How to Take Your Blood Pressure at Home

February 2024

If you have high blood pressure, your doctor may recommend self-measured blood pressure monitoring (SMBP) — taking your blood pressure at home.

To get the most accurate reading, follow these steps:

Step 1. Get an accurate blood pressure machine. Choose an automatic, cuff-style monitor that goes over your upper arm. You can buy these at any pharmacy or online. Ask your pharmacist for a device they trust.

Step 2. Ask your doctor how often you should take your readings.

Step 3. Take your readings at the same time every day.

Step 4. Get ready. Don’t drink, eat, smoke, or exercise 30 minutes before taking your reading. At least five minutes before, empty your bladder/urinate, and get some rest or relax.

Step 5. Sit up in a chair with good back support. Put both feet flat on the ground. Don’t cross your legs or ankles.

Step 6. Place your arm on a chest-high table. If your arm drops to your side, this
can increase your reading.

Step 7. Place the cuff on bare skin, snug but not tight. Roll up your sleeve if needed. Putting the cuff over clothing can increase your reading.

Step 8. Stay still and don’t talk while the machine takes your reading.

Step 9. Take at least two blood pressure readings, one minute apart.

Step 10. Keep a log of your blood pressure readings so you can share them with your doctor. With some blood pressure machines, you can download your readings to your smartphone.

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