A BPM in Use2

Source : Pixabay

It would not be too far-fetched at all to refer to digital blood pressure monitors as one of the most innovative technological creations in the medical world in the last two decades. They have transformed how people deal with hypertension with very positive results. In the past, manual blood pressure monitors were all we had, and that required a doctor to be present.

With digital BP monitors, all you need is a manual, and you are good to go. With the demand for them on the rise, many BP apparatus companies are releasing newer and better versions every day. This broad array of choices can be a little too much for the consumer trying to decide the one to go for, putting in mind all the factors you have to consider first. To make your search easier, here is a detailed compilation of the best digital blood pressure monitors in the market right now.

Table of Contents

PulseWave Blood Pressure Monitor

Wearable-Series-BP-88A

The PulseWave blood pressure monitor is a product of a company called Raycome that is renowned for its high-tech medical devices. The model is built for home use and is portable enough for travel. The wearable monitor utilizes a dual-balloons sensory technology that works in tandem with a continuous measurement feature to detect the minutest changes in blood pressure and flow.

The device is used in over 40 countries across the world, proof that it is reliable even among doctors.

Best Features

  • It has very high accuracy levels when it comes to reading BP measurements.

It has a mobile app that adds support for easier use.

  • Supports wireless transmission that gives you the luxury of sending the data to your doctor or to the cloud storage.
  • It is portable and has a very sleek design.

It is clinically validated for home use.

Drawbacks

  • It is a bit too advanced for many people. The steep learning curve may take a while for someone to familiarize themselves with.

CareTouch

CareTouch BPM
Source: Pinterest

CareTouch is a wrist-cuff blood pressure monitor with an accuracy of about +3mmHg, which is pretty decent for this type of machine. It has a clear LED display that is backlit and shows readings in beautiful and legible fonts, visible even when in sunlight. The device also has a tracker that keeps tabs on the heartbeat, sending alerts once it detects an irregular one. 

The memory storage can store up to 60 readings, which, although not as big as it should be, can store enough data that can be used for a full diagnosis. The device takes about 60 seconds to take the blood pressure and present the results.

Best Features

  • It has a large LCD with a backlight.
  • It comes equipped with an irregular heartbeat detector.
  • It is fast. It takes about a minute to show results
  • It has a compact shape; it is portable and easy to use.

Drawbacks

  • Like most wrist monitors, it is not very accurate.
  • At 60 readings, the storage could be better.
  • It has an auto-shutdown feature that can be disruptive at times.

Generation Guard

Source: Pinterest

Generation Guard is an arm-cuff BP monitor that has a straightforward design and a size that allows it to be carried around without feeling the weight. The device is best positioned about 2.5 cm from the elbow for the best results. It functions by taking account of the systolic and diastolic blood pressure readings on top of keeping tabs on irregular heartbeat patterns.

It comes laden with a large display screen, a carrying case, and its own set of batteries. It can store up to 90 readings.

Best Features

  • It is pretty accurate as it measures the systolic and diastolic pressures.
  • It has an irregular heartbeat detector, which is a life-saving feature.
  • The arm cuff is adjustable.
  • It is portable.

Drawbacks

  • Users have complained about the tightness of the cuff once it inflates and starts taking readings.
  • It has subpar calibrations.

MOCACuff

An Arm Wearing a MOCACuff BPM
Source: Pinterest

MOCACuff is another wrist monitor that is, without doubt, the most stylish in the whole list. The device that usually comes in black works differently than other monitors. Instead of squeezing the wrist, it measures the blood pressure when the user simply wears it like a watch, nothing more. For this reason, they are more comfortable to use since many people do not like the feeling of their arms and wrists getting squeezed that hard.

It can store up to 99 readings and can be linked to a mobile app through Bluetooth connectivity. MOCACuff can also detect an irregular heartbeat and even has a color-coded indicator that flashes different colors if anything is wrong.

Best Features

  • It can store up to 99 readings, which is a decent score for a wrist monitor.
  • It comes equipped with wireless syncing.
  • It is compatible with both Android and IOS.
  • It is easy to use and small enough to be carried around.

Drawbacks

  • Accuracy is not that impressive but can be increased slightly by holding it close to the chest or bending the arm inwards.

HealthSmart

Source: Pinterest

HealthSmart is a wrist blood pressure monitor that is a product of the HealthSmart company. With a storage capacity of 120 readings, the device is quite good for a wrist monitor since many do not come with enough memory. To boost its accuracy, the machine uses the averaging technique where it combines your last three readings before displaying the conclusive result.

It comes with a large backlit screen that is clear enough, thanks to its high-contrast feature. On top of keeping track of your heart rate, the device also measures the systolic and diastolic pressure of the blood.

It has a digital clock and a calendar on the screen for the user’s convenience as well as a voice function that can either be set for English or Spanish.

Best Features

  • The memory storage has a 120-readings holding capacity.
  • It can detect irregular heartbeats.
  • It is decently accurate.
  • It can run both on batteries or an AC adapter.
  • It is lightweight, compact, and easy to use.
  • Has a voice feature that dictates instructions when needed.

Drawbacks

  • It is too large and bulky for a wrist monitor.
  • The backlit display goes off after every reading, which makes it hard for that data to be saved.

Welch Allyn

Source: image.tigermedical.com

Welch Allyn is an arm-cuff blood pressure monitor that is among the most popular in the United States. It is estimated that 9 out of every 10 doctors use it in their daily measurements of patients in their hospitals. So what exactly makes it such a hit? First is the speed; it takes only about 30 seconds for the monitor to collect all the necessary data and display it.

Secondly, you can share the data instantly to your doctor or your family members through a mobile app. The cuff is also adjustable, making it usable by people with more massive arms. Lastly, it only has a single button for all functions making it easy to operate.

Best Features

  • It has a large display screen with huge clear fonts.
  • It is super fast for an arm-cuff BP monitor, taking less than 30 seconds to complete measurements.
  • It has an excellent mobile app that allows for the instant sharing of data.
  • There is no discomfort when it inflates and squeezes the arm while taking readings.

Drawbacks

  • It has no memory.
  • The mobile app sometimes is unable to sync properly with the device.

BloodPressureX

A BloodPressureX BP Monitor
Source: top10gadgets.shop

Another arm-cuff BP monitor that can be best described as the ultimate home use monitor in the market. BloodPressureX can be used multiple times in a single day to take as many readings as possible. This allows you to determine your blood pressure trend, giving you enough data to tell if you need medical attention or not.

It has a memory capacity of 180 readings, has a large display screen, and comes with its batteries as well as a direct line AC plug. It works by using the oscillometric method that entails the recording of rotations in the monitor cuff that is triggered by the oscillations of the blood flow.

Best Features

  • It is easy to use. It has a single button for all the main functions.
  • It has a storage capacity of 180 readings.
  • It has Bluetooth connectivity for syncing with mobile apps.
  • Runs on both batteries and AC power.

Drawbacks

  • Strangely, the stocks of this device are very limited. It is almost impossible to find it in shops or online stores.
  • At $100, it is a bit costly.

Vive Precision Blood Pressure Monitor

Vive Precision Blood Pressure Monitor
Source: Pinterest

As far as storage capacity is concerned, this device is the king. With the capacity to store 500 readings, Vive Precision Blood Pressure Monitor is the ideal machine for taking prolonged readings that can be used to detect a trend. It comes with sizeable cuffs that can accommodate up to 16.5 inches of arm girth and has a very easy to use interface.

The device supports two users at 250 readings each, but it would serve you better if you use both options for yourself. The backlit display is big enough and displays readings in legible fonts.

Best Features

  • It has one of the biggest storage capacities in the market, with 500 readings.
  • It can detect irregular heartbeats.

Drawbacks

  • Due to its large size, sometimes it malfunctions and gives inaccurate readings.

Lot Fancy Blood Pressure Monitor

Lotfancy Blood Pressure Monitor
Source: Pinterest

Lotfancy Blood Pressure Monitor is among the most economical devices you can come across. Despite its fair prices, it packs some top-of-the-range features like systolic and diastolic measurements that are integral for its general accuracy. It offers support for 4 users at 30 readings each and has an irregular heartbeat detector.

Best Features

  • It has a large display with a large number-font.
  • It is very lightweight.
  • Has an irregular heartbeat detector.

Drawbacks

  • The calibration is not that good.
  • It is not as accurate as most of its competitors.

Balance Blood Pressure Monitor Kit

Balance Blood Pressure Monitor
Source: Pinterest

Balance Blood Pressure Monitor kit is a product by Greater Goods that has been highly rated by users around the world. It is an FDA-certified device that can support 2 users with 60 readings each. It uses batteries and an AC adapter as the power source, and it has pretty high accuracy levels.

Best Features

  • It comes with a 2-year warranty.
  • It is FDA-certified, which means it is highly efficient.
  • Can support up to 2 users.

Drawbacks

  • The arm cuffs are too large for people with slender arms.

Conclusion

Blood pressure monitors are getting better with time. They are becoming more versatile with functions that go beyond taking stock of the blood pressure. Now they can even detect irregular heartbeats and other physiological defects that may escape the attention of your doctor. It, therefore, goes without saying that acquiring one is a must.

As the COVID-19 pandemic rages on, people with hypertension have been found to be the most vulnerable to the disease, never before has the need for home blood pressure kits been this vital.

A Sphygmomanometer Next to HBP Drugs

Source : Pixabay

Keeping tabs on your health is the best investment you can ever make in yourself and your family. Many people only visit the hospital when something has already gone wrong, and that should never be the case. Some diseases, like hypertension, have to be monitored at all times.

High blood pressure can negatively impact your life as it can limit many of the activities you are used to. It also opens up your body to other complications. BP monitors are the best solutions that can tackle hypertension head-on. Blood pressure monitor manufacturers have made great strides in meeting the increasing demand for home blood pressure kits. The technological advancements of the past decade has now made it possible for people to check their blood pressure as many times as they want from the comfort of their homes. Knowing where you stand healthwise helps you in properly planning your life.

Table of Contents

What Is a Blood Pressure Monitor?

Kids-Use-RBP-1200

A blood pressure monitor is a device that is used to measure blood pressure. To better understand what a BP monitor is, you have to know what blood pressure is and why it must be kept in check.

Blood pressure is the force that is exerted on the walls of the blood vessels by the blood as it flows through them as the heart pumps. The pressure exerted by the blood comes in two forms: Systolic and Diastolic.

Systolic is the blood pressure that is created when the heart contracts to pump blood around the body, while diastolic blood pressure is the one exerted between the heartbeats as the heart relaxes. This alternating between these two is what is ultimately referred to as the blood pressure. So why is it necessary to measure blood pressure?

Higher blood pressure is dangerous for your body. It exerts a strain on the heart, the blood vessels, and this can interfere with the proper way that blood gets distributed around your body. If all these organs are strained, you stand a risk of being hit with a myriad of health problems like heart attacks, dementia, kidney diseases, or a stroke.

What makes high blood pressure truly dangerous is that it is hard to detect without the use of a blood pressure monitor. Most people discover they have hypertension when they are on their hospital beds after suffering a stroke. This is the reason why having at least one in your home is very important.

How does a Sphygmomanometer Work?

An Aneroid Sphygmomanometer
Source : Pixabay

As earlier stated, a Sphygmomanometer measures the blood pressure. Before we explore how they work, you should get familiar with the different parts that make up a blood pressure monitor. They include the following:

Bladder

A BPM Bladder
Source : Pinterest

This is the inflatable rubber bag that fits around the arm for compression. It is the part inside the cuff that gets filled with air. They come in different sizes and specific parameters. Each bladder has a check valve located at their ends that prevents the air from escaping or the entry of dust. Most are made from spin cast PVC.

Manometer

A Manometer
Source : Pinterest

This is the part of the device that does the actual measurements of air pressure and is denoted by mmHg. In Aneroid BP devices, the manometer looks like a watch that has an indicator dial with number values written in a circle. As you pump the air into the cuff, the manometer is the part you observe to know if you have reached the required air pressure needed for the test.

The Cuff

A BPM Arm Cuff
Source : Pinterest

This is the part that is wrapped around the arm to get readings. It is the casing that houses the bladder allowing it to inflate and deflate as the air is pumped in and out during measurements. Being the most crucial part, the cuff has to be appropriately designed to fit the arm in the right position; otherwise, the data it collects will not be accurate.

The Bulb

BPM Bulb
Source : Pinterest

A bulb-shaped contraption made of rubber that is attached to the bladder through a rubber pipe. The bulb fruits inside the palm, and it is used to pump air into the bladder manually.

The Valve

A BPM Valve
Source : images-amazon.com

A deflation metal pin that is used to control the cuff. Tiny as it is, it is one of the major components that play a vital role in attaining accurate readings. Most valves are made out of brass and are plated with either nickel or chrome.

 

The Process

The procedures the precede the measuring of the blood pressure follows these steps:

  • The cuff is wrapped around the upper part of the arm at a position that is directly opposite to the location of the heart. The cuff should be able to fit the arm well since it needs to apply pressure all around for it to be able to measure any readings. The lower edge of the cuff should be about one inch above the antecubital fossa.
  • Once the cuff is in place, the stethoscope bell is lightly pressed against the brachial artery that is located just below the cuff’s edge. Locating it will be hard if you fail to position the cuff as instructed.
  • The next step involves the rapid inflation of the cuff using the rubber bell for manual BP monitor and or keying in the value for a digital monitor. The cuff should be inflated to about 180mmHg. After that is attained, the air is then released from the cuff at a constant rate of about 3mm/sec.

While the air is being released, the doctor listens intently to the stethoscope while observing the mercury gauge dial. The first sound that the Sphygmomanometer produces is called the Korotkoff. It is a knock-like sound that indicates the systolic blood pressure has been recorded. The moment the Korotkoff disappears; that is an indication that the diastolic pressure reading has been taken.

  • The same procedure is repeated for the next arm, and the values are compared. For a better result, the process can be repeated two to three times in one sitting with a few minutes separating the measurements. If the blood pressure reading is in the region of 180/120mmHg and above, then immediate medical attention is needed.

How to Use a Blood Pressure Monitor

A Blood Pressure Monitor

When it comes to homedics blood pressure monitors, the operation is much simpler than a manual one. In fact, anyone can conduct the test on their own without any help from a doctor. However, when performing the blood pressure test on your own, there are things you need first to do beforehand, they include the following:

  • If you have just eaten or taken alcohol, or smoked, give yourself 30-45 minutes before measuring your blood pressure. Going in straight after consuming any of the above can alter the actual condition of your blood pressure.
  • Make sure you are seated in a comfortable position with your legs and ankles uncrossed.
  • Ensure that the arm-area that will be covered by the cuff is free of anything. If you are in a long-sleeved shirt, then switch to another with short sleeves or entirely get rid of it.
  • Always make sure that the placement of the cuff is in the correct position as detailed in the instruction manual.

Having made the necessary preparations, proceed to the actual taking of the blood pressure measurements. The following are steps involved when using a digital BP monitor:

  • Start by turning on the power for the unit to start running. If the batteries are empty, then switch to an AC adapter if that option is available. It needs to be in full power mode.
  • Push the start button, and the cuff will inflate itself. Once the required inflation is attained, the cuff will again start releasing the air automatically.

As this is happening, keep your eyes on the display to get the readings as they flash across the screen in real-time. The diastolic and systolic blood pressures will then be recorded, and the final values displayed.

  • Once you are satisfied with the readings, simply press the exhaust button, and all the air will be released from the cuff.
  • If you would like to repeat the measurements, then space them out by waiting for about 5 minutes before repeating the whole process again.

Different Types of Blood Pressure Apparatus

The best BP apparatus can be divided into two broad categories: Manual and Digital. Each category is further split into different other smaller groups depending on the nature of the BP monitor.

Manual Blood Pressure Monitors

These are sphygmomanometers that need a stethoscope to get readings. They do not have an automatic display screen; instead, the doctor listens to the palpitations through the stethoscope to make any conclusions. For this reason, manual BP monitors can only be used by experienced physicians. Two types of devices fall under this category:

Mercury Sphygmomanometers

A Mercury Sphygmomanometer
Source :Pinterest

This device uses a mercury column to indicate the pressure in the blood without any need for recalibration. Their readings are so accurate that they are usually referred to as the gold standards of blood pressure measuring devices in the medical world. Their accuracy comes in handy during clinical trials of drugs and when dealing with high-risk patients like pregnant women.

Aneroid Sphygmomanometers

An Aneroid BPM
Source :Pixabay

These are mechanical types of sphygmomanometers that are the most common. They use a stethoscope for most of their workings, and unlike their mercury counterparts, they need recalibration after every use. However, they are considered to be safer and cheaper than mercury sphygmomanometers, although their accuracy is slightly inferior.

Digital Blood Pressure Monitors

A Digital Wrist-Cuff Blood Pressure Monitor
Source :Pixabay

Digital BP monitors rely on electronic calculations and oscillometric measurements instead of auscultations. They are much easier to operate since most come with single buttons and display screens that show all the measurements. Some even go a step further and incorporate other features like Bluetooth connectivity that allows them to be linked to mobile apps.

All types of blood pressure monitors that employ the same principle fall under this group. Arm  BP monitors, Paediatric BP monitors, and Wrist BP monitors, just to mention a few, all fall under this group.

How to Choose a Blood Pressure Monitor

A Simple Blood Pressure Monitor
Source :Pixabay

When choosing the best BP monitor machine for home use, there are factors that you need to pay attention to. They include the following:

The Price: When you decide to buy a monitor for measuring blood pressure at home, make sure it is within your budget. It goes without saying that the best and the most accurate BP monitors cost a fortune. However, many other cheaper options in the market work just fine. Look around first and compare prices both online and in physical stores before settling on one.

Extra Accessories: You have the option of going for the simplest device in the market, the one that comes with a single button for all functions and an elaborate display. At the same time, you can choose to make your work much easier by going for a BP machine that has Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity. These features will allow you to link the devices to mobile apps and cloud storage.

Accuracy: A good BP monitor should be as accurate as possible; it should be able to operate on the same level as hospital BP machines. An inaccurate device will give the wrong readings making you think you are okay when you are not or sending you into a panic, assuming you are sick when you are okay. A misdiagnosis is as dangerous as the disease itself. Therefore make sure that the device you go for is on the higher side of accuracy.

Clinical Validation: Everybody feels much safer when they use products that come recommended by professionals. For instance, a hospital-grade blood pressure monitor that has received the mark of approval from most doctors is a better bet than the one that barely registers any attention from anyone. Before buying a BP Monitor make sure it has received the authoritative endorsement of the medical world.

The Brand: Devices made by established blood pressure monitor manufacturers hold more sway than little known brands—the bigger the brand, the higher the chance that the product in question is top grade. However, you will have to make peace with the possibility of paying a lot more than you would have for a different BP monitor.

Ease of Use: Compared to a hospital blood pressure machine, a home-use BP monitor should be much simpler both in operation and interpretation of data. The reason why these devices exist in the first place was to make it easier for people to conduct the tests themselves to reduce trips to the hospitals. A good BP monitor should be straightforward when it comes to operating it and understanding the measurement readings.

Factors that can Affect Blood Pressure Readings

A Blood Pressure Reading in Progress
Source :Pixabay

A Full Bladder

Your blood pressure depends on how full or how empty your bladder is. An empty bladder results in lower blood pressure, while a full one leads to higher blood pressure. A full bladder is known to increase systolic pressure by up to 15mmHg. Make sure you are empty before taking measurements.

Temperature

Blood pressure increases when you are cold and decreases when conditions get warmer. If you find the room you are in a bit too chilly, then be aware that any blood pressure measurements you conduct will not reflect the real picture.

Being Too Active

When measuring blood pressure, you are supposed to be calm and rested. Do not move about too much or conduct the test while you are animatedly talking to someone. That is why it is recommended that the test is done while sitting. Too much activity increases the blood flow in the body, and this spikes the blood pressure unnecessarily.

Emotional State

Emotions like anger, anxiety, and stress can cause massive elevations of blood pressure. If you choose to have your pressure taken when you are in a state of agitation, the reading will not reflect the true state of your body’s condition.

Sitting Position

Blood pressure measurements are administered with the subject seated. The chair should be comfortable with the back supported. The legs and arms should be uncrossed so as not to constrict blood flow in some areas as this could spike the overall pressure.

Frequently Asked Questions When using a Blood Pressure Monitor

A FrequentlyAsked Questions Banner
Source :Pixabay

The need to know the finer details of blood pressure and everything else that pertains to the procedure is essential. Many people love to run online with their symptoms, frantically searching for answers. The following are some of the most frequently asked questions about blood pressure monitors.

What Causes High Blood Pressure?

Obesity compounded with a lack of exercise and activity is the leading cause of high blood pressure among people these days. Other underlying triggers include genetics, old age, a poor diet, and general poor lifestyle habits like smoking and heavy drinking.

When should I start to get worried?

When using home blood pressure kits, you should immediately rush to the nearest hospital if the blood pressure readings are anywhere near or above 180/120 mmHg. This is what is referred to as the Hypertensive Crisis and is an indicator of a severe health problem waiting to erupt.

What is normal blood pressure?

Blood pressure is considered to be within normal parameters if you register a systolic pressure of 120 or below and a diastolic pressure of 80 and below. For babies, the readings should be in the 60-90/20-60 region.

What are some of the dangers of high blood pressure?

When hypertension is allowed to fester unchecked, you stand a high risk of being struck by a stroke or suffering a severe heart attack that can lead to death. Other risky conditions that are associated with high blood pressure include kidney issues, dementia, aneurysm, and loss of memory, among other issues. Those with hypertension also stand a higher risk of getting affected by other diseases like the current COVID-19.

Is high blood pressure treatable?

There are two ways of dealing with high blood pressure. The first one can be achieved through a change in lifestyle. You may have to drop all those habits that contribute to hypertension and embrace regular exercise and a proper diet. The other way is through drugs. Medicines used to treat hypertension include diuretics, ACE inhibitors, calcium channel blockers, among many others.

Conclusion

There is so much information pertaining to hypertension and the use of high blood pressure monitors to keep it in check. The emerging trend right now leans towards the use of BP checking machines at home. As more technologically advanced devices are released into the market, their prices are getting lower. For as little as $20, you can acquire a decent home blood pressure machine that is easily operable.

The bottom line is that your health is important, and it should take precedence ahead of everything else. There is so much that you can achieve in life when you are confident in your health. If you have been considering buying a BP monitor for home use, this is the time.



Choosing a Blood Pressure Monitor Monitor

A Digital Blood Pressure Monitor

Source: pixabay.com

Blood pressure monitors, as the name suggests, are devices used in the medical field to measure the blood pressure in patients. They are devices that date back to the late 1800s. Also called a sphygmomanometer, the first known modern versions of blood pressure monitors are credited to Samuel Siegfried Karl Ritter von Basch, who created a rudimentary version of it in 1881. 

Since then, the devices have undergone significant changes, evolving from manual ones to digital versions that can be used by anyone anywhere. These changes have improved health among people with hypertension. Some of the best BP apparatus companies around the world are driving technological innovations that continue to transform the medical landscape.

Types of Blood Pressure Monitors

The sheer varieties of blood pressure monitors in the market right now are beyond imagination, with each offering a unique set of features. The digital ones, in particular, have transformed the medical world a great deal, and as time goes by, they are improving by huge leaps. A common feature in every medical trade fair around the world, Sphygmomanometers come in 4 main types that include the following:

Aneroid Blood Pressure Monitor

An Aneroid BP Monitor

Source: pinterest.com

An aneroid sphygmomanometer is a manual BP monitor that has been in use for years. The set up includes an arm cuff, a stethoscope, a medical gauge, and a squeeze bub. The cuff is tightly wound around the arm, and the doctor squeezes the bulb to get blood pressure readings.

Digital Blood Pressure Monitor

A Digital BP Monitor

Source: pinterest.com

A digital blood pressure machine works by using electrical signals to measure and display its readings on a display screen. As far as their functionalities go, they simply involve a cuff being wrapped around an arm and a single button pressed for it to get all the measurements it needs. The results are displayed on a digital screen.

Finger Blood Pressure Monitor

A Finger BP Monitor

Source: pinterest.com

This is another recent technology that was created for people who need to check on their blood pressure frequently. All a patient needs to do is insert their index finger into a specially designed finger cuff that automatically inflates to take a reading. The only shortcoming to this device is that fingers do not provide accurate measurements compared to the arm.

Paediatric Blood Pressure Monitor

A Little Girl Having her BP Checked

Source:  mylegacy.ie

Pediatric BP monitors are devices specifically designed for children. They are blood pressure monitors for kids that have smaller cuffs, with a set up that comes with an LCD screen. Its use has increased in recent years due to an increase in hypertension and obesity in children.

 

What to Consider When Choosing a BP Monitor

Most people these days prefer having their blood pressure monitors within the confines of their homes. With the advancement in technology, operating one no longer requires a doctor. All you need to do is tightly wrap the device around your arm, press a button, and that’s it.

When choosing the best blood pressure machine for home use, there are things you need to keep in mind. The major ones include the following:

Size

An Omron BP Monitor

Source: pinterest.com

The size of the whole set-up matters a lot, from the cuffs to the length of the cables involved, the size of the main part of the device itself, and the display screen. The cuff has to be big enough to fit around your arm for the blood pressure monitor to capture the correct data. If it is too loose or too tight, the measurements may not be accurate.

The recommended circumferences are as stipulated below:

  • Small Adult Arm: An arm circumference of between 8.5 to 10 inches
  • Average Adult Arm: An arm circumference of between 10.5 inches to 13 inches
  • Large Adult Arm: An arm circumference of between 13.5 to 17 inches

Arm Cuffs vs. Wrist Cuffs

A BP Monitor Cuff

Source: pinterest.com

Homedics blood pressure monitors take their measurements from three points; the arm, the wrist, or the finger. As earlier mentioned, the finger is the least accurate because that part of the body registers less blood pressure, being small and all. The choice then comes down to two; a wrist cuff or an arm cuff.

Of the two, an upper arm cuff is the most accurate and efficient; it does not require too much effort because the upper arm is bigger; therefore provides more surface area for data to be collected. Wrist cuffs work by monitoring the wrist area, majorly the pulse present there.

However, they are only recommended for people under the age of 50. Older people are advised to avoid using wrist cuffs because the blood pressure around the wrists becomes fainter as people grow older.

The Budget

Money

Source: pixabay.com

A common factor that determines the type of blood pressure monitor you may end up with is your budget. The best BP monitor machines for home use do not come cheap. The most accurate ones range between $90 and $120. However, most are priced that high because of extra features that do not really make much of a difference. Doctors advise against spending anything above $60. Raycome BP monitors, for instance, are priced favorably, yet they deliver excellent results.

Accuracy Levels

A Sphygmomanometer Scale

Source: pinterest.com

Hypertension is a serious disease that can lead to a lot of undesirable complications if it is not kept in check. It is, therefore, vital that blood pressure monitors capture their measurements as accurately as possible to give doctors the right data to work with.

Compare the readings you get on a home monitor with hospital BP machines to gauge their accuracy. The ones used by doctors are calibrated using the best metrics. The measurements will not obviously be identical, but the deviation should not be that big.

 

Ease of Use

A Simple BP Monitor

Source: pinterest.com

A good BP monitor is one that displays the data in an easy to decipher format that does not need any further interpretation from a medical officer. The display should also be big enough to be legible even for an older patient with eyesight problems. Another critical issue pertaining to the use is the availability of apps. Getting a monitor that can be linked to an app on your phone makes operation much easier and fun; it also comes with more functionalities as a boost.

Multi-Users vs. Single-User

A 4-User A&D BP Monitor

Source: pinterest.com

Some blood pressure monitors allow for multiple users to have their blood pressure taken consecutively. That is to mean; they have storage that can store a certain amount of data allowing for blood pressure measurements of several people to be taken at once. Single-use monitors only accommodate one person at a time, with data being logged first before proceeding to the next patient. This can be a drag for many people.

Extra Features

A BP Monitor with Mobile App Connectivity

Source: pinterest.com

Having extra features does not make much difference when it comes to the accuracy of the blood pressure monitor, but they sure do make operations much easier. Features like Bluetooth connectivity and a BP monitor app allow the device to be operated remotely without the need to move about too much. Internet connectivity allows for the data to be uploaded quickly to a portal that can be shared with your doctor or other interested parties easily.

Your Needs

Your Needs

Source: pixabay.com

What you need in a blood pressure monitor should act as a guide towards your choice. To better help you get a clear picture of what your needs may be, ask yourself the following questions;

  • Will I be sharing the device with other people around the house? If that is the case, then you should go for the monitor that supports multi-users and allows for the setting up of several accounts within the same device.
  • Do I need to receive the readings on your phone in real-time? Then go for a monitor that supports Bluetooth or NFC connectivity. Most times, the data looks more presentable on a phone as it has a bigger screen and is suited for that kind of data.
  • Do I need to be in constant touch with my doctor without having to pay them a visit? Then a monitor that supports email communication that allows you to forward the data to your doctor for further analysis is your cup of tea.
  • Do I wish to keep track of my daily readings? Then go for a blood pressure monitor that stores your regular measurements. This way, you can tell just by studying the trends whether you are improving or getting worse.

Clinical Validations

Sign of Approval

Source: pixabay.com

Devices used in the medical field undergo tighter scrutiny compared to those used in other industries. Before a blood pressure monitor hits the market, it has to go through tests and trials that prove its efficacy. These tests have to be rubber-stamped by doctors as a mark of approval. 

For the best results, go for the blood pressure monitor that has received the highest clinical validations. Doctors are professionals, and once they have endorsed a medical device, it is best you follow their advice.

Portability and Battery Life

A Row of Alkaline Batteries

Source: pixabay.com

The main reason blood pressure monitors for home use were created in the first place was for the purpose of convenience. To achieve this, they must be small enough to be carried around. You may need to take blood pressure measurements at work, in the car, or during a vacation. It has to be small enough to fit inside your bag.

In the same breath, portability also depends on battery life. The monitor should be able to last as long as it can when you are away from home. It would not be good for you if the battery kept dying every time you tried to use it outside your home. In this situation, you may have to avoid those that have extra features since supporting things like Bluetooth and internet connectivity uses more power.

Conclusion

Staying healthy has never been so crucial as it is today. People in the current world are beset with a lot more lifestyle ailments than any other group ever to exist. To counter this, several technological advancements in the medical world are slowly turning the tide. Home blood pressure kits that can be used without any supervision are top of that list.  

If you are a chronic sufferer of hypertension, you are highly advised to invest in a blood pressure monitor. Use this detailed guide in your search and get the best one that will address all your problems.

 

Blood Pressure Monitor

A Sphygmomanometer Next to HBP Drugs

Source: pixabay.com

Keeping tabs on your health is the best investment you can ever make in yourself and your family. Many people only visit the hospital when something has already gone wrong, and that should never be the case. Some diseases, like hypertension, have to be monitored at all times.

High blood pressure can negatively impact your life as it can limit many of the activities you are used to. It also opens up your body to other complications. BP monitors are the best solutions that can tackle hypertension head-on. Blood pressure monitor manufacturers have made great strides in meeting the increasing demand for home blood pressure kits.

People can now check their blood pressure as many times as they want from the comfort of their homes. Knowing where you stand healthwise helps you in properly planning your life.

What Is a Blood Pressure Monitor?

A Baby Blood Pressure Monitor

Source: https://www.raycome.com

A blood pressure monitor is a device that is used to measure blood pressure. To better understand what a BP monitor is, you have to know what blood pressure is and why it must be kept in check.

Blood pressure is the force that is exerted on the walls of the blood vessels by the blood as it flows through them as the heart pumps. The pressure exerted by the blood comes in two forms: Systolic and Diastolic.

Systolic is the blood pressure that is created when the heart contracts to pump blood around the body, while diastolic blood pressure is the one exerted between the heartbeats as the heart relaxes. This alternating between these two is what is ultimately referred to as the blood pressure. So why is it necessary to measure blood pressure?

Higher blood pressure is dangerous for your body. It exerts a strain on the heart, the blood vessels, and this can interfere with the proper way that blood gets distributed around your body. If all these organs are strained, you stand a risk of being hit with a myriad of health problems like heart attacks, dementia, kidney diseases, or a stroke.

What makes high blood pressure truly dangerous is that it is hard to detect without the use of a blood pressure monitor. Most people discover they have hypertension when they are on their hospital beds after suffering a stroke. This is the reason why having at least one in your home is very important.

 

How does a Sphygmomanometer Work?

 

An Aneroid Sphygmomanometer

Source: pixabay.com

As earlier stated, a Sphygmomanometer measures the blood pressure. Before we explore how they work, you should get familiar with the different parts that make up a blood pressure monitor. They include the following:

Bladder

A BPM Bladder

Source: pinterest.com

This is the inflatable rubber bag that fits around the arm for compression. It is the part inside the cuff that gets filled with air. They come in different sizes and specific parameters. Each bladder has a check valve located at their ends that prevents the air from escaping or the entry of dust. Most are made from spin cast PVC.

Manometer

A Manometer

Source: pinterest.com

This is the part of the device that does the actual measurements of air pressure and is denoted by mmHg. In Aneroid BP devices, the manometer looks like a watch that has an indicator dial with number values written in a circle. As you pump the air into the cuff, the manometer is the part you observe to know if you have reached the required air pressure needed for the test.

The Cuff

A BPM Arm Cuff

Source: pinterest.com

This is the part that is wrapped around the arm to get readings. It is the casing that houses the bladder allowing it to inflate and deflate as the air is pumped in and out during measurements. Being the most crucial part, the cuff has to be appropriately designed to fit the arm in the right position; otherwise, the data it collects will not be accurate.

The Bulb

A bulb-shaped contraption made of rubber that is attached to the bladder through a rubber pipe. The bulb fruits inside the palm, and it is used to pump air into the bladder manually.

The Valve

A deflation metal pin that is used to control the cuff. Tiny as it is, it is one of the major components that play a vital role in attaining accurate readings. Most valves are made out of brass and are plated with either nickel or chrome.

 

The procedures the precede the measuring of the blood pressure follows these steps:

  • The cuff is wrapped around the upper part of the arm at a position that is directly opposite to the location of the heart. The cuff should be able to fit the arm well since it needs to apply pressure all around for it to be able to measure any readings. The lower edge of the cuff should be about one inch above the antecubital fossa.
  • Once the cuff is in place, the stethoscope bell is lightly pressed against the brachial artery that is located just below the cuff’s edge. Locating it will be hard if you fail to position the cuff as instructed. 
  • The next step involves the rapid inflation of the cuff using the rubber bell for manual BP monitor and or keying in the value for a digital monitor. The cuff should be inflated to about 180mmHg. After that is attained, the air is then released from the cuff at a constant rate of about 3mm/sec.
  • While the air is being released, the doctor listens intently to the stethoscope while observing the mercury gauge dial. The first sound that the Sphygmomanometer produces is called the Korotkoff. It is a knock-like sound that indicates the systolic blood pressure has been recorded. The moment the Korotkoff disappears; that is an indication that the diastolic pressure reading has been taken.
  • The same procedure is repeated for the next arm, and the values are compared. For a better result, the process can be repeated two to three times in one sitting with a few minutes separating the measurements. If the blood pressure reading is in the region of 180/120mmHg and above, then immediate medical attention is needed.

 

How to Use a Blood Pressure Monitor

 

A Blood Pressure Monitor

Source:

https://www.raycome.com

When it comes to homedics blood pressure monitors, the operation is much simpler than a manual one. In fact, anyone can conduct the test on their own without any help from a doctor. However, when performing the blood pressure test on your own, there are things you need first to do beforehand, they include the following:

  • If you have just eaten or taken alcohol, or smoked, give yourself 30-45 minutes before measuring your blood pressure. Going in straight after consuming any of the above can alter the actual condition of your blood pressure.
  • Make sure you are seated in a comfortable position with your legs and ankles uncrossed.
  • Ensure that the arm-area that will be covered by the cuff is free of anything. If you are in a long-sleeved shirt, then switch to another with short sleeves or entirely get rid of it.
  • Always make sure that the placement of the cuff is in the correct position as detailed in the instruction manual.

Having made the necessary preparations, proceed to the actual taking of the blood pressure measurements. The following are steps involved when using a digital BP monitor:

  • Start by turning on the power for the unit to start running. If the batteries are empty, then switch to an AC adapter if that option is available. It needs to be in full power mode.
  • Push the start button, and the cuff will inflate itself. Once the required inflation is attained, the cuff will again start releasing the air automatically.
  • As this is happening, keep your eyes on the display to get the readings as they flash across the screen in real-time. The diastolic and systolic blood pressures will then be recorded, and the final values displayed. 
  • Once you are satisfied with the readings, simply press the exhaust button, and all the air will be released from the cuff.
  • If you would like to repeat the measurements, then space them out by waiting for about 5 minutes before repeating the whole process again.

 

Different Types of Blood Pressure Apparatus

 

An Advanced Digital Blood Pressure Monitor

Source:

https://www.raycome.com

The best BP apparatus can be divided into two broad categories: Manual and Digital. Each category is further split into different other smaller groups depending on the nature of the BP monitor. 

Manual Blood Pressure Monitors

These are sphygmomanometers that need a stethoscope to get readings. They do not have an automatic display screen; instead, the doctor listens to the palpitations through the stethoscope to make any conclusions. For this reason, manual BP monitors can only be used by experienced physicians. Two types of devices fall under this category:

Mercury Sphygmomanometers

A Mercury Sphygmomanometer

Source: pinterest.com

This device uses a mercury column to indicate the pressure in the blood without any need for recalibration. Their readings are so accurate that they are usually referred to as the gold standards of blood pressure measuring devices in the medical world. Their accuracy comes in handy during clinical trials of drugs and when dealing with high-risk patients like pregnant women.

Aneroid Sphygmomanometers

An Aneroid BPM

Source: pixabay.com

These are mechanical types of sphygmomanometers that are the most common. They use a stethoscope for most of their workings, and unlike their mercury counterparts, they need recalibration after every use. However, they are considered to be safer and cheaper than mercury sphygmomanometers, although their accuracy is slightly inferior.

Digital Blood Pressure Monitors

A Digital Wrist-Cuff Blood Pressure Monitor

Source: pixabay.com

Digital BP monitors rely on electronic calculations and oscillometric measurements instead of auscultations. They are much easier to operate since most come with single buttons and display screens that show all the measurements. Some even go a step further and incorporate other features like Bluetooth connectivity that allows them to be linked to mobile apps.

 

All types of blood pressure monitors that employ the same principle fall under this group. Arm  BP monitors, Paediatric BP monitors, and Wrist BP monitors, just to mention a few, all fall under this group.

How to Choose a Blood Pressure Monitor

 

A Simple Blood Pressure Monitor

Source: pinterest.com

When choosing the best BP monitor machine for home use, there are factors that you need to pay attention to. They include the following:

 

  • The Price: When you decide to buy a monitor for measuring blood pressure at home, make sure it is within your budget. It goes without saying that the best and the most accurate BP monitors cost a fortune. However, many other cheaper options in the market work just fine. Look around first and compare prices both online and in physical stores before settling on one.
  • Extra Accessories: You have the option of going for the simplest device in the market, the one that comes with a single button for all functions and an elaborate display. At the same time, you can choose to make your work much easier by going for a BP machine that has Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity. These features will allow you to link the devices to mobile apps and cloud storage.
  • Accuracy: A good BP monitor should be as accurate as possible; it should be able to operate on the same level as hospital BP machines. An inaccurate device will give the wrong readings making you think you are okay when you are not or sending you into a panic, assuming you are sick when you are okay. A misdiagnosis is as dangerous as the disease itself. Therefore make sure that the device you go for is on the higher side of accuracy.
  • Clinical Validation: Everybody feels much safer when they use products that come recommended by professionals. For instance, a hospital-grade blood pressure monitor that has received the mark of approval from most doctors is a better bet than the one that barely registers any attention from anyone. Before buying anything, consult with your doctor first for pointers. 
  • The Brand: Devices made by established blood pressure monitor manufacturers hold more sway than little known brands—the bigger the brand, the higher the chance that the product in question is top grade. However, you will have to make peace with the possibility of paying a lot more than you would have for a different BP monitor.
  • Ease of Use: Compared to a hospital blood pressure machine, a home-use BP monitor should be much simpler both in operation and interpretation of data. The reason why these devices exist in the first place was to make it easier for people to conduct the tests themselves to reduce trips to the hospitals. A good BP monitor should be straightforward when it comes to operating it and understanding the measurement readings.

 

Factors that can Affect Blood Pressure Readings

 

A Blood Pressure Reading in Progress

Source: pixabay.com

A Full Bladder

Your blood pressure depends on how full or how empty your bladder is. An empty bladder results in lower blood pressure, while a full one leads to higher blood pressure. A full bladder is known to increase systolic pressure by up to 15mmHg. Make sure you are empty before taking measurements.

Temperature

Blood pressure increases when you are cold and decreases when conditions get warmer. If you find the room you are in a bit too chilly, then be aware that any blood pressure measurements you conduct will not reflect the real picture.

Being Too Active

When measuring blood pressure, you are supposed to be calm and rested. Do not move about too much or conduct the test while you are animatedly talking to someone. That is why it is recommended that the test is done while sitting. Too much activity increases the blood flow in the body, and this spikes the blood pressure unnecessarily.

Emotional State

Emotions like anger, anxiety, and stress can cause massive elevations of blood pressure. If you choose to have your pressure taken when you are in a state of agitation, the reading will not reflect the true state of your body’s condition.

Sitting Position

Blood pressure measurements are administered with the subject seated. The chair should be comfortable with the back supported. The legs and arms should be uncrossed so as not to constrict blood flow in some areas as this could spike the overall pressure. 

Frequently Asked Questions When using a Blood Pressure Monitor

 

A Frequently Asked Questions Banner

Source: pixabay.com

The need to know the finer details of blood pressure and everything else that pertains to the procedure is essential. Many people love to run online with their symptoms, frantically searching for answers. The following are some of the most frequently asked questions about blood pressure monitors.

What Causes High Blood Pressure?

Obesity compounded with a lack of exercise and activity is the leading cause of high blood pressure among people these days. Other underlying triggers include genetics, old age, a poor diet, and general poor lifestyle habits like smoking and heavy drinking.

When should I start to get worried?

When using home blood pressure kits, you should immediately rush to the nearest hospital if the blood pressure readings are anywhere near or above 180/120 mmHg. This is what is referred to as the Hypertensive Crisis and is an indicator of a severe health problem waiting to erupt.

What is normal blood pressure?

Blood pressure is considered to be within normal parameters if you register a systolic pressure of 120 or below and a diastolic pressure of 80 and below. For babies, the readings should be in the 60-90/20-60 region.

What are some of the dangers of high blood pressure?

When hypertension is allowed to fester unchecked, you stand a high risk of being struck by a stroke or suffering a severe heart attack that can lead to death. Other risky conditions that are associated with high blood pressure include kidney issues, dementia, aneurysm, and loss of memory, among other issues.

Is high blood pressure treatable?

There are two ways of dealing with high blood pressure. The first one can be achieved through a change in lifestyle. You may have to drop all those habits that contribute to hypertension and embrace regular exercise and a proper diet. The other way is through drugs. Medicines used to treat hypertension include diuretics, ACE inhibitors, calcium channel blockers, among many others.

Conclusion

There is so much information pertaining to hypertension and the use of high blood pressure monitors to keep it in check. The emerging trend right now leans towards the use of BP checking machines at home. As more technologically advanced devices are released into the market, their prices are getting lower. For as little as $20, you can acquire a decent home blood pressure machine that is easily operable. 

The bottom line is that your health is important, and it should take precedence ahead of everything else. There is so much that you can achieve in life when you are confident in your health. If you have been considering buying a BP monitor for home use, this is the time.

 

Best Blood Pressure Monitors 2020

A Digital Blood Pressure Monitor

Source: pixabay.com

Diseases like hypertension used to pose a great danger to people in the past. There was no way of knowing when the blood pressure was about to go berserk. People had to be rushed to the nearest hospital to determine what had gone wrong. That is a thing of the past now, thanks to great advancement in medical and mobile app technologies.

Several high blood pressure monitors in the market are highly regarded by doctors and patients alike for their efficiency and accuracy. To come up with this exhaustive list for you, we used some parameters to determine the monitors that make it and those that do not.

How We Arrived at Our Picks

With a lot of options available to pick from, we used the following factors to make work much easier for you, the reader:

The Interface

Blood pressure monitors are supposed to be simple with an easy to navigate interface. The reason for their existence was to make things simpler for patients, allowing them to operate them without help from a doctor. The simplicity of the interface was the first factor we considered for this list.

Multiple-Users

In line with convenience, we also gave priority to the monitors that accommodate multiple users over those that can only handle one user at a time. A multi-user monitor is not only efficient, but it also saves money to have one in the house.

Accuracy

Accuracy is the most crucial aspect of a blood pressure monitor. Without the presence of a doctor, the device has to cover for that handicap by providing the correct measurement. Inaccurate monitors are risky as they can lead to a misdiagnosis.

Memory Storage

Monitors that come with memory storage allow you to store all the blood pressure readings that you take over a period of time. This enables you to determine whether you are improving or getting worse.

The Best BP Monitors in the Market Right Now

 

Greater Goods BP Monitor: Best Overall

A Balance by Greater Goods BP Monitor

Source: greatergoods.com

The Greater Good BP Monitor is ranked overall best because of its decent accuracy, versatility, and ease of use. It has a large backlit display that employs the use of clear and sharp fonts legible even for those that have eyesight issues. 

It also comes with a comfortable arm cuff that can handle arm circumferences of up to 16.5 inches. The monitor comes with a carrying bag that has specific pockets for the accompanying accessories making it easy to carry around. The Greater Goods BP Monitor costs $55

Pros

  • It has a large display screen that is easy to use.
  • It has a commendable accuracy level. 
  • It has a carrying case that makes it delightfully portable.

Cons

  • It has limited memory storage that can only handle less than 60 records. That is not much.

Omron Platinum: The Most Accurate

An Omron Platinum BP Monitor

Source: images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com

Omron BP monitors are known and widely used by medical practitioners all over the world. A product of Omron Healthcare, a Canadian company, the device is considered to be the most accurate of all digital blood pressure monitors in existence. And because of that, they do not come cheap.

Costing about $75, Omron Platinum is a powerful machine that packs impressive storage and an off-the-chart accuracy that would make any doctor smile. It comes equipped with TruRead technology and Advanced Averaging, the two features that are responsible for its precise readings. On top of that, there is a mobile app that a user can sync with for a better experience.

Pros

  • It has enough storage for over 200 readings.
  • Allows the linking up of multiple users through the mobile app.
  • It has TruRead technology that boosts its accuracy.

Cons

  • It does not have cuff sizes for smaller arms.
  • It can only accommodate two users if the mobile app is not involved.
  • The mobile app is yet to be refined fully and has a lot of bugs that interfere with how the device works.
  • At $75, the monitor is expensive.

PulseWave Blood Pressure Monitor: Most Technologically Advanced

PulseWave BP Monitor

Source: https://www.raycome.com

This is an advanced blood pressure monitor from Raycome that employs some of the latest medical technologies around for this marvel of a device. The PusleWave monitor uses patented dual-ballons and sensors technology combined with continuous measurement of multi-point pressures to attain the highest accuracy levels possible. It is the type of device that you want lying next to your bedside.

Pros

  • It has high accuracy levels.
  • It supports wireless transmission of data.
  • It has a very beautiful design and is light, making it portable.

Cons

  • Being that advanced, it can be a bit challenging for home use without help at first.

Beurer BM26: Best Value

Beurer BM26 Monitor

Source: pinterest.com

When it comes to getting your money’s worth, then Beurer BM26 is the one device you should be splashing on right now. Costing a modest $30, it is easy to dismiss the device as inferior, a miscalculated mistake. The Beurer BM26 can track blood pressure for up to 4 users, without the use of a mobile app, quite a rare feat. Each of the four users can have a maximum of 30 readings.

When it comes to accuracy, the monitor uses the basic averaging principle that takes account of all the readings made in 24hrs to present the best data.

Pros

  • It is simple and very affordable.
  • It can support up to four people.
  • It averages the results over a period of 24hrs for the best accuracy.

Cons

  • It does not have a backlit display, and the user interface is not that appealing.
  • It has a very limited storage capacity.

Withings BPM Connect: Most Portable

 

Withings BPM Connect

Source: pinterest.com

Convenience is one of the underlying factors that contributed to the invention of digital blood pressure monitors. There is nothing that embodies that more than portability. The Withings BPM Connect is a little compact device that looks nothing like a BP monitor. At first glance, it resembles a tiny Bluetooth speaker, but do not let appearances fool you.

It is very easy to use, can connect to a mobile app, and has a rechargeable battery that can last for a week. It has Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity that allows you to store all your readings to cloud storage on the go, making the need for internal storage obsolete. However, all these features come at a price, $100, to be exact.

Pros

  • Supports unlimited Cloud Storage.
  • It has a compact and portable design.
  • It has an excellent mobile app

Cons

  • It can only hold eight readings when disconnected from the internet, making it impossible to use when outside network coverage.
  • It only works best for a single user.
  • It is very expensive.

LifeSource: Best Cuff Size Options

LifeSource BP Monitor

Source: pinterest.com

As much as the design of the central BP monitor itself is important, The cuffs that take the actual measurements are equally crucial. When it comes to cuff size options, the LifeSource blood pressure monitor takes the cake. It has cuff sizes for all types of people, big and small. Their largest cuff sizes range between 16.5 inches to 23.6 inches.

Another added advantage to this amazing device is its accuracy; it can detect irregular heartbeats, giving you ample warning to do something about it. On the budget side, however, the LifeSource device does not play nice, it costs a whopping $120. There is a LifeSource version that comes with cuffs for slender arms. It costs about $73.

Pros

  • It has arm cuffs of all sizes, including extra-large and extra-thin.
  • It has very accurate readings.
  • It comes equipped with an irregular heartbeat detector.

Cons

  • At $120, it is a very expensive BP monitor.
  • It can only store 60 readings, which is way too low for that price.

 

iProven Wrist BP Monitor Watch: Best Wrist Monitor

 

iProven Wrist BP Monitor

Source: yogajournal.com

This is the only wrist BP monitor on the list, one that is considered the best in 2020. It is a small machine that is also extremely fast, being able to post readings within 30 seconds. It can accommodate about 60 readings, and it is small enough to even fit in the pockets of your pants. Before using it, you are advised to remove wristwatches and any other kind of jewelry for the best results. The iProven Wrist BP monitor costs about $20.

Pros

  • It is fast in displaying measurement readings.
  • It is small and portable.
  • It is cheap.

Cons

  • It is not as accurate as the BP monitors that use the arm cuff. 
  • It can only be used by people below the age of 50.

A&D Upper Arm BP Monitor: Best Multi-User

A&D Upper Arm BP Monitor

Source: images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com

The A&D Upper Arm BP Monitor is a simple yet effective multi-user device that has received excellent reviews from people who have used it. It can hold 60 readings for each of the users it can handle, that’s a total of 240 readings if you choose to use the device all for yourself. It is very reliable with useful features like cuff-fit error alerts and body movement sensors.

Pros

  • It can support up to 4 users.
  • It has useful extra features that enhance its effectiveness.
  • It can store up to 240 readings.

Cons

  • The cuffs are a bit too tight at times.
  • The inflation procedure is too loud.

 

Conclusion

These are the best blood pressure monitors in the market right now. More are being released into the market every year by major blood pressure monitor manufacturing companies. With obesity still on the rise, the demand for home use BP monitors is only going to increase. If you have been looking for one yourself, you can start with the ones mentioned above and find the one that suits you best.

Those with high blood pressure are at a greater risk for Covid-19. Here’s what you need to know to protect yourself

(CNN)As the novel coronavirus sweeps the globe, people with high blood pressure are among those who are at heightened risk for more severe complications should they contract Covid-19.

“If you get an extraordinary viral disease that will damage your lungs, you need a heart that can work with how your body responds to the virus,” said Dr. Maria Carolina Delgado-Lelievre, an assistant professor of medicine at the University of Miami’s Miller School of Medicine.
But for those with hypertension, “Covid will cause a systemic reaction in the body in a patient that already has risk” because of poor heart health, she said. That means the virus can attack multiple organ systems.
The CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report from February 12 to March 28 showed that 9% of Covid-19 patients in the United States also self-reported a diagnosis of cardiovascular disease.
High blood pressure is the most common type of heart disease and affects almost half of all American adults, according to the CDC. That’s about 108 million Americans living with the condition.
And because hypertension is more common as people grow older, that means many of the same people with high blood pressure already overlap with the elderly populations known to be at higher risk for contracting Covid-19.

Recognize the warning signs and know how to take your blood pressure

At a basic anatomic level, hypertension happens when there’s an abnormality in blood vessels that can impair the way oxygen is transferred to the cells.
Having a low blood oxygen level is common among those hospitalized with Covid-19, according to a study of patients in Wuhan, China published in the Lancet in January.
“High blood pressure is not [just] a number. The number is a guide, it’s a symbol,” Delgado-Lelievre said. “It’s telling us your vessels all over the body are not working as they should.”
High blood pressure may not come with noticeable symptoms, so the best way to identify it is to simply do a blood pressure reading.

The American Heart Association published a graphic explaining basic facts about monitoring your blood pressure. During this pandemic, it’s an important number to keep an eye on.

To do that, first, make sure you have a blood pressure cuff. Today’s technology is accurate enough that using a digital wrist cuff can get a good blood pressure reading, Delgado-Lelievre said.
Next, rest in a sturdy chair for at least five minutes, making sure to sit with your back straight. Keep your forearms supported on a flat surface such as a table, and keep the blood pressure cuff placed directly above where your elbow bends.
As you’re monitoring blood pressure over time, make sure to take the readings at the same time every day.
Any blood pressure reading of 120 over 80 is considered elevated, Delgado-Lelievre said.
Moving up from that point, the first level of hypertension is defined as 130 or higher for systolic (the top number) and 80 or higher for diastolic (the lower number), according to the American Heart Association.

Maintain a healthy lifestyle and keep taking your medicine

During the pandemic, the best way those with hypertension can manage their own risk is to follow the same guidelines as everyone else: maintain social distancing, wash hands frequently and refrain from touching one’s face.
More specific to high blood pressure, it’s important to try to relax as much as possible, as stress commonly drives up readings.
With so much of society upended by social distancing and the threat of more infections, relaxing is obviously easier said than done. But do as well as you can to try to keep your blood pressure at a healthy level.

Although hypertension is a genetic disease, it has external drivers such as lifestyle, diet and exercise.
Delgado-Lelievre said she often tells patients that if they come up with an unusually high blood pressure reading they should try relaxation exercises, or lie down and listen to music. Then they should take their blood pressure again, and they will likely see a drop.
“Some people already know they have hypertension and know they need to monitor their blood pressure two or three times a week,” she added.
And despite some recent rumors to the contrary, doctors still recommend taking medications your doctor may have prescribed for blood pressure, including ACE inhibitors and ARBs, the American Heart Association says.
“Do not stop your medications unless your doctor tells you to,” Delgado-Lelievre said.

The African American community is at higher risk

It’s not just adults over 60; African Americans are also at a higher risk for hypertension, according to a study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association.
US Surgeon General Jerome Adams told “CBS Sunday Morning” that he has high blood pressure, noting “I have heart disease, and I and many black Americans are at higher risk for Covid,” he said.

CNN political commentator Van Jones echoed Adams.
“All the doctors are saying: people who have high blood pressure and hypertension are very at risk to dying when they get this virus,” Jones said. “Nobody is saying that to the black community loudly enough.”
For groups more likely to have co-morbid conditions or other risk factors, including African Americans and the elderly, Jones had blunt advice.
“What that means is if your grandmother has high blood pressure or diabetes, grab her and pull her into the house and do not let her out for two months,” he said.
“Those with hypertension have to be very cautious about maintaining the quarantine,” Delgado-Lelievre added.