Automatic vs Manual Blood Pressure Monitors

July 20, 2022

There are many different kinds of blood pressure monitors to choose from on the market. You can buy them from local pharmacies, medical stores, or online. They come at a reasonable price and are very simple to use.

Blood pressure monitors are basically of two types. Automatic and Manual monitors. Digital blood pressure monitors are fully automatic, while manual blood pressure monitors need a little knowledge and training to use them correctly to get an accurate reading.

Manual Blood Pressure Monitors

Mercury blood pressure monitors

Mercury blood pressure monitors are still the best and most accurate. They are removed from the clinical practice because of environmental reasons and are replaced by hybrids. Accurate reading with a mechanical blood pressure device depends on the person taking a reading, proper training, use of an accurate, well-maintained device, and correct selection and positioning of the cuff. They are heavier and take up lots of space than digital monitors.

Aneroid blood pressure monitors

Aneroid blood pressure monitors are small, and easy to carry around. The cuff is inflated by squeezing a ball and readings are seen on a gauge. With repeated use, they can become inaccurate so have to be calibrated periodically. All the monitors should be checked against the clinic monitors once a year to confirm their accuracy.

Withings BPM Connect, Digital Wi-Fi Smart Blood Pressure Monitor:

Medically Accurate, FDA cleared, FSA/HSA Eligible, Connects Easily to app for iOS & Android, Grey

Automatic blood pressure Monitors

Digital Monitors are fully automatic. The cuff is inflated by the monitor itself, and reading appears on a small LCD screen. They are very convenient and easy to use and do not need much expertise. They are of two types; arm monitors and wrist monitors.

Arm blood pressure monitors

They are more accurate than wrist monitors. With some arm monitors, a self-fitting cuff comes. You just have to put your arm inside the loop of the cuff, and pull the edge to fix it. They come with lots of other features which are of great help. They are very easy and simple to use. Either arm can be used when testing, however when comparing results, the same arm should be used. Testing on the left arm may provide more accurate results as it is closer to the heart. The “Left arm ” written on the cuff is just a suggestion, not limited to the left arm.

OMRON Silver Blood Pressure Monitor, Upper Arm Cuff,

Digital Bluetooth Blood Pressure Machine, Stores Up To 80 Readings

Wrist blood pressure monitors

Wrist blood pressure monitors are small, compact, and easy to use. The cuff is worn on the wrist and fits exactly. They are not as accurate as arm monitors. While measuring blood pressure with wrist monitors you have to raise your arm with your elbow supported on the table to bring it closer to heart level. If instructions are strictly followed then they are suitable. They are useful for people who are not comfortable with using arm monitors, especially if they have any injury to their arms or have to measure blood pressure frequently. Children prefer to use them than arm monitors.

OMRON 7 Series Wireless Wrist Blood Pressure Monitor, Black

Cuff sizes recommended by AHA

Patient’s size Arm circumference
in cm
Cuff size in cm
width x length
Small adult 22-26 12 x 22
Average adult 27-34 16 x 30
Large adult 35-44 16 x 36
Large adult, Thigh 45-52 16 x 42

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