How to choose your blood pressure monitor

A sphygmomanometer is a device for measuring blood pressure. Automatic ones are easier to use than manual ones. Let’s see how they work.

A blood pressure monitor is a device that helps you monitor your blood pressure values. There are two types of sphygmomanometers: manual and automatic.

Blood pressure can be affected by different factors such as stress, medications, or different diseases. Remember that the values ​​considered normal in a healthy and resting adult are 120 mmHg for systolic or maximum pressure and 80 mmHg for diastolic or minimum pressure.

How does a manual blood pressure monitor work?How to choose your blood pressure monitor

This type of sphygmomanometer is one in which you or someone to help you breathe in by pressing the knob on the sphygmomanometer to cause the cuff to fill with air. Once it has been filled enough, with a stethoscope you will hear the beeps that mark the maximum and minimum blood pressure.

Carrying out this process correctly requires some training so that the measurement is good. One factor that you have to consider when going to a professional to measure your blood pressure is what is known as the ‘ syndrome or hypertension of the white coat’. The tension increases due to the nervousness of going to consultation and being in front of a doctor.

This would be a false diagnosis of hypertension, however, you can avoid it by self-measuring your blood pressure at various times of the day and for several days. With these data, your doctor will be able to make an assessment and establish a more reliable diagnosis.

What type of automatic blood pressure monitor do I choose?

Automatic sphygmomanometers are easier to use than manual sphygmomanometers. Once you put them on, you only have to press a button to let the appliance breathe air.

Once the measurement is finished, the measurement of the maximum, minimum pressure and a number of beats per minute appears on the screen. In this way, in just a few minutes you can know your blood pressure.

Automatic sphygmomanometers can be of two types depending on the part of the body where they are placed:

  • Arm
  • For the doll

Arm blood pressure monitorsHow to choose your blood pressure monitor

The arm sphygmomanometers have a cuff that is placed on the arm, matching the measurement area just slightly above the elbow. Then you have to fasten the cuff with the velcro, not tightening too much.

Wrist sphygmomanometersHow to choose your blood pressure monitor

Wrist devices are smaller, they are the size of a wide bracelet and you need to adjust it to the height of the wrist. They offer the advantage of size. Being small they take up little space and that can be comfortable and practical.

What aspects do I have to assess in a blood pressure monitor?

The sphygmomanometers have different benefits, including those that we tell you below:

  • Screen size and font: The screen should be large. In this way, you can see the result of the measurement comfortably, especially in elderly people.
  • Operation with batteries and electrical: to avoid that you find yourself with the battery exhausted and without a replacement, a good option is that the appliance has the possibility of electrical operation.
  • Start and/or end of measurement alarm warning system: if the blood pressure monitor alerts you when the measurement has finished, it will be completed without errors. Remember that while taking the measurement you must be still and not talking.
  • Memory or recording system: some tensiometers allow recording the measurement made. This automatically saves the measurement log, which can be useful for monitoring and avoiding errors when manually recording the results.

When do I take the tension?

Blood pressure measurement varies throughout the day. In the morning, before you get up, is when the values ​​should be at their lowest. Then, during the day and when starting the daily activity, the values ​​tend to increase.

To carry out good monitoring of blood pressure. It is important to average the different measurements made at different times of the day.


In many cases, going to a professional to carry out the measurement of the tension can be complicated for different reasons. In these cases, you can resort to automatic blood pressure monitors to facilitate the control of this important parameter of your health.

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