I am reviewing what I think are the 4 best blood pressure monitors for home use over the next week including:
- Kinetik Upper Arm Blood Pressure Monitor BPM1C
- IBP Upper Arm Blood Pressure Monitor HL868ZA
- Omron M7 Digital Blood Pressure Monitor
- HoMedics Upper Arm Blood Pressure Monitor BPA-2000-EU
I will be giving you all the pros and cons of each one, including:
- the price
- their accuracy
- their reading time
- value for money
- ease of use and clarity of display
I have purposely ignored all the wrist monitors purely because so many people have a problem getting an accurate reading from them. This is probably not because of the units themselves but more to do with the ease of placing the monitor correctly on the wrist. The cuff monitors are renowned for being generally more accurate because the cuff is placed on a larger area ie. the upper arm and this placement is not quite so critical as the wrist monitor placement.
So here’s the first monitor and I think this one, is actually one of the best on the market for value for money and simplicity of use. It would make a great Christmas present for that special person. Useful as well as supporting their good health.
Kinetik Upper Arm Blood Pressure
Pros: Very accurate, small and lightweight, good for travelling, clear buttons and display
Cons: Not very comfortable, noisy, lacks extra features. You need to check you have the right sized cuff when purchasing.
This is a very good value monitor at just £20.00 and it is very accurate. No bells and whistles but accuracy is its best attribute.
Ease of use, display and readings
The display is easy to read for those of us who are visually challenged. You probably won’t even have to put your glasses on to look at the result. It has a large start button and can store 60 readings in its memory.
Comfort and cuff sizing
Despite being very accurate, it is not the most comfortable of monitors to use with a firm grip on your arm as it inflates. It also makes a pumping noise which is not ideal for keeping relaxed, something you need to be whilst taking your reading. Tip – always look at a blank wall whilst taking your reading, it does help.
Remember before you buy it, to make sure the cuff supplied will fit you. According to the specification, the standard cuff size supplied is 22.0 – 30.0 cm. This is not that big so measure your mid to upper arm circumference and apply it to the product information. If the cuff is too big for you, the unit will give you a lower than accurate reading and if it is too small it will give a higher reading. You can find information on cuff sizing on their site.
Accuracy and reading time
If you’re not too worried about the tightness of the cuff when it is inflating and you don’t want any extra features other than a 60 readings memory, it’s the ideal choice. Accuracy is the most important feature of a blood pressure monitor. Reading time is not as fast as some but fair to middling at around 45 seconds.
Going on holiday?
It comes with a storage case so is ideal for the traveller so you can use it at home as well as on the road. It’s very compact and light and will easily stow in the corner of an overnight case.
Reviews from verified buyers
This monitor has had over 300 reviews on Amazon UK alone and the majority of customers are really pleased with the unit. Many point out that the ‘Which’ magazine have given it top marks and it is their best buy. Despite being a basic monitor it has been given the top spot because of its accuracy, ease of use and clarity of display as well as being compact and lightweight and ideal for those getaways.
Amazon reviewers give the monitor 4.6 out of 5 stars. I have dropped that a little, simply because of the need to check the cuff size before purchasing. It would appear many people didn’t realise this and have consequently bought the wrong size cuff which will give an inaccurate reading and was inconvenient for them.
I would give this monitor the following scores:
- Accuracy – 5/5
- Reading time – 4/5
- Value for money – 5/5
- Ease of use and visibility – 5/5
- Portability – 5/5
- Comfort – 3/5
Star Rating – 4.5 out of 5
Buy this blood pressure monitor if….
Buy this monitor if you’re looking for exceptional value and simplicity of use. It is actually the best monitor for the price IMHO.
Further information about the Kinetik monitor
- Kinetik are the first in the world to be tested and approved by the BHS ( British Hypertension Society)
- Operated by 4 x AAA sizes batteries (included) and includes a built-in AC adaptor jack (AC power adaptor not included)
- It comes complete with one high quality standard size cuff 22-30 cm – make sure this is your size before buying.
Take your blood pressure correctly
- Do not drink, eat, smoke or exercise for half an hour before taking your blood pressure to ensure an accurate result.
- Sit in an upright position with your arm supported by a table or desk so you apply the correct sized cuff comfortably. Ensure you have the correct cuff for the size of your arm.
- Wrap the cuff around your arm, about 2cm from the elbow joint with the rubber tube coming out centre front. Adjust the tightness of the cuff with your free hand and test that you can get 2 fingers under the cuff. Always apply the cuff next to your skin. Sit upright with your arm at the same level as your heart.
- After fitting the cuff, rest for 5 minutes before pressing the on/off button followed by the start button. The monitor will start your test by expanding the cuff and then slowly releasing the pressure to get the reading.
- Take sets of 2-3 readings twice a day, in the morning before bp medication and then 12 hours later. Repeat the process over the course of several days. Try and keep to the same time each day and use the same room and place of testing each time.
- Keep a record of your bp measurements taking note of dates and times. This is useful especially when taking bp medication. Don’t change your medication without consulting your doctor first.
- Be relaxed, sit for 5 minutes before testing
- Wear loose clothing and apply the cuff next to the skin
- Keep still and don’t talk
- Use the same arm and be consistent with test times
- Keep a written record
- Don’t change your medication without a discussion with a doctor or nurse
The next blood pressure monitor to be tested will be:
IBP Upper Arm Blood Pressure Monitor HL868ZA