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Why Test Blood Pressure at Home?

home blood pressure monitoring vs doctor

Benefits of Home Blood Pressure Monitoring

At first, you may believe that you just want to leave your blood-pressure-taking to when you're at the doctor's office.

But there are so many excellent reasons why you should really consider having a blood pressure monitor at home... and using it!

Sure... you may think that you would just stress over using the monitor, and that would just raise your blood pressure. 

Maybe at first, it would. That's where you need to use your mindset and decide ahead of time that you just want to know the facts of your numbers so:

  • You'll have the peace of mind of knowing the numbers are great... or at least good.
Making the decision before wrapping the cuff around your arm is key. Then just take a couple of relaxing deep breaths.

  • Imagine the peace of mind you will have knowing that you can tell what your blood pressure numbers are doing every day without having to run to the doctor and having to pay the huge doctor fee each time!
  • Keeping track of your own blood pressure daily, weekly, or even a couple of times a day eliminates the possibility of "white coat syndrome" where your blood pressure reads higher simply because of driving to the doctor and being nervous about what your blood pressure will be while there.
  •  It's almost impossible for you to be sitting and relaxed, which is how you need to be... when you're at the doctor's office.
  • Most times the nurse takes your blood pressure right after going into the office. You may have been fighting traffic, or just running/walking into the office... so you will definitely have a higher number if anything close to that happens.
Even though many monitors keep a record of your readings, I highly recommend keeping your own log on your computer...at least at first.

That way, you can see at a glance from one week to the next how you have lowered your blood pressure. That in itself gives a sense of relief!

Will you be able to work the monitor?

I bought the Omron HEM-780 Automatic Blood Pressure Monitor with ComFit Cuff, and let me tell you – if I can do it, so can you!
Since I bought it back in 2009, that particular model is no longer available, but there are updated Omron models that have similar benefits & features, as well as great reviews on Amazon.

Two important features to look for are:

  • How many users will use the monitor: 1 or 2
  • How many blood pressure readings do you want to keep recorded. Most models list depending on one or two users and will tell you how many recordings that particular model holds.
  • The size of the cuff... it can affect the accuracy if it's not the right size. A typical size would be a size that fits upper arms from 9 to 17 inches around.
This is an Omron model for 2 users, with 60 readings recorded for each user, with a comfortable cuff that fits arms measuring between 9 and 17 inches around.

Omron Gold Blood Pressure Monitor

I am the absolute worst at anything technical, but the instructions showed how to put the cuff on, and the rest is basically either put batteries in or plug in and hit start, relax and wait for your numbers.

How Do You Know Your Blood Pressure Monitor Is Accurate?

It's not uncommon to wonder if your blood pressure is actually accurate, especially if you are getting a different reading every time you use it.

What you need to remember is your blood pressure can change with every thought, every pain you feel, and every stress you feel. Sometimes it changes even if you breathe differently from one breath to the next! 

So if you see your blood pressure numbers change a lot, don't worry about that.

What you can do is sit at a table, but let your body relax. Take a deep breath or three. Then take your blood pressure. If your numbers are close to the same, that would be awesome.

If you want to actually confirm your monitor's accuracy, one way is to take it with you to the doctor's office at your next appointment.

When the doctor or nurse takes your blood pressure reading, take another reading with your own monitor right there in the office. Compare the two. If they are the same or within a couple of numbers, chances are very good that your monitor is accurate.

Get your doctor's opinion on it as well.

Features of the Omron HEM-780

It has several really easy-to-use features:
·         The Intelli-Sense tells it automatically to what level it needs to inflate the cuff.

·         It has a large display panel, so it’s easy to read (I could see it even without glasses!)

·         The Cuff fits larger arms (9 to 17 inches in circumference). No worry about whether it will fit around your arm or not, even if you’re overweight.

·         Detects morning hypertension, which is important because many times blood pressure is higher in the morning than other times of day. Your doctor should be aware of any morning hypertension issues.

·         Detects irregular heartbeats, and tells you the number of heartbeats per minute.

·         The monitor keeps a record of your past blood pressure readings, so you can easily take the record to your doctor, or just compare for yourself.

·         It gives you a choice of plugging the unit into electricity or using four 4 size-AA batteries.

·         The Omron HEM-780 has the ability to read blood pressure readings for two people and record both simply by moving the switch.

·         Records the date and time of each blood pressure reading.

·         It has a 5 year guarantee.

·         It comes in a zip-up case with a protective flap covering the number screen.
I’ve been using my Omron blood pressure monitor for going on three years now, and have never had an issue with it. There are monitors for a little less money, but they usually have a shorter guarantee period, also smaller cuffs, and not as many features (such as the ability to record 2 separate individuals' numbers).


It has now been 13 years that I've been using the same Omron blood pressure monitor...the only time it didn't work was when the battery ran down. That's not really an issue because it comes with an electrical cord if you prefer to or need to use it instead of batteries! 

The best part of having a monitor is if you even have an inkling of a suspicion that your blood pressure is high...simply check it with your monitor to make sure! 

It's SUCH a relief when you find out you're fine...and if you're not, you will know what to do...right?