How To Measure Blood Pressure With A Cuff

Learn how to measure blood pressure with a cuff to monitor hypertension or prehypertension. You can use either a digital or aneroid monitor to measure your blood pressure with a cuff at home. If your doctor suspects you may have hypertension, or high blood pressure, she may give you a blood pressure cuff to measure and record your blood pressure with several times a day.

To measure blood pressure with a cuff, you will need:

  • Digital or aneroid monitor
  • Stethoscope (optional)
  1. Sit in a chair for a few minutes before measuring your blood pressure with a cuff. Any type of activity or stressful thoughts can make your blood pressure increase. Sit with your back supported and your legs and ankles uncrossed for about five minutes.
  2. Place your arm on a desk or table so that it is at heart level. Wrap the cuff onto your upper arm. Make sure it is on bare skin. Don't wear long sleeves.
  3. Secure the cuff on your arm. It should be snug, but not so tight that your circulation is cut off. If using an aneroid monitor, tuck a stethoscope under the cuff.
  4. Place the earbuds of the stethoscope in your ears.
  5. Pump the cuff up to 180 mm Hg if usually a manual cuff. If you are using a digital cuff, simply press "start." Do not talk while measuring your blood pressure with a cuff.
  6. Turn the knob on the blood pressure cuff to release air from the cuff on a aneroid monitor. You should begin to hear a heartbeat sound in the stethoscope as blood flows back to your arm. Look at the dial on the blood pressure monitor once you hear the heartbeat. That is your systolic reading.
  7. Keep letting the air out of the cuff. Listen for when your heart stops beating on the stethoscope. Record the number on the dial at that point. It is your diastolic reading. If you are using a digital monitor, the cuff will deflate on its own and record the systolic and diastolic readings for you.
  8. Get a more accurate reading by repeating the measuring process after three minutes.
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