I’ve been taking my blood pressure at home for years. Since I was a teen, I’ve dealt with white coat hypertension, which means my blood pressure readings are high at the doctor’s office because I get nervous (I mean really, really nervous), but they are normal at home. My white coat hypertension wasn’t that big of a deal until shortly after I got married and began planning to get pregnant, and I was facing the prospect of all those prenatal visits to the doctor. I needed a reliable way to take my blood pressure at home so I could show my OB/GYN that I was okay, so I purchased a home blood pressure monitor.
My pregnancy years are behind me now, but I still take my blood pressure from time to time at home to give the readings to my primary care doctor. I started years ago with a name-brand Omron blood pressure machine with arm cuff. After a few years, that one wore out, and I replaced it three years ago with a similar Welby Blood Pressure Monitor from Aldi.
My 2015 Welby Blood Pressure Monitor came with a storage bag and manual. It uses an arm cuff with automatic inflation, and it came with a wide range cuff in addition to the traditional-sized cuff (the monitor currently in Aldi stores includes a wide range cuff). Setting time and date are fairly easy, and my monitor has an “M” Memory button that, when pressed once, will provide an average of my past three readings, with systolic and diastolic pressures as well as pulse rate. If I continue to press the Memory button, it will provide the last 60 readings with date and time stamps. If there are more than 60 readings, the oldest value is overwritten.
The monitor has an LED screen display, and it also has voice output and will speak to me when I turn it on, instructing, “Put the cuff at the same level as your heart. Do not move and keep quiet. It is okay. Let’s begin.” It’s kind of silly, but I like that the monitor tells me things are okay. Upon completion, the machine speaks my reading aloud to me and states whether my blood pressure is optimal, normal, pre-hypertension, mild hypertension, and so on, according to the World Health Organization standards. It also detects irregular heartbeat.
Many doctors like patients to bring their machines into the office to be calibrated to make sure the readings are accurate. I did that with my old Omron machine, but I have not brought this one in. However, my husband, who has enviously normal blood pressure at the doctor’s office, makes a good guinea pig; his readings on my machine are similar to what he gets at the doctor’s office. I believe the Welby machine is accurate, or pretty close to accurate. I’m confident that the machine is good enough that it would clue me in if I have a potential problem.
My monitor also is still operating nicely at three years old. I recently got an error message while attempting to get a reading once, which may be a sign that the monitor is beginning to age or it may just mean I need to replace the batteries soon, but I simply restarted it and it worked fine. It does have a 3-year limited warranty against manufacturing defects in material or workmanship, which is helpful.
Over the years, home blood pressure monitors have helped save my sanity when dealing with white coat hypertension. Thankfully, Aldi offers a monitor that fits easily into my budget.
Aldi’s Welby Blood Pressure Machine is accurate and easy to use with a digital screen display, voice output, automatic inflation, an irregular heartbeat detector, and a memory feature that stores the last few readings. The monitor is helpful if you are monitoring high blood pressure or if you’re like me and deal with white coat hypertension and have trouble getting accurate readings at the doctor’s office. Recommended.