Your blood pressure is an important health indicator that can help you determine your risk for a number of health problems. High blood pressure can have side effects that are not obvious. This is why high blood pressure is often called “the silent killer.” A home blood pressure monitor may be able to help. You can better manage your health by taking regular blood pressure readings and keeping track of changes over time.
Forbes Health’s editorial team reviewed data from nearly 50 products of the most respected brands to identify the top blood pressure monitors for 2022. Find out which blood pressure monitors are our top picks, based on price, accuracy, data storage capability and usability. Not all prices are correct as of publication date.
What to look for in a blood-pressure monitor
Consider these factors when you are considering purchasing a home blood pressure monitor.
A blood pressure monitor’s ability to give accurate readings is one of its most important attributes. To determine the accuracy of your monitor, look for these three phrases in the product description.
- The device has been clinically validated. Blood Pressure Validated Device List, (VDL), meets the criteria for clinical accuracy determined by an independent review process. It is also independently tested for accuracy using standards established by organizations such as the Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation and the British and Irish Hypertension Society.
- FDA-approved The Food and Drug Administration has determined that the device meets its requirements for blood pressure cuffs.
A number of blood pressure monitors have an averaging function. This allows you to get a more accurate picture of your blood pressure. These devices typically take three consecutive readings and then average them together to give you one, more accurate data set.
Also, user error can have a significant impact on accuracy. Follow the instructions exactly as written.
A lot of people use blood pressure monitors to keep track of their blood pressure over time. This allows data storage to be useful for previous readings. While some devices can only store 30 readings, others can store up to 2,000. Before you buy a monitor, think about what storage space you need.
Many monitors can sync with smartphones, which allows for additional data storage beyond the device’s own. A Bluetooth-compatible monitor with app data storage is a good option if you are tech-savvy and want to have your blood pressure information available for sharing with your doctor.
Some blood pressure monitors can only store data for one person, while others allow data storage for multiple people. You should check the maximum number of users that your device supports if you intend to share your blood pressure monitor.
For older adults with vision impairments, display is an important aspect. To avoid misinterpreting your blood pressure readings, make sure you choose a device that has a simple, clear and easy-to-read screen. Some devices also offer audio readings for those with impaired vision.
If the blood pressure monitor doesn’t feel intuitive, it won’t be useful and you won’t use it often. Think about how the monitor presents information, where buttons are located, how easy it’s to place the cuff on your arm, and if those details feel natural to yourself.
Some blood pressure monitors have additional features beyond the basic ones listed above.
- Pulse monitoring
- Monitor to detect irregular heartbeat
- Color-coded readings make it easier to track by blood pressure stages
- Pre-formed arm cuffs allow for more comfort and precise reading.
- Wireless design allows for more efficient use while on the move