A woman measuring her blood pressure at home

Source : healthywomen.org

Blood pressure monitoring is crucial when you have been diagnosed with hypertension. It is equally recommended for anyone that presents risk factors such as age, obesity, or a family history of the disease. The goal behind taking regular readings is to keep track of the condition and avoid further life-threatening complications.

A home blood pressure monitor allows you to conveniently take your measurements without having to visit the hospital. However, while they are just as effective as a professional automatic blood pressure machine, incorrect usage will yield inaccurate readings.

So, how can you ensure your home readings are accurate? Read on for some tips.

Table of Contents

Choose the Right BP Monitor

Home use blood pressure monitor

There are hundreds of blood pressure machine manufacturers offering different home use models in the market. Nevertheless, the variety notwithstanding, it is advisable that you find a reliable device that you are comfortable with. The ideal home BP monitor should be:

Easy to use – aim for a device that does not require complicated interpretation of results to avoid erroneous readings.

Accurate – high accuracy of at least +/- 2 mmHg is recommendable.

Come With an Adjustable Arm cuff – the arm cuff should be adjustable to comfortably fit your arm circumference.

Portable – consider compact and portable devices that you can travel with when necessary.

Take some time to research different brands and evaluate the durability and quality of their products. It is also a plus if they offer a warranty.

When to Take Readings

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The rule of thumb is to schedule your readings at the same time every day. This is because your blood pressure naturally fluctuates during different times of the day. Taking readings at random times would not give you a true picture of your BP health. The exception to this rule is in circumstances where you feel unwell and are exhibiting symptoms of a blood pressure spike.

Further, experts recommend that you take readings in a calm state. If you had been engaging in strenuous activity, such as exercise, allow your heart rate to return to normal before measuring. 

Researchers have also found that emptying your bladder before measurements improves the accuracy of readings. This was evidenced by a study in which some patients’ BP was taken on a full bladder versus a control group with emptied bladders. Those that relieved themselves before readings had lower BP results than those who did not.

How to Use a Home Blood Pressure Machine

A woman placing her arm in a blood pressure arm cuff
Source: healthywomen.org

While every model is unique in its own way, the measurement principle is largely the same. The following steps could guide on taking your BP measurements:

Ensure that your home BP monitor is charged

Roll up your sleeve to expose your arm if you are wearing a sleeved shirt

Sit upright with your feet planted on the floor

Place your arm in the cuff and secure it appropriately

Press the start button

Do not engage in any other activities during the measurement

The positioning of the arm cuff will depend on your home blood pressure monitor. Most devices are upper arm monitors as it is the recommended way to measure BP but there are wrist monitors too. Be sure to confirm the stipulated positioning of your device.

Interpreting the Readings

A BP monitor displaying measurements next to a medical chart and pencil
Source: Pixabay

The average BP monitor displays systolic and diastolic blood pressure readings. The systolic reading displays on the top and the diastolic appears below it. Currently, the recommended interpretations for BP ranges stand as follows:

Normal reading

Systolic pressure at or below 120 mmHg 

Diastolic pressure less than 80mmHg

Elevated BP

Systolic at 120-129 mmHg

Diastolic at below 80 mmHg


Systolic above 140 mmHg

Diastolic above 90 mmHg

Hypertensive Crisis

Systolic above 180 mmHg

Diastolic above 120 mmHg

It is best to keep a record of your blood pressure readings or use a monitor that stores your measurement data. If your reading indicates that you are in a hypertensive crisis, seek immediate medical care.

Helpful Apps

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A BP monitoring application can be installed on your mobile phone or other smart devices. You would then sync it to your BP monitor if it supports such applications. When this setup is done, your smart BP monitor will henceforth be able to share your BP data with the application.

Most applications keep a record of measurements and give you summaries of your readings. You would easily be able to see weeks when you had elevated rates, improved readings, or get alerts when measurements are precarious. It is also possible to set a reminder to prompt you in case you forget to take your regular reading. Perhaps the most important feature is the ability to share your data with your physician as it allows for remote care and professional monitoring.


Home blood pressure monitoring enables you to take charge of your BP health. You no longer have to wait for doctor’s visits to get access to a professional blood pressure machine. So, given this freedom, do not wait any longer to start the journey towards getting your BP in check.

A happy family sitting on a couch

Source : Pexels

Managing a blood pressure condition is a long-term commitment. It requires you to make healthy lifestyle choices every day and monitor yourself through regular BP readings. Fortunately, there are now home-use blood pressure monitor manufacturers s that supply digital BP monitors are just as accurate as a professional automatic blood pressure machine.

A major part of maintaining a healthy lifestyle is being diligent about your wellness. High blood pressure may be your body’s way of telling you that it is time to slow down. Skeptical? Fair enough. Read on, and let’s explore more on the subject.

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How Stress Affects Blood Pressure

A doctor speaking to a patient
Source: Pinterest

In the absence of adequate rest, you are bound to become stressed. While stress is primarily psychological it can also manifest physiologically. It is, in fact, the physical manifestations that instigate blood pressure spikes.

Take, for example, the white coat syndrome. If you tend to get anxious when you walk into your doctor’s office, your body registers such anxiety as stress. The brain thus triggers the release of adrenalin into your bloodstream to help you cope. The adrenalin hormone causes your heart rate to rise while blood vessels constrict and subsequently, your blood pressure rises.

The white coat syndrome is an example of a short-span stressor. However, if you live a generally stressful life, your body remains in that high-strung fight or flight scenario. It is, therefore, no surprise that your blood pressure would be constantly elevated.

Understanding Stress Triggers

A woman holding her head while lying in bed
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Understanding the things that trigger stress for you could go a long way in helping you manage your stress levels. How do you identify triggers? It is simple, listen to your body. Pay attention to the environments in which you feel tense and on edge. Watch out for other symptoms as well like feeling unusually tired after certain interactions or tasks.

Other common stressors include:

Sleep Deprivation

It could be that you are barely sleeping or that your quality of sleep is poor. Whichever the case, your body, and mind will be reeling from exhaustion. Sleep deprivation causes irritability, poor appetite, and a generally stressed aura.

Life Events

The death of a loved one, job loss, divorce, or even a pandemic are significant life events that are major stressors. When they are not handled well, they could lead to more complex mental health conditions. It is, nonetheless, normal to feel stressed over them. It is advisable to lean on your support system and be diligent about self-care as you navigate them.


The mind needs breaks from serious tasks to rejuvenate. Working straight through the week and even on weekends when you should be resting wreaks havoc on your well-being.

Home Relaxation Tips

Lit scented candles
Source: Pexel

In light of the effects of stress on your blood pressure, taking time to rest at home and care for yourself is essential. The first step to achieving that is creating a serene environment in your home that you can retreat to every day. Consider:

Sprucing up your decor with colors that calm you

Decluttering; orderliness relaxes the mind

Getting more natural light in your home

Setting up a cozy relaxation nook for quiet time

Once you have created a more zen environment, it would also be helpful to explore some relaxing activities. They could hobbies that rejuvenate you or activities such as:

Yoga and Meditation

Medical experts have proven that yoga and meditation are effective in alleviating stress and improving blood pressure and circulation. Setting aside a few minutes each day to practice some poses may be of great benefit to your wellness.

Listening to Music

A study on the effect of music therapy on blood pressure patients established that it was indeed helpful. The best part is that you are not restricted to any genre. Your favorite calming playlist will do just fine.

Commune With Nature

Fresh air, chirping birds, and some greenery might just be what you need to lighten the soul. You could take on gardening or simply while away the afternoon in your backyard. There isn’t one way to go about it, choose what tickles your fancy.

Monitor Your Progress

An upper-arm blood pressure monitor

The benefits of improved self-care and relaxation can be tangible and intangible. For instance, you may notice that your mood is more upbeat and your concentration during tasks is much better. Tangible progress could present as lower and more consistent blood pressure readings.

A home blood pressure machine would be of great help in tracking your progress. However, to get a true picture of your health, you need an accurate BP monitor. Be discerning as you make your purchase and aim for a device from a reputable blood pressure monitor manufacturer.


The rewards of caring for yourself better than before may surprise you. Your health may improve so much that the sight of your doctor’s professional blood pressure machine no longer causes you anxiety. Some patients even get so lucky as to have their prescriptions cut down. Now that you have learned all the tips on how to improve your BP health, go on, and take the first step.

A lady measuring her blood pressure

Source : Pexels

Hypertension is often referred to as a ‘silent killer’. It exhibits covert symptoms that could go be misconstrued and go unattended until you are in critical condition. This is why, if you suffer from hypertension or BP-related ailments like heart disease, vigilant monitoring of your BP is vital.

In the past, you would have to visit a hospital to have your BP taken on a professional blood pressure machine. Thankfully, with the invention of BP monitors for home use that is no longer the case. This has, however, presented a new dilemma; with so many blood pressure monitor manufacturers in the market, how do you choose the right home-use apparatus for your needs?

To help you make an informed choice, here are the best blood pressure monitors for home use in 2020.

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Home Use RBP 9805

The Raycome RBP-9805 is a digital upper-arm blood pressure monitor designed for home use. It has a sizable display screen and an arm chef that can be adjusted between 23-32cm. The device supports 2 user-profiles and can store 50 sets of BP readings for each of them. The data can be transferred wirelessly to other smart devices via Bluetooth or cloud service.

The verified accuracy of the RBP-9805 is +/-2mmHg. During readings, a human voice reminder will guide you throughout the process to ensure you get the right BP measurement. Further, the device uses patented Pulsewave dual-balloon/sensor technology that is more accurate than single balloon/sensor technology.

Recommended for: Regular, user-friendly home BP monitoring.

Source: Amazon

The A&D upper arm home-use BP monitor comes in a portable case and comprises a digital unit with a screen and an arm cuff. The circumference of the arm cuff is quite generous as it accommodates arm circumferences of 23-37 cm. It is also both latex-free and metal-free just in case you are allergic to any of the two materials.

Each A&D upper arm blood pressure monitor can support 4 user profiles assigned storage space for 30 BP readings. It also has an irregular heartbeat indicator that will notify you of any unusual pulses during readings. Readings are taken using the oscillometric method.

Recommended for: Home use where multiple people share one device.

Source: Amazon

Unlike other monitors on this list, the Lakmus Pro is a wrist cuff blood pressure monitor. It is a compact portable design with a large LCD screen on the front and a wrist cuff behind it. It comes with a carrying case for safe storage.

The Lakmus Pro can store 90 sets of readings with dates and times for 1 user profile. It also has an irregular heartbeat indicator that picks up on unusual cardiac activity. The monitor should always be placed on the skin and there should be no other ornaments on the wrist during BP measurement. When not in use, the auto power-off feature will be activated to save battery power.

Recommended for: Anyone with unique reasons that make using an upper arm monitor challenge.

Important to note:

Wrist blood pressure monitors tend to give less accurate readings than upper arm BP monitors. The arteries in your wrist are thinner and nearer to the skin which makes readings from the area unsteady. Consider having your doctor check your wrist BP monitor and possibly calibrate it using a professional automatic blood pressure machine.


The Raycome RBP-88A is a portable and stylish upper arm blood pressure monitor for home use. It consists of a compact digital panel with a wearable arm cuff attached to it. The arm cuff circumference can stretch between 23-32cm.

This model is designed with travelers in mind and hence it has a USB port and quick-charging technology. Moreover, a single 2.5-hour charging session could last for up to 120 readings. If you are concerned about data storage, worry not. The device can store 90 sets of data for 1 user and is compatible with smart devices via Bluetooth.

BP measurements on this device are taken using exclusive Pulsewave technology that is lauded for its accuracy. You could also share your blood pressure data with your physician using the BP secretary app.

Recommended for: People who need a portable and accurate BP device that can be linked to their smart device.


When choosing a home BP monitor, user-experience is perhaps the most fundamental factor. Aim for a device that is accurate and requires no special calculations to interpret readings. Such complexities create room for error and are why even your physician may prefer a professional automatic blood pressure machine.

As evidenced by this list, there is a home blood pressure apparatus for just about every need. Now that you know the best picks, picking one should be much easier.

People clinking glasses while sharing a meal

Source : Pexels

It is almost that time of the year again when festivities roll into one another. One moment it’s Thanksgiving and before you know it, you are scrambling to get your Christmas shopping done. Still, after all the tumultuous events of the year, this season of cheer is a welcome reprieve.

As with every merry-making feast, elaborate family recipes are going to get dusted off and put to use. So, if you hope to avoid the extra post-holiday weight you may want to navigate this season differently. More so if you are hypertensive because dietary choices are directly linked to worsening blood pressure health.

So, short of chaining yourself to a professional blood pressure machine, how can you keep your BP health and weight in check? Read on for some pointers.

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The Gift of Moderation

An illustration of a healthy nutritionally balanced plate
Source: Pinterest

The sumptuous spreads that grace festive gatherings are almost too tempting to pass up. Here is the good news, you do not have to. Contrary to many dietary beliefs, healthy eating is not about deprivation. Your body requires nutrition and food, after all, should be enjoyed. The more important thing to focus on is moderation.

One of the ways you can stick to moderation is by watching your portions. Nutrition experts suggest that the largest portion on your plate should contain vegetables followed by lean protein and carbs. You could implement this by measuring your servings by the spoonful. Say, for example, two servings of carbs for three servings of veggies.  

Keep tabs on you what you drink as well. It is not often flagged as a weight concern but alcohol does contribute to your calories. Each gram of your favorite pint could carry as much as 7 calories per gram. Add to that the rich hot cocoa served during winter and other sugary drinks and pounds just keep piling on. Remember, therefore, to pace yourself and choose water and low-calorie drinks over the rest whenever possible.

Meal Alternatives

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Some of your favorite recipes may be gems that have been handed down through generations. This festive season, try and substitute some of the items with healthier alternatives that can taste just as good. Consider starting with something as simple as cooking oil. Yes, what you have heard about virgin olive oil is true. It is highly beneficial to your heart and overall health, try it.

Other healthy options you could explore include:

Low-fat milk and butter for recipes

Whole grains such as whole-wheat pasta or brown rice

Healthy protein like fish, poultry, and nuts

Unhydrogenated plant oils without trans fats including canola oil or sunflower oil

How you prepare your meals is just as important as the content of your meals. For example, as opposed to deep frying you could opt for air frying or grilling. You would still get to enjoy your meal but without the grease which ends up in your blood vessels as bad cholesterol.

An Exercise Routine

Mother and daughter exercising together
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Skipping rope, yoga, and weight-lifting are great workouts you could try out in the comfort of your home. An hour each day could go a long way in keeping your weight low. If you prefer more sweat-inducing activities, Zumba classes might be the perfect fit for you. There are online sessions that you could subscribe to and get to shedding off those calories with some great music.

Admittedly, when you are away visiting family, sticking to a routine may be tricky. That said, how about you get your family to join you? Health and fitness are essential for everyone; they need to keep their weight and blood pressure low just as much as you do. Recruiting them to your routine could save their lives. Moreover, having fitness partners will keep your morale high even on the days you feel like slacking.

Track your Progress

A person wearing a Raycome blood pressure monitor

As you keep making healthy choices, you will begin to notice physical improvements. Your waistline may not necessarily shrink 5 sizes immediately but you may begin to:

Sleep better

Labor less for breath even when active

Feel more energetic

Suffer fewer breakouts

Monitoring your blood pressure regularly using a home BP apparatus is also highly recommended. If you intend to travel, there are sleek portable models available in the market that are highly effective. They will give you readings just as accurate as a professional automatic blood pressure monitor. Better yet, you can sync them to your smartwatch through a BP app to have all your health data right in the palm of your hand.


In the past, you may have held your breath every time you were hooked onto a professional automatic blood pressure machine after the holidays. The weighing scale could have been even worse of a nightmare. Not anymore. Now that you know all the unhealthy pitfalls and how to avoid them, you can certainly do better. So, here’s to happy, healthy holidays.