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Are All Brands of Arm Blood Pressure Cuffs Sized the Same? How Do I Get the Right Size for Me?

by Barbara 16. August 2009 05:56

Question about blood pressure sizing for major blood pressure monitor brands such as Omron,MDF Instruments, Lumiscope, etc.

Q: "How are blood pressure cuffs sized? I see them advertised for adult and large adult arms, etc. but rarely do you see what that means.  I am looking for an arm blood pressure monitor that will fit an arm that is 16 inches around. I also would like to be able to take my 12 year old daughter's blood pressure. I could purchase an automatic unit or a manual inflation unit as I have a stethoscope. Can you help me with the sizes of the cuffs? Thanks. Robert"

Answer:  If you've measured correctly, your arm fits in the large adult size cuff for most brands. Your choices: buy a monitor with the correct sized cuff or choose the correct sized cuff and then match to a monitor, your best choice if you choose to go with a manual blood pressure monitor.

Your question is one that we've been asked many times. Each manufacturer's cuff sizes are slighly different.  Except for the manual blood pressure cuffs, it's best to match brands, i.e. buy a cuff that is the same brand as your monitor.  With manual cuffs, there are single tube and double tube models. Also changing cuff sizes with most monitors means changing the pressure connector on the cuff tubing. Also, no "home" automatic inflation monitors can be adapted to newborn, infant or child blood pressure cuffs. Thigh cuffs are also limited to manual inflation blood pressure monitors. LifeSource is the only manufacturer we know who has an automatic inflation blood pressure monitor for bariatric sized arms, i.e.16.5 to 23.5 inches.

Below are some examples.

Lumiscope and Labstar (the Graham Fields Brand Deluxe Sphygmomanometers) have only manual inflation units for Newborn, Infant and Child cuffs.

  • Newborn 2.75 to 5.25 Inches
  • Infant 5 to 7.5 Inches
  • Child 7 to 10.5 Inches
  • Adult 9.5 to 15 Inches
  • Large Adult 13 to 19 Inches
  • Thigh 17 to 26 Inches

 Omron

  • Adult 9 to 13 Inches
  • Large Adult 13 to 17 Inches
  • Combination Cuff 9 to 17 Inches

LifeSource (AND Engineering)

  • Medium: 9.4 x 14.2 Inches
  • Large: 14.2 x 17.7 Inches
  • Extra Large: 16.5 x 23.6 Inches

MDF Instruments: Blood Pressure Monitors are Not Included, Just the cuff

We recommend that before choosing a blood pressure monitor you first decide if you want an automatic or a manual monitor. Then carefully measure the arm of the person to be monitored. To properly measure an arm for a blood pressure cuff, use a dressmaker's measuring tape. The cuff is placed with the sensor over the pulse on the underside of your elbow. So measure that circumference first. Next measure around the middle of the upper part of your arm, at the midpoint. The second measurement generally decides the cuff size. The exception is a very muscular man or woman: for them a wrist monitor may be a better choice since the blood pressure cuff may not be able to be properly tightened.

Thank you for your question. Let us know if we can help further.

Sincerely, Barbara