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Blood pressure monitors come in both upper arm and wrist-applied models. And whilst many people skip owning either, choosing to leave monitoring to medical professionals, many people with hypertension simply need a monitor at home.

Naturally, upper arm monitors are the most commonly used models. They are seen in doctors offices all over the world and are the model of choice when it comes to monitoring.

However, the wrist-applied model has its own pros and this is why it’s also a very reliable version. Whichever blood pressure machine you choose, they are a vital piece of medical technology, so let’s take a look at which home blood pressure monitor is right for your needs:

Before you choose: how to get an accurate reading

The most important aspect for receiving an accurate reading at home is using the right technique. How you go about monitoring your blood pressure is just as important as whether you choose an upper arm or wrist model, so remember the following:

  1. Be consistent in your readings. This means taking your blood pressure in the same place at the same time of day. If this isn’t possible every day it is still a good idea to sit in a similar seat with your arm resting at the same height each time you take a reading;

  2. Stay still for 30 minutes prior to your reading, avoiding smoking, caffeine and exercise (among other things);

  3. Keep the cuff at the same level as your heart. Regardless of whether you measure your wrist or upper arm, be sure that you are sitting comfortably so that you can keep the cuff at the right height for receiving a proper reading.

  4. Be sure to use the right cuff size. Check the manufacturer's sizing against your wrist and arm measurements. Having the wrong cuff size can have a serious impact on your reading so you want to make asre it’s the right one!

Upper arm monitors: the classic solution

Why, exactly, are upper arm monitors the most popular technology? One of the main reasons is because the cuff naturally rests at the same level as the heart, making it easier to tick this essential tip off the list whether at home or the GP’s office.

At-home blood pressure monitors are also much easier to use than in the past, making them a favourite for people who enjoy features like automated processes, digital screens and pre-formed cuffs all designed to make the process simple!

Wrist-applied monitors: the upper arm rival

This being said, wrist monitors provide their own benefits that may make you want to go with this slimmer model. Wrist monitors are typically less bulky than their upper arm counterparts, making them highly portable and ideal for people who need to measure their blood pressure on the go or when travelling.

Finally, wrist-applied models can be more ideal for people with hand/arm limitations as well as for people with large arms that have a hard time fitting the upper arm model.

So, there is the difference between upper arm and wrist-applied blood pressure monitors. The benefits typically come down to your comfort with these models and how easily you can apply them to your arm or wrist.

Regardless of which one you choose, they are a most valuable and important piece of technology to have on-hand when necessary, and this is why many people with blood pressure issues tend to have them at home, too!


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