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Best Blood Pressure Monitors

By: Lisa Maloney on January 22, 2018

Editor's note:
If you want a blood pressure monitor that does almost everything, the Omron BP786N is your best bet. LifeSource, A&D and ReliOn also produce excellent monitors. In this updated report we evaluate both upper-arm and wrist blood pressure monitors, including a smartphone-compatible model that can read your results out loud.

Omron BP786 Review
Best Reviewed
Specs that Matter Circumference: 9" to 17" Readings stored: 200 total Multiple user accounts: 2

Best home blood pressure monitor

The Omron BP786N boasts an impressive suite of features, including Bluetooth pairing with your iOS or Android mobile device, which can then be set to export your blood pressure readings or even speak them out loud. The smartphone interface is optional; non-techy users can still take advantage of the BP786N's large, easy-to-read display, one-button operation and extensive two-user memory function. It also detects irregular heartbeats and has an optional averaging mode that takes three consecutive readings.

Buy for $64.99
LifeSource UA-789AC Review
Also Consider
Specs that Matter Circumference: 16.5" to 23.6" Readings stored: 60 Multiple user accounts: No

Blood pressure monitor for large arms

LifeSource UA-789AC

The blood pressure cuff on the LifeSource UA-789AC accommodates arms of up to 23.6 inches (60 cm) in circumference and is tapered for a better fit, making it an excellent choice for bodybuilders or those with a little extra weight. This home blood pressure monitor has a reputation for trouble-free operation and accuracy, and stores up to 60 blood pressure and pulse readings in its memory. Users love the large, easy-to-read display, too.

ReliOn BP200 Review
Best Reviewed
Specs that Matter Circumference: 9" to 17" Readings stored: 60 total Multiple user accounts: 2

Best cheap blood pressure monitor

The ReliOn BP200 edges out the competition in the affordable blood pressure monitor category because it stores up to 30 date- and time-stamped readings for each of two user accounts, making it easier for you to make sense of your blood pressure patterns over time. Owners say the BP200 is easy to use right out of the box and holds up well over the long term, and it also receives excellent accuracy scores in comparative professional tests.

Omron BP652N Review
Best Reviewed
Specs that Matter Circumference: 5.25" to 8.5" Readings stored: 100 Multiple user accounts: No

Best wrist blood pressure monitor

If you're looking for a very user-friendly wrist blood pressure monitor, look no further than the Omron BP652N. A series of blinking lights help guide you into the proper position for an accurate reading, which can be as precise as that of a doctor's blood pressure cuff. The Omron BP652N also detects irregular heartbeats, stores up to 60 date- and time-stamped readings, and can calculate the average of three blood pressure readings taken in a 10-minute span.

Types of Blood Pressure Monitors

Arm Blood Pressure Monitors

These blood pressure monitors most closely resemble what you'll see used at your doctor's office, with a flexible or semi-rigid cuff that sits around your upper arm. Users sometimes struggle to get the cuff positioned correctly on their own arm, but this type of home blood pressure monitor lets you sit with your arm in a natural position at your side, and is generally less finicky about positioning than a wrist cuff monitor.

Wrist Blood Pressure Monitors

Those who feel like arm blood pressure monitors pinch uncomfortably, or who have trouble finding an arm blood pressure cuff that fits well, might prefer a wrist blood pressure monitor. However, this type of monitor is notoriously finicky about positioning; you must hold your wrist across your chest at heart level. If you're just a few inches off or don't hold perfectly still during the reading, you'll get inaccurate results. The good news is that the best wrist monitors have lights and signals to help you with the correct alignment.

Home blood pressure monitors are a handy health tool

If your doctor wants you to track your blood pressure -- or if you want to be proactive and track it yourself -- you're going to need a blood pressure monitor you can use at home. Visiting your doctor to have your blood pressure taken every single day isn't really practical, and the public-use blood pressure cuffs located in some pharmacies can get out of calibration, resulting in inaccurate readings.

Monitoring your blood pressure at home doesn't take the place of medical consults. But, when combined with your physician's measurements, home measurements can be a powerful tool for taking control of your health. All of the home blood pressure monitors discussed in this report are automatic, digital models -- they inflate themselves and take the reading for you, usually at the push of a single button. The entire process takes about 30 to 50 seconds. See our reports on blood glucose monitors and digital thermometers for other items that can round out your home health kit.

No matter what sort of blood pressure cuff you get, experts recommend taking it to your doctor's office for comparison against medical-grade equipment. That gives you a baseline for determining how accurate and consistent your home monitor's measurements really are.

You must also read the manufacturer's instructions and follow them closely in order to get accurate readings. We have yet to see a home blood pressure monitor that doesn't receive a noteworthy number of complaints about accuracy, and it's a sure bet that those complaints often stem from incorrect use.

Finding The Best Blood Pressure Monitors
Our Sources
"Blood Pressure Monitor Ratings"
"Sphygmomanometers for Self-measurement of Blood Pressure (SBPM)"
"The Best Blood Pressure Monitors for Home Use"

We evaluated dozens of expert ratings and thousands of user reviews to determine which blood pressure monitors display the features you need in any home medical product: Accurate, repeatable results; ease of use and comfort; and enough features to make your life easy.

The most useful expert sources included Consumer Reports, Medical News Today and Wirecutter. Owner reviews were especially plentiful at Amazon, but the retail sites Walmart, Walgreens and Best Buy offered plenty of useful feedback too.

Best arm blood pressure monitors

Of all the upper-arm blood pressure monitors we evaluated, the wireless Omron BP786N (Est. $100) receives the most consistently positive ratings. Owners say this model is easy to use and very accurate. It also receives Excellent scores for accuracy and convenience from Consumer Reports, and is the top pick at Wirecutter, which tested it against nine other blood pressure monitors.

The Omron BP786N's many useful features include a built-in calibration check system; a TruRead mode that takes three consecutive readings one minute apart, then displays the average; an irregular heartbeat detector; and two user accounts, with storage for 100 date- and time-stamped blood pressure readings in each.

The BP786N's most impressive feature, however, is its Bluetooth compatibility with iOS and Android mobile devices. Once you download the free Omron Wellness app, you can access, share or chart your readings from anywhere, or import them into the Apple Health app. You can also have your smartphone read the results to you out loud -- a very useful feature for anyone with limited vision, or who simply makes better sense of what they hear rather than what they read.

Despite all that functionality, you don't have to have a smartphone or tablet to use the Omron BP786, and many users appreciate its simple operation: All you really have to do is press the brightly colored Start/Stop button. The large, backlit screen is easy to read, even for those with limited vision, and the single-button operation is another friendly option for limited-vision users.

User reviews of the Omron BP786N are almost universally positive, while reviews of its Bluetooth capability are mixed (but still quite good): It typically pairs with iOS devices quickly and easily, but may take a few tries to connect with your Android device, and not every Android device is supported.

We also see a few recent user complaints about the blood pressure cuff returning too-high readings. Although these complaints are very rare when compared to other home blood pressure monitors, they're a good reminder to follow the American Heart Association's recommendations for monitoring your blood pressure at home, which include taking your home blood pressure cuff to your doctor's office so they can verify its accuracy and make sure you're using it correctly.

The BP786N's ComFit cuff spans the range of a medium to large cuff, fitting arms from 9 inches to 17 inches (23 cm to 43 cm) in circumference. Once you get the adjustable cuff set up just right, you can slip your arm in and out of the uninflated cuff easily -- no need for a second pair of hands. The BP786N is covered by a five-year warranty, can be run off 4 AA batteries in addition to AC power, and doesn't have any notable durability issues.

If you have large upper arms, your best choice is the LifeSource UA-789AC (Est. $100) home blood pressure monitor. The cuff on this monitor fits arms between 16.5 and 23.6 inches (42 to 60 cm) in circumference, and users love the way it's slightly tapered to provide a better fit.

Users also say this blood pressure monitor is durable -- some have had theirs for several years with no problem -- and most say it's quite accurate when compared against a manual blood pressure cuff in their doctor's office. The one thing some users wish they'd known before buying is that the arm cuff is quite wide, stretching all the way from armpit to elbow on some users.

The LifeSource UA-789AC has a fairly simple range of features: It detects an irregular heartbeat, stores up to 60 blood pressure and pulse readings in memory, and has a large, easy-to-read display. It runs off an included AC adapter or four AA batteries (not included).

The best cheap arm blood pressure monitors

If you want a simpler blood pressure monitor, there are a few viable alternatives that still offer accurate readings, but cost less than their high-end competition.

One top budget pick, the ReliOn BP200 (Est. $40) upper-arm monitor, which is sold exclusively through Walmart, can store up to 30 readings in each of two user accounts. The readings for this unit are marked with a date and time stamp, which can help reveal trends in your blood pressure readings over time.

"It's affordable and simple enough for most people to use," writes Stacey Higginbotham for Wirecutter, where the ReliOn BP200 is selected as the top budget blood pressure monitor. Owners agree, saying the ReliOn BP200 is easy to use straight out of the box, and it receives an accuracy rating of Excellent at Consumer Reports. Its cuff fits arms 9 to 17 inches (23 cm to 43 cm) in circumference, and a larger cuff is available for purchase. A few years ago we noticed a rash of durability concerns with the BP200, but more recent user reviews indicate that the newer versions of this home blood pressure monitor hold up well.

The ReliOn BP200 can be run off four AA batteries or the included AC adapter. We do see some concerns from users that their BP200 doesn't even have an AC power jack, which we suspect means they got the wrong model. If you want the AC capability, make sure that you're purchasing model number HEM741CRL.

Another highly rated, inexpensive blood pressure cuff, the Panasonic EW3109W (Est. $45), also receives an Excellent accuracy rating from Consumer Reports, and users say it's very precise. Those owners are even more pleased, however, with the monitor's most notable feature: It measures your blood pressure as the cuff inflates, instead of pumping the cuff up to a set pressure and then measuring your blood pressure as it lets the air out. This helps eliminate the discomfort and -- in extreme cases -- bruising that some associate with upper-arm blood pressure cuffs.

The EW3109W's sparse selection of features includes one-touch inflation, a large, easy-to-read display, and a 90-reading memory capacity for one user. However, the readings aren't marked with a date or time stamp.

Excluding the issue with the memory function, owners say the Panasonic EW3109W is fast and easy to use. It can accommodate arm circumferences of 7.75 to 15.75 inches (20 to 40 cm) with the default cuff; you can also buy a large cuff (Est. $30) that fits arms of 13.75 to 17.33 inches (35 to 44 cm). The EW3109W runs off four AA batteries (included) or an optional AC adapter, which can be purchased separately.

We do see a few more reports of durability concerns when compared to our best-reviewed Omron BP786N, but most users are very happy with this Panasonic blood pressure monitor, and it's backed by a two-year warranty.

So: If you're particularly sensitive to the discomfort of using an upper-arm blood pressure cuff, your best choice is the Panasonic EW3109W. If you have large upper arms, go for the LifeSource UA-789AC. For a bargain that still offers the very handy feature of date- and time-stamped readings, consider the ReliOn BP200. And if you want the general all-around best-performing, feature-rich monitor that also happens to be smartphone compatible and is useful for those with limited vision, go for the Omron 10 Series BP786N.

A blood pressure monitor for the whole family

The A&D 767F (Est. $50) draws kudos from testers at Wirecutter for its memory capacity, which is the highest of any we saw while compiling this report. It can store up to 60 time- and date-stamped readings in each of four user accounts, so the entire family can use the same machine if need be. The cuff is also flexible enough to fit most people, accommodating arms between 8.6 to 16.5 inches (22 to 42 cm) in circumference.

This blood pressure monitor also earns an Excellent score for accuracy at Consumer Reports. Everyday users laud the A&D's accuracy too, saying that it lines up well with the readings taken in their doctor's office. The A&D 767F also tracks your average pressure readings over time and adjusts the inflation accordingly, which helps eliminate the excessive squeezing that can be a problem with some blood pressure monitors. Users say it's nicely compact, too, and easy to carry around in its soft-sided, zip-close case.

Not everybody is a fan of the A&D 767F's comfort and usability though, despite its Very Good comfort scores from Consumer Reports. "Its comfort and ease of use was polarizing among the testers," writes Stacey Higginbotham for Wirecutter, also noting that when she deliberately moved around during testing, the 767F tended to flash an "irregular heartbeat" warning at her instead of warning that she was moving too much, as it is supposed to.

The A&D 767F comes with a five-year warranty and runs off 4 AA batteries, with an optional AC adapter available for purchase.

Elsewhere In This Report
Recently Updated
Blood Pressure Monitors buying guide

What every best Blood Pressure Monitors has:

  • Keys that are easy to use, and a display that's easy to read.
  • Circuitry that detects -- and compensates for -- an irregular heartbeat.
  • A cuff that fits you.

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