If having your blood pressure taken at the doctors fills you with dread, investing in a home monitor can take away a lot of the stress. Buying the best blood pressure monitor is a great way of keeping tabs on your health, and helps to avoid a nasty surprise at the doctors.
Your blood pressure is recorded in a handy app, so you can easily see any trends or patterns, which can help you to make lifestyle changes more quickly. What's more, you can show your doctor your results, giving a much more rounded view of your health.
Blipcare Blip Wi-Fi Blood Pressure Monitor
$159.95, blipcare.com | Amazon
Although this monitor won't win any awards for its aesthetics, it does however pack some great features into a simple yet effective package. The Pyle Health smartphone app has a clean, colourful design allowing up to four different users to track their blood pressure.
It can keep tabs on your past results and produce graphs for easy data absorption. These results can be emailed to your doctor so they can get the detailed information they need to make a relevant reading of your heart health. The Pyle Health app can also work with the Pyle Scales and thermometer, for a more comprehensive health coverage.
The other Pyle product serves the arm while this blood pressure monitor can be used on the wrist. All it requires is a press of a button then the LDC display will show your readings.
There's also a companion app to wirelessly transfer information - which can then be shared with family members or even your doctor. The Pyle Health app works with iOS 6 devices and later and with Android 4.3 devices and later.
This rather elegant battery-powered model works just like an NHS monitor only it doesn't look half as ugly. In fact, it's rather Apple-like in design and that extends to the classy packaging. Using Bluetooth, simply connect the QardioArm monitor to your iOS smartphone or tablet, register your personal details (height, weight, age), wrap the unit round your upper arm and hit the big green start button on your mobile device.
Results – including pulse rate – are automatically synchronized with the app which keeps a record of all readings in calendar form. To send the results to your GP, simply hit the standard Apple-designed share icon. Like all the best devices in life, the QardioArm is easy to use so there's no need for any instruction manual malarkey. It's also eminently portable and available in a range of attractive colours. Top choice and excellent value.
Withings Wireless Blood Pressure Monitor
Blood pressure monitors don't come more stylish than this compact unit from the reputable house of Withings. Bluetooth connectivity is seamless. In fact, as soon as you tap the button on the unit, it launches the dedicated Health Mate app and starts the test, uploading the colour-coded results directly to any smartphone for easy recall and forwarding of data.
The app is beautifully designed with crisp, clear graphics and simple menus. In fact it does a whole lot more than just monitor blood pressure: it'll track your weight and keep you abreast of your daily activity and sleep patterns. Withings is renowned for its cleverly designed health-related devices. This one doesn't disappoint.
Omron 10 Series
The 10 Series is a small, pocket-sized blood pressure monitor that offers connectivity via NFC (near field communication). Unlike the QardioArm and iHealth models, the 10 Series doesn't entertain the user with a pretty bells-and-whistles smartphone interface. Instead it uses a simple black-and-white display unit which in turn is attached to an inflatable strap that slips round the wrist.
With Bluetooth Smart, you can wirelessly connect to your online dashboard for a digital record of your blood pressure readings. It also connects with both iOS and Android devices.
Like the Withings and QardioArm, this iHealth model is comprised of a large but easily portable measuring unit that inflates a strap around the arm. All results are sent directly to the accompanying free app on your smartphone (both Android and iOS).
The app itself is very well structured with easy-to-follow instructions and we especially like the way it keeps the user informed with an animated graph during the test process. The main unit itself is very similar in design to the QardioArm. The iHealth system works well too and the company also produces several other versions.
HeartWise Blood Pressure Tracker
If you already have a basic NHS-supplied hand-pump BP monitor and want to keep easy track of your daily readings, consider this highly-rated statistics app for the iPhone. It allows you to enter your own readings, save them on the app in diary form and then send individual results as emails to your GP. Just remember, though, that the app is useless without an actual BP measuring device, but you can snap up a no-frills hand-pump model for as little as £8.