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Guide to Buying the Best Home Blood Pressure Monitor

Amazon.com sells more than 5,000 blood pressure products. Not all are monitors, and some monitors come in dozens of varieties, each with a separate Amazon.com listing. But still, hundreds of home monitors are on the market. Where do you start?

Omron HEM-780 blood pressure monitorHere are a few tips:

Are they accurate?

It is generally agreed that the accuracy of home monitors has improved vastly over the years, making them comparable to professional units. Various studies have confirmed this. In addition, monitoring at home can reduce or eliminate “white coat hypertension” – inflated readings due to tension felt in a medical clinic - essentially making them sometimes more accurate.

Any other reasons to monitor at home?

The British Medical Journal in July 2004 reported an interesting survey which found that patients who monitored at home had “greater reductions in blood pressure measurements and were more likely to achieve their target blood pressure than people who relied on office-based monitoring.” It seems clear that patients like to be involved in monitoring their own health.

What kind of monitors are available?

The most popular are automatic inflation upper arm electronic monitors, which combine convenience with accuracy. Typical is Amazon.com’s top-selling monitor, the Omron HEM-780 (picture). Its list price is around $130, though you can often find it for under $65 at Amazon.com and other online outlets. (Note that Omron is said to account for more than 60 per cent of the home blood pressure monitors sold in the US.)

It is also possible to buy cheaper “semi-automatic” models, that require you to inflate the cuff yourself, but which then give an automatic reading. These do not have the convenience of automatic models, and because of inconsistencies by some users in inflating the cuff, the results can be unreliable.

Finger and wrist units are rapidly growing in popularity. They are easy to use and are convenient for people who have difficulty placing a cuff on the upper arm. But some doctors have cautioned that they lack the accuracy of the upper arm units. A best-selling wrist unit is the Omron HEM-650.

Which are best?

Unfortunately, it’s not easy to find informed and truly objective reviews online of healthcare products. Consumer Reports in September 2008 reviewed blood pressure monitors, but the results are only available to subscribers. See my article Consumer Reports and Blood Pressure Monitors for more detail.

According to an overview of the results:

Automatic arm-type blood-pressure monitors were more accurate, overall, than wrist monitors. Four of the arm models tested were judged to be excellent, partly because of their accuracy:

* Omron Women’s Advanced Elite,
* CVS by Microlife Deluxe Advanced,
* Omron HEM-711AC,
* ReliOn HEM-741CREL, a CR Best Buy at $40.

The British Hypertension Society provides a list of recommended devices. Online sales sites like Amazon.com and Epinions incorporate user reviews for their products.

The most popular

The most popular blood pressure monitors, according to sales made through this site, are:

1. Omron HEM-780 Automatic Blood Pressure Monitor with ComFit Cuff
2. Omron HEM-790IT Automatic Blood Pressure Monitor with Advanced Omron Health Management Software
3. Omron Elite 7300W Womens Avanced Blood Pressure Monitor
4. Omron IntelliSense Automatic Blood Pressure Monitor HEM-711AC (said to be the top selling blood pressure monitor in the US)

Tell me more…

Check my report Home Blood Pressure Monitors – Selected Internet Resources for a small list of links.

And for the latest information, and to see what other customers are buying, check out the following Amazon.com best-seller lists (which are updated hourly):

* Best-Sellers in Blood Pressure Monitors

* Best-Sellers in Automatic Blood Pressure Monitors

* Best-Sellers in Arm Blood Pressure Monitors

* Best-Sellers in Wrist Blood Pressure Monitors

* Best-Sellers in Manual Blood Pressure Monitors

See Also:

Reviews
LifeSource Blood Pressure Monitors
LifeSource UA-767 Auto-Inflate Blood Pressure Monitor
LifeSource UB-328 Wrist Auto Inflate Blood Pressure Monitor
Lumiscope Blood Pressure Monitors
Mark of Fitness Blood Pressure Monitors
Mark of Fitness MF-81 Wrist Blood Pressure Monitor
Omron Elite 7300W Women's Home Blood Pressure Monitor
Omron HEM-432 Manual Blood Pressure Monitor
Omron HEM-711AC Automatic Blood Pressure Monitor
Omron HEM-711DLX Automatic Blood Pressure Monitor
Omron HEM-712C Automatic Blood Pressure Monitor
Omron HEM-773AC Automatic Blood Pressure Monitor
Omron HEM-780 Auto-Inflate Blood Pressure Monitor
Omron HEM-790IT Automatic Blood Pressure Monitor
Omron Wrist Blood Pressure Monitors
Panasonic Blood Pressure Monitors
Panasonic EW3111W Precise Logic Upper Arm Blood Pressure Monitor
Samsung Blood Pressure Monitors
WrisTech Blood Pressure Monitor

Articles
Ambulatory Blood Pressure Monitors - An Introduction
Best Blood Pressure Monitors
Consumer Reports and Blood Pressure Monitors
Guide to Buying the Best Home Blood Pressure Monitor
Home Blood Pressure Monitors - Are They Accurate?
Home Blood Pressure Monitors – Selected Internet Resources
Manual Blood Pressure Monitors
Omron Blood Pressure Monitors - Why Are They So Popular?
Talking Blood Pressure Monitors
Technology Award for LifeSource Telemedicine Blood Pressure Monitors
Welch Allyn Blood Pressure Monitors
Wrist Blood Pressure Monitors - Should I Buy One?

Updated October 19th, 2009

 

 

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