Top Senior’s Wrist Blood Pressure Monitor – 2018 Guide and Reviews
This is where you’ll find the best wrist blood pressure monitor, but since most experts agree that the upper arm version can give significantly more accurate results, we’ve decided to highlight an item of this type as our top pick. Judging by the stellar reviews this got from both medical personnel and household users, the Vive Precision is definitely one of the most effective upper arm blood pressure monitors currently available on the market. While still in the mid-price range, it’s been found to be as precise as the premium models commonly used in private clinics. It is a little light on the extra functions, but it does have the minimum requirement of a color-coded visual alarm for irregular heartbeats and a two user function with a 250-reading storage capacity for each. If you’re looking for a device that can do more, then the Omron 10 series will definitely perform.
Products In Demand – In-Depth Reviews
Choosing the best blood pressure monitor for wrist use might not be the easiest thing in the world considering the vast number of models on offer. To make things a little easier, we’ve looked through a large number of wrist blood pressure monitors reviews and highlighted just the best-rated products from what’s currently available for sale.
This product earned quite a deal of appreciation for the remarkable degree of accuracy it offers, comparing well in this regard to some of the more expensive models out there.
However, the Vive Precision won’t drive a hole through your wallet, although the company assures us that it went through quite a deal of quality testing, with each unit getting checked before leaving the factory.
Another impressive thing about it is the sizeable memory, which allows it to store up to 250 measurements for each of the two individual users it can record data for. For people that aren’t all that knowledgeable when it comes to blood pressure data, the device provides color-coded warnings if certain values are exceeded.
The interface is reported to be easy to use, and the screen is backlit so that they can be easily read under bright light conditions by nearsighted people. The upper arm cuff adds to its accessibility and ease of use, as it can adapt to a wide range of arm circumferences, from 8 ¾ inches to 16 ½ inches.
Besides this, you’ll get a comprehensive user manual with troubleshooting advice and 4 AAA batteries, as well as a 2-year warranty.Buy from Amazon.com for ($29.75)
One of the most talked about upper arm blood pressure monitors out there, the Omron 10 Series offers a lot of functionality for an affordable price. It can store data for up to 2 users, 100 readings each, but this figure can be greatly improved with the appropriate Omron app (available for free), which allows it to store readings to a smartphone device via Bluetooth.
It also comes with a built-in accuracy checker, which averages out three consecutive readings taken one minute apart, to ensure that no odd results that might confuse your physician will get logged in.
If used properly, this monitor won’t really need an accuracy checker, as it’s been reported to be as precise as any model commonly used in medical clinics. Like any competent monitor, it follows the guidelines of the American Heart Association.
The upper arm cuff has quite a deal of range to it, from 9 to 17 inches, and it also inflates around the entire arm to avoid incorrect positioning. The display is similarly easy to use, with big, easy to read figures and color indicators for unusual results. All the more convenient, it can be plugged into a common outlet with an included AC adapter, and it can also operate with 4 AAA batteries.Buy from Amazon.com for ($64.99)
Slight Touch ST-501
Although this wrist cuff monitor might not offer the same degree of accuracy as some of the best upper arm devices, it is still extremely popular with both professional and household users thanks to the superior convenience it provides.
This doesn’t mean it’s not accurate enough for daily readings, of which up to 60 can be stored in the memory, for either of 2 users. For better precision, it also has an averaging function, which works with the last three readings.
The cuff allows for quite a deal of range, from 5.3 to 8.5 inches in wrist circumference and it is reported to be particularly comfortable, causing a minimum of distress to elderly users or hospital patients.
Since this unit doesn’t have to inflate nearly as much as with an arm mounted cuff, the ST-501 will take very little time for one measurement, consisting in systolic and diastolic pressure, as well as pulse. It also has an irregular heartbeat and a WHO indicator, so that less knowledgeable users can evaluate their results.
A highly portable device, it works on 2 AAA batteries, which can hold for up to 2 months with the recommended three readings taken daily.Buy from Amazon.com for ($24.49)
LotFancy with Talking Function
This wrist mountable monitor comes with all the usual functions you would expect from such a device, but it also offers voice indications to set it apart from most models. This will make it particularly useful for people with poor eyesight or for outdoor use although, at 2.36 inch, the display is large enough to be easily readable by almost anybody.
This will show the three regular heart readings, as well as an irregular heartbeat warning and a WHO scale. In case it needs reminding, the last one lets the user know how far his or her measurements are from normal, or ideal values.
The test accuracy is what you would expect from a wrist cuff device, but this is somewhat circumvented with a function that automatically averages three consecutive results taken over the course of a few minutes.
It can keep up to 120 measurements for two users, so they can keep track of how their heart function evolves over time. The cuff, which falls into the regular 5.3 to 8.5 inches range, is reported to be comfortable on the wrist and appears to inflate fast enough to be used for serial readings in nursing homes or hospitals.Buy from Amazon.com for ($49)
Omron 7 Series BP652
This is the latest wrist blood pressure monitor for Omron, and while it offers the quality level you would expect from the company, it has a series of particularities over earlier versions. First, the good. It has a very good memory, with 100 entries available for each of the two users, and a review function that also records the time and date.
It features an irregular heartbeat detector and a blood pressure indicator that offer live warnings as well as a WHO bar used to compare your measurements with the internationally recognized scale for blood pressure. For better accuracy, it has an advanced averaging function which can work with either 2 or 3 results taken in the span of up to 10 minutes.
The precision this unit can offer is reported to be particularly good for a wrist cuffed monitor, and it also comes with the same certifications as other products from the manufacturer, but it appears that your hand must be placed precisely at heart level for the BP652 to really shine.
This is somewhat circumvented by the inclusion of a “heart zone guidance” which lets the user know when the hand has reached the precise position, but some seniors might still find it hard to operate effectively.Buy from Amazon.com for ($48.21)
Omron 3 Series BP629
The less fancy cousin of the 6-Series, the Omron 3 Series doesn’t feature “heart zone guidance” to let you find the perfect position for your hand, and it might consequently be less precise, but it’s still a highly rated product due to the great level of convenience it offers.
Omron is known to offer an extensive information package with each purchase, consisting of both a starter guide and a user manual, so you might end up not even needing that position indicator if you follow the instructions close enough
It also sports similar functions to its older brother, with a hypertension-level blood pressure indicator (a WHO scale is sadly absent) and an irregular heartbeat warning. The memory is somewhat lower, at only 60 readings stored for a single person, but the averaging function works the same, with 2-3 values over a maximum of 10 minutes.
Unlike the wrist cuff in the 652, the company doesn’t specify that this is ultra-silent, but people who’ve used it are impressed by it nevertheless, and the speed at which this inflates made a similarly good impression, as it takes just 30 seconds to complete a “cycle.”Buy from Amazon.com for ($36.88)
North American Healthcare TV3649 Wristech
Like with any wrist heart monitor, this model won’t provide an accurate result unless the indications provided in the user’s manual have been followed closely. The user must be seated with a straight back and without crossing his or her legs. The monitor is always mounted on the left wrist, facing the user and lifted up to heart level with the elbow resting on a table.
Once you get the hang of this, then a wrist monitor will prove a lot more convenient than an upper arm device, and give results accurate enough for your physician to get a clear idea of the state of your health.
The fact that the TV3649 can log up to 99 time-stamped entries will definitely help a lot with this, especially as it’s recommended to take up to 3 measurements each day. Otherwise, the TV3649 offers just the basics, meaning Systolic and Diastolic readings, together with the pulse, but no irregular heartbeat warning, averaging, and other features.
This might make it a good choice for particularly old people, that aren’t inclined to pay attention to the latest in technology.Buy from Amazon.com for ($24.25)
Firhealth Blood Monitor
This affordable blood pressure monitor comes with many of the features of the higher end Omron products and will make a suitable alternative if, for some reason, you are not a big fan of that company.
It has irregular heartbeat detection, to alert the user of any immediate health problem while the reading is taking place, as well as a WHO blood pressure classification indicator so that people who aren’t used to taking their heart measurements will still get a rough idea as to what their figures mean.
It can store data for two separate users, up to 90 different values for each and a timestamp function. The averaging is made a little different than on the Omron, with the last 3 values simply being taken from memory, and no automatic function to fix the intervals between them.
The self-inflating wrist cuff it comes with is said to be comfortable enough to be used with sleeping patients without waking them up, and the one button interface will make it very straightforward to use.
Like most other items we’ve featured, this unit also received approval by the FDA for clinical and OTC use, making it fit for nurses or elderly care workers.Buy from Amazon.com for ($27.99)
The EBP-017 has quite a number of markings on and around the 1.73 x 1.25 inches monitor, but this doesn’t make it particularly hard or confusing to use. The WPO values are indicated with numbers instead of colors, and there’s also a visual marking to let you know when the hand is in the correct position for taking a reading.
There’s also an irregular heartbeat indicator and one that shows the battery level, which was found particularly convenient by commercial operators. Like most other similar products, it has a one-button operation, meaning it automatically inflates to take readings while turned on, and two additional buttons for committing the test figures to memory.
Up to 60 readings can be stored for one single user, and the recall function also displays the time and date. It can average out the last three readings in a similar fashion to the Firhealth product we’ve showcased in our list.
It uses 2 AAA batteries, which are included in the package, together with a carry case and, of course, a comfortable cuff which should inflate to the optimum size in around 30 seconds.Buy from Amazon.com for ($22.5)
This model might not have the biggest monitor on the market, but its overall design and small dimensions make it rather friendly and pleasant to look at. It has one big polychrome button that is used to take a simple reading, as well as three smaller ones for committing values to memory, scrolling through the log and average values.
The last function works the same way as it does on the Easy@Home and other products we’ve looked at and for more advanced options you might want to pay the extra couple of dozen of dollars or so that separates this unit from an Omron.
This model will also come with a time and date setting, but overall it’s pretty basic in regards to what it can do. You won’t get either a WHO reference scale or an irregular heartbeat indicator, but we find this to be expected, considering the price.
It uses a liquid crystal screen, so it might not be all that visible on bright, sunny days without adequate shading, although the fact that the markings for Systolic and Diastolic pressure are particularly large somewhat makes up for this.Buy from Amazon.com for ($41.86)
Our Yearly Guide
Even if you have easy access to one of these devices in your doctor’s office or local drugstore, buying a good wrist blood pressure monitor will still prove to be a smart investment. This is because blood pressure tends to fluctuate quite a lot throughout the day, so a daily or by-daily reading taken at a medical facility might not provide the most accurate picture to your doctor.
Most experts agree that a cheap wrist blood pressure monitor to be used at home on a regular basis will end up providing more accurate results overall compared to an expensive unit, for the simple reasons that more measurements will be taken in a shorter span of time, consistent to your regular heart activity throughout the day.
When choosing the right item for this purpose, accuracy must be weighed against convenience and ease of use, with the two most common systems available each leaning towards one of these characteristics.
The upper arm blood pressure monitor
Although reading through the latest reviews of wrist blood pressure monitors you’ll get the idea that these devices are getting more accurate by the year, the upper arm variety is still considered to give the best readings.
It is easy enough to understand why, considering that the blood vessels in your upper arm will always be closer to the heart than the ones passing through the wrist, so the result will be less likely to be skewed up due to various factors relating to the distance that the blood traveled.
Furthermore, the diameter of the cuff and how tight it fits on the respective place on your body will be a more important factor with wrist devices, although these won’t need to grip as tightly in order to ensure an accurate reading from the relatively exposed vessels passing through the lower arm.
People that are particularly thin might be limited to using upper arm devices, as sometimes they don’t have a wrist girth to provide an adequately tight fit, which will invariably cause a too low reading.
The wrist blood pressure monitor
The main downside of the upper arm model is that its cuff might prove awkward to set in place, especially by a single, unattended person, which might very well be the case most of the time since readings will be ideally taken multiple times per day.
If the prospective buyer wants to know his or her blood pressure after spending a couple of minutes on some senior exercise equipment, for example another person shouldn’t be expected to be on call to help with the cuff.
This is a deceptively important factor, as proper placement of the unit will affect the accuracy of the reading to a great extent, usually far greater than people who are unfamiliar with these devices generally expect.
Another upside to the wrist monitor is that it will feel more comfortable during actual use, as the cuff won’t need to inflate as much for it to work properly. Some people might feel especially high levels of discomfort when gripped too tightly, which might lead them to avoid checking their heart rate as often as recommended.
Conversely to what we’ve said above about people that are very thin, obese people might only be able to use monitors that go on their wrist, since all the extra fat present on their upper arm might either make it too thick for the cuff to fit, or at least mess up the results.
You should keep this in mind especially if the intended user isn’t available to try out the model for him or herself. So if you’re looking into blood pressure monitors as some great granddad gifts always remember to go for an arm mounted cuff for thin individuals, and a wrist one for bigger people.
What are the features available?
While mostly intended for seniors, a blood pressure monitor isn’t exactly as simple as a walking stick and manufacturers always love to add nifty new features to these devices, both in order to get a leg up over the competition and to increase their price.
Not all these will be equally useful, however, and to make sure that you’re choosing the right monitor, some thought must be given to what exactly each one does.
A good way to keep track of your blood pressure throughout the day, week, or even a whole month is by having each measurement stored into the device’s memory. This will come especially handy if you don’t like keeping pen and paper records. The best devices can store as many as 250 readings for an individual user, and also give you an average for different spans of time.
Some monitors can even upload the results to a computer or tablet (you can find a good tablet for seniors here) so you won’t have to visit your medic to share the detailed results. Commonly, modern heart monitors can store data for 2 separate users at a time, so that the readings for you and a significant other won’t get mixed.
To ensure the best accuracy, some wrist blood pressure monitors can take 3 successive readings at a go, and give you an average. This is more a function of convenience, as the user themselves can conceivably take 3 readings, one after the other with enough patience (although the cuff will inflate and deflate after each one).
Other things to consider
You should always check for the right cuff size before buying. For a wrist device, common sizes are 7.1 to 8.7 inches for small, 8.8 to 12.8 for medium and 12.9 to 18 inches large, with most blood monitors coming with a medium cuff. Arm mounted models are sometimes available with wide range cuffs, that can adapt to circumferences between 8.75 to 16.5 inches.
Finally, the display must be clear, easy to read and offer all the readings you need, meaning systolic and diastolic pressure, pulse rate, and time, date and user, where a memory function is available.
Frequently asked questions about blood pressure monitors
What are the pros and cons of wrist blood pressure monitors?
Wrist blood pressure monitors are favored for the superior level of comfort these offer over alternative solutions, but their advantages don’t stop here. The cuff will inflate to a lesser degree than with an upper arm monitor, and besides applying less pressure on the user, this will also significantly cut down on the time necessary to take a reading.
Its downsides have to do with accuracy. Since the area involved is further from the heart, the measurement will naturally be less accurate. Furthermore, this will make it more susceptible to be influenced by the body’s position.
What’s the difference between a wrist blood pressure monitor vs. an upper arm one?
As the name suggests, the cuff for the upper arm model will be placed midway between your elbow and shoulder, while the wrist one will, well, hug the wrist. This makes it more convenient since fewer articles of clothing will need to be removed for taking a measurement. Furthermore, this can be used by overweight people whose excess tissue around the upper arm might otherwise affect accuracy.
While still fairly reliable, wrist models are less accurate than upper arm ones, and your body must follow a strict position for a true reading.
Are wrist blood pressure monitors accurate?
Numerous studies have shown wrist blood pressure monitors to be lacking in this regard when compared to arm strap monitors with the majority of results coming off a little higher. Also, their accuracy seems to vary to a greater extent when accounting for quality and price, with the best of these being comparable to upper arm monitors.
However, for everyday needs, their accuracy is considered satisfactory, especially if the doctor analyzing the results is aware of the device’s particularities. Precision can also be increased with user experience since their readings are dependent on the body’s position at the time.
How to measure wrist blood pressure?
First ensure that no drugs, alcohol, tobacco or spicy food was consumed for at least 30 minutes before taking a reading. While relaxed, place yourself at a table, with the feet flat upon the ground, legs uncrossed, and a straight back.
Place your elbow on the table, and lift the wrist to heart level, facing away from your body at around 30-45 degrees. The cuff must be wrapped as per manufacturer specifications and the screen facing you. Push the on/off button and wait calmly as the cuff inflates then deflates for the machine to take its reading.