Wrist Blood Pressure Monitor Pros And Cons

Wrist blood pressure monitor is being used by many Americans these days. As these are quite user friendly, more people started to use this in their daily life.

However, before you buy a wrist blood pressure monitor, here are a few things that you need to know.

Are you considering buying a wrist blood pressure monitor?

If the answer is yes, then the first thing that you need to know is, these are not as accurate as the arm machines that we usually use and the American Heart Association does not recommend these to their patients. So, would you buy it? To know more about it, keep on reading.

What a Wrist Blood Pressure Monitor is? 

A wrist blood pressure monitor is absolutely like a traditional pressure machine but instead of taking the regular arm pressure, it takes pressure from the wrist.


In a study published in the year 2016, in the popular journal Hypertension, the researchers trained 721 general people to use the wrist blood pressure machine for measuring their own BP at home.

These people were also trained to use the traditional arm blood pressure machine that wraps around the arm. Doctors measured the blood pressure of these people at the hospital and this reading was used as reference.

When these participants used the wrist BP monitor at home, around 86 percent of them obtained wrong result. What actually happened to them?

The first reading or the systolic reading as well as the second reading or the diastolic reading was 5 mmHg more than that of their arm measurement.

And, around three quarters of these participants got a reading that was 10 mmHg higher compared to that of the arm.

The researchers surmised that this artificial high reading was due to the inaccurate positioning of the wrist of the participants.

To get a generally correct reading the wrist must be positioned at the heart level. Participants should not keep their hands on their lap or on a low table.

In other studies it was found that, the wrist devices give inconsistent measurements in most of the cases. A small study was conducted in 2013 in Blood Pressure Monitor.

Both the wrist and arm devices were worn on each arm and the BP level of the participant were measured over a period of 24 hours.

Both the systolic and diastolic measurements were off at certain times from the wrist monitor compared to that of the arm blood pressure monitor. The pressure of the participants were abnormally high in some cases.

Another study was published in 2010 in a journal of clinical hypertension and was found that, the reading of blood pressure differed a lot from each other.

In this study, there were 250 participants and in 83% of the cases the blood pressure was different from the arm blood pressure monitor than the wrist blood pressure monitor.

So, you can already understand how the wrist blood pressure machine can give you false result compared to the arm blood pressure machine.

However, there are some people for whom it is an advantage to use the wrist blood pressure machine.

Let’s get to know the pros of using the wrist blood pressure machine. Then, you would be able to compare it to the arm machine that we generally use.

Pros of Wrist Blood Pressure Monitor 

Traditionally it has been believed and has been proved by various studies that, the arm blood pressure monitor gives more accurate result compared to that of the wrist monitor.

This is because, the position of the arm is very important when it comes to the measuring of BP with the help of wrist monitor. There are people who are not comfortable with the traditional arm monitor.


It is hard to get accurate BP result from someone who has extremely small or big arms. In such situation, the arm blood pressure monitor does not fit properly and results in wrong reading.

The only way to get accurate result is, the wrist monitor. The wrist monitor can be used with patients suffering from any medical condition like anorexia, obesity etc.

The wrist monitor is placed in such a way that it is in the same level of heart. In this way, the BP is measured.

In some cases, the BP reading comes a little high that the natural blood pressure of the body. If you are at the doctor’s chamber then, he or she will adjust it. So, you do not need to worry about it.

Some people are there who are so obese that the doctor cannot use a arm cuff. The arm cuff cannot be properly wrapped around their arm.

The wrist machine works very well and gives accurate result of their hands are placed on the right position.The wrist blood pressure monitors are great for the women who have gone thru breast cancer surgery.

But, in other cases, it is always recommended to use the standard arm pressure monitor.

Cons of Wrist Blood Pressure Monitor 

Although it was proved that wrist blood pressure monitor gives wrong results, if you maintain all the steps of measuring pressure correctly then, you will get accurate result from it.  

This is because, the wrist monitor is very sensitive to the position of the body. For the accurate result, you need to position your body in such a way that it remains absolutely in the same position to our body.

Even then, the blood pressure reading comes a little more higher than the usual. The reason behind this is the arteries of the wrist are quite narrower and are not as deep as your upper arm. Hence, the reading comes higher than usual.

The American Heart Association said, if the patient is not suffering from any body condition that prevents him/ her from using the traditional arm blood pressure monitor then, he or she should not use the wrist monitor.

As it gives false result the patient might intake high BP medicines. Hence, it is not recommended to use the wrist BP machine at home.

So, it is highly recommended to use the arm blood pressure monitor to get the accurate result.

It is natural to get different blood pressure readings at home and at the office of the doctor. If you own a wrist blood pressure monitor, it is better if you take your wrist monitor to the chamber of your doctor.

Then, your doctor can check and correct the position to get accurate result. Even if the device is faulty, you doctor would be able to detect it.

Are the Wrist BP Monitors Accurate?

Yes, but they need to be used as indicated and this may pose the biggest concern that doctors and medical associations have about recommending wrist blood pressure monitors.

The key to getting a good measurement is to hold your wrist and arm at the same height as your heart. Many users either estimate the height of their heart poorly or just ignore this requirement all together.

This gives patients inaccurate readings, which can lead patients to false conclusions based on bad data.

Yes, they are accurate but need to be used in a very sophisticated manner in order to get the right reading. The primary key to get the accurate result is to hold your arm in the same position of your heart.

In most cases, the users keep their hands on an arm rest or on their lap. This causes glitch in measuring the BP level. So, if you are using such type of blood then, maintain all the recommended rules to measure the blood pressures.

Having a blood pressure monitor at home is better than not having a measuring machine at all. So, you can buy the one that matches your necessity. Keep in mind that, whatever machine you are using should match your requirements.

Team Chooserly

A passionate blogger! Editor at Chooserly, and a regular author at HuffingtonPost, LifeHacker & Forbes!

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