The self-inflating, upper-arm Panasonic EW3109W blood pressure monitor scores well in independent tests. The same expert reviewers say this unit offers relatively quick readings compared to the other models tested, although the difference between the fastest and slowest models was only 20 seconds. The EW3109W receives a Pass rating under the European Society of Hypertension's testing protocols and a Recommended rating for at-rest use through the dabl Educational Trust's validation process.
A wide body of highly positive user reviews help establish this unit's good reputation; although there are some mixed concerns about accuracy -- as is common in this price range -- most users say this unit is reliable, including some who've taken it to a doctor's office to compare against medical-grade equipment. Users are also happy with this unit's small, light build, although they say it's a little too bulky to truly be considered a "portable" unit. One user points out that, as is true for most blood pressure monitors, if you don't follow the directions precisely, you'll end up with inaccurate results.
Aside from the occasional complaints about inaccurate readings, the only other real complaint we found is that the memory function isn't automatic; you have to press a button to store the readings or they'll automatically be deleted. Overall, users describe the Panasonic EW3109W as a solid, well-built unit. If you're looking for a blood pressure monitor with more advanced features, reviews point to the Omron 10 Series BP785 (*Est. $80) as an excellent choice.
As usual, the best source for expert reviews of the Panasonic EW3109W is ConsumerReports.org. It also appears in databases maintained by the British Hypertension Society (BHS) and dabl Educational Trust, although with very few comments; hundreds of user reviews from Amazon.com, and a few from Walmart.com, are also helpful.
The Panasonic EW3109W is one of 21 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, Jan. 2012
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 the BHS's own protocols. The Panasonic EW3109 receives a Pass rating under the ESH (European Society of Hypertension) protocol as of May 2010.
Review: Validated Blood Pressure Monitors, Editors of British Hypertension Society
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. There's no mention here of whether it's been tested under the ESH 2010 guidelines.
Review: Sphygmomanometers for Self-measurement of Blood Pressure (SBPM), No author
More than 325 users give the Panasonic EW3109W an average rating of 4.5 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 Upper Arm Blood Pressure Monitor (White), Contributors to Amazon.com
More than two dozen reviewers give the Panasonic EW3109W a near-perfect rating. They praise the unit for its good quality -- given the price -- but they don't have much else to say. One reviewer points out that if you don't follow the instructions exactly, you'll get inaccurate results.
Review: Panasonic Automatic Portable Arm Blood Pressure Monitor, Contributors to Walmart.com