How to choose the type of blood pressure monitor

Medical professionals and nursing homes need to keep track of the health status of their patients and residents at all times. A sphygmomanometer or commonly known as blood pressure monitor is a health monitoring device that can be easily operated to accurately determine the blood pressure. Recently, inexpensive, multifunctional blood pressure monitors that can be used at home have been increasing in number and are used in different situations.

What is a sphygmomanometer?

It is a health device developed to measure one's own blood pressure easily at hospitals as well as pharmacies and at home. A sphygmomanometer measures blood pressure by measuring the blood flow through the arteries that pass through the arm. In doing so, it compresses the blood vessels and temporarily stops the flow of blood, but the pressure is gradually reduced. By measuring the heartbeat during this process, the blood pressure status can be measured.

Selecting by measurement methods

Blood pressure monitors can be selected from electronic and aneroid based on the difference in measurement method.

Electronic blood pressure monitor

This is the most commonly distributed type at medical institutions, self-medication spaces of pharmacies, and at home. When switched on, it automatically starts pressurization and decompression and measures the subject's blood pressure. It is easy to operate and does not require special knowledge or experience, so it is widely used in nursing care facilities.

Aneroid blood pressure monitor

This blood pressure monitor is often used by medical professionals during home visits. It measures blood pressure by manually applying pressure by pushing a pump and reading the data from an analog sphygmomanometer called an aneroid. It has the advantage of being small and lightweight, making it easy to carry, but it requires specialized knowledge on how to operate and check the data.

Selecting based on the measurement site, such as upper arm or wrist type

A blood pressure monitor measures blood pressure by fixing a part called a cuff to the body part. It is possible to select a blood pressure monitor according to the part of the body to which the cuff is attached.

Upper arm type

カフタイプ     アームインタイプ

           Cuff Type                         Arm-in type

This is the most commonly distributed blood pressure monitor. It is also called ‘arm type’ to distinguish it from the wrist type. There are two types: the arm-in type, which is installed and measures by inserting the arm into the device, and the cuff type, which measures by wrapping the pressurized portion around the upper arm. A blood pressure monitor cannot measure accurate values unless the pressurized portion is at the same level as the heart. In the case of the cuff type, it is important to adjust the height of the table on which the device is placed and the chair on which the subject sits to ensure that the measurement is taken at the correct position. On the other hand, in the case of an upper arm type, it is easy to maintain the correct posture and even those who have difficulty in moving their bodies can measure blood pressure relatively easily.

Wrist type


Compared to the upper arm type, the wrist type is smaller and lighter, making it convenient to use when measuring one's own blood pressure on the road, such as on business trips or vacations. Generally, it is worn in the same position as a wristwatch, with the display facing the inside of the wrist. One of the features of wrist blood pressure monitors is that many of them are powered by small batteries such as AAA batteries.

Selecting by wrist and arm circumference

In order to accurately measure blood pressure, the size of the measurement area must match the measurement range of the blood pressure monitor to be used. The cuff of the blood pressure monitor always indicates the applicable arm circumference that can be measured.

For normal upper arm type, unless otherwise specified, the arm circumference is generally 22 to 32cm. Some arm-in type blood pressure monitors are available with an adaptable arm circumference of 17 to 32cm, which is quite a wide range.

In addition, some cuff type blood pressure monitors allow only the cuff to be exchanged for a different size. A wide range of sizes are available, from thin ones such as 12-18 and 14-25cm that are suitable for children and thin people to 32-50 and 41-61cm that are suitable for large people and sportsmen.

Selecting by function

When using blood pressure monitors in nursing homes, it is convenient to be able to keep the records for multiple people. A variety of blood pressure monitors are available, including those equipped with a memory transfer function using USB or Bluetooth and those compatible with smartphone applications. Generally, those with memory functions are the arm-in types. Generally, the number of people that can be recorded is one or two, and the memory capacity is 80 to 90 records per person.


Blood pressure monitors are health devices that have been attracting attention in recent years because they allow people to easily check their health status at home or at work, as well as at medical facilities and nursing care facilities. Wrist type blood pressure monitors are often less expensive than arm-in type blood pressure monitors, and some types allow users to check their data via smartphones or other devices, making it easier to manage one's own health.