Your GP may have asked you to start monitoring your blood pressure, or you may have just thought, “hey, this is something I should probably be doing”. Regardless of your reasoning, it’s imperative that you get the right machine, as this will always provide you with specific results that are attributed to why you got it in the first place.
But choosing the right blood pressure monitor can be like choosing the right car – it’s a big decision with a lot of options. But it doesn’t have to be a difficult decision, as you can follow these three simple steps to choosing the right model for you:
1) Select the style
It’s highly likely you are going to go with the upper arm model and there’s nothing wrong with that. After all, they are and have long been the ultimate when it comes to this vital technology.
However, some people have different needs when it comes to their choice. For example, they may have larger arms, are always on-the-go or have a specific medical condition, all of which might require the reliable mobility of the wrist model.
What’s more, there are also cuffless options, wearable choices, even varieties that can be placed on the finger, not to mention stethoscope and traditional bulb variations!
Stethoscopes can be the most accurate choice with the right training, but they can also be really difficult to get the hang of if you are just going to be monitoring yourself at home.
At the end of the day, the wrist and upper arm options are typically the most reliable when it comes to getting a good reading, so if you can get your hands on one of these (which should be no problem) go for it!
2) What is your cuff size?
Once you’ve determined which model is simply perfect for you, it’s time to pick the size. It’s important to note that it’s not as easy as choosing one that matches your sleeves, as the cuff can be too small and take an artificially high reading, or, conversely, be too big, which will then take an inaccurately lower reading.
Receiving both of these readings defeats the purpose of buying this important technology in the first place, so ensure that you give your arm a good measuring prior to buying by simply measuring the circumference of your upper arm at the point between the elbow and shoulder.
The same can be done with the wrist by measuring two fingers below the wrist crease and, voila! You have yourself your measurement for picking up the perfect pressure gauge.
3) Do you require extra features
Whilst blood pressure monitors are naturally out to complete the one overriding task, the different models often have varying features that can be perfectly tailored to your needs.
Ask yourself these questions for getting your features game down:
1. Is the monitor for you alone? Or should you request a multi-user model?
2. Does your machine require Bluetooth capabilities to sync with an app?
3. Do you prefer an AC adapter device? Or the good ol’ battery-powered option?
4. How will you store your measurements (paper log, in the device, an app)?
5. Is result averaging a priority?
6. Do you require a talking device as a result of poor eyesight?
Answering these important questions will go a long way to ensuring you always produce the most accurate, efficient read, as well as one that is suitable for your general state of health and lifestyle preferences.
As you can see, choosing the right device doesn’t have to be difficult – you just have to follow the above three steps and you will find a model that is simply perfect for your needs.