Home blood pressure monitors

October 8, 2010

Checking your blood pressure regularly at home can help keep it under control. Consumer Reports just tested 13 home monitors, ranging from $30 to more than $100.

Testers compared the results to readings from a standard device, the kind found in a doctor's office. Some of the home monitors strap on the arm, while others wrap around the wrist. Consumer Reports found that the wrist cuffs aren't as accurate as arm cuffs.

Consumer Reports named two of the arm-cuff monitors Best Buys.

The Microlife Deluxe Automatic, $40, comes loaded with features, such as the ability to store readings for two users and download results for easy sharing with your doctor.

The second Best Buy, the $34 ReliOn from Walmart, has fewer features but is also very accurate.

Consumer Reports says monitoring your blood pressure at home is not a substitute for a doctor's care, so be sure to routinely have your blood pressure checked professionally. And if you're going to get a home monitor, check with your health insurer to see whether it covers any of the expense. Some insurers do.

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