The COVID-19 pandemic has had a lot of us at home worrying about the future and causing undue stress — resulting in increased hypertension. If you’re one of those folks, consider investing in a blood pressure monitor so that you can keep things under control.
We chose products across a breadth of price points, industry leadership, and distinction in key functional areas.
Pros: One-piece, rechargeable, and external AC power with a simple Bluetooth appCons: All-in-one cuff may not accommodate larger arm circumference, and the app is basic
The GreaterGoods Bluetooth Blood Pressure Monitor is an all-in-one, cordless, wireless, cuff-integrated unit that comes with a simple smartphone app for tracking blood pressure readings over time. The unit is rechargeable, so no worries about replacing batteries. It can also operate with AC power connected. It fits an 8.75- to 16.5-inch circumference upper arm.
Pros: Big backlit display and priced affordablyCons: No smartphone connectivity
With the largest backlit display on the market, this device is ideal for those, such as the elderly, who have trouble looking at smartphones or small digital displays. It doesn’t have Bluetooth, but it’s priced to go at $46.90.
Pros: Large upper-arm circumference is not a problemCons: Pricier than other models on this list and no smartphone connectivity
Some folks just need a bigger cuff to take a more accurate reading. And for those people, the LifeSource is the best choice. Able to accommodate a 16.5- to 23.6-inch arm circumference, you should be able to measure the blood pressure on a professional bodybuilder, no problem.
Pros: Sophisticated smartphone app, support for two user profiles, integration with Alexa and AliveCor Kardia, and attractive all-in-one designCons: Cuff may not accommodate larger arms, the device may be too complicated for elderly use, and the display is small
Omron’s Evolve looks like something you might even see on a futuristic sci-fi show, like Star Trek. And it wouldn’t be out of place there, because not only does it work with Omron’s smartphone application, which can track two users’ blood pressure histories over time, but it also integrates with Alexa as well as the AliveCor Kardia cloud service, so you can track blood pressure and mobile ECG readings from the same app.
Pros: This one does pretty much everything and is the best all-around unit on our listCons: None that we can think of
The Omron Platinum does everything the Evolve does, but it allows for more than two users and has more of a clinical-style, detached upper arm cuff rather than an all-integrated cuff unit. It comes with an AC adapter, so you don’t have to worry about charging it. A high morning average indicator alerts the user if systolic or diastolic measurements are out of the normal range in the morning when there is a higher risk for heart attack or stroke.
Our above list of products is vetted and should fit all budgets and usage scenarios. When considering a blood pressure monitor to buy, you should look for features such as:
Smartphone connectivityAll-in-one, upper-arm style designsUnits with large displays for elderly or vision-impaired patientsClinical-style multi-piece configurations for ease of useUnits with large cuff accommodationDevices with remote clinician monitoring capabilities if needed
Our least expensive device on the list is under $50 and features a large backlit display. There are certainly units on the market that are cheaper than $45, such as the more entry-level units in Omron’s product portfolio, but you then start sacrificing features such as display size, backlight, blood pressure history tracking, upper-arm cuff configurations, multiuser, and even basic app connectivity.
Other options to consider
While we did not include smartwatches and devices with other cardiac and pulmonary monitoring functions on our list, you might wish to consider looking at Pulse Oximeters and Mobile ECG units.
Contec fingertip pulse oximeter for $17.99 at Amazon: This small, inexpensive Pulse Oximeter is easy to use. If you feel sick, this allows you to be proactive about your blood oxygenation levels so you can take immediate action and seek clinical help.Omron HeartGuide smartwatch for $499 at Omron: While pricy, the Omron Heartguide allows you to get clinical-level blood pressure results on the go, from anywhere.Apple Watch Series 6 for $349 at Amazon: Cupertino’s latest smartwatch integrates both mobile ECG and Pulse Oximeter capabilities in addition to heart rate monitoring.AliveCor KardiaMobile 6L for $149 at Amazon: The only six-lead, Bluetooth-connected mobile ECG on the market with remote clinician monitoring.