Monitoring your blood pressure is a great way to see whether your medications or lifestyle changes are helping to bring your blood pressure down. They can also help you to get a feel for how your blood pressure is affected by external and environmental factors, and to keep an eye on key health metrics over time.
Even healthy people should go for routine blood tests. While you might not have a laboratory at home to process your bloodwork, you can at least pick up a home blood pressure machine online.
Measuring your blood pressure regularly is vital, because high blood pressure can lead to heart attacks and strokes, and low blood pressure can cause dizziness and fainting. And so with that in mind, we’ve done the research for you to help identify exactly what to look for when you’re shopping around. Let’s get started.
How to Choose a BP Machine
The internet will be your best friend when you’re looking for a blood pressure monitor. The best way to get started is to run a few searches and to familiarize yourself with what’s out there on the market.
Here are a few tips to bear in mind while you’re comparing different products:
1. Check for Accuracy
Some devices are more accurate than others, and it can be worth paying a little more in exchange for quality. After all, there’s no point in monitoring your vital signs if your measurements are wrong. For best results, find a device that’s been validated by the British Hypertension Society or a local equivalent. Get to know your numbers while you’re at it, so that you can tell whether a measurement is good or not.
2. Read Reviews
It’s a good idea to read product reviews ahead of any online purchase, but it’s particularly important for higher value purchases like home blood pressure machines. Read negative reviews as well as positive ones, and look out for people with similar backgrounds and medical histories.
3. Check for Return Policies
Most reputable providers will offer a returns policy so that you can return or exchange your device if you’re not happy with it. This is important because you might accidentally order the wrong cuff size or end up with a dud device. See what their policies are on recalibration as well, as you may occasionally need to send it back to get it recalibrated to ensure that the readings are still accurate.
4. Find a Self-Inflating Model
Self-inflating blood pressure monitors are typically easier to use and can give more accurate readings when they’re set up correctly. They’ll also compensate for any subtle changes in your body that a manual model might not pick up on.
5. Think about Extra Features
Different blood pressure monitors have different features, so you’ll want to spend some time prioritizing whichever features are most important to you. For example, perhaps you’re sharing the device and you want a digital model that can store information on multiple users. Or, perhaps your vision is a bit poor and you’d require a monitor with a larger display.
6. Think about the Data
One of the major benefits of owning a home blood pressure device is the fact that it helps you to pick up on healthcare data that might otherwise have been missed. That will only get you so far, though. Wherever possible, you’ll want to choose a device that makes it easier for you to share that data, whether that’s through an accompanying smartphone app or by sharing information with your doctor.
7. Don’t be Afraid to Try Different Models
If you’re still not sure which model to go for, you can shortlist a few companies that have 28-day money back guarantees. Then you can try each product one by one, returning them if you’re not satisfied, until you’re left with one that you’re happy with.
Go For It!
Now that you know what to look for in a home blood pressure kit, the next step is for you to start browsing, and see which device is most suitable for you. Bear in mind the tips that we’ve shared here, and when you’re ready, go ahead and take the plunge. It’s one of the best investments you can make.
Alyssa Johnson is a freelance writer who specializes in writing about the medical field. When she’s not writing, she enjoys surfing, reading books or walking with her dog.