Home Blood Pressure Monitor — Manual or Automatic?


Blood Pressure, one of the four main vitals, is one of the most common medical tests performed. Accurate blood pressure measurement is essential for correct diagnosis and treatment, making the importance of accuracy undisputed. In fact, more doctors are recommending the use of home blood pressure monitors so that patients can regularly, conveniently check their blood pressure.

Has your doctor advised you start monitoring your blood pressure at home? The thought of this can be overwhelming, but the first step is selecting the right Blood Pressure Monitor for you. There are two options to choose from: Automatic or Manual.

Factors to Consider:

  • Consider whether you or your loved one will be taking the measurement on their own or with the help of a nurse or aide
  • Determine whether you or the patient has adequate hearing and sight for blood pressure measurement, since manual units will require both of these
  • If you travel frequently or are away from home often, you may need to consider how easily you can transport your Blood Pressure Monitor

Manual Blood Pressure Monitors

Lumiscope 100-021 Manual Blood Pressure Monitor

A manual Blood Pressure Monitor consists of four main components: the cuff, the aneroid gauge, the bulb, and a stethoscope. It is important to consider whether the patient will be taking their own blood pressure, because a manual unit can be difficult if not impossible to maneuver alone. In order to obtain an accurate reading, a nurse, aide, or family member will need to assist by applying the cuff appropriately and listening to the stethoscope to record the data. Manual Blood Pressure Monitors are not ideal for the hearing or visually impaired, due to the necessity of reading the gauge and listening to the heartbeat. The use of a manual blood pressure monitor at home can help the patient become comfortable with the procedure, which can help prevent hypertension caused by doctor’s-office white coat syndrome.

Automatic Blood Pressure Monitors

Lumiscope 1133 Automatic Digital Blood Pressure Monitor

Automatic Blood Pressure Monitors have become widely popular, thanks to their ease of use. Automatic units use a wrist or upper arm cuff and usually have a large digital display for the patient to view the reading, making them good for quick, easy readings that do not require an additional person. Although it has been cited that automatic units minimize both white coat syndrome in doctors’ offices and human error in readings, some studies show these units are not as reliable as their manual counterparts. This is because each automatic unit has its own algorithm for taking measurements. In a way, this means not all automatic blood pressure units are created equal.

Finding the right solution for you or your loved one can be difficult. It is important to keep all factors in mind and consult with a healthcare professional whenever questions arise.

The information offered here is not medical advice and is not intended to replace guidance offered by your medical professionals.


Shelby Kenney is an Associate Product Manager at Graham-Field.

About GF Health Products, Inc.

Headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, with more than 300 US-based employees, GF Health Products, Inc. is a major manufacturer of healthcare products for the acute care, extended care, homecare and primary care markets. Graham-Field product brands include Basic American Medical Products®, Everest & Jennings®, Grafco®, Hausted®, Intensa™, John Bunn®, Labtron®, Lumex® and Lumiscope®. Visit www.grahamfield.com or call 1.770.368.4700.