Last updated: August 12, 2021

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Hello! Welcome to ReviewBox Brasil. Changes in blood pressure are among the main causes of cardiovascular diseases. Those who are prone to heart problems need to take care of themselves, and one of the ways to do this is by using a blood pressure monitor.

By monitoring your pressure changes at home it is possible to know in advance if you need to go to the doctor to have your heart checked. This has brought more convenience and even a more peaceful and healthy life for many people. Nowadays there is a great diversity of models of blood pressure monitors. To ensure that you choose the best one for your needs, we will tell you more about the best models and what you should evaluate before buying. Come along with us!




First things first

  • There are two main types of pressure gauge: manual and digital. Before purchasing yours, you need to know what kind of use they are suitable for. Oh, and you also need to consider whether it is used on the arm or on the wrist.
  • Measuring blood pressure at home is not as simple as it seems, however, when you learn how to do it the right way, it can give you more autonomy and safety to deal with cardiovascular problems.
  • The blood pressure monitor serves only as a complement to your periodic medical appointments. One does not replace the other, the ideal is that they be done together.

The Best Pressure Gauge: Our Picks

Buying Guide

With so many options of blood pressure monitors, it is easy to get confused about which one to buy. Therefore, we will give you some tips on how to choose your device, including the ideal size, choosing a digital or manual model, among others. Follow us and find out everything to keep your health monitored!

A foto mostra visão de cima de uma mesa. Uma pessoa está com o braço esticado com um manguito em volta dele e outra, aparentemente um profissional da saúde, está medindo sua pressão.

Measuring your pressure at the doctor's regularly is essential, but nowadays it is possible to do the process at home as well. (Source: rawpixel / Pixabay)

What are the advantages and disadvantages of the blood pressure meter?

Cardiovascular diseases are very common in Brazil and the world and many people end up being victims of heart attacks and strokes. However, according to experts, 80% of the occurrences could be avoided.

Besides the known methods of prevention, such as healthier habits, physical exercise and balanced diet, measuring blood pressure frequently is essential for those who have heart problems or genetic history. According to a study carried out with researchers, people who measure their blood pressure at home manage to improve their habits so that they no longer alter their pressure.

A imagem mostra um braço e uma mão com um medidor de pressão digital no pulso.

Patients who measure their blood pressure at home feel more confident and can observe the effectiveness of the medication. (Source: Gadini / Pixabay)

However, it's not always all so simple and easy. Other people who measure at home have shown different results, such as misinterpretation of the pressure values. In addition, the device needs to have the calibration checked with a certain frequency and is not so simple to use. To obtain the benefits that the blood pressure monitor can offer for your health, it is essential to ask for direct guidance from your cardiologist. This way, you will know exactly how to make the best use of the device.

Advantages
  • Helps to improve the quality of life
  • Helps to prevent cardiovascular diseases
  • Brings more peace of mind and confidence to people with cardiovascular problems
  • Allows the patient to participate more actively in the medical consultation
  • The patient can better observe the effectiveness of medication
  • Provides great cost-benefit
Disadvantages
  • It is not so simple to use
  • If you are not well informed, the patient may interpret it in the wrong way
  • It is necessary to consult a doctor before starting to use

Isn't it enough to measure the pressure at the doctor's?

Of course a visit to the doctor is important and essential, both to find out how to measure pressure at home and to meditate in the right way. However, it is not always that we go to the doctor. In everyday life, it is important to observe your body outside of situations that can be stressful. The commute to your doctor's office, for example, can affect your blood pressure.

Factors such as traffic, pollution and delays can create stress for the patient. Also, by taking your blood pressure at home you can become more active in your appointments. You can observe on a daily basis whether your medication is working or whether your previous medication was better, for example.

Mão e braço com um medidor de pressão no pulso.

Taking pressure at home helps to avoid cardiovascular diseases and complements visits to the doctor. (Source: McRonny / Pixabay)

The process of measuring at home also helps a lot to prevent heart attacks and strokes. With the pressure meter, you are able to assess every day whether there is a drop or rise in your average pressure.

How do I take my blood pressure at home?

As we have already said, the first step to start using the home blood pressure monitor is to visit your doctor. However, it is necessary to take some care before doing this process to ensure that the result will be correct:

  1. Prefer to take your blood pressure when you wake up, before having breakfast;
  2. Keep your back straight when taking your blood pressure;
  3. Use the gauge before taking your medicines;
  4. Let the arm slightly flexed with the palm upwards, always leaving the forearm supported;
  5. Take the blood pressure when you are relaxed. Urinate first and rest for 5 minutes;
  6. Leave the legs stretched to ensure a good blood flow;
  7. Give preference to the left arm;
  8. Preferably take the blood pressure without cold sweaters or blankets;
  9. Do not try to measure blood pressure only using your fingers and a watch, because the chances of going wrong are high.

By taking these steps before measuring your pressure, you are more likely to ensure correct and accurate results.

What are the different types of pressure gauge?

There are two main types of pressure gauge: the digital and the manual. The manual is the best known, as it was the only one available for many years and could only be found in hospitals. The digital model came to facilitate the life of those who do not know very well how to use this device, but like to measure pressure at home. See the main differences between them:

Manual blood pressure monitor

Also known as sphygmomanometers, the manual blood pressure monitor has an inflatable cuff and two tubes. Because they are a little more complicated to handle, this type is more suitable for doctors and healthcare professionals. They have a rubber bulb, stethoscope and analogue display. However, despite being difficult to use, they are usually more precise and reliable. For this reason, periodic visits to the doctor are indispensable.

Imagem foca em um medidor de pressão manual com manguito azul escuro.

The manual blood pressure monitor needs to be used together with the stethoscope and is indicated for professional use. (Source: soc7 / Pixabay)

Digital Blood Pressure Meter

Digital models are the most common for home use, as they are simpler to understand and do not require an expert ear to check the heartbeat through the stethoscope. Its digital display indicates the pressure and they usually even have a memory that saves the last results. This makes it much easier when making comparisons. These devices usually have a very affordable price and are very worthwhile for those who have a history of cardiovascular problems.

Manual Blood Pressure Meter Digital Blood Pressure Meter
Advantages It is usually more precise and reliable Easier to use and intuitive. It is not necessary to use a stethoscope. In addition, they have features such as memory of previous pressures
Disadvantages Its use is much more complex, because it requires someone with a medical ear to use the stethoscope They are not as accurate as the manual meter
Indication Doctors and health professionals Home use by patients with a history of cardiovascular problems
Average Price R$ 300 R$ 100

How to use the cuff?

Some blood pressure monitors come with the cuff, which is nothing more than the "band" that will be placed around the wrist or arm to make the measurement. When used on the arm, it should be positioned 2 cm above the bend of the arm. In the case of handheld gauges, to measure, you need to press the hand pump for it to inflate.

On the other hand, in the digital blood pressure meters, more common for home use, the use of the cuff is simpler. By pressing a button, it will inflate and deflate by itself, while you see the pressure on the display. That is, if you intend to measure the pressure alone at home, prefer the digital model. Besides not having to inflate the cuff, it is much simpler to use.

How much does it cost?

The price of a blood pressure monitor can vary a lot. More precise devices, indicated for medical or professional use, can reach more than R$ 2 thousand. The cheaper ones, which are usually manual models, may be found starting at R$ 60. The digital ones also cost from this value, but the better quality models usually vary between R$ 90 and R$ 160. Always go for a good quality device, even if it's a little more expensive, because they last longer and provide better cost-benefit.

Medidor de pressão manual com manguito preto e estetoscópio.

The manual pressure meter for professional use is usually a little more expensive. (Source: Bru-nO / Pixabay)

Purchase criteria: Factors to evaluate a blood pressure monitor

There is a wide variety of blood pressure monitors available in large shops and pharmacies. So that you are not left in doubt, here are some of the things you need to evaluate before making your purchase:

  • Measurement site
  • Cuff size
  • Memory
  • Features
  • Usability
  • Warranty
  • Calibration time

We will explain each of the items so you can safely measure your pressure at home!

Measurement site

The main pressure gauge models can be used in two different places: on the arm or on the wrist. The one that is placed around the arm has a cuff, while the other is wrapped around the wrist. Despite being more practical, the gauges used on the wrist may not be as effective. The pressure is measured more effectively with the arm horizontal, at heart level. For this reason, the ideal is to prefer the models of pressure meter that can be used on the arm.

Cuff Size

As only the arm blood pressure monitors have cuffs, this question is only important for those looking for this type of model. Although they can be adjusted according to your needs, not all devices have the ideal size cuff for each person. As the size of the arm changes, it is necessary to purchase the correct meter. They are usually divided into sizes and it is necessary to measure the arm of the person who will use the meter before making the purchase. To choose more safely, see the table of sizes and measurements:

Size Measure
S 18 to 22 cm
M 22 to 32 cm
G 32 to 45 cm

Memory

Keeping a diary with your measurements is essential. However, we do not always remember to write it down or are close to the notebook. Therefore, the memory function, present in most digital blood pressure monitors, is essential for you to keep track of your history and even show it to the doctor. Some devices have memory for up to 120 records, which can be used by more than one person. If you sometimes forget to write it down, this is essential at the time of purchase.

Resources

Besides the ability of some meters to store up to 120 blood pressure results in its memory, some devices still offer other features. There are those that have a cardiac arrhythmia indicator, graphic indicator of hypertension level and even automatic calculation of the average of the last measurements. Of course, having enough resources usually means more expensive devices, but if they are useful for your needs, it is worth investing.

Medidor de pressão digital com alguns números na tela.

It is worth investing in a model of digital blood pressure monitor with useful features for you. (Source: tbit / Pixabay)

Usability

Some pressure gauges are a little more complex than others. The manual, for example, requires a lot of knowledge and experience, not least because you need to use the stethoscope to assess accurately. However, even among digital blood pressure monitors there are those that are simpler to use and those that are more complex.

Those with several functions and features are usually a little more difficult to use. There are simpler and more intuitive models. Prefer those that have a simpler usability. However, if you are having difficulties, read the instruction manual and ask your cardiologist.

Warranty

The cheapest meters are not always the cheapest. The most affordable models usually offer a lesser warranty, which means that if it breaks, you will have to buy another one. It is possible to find some devices that have up to a 5-year warranty. If you use your blood pressure monitor often enough, think long-term. An extended warranty ensures greater comfort for you and better value for money. h

Calibration time

All pressure monitors need to be calibrated with a certain frequency. This should be facilitated and done by the manufacturer. Most models need to be calibrated every 2 years. Check this before purchasing yours. Also, it is important to consider whether the calibration needs to be paid for or free and if there is a place near your home where you can do it.

(Featured image source: geraldoswald62 / Pixabay)

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