Whether your doctor has advised you to begin regularly checking your blood pressure at home or you simply have a personal interest in monitoring your health more closely, you can measure and record your blood pressure in just a few minutes with a blood pressure monitor. No who has ever visited a doctor’s office is a stranger to a blood pressure monitor — more formally known as a sphygmomanometer, it includes an inflatable cuff that, when pressurized, impedes the flow of blood in your artery. A meter measures the difference between the impeded and unimpeded blood flow, and there you have it: your blood pressure.
Taking a blood pressure reading is pretty straightforward. You don’t need to be a medical professional to do it, which is why at-home blood pressure testing is so common. As long as you follow the directions that come with your chosen blood pressure monitor and don the cuff properly, it’s generally pretty foolproof.
But your choice of blood pressure monitor does matter. First question: Is it accurate? The best blood pressure monitors are medically validated, which means they should be accurate, calibrated, and give results close to what you’d see in the doctor’s office — just look for terms like medically validated, clinically validated, or FDA cleared for assurance. If in doubt, keep the receipt and take the purchase to your doctor’s office. There, your doctor can use it and compare it to their own monitor. If the systolic pressure is within about 10 points of the doctor’s reading, it’s fine for at-home use. If not, get a refund.
And while most blood pressure monitors intended for home use are automatic models that wrap around the upper arm, there are exceptions. Steer clear of non-automatic monitors that require you to use a stethoscope.
Beyond that, you can choose among standalone monitors with simple digital displays and smart models that sync with your phone and other health and fitness apps and equipment. These devices should upload and share your data in compliance with HIPAA guidelines, but that’s something else to watch for if you have concerns about your personal privacy.
Best Overall Blood Pressure Monitor
Beurer Bluetooth Upper Arm Blood Pressure Monitor
Beurer is a highly respected name in blood pressure monitors, and the company’s BM67 is a great mid-priced model that works easily and reliably, with enough extra features to justify stepping up from a very basic budget monitor. It’s clinically validated and displays the results on an oversized display. In fact, the handful of controls are all large and well marked — a reassuring interface for someone who might be nervous about conducting at-home blood pressure tests.
Your results are easy to interpret thanks to a color-coded system that lets you quickly assess if your blood pressure is outside the nominal range without needing to interpret the systolic and diastolic values. And in addition to reporting the usual heart rate data, it also monitors for heart rhythm disturbances and displays a warning if detected.
While some monitors allow you to separately test up to two people, the BM67 allows for as many as four users and records a history of the last 30 test results for each — in most cases, enough for the entire family. You can optionally connect to your smartphone and sync the results with the iOS or Android Beuer HealthCoach app. It’s not the most full-featured blood pressure monitor app, but it does help integrate your results with other daily fitness and health data.
Best Smart Blood Pressure Monitor
QardioArm Wireless Blood Pressure Monitor
The QardioArm Wireless Blood Pressure Monitor doesn’t look like a typical blood pressure monitor thanks to the large, brick-like gadget affixed to the cuff. But despite its appearance, it’s easy to put on and simple to use. It’s also clinically validated — so while it’s always a good idea to bring a new monitor to your doctor’s office to make sure it’s accurate, this one already validated and FDA cleared — something not all monitors can claim. Speaking of accuracy, the QardioArm can automatically perform a triple measurement to ensure an accurate reading.
There are no controls or display on the QardioArm itself; it syncs with your phone via Bluetooth, where you can launch a reading with the tap of a button in the QardioArm app for either Android or iPhone. The app is especially user friendly, with screens designed not just to show you your numbers, but explain their meaning in context, and it flags important indicators like irregular heartbeat. It’s particularly versatile on the iPhone, where the app works with Apple Watch (you can run a test and see the results directly from the watch), though it also works with Alexa, Google Fit, and other services, and you can also use the app to share your results directly with your doctor.
Best Portable Blood Pressure Monitor
Withings BPM Connect with Carrying Case
A lot of heart rate monitors are fairly portable — especially “smart” monitors like the Withings BPM Connect that aren’t attached to a display via hoses or cables. But the Withings BPM Connect comes ready for the road thanks to the included hard-shell case. The whole thing is a compact 6.5 x 3.5 x 2.9 inches, easily tossed into any bag, case or backpack.
No matter where you choose to use it, the Withings is especially easy to set up and use. Yes, this is a smart cuff that works with an excellent app for both iPhone and Android, but you don’t need the phone to be nearby to take a reading. Just press the button on the cuff, then see the results, color coded for clarity. If your phone isn’t nearby, no worries: it can upload your results to the cloud via Wi-Fi. That said, the app provides useful additional context for your results, integrates with the iPhone’s Apple Health service, and lets you check your history and share data with your doctor or others. It also comes FDA cleared and validated right out of the box.
Best Blood Pressure Monitor with EKG
Omron Complete with EKG
If you’re looking for more in-depth information about your heart health than just your blood pressure, Omron’s Complete blood pressure monitor also has the ability to record your EKG. You probably don’t need EKG results unless your cardiologist recommends doing at-home testing, and priced around $200, it’s on the expensive side as well.
That said, if you doctor does ask for this, getting an EKG from Omron Complete is about as easy as getting your blood pressure taken (and in fact both tests happen at the same time). Traditionally, an EKG requires attaching electrodes, but to use the Omron Complete, you just touch your thumbs to a pair of sensors. The results are displayed right on your smartphone (iOS or Android) and can be saved or shared.
It’s worth pointing out that the first time you perform an EKG with the Omron Complete, you can’t see your EKG until it is automatically uploaded to a board-certified cardiologist, analyzed, and you are then sent a free medical interpretation. After you get the report on your EKG — a day or so later — you are cleared to perform additional EKGs and see your results in real time.
For blood pressure readings, the monitor comes medically validated so it’s calibrated right from the start. A smartphone is required for the EKG display, but you can see the blood pressure data right on the monitor if your phone isn’t handy. You’ll also want to use the app to check your heart data history and to share information with your doctor.
Best Budget-Friendly Blood Pressure Monitor
iHealth Track Wireless Blood Pressure Monitor
One of the least expensive FDA-cleared blood pressure monitors on the market, you can get this accurate and easy-to-use device for under $40. It’s simple and straightforward; the monitor has a large color display and color-codes your results as red, yellow, or green to signal if your results are nominal or a potential cause for extra attention. It also monitors for heart rhythm disturbances, something that not many blood pressure monitors do, and certainly not many in this price range.
The monitor can record and store up to 99 readings on the device itself, but it can optionally connect to the iHealth app on your iPhone or Android device via Bluetooth. The app supports unlimited readings.
Best Blood Pressure Monitor for Multiple Users
Omron Evolv Bluetooth Blood Pressure Monitor
You might not usually think about the aesthetics of blood pressure monitors, but the Omron Evolv is a gorgeous device. It’s an all-in-one unit with the display and control mounted on the cuff. Not only are there no tubes or wires, but you can see your results without reaching for a phone. That said, the Evolv sync with your phone via Bluetooth, giving you access to a wealth of additional features via the Omron app for iOS or Android.
If you are sharing this monitor with others, the app is at the ready with the ability accommodate any number of users and an unlimited history of readings for each user. Omron goes above and beyond here, because most blood pressure monitors, if they support saving data for multiple users at all, generally allow for just two users; some can handle four. With the Evolv, there’s no limit.
The Evolv is clinically validated, and Omron claims to achieve better accuracy than most other monitors by assessing more data points, which allows it to eliminate the routine interference that occurs through incidental arm movements.
Best Wrist Blood Pressure Monitor
Omron 7 Series Wireless Wrist Blood Pressure Monitor
Most blood pressure monitors — both in the doctor’s office and at home — cuff your upper arm, and for good reason. The American Heart Association specifically recommends upper arm measurements, because that’s the most accurate way to take a measurement. But upper arm cuffs don’t work for everyone; if you’re injured or there are other physical limitations keeping you from taking your blood pressure that way, you can consider the wrist to be Plan B. The Omron 7 Series wrist monitor is a single unit that integrates the controls and display on the wrist-mounted cuff.
The clinically validated monitor has on-screen guidance to help you take the reading with your wrist in the right position and at the proper level compared to your heart. It also detects irregular heartbeats and has a hypertension warning that appears when your systolic measurement exceeds 130.
You can store a history of up to 90 readings on the Omron 7 Series, and it optionally connects to your iOS or Android phone via Bluetooth to store an unlimited number of readings in the Omron app.