Blood pressure monitoring at home is important to actively manage your health. You can do this occasionally if you don’t have any risk factors. But, if you have risk factors, then frequently knowing your blood pressure numbers is important. Doctors often recommend monitoring blood pressure at home to manage or treat high blood pressure or certain other health conditions.

To measure blood pressure, portable blood pressure monitors are available widely, but you should know how to use them properly. Let us understand why home-based blood pressure monitoring is important and what measures you should take to accurately measure your blood pressure.

Blood pressure monitoring at home is important for whom?

Monitoring blood pressure at home is important for:

  • Those who have high blood pressure
  • People who are starting or changing blood pressure medications.
  • Those who require close monitoring of blood pressure.
  • People who have conditions like kidney disease or heart disease
  • People who have risk factors for high blood pressure (family history, obesity, diabetes)

Why home blood pressure monitoring at home is important?

If you monitor your blood pressure at home, you will know whether your blood pressure readings are changing or fluctuating.

Your Blood pressure readings can be high when checked in the clinic or hospital ,so it can give wrong information about your BP Control.

If you have high blood pressure, it is best you  check your blood pressure at home regularly and make a note of your readings, and inform your doctor.

By knowing your blood pressure reading, your doctor will know whether the treatment is working.

How to prepare and take blood pressure readings?

The following measures should be followed before measuring your blood pressure:

  1. Always plan ahead – don’t drink coffee, beverages, or exercise within 30 minutes before taking blood pressure.
  2. Empty your bladder
  3. Remove clothing over the arm. You can use either arm.
  4. Sit still or calm down for at least 5 minutes before measurements.
  5. Don’t talk or use your phone.
  6. Sit with your back straight on a good back-supported chair.
  7. Keep your feet flat on the floor. Don’t cross your legs.
  8. Provide support to your arm by placing your forearm on a flat surface.
  9. Place the cuff on the upper arm and make sure that the middle of the cuff is at heart level.
  10. Measure your blood pressure at the same time every day and record the readings.
  11. Take multiple readings and note the results.
  12. When you take measurements – take two readings one or two minutes apart.

What does your blood pressure reading mean?

Blood Pressure Systolic BP (upper number)        And / Or Diastolic BP (Lower number)
High BP (Stage1) 130 – 139 Or   80 – 89
High BP (Stage2) 140 or Higher Or 90 or higher
Hypertensive Crisis Higher than 180 And / Or Higher than 120


What if your blood pressure reading is elevated?

When you measure blood pressure and get a higher reading, it is not a cause for concern. Take your blood pressure measurement a second time, write down the results – and then check with your doctor. If you notice blood pressure higher than 180/120 mm Hg, then wait a minute or so and then test again. If you still have very high readings, then contact your doctor immediately and right away go to the hospital.

If your blood pressure is higher than 180/120 mm Hg with the following signs and symptoms: weakness, numbness, back pain, shortness of breath, dizziness, confusion, and speaking difficulty, then immediately rush to the hospital

Bottom Line

Even if you are satisfied with your home blood pressure monitoring, it doesn’t mean that you should not visit your doctor. Also, never abruptly stop taking blood pressure medication without informing your doctor when you see that your blood pressure readings are normal.

If you have kidney disease and your blood pressure readings are changing frequently, then talk to your nephrologist as soon as possible.