Skip to content

Choosing Your Blood Pressure Monitor

High blood pressure is a major problem in America and abroad. Uncontrolled high blood pressure can lead to many health problems, such as heart attack and stroke. If you have high blood pressure, or must check patients for high blood pressure, then you need a good blood pressure monitor. This article will take a look at the pros and cons of various blood pressure monitors.


Which Type of Blood Pressure Monitor is Right for You?


Keeping track of your own or someone else's blood pressure doesn't have to be difficult. All you need is a reliable blood pressure monitor and the knowledge to use it correctly. You can even monitor your own blood pressure at home.


There's more than one type of blood pressure monitor. Before you choose one, you should weigh the pros and cons so you can make the best decision. If you're getting one to use at home, you might want to discuss the options with your doctor. If you're getting one to use with a patient, then you should probably get the one recommended by other doctors. Still, it's best to do your own research to see what's available.


  • A digital blood pressure monitor is designed for a person who wants to take their own pressure. It's more difficult to take your own pressure with a manual blood pressure monitor. However, a digital blood pressure monitor can also be used to take someone else's pressure.

  • A digital blood pressure monitor can have either an automatic or manual arm cuff. To inflate the manual arm cuff, you have to manually squeeze a small pump to tighten the cuff. The automatic arm cuff inflates on its own when you touch the start button. Both cuffs have to be fitted properly to the arm or the blood pressure monitor won't give the correct reading. Although arm blood pressure monitors are the most popular and most accurate, you can also get a blood pressure monitor that fits around the wrist or finger.

  • Reading a digital blood pressure monitor is also easy. The numbers automatically display on the unit's display screen, so you don't have to read the gauge yourself. In fact, digital blood pressure monitors don't need stethoscopes because you don't need to hear the heartbeat.

  • The cons of a digital blood pressure monitor include inaccurate readings. The readings can be affected by old batteries, incorrect arm cuff placement, incorrect arm placement, and irregular heartbeat. A digital blood pressure monitor may become unstable over time. If you choose a digital blood pressure monitor, it's good to occasionally compare its readings to those of a manual blood pressure monitor.

  • A manual blood pressure monitor is best when someone else will be taking the pressure reading. The manual blood pressure monitor has a dial gauge that must be read to determine the blood pressure. The arm cuff must also be inflated manually by pumping a bulb attached to cuff. Trying to read the gauge, inflate the bulb, listen to the heartbeat, and sit still all at the same time can be very difficult.

  • The best thing about a manual blood pressure monitor is that it's usually very accurate. As long as the cuff is worn correctly, you can get a clear reading. However, people with hearing problems may have a hard time hearing the heartbeat, which can sometimes sound very faint. A manual blood pressure monitor also costs less than one that's digital.


No matter which blood pressure monitor you choose, you should follow the instructions carefully. Monitor your pressure regularly, and discuss the results with your doctor.