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Do home blood pressure monitors read higher?

Do home blood pressure monitors read higher?

Do home blood pressure monitors read higher?

The answer to this question is somewhat complicated. It depends on several factors including the specific monitor being used and how it was calibrated. In general, home blood pressure monitors provide accurate readings.

2 Main reasons why home blood pressure monitors may read higher

Incorrect Calibration: If you haven't correctly calibrated your device according to the manufacturer's instructions, then your readings will likely be inaccurate even if you followed all the steps correctly. For example, if you didnโ€™t place the cuff at exactly 90-degrees from your arm when taking measurements then you could end up with incorrect results.

Some models require calibration every few months in order to remain accurate which means regularly checking for accuracy over time is necessary for reliable results.

Poorly Fitted Cuffs: The most important part of using any type of monitor is making sure it fits correctly around the arm. If thereโ€™s too much slack in the cuff then it wonโ€™t fit well enough and this can lead to false high readings due to air gaps between skin and cuff causing extra inflation during the measurement process.

How do I know if my blood pressure monitor is accurate?

The first step in checking the accuracy of your home BP monitor is to check for visible signs of damage such as cracks, loose parts, and corrosion. If any of these problems exist then it could affect the accuracy of your measurements so itโ€™s best to replace the device before attempting any further testing. Once you have ensured that no physical damage exists then you can begin testing its accuracy.

You can check the blood pressure of a person, 3 consecutive times with a gap of 1 minute each. If there is a lot of difference between the readings, then your blood pressure monitor might be showing wrong reading.

To check the accuracy you can go to a nearby clinic in your area and compare the readings of your blood pressure monitor with a sphygmomanometer. If the difference between two readings exceeds more than 10mmHg then calibrate/adjust settings according to manufacturer instructions. If differences between two machines persist after calibration adjustments then your home monitor might be showing wrong readings.


How accurate are home blood pressure monitors?

Home blood pressure monitors are typically accurate and reliable when used correctly. However, it's important to note that readings can vary depending on the device you're using, how well you follow the instructions, and other factors such as your body position. One thing you can do is check with your health professional if your blood pressure is accurate or not.

What does it mean if the blood pressure cuff gets very tight?

When the blood pressure cuff gets very tight, it means that the cuff is too small for your arm. The cuff should fit tight but not be so tight that it causes discomfort or pain. If your cuff is too tight, it can cause restricted circulation in the arm which can lead to pain, tingling, and numbness. The restriction of circulation can also cause swelling and discoloration of the skin due to pooling of fluids beneath the surface. If left on for an extended period of time it can even cause tissue damage. If you feel the cuff more tightly than usual then ask a medical professional to measure again with a larger size.

Consequences of Overly Tight Blood Pressure Cuffs

If a blood pressure cuff is too tight, it can cause inaccurate readings. The pressure of the cuff may be higher than the actual blood pressure, resulting in an artificially high reading.

  1. Falsely Low Blood Pressure Readings: If the blood pressure cuff is too tight, it causes a false reading of the blood pressure. This can lead to incorrect diagnosis and inappropriate treatment.
  1. Nerve Damage: Excessive tightening of blood pressure cuffs can cause nerve damage, especially in elderly patients with fragile skin or weakened muscles.
  1. Pain and Discomfort: An overly tight blood pressure cuff can cause pain and discomfort during the measurement process since it restricts the flow of blood in the arm.

  2. Bruising: Prolonged use of an excessively tight cuff may result in bruising around the arm due to localised increased pressure caused by squeezing of soft tissues against hard bones such as elbows and wrists.


The accuracy of blood pressure monitors is essential for obtaining accurate readings and taking decisions based on the reading. The accuracy of a blood pressure monitor depends on many factors. Automatic blood pressure monitors are generally accurate. Measurement errors can still occur due to user technique or other factors such as movement during the reading process. Therefore, it is recommended that users always consult their doctor before making any health-related decisions based on readings from a home blood pressure monitor.

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