Monitoring your blood pressure at home is one of the steps you can take to keep tabs on you health. Many blood pressure monitors today are smart, digital, and easier to use than ever.
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Smart, digital blood pressure monitors make it easier than ever to keep tabs on your blood pressure at home.
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Did you know that roughly one in three Americans suffers from high blood pressure? Even worse, this condition is frequently dubbed a “silent killer” since it can cause damage to your body before symptoms or warning signs appear. Fortunately, it’s easy to keep tabs on your blood pressure by purchasing a monitor to use at home.
Monitoring blood pressure periodically is a good health practice for anyone, but it’s especially important for:
- Anyone at risk forhigh blood pressure or related conditions
- Anyone diagnosed with high blood pressure/hypertension
- Anyone currently being treated for high blood pressure/hypertension (to evaluate the effectiveness of their medication)
- Following up on (potentially) false readings
- Pregnant women with preeclampsia or hypertension
A Few Blood Pressure Monitor Options to Consider
- Wrist Versus Upper Arm MonitorThere are two main types of blood pressure monitors — wrist and upper arm. Wrist monitors are often smaller, lighter, and more portable. They also offer a greater degree of comfort. However, it can be tricky to figure out the proper placement to get an accurate reading since your wrist is not at your heart level. It’s easier to get consistent results with an upper arm monitor.
- Complete ReadingsIt’s important to buy a monitor that tracks both systolic and diastolic pressure these are the two numbers that you’ve heard put together when your doctor checks your pressure (such as 120 over 80). Additionally, you might also consider choosing a device that measures your pulse rate.
- Cuff SizeAll upper arm monitors require the use of a cuff. While they are typically adjustable, you still need to be certain that it will fit your arm properly. If a cuff is too large or too small, you won’t get an accurate reading.
- FeaturesWhen investing in a blood pressure monitor, you must consider any special features you might want or need. Some monitors just offer basic readings whereas others can track and graph your data, time stamp your readings, connect to your smartphone or tablet, and even accommodate multiple users.
- Automatic Versus ManualYou can purchase blood pressure monitors that operate either automatically or manually. While automatic monitors typically only require you to press a button, manual monitors must be pumped by hand (using a rubber bulb). The automatic option is generally better if you haven’t received the proper training on the technique .
- Ease of UseLike most devices, blood pressure monitors can range from simple to fairly complex. Keep this in the back of your mind as you make your selection. After all, you want a monitor that doesn’t make it difficult to set up or interpret results.
- TimeSome monitors can read your blood pressure in as little as 20 seconds whereas others can take over a minute. Though the difference might seem negligible, some people appreciate any and all time saved (especially if they find the cuff uncomfortable).
- WarrantyTake a look at each monitors’ warranty before you make a purchase. It’s common for these devices to be covered anywhere from one to three years.
- CalibrationMost blood pressure monitors require calibration roughly every two years. This is typically done by the manufacturer. Before buying, find out how this process works and if you’ll incur any additional costs.
Now that you understand which features to look for, take a look at our 5 top picks for blood pressure monitors.