Hypertension is a silent killer that can lead to weakening of the arteries and eventually lead to stroke, heart attack, kidney disease, or other bodily organs shutting down. Knowing this, it is clear to us that we should be proactive by using a device like the Microlife Blood Pressure Monitor at home. But before we can go ahead and buy a monitor we have to figure out what our blood pressure cuff size measures out to be first. If we choose a size that is too small or too big for our arm the test results on our machine will not be right.
There are three ways of determining if a cuff is your size or not:
- Circumference measurement of your upper arm
- Bladder Width of the cuff compared to your arm circumference
- Bladder Length compared to your arm circumference
Circumference of your Upper Arm
Your blood pressure cuff size can easily be found by comparing the circumference of your arm and comparing it to the manufacturers' sizes. Here you would take a cloth measuring tape and wrap it around your upper arm (between your shoulder and elbow) to get the centimeters or the inches. For example, if you were looking to buy a Microlife Blood Pressure Monitor and your arm circumference was 18 cm then you would choose the small cuff based on what that brand offers. This is the best way to determine your cuff size when purchasing online.
Bladder Size Compared to Arm Circumference
If you are sharing your monitor with friends or family you can easily check if the blood pressure cuff size that you have is right for them by comparing the width or length of the bladder portion of your cuff with the circumference of their upper arm. The bladder is the portion that fills up with air; it inflates and then will deflate to get your systolic and diastolic fluid pressure within your blood vessels.
Here the width of the bladder should be forty to fifty percent of your upper arm circumference. The Bladder length should be eighty to one hundred percent of your upper arm circumference. This can be easily visualized by placing the cuff onto the arm and estimating how much it covers.
Your Blood Pressure Cuff Size Based on Arm Length
Not only the length of your cuff is important but the width needs to not be too narrow. This only really becomes a concern for really tall people with long upper arms. Here you want the cuff size to measure 67 to 75 percent of the length of your upper arm (length from shoulder to elbow).
Importance of Measuring your Blood Pressure Cuff Size Correctly
Using the blood pressure cuff size that measures correctly for your upper arm is important for accurate readings. You do not want to erroneously give yourself a reading of hyper tension or hypo tension. For instance, if you were to use a cuff that was way too big for you it would give you lower readings (hypotension) or if your cuff was too small it would give you higher readings (hypertension).
When you are not sure and your measurement is closely between two sizes it is best to go with the larger size. For example, the Microlife blood pressure monitor has a range of measurements for the small, medium, large, and extra-large. Small is 17 to 22 cm and medium is 22 to 32 cm. If you measure 21 and your spouse measures 25 then you would want to get the medium.