I have both a wrist blood pressure monitor and an upper arm blood pressure monitor.

I generally enjoy using the wrist monitor more, as it's difficult for me to secure the cuff on the arm monitor, as I have somewhat bulky arms.

I'm currently very confused, though, as the wrist monitor I purchased recently is suddenly giving me readings that are about 20 points below the upper arm monitor's readings: 95 systolic and 55-60 diastolic.

The monitor I've had for my upper arm has given me a wide range of readings at times, with gaps between readings taken minutes apart.

Which should I trust is more accurate? The lower readings from the wrist monitor, or the ones from the arm monitor? I've tried both several times and they're coming in consistently at a range apart.

  • 2
    Frankly, I think wrist BP monitors are little more than random number generators.
    – Carey Gregory
    Commented May 15, 2017 at 22:52
  • I've noticed what I suspect is high variability in the arm-band monitor I use, readings taken one after the other without removing the band. The systolic reading seems most variable. Just my own experience. Commented Dec 29, 2018 at 23:40

1 Answer 1


Take both to your doctor's office the next time and compare them to the manual cuff. There are many models that can be calibrated that way.

Not all models are as accurate as others. This article from the American Heart Association recommends arm monitors over wrist ones.

Wrist and finger monitors are not recommended because they yield less reliable readings.

I've anecdotally heard of more inaccuracies in wrist than upper arm monitors. Mayo Clinic recommends the same.

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