Best Blood Pressure Monitors

The human heart is a muscular pump. When it contracts, it pushes the blood through the arteries. The push force that is exerted on the artery walls by the blood flow is called blood pressure.

Blood Pressure depends on the rate and force at which our heart contracts and also on the diameter and elasticity of the walls of our arteries.

The high blood pressure results in causing a lot of stress, which is why it is essential to monitor the blood pressure to prevent any damage to the blood vessels and the heart.

High blood pressure – Also termed as hypertension. It usually occurs when blood pressure increases. It is determined by how much amount of blood is passing through the blood vessels and the resistance faced by the blood while the heart is pumping.

Low blood pressure – Also termed as hypotension. Having low blood pressure is life-threatening, which is why it should be avoided. When your blood pressure reads lower than 90 mm of mercury for the top or 60 mm of mercury for the bottom, then it is considered as low blood pressure.

Blood Pressure is read as two numbers.

  • Systolic Pressure is the first and higher measure; it is the pressure in arteries when the heart fills them with blood.
  • Diastolic Pressure is the second number and lower of two; it is the pressure in arteries when the heart rests between beats.

This is the chart for blood pressure reading

In this article we have provided you with all the information needed such as what is Sphygmomanometer?, working of Blood Pressure Monitor and types of  Sphygmomanometer

Lastly, we have also mentioned buyers guide and our top 6 recommended products also we have answered a few frequently asked questions.

What is Sphygmomanometer?

A sphygmomanometer is a medical device also known as Blood pressure monitor and used to measure blood pressure. It is found on every doctor’s table. The word Sphygmomanometer is a Greek word, where the word “Sphygmos” means pulse, and “Manometer” means pressure meter.

How does Blood Pressure Monitors work?

Blood pressure monitor device like the Aneroid depends on the auscultation ( listening to sounds from the heart ) is gaining popularity. These devices produce a digital reading and work on the principle that the blood in our body flows through an artery between the systolic and diastolic pressure, thus causing vibrations in the arterial wall which is detected by the devices and transduced into electrical signals.

A cuff is inflated over the upper arm or the wrist to measure. The modern device uses a technology that decides how much the cuff needs to be inflated to reach a pressure of about 20 mm Hg above the normal systolic pressure for all the individuals.

As the cuff is inflated, there is no blood flow through the artery. When the cuff is deflated below the systolic pressure, the pressure reduced is exerted on the wall of the artery, which allows the blood to flow through it, and it detects the vibration in the arterial wall.

But if the cuff pressure falls below the user’s diastolic pressure, then the blood flows smoothly through the artery and does not have any vibrations against the wall.

Vibrations occur only when the cuff pressure is sufficiently high, which would make the blood to push through the arterial wall to flow through the artery. The vibrations are transferred to a transducer in the monitor which converts the readings into the electrical signals.

 

Image result for blood pressure monitors working phenomenon

Types of Sphygmomanometer

There are three types of blood pressure monitors:

Mercury Sphygmomanometer

 

Image result for Mercury Sphygmomanometer

It is a mercury-based blood pressure measuring device. This device is one of the common methods of checking blood pressure but has been banned in a few countries due to its toxicity.

This device has a manually inflatable cuff which is attached to a measuring unit. The transparent tube attached to the measuring unit contains mercury, which is calibrated and marked. It is a very delicate device, which is why one needs to be careful while using it.

Aneroid Sphygmomanometer

 

Image result for aneroid Sphygmomanometer

 

Aneroid means without fluid. These devices do not make use of mercury and are considered as one of the best alternatives to mercury-based devices.

The procedure is quite similar to mercury-based devices, which involves inflating and deflating the cuff, and most Aneroid devices come with a stethoscope attached to the cuff.

Aneroid Sphygmomanometer has a dial gauge which is attached to cuff through tubes. Inside that, the devices make use of the mechanical parts to convert the pressure of the cuff to a gauge based reading.

There are various types of Aneroid Sphygmomanometers:

Pocket Aneroid Sphygmomanometer – It is a common popular device, due to its portable and compact design which is available at a very low cost.

Palm Aneroid Sphygmomanometer – It is a device popular for EMS environments where various cuff sizes are required for measurement. The design is compact, which makes it easy to switch to different cuff sizes in emergencies.

Clock-style Aneroid Sphygmomanometer – This type of device requires a large dial for viewing. They are usually found in doctor’s offices, clinics, etc. The dial gauge can be mounted on the wall for better viewing.

Automatic Digital Sphygmomanometer

 

Image result for automatic digital Sphygmomanometer

These devices make use of an electronic pressure sensor which measures the blood pressure, and the readings are displayed digitally.

The device has inflatable cuffs like the other two types of sphygmomanometers. The cuff is attached to the electronic unit.

The only difference is the technique which is used to measure the blood pressure. The other types measure blood pressure based on the sounds that are produced by the blood, which is flowing in the arteries but the digital device measures the oscillations of the arteries using the pressure sensors. The devices operate using batteries and solar cells.

They are available in two types:

Full-automatic blood pressure monitors – This device makes use of an electric pump to inflate the cuff. It is very easy to use, and the results are produced automatically.

Semi-automatic blood pressure monitors – This device needs the user to inflate the cuff manually, once it is done, the device will start deflating the cuff automatically, and then the reading will be produced just like it is in the automatic device.

Buyers Guide to Blood Pressure Monitors

Versatility

Even though blood pressure monitors are primarily supposed to give systolic and diastolic pressure readings, having a model that delivers something extra adds value. Opting for a device that also checks the pulse rate simultaneously makes it easier to keep track of other aspects of your health.

Extra features

While basic blood pressure monitors do offer reliable performance and accurate results, choosing a device with a few more special features guarantees a better blood monitoring experience. Looking out for features such as the ability to time stamp readings, multiple function indicators, data averaging function, and risk level indicators could be a lot better if you feel savvy enough to understand all the functions. However, if you find extra features confusing, sticking to a basic model would be fine.

Display

Another important feature in blood pressure monitors is how the readings are displayed and the ability to read them accurately without much effort. This is especially important for individuals with visual problems. Make sure your preferred device’s function keys and display screen are sizable enough with easily readable characters and symbols. Otherwise, a monitor with the ability to speak the measurements to you makes fine too.

Automatic versus Manual

Automatic BP monitors typically work just by pressing a button. The manual alternatives on the flipside have to be operated by hand pumping using a rubber bulb. It means automatic devices are comparatively easier to use once there is the power supply (primarily batteries). They also tend to offer more features than their old-fashioned counterparts. However, it’s worth noting that you are likely to spend more on digital than manual blood pressure monitors.

Cost

The broad range of blood pressure monitor brands and models available come at different prices. While your budget should not significantly compromise on the quality of the product, finding the right balance is certainly necessary. Normally, an expensive device comes with more features which can be nice to have but may not be vital in your case. Go for a balance of features and what you can afford to pay. Also, consider warranty and support provisions because these could decide the overall value when something goes wrong.

Accuracy

Accuracy is the foremost important factor in any blood pressure monitor. If your device is not accurate, then it is just a waste of money and time to buy one and could be dangerous for your health.

Before you make sure that your device is accurate, you have to test it multiple times. You can also show the device to your doctor to test and verify it. He can give you advice on which blood pressure monitors to go for.

Size of Cuff

Most of the blood pressure monitors are accurate unless the device is too small for the patient. The size of the upper arm varies from person to person. Therefore, it is important that you make sure the device is a perfect fit for you. Unless and until you do not have a bodybuilder built, most of the devices will fit your size.

Avoid using blood pressure monitors, which has a cuff that is either too big or small for your arm. It can give you inaccurate results.

Easy to Use

It is important to find a device which is easy and simple to use because the person has to take the test himself, which is why its simplicity is to be made sure of. If it requires a second person to help with the cuff or measurements, then you should avoid buying it. The more simple it is, the more often you will be using it.

Smartphone Connectivity

If you want to keep track of your blood pressure readings, then some of the blood pressure monitors can connect to your smartphone, and you can download the data directly from your phone. This is a convenient way to use as it can help you show the readings to your doctor.

Calibration

It is advised to take your blood pressure monitor to your doctor. He can help with comparing the results of the device with his manual blood pressure device to see if the readings are accurate or not.

Memory Storage

Basic blood pressure monitors can store few readings taken recently, but with the advanced devices and Bluetooth connected devices, you can store up to 200 or even unlimited readings. This can be helpful to you as you can monitor your fitness and health cycle.

Heart Rate and Irregular Heart Beats

Blood pressure and heart rate is related to each other which is why it is very useful if you go for blood pressure monitors that can monitor your heart rate and detect any irregular heartbeats which take place during the blood pressure test. It is an essential feature that you should consider while choosing a device.

Multiple User Modes

Blood pressure monitors are mostly used by multiple users if you have a sibling, parent, or spouse living with you. It is necessary to have a device that has multiple user modes so that you can use it with your family as well, which can store different readings and patterns. This will increase the device’s value.

Arm or Wrist

Most of the blood pressure monitors take the test either on the arm or at the wrist. Both are accurate places for testing. Although for taking the test on your wrists, it is important to follow the exact directions or else it can lead to inaccurate results. It is extremely sensitive to take the test on the wrist. But taking the test on the upper arm is much easier and accurate.

1. Omron HEM-7120-IN Blood Pressure Monitor

Omron HEM-7120-IN Blood Pressure Monitor
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The HEM-7120-IN BP monitor by Omron is another fantastic device for anyone who wants to keep in check your blood pressure consistently. It is designed to allow users to take blood pressure and pulse rate measurements without the slightest hesitation.

Riding on the efficiency of the Oscillometric principle and the advanced IntelliSense technology, this model from the acclaimed Omron brand has some of the best features tailored for hassle-free, comfortable, and accurate BP monitoring experience.

Main Features
  • Operates via the Oscillometric principle designed to optimize the precision of BP measurements
  • Boasts of easy and quick one-touch operation while measuring both blood pressure and pulse rate
  • Advanced IntelliSense Technology for comfortable and regulated inflation without necessarily pre-setting pressure or re-inflation- This ensures detection of the slightest changes in pressure guaranteeing better accuracy
  • Irregular heartbeat and body movement detection
  • Hypertension alert indicator- Symbol blinks when BP is outside the standard range(above 135 systolic/8 five diastolic mmHg)
  • Works with medium cuff 22-32 cm or wider 22-42 cm (available separately) arm circumference
  • Dimensions are 12.9 x 10.4 x 6.4 cm and weighs 572 g
  • Runs on 4 AA batteries
PROS (What we liked)
  • It delivers accurate results given its features
  • The monitor is fully automatic hence easy to operate and handle
  • Allows users added convenience with enhanced IntelliSense technology that enables personalized cuff inflation for optimal comfort
  • It’s quite versatile with simultaneous display of systolic, diastolic, and pulse rate
  • Irregular BP and heartbeat indicators alert you to seek medical intervention at the right time
CONS (What we didn’t like)
  • It only saves the last reading so you may have to record any previous readings manually on a paper if necessary
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2. Health Sense Classic BP120 Heart Mate Digital Blood Pressure Monitor

Health Sense Classic BP120 Heart Mate Digital Blood Pressure Monitor
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The HeartMate Classic BP120 by Health Sense is a super easy-to-use and affordable digital blood pressure monitor. It offers a better edge when it gets to detecting and measuring accurate and consistent blood pressure levels in line with typical compliance standards.

Designed to function with the most Oscillometric technology, this monitor boasts of user-friendly features optimized for efficient operation. Its performance is equally as good as the aesthetics it offers at face value.

Main Features
  • Oscillometric Measuring Technology for precision and enhanced pressure detection
  • Large brilliant LCD interface with the black font for clear and legible display of BP readings
  • Body movement and irregular heartbeat detection capabilities for improved accuracy
  • Two-user modes with a storage capacity of up to 120 readings for each user
  • Comes with a wider arm cuff (22-42cm) to fit normal and larger sized arms
  • Universal 6V port compatible with a wide array of USB devices (optional)
  • Unique W.H.O indicator to allow effective capture and comparison of BP results in a 6-level global chart
  • Low battery and error indicator
  • Works primarily with 4AAA batteries
  • Product dimensions: 13.5 x 16 x 9 cm
PROS (What we liked)
  • Dual power options either (4 AAA batteries or 6V adapter) allows flexible and extended usability- you do not have to keep changing batteries
  • Comes in black and grey colors for those who value aesthetics
  • Quite versatile with systolic, diastolic, pulse, date and time displays
  • It calculates and shows an average of three readings taken consecutively increasing the chances of accuracy
  • It features four skid proof silicon feet that ensures better grip
  • Gives quick reading with ample memory telling of its reliability and cost-effectiveness
CONS (What we didn’t like)
  • Adapter and USB cable not included in the package
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3. Rossmax GB102 Aneroid Pressure Monitor

Rossmax-GB102-Aneroid-Pressure-Monitor
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The GB102 Aneroid monitor by Rossmax presents itself as a cost-effective solution for anyone who wants to monitor their blood pressure data accurately.

Although it lacks the sophistication present in most digital alternatives, it nonetheless brings to the fore an edge of simplicity expected of a manual sphygmomanometer.

As a manual model, it is perhaps one of the most practical blood pressure monitors you can find. It is quite easy to understand how it functions so anyone can take their measurements without the slightest hindrance.

The greatest selling points of the Rossmax GB102 are its relative affordability and its potential to give accurate results.

Main Features
  • Boasts of a chrome-plated brass air release valve
  • Comes with quality latex-free cuff
  • Black enamel 300 mmHg non-stop pin reliable manometer
  • It weighs about 1.06 pounds
  • Its dimensions are 7.8 by 4.7 by 3.3 inches
  • Comes with a light-weight stethoscope
  • Operates on 3 AA batteries
PROS (What we liked)
  • Quite affordable given its features
  • Delivers accurate results for every round of measurements
  • Great detection ability
  • Offers comfortable BP monitoring experience
  • The package includes a stethoscope with an excellent sound quality
  • Sturdy and durable thanks to good quality construction
  • The bulb takes little effort to operate
  • Comes with two years warranty
CONS (What we didn’t like)
  • May need a little practice to get accurate results
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4. Digital Blood Pressure Monitor by Vive

Digital Blood Pressure Monitor by Vive
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This device is extremely accurate in testing blood pressure. It has an LCD which is easy to read, and it shows all the details perfectly. The numbers are pretty large for making it easy to read it.

Vive Digital Monitor device can also detect irregular heartbeats, which are an added advantage and feature. The cuff has a wide range of sizes to fit. It can be shared with two people and store up to 250 readings of each. This makes it perfect for showing your doctor about your results.

Having a reliable product as the Vive can help you avoid visiting the doctor regularly. This makes it perfect for older people who can’t travel much. You can use this device to maintain your health and monitor your blood pressure.

Main Features
  • It can be used by two different people
  • It can detect irregular heartbeats
  • Stores up to 500 readings
  • Provides high accurate results
  • It runs on 4 AAA batteries
  • The device has a two-year guarantee
PROS (What we liked)
  • Improved device accuracy tolerance and pump stability. You will have a reliable reading every time.
  • It is easy to use — one button push-to-start design.
  • The design is compact and light
  • Two-year warranty
  • Great customer service
  • Large, bright backlight LCD screen shows all measurements clearly on the same screen. Displayed measurements include systolic pressure, diastolic pressure, pulse rate, date, time, and user.
  • 2 USER CAPABILITY & 500 MEASUREMENT MEMORY: Switch between 2 users to store measurements separately if sharing with a spouse or loved one. Automatically record up to 500 measurements with date and time for easy blood pressure tracking – great for doctor visits.
CONS (What we didn’t like)
  • It’s not compatible with Bluetooth
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5. Clinical Blood Pressure Monitor by Generation Guard

Clinical Blood Pressure Monitor by Generation Guard
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Clinical Blood Pressure Monitor by Generation Guard is one highly accurate device. It is designed to ensure that you get the best clinical care at home in your comfort zone. It is trued and tested by thousands of people.

This is an advanced blood pressure monitor that is designed to make the life of the customers easier with its new technology that can give the best blood pressure results.

The controls are pretty easy, and the display is large and easy to read. It is safe for use for people of every age.

It can fit the wrist sizes from 5 to 9 inches. You can measure both the blood pressure and the heart rate with the added irregular heart measure feature. This is a wrist blood pressure monitor.

Main Features
  • You can get instant readings with this device that has got a large display that makes it simple to monitor the blood pressure level. It gives accurate systolic and diastolic blood pressure readings
  • This is clinically accurate, which makes it one of the fastest device and a reliable device.
  • The device can measure blood pressure and also is hypertension plus heartbeat detector. This makes the device very professional and accurate for measurement.
  • The device allows you to record your previous readings in case you forgot to do so
  • The product comes with a 100% money-back guarantee
  • The weight of the product is 8 ounces
PROS (What we liked)
  • The device is highly accurate
  • The cuff inflates pretty fast
  • The readings are displayed almost immediately
  • Heartbeat Detector and Hypertension Indicator
  • Recalls Last Reading – The Memory Recall Feature Will Allow You To Record The Previous Reading In Case You Forget To Do So.
CONS (What we didn’t like)
  • The instructions can be a bit confusing to follow
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6. Wrist Blood Pressure Monitor by Omron

Wrist Blood Pressure Monitor by Omron
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The Omron 7 Series is a blood monitoring device which tests pressure from the wrist only. It is portable and provides accurate results. It is clinically proven to be the best, which is why you must be assured that it has got high standards that you can rely on.

You need to level the device with your heart to get accurate results. The device has color indications, which makes it easier to read the results. The blue light indicates that you have correctly placed the device and it gets automatically activated.

Main Features
  • The dimensions of the product are (W x H x D) – 4 x 4.5 x 7.8 inches
  • It can store up to 100 readings with date and time
  • The device displays the average of three readings immediately
  • The Heart Zone Guidance helps you to measure the blood pressure accurately
  • It can alert immediately when it detects irregular heartbeats
  • It runs on 2 AAA batteries
  • Automatic inflation
  • Fits the wrist sizes between 5 1/4? to 8 1/2? in circumference
PROS (What we liked)
  • Accurate despite being a device that detects from the wrist
  • Not noisy
  • Compact and sleek in design
  • Can detect irregular heartbeats
CONS (What we didn’t like)
  • It can be a bit difficult to use
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Frequently Asked Questions

1. How do I ensure my readings are accurate?

There are several things that you should keep in mind to ensure you get real results. First, using the right cuff size is crucial while taking measurements. The cuff should also be well positioned (not to tight or too loose) on the wrist, or upper arm depend on the kind of device you are using.

Some BP monitors are also sensitive to movement. Therefore, you should keep still in the recommended body position. Similarly, avoid activities like exercising or taking certain drinks for some time before taking your measurements, among other things as your doctor may advise.

2. How long should I wait in between BP readings?

There is no standard waiting time. However, waiting for about one to three minutes is advisable before taking another round of readings. The conditions all this while should be the same. Also, if the device you are using does store the results automatically be sure to note them down somewhere for easy reference.

3. Is it possible to get different readings from my upper arm and wrist?

Yes, this can happen considering blood pressure in the body varies from one part to another. The more reason each monitor is is designed to function with particular specifications. To know what is best for you, it advisable that you discuss with your doctor.

4. Between the wrist and upper arm, which readings are more accurate?

Blood pressure monitoring devices are alive to positions where measurements are taken. Blood pressure in different parts of the body also varies. Usually, the upper arm is likely to give more accurate readings than the wrist. As to what part is ideal then for taking the test, your doctor is in a better decision to tell.

5. What is the best time to take my BP measurements?

The best approach is to capture the data at the same time every day to allow easier and better comparison. For example, you can schedule test times like every morning or evening.

6. Does the cuff size count?

Yes, the accuracy of the results depends highly on using a cuff size that fits properly on the circumference of your wrist or upper arm. Usually, most devices come with standard size cuffs but with optional bigger sizes. As such, you should endeavor to use the right size to avoid inconsistencies and errors in your readings.

Conclusion

If you are advised by your doctor to use a blood pressure monitor, then do not delay in buying one. Measuring blood pressure is a healthy practice that benefits everyone.

In this article, the best five blood pressure monitors are listed for you so that you don’t have to look anywhere else. It is important to choose a device that you can comfortably use to get the most accurate results. Save your life with blood pressure reading and stay healthy.

Diganta Misra
 

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