How to choose a home blood pressure monitor

February 14, 2024

For plan members, sponsors and administrators

Has your doctor suggested that you should get a home blood pressure monitor? A home monitor can help you keep track of your blood pressure readings, detect any changes, and alert you to potential health issues. Recording your blood pressure several times a day can help you learn what triggers your blood pressure to go up or down.

If you’ve been searching online or in the pharmacy, it might seem like choosing a home blood pressure monitor is a daunting task, especially if you are unfamiliar with the different types and features available. Here are some tips, developed with Cleveland Clinic Canada, to help you make an informed decision and select a monitor that best meets your needs.1

Choose arm cuffs (over wrist cuffs)

The devices that use a self-inflating cuff that wraps around your upper arm tend to provide the most accurate readings.

Get a good fit

To ensure a good fit and accurate readings, measure the circumference of your upper arm, mid-way between your elbow and shoulder. Cuffs come in a variety of sizes. Read the package details or online description when shopping to choose a device with a cuff size that matches your measurements.

Keep it simple

Some of the extra features included with a home blood pressure monitor can be useful, such as those that allow you to store previous results and track trends over time. However, more features generally add to the cost of the unit and aren’t always necessary.

Check for accuracy

You can go online to do some research before you buy. There are organizations, including Hypertension Canada (a registered charity involved in research, education, and public policy), that evaluate home blood pressure monitors. You can view the results of their work to see if the device you’re considering has been tested and reviewed.*

…then double (and triple) check for accuracy

Test your home monitor against your doctor’s measurements. If the top number on your cuff is within 10 points of your doctor’s reading, it’s generally considered accurate. Some devices take three measurements automatically. The monitor does a first reading, waits a minute and does a second reading, and then a minute later does a final reading. This gives you an average and tends to be more accurate than a single reading alone.

Are blood pressure monitors covered by my benefits plan?

Make sure you check your group benefits plan before or after you purchase. While home blood pressure monitors aren’t considered a medical device, you may be able to use your Health Care Spending Account to cover the cost, if you have one. Contact your plan administrator, or the person at your workplace responsible for your benefits plan, to find out more information.

To read more about Health Care Spending Accounts and what they can cover, check out this article:

4 ways to get the most from a Health Care Spending Account


*This article is for information purposes only. Manulife is not responsible for the availability or accuracy of the content found on external websites. Manulife does not test blood pressure devices, nor does Manulife make specific recommendations.



1 Cleveland Clinic, Buying a home blood pressure monitor? 6 things you need to know, 2023

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