Good blood pressure monitor?
June 5, 2021 12:37 PM   Subscribe

Looking for recommendations for an ordinary blood pressure monitor. I go to the drug store, and there doesn't seem to be a reason to choose one over another. Is there? Or are all the common brands good enough? Are there features you especially like?
posted by Nancy Lebovitz to Health & Fitness (13 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
My doctor told me to get an Omron. Wirecutter has reviews.
posted by Pacrand at 12:50 PM on June 5

I've had an Omron BP742N for a couple of years now, and it works well for my purposes (my doctor wants me to keep tabs on my BP trends over time, for comparison with the "BP-tru" readings from clinic visits). It has built-in memory but no smartphone/data upload capability, which is fine. I just review the stored numbers and make a note of them on paper to take with me to doctor's visits.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 1:02 PM on June 5 [1 favorite]

Thirding the Omron. I have a mid-range one that communicates with an app on my phone and it's pretty decent (though apparently you have to be careful not to drop or jostle it as it can throw out the readings). It also apparently checks for arrhythmia as well as monitoring BP.

It's particularly useful because it's the same brand (iirc) most doctors use, so they're happier to accept the readings. I like that I can download all of the results as a file and just email it to my doctor or show them the app to provide my results over time.
posted by fight or flight at 1:09 PM on June 5

I have an anti-recommendation: Omron 10 Series Wireless Upper Arm Blood Pressure Monitor

Connection to the app was hit or miss, accuracy was hit or miss. Very frustrating, which is not an emotion you want to be experiencing when taking these kinds of measurements.

On preview, it might be the one fight or flight mentions (or similar) and if so, maybe get it from a place with a return policy that suits you if you find that it isn't accurate.
posted by sm1tten at 1:14 PM on June 5

Mine isn't wireless. From reviews I do think the wireless ones can be a bit more temperamental, but ymmv. Agreed that it's worth looking into return policies and taking some readings over a decent space of time to gauge accuracy. I believe if you take your machine to your GP they may be able to calibrate it against their own.
posted by fight or flight at 1:45 PM on June 5

I bought the one Wirecutter recommends -- made by Beurer. It's been totally trustworthy in the 2-3 years I've been using it.
posted by BlahLaLa at 2:50 PM on June 5

I’ve got an Omron 7-Series. My dr had me bring it in to check its calibration. It was spot on.
posted by hwyengr at 2:51 PM on June 5

Omron M2 Basic Blood Pressure Monitor
Has lasted years, still works and does everything needed.
posted by Lanark at 3:02 PM on June 5

My doctor also said to get Omron. Purchased from Amazon. Husband has pre-HTN and it has been reliable so far -- I am an RN and take a manual BP to compare.
posted by loveandhappiness at 3:21 PM on June 5

Note that blood pressure monitors come in different forms. The gold standard is an upper arm cuff. It's a PITA because you have to take off your shirt or do something awkward with the sleeves to get a reading. A wrist monitor is much easier to get a reading with. They used to be considered not as accurate but the last 3 medical offices I've visited all have been using them. At least some come with a thing that helps you calibrate the position of the monitor to the height of your heart, presumably that helps accuracy. (There are also watch-style and fingertip measurers. I don't know how accurate they are.)

The other thing to consider is what happens to the reading once you've taken it. I'm a fan of the Bluetooth ones that upload to your phone and some cloud service. Check you can export your data from the cloud and/or it integrates with Apple Health or whatever you want to use.

The last one I bought was an Ormon 7 wrist monitor. I like it. Omron seems to change product numbers every year or two, the one on their website is called a BP6350. It's also listed out of stock, which explains Amazon's weird listing.
posted by Nelson at 3:25 PM on June 5

Ditto Omron. My doctor's office uses them. The desktop version, not the wrist version.

It will read fine through a THIN shirt, but not sweatshirt.
posted by kschang at 5:22 PM on June 5

I bought two random ones from Amazon last year, neither of which worked. Those brands were sinoheart and GPZON. I now have an Omron which does work, and which I bought from Boots in case I needed to return it. It is worth measuring your upper arm and checking whether you need one with a large cuff. The cut-off for the medium one seems usually to be 32cm. See this article: Accurate cuff size in blood pressure measurement.
posted by paduasoy at 12:15 AM on June 6 [1 favorite]

Nthing paduasoy's warning that it is important to make sure the cuff will be large enough. I've got an Omron that works fine for me but would not fit anyone with large arms, including non-overweight people who are muscular.
posted by Jane the Brown at 5:21 AM on June 6

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