Last updated: August 9, 2021

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Welcome to our large upper arm blood pressure monitor test 2021. Here we present all the upper arm blood pressure monitors that we have tested in detail. We have compiled detailed background information and added a summary of customer reviews on the internet.

We would like to make your purchase decision easier and help you find the best blood pressure monitor for you.

You will also find answers to frequently asked questions in our guide. If available, we also offer interesting test videos. Furthermore, you will also find some important information on this page that you should definitely pay attention to if you want to buy a blood pressure monitor for the upper arm.

Contents




Summary

  • Upper arm blood pressure monitors allow you to measure your blood pressure yourself at home or on the go and achieve a precise measurement result.
  • Basically, a distinction is made between digital devices in various designs and price classes, and analogue blood pressure monitors with stethoscope.
  • Digital monitors are suitable for everyone and measure a wide range of body values, whereas analogue monitors only measure blood pressure and require specialist knowledge.

The Best Upper Arm Blood Pressure Monitor: Our Choices

Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying an upper arm blood pressure monitor

What should I look for when buying an upper arm blood pressure monitor?

The most important factors of a blood pressure monitor are reliability, ease of use and a suitable cuff.

In order to get reliable readings, you should make sure that your device has been awarded a seal of approval for measuring accuracy.

Only a suitable, correctly placed upper arm cuff leads to accurate measurement results. (Image source: geraldoswald62 / pixabay.com)

The German Hypertension League regularly checks whether an exact measurement is guaranteed by means of a comprehensive test protocol on at least 96 test persons. However, due to manufacturer's reasons, the test seal is not always printed on the sales package.

Before buying, you should therefore check online whether your blood pressure monitor has been awarded the seal. Especially with medical devices, it is important that the operation is simple and understandable.

Tests on this are carried out by Stiftung Warentest, for example. However, it is important that you can handle the blood pressure monitor yourself.

Therefore, it is recommended that you try out several devices before you decide on your favourite.

A prerequisite for accurate blood pressure measurement is also a suitable cuff for your upper arm.

If it is too loose or too tight, you will get a wrong result. The universal cuff that comes with most devices fits an upper arm circumference between 22 and 42 centimetres.

What are the advantages of an upper arm blood pressure monitor?

Upper arm blood pressure monitors are suitable for everyone and give the most reliable and accurate result.

Due to the close proximity to the heart and the wide cuff, a more accurate result is achieved than with measurements at the wrist.

In this case, it is important to keep the hand as still as possible at the level of the heart, otherwise the blood pressure value will be displayed incorrectly.

Older people, smokers and diabetics in particular should use an upper arm blood pressure monitor, as the arteries may be narrowed, hardened or calcified and a measurement at the wrist is therefore unsuitable.

How much does an upper arm blood pressure monitor cost?

There is a wide price range between the different blood pressure monitors. The cost varies depending on the quality and range of functions. The range goes from about 18 to over 500 euros.

Blood pressure monitors for the upper arm in standard design start at 18 euros, as they have a smaller range of functions than comfort devices.

The comfort version includes more functions and better cuffs and ranges in price from about 50-200 euros.

If you want to take an exact blood pressure measurement several times a day and also determine other values, this model has a reasonable price in our opinion.

Wireless blood pressure monitors linked via Bluetooth offer apps and software programmes that provide a comprehensive analysis of a wide range of body values. The price is correspondingly higher.

Conventional blood pressure measurement with a stethoscope is quite inexpensive, as no other function is possible apart from determining the blood pressure value.

Type Price
Devices in standard design approx. 18-50 euros
Units in comfort version approx. 50-200 euros
Wireless units approx. 50-250 euros
Analogue devices approx. 20-100 euros

One cost that is not included in the price of the device is the batteries or mains cable, which have to be bought separately for some digital blood pressure monitors.

Of course, there are no upper price limits and you can even find blood pressure monitors in the four-digit range.

However, you have to decide for yourself whether this is really necessary for private use and how much a medical device is worth to you.

What are the alternatives to an upper arm blood pressure monitor?

As already mentioned, blood pressure can also be measured on the wrist or even on the finger. Below you can see the advantages and disadvantages of the alternatives to upper arm blood pressure monitors.

Alternative Description
Blood pressure monitors for the wrist Wrist monitors are smaller, handier and cheaper than monitors for the upper arm. However, there is often discussion about the reliability of the measurement, as errors can happen more easily than with measurements on the upper arm. It is important to note - as described above - that this device is not suitable for all people and should be avoided by diabetics and smokers, for example.
Blood pressure monitors for the finger the advantages of finger monitors are their compactness and ease of use. In principle, however, this device is not recommended because the varying blood flow through the finger leads to unreliable measurement. For this reason, only a few - and also expensive - models are now available.

Which device you choose ultimately depends on your own preferences. If you want a blood pressure monitor for on the go, a wrist monitor is more practical.

If you want a reliable device, you are on the safe side with an upper arm blood pressure monitor.

Decision: What types of upper arm blood pressure monitors are there and which one is right for you?

If you want to buy an upper arm blood pressure monitor, you can choose between the following types:

  • Digital devices in standard version
  • Digital devices in comfort version
  • Digital, wireless devices
  • Analogue blood pressure monitors with stethoscope

In 1905, the Russian doctor Nikolai Sergeyevich Korotkov extended Scipione Riva-Rocci's method of measuring blood pressure with a stethoscope. (Image source: 123rf.com / 101598502)

With each of these designs, the operation and range of functions are slightly different. Depending on how often you want to measure your blood pressure and which values you want to read, a different type is suitable for you.

In the following section, we will introduce you to the different devices and try to make your decision easier.

What are the features of a standard digital upper arm blood pressure monitor and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

The inexpensive standard blood pressure monitors can detect the pulse value as well as cardiac arrhythmias.

However, some devices in this price range do not offer an average evaluation and only store the results from a single user.

Battery operation is both an advantage and a disadvantage: on the one hand, it allows you to use the blood pressure monitor on the move, but on the other hand, the cost of the batteries is relatively high.

Unfortunately, the standard version does not have the option of voice output, which is particularly necessary for blind people and often also older people.

Advantages
  • Inexpensive
  • Detects pulse value and cardiac arrhythmia
  • Mobile use due to battery operation
Disadvantages
  • Often no average evaluation
  • No voice output
  • High costs due to batteries

What are the features of a digital upper arm blood pressure monitor in comfort version and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

One advantage of the comfort version is the higher quality cuff, which can be fixed better and is much wider.

By positioning the cuff correctly, sources of error are avoided and a more accurate measurement is taken.

The more expensive models are characterised by a larger memory capacity, where you can set up several users and take multiple measurements to determine important additional information, such as average values or trends.

Disadvantages of upper arm blood pressure monitors in comfort version are the high price and the fact that they are tied to a mains socket, if the device can only be operated with a mains connection.

Advantages
  • Greater range of functions
  • Higher-quality cuff
  • Memory capacity for several users
Disadvantages
  • Higher price
  • Not suitable for travel due to mains connection

What are the advantages and disadvantages of a wireless upper arm blood pressure monitor?

By connecting it to an app or software, you get a very comprehensive measurement function for many different body values.

In addition to blood pressure and pulse, the blood sugar value, blood coagulation value, water content, etc. can also be recorded.

The data that is sent to your smartphone, tablet, laptop or computer offers you a large display function in the form of tables or graphics and also allows you to statistically evaluate your measured values.

The big disadvantage of wireless blood pressure monitors, however, is that they are more complicated to use. Only those who are familiar with pairing devices, downloading and operating software and apps can use this type of upper arm blood pressure monitor.

Advantages
  • Measurements of various body values
  • extensive display and evaluation functions
Disadvantages
  • Handling more complicated
  • High price

What are the features of a manual upper arm blood pressure monitor with stethoscope and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

Analogue blood pressure monitors are usually used by doctors because a precise measurement result is guaranteed.

The disadvantage is that you have to have the necessary expertise to operate this device. In addition, no other value can be determined with the stethoscope method apart from blood pressure.

Advantages
  • Guaranteed precise measurement result
  • Cheap
Disadvantages
  • Expert knowledge required
  • No additional functions

In conclusion, the boundaries between standard and comfort versions are becoming increasingly blurred and there are already some very affordable devices with a similar range of functions to a comfort device.

In addition, due to growing technologies, more and more blood pressure monitors with integrated Bluetooth or wireless pairing will presumably come onto the market in the future and increasingly displace the devices without this function.

Here you can get a broader overview of the different types of blood pressure monitors:

Buying criteria: These are the factors you can use to compare and evaluate upper arm blood pressure monitors

In the following, we will show you which aspects you can use to decide between the many possible upper arm blood pressure monitors.

The criteria you can use to compare the devices with each other include

  • Test seal
  • Cuff size
  • Ease of use
  • Range of functions
  • Memory capacity
  • Power supply

In the following paragraphs, we will explain what is important in the individual criteria.

Seal of approval

Many commercially available measuring devices provide unreliable values. Especially with devices that monitor your health, this can lead to serious or even life-threatening problems.

As already mentioned, it is therefore highly advisable to check whether your blood pressure monitor has been awarded a seal of approval for measuring accuracy by the German Hypertension League.

If there is none on the packaging, check online to see if the device is listed among the tested products.

Cuff size

This criterion is especially important because you will not get a reliable result with a cuff that is too big or too small.

"If the cuff is not worth anything, the readings are wrong."

Most blood pressure monitors come with a universal cuff suitable for an arm circumference between 22-42cm.

If this size does not fit, there are additional XS (16-22cm) or XL (32-48cm) cuffs available for purchase.

Ease of use

To avoid mistakes, it is very important to be familiar with your device at home.

A clear display and unambiguous buttons play just as important a role as comprehensible instructions on how to take measurements and on all the functions of the device.

Many models have a so-called "one-button operation": There is only one button on the device, which shows the blood pressure value, pulse and a possible arrhythmia on the display after pressing it. Incorrect handling is therefore impossible.

As mentioned at the beginning, Stiftung Warentest conducts tests on the user-friendliness of blood pressure monitors. It is highly recommended to look at these test results before buying a device.

Range of functions (mean value, arrhythmia, WHO rating scale, cuff seat control)

The more functions the device has, the better you can keep track of your values and check the function of your heart.

By default, digital devices store your last measured values, but not all of them can record an average value.

For better control and a more meaningful assessment of your blood pressure, you should look for this feature when buying a device.

Arrhythmia detection on the device indicates any arrhythmia.

Arrhythmia can be present despite good blood pressure readings, so this feature is crucial to prevent risks of heart attack and stroke.

Some blood pressure measurement apps even offer an integrated reminder function for taking medication. (Image source: pixabay.com / stevepb)

The World Health Organisation has established an assessment scale for blood pressure levels that apply to people of all ages.

Many blood pressure monitors are equipped with this WHO indicator and help you to see whether your blood pressure is OK or not. The indicator is particularly easy to read if it is shown as a traffic light scale.

Modern devices often have a cuff fit control that shows whether the cuff is tight enough on the upper arm and whether the values can be determined correctly.

Memory capacity

All digital blood pressure monitors are capable of storing and documenting blood pressure readings internally. However, the storage capacity and the number of users vary from device to device.

For example, while some models only store 30 readings for one user, others record 100 readings each for two or even four users. Devices with an app or software can document an unlimited number of values and users.

In addition, there is often a guest mode for additional users, but the values are not stored for them.

Power supply

Blood pressure monitors are available either with batteries, rechargeable batteries or a power supply unit. Battery operation is often preferred because it allows the device to be used on the go.

However, the mains adapter has the advantage that it requires less energy, stops the consumption of batteries and thus has an environmentally friendly aspect.

Facts worth knowing about the upper arm blood pressure monitor

How do I measure blood pressure correctly and how do I put on a blood pressure cuff properly?

If you have a suitable cuff for your upper arm, place it tightly around your bare arm about 2 cm above the elbow.

Sit down in a relaxed position and wait a few minutes before starting the measurement so that your blood pressure and pulse can come to rest.

During the measurement, the arm should not be moved and should preferably be placed loosely and relaxed on the table.

When measuring blood pressure, it is generally important that the measuring point is at the level of the heart, which is automatically the case with the upper arm measurement method.

In order to get comparable values, you should make sure that you always measure in the same body position and on the same arm.

How often do I have to calibrate my blood pressure monitor?

Blood pressure monitors in medical practices, clinics and hospitals must be checked and calibrated every 2 years.

There are no legal regulations for private use, but it is still recommended to have the device checked at certain intervals so that it always provides correct and reliable values.

A blood pressure device can be checked by the nearest weights and measures office, specialist dealer for medical technology or online provider who has the appropriate qualification.

What do the values on my blood pressure monitor mean - what values are normal?

Blood pressure always consists of a low and a high value: the systolic and diatolic blood pressure value.

You can see exactly what this means in the following video:

In a healthy middle-aged person, blood pressure should be between 80-130 mmHG.

The blood pressure values are classified as follows:

Classification Systolic Diastolic
Optimal 120 80
Normal 121-129 81-84
Still normal 130-139 85-89
Hypertension grade 1 140-170 90-109
Hypertension grade 2 180+ 110+
Isolated high blood pressure of upper value 140+ below 90

If the meter is equipped with a WHO rating scale, you do not need to remember the classification, as it will automatically show you which of these ranges you are in.

The pulse value is usually displayed with a heart above or beside it. If this value is between 60 and 100, you have a normal pulse rate.

If your blood pressure monitor has other functions, please check the instructions to know about each value displayed.

How does a long-term blood pressure monitor work?

For the prevention or mitigation of cardiovascular diseases, a single measurement is often not enough to initiate a proper therapy.

In this case, a long-term measurement is recommended, in which the blood pressure is measured at regular intervals for 24 hours.

In this case, the patient receives an upper arm cuff that he or she has to wear all the time. A small computer hangs from the end of the cable and is attached to the body with the help of a belt.

During the day, the value is usually recorded at 15-minute intervals, and at night at 30-minute intervals, which makes it possible to create a clear blood pressure profile and extract valuable information.

Blood pressure measurement during pregnancy

Self-measurement is not recommended during pregnancy, as the values are usually very inaccurate and can overestimate the blood pressure by up to 50 mmHg.

It would be advisable to have your blood pressure measured by a doctor so that you do not receive incorrect information.

Picture source: 123rf.com / 23807339

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