Please note: This information was current at the time of publication. But medical information is always changing, and some information given here may be out of date. For regularly updated information on a variety of health topics, please visit, the AAFP patient education website.

Information from Your Family Doctor

Monitoring Your Blood Pressure at Home


Am Fam Physician. 2007 Jul 15;76(2):261.

  See related article on home blood pressure monitoring.

Why should I monitor my blood pressure at home?

Monitoring your blood pressure at home helps you and your doctor choose how to treat your high blood pressure. Controlling it can help lower the risk of problems with your heart, kidneys, and eyes.

How do I monitor my blood pressure at home?

There are many easy-to-use blood pressure monitors available. You can buy them at most drug stores and medical supply stores. Electronic blood pressure monitors display your blood pressure. The cuffs can be inflated by hand or automatically.

Be sure to use a cuff that fits you, and don't wear tight clothes when checking your blood pressure. Rest quietly before and during measurement. Rest your arm at heart level during measurement. Don't exercise or use any caffeine, nicotine, or other stimulants 30 minutes before taking your blood pressure.

Your doctor or pharmacist can help you choose a monitor and teach you how to use it.

How often should I monitor my blood pressure?

This depends on several things, such as your usual blood pressure and how well it is controlled. Your doctor will tell you how often to check your blood pressure.

What should my blood pressure be?

This varies from person to person. Your doctor will tell you what your goals should be. Also, ask your doctor what to do if you get readings above or below your goals.

Blood pressure goal:______________________

Contact your doctor if your blood pressure is: ________________________

This handout is provided to you by your family doctor and the American Academy of Family Physicians. Other health-related information is available from the AAFP online at

This information provides a general overview and may not apply to everyone. Talk to your family doctor to find out if this information applies to you and to get more information on this subject.


Copyright © 2007 by the American Academy of Family Physicians.
This content is owned by the AAFP. A person viewing it online may make one printout of the material and may use that printout only for his or her personal, non-commercial reference. This material may not otherwise be downloaded, copied, printed, stored, transmitted or reproduced in any medium, whether now known or later invented, except as authorized in writing by the AAFP. Contact for copyright questions and/or permission requests.

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