Which wrist blood pressure monitor is best?
If you have hypertension, a heart condition or other health issues, it can be essential to monitor your blood pressure. A wrist blood pressure monitor isn’t quite as accurate as a bicep model like those used in your doctor’s office, but it can record your blood pressure reliably and is usually much easier for home use.
Wrist blood pressure monitors run on batteries and take automatic readings, which helps reduce user error. The top model from PARAMED is a favorite because it’s highly durable and one of the easiest home blood pressure monitors to use.
What to know before you buy a wrist blood pressure monitor
What is high blood pressure?
A blood pressure reading includes a systolic pressure reading and a diastolic pressure reading. The systolic reading is the first number, while the diastolic reading is the second number that appears on the monitor. A normal reading is usually 120/80 or lower. Doctors typically consider a systolic reading of 130 to 139 and a diastolic reading between 80 and 89 as prehypertension. Higher numbers indicate hypertension or high blood pressure.
Various risk factors can make you susceptible to high blood pressure, including smoking, heavy drinking, stress, a sedentary lifestyle, obesity and being over 60 years old. You’re also more likely to have hypertension if you eat a high sodium diet or have other health conditions like diabetes, kidney problems or heart disease. Finally, some medications can also raise your blood pressure.
Nonetheless, even if you lead a healthy lifestyle, having a family history of hypertension can also put you at risk because genetics can play a significant part in developing high blood pressure.
It’s important to note that blood pressure monitors that measure at your upper arm or bicep are generally more accurate than those that wrap around your wrist. A wrist blood pressure monitor is usually more comfortable to use, though, and can be much easier to travel with due to the compact design. In addition, they often have a digital display that’s easy to read and use too.
You can ensure wrist blood pressure monitor accuracy and fairly reliable readings on condition that you use it correctly. Proper positioning on your wrist is essential to get an accurate reading. You also need to keep your batteries fresh to prevent inaccurate readings.
Wrist blood pressure monitors usually have an adjustable cuff that can fit a wide range of wrist sizes. However, if you have an extremely small or large wrist, you’ll want to check the cuff’s measurements to make sure that it will fit properly. A cuff that doesn’t fit correctly can lead to inaccurate readings.
What to look for in a quality wrist blood pressure monitor
Interface and design
A wrist blood pressure monitor with a simple, clear interface and button controls is usually easiest to use. Opt for a large display screen with easy-to-read numbers that allows you to check your blood pressure quickly and efficiently. It also helps to choose a monitor that clearly indicates if your blood pressure is out of the normal range with some type of alert.
If you’re looking to track your blood pressure over time, you should choose a monitor with a memory feature. It can store your readings, so you’re able to see if your blood pressure has increased or decreased. Consult the model’s product specifications to determine how many readings it can store and opt for a wrist monitor that can remember at least 60.
Some wrist blood pressure monitors allow you to create multiple user profiles to store blood pressure readings for you and other household members. If you plan to use your monitor for multiple people, make sure that the cuff is adjustable to fit various wrist sizes.
Most wrist blood pressure monitors can support at least two user profiles.
If you travel regularly, it’s a good idea to opt for a wrist blood pressure monitor that comes with a carrying case. It can protect your monitor during travel, but it can also keep it from getting wet or dusty in storage.
How much you can expect to spend on a wrist blood pressure monitor
Most quality wrist blood pressure monitors cost between $35-$50. Those that cost less than $35 usually don’t offer much accuracy, but paying more than $50 for a unit doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll get the most accurate readings either.
Wrist blood pressure FAQ
How do I use a wrist blood pressure monitor?
A. Start by reading the instructions that come with your monitor to know how your model works. In general, you should be seated in a chair with your feet on the ground when taking a reading. For the most accurate reading, raise the wrist with the monitor to bring it to heart level.
How can I lower my blood pressure?
A. Most doctors recommend starting with lifestyle changes. Eating a healthy diet, managing your stress and exercising regularly are all considered good starting points. In particular, try to cut the sodium in your diet.
If you have a family history of hypertension, though, lifestyle changes alone may not be enough to bring your blood pressure down. In that case, your doctor may suggest medication to help get your pressure under control.
What’s the best wrist blood pressure monitor to buy?
Top wrist blood pressure monitor
What you need to know: An extremely user-friendly wrist monitor that’s durable and easy to read.
What you’ll love: Gives a reading quickly and easily. The screen is clear and features a large font to make it easier to see. Holds up to repeated use and even travels extremely well. Stores up to 90 measurements of pressure in memory.
What you should consider: Some users report getting higher readings than those at a doctor’s office.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Top wrist blood pressure monitor for the money
What you need to know: A budget-friendly monitor that offers a memory function that can store up to 120 readings.
What you’ll love: Features one-touch readings of blood pressure and pulse. Offers a hypertension indicator alert. Cuff comfortably fits wrists up to 10 inches.
What you should consider: It doesn’t come with the two AAA batteries required for use.
Where to buy: Sold by Bed Bath & Beyond
Worth checking out
What you need to know: A convenient blood pressure monitor that offers many handy features for easy monitoring.
What you’ll love: Includes a case for storage and travel. Features a backlit screen that makes it easy to read. Accommodates two user profiles.
What you should consider: It can run through batteries pretty quickly.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
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Jennifer Blair writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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