Pros and cons of a wrist blood pressure monitor
Typically, traditional upper arm cuffs are considered to give superior measurements to their easier to use wrist based counterparts. This is mostly due to inaccuracies in measurements, which can mostly be mitigated by using a wrist blood pressure monitor correctly.
Some people find upper arm hypertension cuffs to be uncomfortable or hard to fit, so they prefer to use wrist blood pressure monitors. For blood pressure devices to be effective, a good fit is absolutely required. Patients who have unusually large or small arms, may find that the readings they’re getting from upper arm cuffs to be inaccurate. For these users, either a better fitting upper arm cuff or a wrist blood pressure monitor would provide useful data.
Are wrist blood pressure 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.
Having any blood pressure monitor is considerably better that not getting a measurement at all. Ideally a good upper arm hypertension cuff is the instrument of choice for getting accurate results. However, if you find upper arm cuffs uncomfortable or have a bad fitting, then a wrist blood pressure monitor is an acceptable substitute. Keep in mind that it’s important to keep your wrist at the same elevation as your heart to ensure an accurate reading.