Home Blood Pressure Monitors

Things You Need to Know About Home Blood Pressure Monitors

According to the American Heart Association, your small investment for a blood pressure monitor is a significant step towards ensuring a healthy heart. You can be more actively involved in your health care and treatment plans with blood pressure monitoring.

Weekly readings are more accurate gauges of average blood pressure than those taken during regular health check ups.

Types of Monitors

At the moment, there are three types of home blood pressure monitors available on the market. Each one has its advantages although for people who want automatic readings, the automatic arm and wrist monitors are best. Both the automatic arm and wrist monitors automatically inflate and deflate the cuff with a press of the button and then display the results in their digital faces.

The manual arm monitors are the traditional ones that require manual operation of a bulb to inflate the cuff as well as an analog face for the readings. You will need a stethoscope and a good ear to use this monitor.


The steps in using your home blood pressure monitor depend on its type. As such, it is important to read the instruction manual first before attempting to use the device.

For the manual and digital types, the following general steps apply:Blood pressure monitor
  • Locate the pulse, which should be located in or near the brachial artery. You can either place the stethoscope head (manual) or the arm cuff (digital) in the general area.
  • Secure the cuff by threading its end through its metal loops and sliding the cuff to your arm or your wrist. Make sure that it is just snug; not too tight, not too lose.
  • Inflate and deflate the cuff to get the readings. You have to turn the airflow valve for manual monitors and turn on the button for digital monitors.
If you are not satisfied with the accuracy of the readings, you have to deflate the cuff completely and wait for about a minute before starting the process all over again.  Otherwise, you will still get inaccurate readings. 

Tips for using the monitors

1- If possible, you have to avoid the factors that significantly affect your blood pressure levels, which will only make your readings more inaccurate. These factors include stress, smoking, cold temperatures, exercise, caffeine consumption and certain medicines, of which you must ask your doctor.
2- While you are at it, you should also ask your doctor about the frequency of your blood pressure monitoring and be sure to follow it.

3- Similarly, you must record your readings: date, time and special circumstances so that your doctor can recommend changes to your lifestyle, when and where necessary.

4- Also, you must sit quietly and relax for five minutes prior to taking your blood pressure reading. Your bladder must be empty at this point as a full bladder will affect the final results. 

5- But of course, your home blood pressure readings are only as accurate as the device itself. As such, you have to have it checked at least once a year with your doctor's office.

With these tips in mind, you should be able to get accurate readings that can assist your doctor in making the right health decisions for you. Keep in mind that either low or high blood pressure requires medical attention.


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