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28 June 2021

How we test blood pressure monitors

Which? tests blood pressure monitors using real people in lab conditions. Read on to find out how we separate the Best Buys from the Don't Buys.
CW
Christina Woodger

Our video below shows how a Best Buy blood pressure monitor will make a real, practical difference to you. Read on for more on our tests and how we uncover the most comfortable and accurate blood pressure monitors.

During the course of our tests to find the best blood pressure monitors, we’ve taken more than 1,500 blood pressure readings to bring you our definitive verdict on more than 15 widely available models. 

Our reviews answer your most crucial questions about monitors.

  • Is this blood pressure monitor accurate?
  • Is it simple to set up and use?
  • How comfortable is it to use?
  • How fast is it at taking blood pressure readings?
  • Should I buy it?

Video: how we test blood pressure monitors

Find out which ones give you top-class results every time in our blood pressure monitor reviews.

Is this blood pressure monitor accurate?

In order to test whether a blood pressure monitor will guarantee you consistently accurate results, we use criteria based on three international standards, from the British Hypertension Society, US Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation, and European Hypertension Society. 

We take readings using each of the blood pressure monitors on test and compare them with a manual mercury sphygmomanometer. The mercury sphygmomanometer is considered to be a gold standard measurement and acts as a control in our testing.

Discover the best blood pressure monitors. We test brands including market leader Omron blood pressure monitors.

Is it simple and comfortable to use?

In order to test whether a blood pressure monitor will guarantee you consistently accurate results, we use criteria based on three international standards, from the British Hypertension Society, US Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation, and European Hypertension Society. 

We take readings using each of the blood pressure monitors on test and compare them with a manual mercury sphygmomanometer. The mercury sphygmomanometer is considered to be a gold standard measurement and acts as a control in our testing.

Discover the best blood pressure monitors. We test brands including market leader Omron blood pressure monitors.

How fast does the blood pressure monitor to take readings?

We rate each blood pressure monitor on the time it takes to take a reading. This is based on the length of time in seconds each model takes to complete readings on subjects with normal and large arms. We take readings on both arms.

Should I buy it?

All the assessments listed above go into making the final overall score for each blood pressure monitor we review. And because some factors are more important than others, they carry different weights in our calculations.

The overall test score we award to each blood pressure monitor scores ignores the price of the monitor and is instead based on the following factors:

  • 70% Accuracy
  • 10% Time taken  
  • 10% Ease of use  
  • 10% Comfort 

A model has to achieve 80% or more to earn our Best Buy recommendation. Anything scoring 45% or less is a Don't Buy which you should avoid.