Easy one-touch operations and clear backlit display. Includes an irregular heartbeat detector and risk category index. Can be used by up to two users with 60 memories per individual. Uses inflation technology for enhanced accuracy. USB charging is economical and convenient.
A pricier choice than many alternatives.
Convenient one-touch automatic readings of systolic, diastolic and pulse readings. Also has a hypertension indicator. Cuff is comfortable and fits wrists up to 10 inches.
Requires two AAA batteries, but they aren't included.
Comes with a nice carry case for safe storage and travel. Backlit screen allows for nighttime or low-light readings. Can store and organize two separate user profiles in one device.
Can be frustrating for daily use as batteries deplete quickly. The device sometimes resets itself.
Fast and simple to use. Screen is easy to read, making it great for users with less than perfect vision. Long-lasting, even with travel and repeated use.
Some users report that readings are higher with this device than at the doctor's office.
Large, clear LCD display is easy to read and navigate. Arm band is adjustable between 5.3 and 8.5 inches. Comes with a travel-friendly storage case. Readings are accurate and device is durable.
Occasional reports that there are syncing problems between the device and some smartphones.
We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.
The ability to quickly and efficiently gauge blood pressure is useful for those with specific ailments like heart conditions or hypertension. Whether your doctor has requested that you take your blood pressure regularly or you’re taking a proactive approach to your own well-being, it’s vital to choose the right unit and use it correctly in order to receive accurate readings. A wrist blood pressure monitor can be a valuable tool for monitoring your health.
While wrist monitors can be less accurate than blood pressure monitors worn around the bicep, they are more accessible and easy to use. These types of blood pressure monitors utilize battery power to take automatic readings and minimize user error.
Our buying guide below covers the pros and cons of using this type of blood pressure monitor, along with information on model pricing and tips for improving accuracy. We’ve included a few of our favorites, too.
A blood pressure reading, such as 120/80, includes systolic (the first number) and diastolic pressure readings. While a normal blood pressure reading is 120/80 or lower, a high systolic reading is cause for concern. Prehypertension occurs when the systolic reading is between 130 and 139, and the diastolic reading is between 80 and 89. Numbers higher than these indicate high blood pressure, or hypertension.
Causes: Hypertension is often a symptom of an underlying condition. Your risk for high blood pressure increases if you are a smoker or heavy drinker, older than 60, overweight, sedentary, or experiencing chronic stress.
High blood pressure may also be the result of a poor diet that includes high amounts of sodium. Certain health conditions also cause high blood pressure (such as diabetes, heart disease, and kidney problems). Some medications may also have an adverse effect on blood pressure. Genetics play a large part in determining your risk factors for high blood pressure, so a family history of the condition increases your risk, too.
Anyone can benefit from tracking and keeping an eye on their blood pressure. Those with high blood pressure should monitor changes in their readings and check whether medication and/or lifestyle changes are helping. Those with prehypertension can use a blood pressure monitor to verify whether the condition is improving or worsening. Since anxiety can have an effect on blood pressure readings taken in a doctor’s office, some people may benefit from taking readings at home for a more accurate picture of their health.
The American Heart Association recommends blood pressure monitors that wrap around the arm over those that wrap around the wrist because they’re more accurate. However, a wrist blood pressure monitor is more portable and easier to travel with than the other units. Many people also find them much more comfortable to wear. The digital interface is also intuitive and easy to use. If used correctly, a wrist monitor provides relatively accurate results, but positioning is crucial to avoid incorrect readings. Wrist monitors also require batteries for power. In some cases, weak batteries may also cause faulty readings.
Opt for a wrist monitor with a simple interface and buttons that are easy to understand. A large screen with a big font makes it simple to check your blood pressure readings. The layout should include a graphic that allows you to quickly spot whether your blood pressure is in the normal range or dangerously high.
Most wrist monitors have an adjustable cuff, but if you have unusually small or large wrists, you may want to check the cuff measurements to verify that a unit will fit correctly. An improper fit can result in inaccurate readings.
The ability to store readings is useful for tracking your health over time. You’ll be able to tell whether your blood pressure has increased or decreased. Check how many readings a unit is capable of storing, and choose one that can store at least 60.
A device that allows for different user profiles is helpful if you and other members of your household need or want to keep track of blood pressure measurements. Look for a unit with an easily adjustable cuff to accommodate different wrists. The majority of wrist units accommodate at least two user profiles.
Purchase a wrist blood pressure monitor with a carrying case to protect the device when you travel and prevent it from getting dusty or wet.
Some wrist monitors are capable of providing you with alerts should they detect abnormally high readings or inconsistent heart rates.
The cost of wrist blood pressure monitors ranges from $35 to $50.
Don’t bother purchasing a unit that costs less than $35 because they’re less likely to provide accurate readings. While the priciest units typically deliver more accurate blood pressure data, the cost of a unit does not necessarily correlate with accuracy.
We suggest reading online customer reviews to get a better picture of a device’s ability to provide reliable readings. If in doubt, ask your physician for a recommendation.
Read the instructions carefully. Do this before using your wrist blood pressure monitor. Most monitors automatically take multiple readings and provide you with an average.
Position yourself correctly. Don’t lie down while taking your blood pressure. Sit up straight in a chair with your feet planted on the ground. Keep your arm — the one with the wrist monitor — at heart level. The wrong positioning can throw off the readings.
Take blood pressure measurements at the same time each day.
Don’t take readings after eating, ingesting caffeine, or exercising.
Sit quietly for a couple of minutes before taking a reading. Compose yourself. Don’t start taking a reading after doing something taxing.
Take a reading over bare skin. Taking a reading over clothing can affect the accuracy of the measurements.
Q. When I take my blood pressure, the readings vary considerably. What’s going on?
A. It may be that you’re taking measurements incorrectly, but some variance during the day is to be expected. Things like caffeine, stress, and exercise can elevate your blood pressure.
Q. How is high blood pressure controlled?
A. A change in lifestyle habits is the usual recommendation. A healthy diet, exercise, and lowering of stress can all help reduce blood pressure. In some cases, people are genetically predisposed to high blood pressure, and even diligent changes in lifestyle may not have a positive effect. In these cases, medication is typically the best solution for controlling high blood pressure. Speak to a physician for treatment advice and to root out potential underlying causes of the condition.
Q. How do I know if I’m taking my blood pressure correctly?
A. If you’re concerned that you’re not using a wrist monitor correctly, seek the advice of your physician. You may even ask your local pharmacist to get advice on how to use your new device.