New Blood Pressure Cuff?
November 28, 2022 7:58 AM   Subscribe

Please recommend a good blood pressure cuff.

My wife needs to monitor her blood pressure. However, the old cuff we have is failing and returning really, really, wrong readings, when it doesn't just error-out. Searching A*****, though, I find a windfall of cuffs and cannot tell one from another, other than most are automatic and a few are old-school manual cuffs.

Have you purchased a BP cuff lately? Does it do the job accurately and without fail? If so, could you kindly point me in its direction? Or, are they all pretty much the same in terms of operation, accuracy, and longevity?

Must haves: Large, readable output. Lack of bells, whistles, and complications. No cuffs requiring an app, please.

posted by Thorzdad to Health & Fitness (10 answers total)
Any Omron upper arm cuff will suffice. They have an app to track the data, but as far as I know none require its use.
posted by praemunire at 8:01 AM on November 28, 2022 [4 favorites]

If you are there to help what's wrong with a manual cuff? (I use these in clinical setting all the time, robonurses screw up in all kinds of ways)
posted by Ardnamurchan at 8:08 AM on November 28, 2022 [1 favorite]

I have an Omron that meets your criteria. It was around $50 a few years ago. It doesn't require an app. I brought it to my doctor's office and we used their professional level one (also an Omron) and then mine, and got basically the same results.
posted by jonathanhughes at 8:21 AM on November 28, 2022

I have both a standard D-ring cuff and an 'Easy Wrap' cuff which sort of self-inflates, and I get more accurate results from the Easy Wrap cuff.
posted by essexjan at 8:34 AM on November 28, 2022

You'll want an upper arm automatic unless you are very comfortable performing manual BP yourself on her (it's technically possible to do your own but it's probably pretty inaccurate.) We often tell patients who need cuffs to get the upper arm Omron since they seem to be less inaccurate.
posted by cobaltnine at 9:02 AM on November 28, 2022

I'm having some blood-pressure issues, so have been going through this myself. I already owned a cheap upper-arm cuff, but ditched it after my doctor told me it was inaccurate. Bought a Withings BPM Connect bluetooth cuff instead. Doesn't REQUIRE an app, but the app is pretty awesome.

Took the Withings with me to follow-up appointment and nurse told me she didn't like it because it's inaccurate. I think my appointment reading was something like 150/100 and hers was 128/78. Anyhow, she told me to go buy an Omron upper-arm cuff BP monitor. Bought the Omron BP 7250 at Rite-Aid. Has an app but isn't required. (I haven't installed it.)

Here's the thing, though: I just took my blood pressure ten minutes ago. The Withings and the Omron BOTH gave me readings within a few points of each other. They've been doing that for the past week. And these readings are all similar to the original monitor that I threw away. All three monitors give me higher readings than the doctors and nurses are getting. I don't know which monitor to trust. Or maybe the monitors are correct and the humans are giving me incorrect readings? I don't know.

Anyhow, that's my experience. I don't know who (or which device) to believe. (Doesn't matter, I suppose. I should just proceed with the assumption that my blood pressure is too damn high, then take steps to decrease it.)

p.s. If you have a Consumer Reports account, they have an article on the best blood-pressure monitors. (May be accessible without an account, so check the link.)
posted by jdroth at 9:17 AM on November 28, 2022

> The Withings and the Omron BOTH gave me readings within a few points of each other. They've been doing that for the past week. And these readings are all similar to the original monitor that I threw away. All three monitors give me higher readings than the doctors and nurses are getting.

FYI it is common if the cuff is too small for your arm, that it will always give a too-high reading. The problem you will encounter is that it will be entirely consistent - but it is consistent in giving a too high reading.

I was tipped off to this by one of my doctors, who specialized in blood-pressure and kidney related issues, so is very persnickety about these things.

My arms are not THAT large, and I had a devil of a time finding any automatic or manual setup that had the required large-sized cuff. None of the automatic units I found online seemed to have a large-enough cuff. Often they would advertise the availability of an XL cuff but when you looked around you could never find a way to actually order it.

I ordered this XL sized manual unit from the A-store that seems to work well.

Then a long while later I happened to find this model (GNP Model 90-554) that has a "wide range cuff" and seems to work fine. (I found mine at a local pharmacy but it looks like you can order them online as well.)

Point is: measure your upper arm and make sure it is comfortably within the range your unit will handle. If your cuff is too small for your upper arm it is very likely to give consistent too-high readings.
posted by flug at 4:45 PM on November 28, 2022 [1 favorite]

My 15-year-old plain and simple automatic Omron cuff still works. Had to replace the batteries recently but it has definitely served me well. It was just the one they happened to sell at the pharmacy. I won’t report the model number since I doubt it’s around anymore, but I can endorse the brand.
posted by reren at 8:29 PM on November 28, 2022

I have an Omron wrist cuff that I like. It seems there are ways to get wrong readings if it's not positioned correctly (like if it's up on your wrist bone or twisted around wrong), but it's pretty easy to get it on and off and it gives me good results if I've got it on right. I think it has an app but I've never used it.
posted by booth at 7:43 AM on December 1, 2022

Response by poster: Thanks all. Santa brought my wife a nice new Omron upper arm cuff. Works great!
posted by Thorzdad at 5:01 PM on December 28, 2022

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