Pick the right blood pressure monitor and it should last you a long time, allowing you to track changes that you can share with a medical professional. Read our expert guide if you want to find the perfect blood pressure monitor for you.
In our expert guide on how to buy the best blood pressure monitor, we explain which key features you should be looking out for when shopping. We can also reveal which popular retailers stock a wide selection of models and have included links to our expert blood pressure monitor reviews.
As our buying guide video above explains, there are two types of blood pressure monitor: those with a cuff on your upper arm, or those with a cuff on the wrist. But what's the difference between the two?
Blood pressure monitors use batteries – usually up to four AAA or AA. Some blood pressure monitors can also be plugged into the mains, but not all of these models have a mains adaptor included. Check in with our to see which batteries last the longest.
How long a blood pressure monitor takes is an important feature if you dislike the process and want it over with as quickly as possible, or don't have a lot of time to take your blood pressure.
Blood pressure monitors can take anything from just over 20 seconds to more than a minute per reading, with wrist monitors generally providing results more quickly.
Our expert reviews can tell you which Best Buy monitors can guarantee accurate readings, but you may still be bamboozled by the many different features. So how do you decide which type of blood pressure monitor you need, and how much to spend? Below, we've rounded up some common blood pressure monitor features.
Some blood pressure monitors record the date and time every time a reading is saved. This can help you track your blood pressure over time, identify patterns and trends, and share data easily with a health professional. Not all blood pressure monitors can do this, so check the packaging if you consider this a vital feature.
Some blood pressure monitors have a data averaging function – this usually means the machine will average the last three or so readings for you. There are variations on this – for example, showing data on a graph rather than, or as well as, numerically or averaging data over a longer period.
Data averaging could be very useful if you're tracking blood pressure over time and sharing results with a health professional, or have an additional risk factor, such as diabetes.
But if you are a dab hand at Microsoft Excel, you could equally summarise your data with a spreadsheet or even using old-fashioned pen and paper.
This is a useful extra that will tell you whether you have an arrhythmia: a problem with the rate or rhythm of the heartbeat. During an arrhythmia, the heart can beat too fast, too slow, or with an irregular rhythm.
Arrhythmia doesn't usually have symptoms, so this may be a feature you'd value in keeping an eye out for potential problems and flagging them with your GP.
This alerts you to whether your blood pressure reading falls within recommended levels, which could be useful if you’re not having your blood pressure regularly monitored by a health professional or if you don't always remember the recommended limits.
But if you're good at monitoring this yourself, you might not want to pay extra for fancier features to keep an eye on whether your blood pressure is within recommended limits.
Some blood pressure monitors collect and store readings for one user, and some can do this for as many as six people.
The ability to store readings can be useful if you have more than one person with hypertension in your household, or want to pool your money for a model with fancier features, rather than have two basic monitors.
Out of those models that can store readings, the amount of readings they can remember varies, but can be up to 60 recordings.
Some blood pressure monitors can link wirelessly to your smartphone or tablet. This is great if you want to view and track your readings electronically and store data across your devices, especially if you already track other health data on your phone or tablet, such as activity levels, calories or weight, and want it all in one place.
However, this functionality is certainly not essential, and you'll pay a premium for this technology.
A minority of blood pressure monitors allow you to download your data onto a PC. In some cases, the machine comes with a memory stick to aid the process. While this could be a bonus if you're sharing readings with a health professional, you'll find this a step too far if you just want basic readings.
When you're shopping online for a blood pressure monitor, make sure you’re handing over your money to a reputable seller. Check the retailer's returns policy and have a look at some customer reviews. Our advice guide on has more details.
Popular retailers that stock blood pressure monitors include:
Not all blood pressure monitors are equal when it comes to accuracy, and comparing models in the shop won’t be enough to know which will report your data correctly every time.
We know how serious the wrong blood pressure reading could prove and we simply can’t recommend an inaccurate tracker – we make them Which? Don't Buys automatically.