How to choose a blood pressure monitor: the best blood pressure monitors for home use 2021

Heading to the doctors every time you need your blood pressure read is neither possible nor practical.

Tuesday, 6th April 2021, 10:01 am

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Thankfully, at home blood pressure monitors are now readily available, easier to use than prior incarnations, reliable, and reasonably priced.

We’ve looked at the best on the market, and rounded up their strengths and weaknesses. Before we run through the products, ensure you consider the following.

Blood pressure monitors: the checklist 

1) Make sure you buy a monitor with an upper cuff. This is a monitor that will measure your blood pressure at your upper arm, rather than your wrist or finger. These offer more accurate, and reliable, readings.

2) Ensure the cuff fits snugly around your upper arm.  You should be able to slide two finger-tips underneath.

3) Make sure your blood pressure monitor is UK approved.  It needs to be listed as validated for accuracy by the British and Irish Hypertension Society (BIHS). All of the monitors listed below are. It means the monitor has been thoroughly tested, to provide results you can rely on - and your doctor can trust.

For information on how to take an accurate blood pressure reading, you can rely on the British Heart Foundation website: visit here

All of the below listed blood pressure monitors are clinically tested and approved for their accuracy.

Withings BPM Core

Withings have a terrific reputation for fitness and health tech - they’re renowned for their sleep monitoring pads, smart scales, and smartwatches. This is their more expensive blood pressure monitor (We cover the cheaper BPM Connect, too, further down).

First things first: you require a smartphone to get the most out of this, and then to download an app. If you aren’t confident with a smartphone, there isn’t much point in purchasing a BPM this pricey - you can read the results on the unit, but the best specs are unearthed by pairing with your phone.  If you are comfortable using a phone app, it will perform remarkably well.

Portable, light, and with a host of features, this BPM measures blood pressure, and is able to take a medical-grade electrocardiogram (ECG). If you are concerned about an irregular heart rate (atrial fibrillation) this can detect it.

All measurements are stored in your smartphone, so you can track changes over time.

The Core doubles as a digital stethoscope, and includes a sound sensor which can detect heart frequencies. It’s artificial intelligence can detect potential issues in the heart valves. If you want to cover the breadth of your heart health without heading to the doctor, the Core will provide accurate, easy to interpret data to inform and reassure you. 

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QardioArm

The QardioArm is cheaper and a little more lowkey than the Core, but nevertheless contains some impressive features.

Portable and discrete, this device is handy for providing accurate readings wherever you are. Wireless, it pairs with your smart device with one click and the results are easy to read. Simply place on your arm and it will deliver both your systolic and diastolic blood pressure to your tablet. You can then share your data with others - whether that’s worried family members or even your doctor. 

We love the photo slide-show feature, allowing you to browse through a pre-loaded gallery of images (or your own) as you take the reading to help keep you calm - a thoughtful diversion for those of us who get nervous having our blood pressure taken.

Similar to the Core, it can detect irregular heartbeats.

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Braun ExactFit 3 BUA6150 Blood Pressure Monitor

If you’re after an altogether cheaper model, the Braun ExactFit 3 does precisely what you need from a blood pressure monitor, with a minimum of fuss.

You don’t require a smart device to read the results - it comes with a large, easily read display, so technophobe will get on with it just fine. It’s clinically tested for accuracy, and comes with a universal cuff size (22-42cm). No bells, no whistles, just an easy to read, reliable device, that you can use with the push of one button.

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Braun ExactFit 3 BUA6150 Blood Pressure Monitor

If you’re after an altogether cheaper model, the Braun ExactFit 3 does precisely what you need from a blood pressure monitor, with a minimum of fuss.

You don’t require a smart device to read the results - it comes with a large, easily read display, so technophobe will get on with it just fine. It’s clinically tested for accuracy, and comes with a universal cuff size (22-42cm). No bells, no whistles, just an easy to read, reliable device, that you can use with the push of one button.

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Omron Evolv Automatic Upper Arm Blood Pressure Monitor

Omron Evolv Automatic Upper Arm Blood Pressure Monitor

Similar to the Withings Core, this is a smartphone operated system, so your readings will be stored on your phone, graphed, and easy to track.

Where Omron calls attention to itself is with it’s fool-proof cuff: while other cuffs require precise placement, the Omron can give you an accurate result regardless of where you place it on your upper arm.

If you’ve put it on too loosely, the display winks with a symbol advising the error, then disappears when you’ve rectified the error. It’s a nifty, easy to use BPM.

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Boots Pharmaceuticals Blood Pressure Monitor - Upper Arm Unit 60 Memories

Another basic monitor, manufactured by Omron for Boots. It holds up to 60 measurements on the unit, and there’s no need for a smart device to operate it.

Easy to use, it’s effective, and reliable. One word of note: the cuff has an upper circumference of 32cm, so if your upper arm is large, you’ll need to buy a separate, longer cuff.

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Withings BPM Connect

The Connect is similar to the Withings Core listed above, just a little less high-spec. It’s equally chic, portable, and easy to use, and again requires a smartphone to justify the cost.

Results on the unit shine in green, red, or in between, to indicate if the reading is normal, indicates hypertension, or is high.

It doesn’t have the stethoscope, though.

It’s comfortable to wear, looks terrific, and can be shared by between eight people. A smart, great performer.

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