HOW TO BUY AN APPROPRIATE BLOOD PRESSURE MONITOR
- Buy a monitor with an upper cuff: If you are buying a home blood pressure monitor, choose one that measures your blood pressure at your upper arm, not your wrist or finger. The cheapest ones start from £10 and are available in most local pharmacies or online retailers.
- Make sure the cuff is the right size for your arm: Make sure you have the right cuff size for your arm. It should wrap snugly around your upper arm, with just enough space to slide two fingertips underneath. Most home blood pressure monitors will come with a medium-sized cuff. If your upper arm is particularly larger or smaller than average, you may need to buy a different sized cuff separately.
- Make sure it’s UK approved: If you are buying a blood pressure monitor, make sure it is approved for use in the UK. To make sure your monitor is accurate, choose one that has been listed as clinically validated for accuracy by the European Society for Hypertension (ESH) or British and Irish Hypertension Society (BIHS). This means that the digital monitor has gone through a series of tests to make sure it gives results that you and your doctor can trust.
- Make sure you get it serviced every 2 years: It needs to be regularly serviced and calibrated to make sure it is accurate – generally, at least once every two years. This usually involves sending it back to the manufacturer, who will probably charge a fee for this. If this option is too complicated or expensive it may be easier and cheaper to buy a new monitor.