Is your home blood pressure monitor accurate?

Research we're watching

Published: July, 2020

Most home blood pressure monitors sold in Australia are not carefully tested for accuracy, according to a study published online April 10, 2020, by the journal Hypertension.

Because more than 90% of the devices the researchers studied were purchased from international online platforms such as Amazon and eBay, that means many devices purchased in the United States and elsewhere might give inaccurate readings, the authors say.

Only 6% of the 972 models of blood pressure monitoring devices sold in Australia had been validated. But about half of the total were wristband models, which experts consider less reliable than devices that feature upper-arm cuffs. In the study, about 18% of the models with upper-arm cuffs were validated, which was the case for just 8% of models with wrist cuffs and none of the wristband models.

Inaccurate readings could put people at risk for inappropriate treatment, possibly leaving them at higher risk of a heart attack or other complications. You can check if a blood pressure device has been validated at

Image: Pekic/Getty Images

As a service to our readers, Harvard Health Publishing provides access to our library of archived content. Please note the date of last review or update on all articles. No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.