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Blood pressure readings change throughout the day based on your activity level. If your blood pressure is consistently high, your risk may increase for conditions such as heart disease, stroke, or heart attack.
Whether you’ve received a diagnosis of high blood pressure (also called hypertension) or not, taking your blood pressure often and tracking the results can alert you to changes that might need medical attention.
That’s where an at-home blood pressure monitor can come in handy.
The American Heart Association recommends using an upper arm blood pressure monitor for testing.
However, this may not be practical for people who have upper arms that are more than 17 inches in circumference. Upper arm blood pressure monitors may be harder to use by yourself.
Using a wrist blood pressure monitor is a viable alternative you can use both at home and in medical settings when an upper arm monitor is not practical.
When used correctly, wrist monitors can be accurate.
While no at-home monitor eliminates the need to see a doctor regularly, the wrist blood pressure monitors on this list can be useful for supplying information for you and your doctor.
Blood pressure monitors measure two types of pressure, systolic and diastolic.
Systolic pressure is the top number. It’s the pressure that occurs when your heart is beating and pushing blood through your arteries.
Diastolic pressure is the bottom number. It’s the pressure that occurs when your heart is filling with blood between heartbeats.
Wrist and upper arm blood pressure monitors work in the same way:
- A cuff is inflated tightly over the wrist or arm, blocking blood flow through the artery.
- As the cuff deflates and reaches your systolic pressure, blood flow resumes around the artery. This creates blood sounds, or vibrations, that the blood pressure monitor detects.
- The vibrations stop when your diastolic pressure is reached.
In researching wrist blood pressure monitors, we found that many products have a lot of complaints and poor reviews. So, we made sure to include only monitors that get more positive reviews than negative ones.
We looked for products that come from manufacturers with good overall reputations, and have features such as ease of use, accuracy, and warranties as well as low cost or free shipping.
Wrist blood pressure monitors cost about the same as upper arm monitors.
Many wrist blood pressure monitors are less expensive than blood pressure monitor watches, but they may cost more than fitness trackers that have a blood pressure monitoring feature.
The monitors on this list cost between $20 and $50 dollars. We’ve indicated cost as follows:
- $ = $20–$30
- $$ = $31–$50
This battery-operated wrist monitor has Food and Drug Administration (FDA) clearance as a low-risk medical device.
It weighs less than 1 pound and comes in black or white. It measures blood pressure and heart rate in large, easy-to-read numbers. It also includes a color-coded indicator of your readings that corresponds to the American Heart Association blood pressure categories.
You can wirelessly sync and record your measurements to the MOCACARE app on your smartphone. You can use the app to differentiate readings between multiple users.
A streamlined carrying case is included.
This one-touch monitor records blood pressure and irregular heartbeat during readings. It’s easy to use and read.
It stores up to 60 readings and includes a risk category index.
This monitor is a good choice for someone who prefers a low tech, simple device that doesn’t require syncing to an app.
It comes with a 5-year warranty.
Shipping is free, either to your home or to a local Walgreens store.
This FDA-cleared monitor has a one-button operation system and a built-in speaker, making it easy to use.
It has a large screen to display readings.
It records blood pressure and detects irregular heartbeat. A red, yellow, and green bar on the side provides visual analysis of your reading.
It does not keep a record of readings.
It ships free anywhere in the world and comes with a 30-day, risk-free guarantee.
This white and turquoise monitor has a large backlit display screen and a touch-button operating system.
It measures blood pressure and has an irregular heartbeat detector.
It stores 60 readings at one time.
Free shipping and a 100-day, money-back guarantee are included.
This monitor stores up to 30 readings for two users each and has a memory averaging function.
In addition to an irregular heartbeat sensor, it has an excessive body motion sensor, which tells you if your movements are strong enough to skew your blood pressure reading results.
This monitor has a shorter length cuff than some other monitors. It may not fit people who have very large or thick wrists.
It comes with a 5-year warranty.
One of the main differences between wrist blood pressure monitors is whether they sync to an app or not. If you’re interested in keeping a long-term record of your readings, a Bluetooth-enabled monitor may be best for you.
Some wrist monitors won’t provide enough space for larger wrists. Take note of the strap length if this is a concern.
If you’re interested in taking your blood pressure during or after exercise, a blood pressure may be better than a wrist monitor. Blood pressure wrist monitors are only meant to be worn when you’re using them to take readings.
Before buying, take note of the name and reputation of the manufacturer, plus the warranties or guarantees they provide.
Also check the seller’s reputation for details such as shipping time and cost, as these may vary for the same product.
Steps for taking a blood pressure reading with a wrist monitor
- Before you begin the reading, sit still and relax for a few minutes. Keep your legs uncrossed.
- Keep your wrist at heart level. This may be easiest to do if you keep your elbow bent and resting on a hard surface.
- Most manufacturers suggest taking readings from your inner left wrist. So, orient the monitor or display so it’s over your inner wrist. Don’t wear the monitor like a watch.
- Do not move or talk during readings.
Blood pressure wrist monitors can provide accurate results when they’re used correctly.
To ensure that your results are accurate, only buy a monitor from a trusted manufacturer that offers a money-back guarantee or warranty.
Blood pressure wrist monitors are relatively inexpensive. Even so, you want to buy one that will last and that you can trust.
If possible, test your monitor’s results against readings you receive at your doctor’s office. If your monitor is not accurate, return it.