Best Home Blood Pressure Monitors of 2021
These devices can help you keep better track of your numbers—and even get them under control
If your blood pressure is 130/80 mmHg or above, you have high blood pressure, according to the latest guidelines from the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association. By that definition, data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicate that 45 percent of all U.S. adults have hypertension. Of those, many may not know they have the condition.
High blood pressure also affects different racial and ethnic groups unequally in the U.S. Notably, 54 percent of Black adults have hypertension, compared with 46 percent of whites, according to the CDC. And while Asian and Hispanic adults have lower rates of high blood pressure than white and Black people, whites are more likely than Asian, Black, or Hispanic adults to have their hypertension under control.
Many factors appear to contribute to these disparities: a 2017 study in the journal Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes cited a lack of access to healthcare and quality insurance coverage as two important issues, while other studies have pointed to significant levels of chronic stress as a factor in the higher rates of hypertension in Black adults, including stress induced by racism and discrimination.
Experts have emphasized the need for research focused on better prevention and treatment of hypertension for Black Americans.
Another strategy to consider: home blood pressure monitoring.
And for certain people, a home monitor can help diagnose hypertension in the first place. A 2019 study in the journal Hypertension found that almost 46 percent of all U.S. adults could benefit from blood pressure monitoring outside the doctor’s office. That’s partly because of the need to test for phenomena like “masked” and “white coat” hypertension, in which in-office blood pressure measurements are lower or higher, respectively, than they are in daily life.
But what’s the best home monitor for you? Consumer Reports tests home blood pressure monitors for accuracy, ease of operation, and how they feel to wearers. After all, “you aren’t going to want to use the product if it’s not comfortable,” says Susan Booth, who oversees blood pressure monitor testing at CR.
How We Test
To evaluate each device, we enlist a panel of CR employees. Two testers trained to measure blood pressure compare each home monitor’s readings with the results of a mercury sphygmomanometer (the device considered the gold standard of BP testing), on each of our panelists’ left and right arms.
Panelists also rate each monitor for comfort, and our lab technicians evaluate them for convenience—clarity of the display, size of the buttons, and how easy they are to use.
Below, you’ll find four of our top-rated home blood pressure monitors. Members can see our full ratings and reviews here.