A home blood pressure monitor is one of the most useful and important tools for those who have high blood pressure or hypertension issues.
Uses For Home Blood Pressure Monitors
There are various reasons why you might want to monitor your blood pressure at home. The most typical reason is that your doctor has prescribed you hypertension medication and wants to test the effects of different types on your blood pressure. By having you use a home blood pressure monitor that records the results he can then review the results and make a determination as to which medications are most effective.
10 Most Popular Home Monitors
Omron HEM-780 Automatic Blood Pressure Monitor with ComFit Cuff
As a primary care physician, I've seen a lot of BP monitors that my patients bring to the office to check for accuracy and other features. This one seems to be the best. The easy to apply cuff, auto inflation, its accuracy, the memory, the averaging feature, the AC converter all make it worth the slightly higher price over other Omrons, which I consider the most accurate brand. Since I too have high blood pressure, I decided to buy one myself!
Being a person who hasn't ever joined a gym, I never knew stuff like this existed. I was very interested in this item because I've been walking for exercise but wasn't really sure I was reaching my target heart rate consistently.
The monitor, which displays the time as well as your heart rate on a watch, works in conjuction with a gizmo that you strap around yourself, just under your chest. (I will tell you, since I was concerned about this, that it's hardly noticeable once it's in place...it's a 12" or so long piece of plastic with an adjustable elastic strap...not very bulky at all!) The monitor also features a stopwatch and an alarm, so that after you set your minimum & maximum desired heart rates, you can be alerted when you are out of range. The alarm is a "beep-beep" that I can hear over the book on tape I drag along with me. Your heart rate is updated every second or two so you will always know if you need to pick up the pace a bit.
Although I have not yet had to do so, the chest strap ha
I need to take my blood pressure at least a couple of times a day. I have been using the OMRON 773-AC Omron HEM-773-AC Blood Pressure Monitor which is a full-size, table top system, with an upper-arm cuff. It works fine, but is large to pack on a trip.
I got this wrist unit to travel with, and it's amazing. First, the results agree to within a point or two with the big unit (which in turn agrees well with measurements at the doctor's office). So, it's consistently accurate.
Second, it's cool to use - at least for gadget freaks. You fasten it to your wrist, turn it on, and it starts beeping. Holding the elbow of the arm with the device on it with the opposite hand, you start raising your wrist toward your heart. As you near the right location, the beeping gets faster, and when you are right on, the machine starts running. You just hold it there for a bit until it stops running, and you're done. Works every time.
Third, it's nice and small - easy to pack away in a suitcase.
Omron HEM-711AC Automatic Blood Pressure Monitor with Standard Cuff
Two of the previous reviewers noted that their monitors didn't accurately read their blood pressure. I'm wondering if they made the same mistake that I made with my first two readings. My first two readings were 20 points higher than normal!! And then I read the instructions and realized that the air pump had to be on the same side as the palm of your hand. Tried a third time, making sure I had the air pump properly positioned. The next reading was normal. What a relief.
What sold me on this unit was a feature that the HEM-780 doesn't have -- an irregular heart beat indicator (not mentioned in the Amazon.com description but shown in the PDF of the owner's manual at www.omronhealthcare.com). Since the 9"-13" upper arm cuff was fine for me, I bought this unit and it's perfect for my needs.
A second reason your doctor may want you to use a home blood pressure monitor is to help him determine what times of day your blood pressure tends to rise and fall. Using this information, he can then set up a protocol to help you control your hypertension.
My doctor recommended I purchase this product and was asked to bring it in to establish its accuracy. He tested it and it passed with flying colors! It was extremely accurate when compared to his office blood pressure unit. I highly recommend this product.
Omron BP785 10 Series Upper Arm Blood Pressure Monitor, Black/white
This monitor appears to be a high quality device. The device's memory capabilities allow it to store 100 sets of measurement values for each of two users, plus 8 weeks worth of weekly averages for morning and evening readings for each of two users.
As one might expect of a device with fairly elaborate options like those, it has a somewhat complex and non-intuitive user interface. This monitor would be overkill for someone who's only interested in making an occasional spot-check of his or her blood pressure, and will likely be a source of frustration for anyone who's not comfortable with high-tech gadgets.
Beyond that, my only complaint with the unit is its user manual. This is a 50-page booklet, and you'll want to keep it on hand if you intend to use any of the monitor's options beyond the most basic. Unfortunately, it's quite badly written. In no particular order, here are some of my peeves with the manual:
A home blood pressure monitor is also used by many consumers who want to monitor their own blood pressures. In many cases they want to determine the effects of certain foods or medications on their own blood pressure. In other cases, they want to test the effects of various types of physical exertion on their blood pressure. The great thing about these home monitors is that they have become extremely easy to use.
Home Blood Pressure Monitor Accuracy
The first home blood pressure monitors were aneroid versions. And these, to a large extent, gave inaccurate results mainly because consumers had difficulty in using them.
The first digital home blood pressure monitors were also somewhat lacking in accuracy. They were particularly inaccurate if you happened to have an irregular heart beat or arrhythmia or unable to correctly manually adjust the cuffs.
Omron BP791IT 10+ Series Upper Arm Blood Pressure Monitor, Black/white, Large
I've owned/used several other blood pressure meters over the years, including ones from Omron and LifeSource. The older units look pretty basic compared to this latest Omron, which provides significant more computerized functionality than the older units. However, this does come at the cost of greater complexity.
* "TruRead" mode, which automatically takes 3 sequential readings and averages them. I always did this manually with my older units anyway because the readings would differ slightly from time to time, but this one does it with one touch of a button, and then computes the average for you.
* Cuff is very nice: broad and stiff, which I find much easier to apply.
* Automatically determines if you have applied the cuff correctly.
* Like a dozen other things I own these days, this unit can connect to my computer via USB, which fortunately is by the common "mini" USB connector and not the less common "micro" USB connector, which means that you can use the same USB cord as you use
Omron HEM-711 DLX Automatic Blood Pressure Monitor with Comfit Cuff
Being a nurse, I've used all sorts of makes and models to monitor blood pressure, including the self application type. Most are flawed by poor unstable connectors, tubes too short to reach between patient and device, clumsy to wrap, the air supply knob is either too tight or too loose, or electrical cords too short to be practical.
Now that the OMRON DLX Automatic Comfort Cuff has been in use for almost a month, it has proven it's worth!
All the cords/connections are ample and stable. The reading is accurate and easy to obtain, even one-handed. It stays put when placed on the upper arm above the elbow, is comfortable and easy to complete the velcro closure. The memory allows comparison over a significant period of time and is a handy feature.
Omron HEM-670IT Wrist Blood Pressure Monitor with APS (Advanced Positioning Sensor) and Advanced Omron Heal Health Management Software
I like what Omron did with this BP monitor.
Pros: Compact Accurate Easy to read display Has memory to log readings over time Computer interface to download memory (print or email to your doc.
Cons: Instruction could be clearer Included software could have a clearer user interface
I really like the way it measures the blood pressure AS it pumps up so it never pumps up higher than it needs to to get a pressure reading. Many other BP Monitors pump up to 160-180 then measure the pressure as it bleeds off the air.
As a former Biomed tech that tested and repaired 100's of BP Monitors I can say with some authority that this is a winner.
Today, however, many of the best home blood pressure monitor digital models have automatic cuff adjustments and can correctly adjust themselves for symptoms such as irregular heart beats. And while not as accurate as the monitors in your doctors's office, they give good perfectly enough results for home use.
Home Blood Pressure Monitor Reviews
There are many perfectly good home monitors are the market today. Omron, in particular, has one of the best blood pressure monitor for home use. Check out reviews on two of the more popular models below: