Owners love the Panasonic EW3109W because it measures your blood pressure as it inflates the cuff, making for a much more comfortable experience than most upper-arm blood pressure monitors. It receives excellent marks for accuracy from an expert source. Owners aren't as happy that the memory function isn't automatic, though, and we found a few mixed reports about its accuracy.
Mixed, but mostly positive. The Panasonic EW3109W receives an Excellent accuracy rating in independent tests, a Pass ranking under the European Society of Hypertension's testing protocol, and a Recommended rating in the dabl Educational Trust database. In addition, many users say they've taken it to their doctor's office for testing and found it to be accurate.
That said, we found enough complaints about inaccurate readings to take notice. It's not clear if these are due to using the monitor incorrectly. As always, the solution is to take your blood pressure monitor to your doctor's office for verification as soon as you get it.
Unusual mechanism equals comfortable experience. Experts with an independent consumer research lab give the Panasonic EW3109W only Good scores for convenience and comfort. Users, on the other hand, are thrilled that it measures your blood pressure as it inflates the cuff, instead of inflating to a set point and then taking measurements as it lets the air out. They say that makes for a much more comfortable experience than conventional upper-arm cuffs.
Owners are also happy with the EW3109W's one-touch operation and large, easy-to-read LCD display. "My cat could figure out how to use this and he's not the smartest guy in the neighborhood," writes one Amazon.com user.
So-so suite of features. The Panasonic EW3109W's 90-reading memory function is a nice find at this price range, but some users wish it were automatic. Instead, you have to press a button to store each reading, and they're not marked with date or time stamps. On the upside, the EW3109W runs off four AA batteries (included) or an optional AC adapter. It also comes with a storage pouch and a two-year warranty. The default cuff accepts arm circumferences of 7.75 to 15.75 inches; you can also buy a large cuff (Est. $30) that fits arms of 13.75 to 17.25 inches in circumference.
The Panasonic EW3109W is one of 27 top-selling automatic blood pressure monitors rated in a report from ConsumerReports.org. Each model is evaluated on factors including accuracy, comfort and convenience; full details are available to subscribers.
Review: Blood-Pressure Monitor Ratings, Editors of ConsumerReports.org, Not dated
2. British Hypertension Society
The British Hypertension Society (BHS) doesn't directly test blood pressure monitors, but it maintains a list of monitors that pass tests administered by other organizations, sometimes using BHS's own protocols. The Panasonic EW3109 is listed as certified under International Protocol.
Review: Blood Pressure Monitors Validated for Home Use, Editors of British Hypertension Society, As of February 2014
3. dabl Educational Trust
The dabl Educational Trust maintains a large database of ratings, and a few extremely brief comments, for blood pressure monitors. The Panasonic EW3109 receives a Recommended rating for at-rest use, and a Pass rating under the European Society of Hypertension's 2002 guidelines.
Review: Sphygmomanometers for Self-measurement of Blood Pressure (SBPM), Editors of dabl Educational Trust, As of February 2014
More than 1,100 users give the Panasonic EW3109W an average rating of 4.4 stars. A number of reviewers have taken this model to the doctor's office to compare it with medical-grade monitors; although the results were usually within a few points of each other, a few users reported wildly inaccurate readings.
Review: Panasonic EW3109W Portable Upper Arm Blood Pressure Monitor White/Grey, Contributors to Amazon.com, As of February 2014
More than 70 Walmart.com users rate the Panasonic EW3109W; giving it an average score of 4.8 stars overall. Most love its slim, durable construction, and say it's very accurate as long as you follow the usage directions precisely.
Review: Panasonic Automatic Portable Arm Blood Pressure Monitor, Contributors to Walmart.com, As of February 2014
Eleven Walgreens.com users review the Panasonic EW3109W, giving it a 4.9-star average rating. They offer unreserved praise for its ease of use and -- from those who've bothered to check -- accuracy.
Review: Panasonic Portable Automatic Arm Blood Pressure Monitor, Model EW 3109W, Contributors to Walgreens.com, As of February 2014