Wrist vs. arm blood pressure monitors

Home Diagnostics

Arm blood pressure monitors are more accurate and commonly used, but wrist blood pressure monitors are more portable, accessible and simple to use.

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Which blood pressure monitor is better? 

While tracking your blood pressure is beneficial for everyone, people with high blood pressure need blood pressure monitors to regularly monitor any changes. The American Heart Association recommends using arm blood pressure monitors due to their accuracy, but wrist blood pressure monitors tend to be more comfortable.

There are two different ways to monitor your blood pressure at home, using either a wrist or arm blood pressure monitor. While they monitor the same thing, each monitor type has its benefits and drawbacks. 

Wrist blood pressure monitors

A wrist blood pressure monitor can be an important device for monitoring your health and tracking your blood pressure regularly. Wrist monitors use battery power to automatically take your blood pressure reading and reduce the risk of user error. Wrist monitors tend to be simpler to use and more accessible than those worn around the bicep.

Wrist blood pressure monitors range in price from $35 to $50. It is not recommended to purchase a wrist blood pressure monitor that costs less than $35 since they are likely much less accurate. However, the price of a wrist monitor doesn’t necessarily correlate to accuracy.

Wrist blood pressure monitor pros

Wrist blood pressure monitors tend to be more accessible, portable and easier to use than arm blood pressure monitors worn around the bicep, especially since they are smaller in size. The cuff size of a wrist monitor is usually not an issue, and they are very comfortable to use and wear. 

There is also typically little to no learning or dexterity necessary to get blood pressure readings since wrist monitors are usually automated. Furthermore, wrist monitors offer dual readings of diastolic and systolic blood pressure. This is important because the systolic pressure reading shows the pressure the heart contracts to pump blood to the body, while the diastolic pressure reading symbolizes the pressure between beats.

Wrist blood pressure monitor cons

While wrist monitors are easy to use, they tend to be less accurate than arm blood pressure monitors, especially those monitors that cost less than $35. It’s also very difficult to position your cuffed wrist at the level of the heart, and the readings on a wrist blood pressure monitor are typically quite sensitive to positioning.

Best wrist blood pressure monitors

Bluestone Automatic Wrist Blood Pressure Monitor

Bluestone Automatic Wrist Blood Pressure Monitor

This affordable automatic wrist monitor can recall up to 120 blood pressure readings and includes a hypertension indicator and one-touch automatic readings.

Sold by Amazon and Bed Bath & Beyond

Greater Goods Wrist Blood Pressure Monitor

Greater Goods Wrist Blood Pressure Monitor

This wrist monitor option is the most comprehensive with a backlit screen for low-light readings and a carry case for easy travel and storage.

Sold by Amazon

ParaMed Automatic Wrist Blood Pressure Monitor

ParaMed Automatic Wrist Blood Pressure Monitor

This durable wrist monitor is the most simple and fast to use. It also has a big screen so it’s easier to use if your vision is not perfect.

Sold by Amazon

Omron 7 Series Automatic Blood Pressure Monitor

Omron 7 Series Automatic Blood Pressure Monitor

This Omron wrist monitor is Bluetooth compatible, and the companion app features trend tracking, graphs and unlimited memory.

Sold by Amazon

Arm blood pressure monitors

Arm blood pressure monitors are typically the most accurate option because you can get a monitor with the right size for your bicep. You can buy either an automatic model or a manual model, and it’s recommended to choose a model with memory features so you can compare your current readings to previous readings. 

Basic arm monitors will simply take your blood pressure reading, while mid-range arm monitors offer a diverse range of cuff sizes to give you a more accurate reading and the option to store more data for two or more users. High-end arm monitors typically connect to apps and send data directly to your doctor. For more information, take a look at the full blood pressure monitor buying guide from BestReviews. 

Basic arm blood pressure monitors range from $20 to $40, while mid-range arm monitors cost $50 to $80 and high-end arm monitors range from $90 to $150. 

Arm blood pressure monitor pros

Most importantly, arm monitors are usually more accurate and reliable than wrist monitors. Additionally, arm blood pressure monitors typically allow you to download your blood pressure reading results to a computer, which makes it simple to share your readings with your physician.  Most arm monitors also have risk category indicators that flag blood pressure readings that are too high. Many of these models have two or more user memories, which means that multiple people in your household can track and record their blood pressure readings. 

Arm blood pressure monitor cons

On the flip side, arm monitors do have a few disadvantages. For example, you might not receive an accurate blood pressure reading if the arm monitor is too loose or too tight, so it is crucial to get an arm cuff that fits correctly. Arm monitors also tend to be less portable, bulkier and less comfortable than wrist monitors.

Best arm blood pressure monitors

Withings BPM Connect Blood Pressure Monitor

Withings BPM Connect Blood Pressure Monitor

This trustworthy arm monitor offers everything from ease of use to accuracy to comfort and convenience. The FDA-cleared monitor also offers instant color-coded feedback, WiFi connectivity and compatibility with a Health Mate app.

Sold by Amazon

Omron 7 Series Wireless Upper Arm Blood Pressure Monitor

Omron 7 Series Wireless Upper Arm Blood Pressure Monitor

This wireless arm monitor stores up to 120 readings for two users. Made by one of the top brands in the industry, this monitor features hypertension indicators and easy connectivity through Amazon Alexa, Bluetooth or WiFi.

Sold by Amazon

Omron 10 Series Wireless Upper Arm Blood Pressure Monitor

Omron 10 Series Wireless Upper Arm Blood Pressure Monitor

Preferred by clinical specialists, this wireless option provides clear and accurate results. The monitor also features free data storage and sharing with doctors and stores up to 200 blood pressure readings for two users.

Sold by Amazon

QardioArm Wireless Blood Pressure Monitor

QardioArm Wireless Blood Pressure Monitor

This arm monitor option boasts an innovative design, as well as excellent data management and features, including multi-user capabilities, note-taking and measurement charts.

Sold by Amazon and Macy’s

Should you get a wrist blood pressure monitor or an arm blood pressure monitor?

Arm blood pressure monitors are more accurate and more commonly used, but wrist blood pressure monitors are more portable, simpler to use and more accessible. It’s recommended to use arm monitors for your regular blood pressure readings and wrist monitors if you need to take your blood pressure reading on the go.

 

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Alex Kilpatrick writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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