We tested blood pressure monitors from Omron, Alcédo, iHealth, and others to help you find the very best for your home health routine
By Clark Tate ⋅ Senior Review Editor ⋅ Jul 19, 2022
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To find the best blood pressure monitors available today, we researched over 45 models, then bought the top 14 to test side by side. Blood pressure monitors are famously fickle, and the last thing you need is an annoying interface or inflation mechanism that sounds like a jet taking off. To find accurate monitors, we compared each reading to control data taken manually with a sphygmomanometer and stethoscope. To find devices that are pleasant enough for daily use, we compared their user interfaces and any included apps and tried out all their features. The results are a clear-cut guide to the best monitor for your needs.
Cuff Circumference: 9" to 17" | Memory: 100 entries for 2 users (unlimited on app)
REASONS TO BUY
The app makes it easy to email data
Inflation tube clicks into place
REASONS TO AVOID
Data doesn't automatically transfer to the app
The Omron Platinum rose to the top as the most accurate blood pressure monitor we tested. In two rounds of testing, we didn't register a single reading that varied 10 millimeters of mercury (mmHg) or more from our control. We look for this because that degree of inaccuracy could move you from one blood pressure classification group to another. The cuff is comfortable, and a simple and highly visible diagram helps you position it correctly. The large screen is easy to read, displaying your current reading on the right and letting you scroll through past readings on the left. You can switch between users with a quick slide button, and the device will hold 100 readings for each of you. Though the Omron Connect app (iOS and Android friendly) is more complicated than other options, it charts your readings and makes it easy to email them directly to your doctor.
The Platinum is the largest unit we tested. While it is intuitive, there is a learning curve for some tasks, like taking multiple measurements in a row to get a highly-accurate average. You also have to take the extra step of transferring your data to the Omron Connect app to save more than 100 entries. And, if you have a systolic pressure above 210 mmHg, you'll need to hold the start button down until it inflates 30 or 40 mmHg higher than your expected reading. Despite demanding a little more of you, this model is fairly straightforward, accurate, and helps you send readings straight to your doctor through the associated app. This is the best blood pressure monitor in our test, especially if two people will be using it.
Cuff Circumference: 8.7" to 15.7" | Memory: 120 entries each for 2 users
REASONS TO BUY
Talks you through process and results
Good accuracy test results
REASONS TO AVOID
A bit complicated to switch between users
The Alcédo Upper Arm Monitor performed very well in our accuracy tests and is one of two monitors we tested that has a talking function. The voice helps guide you through the measurement process and lets you know if your reading is normal or elevated based on World Health Organization (WHO) standards. This feature is helpful for anyone but imperative for the visually impaired (you can mute the voice if you don't enjoy it.) The cuff is comfortable, clearly marks the point to align with your artery, and is curved to conform to your arm. This monitor is user-friendly, and we love the price tag.
The Alcédo stores 120 blood pressure measurements for each of two users. That pales in comparison to the monitors that have associated apps to send an unlimited number of readings. Still, it may be plenty of storage for you. A bigger concern is that you can accidentally erase all of your data by pressing the memory button (MEM) for too long. It's easy to do. Trust us. If you want to keep track of trends, you might want to write your readings down or add them to a spreadsheet. Another downside is that switching between users is not intuitive. We prefer models that have a dedicated button for that purpose. Despite these setbacks, this unit is affordable and works well, making it an excellent option for many and the best in the test for the visually impaired.
Cuff Circumference: 9" to 17" | Memory: 100 on device, unlimited on app
REASONS TO BUY
Tubeless and compact
Easy to use
Comfortable, molded cuff
REASONS TO AVOID
Data doesn't automatically transfer
The Omron Evolv Wireless is tubeless, compact, simple to use, and among the most accurate options in the test. We recommend this model for travelers or anyone who is willing to pay a bit more for minimal fuss measurements. And, thanks to a molded cuff, it's the easiest option in the test to wrap around your own arm. It's also quite comfortable. The Evolv pairs with the Omron Connect app to store and retrieve data, but you can also get a single reading without the app or your phone. Simply press the start button, and the result will read out a ticker bar.
You can't view past measurements on the device itself, though. You will need the app for that (unless you write your readings down). And you do need them since blood pressure trends are more helpful to your doctor than a single reading. The app is fine — it's not hard to use and helps you visualize your data with daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly charts. It color-codes your readings as well — green for normal, yellow for elevated, orange for stage one hypertension, and so on. You can also email your results to your doctor or yourself right in the app. If you're looking for easy and accurate and don't mind the extra expense, this one's for you.
Cuff Circumference: 8.7" to 18.9" | Memory: 99 on device, unlimited on app
REASONS TO BUY
Optional XL cuff sold separately
Interprative color coding
REASONS TO AVOID
Only average accuracy
Less robust and clear instructions
The iHealth Track Smart only posted average results in our accuracy tests. It didn't vary enough to concern us, there are just more consistent options available. But many factors influence accuracy, and a major one is using the correct cuff size. Most of the models we tested max out at 17 inches, which isn't that big. The iHealth's standard cuff fits arms from 8.7 to 16.5 inches, but you can buy a compatible extra-large cuff that fits arms up to 18.9 inches. (The LifeSource Extra Large Cuff fits arms up to 23.6 inches, but it isn't as accurate.) The monitor on the iHealth also has a bright display that changes color to draw your attention to your blood pressure category (green for normal, yellow for normal-high and stage one hypertension, and red for stages two and three). You also get unlimited memory on an associated app.
Aside from the optional larger cuff, the iHealth monitor is decidedly average. Our largest concern is that it offers the least clear instruction manual of those we tested. After working with so many monitors, we know our way around blood pressure devices, so we figured it out — but it may be harder for a first-time user. We also tried to contact iHealth customer service for assistance; they sent the phone to voicemail and took a day to respond to our email. Still, if you need a larger cuff, you need a larger cuff, and we think this monitor will get you and your doctor useful information about your blood pressure.
To bring you this review, we've run over 379 individual tests to evaluate 14 blood pressure monitors over the past two years. To avoid biasing our results, we buy each monitor from the same retail websites and retail stores you use. While most blood pressure monitors work well most of the time, some models displayed concerning accuracy lapses, and we do not recommend them.
During our initial blood pressure monitor review, three medical doctors and a wilderness first aid certified tester designed our test protocols, taking control blood pressure measurements with a calibrated mercury sphygmomanometer and a stethoscope. (This is considered the gold standard of blood pressure measurements.) They then took test measurements with one to three test monitors.
We repeated this process eight times for every monitor. Each is judged by how much they diverge from the control numbers. After much-supervised practice, our lead tester now takes her own control and test monitor readings. During testing, we use the monitors daily, and we test them at the same time in the morning or evening and follow protocols that give our arms time to rest. Our lead tester also downloaded and used all the accompanying apps to assess their storage capacities and user-friendliness.
Our core blood pressure test team is composed of Clark Tate and Dr. Glen Tate, her physician father. While Dr. Tate recently retired, he maintains his license and took innumerable blood pressure measurements during his 38-year career as a family practitioner. Clark has taken quite a few in her decade of holding a wilderness first responder credential. They ask whatever family and friends are nearby to join the tests to get as many perspectives and heart rates as they possibly can.
Analysis and Test Results
While wearing our arms out testing accuracy, we tried out all the features these monitors have to offer. We found out which work well and took notes on how easy these devices are to use. Overall, we're impressed with these monitors' price points and quality. We highlight the top models in each key performance area below.
You'll get the best value out of a blood pressure monitor by finding the one that works for you. In some instances, that may mean spending a little more to meet your needs. If you tend to have higher blood pressure, need a highly accurate option, and would like to easily email your results to your physician, we think the top-notch Omron Platinum offers a solid value. That's doubly true if you have two people in your household that need to use it. But in most instances, we think the Alcédo offers the best value in the test. One of the most accurate options, it is also easy to use and has a speaking voice that gives you instructions and reads out your results. It records 120 readings for two people if you want to share.
The most compact and tech-friendly options in the test are also the most expensive. Of the three wireless and tubeless options we tested, the Omron Evolv is the most accurate and the easiest to use. The extra cost may be worth it to you to avoid the hassle of wrapping and unwrapping tubes and wires.
Your blood pressure changes with every move you make. A single measurement is just a snapshot of information. And blood pressure monitors take indirect measurements by compressing your artery. If you want a direct (i.e., completely accurate) reading, you'd need to stick a needle into your artery and hook it up to a manometer, which can be dangerous — not to mention painful. Since your blood pressure varies, and you're only getting secondhand information about it, it's essential to take measurements at the same time of the day and under the same conditions to get an idea of what's going on with your heart.
Tips to Take Accurate Blood Pressure Measurements:
Remember that blood pressure trends are much more important than an individual measurement. To get the most out of your monitor, make sure to use it at the same time every day. Morning is best.
Don't eat, bathe, exercise, smoke, or drink alcohol or caffeine 30 minutes before taking your measurement.
Don't sit near your computer or cell phone while taking the measurement.
Sit in a chair that supports your back, place your feet flat on the floor, and relax for five to ten minutes before the measurement.
Rest your test arm (usually your left) on a table and place the cuff level with your heart.
Always measure the same arm at the same time of day.
Communicate your findings with a healthcare professional. Only they have the training to interpret the readings.
Watch online videos from reputable medical and healthcare facilities to learn more.
Since blood pressures continually fluctuate, shifts of 10 to 20 mmHg naturally occur from moment to moment. To account for that, we looked for relative differences between the monitors. Some never varied more than 10 mmHg, others did over 35% of the time. Since 10 mmHg is enough variation to shift you from a healthy blood pressure classification group to a concerning one, we use that as our primary accuracy marker.
The most accurate monitors we tested are the Alcédo, Omron Platinum,Omron Evolv, and Omron Bronze. Only two readings from the Evolv and Bronze, and one from the Alcédo, deviated from the control by 10 mmHg or more. The Platinum never varied by that amount.
We've tested some of these devices several times now, for example, the Balance Greater Goods Cuff Kit. It did very well in our first round of tests, with only one concerning reading. In the latest round, it had three. We still consider it to be an accurate monitor, but less so.
The iHealth Track Smart, Paramed Automatic Accurate, and QardioArm Wireless Monitor were average performers in the test, with a few more readings that varied 10 mmHg or more. The Withings BPM Connect and LifeSource are slightly behind those, with only one more measurement beyond the marker than the QardioArm, but their numbers range more widely. We still think they work well enough to take regular blood pressure measurements and determine trends over time.
The other monitors are less accurate. Though they would probably do a reasonable job of tracking your blood pressure over time, it's hard to recommend them over more accurate options within similar price ranges.
How to Choose the Right Cuff Size According to the American Medical Association, all you need is a flexible tape measure, though a second person is helpful. Step 1 — Measure your arm, typically the left, from the top of your shoulder to the point of your elbow. (Technically speaking, from the acromion process to the olecranon process.) Step 2 — Find the midpoint and, thus, the middle of your upper arm.
Step 3 — Wrap the tape measure around the midpoint to find your arm's circumference in inches or centimeters.
General size range recommendations are as follows:
Small Adults: 22-26 cm or 8.7-10.2 in
Average Adults: 27-34 cm or 10.6-13.4 in
Large Adults: 35-44 cm or 13.8-17.3 in
Larger Adults: 45-52 cm or 17.7-20.5 in
Ease of Use
To identify blood pressure trends, we are looking for changes over time. To collect meaningful data, you need frequent and consistent results. Experts recommend getting a reading once a day at around the same time. With that in mind, it's ideal if the process is easy to do.
The Omron Evolv Wireless blows by the competition here. It has a molded cuff, making it as easy to pull on as a bracelet. Once you do that and manipulate it into the right location with the help of the user manual, all you have to do is press the start button to get a reading. To view that reading later, you'll need to download the app, link it to your device, and press the upload button on the monitor. The second process is less seamless but worth it to us for the everyday ease of taking a quick reading.
With a generous screen showing current and past readings, the Omron Platinum is a close runner-up. It has a button to toggle between users, one that averages your morning readings, and a memory button. You do have to poke around the user manual to figure out some of the more advanced functions, like setting up a three-reading average measurement, but it's not intimidating. The comfy cuff also has a "how-to" diagram for easy placement.
Like the Platinum, the Balance Greater Goods Cuff has clearly labeled buttons and performs a straightforward function. The cuff also has a graphic to help you align it correctly. The only hitch in the easy-peasy armor is that you must enter your data into the Balance Health app or a notebook if you want to save more than 60 readings. (The Greater Goods Bluetooth option solves this problem, letting you upload data, but its poor results in the accuracy test keep us from recommending it.)
The Omron Bronze is also straightforward. You've got a START/STOP button and a button to scroll through all 14 of your recorded readings, so it's hard to get confused.
The Alcédo and practically identical ParaMed are only slightly more complicated to use than the top options — mostly because they make it harder to switch between users. You need to press the SET button while the units are asleep and alternate between users with the MEM button to achieve the switch. On the upside, they talk to you, reminding you to keep calm and still during measurement, and they then read your results back out to you.
Both of these devices used to play annoying music while taking a blood pressure measurement. The 2022 version of the Alcédo we tested no longer does. We tested the ParaMed in 2020, and it may still play music. Regardless, we recommend the Alcédo since it is slightly more accurate. (You can place both units in silent mode by pressing the "Set" button twice when the power is off.)
The two techiest options, the QardioArm Wireless and Withings BPM Connect, aren't that hard to figure out. However, they do require some time and effort to do so. The iHealth Track Smart monitor is similar, though we did find ourselves checking the manual frequently, and it's not the most clear.
The Life Source model is straightforward but oddly finicky. It's hard to take two blood pressure readings in rapid succession, for example, and it makes it harder to check past readings than most options do.
Memory matters if you're doing the hard work of checking your blood pressure daily. You will want to make sure you can communicate that information to your doctor so your health will benefit.
The options in our lineup with apps have virtually unlimited memory. The QardioArm and Withings monitors automatically upload your readings, chart them, and save them. Both make it easy to email the recordings to yourself or your doctor.
The Omron app also provides these services, but you have to press some buttons to transfer your records via Bluetooth with the Platinum and the Evolv or manually enter them with the Bronze. Otherwise, the Omron Bronze only has space for 14 readings for a single user. The iHealth Track monitor holds 99 readings unless you upload them to the iHealth MyVitals app. Then, with the touch of a button, they become unlimited.
Not sure how to email your blood pressures to your doctor or prefer a blood pressure monitor that doesn't offer this option? Just take your blood pressure monitor with you to your next appointment.
The ParaMed and Alcédo have twice the memory of the Balance Greater Goods Cuff, 120 readings for each of two users instead of only 60. But the Balance has an app for you to upload your readings manually. The LAZLE Automatic Monitor does not have an app but will hold 100 readings for two users. The LifeSource only records 60 entries for one user.
If you measure your blood pressure every day for years, the reduced memory of simpler models will require you to use an external tracking system like a notebook or spreadsheet.
Most of these monitors will do a fine or even great job of measuring your blood pressure. But what else will they do for you? All of the options we tested give you your heart rate along with your blood pressure. All but one, the Withings, will alert you if they detect an irregular heartbeat. They also interpret your blood pressure using color codes based on the American Heart Association or the World Health Organization hypertension guidelines. And you'll get a case or sack with all but the Omron Bronze, iHealth Track, and Vive Precision. The QardioArm, Omron Evolv, and Withings wrap themselves up in tidy little packages.
You can set up the Omron Platinum, the QardioArm Wireless, and the Withings BPM Connect to take three measurements in a row and average them to enrich the data. The ParaMed, Alcédo, and Beurer BM 26 will average your last three readings. This will give you an idea of what is going on over time. The Platinum has a dedicated button to average your morning readings (morning is a great time to schedule consistent daily measurements) to summarize data at a glance.
The talking ParaMed and Alcédo are very useful if you have trouble seeing the monitor with or without your glasses. The ParaMed we tested also played bad music, as did the first version of the Alcédo we tested. The version we retested in 2022 no longer has a soundtrack — it only speaks to you, and we really appreciate that. It's a lot to commit to listening to someone else's tune choice every day.
We hope we've helped you find the perfect blood pressure monitor for your home health care. To get you ready for a proper reading, we'd like you to relax. Take a deep breath in. Let it out. Imagine you're swinging in a shade-cooled hammock beside a sun-struck beach. The white sand looks cool in the oblique light, but the sun is warm where a ray warms your feet. Birds are singing…
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