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How Do Blood Pressure Monitors Work?

What Is The Best Blood Pressure Monitor For Me?


The modern lifestyle has increased health risks in many. And, basic health procedures, like blood pressure monitoring, have become a necessity in many homes. Essentially, blood pressure monitors give a quick and painless process to monitor heart health and track whether medications are working. Read on if you want to know more about: how do blood pressure monitors work? What is the best blood pressure monitor for me? 


What Are Blood Pressure Monitors?


Nowadays, health consultations have been increasingly done virtually. And with this, many doctors are recommending their patients to check their blood pressure at home. But, what is a blood pressure monitor, and how does it work? 


A blood pressure monitor, also called a sphygmomanometer, can either be manual or digital. Manual devices will include an inflatable cuff, a rubber squeeze bulb, and a gauge that measures blood pressure. You will need a stethoscope to listen to the pulse of blood pressure through the artery. The rise (systolic) or fall (diastolic) of pressure will be seen on the gauge as the needle moves around its dial. 


However, many experts would recommend a digital blood pressure monitor for home use as it is easier to operate. Digital blood pressure monitors are available for adults, and there are pediatric blood pressure monitors also for children. 


With digital blood pressure monitors, the user will not need a stethoscope. Like a manual blood pressure device, digital devices also include a cuff. You must get the right fit to avoid incorrect readings. 


Some digital devices can inflate the cuffs with one push of a button, while others may require you to do it manually. These digital blood pressure monitors would show results on the screen, and the cuff will deflate eventually.


A digital wrist blood pressure monitor, on the other hand, is the next best thing for users with large arm sizes or those with disabilities.  Yet, some digital monitors will come with an extra large cuff or purchase one separately.


How Is Blood Pressure Measured With Digital Blood Pressure Monitors?


Find a comfortable place to sit. Rest and wait for at least five minutes before starting the process. Once rested and ready, gently slide the cuffs around the upper arm or your wrists, depending on what model you have.


Press start on the device, and the cuff will be inflated. Sit still and wait as the device gets blood pressure measurements. The cuffs will slowly deflate after, and the monitor will show the readings on the screen. If you need to get another reading, wait at least one minute before repeating the process.

How To Read A Blood Pressure Monitor?


Blood pressure is measured in mmHg and is expressed in two numbers that read like a fraction. The number on top is called the systolic pressure, and the one below is the diastolic pressure. The systolic number (top number) represents the pressure in the arteries, while the diastolic number (bottom number) represents blood pressure when the heart muscle is between beats. These results are conveniently reflected in the screen display of your blood pressure monitor. 


Here are the blood pressure ranges:




1. Normal

Below 120

Below 80

2. Elevated

120 to 129

Below 80

3. High (Stage 1)

130 to 139

80 to 89

4. High (Stage 2)

Above 139

Above 89

5. Hypertensive (Critical)

Above 180

Above 120


Be mindful of your lifestyle, especially if hypertension runs in your family. Maintain a healthy diet, exercise regularly, and continuously monitor your blood pressure to keep you in tune with your body's health status.


Tips On Effectively Using Blood Pressure Monitors


1.  Know the basics of getting a blood pressure reading.

2.  Sit correctly with feet flat on the floor, legs uncrossed, and back supported on the chair. Arms should be also be supported and kept at heart level.

3.  Take readings at least 30 minutes after exercise, smoking, or alcohol or caffeine intake.

4.  Empty the bladder and rest for at least five minutes before taking your blood pressure.

5.  Do not place cuffs on a clothed arm, and make sure it is not too tight.

6.  Do not talk while blood pressure is being taken.

7.  Take readings before medicine intake. 

8.  You may also repeat the procedure on the other arm for a more accurate reading.

9.  Try to take readings daily at the same times and take two readings at least 1 to 2 minutes apart. 

10.  Keep a record of daily readings and report the results to your doctor. 


It is also a good idea for you to bring your blood pressure monitor to your doctor's office so they can check it for accuracy. 


How To Pick The Right Blood Pressure Monitor For You


A blood pressure monitor can help prevent hypertension, stroke, heart attack as it could help warn of signs of ill health. So, individuals or households should invest in a good quality blood pressure monitor for home use. Still, one should consider many relevant factors before purchasing one.


1. Personal Needs


Manual blood pressure monitors provide accurate readings but may require expertise in handling. These devices are recommended for nurses, doctors, and other health experts. On the other hand, digital devices are designed for personal use. Digital devices are user-friendly and can be easily used even without medical expertise. 


2. Price


Price is another factor in narrowing down your decision. High-tech monitors may be more expensive but may not guarantee more accurate readings than other models. One that comes for $40 and below is a relatively valuable deal. However, you must carefully check that the product will last long years to get the right value for money.


3. Accuracy


For a clinically accurate reading, choose one that trusted medical supply brands manufacture. Often, these brands come with a more extended warranty period. Some will also offer lifetime calibration to ensure quality and accuracy.


4. Design and Materials


The design and quality of materials used will affect the overall performance of the device. Choose one that uses high-quality, latex-free, and hypo-allergenic materials. It would be best if you also tried to find a machine that features alterable orientation for both left and right-handed individuals.


In addition to design, you should opt to get a one-size-fits-all cuff size that anyone in the household can use. Cuffs should also be easily adjustable and made of soft nylon material are ideal for comfort. 


5. Power and Portability


Depending on the purpose of use, one may choose to get a small, slim, and lightweight device that is easy to carry around. Some devices also come in carrying cases for easy portability. 


Most digital devices are battery-powered, while some come with power cords. Some devices may also come with battery-saving features.


6. Added Features and Accessories


Advanced digital blood pressure monitors may come with added features like indicators for irregular heartbeat and hypertension and averaging technology. Tech-savvy individuals may even go for products that include cloud storage, Bluetooth technology, and app compatibility features.


Some models may even come with digital storage of readings, including the date and time stamps. Other devices may also include penlights and pupil gauges for a complete health check-up process at home.


8 Best Digital Blood Pressure Monitors


To get a better idea of your blood pressure, one must check it more often, at least twice a day for several months. And a digital blood pressure monitor is the answer to doing this conveniently at home. It is simple and easy to use, but it may also help diagnose health problems early. So, featured below are our top picks for the best digital blood pressure monitors available at


1. A&D Medical Deluxe Upper Arm Blood Pressure Monitor With Wide Range Cuff


A&D Medical Deluxe Wireless Blood Pressure Monitor is one of the trusted models in the market today. It features a one-button operation for taking blood pressure readings. Moreover, it has added functions like an irregular heartbeat detector, blood pressure risk indicator, data averaging technology, and a battery life indicator. 


This digital blood pressure device comes with a one-size-fits-most cuff to fit various arm sizes (can fit 8.6" to 16.5" arm sizes). The cuffs are guaranteed latex-free and allow gentle inflation for comfortable measurement. 


The device has the ability to store readings for different users separately. Accuracy is also assured, as readings are based on how a mercury sphygmomanometer works. You can confidently buy this product as it gives a 5-year warranty on the monitoring device and a 2-year warranty on the cuff.


2. Mckesson Blood Pressure Monitors Select® Desk Model 1-Tube Adult Arm


Select Blood Pressure Monitors are designed to be slim, lightweight, and discrete. It could easily be the perfect choice for individuals who travel often or are looking for portability. What's more, is that it can also conveniently show previous readings with a single button touch. These readings also come with the user's pulse rate and the date and time stamp. 


The nylon arm cuffs are best suited for adult users.


Conveniently included in the package are four AA batteries, a carrying case, and a warranty card. 


3. Medline Automatic Digital Blood Pressure Monitor With Adult Cuff


Medline Automatic Digital Blood Pressure Monitors are perfect for individuals who are looking for one with a larger digital LED display. 


Another great thing about this monitor is the customized inflation level for each user. Aside from automatic inflation, it also provides automatic error detection. 


It is an excellent blood pressure monitoring device as it comes in a revolutionary design and can even store up to 90 readings for two users. This feature makes it perfect for couples who want to share use in one device. 


You can also purchase a talking model that offers English or Spanish language. Replacement latex-free nylon cuffs are also available for this model. 


4. Omron Healthcare 10 Series® Wireless Upper Arm Blood Pressure Monitor


The Omron Healthcare 10 Series is one of the high-end blood pressure monitors available in the market today. The OMRON Advanced Accuracy technology allows precise and accurate readings by minimizing the impact of your breathing and movements. 


It features a horizontally-designed dual display monitor that shows your previous reading right next to your present reading for easy comparison. Readings are also shown in large numbers against a black backlit screen.


This premium blood pressure monitoring device can store data for two users and up to 200 readings per user. The device also uses Bluetooth technology that allows you to sync your data quickly to either IOS or Android devices and also works with Alexa-enabled devices. 


The package includes an easy-wrap cuff that can fit arm sizes between 9" to 15" in circumference. Also included in your purchase are the OMRON monitor and an AC adapter. 


This OMRON device is an essential tool at home, especially for households with hypertensive members. It has a Hypertension indicator which will alert as HIGH if numbers reach 130/80 and above measurements. These monitors have also been clinically validated for use in patients with type II diabetes and heart diseases. Indeed, this device is a good investment and can be a lifesaver for many.


5. GF Health Advanced Upper Arm Blood Pressure Monitor


GF Health Advanced Blood Pressure Monitor is best for individuals looking into regularly monitoring their blood pressure. It can quickly alert you with your blood pressure status using WHO risk color indicators mainly: Optimal (Blue), Normal (Sky Blue), High-normal (Green), Mild Hypertension (Purple), Moderate Hypertension (Yellow), and Severe Hypertension (Red). 


The package also includes a complete set of a monitor, a standard and large adult cuff, a storage case, an AC power adapter, and four AA batteries in case you would need to use it on the go.


The device can also store data for up to four users, making it perfect for family use. Like the other featured monitors, it can also indicate irregular heartbeat and stats in seconds. One unique feature of this product is that it can double up as a clock (with alarm) when not used. 


6. Drive Medical Economy Digital Blood Pressure Monitor


Drive Medical Digital Blood Pressure Monitor is an excellent device for anyone who is looking for a simple yet effective blood pressure monitoring tool. Not only does it have a large number display, but it also can recall up to 120 previous readings. 


The device also uses the WHO risk indicator for proper evaluation of readings. Other functions include measuring pulse rate and detecting irregular heartbeat rates. 


This blood pressure monitoring device has an auto-off function to save on battery life. With this function, the device can last up to up to two months on battery use. It is perfect for daily home use. And, at only 1 pound in weight, it is great for travel use too. 


7. Proactive Medical Protekt® Blood Pressure Monitor


Protekt Blood Pressure Monitor functions very similarly to Drive Medical's Digital Blood Pressure monitor. It has a simple and discrete design that functions with an easy touch of a button. The large and clear number display makes it easy to read measurements for anyone.


It features relevant functions such as averaging, irregular heartbeat, and pulse rate indicators. Memory storage can hold up to 120 readings with date and time stamps, making it great for evaluation. 


The device works with 4 AAA batteries which are already included in the package for immediate use. 


8. American Diagnostic Blood Pressure Monitor Advantage Desk Model


American Diagnostic Blood Pressure Monitor is a wrist-type device that is perfect for larger patients. The wrist cuff included can fit users with wrists measuring 5.3" to 7.7" sizes.


The British Hypertension Society has given this device an AA rating for accuracy. It also features a recall function can reveal the last 99 readings and can save data for up to two users.


The package includes the monitor, wrist-cuff, storage case, and two AAA batteries. 


Final Verdict


High blood pressure can often come without symptoms, and a blood pressure monitoring device at home can be a lifesaver. Not only will it save you frequent trips to the doctor's office, but it will also keep in tune with your health better.


All the products featured above have a reputation for superb accuracy. Yet, for our best overall blood pressure monitor, we would recommend Omron Healthcare 10 Series® Wireless Upper Arm Blood Pressure Monitor.


Omron is a trusted brand, and they make sure that their products meet the highest standards of precision. With the Omron Healthcare 10 Series, the risks of strokes and heart diseases in the family can be avoided and adequately managed.


We love this product because it can measure blood pressure and pulse rate at the same time. You can also conveniently connect it to a health app for tracking and health evaluation purposes. 


Yet, even with the best blood pressure monitors, keep in mind that a doctor's advice and evaluation are still the best. 


So, there goes everything you need to know on how do pressure monitors work. Do not hesitate to contact your doctor for unusual results that are keeping you worried.