Blood Pressure Monitor Considerations

I receive questions all the time about how to keep healthy.  One of the most common questions I am asked is about home health monitoring and “which blood pressure machine should I buy?”  

There are a lot of them out there and it can be overwhelming.  The first thing to know is that expensive is not always better.  There are many blood pressure monitors that are great and under $45. 

There are Bluetooth options, wrist cuffs, arm cuffs, smart phone compatible, audible…. limitless options.  However, the second big thing to know is the cuff must be the right size for you. A cuff too small will make readings higher than they really are and a cuff that is too big will show lower readings that they actually are. 

It is important that you can save your readings as well.  If they are high, your healthcare provider (or Amaze) will ask you what the pressures look like over the last week or two.  This is to determine if there is just one high pressure reading, or if it is constantly high. It also helps providers see if medications are working.

How Should You Take Your Blood Pressure and When? 

If it is stable and you are watching it daily, taking your blood pressure every morning when you wake up is best.  If your provider is trying to adjust medications or you have afternoon issues with your pressures, take it in the morning when you wake up and in the evening after dinner. 

Regardless of when you are taking it, do not forget to write them down or store in your machine for your healthcare provider to review.  The best way to take your pressure is to sit comfortably next to your machine, feet flat on the floor. Take a few slow deep breaths and then hit the start button on your machine.  

Sit quietly and breath slowly while your machine takes your pressure.  You should not be moving or talking when the machine is inflating and deflating. Once the machine beeps that it is finished you can resume activity and speaking.

Many people don’t know when to call and when to just relax and retake their pressure in 30-45 min.  If your pressure is up but you do not have headaches, blurred vision, or chest pain, you an relax and retake. 

If it is still high, make sure you call Amaze and talk to a provider about this or call your PCP.  

However, if you have high pressure, headache, or fatigue, you should call Amaze and see if the urgent care is needed.  Lastly if you feel like you are having chest pain, dizziness, or may pass out, call 911.

Recommendations for Blood Pressure Monitors

After doing some research, we found BP monitors that are simple to use, accurate, and under $45. Here are our recommendations:

iHealth Ease Blood Pressure Cuff approx. $40

  • Available on Amazon
  • Syncs with your smart phone
  • Stores pressures
  • Allows you to email pressures to your provider
  • Allows more than one person to use it
  • 3 cuff sizes available for best accuracy
  • CON – uses smart phone screen so may be hard to use if dexterity is an issue but that is the only Con I could think of.

Omron- 3 Series Automatic Upper Arm Blood Pressure Monitor $33

  • Available online or at Best Buy
  • One touch activation
  • Stores pressures
  • Irregular heart rate detection
  • Fits larger arms
  • Large screen for reading
  • CON – no ability to automatically email pressures but you can recall them and write them down

Beurer – Upper Arm Blood Pressure Monitor $39

  • Available online or at Best Buy
  • One touch activation
  • Stores pressures
  • Irregular heart rate detection
  • Large screen viewing
  • CON – not for larger arms but good for smaller arms. Doesn’t automatically store pressure but has a memory button.
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