High blood pressure causes various health problems, so it should be recognized in time. On the other hand, too low a blood pressure does not lead to any health problems – at most to circulatory dysfunction and fatigue. Nevertheless, it is important – especially for the sick and elderly – to control the blood pressure again and again. For this reason, many manufacturers have produced a small sphygmomanometer, which allows you to monitor your blood pressure regularly in a private setting. You can also use these handy devices on the move – for example, at work or on vacation.
Top 10 Blood Pressure Monitors
Important criteria for choosing the sphygmomanometer
At Stern.de we would like to introduce you not only to the products, but to recommend important criteria for the purchase decision. For this reason, we now show you what to look for when buying and what features a sphygmomanometer offers.
How does a blood pressure monitor work?
Blood pressure can be measured in two different ways:
- at the wrist
- on the upper arm
The measurement method on the upper arm is the safest because then the cuff is at heart level. Thus, a wrong result is largely prevented. If you want to measure your blood pressure on the wrist, you must make sure that you hold the arm at the level of your heart. This also prevents a wrong result. You should also sit down quietly a few minutes before the measurement and if possible, do not drink coffee or alcohol. What else you need to keep in mind is usually in the manual of the sphygmomanometer. Most importantly, the cuff is always placed correctly. Some of the high-quality devices we’ve introduced will tell you if the cuff is not seated properly.
How does measuring blood pressure work? The cuff is inflated so far in the course of the measurement until no more blood flows through the vein. An independent drain valve now ensures that this pressure is released slowly. Now your blood pressure is also being measured.
What functions does a sphygmomanometer have?
Most sphygmomanometers do more than just measuring blood pressure:
- Detection of cardiac arrhythmias
- Date and time display
- WHO classification
- storage options
- The pulse measurement works both on the upper arm blood pressure monitor and on the wrist blood pressure monitor. In order to achieve a correct result, you have to sit down a few minutes before the measurement.
- Some of the devices presented above also have a history of cardiac arrhythmias. If one is detected, a message is displayed. Some manufacturers then flash a heart symbol.
- The date and time display is usually used to save the result with the appropriate date and time. In this way, you can make a professional check of your blood pressure over a longer period of time.
- WHO classification: In the so-called traffic light system, the measured result is displayed not only in numbers but also via the color scale. If your blood pressure is normal, then it will be sorted in the green area. Too high a blood pressure is always displayed in the red area and some manufacturers still use intermediate colors – in any case, still a yellow area. As an alternative to the colors, there are devices that only display a gray zone. In the case of hypertension, this would then light up red. Sometimes the values defined by the WHO are given in numbers.
- Memory function: Most devices can store at least 30 results – sometimes even up to 180. Often you can then create two or even more different users and everyone can save their own values. In addition, there is the mean value function: Here, an average value is calculated from several results.
What do the values mean?
Each blood pressure is composed of two values, colloquially referred to as upper and lower blood pressure. The technical names are as follows: There are systolic and diastolic values. The systolic value is measured while the heart muscles contract, and the diastolic value results from the wall tension – here also possibly existing arteriosclerosis plays a role. According to WHO, the following classification applies:
|Optimal||systolic to 120||diastolic to 80|
|high blood pressure||systolic from 140||diastolic from 90|
Measure blood pressure at the right time
Of course, these values are just a guide, and you’ll need to consider many factors when dividing your blood pressure. The blood pressure measurement thus always represents only a control function and never replaces a doctor. However, it is often important to measure blood pressure more frequently in order to detect hypertension as early as possible. To get a professional result here, you should measure your blood pressure three times a day: morning, noon and night.
Select the right sphygmomanometer
The more often you need to measure your blood pressure – for example, on the advice of your doctor – the easier the operation should be. For this reason, most devices are similar in their operation: With the start button the measurement is initiated and with the memory button you can save the result. If you can create several users, then there is still a set button on the device.
In order to be able to read the result quickly, the numbers are displayed very large for each device. For this reason, every device is also suitable for older people. Sometimes the manufacturers opted for a backlight, then you can read the result very well at night. Apart from the ease of use, you must pay attention to the size of the cuff. All manufacturers indicate the length of the wrist or upper arm cuff. Of course, to decide if this cuff will fit you first need to measure your girth.
As a rule, all fully automatic blood pressure monitors are operated with batteries. Among other things, this means that you can use the device anywhere. Some devices have the option to connect a power supply as an additional function. If you already suffer from high blood pressure, then the devices are useful, either have a WHO classification or display a high blood pressure in color. Also useful is the additional function of detecting cardiac arrhythmias. For mobile use, the sphygmomanometers are very small and easily produced. Often these are then delivered together with a carrying case.
Pay attention to the possible measurement deviation when purchasing. This is always stated by the manufacturer and you should not accept a deviation of more than 3 mmHg. If you would like to use the sphygmomanometer for two, then a device is useful in which you can create several users. Then everyone benefits from their own storage space. In terms of storage capacity, there are big differences: between 30 and 180 measurements can be stored per device.
The price takes a lower value since all devices are relatively inexpensive and move between 20 and 50 euros. The design, on the other hand, could even be the deciding factor if all functions are involved. There are many devices that are produced in white or gray and only a few exceptions in black or silver.
The cleaning of the sphygmomanometer
You can always clean your blood pressure monitor with a damp cloth. If you have concerns about germs, then a simple disinfectant spray is suitable. If the manufacturer recommends a specific spray, this is mentioned in the instruction manual.
The cuff can be taken apart in many cases and then washed by hand – at a maximum of 30 degrees Celsius. Alternatively, it is also possible to use a damp cloth.
Does the sphygmomanometer need to be calibrated?
The blood pressure monitor is one of the medical devices and is subject to the Medical Devices Act. Doctors and pharmacists are required to check sphygmomanometers every two years and possibly to have them re-calibrated. For private users, this rule does not apply. However, many manufacturers offer to check the device for free during the warranty period.