The best wrist blood pressure monitor
When you track your blood pressure, you're able to catch fluctuations and take preventive action. With a wrist blood pressure monitor, you don't need to wait for a trip to the doctor for a reading.
Wrist blood pressure monitors vary in their design, features, and functions. Some models have the ability to log previous readings, which means you can track your progress as you manage your condition.
Our buying guide will help you compare models and choose the right one for your needs. We also detail our favorite models, like the Paramed Automatic Wrist Blood Pressure Monitor, which has a large screen and user-friendly operation.
Understanding blood pressure monitoring
Who should monitor blood pressure?
People with heart conditions: If you suffer from hypertension (high blood pressure) or hypotension (low blood pressure), tracking your blood pressure is of the utmost importance, as preventive monitoring could be life-saving.
Pregnant women: If you're pregnant, monitoring blood pressure is important for you and your baby's health. Daily tracking could give you the opportunity to catch and manage pre-eclampsia, a pregnancy complication related to high blood pressure.
Athletes: If you're someone who trains hard and pushes the limits, monitoring your blood pressure will let you know if you're putting too much strain on your heart.
How is blood pressure measured?
Blood pressure is expressed as two numbers, systolic (the first number) and diastolic (the bottom number). Good blood pressure is around 120/80 or lower. Prehypertension is when the systolic number is between 130 and 139 and the diastolic is 80 to 89. If the reading is any higher than that, you are in hypertension territory.
Considerations when choosing wrist blood pressure monitors
The majority of wrist blood pressure monitors have LCD screens, and some screens are backlit. They display three main numbers: systolic pressure, diastolic pressure, and pulse. If you're not sure which number is which, there are normally icons or labels to remind you. As these monitors are often used by the elderly, the numbers are often large enough to read without glasses.
The cuff is made of a thin material that is secured on your wrist by hook-and-loop straps, which must be snug to obtain an accurate reading. Not all cuffs are easy to adjust, so if you have smaller wrists, you may need to purchase a child's monitor instead.
Part of the appeal of wrist blood pressure monitors is their portability. As they're intended for use anywhere, anytime, they're often packaged with special carrying cases. Some monitors have hard boxes, which are less travel-friendly than those that come with zipper cases or drawstring bags.
Settings and functions
Some monitors allow you to create multiple user profiles. This means you're able to log your readings under your own profile. This is an essential feature if more than one person in your home will be using the monitor.
In the past, readings were recorded in notebooks. Wrist blood pressure monitors do it for you now, thanks to their memory function. Depending on the model, you could log between 10 to as many as 60 or more readings. This is especially helpful if you're tracking progress as you make dietary, health, and fitness changes.
Alerts on wrist blood pressure monitors will inform you when your blood pressure or pulse is outside a normal range. When these alarms go off, it's a good idea to call your doctor. Bring your monitor to the visit, as your doctor can view past readings to note changes.
Expect to spend between $35 and $50 for a quality wrist blood pressure monitor. At the low end of the range, you'll get a decent model that is accurate and logs readings. If you're willing to spend closer to $50, you'll have a far more accurate device with a collection of programmable settings like multiple user profiles.
Q. How can I be sure my wrist blood pressure monitor is accurate?
A. Bring it to the doctor's office and compare the reading of your monitor to that of the office monitor. Theirs will be more accurate since it reads from a bicep cuff, but at least you will know the margin of error for your monitor.
Q. Can I use a wrist blood pressure monitor for children?
A. It depends, especially since most cuffs are designed for adult wrists. Since you won't be able to tighten it enough for an accurate reading, you're better off purchasing a child's monitor instead.
Wrist blood pressure monitors we recommend
Best of the best: Paramed's Automatic Wrist Blood Pressure Monitor
Our take: Large display, backlit buttons, and easy-to-navigate menu makes this monitor a favorite among those with visual impairment.
What we like: Straightforward use and soft cuff. Comes with two AA batteries, so you can take a reading fresh out of the box.
What we dislike: Bulky design. Occasional reports that readings are higher when compared to those done in a doctor's office.
Best bang for your buck: iProvèn's Wrist Blood Pressure Monitor Watch
Our take: Sleek model that is basic, yet can record 60 readings.
What we like: Curved design is more comfortable for readings. Ideal for those who need a compact, travel-ready monitor. FDA-approved.
What we dislike: Mixed success with Bluetooth capabilities and readings aren't always accurate.
Our take: Perfect choice for those who need a user-friendly monitor for home use.
What we like: Backlit blue screen that can be read in dark rooms. Comes with its own dust-free case.
What we dislike: Expect to spend a lot on batteries with this model.
Sian Babish is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money. BestReviews never accepts free products from manufacturers and purchases every product it reviews with its own funds.
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