Introduction to your Blood Pressure
The force exerted by your blood against your arteries is blood pressure. This is also referred to as your BP. When your heart pumps, it is forcing blood out through the arteries that carry it throughout your entire body. The arteries differ in size, some are tiny vessels called capillaries. In the capillaries, nutrients and oxygen are released from the blood and delivered to your organs. A blood pressure monitor reads the pressures before and after your heartbeats.
Later in this article, we review some of the most popular BP monitors. These are judged on quality, price, and compatibility with other technology.
There are two types of blood pressure, systolic and diastolic. Systolic is the pressure inside arteries when blood is pumping. Diastolic is the pressure inside arteries when the heart rests in between beats.
Optimal blood pressure reading: 120/80
Take a look at what the normal blood pressure ranges are. You’ll quickly see if you have what’s considered an elevated pressure.
When you have healthy, dilated arteries, blood ﬂows easily and the heart is not working too hard. When arteries are unhealthy, stiff or narrow, blood pressure begins to rise, the heart becomes overworked and damaged arteries appear.
What Does a Blood Pressure Monitor Do?
By measuring the force of your blood as it is pumped throughout your arteries, a blood pressure monitor provides a before and after heartbeat pressure.
Blood pressure is measured in millimeters of mercury (mm Hg) and recorded with the systolic number ﬁrst, followed by the diastolic number. Consider it your top and bottom range. Your BP numbers are an indicator of good health or trouble brewing.
High BP is known as hypertension. This is when the pressure of your blood against the walls of your blood vessels is too high, consistently. People with high blood pressure is on the rise. Doctors are telling patients to check themselves at home. At-home blood pressure monitors measure an individual’s blood pressure without a trip to the Doctors or Nurses office. This helps reduce your associated cost and loss of time.
Blood Pressure Monitors with the Best Ratings
We’ve found the best blood pressure monitors on the market today, all under $70 at Amazon.
Why Are Blood Pressure Monitors Important?
High blood pressure can cause a lot of health issues. High blood pressure puts a strain on your arteries and your heart, a vital organ for life. Heart attack and stroke are huge risks with high blood pressure. High blood pressure can exist without symptoms, that is why it is best to check. Blood pressure monitors are important because they give information for an individual’s current blood pressure state. If there is an issue it can be tended to immediately, before extreme danger or permanent damage. This keeps people safe.
Types of BP Monitors
There are two types of blood pressure monitors, digital and aneroid.
Aneroid models require manual operation. These monitors have a cuff, a rubber bulb, a dial gauge and a stethoscope. The cuff is placed on the patient, the rubber bulb is squeezed to inﬂate the cuff and the stethoscope is listened to as the dial gauge is observed for data. While this method is more accurate, it is not appropriate for someone who is hearing impaired or for someone with arthritis. The heartbeat must be listened to through the stethoscope and the rubber bulb has to be squeezed, neither can be done properly with issues.
Digital monitors show blood pressure as numbers on a screen. These are available as automatic devices with the cuff inﬂating after a button is pushed or as semi-automatic with a cuff that still needs inﬂating with a rubber bulb. Some digital models keep a record of blood pressure over a period of time.
There are wrist monitors and there are upper arm monitors. Wrist monitors are smaller and often portable. Monitors for the wrist can also be more comfortable. However, upper arm monitors tend to get more accurate readings.
Doctor, Hospital, Physical
Have you ever noticed that wherever you go for anything medical, the nurse will always take your blood pressure. If you have a stay in the hospital or after surgery, pressures will be taken at regular intervals. It never stops until you leave the building.
This is because it is such a good gauge of health or poor health. It is not a definitive diagnosis of a condition but if your BP is high it’s a very good indicator of some larger issue that needs to be looked at. High BP can also run in your family with no condition attached. You just have high BP. If this is the case it must not be ignored. Your Doctor may recommend controlling your pressure with medication because high BP can do damage all by itself.
Having you pressure taken regularly can open up conversations as needed about changes to your diet and lifestyle as they may be the cause of elevated readings.
Blood Pressure Monitor Reviews
We review some of the most popular blood pressure monitors available to consumers today.
Omron 10 Series Upper Arm BP Monitor
Omron is a company with a reputation for good healthcare tools. Read our thorough review of Omron’s blood pressure monitors. It is easy to use and the results are easy to read. The price is great, considering it is made by such a prominent company.
This monitor allows you to transfer your data via Bluetooth to your mobile device, which is great in today’s technological time. Compatible with Amazon’s Alexa, Omron’s iOS app and Android apps, unlimited amounts of readings can be stored. The apps can be used to email your blood pressure readings to family and healthcare professionals as well. Buy now.
The readings are displayed in big numbers, easy to read by all of us. It also gives you a pulse rate below the readings.
Many customers seem to rate this product highly. They claim it offers very accurate readings. But some complained that it wasn’t properly calibrated out of the box – even though it is supposed to be – while a few others say it doesn’t produce accurate readings. The latter could be due to an incorrect application by the user.
Care Touch Platinum Series Upper Arm Digital BP Monitor
This blood pressure monitor is affordable and is best if you are on a budget but still need lifesaving blood pressure equipment. This monitor is FDA-approved. It can keep track of two separate people and store the last 250 readings for each person.
It has a bright blue attractive screen. The two-person model enables two family members to store their readings at the same time. It comes with carrying case, batteries, and an ac adapter, all under $30. Buy here.
iProven Digital Automatic BP Monitor
The device doubles as a wrist heart monitor and lets you know if your heartbeat is irregular. There is a large LCD screen which makes it easy to read your data. You can store up to 60 readings on this device.
This is the only wrist blood pressure monitor represented in our list because it is well regarded and has FDA approval. Wrist blood pressure monitors are typically less accurate than the upper arm variety.
The design is a bit bland but the print on the screen is nice and big. Buy here.
Vive Precision BP Monitor
lf you need to share a monitor with a family member, this is a great device to have in the house. The Vive blood pressure monitor has a high storage memory with the ability to record 500 measurements with dates and times included. However, it does not come with a charger. The charger can be bought separately.
The makes the list purely based on the number of 5-star reviews. Nearly 5,000 buyers love this unit. Buy here.
Free BP Readings
There are free blood pressure machines in many grocery stores that have a pharmacy and in pharmacy stores. These are great for checking your blood pressure once in a while.
The best-known name in blood pressure monitors is Omron. They have been making their units for years. I’ve had mine for well over 20 years and it still works. I don’t think I can give you a better recommendation for a blood pressure monitor than that!