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Blood pressure fluctuates throughout the day, and it can be informative to take readings often.
Several tech companies have designed blood pressure monitor watches and fitness trackers that give you the freedom to take measurements as often as you choose to, even on the go. Some of these devices also count steps or monitor sleep patterns. A few even tell time.
There are also wrist blood pressure monitors that don’t resemble watches. These devices are larger and designed primarily for at-home use.
Here are a few tips to consider when looking at watches designed to keep up with your blood pressure.
According to the American Heart Association, upper arm cuff-style blood pressure monitors provide more accurate readings than wrist or finger monitors. One reason for this is because when you take a blood pressure reading, the monitor must be at heart level, with the upper arm resting adjacent to the heart.
To replicate the readings provided by upper arm blood pressure monitors, some watches include instructions to keep your wrist on your heart during readings. Following these instructions helps to ensure you’ll get the most accurate reading possible.
A good way to test your watch’s accuracy is to compare its readings with those received in a medical setting. You can do this by taking your watch with you to a doctor’s appointment and testing yourself immediately after getting an upper arm cuff reading.
The blood pressure monitor watches on this list were chosen because users indicate they provide accurate or near-accurate results. They come from transparent manufacturers who don’t make unfounded claims. We read scores of consumer reviews on multiple websites and researched each company’s background and reputation.
Blood pressure monitor watches range significantly in price.
The watches on our list that have Food and Drug Administration (FDA) clearance are significantly more expensive than the fitness trackers containing a blood pressure feature. They also tend to be more expensive than at-home monitors like wrist cuffs and upper arm cuffs.
The fitness trackers we’ve chosen are typically less expensive than at-home monitors.
Pricing is indicated as follows:
- $ = under $100
- $$ = $100–$400
- $$$ = over $400
This FDA-cleared medical device uses an inflatable cuff inside the watch band that you activate when you want to take your blood pressure. Readings take around 30 seconds.
It syncs up to a companion app called HeartAdvisor, which provides information about your readings. The app collects and stores your data in the form of color-coded graphs that help you see trends in your readings, based on variables such as exercise and time of day. The HeartAdvisor app is available for both Android and Apple devices.
This watch also helps you track and monitor fitness goals and sleep patterns. It can also send notifications when you receive texts and emails.
An extended warranty is available from the manufacturer.
This watch isn’t a medical device. It takes blood pressure and heart rate readings in around 15 seconds. It doesn’t require wrist positioning near the heart to work.
A companion app records health readings, steps, calories, stress levels, and sleep quality.
The watch case complies with IP67 ratings for dust and splash resistance, a nice plus that helps to ensure accuracy in certain conditions.
It’s also lightweight on the wrist, so you can wear it 24-7. This is a great feature, as it also monitors sleep patterns and can be worn comfortably during sleep.
A long-life battery provides around 28 days of continuous usage before needing a recharge.
The downfall to this device is the need to calibrate it before each use. It will provide the most accurate results when used in conjunction with a more conventional blood pressure monitor.
ASUS doesn’t list a price for this watch on its website. Shop around before you buy, since selling prices range significantly for it online.
This YAMAY Smartwatch is meant to be used primarily as a fitness tracker — it’s not a medical device. It can be used to monitor blood pressure, blood oxygen, and heart rate.
It’s lightweight and waterproof. A nice plus here is a choice of band color that makes it look more like a watch instead of a health monitor.
In addition to being very low cost, another nice feature is this watch’s ability to track up to nine types of workouts, including running, walking, and yoga.
It syncs with Apple and Android devices, so you can get alerts for emails and texts from your phone to your watch.
This fitness and sleep tracker takes blood pressure and heart rate readings, which are stored in a companion app. In online reviews, some users say it’s remarkably reliable, especially for an inexpensive watch.
It includes a heart rate alarm feature and a fatigue test. Other interesting features include an alert system that tells you to stand up when you’ve been sitting for too long.
If you’re looking specifically for a wearable blood pressure monitor, it may make sense to choose an FDA-cleared device designed solely for this purpose.
If you’re looking for a fitness tracker that supplies blood pressure readings, there are many to choose from. Many have the same or nearly the same features and level of accuracy.
When choosing from the many options available, look for manufacturers that offer at least a 1-year warranty, plus free returns or exchanges within 30 days.
Battery life varies among models. Some are waterproof and can be worn while swimming, while others may only be water resistant.
Some sync to both Apple and Android devices, but others don’t, so check before you buy.
It’s hard to know. The best way to check is to compare several readings with a medical-grade device.
Large-scale testing for accuracy hasn’t been done on blood pressure monitor watches or on fitness trackers that contain a blood pressure reading feature.
A few small studies have looked at the accuracy of specific watch models, with uneven results. One of these studies showed positive results, but it was funded by a watch manufacturer. Another
FDA clearance vs. FDA approval
Some blood pressure monitor watches are marketed as FDA-cleared medical devices. FDA clearance isn’t the same thing as FDA approval.
Unlike Class III medical devices that support or sustain life, wrist monitors are categorized as Class I or Class II low-risk medical devices. Low-risk medical devices don’t require FDA approval to be marketed. The FDA doesn’t guarantee the results of the watch you buy.
However, these watches still have benefits. They may give accurate or near-accurate results that provide valuable information; for example, if you have high blood pressure during pregnancy. They may also provide information about how your blood pressure responds to exercise.
Just don’t rely on watches as your sole blood pressure monitoring device. This may be especially important if you have hypertension (high blood pressure) or take medications that make you prone to hypotension (low blood pressure).
Blood pressure monitor watches may provide accurate readings, although this hasn’t been proven in large-scale studies.
To get the most accurate, consistent results, it may make sense to choose a watch designed specifically for this purpose, rather than a fitness tracker that includes this feature.
Blood pressure monitor watches may have benefits for people who wish to test their readings several times a day.
Fitness trackers with this feature may have value for people who wish to track their blood pressure and heart rate before and after exercising.
If you have a health condition such as hypertension, don’t rely on wrist monitors exclusively for your readings. No watch takes the place of monitoring by a healthcare professional.