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Best Blood Pressure Monitor Buying Guide

by Jessica Hegg November 04, 2016

best blood pressure monitor buying guide

Full disclosure: we are the creators of the Vive Precision blood pressure monitor.  But, we don't recommend it for everyone (I will explain why later).

Through extensive research, we have become experts on the different styles and must-have features in the blood pressure monitor market.  Allow us to help you make a decision on the model that will best suite your needs.Not 

Our Favorite Blood Pressure Monitor Styles

#1 - Digital Upper Arm Blood Pressure Monitor

Upper Arm Blood Pressure Monitor And Cuff

Upper Arm Blood Pressure Monitor

  • Best-selling style on market -  The American Heart Association  officially recommends an automatic, cuff style, bicep (upper-arm) monitor.  
  • Very Accurate - Quality models will not deviate from actual measurement by more than + or - 5mmHG
  • Does Not Require Any Skills or Assistance - Just make sure the cuff is aligned properly (most cuffs include a diagram), push one button and get your reading in seconds.  Easy to operate by yourself.  
  • Additional Features - Many monitors have multi-user capability, built in memory, average reading calculation, heart rate and irregular heartbeat detection
  • Large Easy To Read Display - Readings are displayed on a bright, backlit LCD display.  Never struggle to read.

#2 - Manual Upper Arm Blood Pressure Cuff (Sphygmomanometer)

Manual Blood Pressure Monitor

  • Ultra-Accurate - Hands down the most accurate style of blood pressure monitor available.  Most professional medical offices still choose to use this style.
  • Difficult to Operate - You need experience to be able to operate a manual blood pressure monitor correctly.
  • Does One Thing Well - If you are looking for an accurate blood pressure and do not care about any additional features consider this option.
  • Low Cost - Simple design does not have bells and whistles making it very affordable

 #3 - Digital Wrist Blood Pressure Monitor

wrist blood pressure monitor

  • Portable - Wrist monitors are typically very small and easy to travel with.  Realistically there is not a drastic difference in size when compared to other versions, but if you are looking to fit it in a purse you may need the smallest size you can find.
  • Inaccurate - Wrist blood pressure monitors are notoriously inaccurate.  Readings vary widely and they are very sensitive to how you position your hand.
  • Easy To Operate-  Very simple to use.  Just make sure you position your arm the EXACT same way every time or you will not get readings that are even close to your actual blood pressure.

#4 - Finger Blood Pressure Monitor

finger blood pressure monitor

  • Convenient Size - This monitor is fairly small and doesn't come with a blood pressure cuff making it easy for travel.
  • Less Accurate - The fingertip style BPM retrieves measurements from finger tip instead of upper-arm.  These readings are less accurate, but can still be used as a gauge. 
  • Display Screen - Digitally displays blood pressure results but the screen is small and does not provide your heart rate information.
  • Adjustable Finger Insert - This is good because it can be sized to fit any finger, but there is a large room for error.  If you're not aware on how to properly size the finger cuff, your results may be skewed.

Most Important Features of a Blood Pressure Monitor

Ease of Use

What Included In The Box

We’ve equipped our device with user-friendly functioning that anyone can use. A device that is simple to use will be used more often and with fewer mistakes. The simplicity and popularity of arm cuff blood pressure monitors make them a good choice for patients looking to track their results at home. Not only is our system recognizable because it mirrors the devices used at doctor’s offices (though on a smaller scale), but the concept is easy to understand.  Our arm cuff blood pressure monitors feature a digital readout and a simple start/stop button to reduce the chance of error due to improper use, and help to ensure consistent results.

Large Display

Large Backlit LCD Display

    The Vive blood pressure monitor will measure your systolic blood pressure, your diastolic blood pressure, and your pulse rate. Since you’ll be tracking these metrics on your own, it’s important that your device has a large, easy-to-read display.  The screen should is large enough for you to see while you’re wearing the device, and allows you to stay in a comfortable position while measuring, helping to ensure accuracy. Our  model is also equipped with a backlit screen for even more desirability, as these luminous screens allow you to easily check your blood pressure well into the evening.

    Battery and AC Power Capability

    Ac Adaptor Port

    Knowing your blood pressure is important. If you’re ever in a situation where the power goes out, it is helpful to have a device that can also run on battery power. That is why we designed a device that runs on both AC and battery power, as it provides a backup method for use and allows you to take measurements on the go.

    Memory Function

    One heart pressure reading can provide you with information for a moment in time—a snapshot of how hard your heart is working right when the reading is taken. To really understand your blood pressure, however, it is important to track general trends, which is why designing a blood pressure monitor with a built-in memory was a no brainer.

    It is generally recommended that people with hypertension check their blood pressure twice daily. Unless you’re great at logging every measurement, a blood pressure monitor that remembers your readings is essential to understanding your heart health. Just in case a family member or spouse also suffers from hypertension, we have conveniently provided you with dual-user capabilities that can store up to 250 individual measurements per user!

    Warranty

    Since our at-home blood pressure monitor was developed for frequent use, we specifically attached a 2-Year warranty to help protect your investment 

     

    Price

    Medical devices have become readily available and less expensive. The market is saturated with cheap monitors that retail for as little as twelve dollars, but these inexpensive models generally have few features and aren’t FDA approved. Conversely, most of the super  costly models have unnecessary features, and are more appropriate for hospital use than home monitoring. Our model falls in the middle of this spectrum. For consumers who are looking for an accurate, easy-to-use device, our $29.99 model will be more than sufficient.

    Want to know more??

    Although we believe we have developed the best blood pressure monitor, we understand that different problems require different solutions, and that we might not be the right vendor for everyone's specific needs. With this in mind, we wanted to create a reference and blood pressure monitor buying guide to inform you on the benefits of home monitoring and what options or styles are available. If you're shopping for a blood pressure monitor you don't need any more stress in your life, so we've tried to make the process of selecting a model as easy and hassle-free as possible. We want to enable you to take control of your health. 

    Why You May Need a Home Blood Pressure Cuff

    There are many reasons to own a blood pressure monitor. Perhaps your doctor has recommended you purchase a blood pressure monitor for use at home or work, or perhaps you’ve decided to take a more proactive approach to your health.

    Maybe you read that the  American Heart Association recommends that patients who are diagnosed with high blood pressure (also known as hypertension) should track their blood pressure at home. Patients with hypertension aren’t the only ones that should be monitoring their blood pressure. You should consider purchasing a blood pressure monitor if you live with or care for a senior family member, have diabetes, take prescription medications, have been diagnosed as pre-hypertensive, or have routinely low blood pressure.

    Whatever your reason, deciding to purchase a blood pressure monitor is an important step in your health journey. The information garnered from your blood pressure monitor will help you make informed decisions about your health.

    What Are the Benefits of Using a Home Blood Pressure Monitor?

    A blood pressure monitor provides you with three pieces of information. It tells you what your systolic blood pressure, diastolic blood pressure, and pulse rate are at a distinct moment in time. Your blood pressure reading is like a snapshot, capturing exactly how hard your heart is working at a given moment.

    blood pressure readings

    Systolic blood pressure  represents the pressure in your arteries while the heart is beating and the muscles are contracting. It is the higher number in a blood pressure ratio.

    Diastolic blood pressure  represents the amount of pressure your arteries feel between heartbeats when your heart muscle is relaxing.

    Pulse rate  tells you how quickly your heart is beating. This number is generally higher for females than it is for males.

    These numbers provide an overall picture of heart health. Changes in your blood pressure can indicate health issues and alert professionals to investigate their causes.

    Monitoring your blood pressure from home can help you accurately track your blood pressure, monitor medical conditions, check treatment efficacy, and provide you with more control over your overall health.

    Eliminating the "White Coat Effect"

    Sometimes the stress of being at a doctor’s office can elevate your heart rate and produce a higher-than-normal blood pressure reading. This may be due to the stress of being at a doctor’s office, or because of any physical activity performed right before the reading, like walking down a hallway or up a flight of stairs to the examination room.

    Consistent home blood pressure monitoring can help you achieve an accurate understanding of your blood pressure by making you aware of any discrepancies between the doctor's readings and your own. If your readings are consistently lower at home than at the doctor, your blood pressure may be perfectly normal, while consistently high readings in both locations are likely indicative of hypertension. To get the most accurate home reading, it is recommended that you measure your blood pressure at the same time each day.

    Condition Monitoring

    If your blood pressure is elevated but not quite high enough to be hypertensive, home tracking will allow you to monitor your condition in between physicals. Consistent high readings will inform you that you should schedule a doctor’s appointment. By using a  blood pressure monitor at home, you can diagnose heart problems and other medical conditions before they have caused significant damage to your body.

    Evaluating Treatment Effectiveness

    Tracking blood pressure at home can help determine whether or not a prescribed treatment plan is impacting your blood pressure. If you're taking medicine for high blood pressure, you can use your home monitor to determine its efficacy. If you're taking medication for another condition, you can use your home monitor to ensure that it is not adversely affecting your blood pressure. 

    Taking Control of Your Health

    Using a blood pressure monitor can help you take control of your health. Rather than relying on infrequent screenings at the doctor’s office or waiting until a blood pressure station is available at your local pharmacy, you’ll be able to schedule your own readings and track your own results, placing your health in your own hands.

    This information is empowering! Knowing your blood pressure and how certain activities affect it can help you better manage your stress and any additional heart conditions you may have. You’ll be able to show your doctor your readings during an appointment, and discuss anything that you find troubling about them. If, for example, you feel your blood pressure medicine isn’t effective enough, your tracked results can be used to make the case with your doctor that a new course of treatment is necessary.

    Looking to monitor your blood pressure at home?

    Click here to buy your Upper Arm Blood Pressure Monitor

    Key Features of a Good Blood Pressure Monitor

    FDA Approval

    The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is the governmental agency responsible for testing and monitoring medical drugs, chemicals, and devices. Their approval is highly sought after and is seen as the gold standard for all types of medical products. FDA approval helps assure buyers that the products they are purchasing have been rigorously tested and approved for public consumption or use. This is especially important when tracking blood pressure, as inaccurate readings can have serious health consequences.

    Frequent blood pressure monitoring is an integral part of caring for hypertension, prehypertension, diabetes, and other ailments. These are serious afflictions, and should only be monitored by devices that are guaranteed accurate and FDA approved.

    Style: Upper-arm Cuff Blood Pressure Monitors vs. Wrist Cuff Blood Pressure Monitors 

    There are two predominant types of blood pressure monitors, those that measure at the upper arm and those that measure at the finger or wrist. When selecting a blood pressure monitor, the  American Heart Association recommends you choose one that measures at the upper arm. This style of device has proven to be more accurate, which is important if you are tracking your blood pressure for health reasons. While a blood pressure monitor that takes a finger reading may seem more efficient, its lack of accuracy and consistency could be harmful.

    Devices that measure at the wrist have also proven to be less accurate. While it may seem simple and intuitive to measure blood pressure at the wrist because the blood vessels are easily visible, measuring at the upper arm allows the monitor to test pressure on arteries that are closer to the heart, thus capturing a more accurate reading.

    Summary

    At $29.99, we believe  our blood pressure monitor cuff to be the ideal device for home blood pressure monitoring. It is rigorously tested for accuracy, and has a built-in memory feature capable of storing 125 measurements per user. At its price point, it is simply unrivaled.

    If you're determined to get a hospital-grade blood pressure monitor, we recommend the  Welch Allyn Connex ProBP 3400, which retails for around $630. This blood pressure monitor is quick-reading and accurate, and has USB-wired technology. 

    While we don't recommend wrist models due to their relative inaccuracy, we recognize that these are good for monitoring on the go, and can be used to track general (if imprecise) blood pressure trends.  The  Omron 7 Series is well-reviewed on Amazon, and retails for a reasonable $53.99. 

    We hope that this guide has helped to inform you of our personally designed home blood pressure monitor; along with the different styles, features, and benefits of all at home blood pressure monitors.  Be sure to assess your needs, shop around, and select the perfect model today - your heart will thank you for it!

    Jessica Hegg
    Jessica Hegg


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