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It can be fun to use those arm-squeezing machines at the pharmacy, but if you want consistent blood pressure readings to stay in the know about your health and fitness, having an accurate blood pressure monitor of your own is a good idea. There are plenty of health and fitness trackers like the Apple Watch and other specific devices, and having one of these on hand to measure blood pressure could actually save your life. If you're prone to high blood pressure or hypertension, you're at an increased risk of experiencing a heart attack or heart disease. Fortunately, the best blood pressure monitors have simplified the entire process, so keeping track of your numbers is easier than ever.
That said, anyone and everyone can benefit from keeping track of their blood pressure. By monitoring your blood pressure and heart rate, you can establish a baseline to refer to in the event of a health issue. Which is the best blood pressure monitor for you? That depends on which features and budget fit your individual needs.
According to the American Heart Association, blood pressure measurement depends on two things to get an accurate result: a properly fitting blood pressure cuff and correct positioning. Be sure to keep a record of your heart rate, so you can establish a baseline to refer to in the event of a health issue.
Despite offering a variety of features at a range of prices, each of the best blood pressure monitor options below has been independently validated against one or more sets of AHA-recognized standards to track accurate blood pressure readings. In other words, no matter which form of blood pressure monitoring you choose, your heart will thank you for the accurate measurement. And beyond taking accurate readings, some of these devices can also help you keep track of your heart rate and notify you if you have an irregular heartbeat.
Editor's note, March 6, 2023: This best blood pressure monitor list was compiled by CNET contributor Danielle Kosecki. Product testing and reviews were done by CNET contributor Amanda Capritto in 2019. We'll update this list with new testing when available.
Best blood pressure monitors
I never thought I'd be genuinely impressed by something like a blood pressure monitor, but here we are. The QardioArm Blood Pressure Monitor left me wondering with its clinical accuracy at home and how it's possible to have a blood pressure monitor feel cool. It's one of those "Apple of X" things -- this is the Apple of at-home blood pressure cuffs.
Not that "cool-looking" should be your priority when shopping for a blood pressure machine, but it certainly makes home monitoring feel like less of a chore than it otherwise might when you're working on preventing hypertension or managing heart disease. But on to the things that actually matter.
Prepare yourself for a spew of great things: This cuff is comfortable. The cuff size was a fit for my (kind of lanky) arms, with no gaps between my skin and the fabric. The readings were consistent and accurate, and the setup was almost unbelievably easy. I had this thing out of the box, on my arm and connected to my phone in about 2 minutes, and my first blood pressure reading was done about 30 seconds after that.
Your whole family can use it, too: This digital blood pressure monitor pairs wirelessly with up to eight phones or tablets at any given time (let's see a manual blood pressure monitor do that!). Each time you use the digital monitor, the QardioArm averages three readings, monitors and detects an irregular heartbeat and stores all your measurements and notes in Qardio's HIPAA-compliant cloud.
View and share your data in the Qardio App, where you can also set goals and reminders, and sync your data with Apple Health or S Health on Android devices.
The Withings BPM Connect felt and looked just as trendy as the QardioArm, and it provided a consistent and accurate result. It was a tough call for me between the QardioArm and the Withings BPM Connect because they're both great and they're similar products.
In the end, the Withings BPM Connect was the runner-up only because its sign-up process was more cumbersome. To compare, it took about 2 minutes to get completely set up with the QardioArm, whereas it took about 15 minutes with the Withings BPM Connect.
That's not bad in the overall realm of things, but having just experienced the ease and speed of the QardioArm, I definitely noticed it.
As for the upper arm cuff fit, comfort and ease of use, the Withings BPM Connect holds its own. The app is also a breeze once you're in, and it has unlimited storage for your BP measurement needs (though, the device will remember up to eight readings in between syncs). You can also set up multiple user profiles in the Withings Health Mate app.
The Omron Complete Wireless Upper Arm Blood Pressure Monitor with EKG was the first FDA-approved combination EKG-blood pressure device in the US. Omron produced the product in partnership with AliveCor, which powers many FDA-approved consumer electrocardiogram (EKG or ECG) devices.
Worth mentioning is that this blood pressure monitor gave me the most consistent readings throughout the entire testing process. And it measures so much more than just blood pressure. In addition to the essentials -- systolic and diastolic blood pressure -- this Omron model measures your pulse, atrial fibrillation, tachycardia, bradycardia and sinus rhythm simultaneously.
If you need a seamless way to measure two or more of those metrics, this upper arm monitor is a top choice. The Omron app interface is simple, too, and it can store unlimited data. The cuff is comfortable and flexible, making it easy to get a good fit, which helps with accuracy.
The monitor itself is a little bulkier than other models on this list, but probably worth it for people who need all of those other measurements in one place. It comes in a nice carrying case that you can use for traveling.
If you have larger upper arms, you know blood pressure management and monitoring can be a huge pain. Enter: LifeSource Upper Arm Blood Pressure Monitor With Extra Large Cuff. The name says it all, honestly. This blood pressure cuff accommodates an arm circumference of over 23 inches.
At first, I was a little skeptical about this one because I couldn't seem to find a lot of information about it online and I saw some questionable reviews from buyers. But LifeSource is a brand of A&D Medical, a medical equipment brand that's been manufacturing at-home consumer devices for close to 50 years, and has all of its products clinically validated by third parties. So, I decided to give it a try.
Let me just say this: I have tiny arms -- I frequently call them noodles -- and I can confirm that this blood pressure cuff is massive. It would never work for me, because my arm was basically swimming in it. To that end, I can't speak to the accuracy of this device.
I can, however, say that it produced consistent readings despite being way too big for my arm. So, even though the blood pressure level readings were wrong for me, they were consistently wrong. That gives me a lot of hope that this extra-large cuff is indeed accurate for people whom it actually fits.
A&D Medical has almost too many blood pressure monitors to count, but my initial research kept leading me back to this one, the A&D Medical Upper Arm Blood Pressure Monitor (UA-767F), which can store blood pressure data for up to four people. A few of the other monitors on this list have multiple-user capabilities, but this one, to me, felt the easiest to manage (other than the QardioArm, but that one is the best overall).
The monitor has a nice basic design and gives cuff-fit error messages so you can fix things before you start. It also has a body movement sensor that may help prevent inaccurate readings. (You're supposed to stay still the entire time you're taking a reading.)
The A&D Connect app has a simple interface and it's easy to keep track of your blood pressure reading measurements, as well as the pressure readings of anyone who shares the device with you. This one shows your blood pressure immediately after the measurement is done, so if you'd rather keep track with a pen-and-paper log, that's an option, too.
Aside from being easy to use and supporting multiple users (it can store up to 60 readings per person), this blood pressure monitor comes with a five-year warranty.
I tested several more at-home blood pressure monitors that also had some great features, but didn't quite match up to the ones above. They're definitely worth checking out if you're in the market for an at-home blood pressure monitor -- although the above products proved the best for me, you might find a unique combo of characteristics that's best for you.
The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.