How to get a blood pressure reading

You can get a blood pressure reading at:

  • some pharmacies
  • home by buying a blood pressure monitor


Getting a blood pressure reading at a pharmacy

Some pharmacies offer blood pressure checks for free or for a small fee.

It's best to call ahead or check online to find out if your local pharmacy offers blood pressure checks.


Buying a home blood pressure monitor

What to buy 

Look for a digital blood pressure monitor that you use on your upper arm. Upper arm blood pressure monitors give the most accurate and reliable results.  

Home blood pressure monitors start at around £10 and are available online or from a pharmacy.


Before you buy 

Check the monitor: 

  • Has a CE mark – this means it meets health and safety standards
  • Has the manufacturer’s address on the packaging

Make sure the monitor will fit your arm (known as the ‘cuff size’). To check, measure around your upper arm halfway between your shoulder and elbow. 

A monitor that doesn’t fit will give you incorrect readings. Most upper arm monitors only come with one arm cuff but you can buy larger or smaller arm cuffs separately. 


Before you use your monitor

Make sure you: 

  • Check for damage
  • Follow the instructions on how to use, store and maintain your monitor 
  • Fill in the warranty or guarantee so the manufacturer can contact you if they find a fault 

You’ll need to get your blood pressure monitor recalibrated every two years. Check the instructions for details on what you need to do. Usually you’ll need to send it back to the manufacturer and they may charge a fee.

The British Heart Foundation has more details on how to check your blood pressure at home.

Read more about your blood pressure on our website.

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