How to Take Your Own Blood Pressure

Take Your Own Blood Pressure At Home

If you’ve been diagnosed with heart disease, or are simply considered at a higher risk for high blood pressure due to smoking, alcohol use, stress levels, hereditary factors, or other reasons, your doctor may recommend that you monitor and take your own blood pressure at home. With an inexpensive blood pressure cuff available at most pharmacies or online, it’s easy to take your own blood pressure at home and monitor for spikes that might indicate heart disease.


You may experience spikes in your blood pressure due to stress, drinking caffeinated drinks, taking certain medications, cold temperatures, or smoking. Take those factors into consideration when deciding upon a time to take your blood pressure. Thirty minutes after your second cup of coffee, for example, you may get an elevated measurement. Choose a consistent time to check your blood pressure every day to get a good idea of whether it’s fluctuating. Your doctor may want you to take it more than one time per day to check for changes throughout the day.

Prepare and Relax

Prepare to take your blood pressure by finding a quiet space. You’ll need to be able to hear your heartbeat. Empty your bladder before you begin- a full bladder may affect your reading. Make sure you’re comfortable and relaxed. You’ll want to sit in a chair with your arm resting comfortably at heart level for five to ten minutes to allow your heart to settle into a steady rhythm that gives you an accurate reading.

Find your Pulse

Gently press your index and middle fingers to the inside center of the bend of your elbow to locate your brachial pulse. Press the stethoscope or arm cuff gently against that area. Place the stethoscope in your ears and make sure you can hear your heartbeat. If you have trouble locating your heartbeat, make sure the stethoscope earpieces are tilted slightly forward for the best sound.

The Cuff

take your own blood pressure

You may be using a digital or manual cuff. Remove any tight sleeves or roll up your sleeve so that the cuff rests against your skin. Slide the cuff on, so that the lower edge is about 1 inch above your elbow. Fasten the cuff snuggly, but not so tightly that it cuts off your circulation. Follow the instructions that came with your monitor to take the blood pressure reading.

Be sure to write down your pressure readings each day, so that you and your doctor can compare them and establish a solid baseline for your blood pressure. Call today for your appointment with Dr. Ciuffo.

A picture of Giovanni B. Ciuffo, MD wearing his Mercy One doctor attire.

About the Author

Giovanni B. Ciuffo, MD Director is an expert in Minimally Invasive Heart Surgery and Bloodless Heart Surgery is the outcome of his commitment to the development and improvement of both of these techniques. He runs a Cardiothoracic Surgery practice and manages Minimally Invasive and Bloodless Heart Surgery Program where he cares for patients from all over the country and locally. Click here to learn more about Dr. Ciuffo.

Board Certified:
American Board of Surgery
American Board of Thoracic Surgery