considered to be on the borderline of high, and a red light for high blood pressure. It uses 4 AA batteries. An AC adaptor can be purchased separately if electrical use is preferred.
The Omron 5 Series Upper Arm Blood Pressure Monitor will store 100 readings each for 2 people. It will set off an alert if a heartbeat that is irregular is happens during the time when it is measuring the blood pressure. It has a display that shows how our measurements compare to what is considered normal levels. It will average the last 3 measurements recorded during the previous 10 minutes. The cuff fits arms with measurements from 9 inches to 17 inches comfortably.
Another top contender is the Ozeri CardioTech BP3T Upper Arm Blood Pressure Monitor. This monitor is clinically proven in its design. It will store 120 measurements for one person or 30 measurements each for 4 people. It has WHO classifications stored for comparisons. An average blood pressure is displayed for the last 3 measurements and it also displays pulse rate. The monitor will also detect arrhythmia (abnormal heart rate).
The Go WISE USA Digita lUpper Arm Blood Pressure Monitor has a hypertension risk indicator alert that appears when the cuff is being inflated. It records the pulse rate along with the blood pressure reading. The monitor also features an irregular heartbeat alert. The face is a large LCD display. It uses 2 AA batteries.
For Those with Large Arms
LifeSource/Blood Pressure Monitor with AccuFit Extra Large Cuff is another outstanding monitor, which is especially useful for people with large arms. The cuff uses a fast motor to obtain reading quickly and comfortably. It has HeartWise technology that blocks out the surrounding noises to give more accurate measurements as the cuff is deflating. The cuff measurement fits arms ranging from 16 ½ inches to 23 ⅗ inches. Another attribute is the fact that it will continue measuring blood pressure and pulse rate even if an alert has been given for arrhythmia. Some monitors that have that alert will stop measurements immediately if alert is given. The display is large, as are the operating buttons. It comes with an AC power adapter or 4 AA batteries may be purchased for use. It will store 60 readings with the time and date included.
For the Elderly
The Slight Touch FDA Approved Fully Automatic Upper Arm Blood Pressure Monitor is great for the elderly. The monitor has an extra-large face for displaying measurements. The monitor can store 30 readings each for 4 people and average the last 3 readings for each person. It will detect arrhythmia and has WHO classifications stored. It comes with a carrying case. Although 4 AA batteries are included, an AC adaptor can be purchased separately. Cuff size can be chosen upon purchase, but the largest cuff size must be purchased separately.
Another great monitor is the LotFancy FDA Approved Digital Upper Arm Blood Pressure Monitor. It will store 60 readings each for 2 people and will average the previous 3 measurements for each person. The monitor also has a large easy‐to‐read display face. The cuff measurements are 8.6 inches to 14.2 inches. It requires the purchase of 4 AA batteries and an AC adaptor is available for purchasing separately.
Wrist Blood Pressure Monitors
In researching the 3 types of blood pressure monitors for home use, the upper arm automatic/digital monitor is most recommended by doctors. It will take a more accurate reading because the blood pressure is stronger in the brachial artery in the upper arm. The pressure is weaker at the wrist. Doctors also recommend taking blood pressures in the same arm each time for the best results. Yet, there are some cases when an upper arm cuff is not able to be used. For some people it is painful. Some people may not be able to find a proper sized cuff for their upper arm. In these cases wrist blood pressure monitors are the best home alternative. Therefore, we researched wrist monitors and chose a top, step-up,and budget pick for this type of blood pressure monitor.
Best Wrist Blood Pressure Monitor
The Panasonic EW3006S Wrist Blood Pressure Monitor is our top pick for the best wrist blood pressure monitor. This monitor also uses Panasonic’s Digital Filter Technology, which as we discussed earlier focuses on the pulse only. This technology also helps keep the cuff from tightening too much. The cuff is easy to place correctly on the wrist. This monitor is easy to use with a large digital face that displays blood pressure and pulse rate. The monitor will store 90 readings. It includes a storage case and batteries (2AA). It has an arrhythmia alert with flashing lighting when pressure readings are high. If the monitor senses too much movement during the measurement time, it will notify the user to begin a new measurement. The readings will flash if they are within a high range. It includes a storage case and batteries (2AA).
Wrist Blood Pressure Monitor Step-up Pick
The iHealth BP7 Wireless Wrist Blood Pressure Monitor is our step-up pick. This FDA-approved monitor uses motion sensor technology for measuring blood pressure and heart rate and helps with correct placement of the monitor for accurate readings. Along with the pressure and heart rate reading, it measures pulse wave and the measurement time. Instructions for proper use can be found on the iHealth mobile app guides after installing them on iOS devices. The application will log measurements and compare them to past readings. It has WHO classification, which shows average readings for other people with similar height, weight, and age. Results can be shared with health care providers, family, or friends for more accountability. The iHealth company suggests using the MyVitals App. The app is free of charge and tracks this monitor’s measurements and also other health assessments.
Wrist Blood Pressure Monitor Budget Pick
[email protected] Wrist Blood Pressure Monitor is our budget pick for the best wrist blood pressure monitor. It is FDA approved. This monitor stores 60 readings and displays the last 3 readings as an average. The cuff is generously-sized at 5.31 inches to 8.46 inches. With a large backlit screen it will display any abnormalities along with the blood pressure and pulse rate. It includes 2 AAA batteries and a carrying case.
The Ozeri BP2M CardioTech Premium Digital Blood Pressure Monitor will store 1,197 blood pressure measurements for one person, or 399 measurements each for 3 people with time and date stamps. It will detect Arrhythmia and has WHO classification. The monitor uses a green color display to show normal pressures, an orange for borderline high pressures, and red for high pressures. The past 3 reading can be averaged. The monitor includes 2 AAA batteries and a carrying case. This monitor is excellent for people who already have arrhythmia because it uses Dynamic Measurement Technology. This means that it will automatically inflate to a comfortable level by the detection of real‐time pressure. For people who have arrhythmia and other similar conditions, blood pressures vary greatly, so having this technology makes taking pressures so much more comfortable since it is not set on a specific number for inflation.
Another top contender is the Omron 7 Series Ultra Silent Wrist Blood Pressure Monitor. It has Heart Zone Guidance which is technology that will give accurate measurements on a regular basis. It has the arrhythmia detector and averages the past 3 readings. It stores 100 measurements. The cuff is 5 ¼ inches to 8 ½ inches. A blue light informs the user that the wrist is at the appropriate heart level to begin measurement. An orange light means that the wrist is not in the correct position to start measuring. A display bar will show comparison readings from recognized guidelines in comparison with the user’s readings. The UltraSilent Technology means that pressures can be taken quietly in any setting for discrete measurement.
Yet another contender is the Homedics BPW-360BT Premium Wrist Blood Pressure Monitor with Bluetooth Smart. It stores 120 measurements total for 2 people. It has arrhythmia detection. The device is easy to use and the backlit display is easy to see. The monitor gives comparisons of the user’s readings to levels given by the American Heart Association. It is Microsoft Health Vault compatible. The user can wirelessly send measurements to an android device by using the installed blood pressure app of choice. It comes with a carrying case and the batteries needed for use.
The Gurin Professional Wrist Blood Pressure Monitor is a great pick. It stores 180 measurements for one person and 90 measurements for 2 people with time and date stamps. It is easy to use for people with arrhythmia, and similar conditions, due to the technology that always inflates the cuff to a comfortable level for an accurate reading. It has WHO classification for comparisons to the user’s readings. The monitor includes 2 AAA batteries and a carrying case.
Blood Pressure Monitoring Apps
For those of us who are technologically savvy, the blood pressure monitors that have Bluetooth capability for android and iOS users can’t be beat. There are a few apps that we think are outstanding. For the iOS devices there is a free app called Blood Pressure Monitor-Family Life by Taconic System LLC. This app gives data charts that show our blood pressure measurements in a progression of time. All readings can also be stored on the Cloud for easy retrieval. We can set threshold measurements for warnings alerts for high blood pressure. The app allows for most other kinds of health tracking as well.
Another iOS app is iBP by Leading Edge Apps LLC. It tracks and analyzes our pressures using graph charts that are interactive. Measurements are easily added using a dial format rather than a keyboard format. The app will sync the information with all iOS devices. It also averages blood pressure and pulse rate readings. The app allows for more than one user to track readings, pass codes can be used for protection, and screenshots can be taken of graphs. E-mail addresses can be stored and there are several e-mail formats to choose depending on your needs.
A third iOS app is called Blood Pressure Companion, by Maxwell Software and is free. Blood pressure and heart rate, as well as weight can be tracked. Graph charts, words, and histograms help set patterns that may be important to establishing future health. Not only does it average readings, it also shows a minimum and a maximum of reading taken. Screenshots of charts can be saved and shared vie e-mail in different formats. Passcode protection, printing support, and customizable color for display are all available for use.
For android phones there are also a few good apps to choose to install. Cardio Journal Blood Pressure App by MDHELPER is free and simple to use. It saves measurements and shows them in graph form as well as analyzes the measurements. Readings can be exported to a Microsoft excel spreadsheet.
Another excellent app for android devices is Blood Pressure (BP) Watch by NumbersMatter2Me. It records blood pressure, pulse rate, and weight for two people. Stored information can be seen in a display by calendar form, list form, and by body location. It will display averages monthly and analyzes best and worst readings. Comments can be added to each measurement and reminders can be set. Sharing data can be done in several ways; by googledrive, file, dropbox, or e‐mail.
A third good free app for android devices is Blood Pressure Log‐My Diary by Dr. Tomasz Jan Zlamaniec. Blood pressure readings can be easily entered. The app has printing and e‐mail capabilities for the measurements. Interactive displays will average and give summaries to help keep track of health progress. Specific ranges, whether high or low, can be set for blood pressure measurements. The app will also track other health progress.
Not A Deal Breaker
Our top pick of the Panasonic EW3109W Portable Upper Arm Blood Pressure Monitor does not have the capability to store readings for 2 people. It is battery powered, but does not have an option to purchase an AC adaptor for electrical use. The monitor does not display pulse rate either. Although these 3 aforementioned items are not as handy, they are not a deal‐breaker. We still believe this monitor to be the best upper arm blood pressure monitor for our top pick.
American Heart Association Suggestions
According to the American Heart Association, monitoring the pulse, or heart rate, (which is the number of times the heart beats in one minute), and blood pressure at home helps healthcare providers make an accurate diagnosis. Any blood pressure above the top number of 180 mm Hg (systolic) and over the bottom number of 110 mm Hg (diastolic) needs immediate medical treatment. Call 9-1-1 right away. People who have regular blood pressure measurements higher than 140 mmHg/90 mm Hg will most likely need to be seen by a health care provider for a cardiovascular disease at some point in their lives.
The American Heart Association also suggests home monitoring of blood pressure for people who are just beginning medications for the treatment of high blood pressure. They also suggest it for people with diseases that can exacerbate blood pressure problems. Pregnant women and the elderly are also among the suggested people who should do home blood pressure monitoring.
On the subject of low blood pressure the American Heart Association suggest that low blood pressure can cause problems only when there are noticeable symptoms. Even so, it is good to monitor low blood pressures at home, as well. Any recorded blood pressures can always help the healthcare provider in diagnosing a problem. Aging can cause low blood pressure, as well as high blood pressure.
Mayo Clinic Suggestions For Home Monitoring Blood Pressure
Clinics, such as the Mayo Clinic, are helpful in determining reasons for home blood pressure monitoring. The Mayo Clinic also suggests home monitoring to help identify health issues quicker than if blood pressure was only monitored at check-ups at your health care provider’s office. They also suggest that home tracking of blood pressure will assist in determining treatment effectiveness when using exercise, dietary changes, and medication regimens for diagnosed hypertension and hypotension.
The Mayo Clinic gives tips for successful monitoring, such as checking monitor readings against the readings obtained at the health care provider’s office to be sure that the home machine is working properly. They suggest skin contact with the cuff as the only possibility for an accurate measurement when using automatic/digital blood pressure monitors. Another tip they give is to take your pressure two times a day. The first pressure should be taken in the morning, before breakfast, exercise, and medication dosing. The second pressure should be taken in the evening before eating and exercise, but after relaxing for a few minutes.
Family Doctor Org Tips For Tubing
According to Family Doctor, the monitor tubing should never be stored tangled. Storing the tubing away from heat is important. Occasionally check the tubing regularly for any defects.
WHO World Health Organization Suggestions
The World Health Organization (WHO) is group that focuses on non-communicable diseases such as hypertension. According to WHO at www.who.int , they help make the public aware of risk factors, treatments, and lifestyle changes that can affect high blood pressure. The organization had credible doctors and nurses in the medical field to research threshold ranges for normal blood pressure and high blood pressure. They determined normal blood pressure for an adult is 120 mm Hg/80 mm Hg. They also determined that there are benefits to lower blood pressures of 105 mmHg/60 mmHg.
Normal blood pressure levels are necessary for all vital organs to function properly, especially the heart, brain, and kidneys.
WHO designates behavioral, social, and metabolic risk factors for high blood pressure. In the case of behavioral factors, diets that are unhealthy and high in salt and fat content contribute to high blood pressure. Also, diets that do not have enough fruits and vegetables being eaten increase risk factors for high blood pressure. More factors for high blood pressure are lack of exercise, tobacco usage and exposure to it, as well as excessive use of alcohol. Having any of these risk factors increases the chance of cardiovascular disease.
The social factors WHO designates include economic status with education, income and housing influencing health. The levels of stress where people live and work can take a toll on health. If diagnosis of high blood pressure is delayed because of lack of resources for access to health care providers it can create more persistent health problems. Constant stress about being without a job or stress that a job could be lost, or family living situations must be managed, also, in order to avoid high blood pressure brought on by stress.
The metabolic factors WHO designate are those such as genetics for hereditary diseases, especially in those under the age of 40. For people with hypertension under the age of 40, secondary causes due to genetics should be ruled out. More metabolic factors are obesity, raised blood lipids, and diabetes that can be contributing factors to high blood pressure. Also age is a factor because as people get older blood vessels stiffen up, causing the heart to work harder to pump blood, therefore increasing blood pressure.
Whatever the reason for having hypertension, it is a warning sign that changes in lifestyle need to occur to become healthier. Although, in many cases, lifestyle changes can always help, some cases require prescription medication as treatment, also. Early detection of high blood pressure is the key to the best treatment possible. Teaching children about the benefits of living healthy through diet and exercise, no tobacco use, and alcohol abuse avoidance is another way to decrease future blood pressure problems for them. WHO recommends exercise of some sort for 30 minutes each day for 5 days out of the week. They also recommend less than 5 grams of salt intake daily. Reducing saturated fat consumption, as well as total fat consumption and eating 5 servings of fruits and vegetables each day will help blood pressure as well.
In conclusion, our top pick for the best upper arm blood pressure monitor is the Panasonic EW3109W Portable Upper Arm Blood Pressure Monitor. Our top pick for the best wrist blood pressure monitor is the Panasonic EW3006S Wrist Blood Pressure Monitor. With so many different monitors available for purchase, we have done the research for you to make it easy – pick the best blood pressure monitor from our list and you will not go wrong.