Different Types of Blood Pressure Cuffs

A good blood pressure consists of many things starting from the type of technology it uses to the build quality of the product and quality of BP cuff it uses. All these small things play a vital role in getting an accurate blood pressure reading. The most important part in a blood pressure monitor is the blood pressure cuff.

In this article, I am going to discuss various types of blood pressure cuffs, their basic difference and the models which use these blood pressure cuffs.

What is a Blood Pressure Cuff?

Blood Pressure Cuff is an inflated rubber band that is wrapped around the arms to measure the blood pressure. A pump is used to inflate the blood pressure cuff that is programmed in the chip placed inside the digital machine.

After inflation, an air valve is used to slowly release the pressure that has already been programmed by the manufacturers. After the pressure starts releasing, the blood pressure is displayed in the monitors of the digital BP machines.

The whole inflation and releasing of the pressure is generally performed by the principle of Oscillometry.

Factors to Consider While Selecting a BP Cuff

Here are some key factors to keep in mind while choosing an ideal blood pressure cuff:

  • Cuff Material: Generally the cuff is made up of nylon material which is durable, comfortable to use, and can be cleaned by rubbing with clean clothes.
  • Cuff Size: This is the most important thing to be concerned about to get accurate blood pressure reading. Your BP cuff should be of ideal size according to your biceps. It should neither be too tight nor too loose, as an unfit cuff can give inaccurate readings.
  • Technology: Technology used is very crucial when you are looking for a digital blood pressure machine. With aneroid blood pressure monitors, cuff wrapping was not comfortable. But now-a-days, cuffs work on Enhanced Intellisense technology and Measurement During Inflation (MDI) Technology which gives full comfort and the reading is displayed on the screen as soon as the inflation process starts.
  • Price: Price is also a key factor, but you can hover to Best Blood Pressure Monitors to know the top digital blood pressure monitors having all the key features in a budget friendly price.

Blood Pressure Cuff Size Chart

An ideal cuff size plays an important role in getting precise BP readings. So, before selecting a blood pressure cuff, measure your arm/biceps and then compare it with the BP Cuff Size Chart given below.

Arm Circumference Recommended Cuff Size (width*length)
(in cm)(inch)(in cm)
22-268.7-10.212 x 22 (small adult)
27-3410.6-13.416 x 30 (adult)
35-4413.8-17.316 x 36 (large adult)
45-5217.7-20.516 x 42 (extra-large adult)

Types of Blood Pressure Cuffs

Different types of BP cuffs have been developed according to the needs of patients and medical facilities. Here, I have discussed various types of blood pressure cuffs and the difference between them-

Reusable Cuff

Reusable cuff
Source: Shreeji Meditech

The most common BP cuffs in the market today are reusable cuffs. They are made up of layers of soft cotton from inside and in the outer part, nylon materials are used which makes it durable, and easy to clean. Reusable cuffs are generally found in almost every hospital or doctor’s cabin where the chance of spreading of infectious disease is low.

These cuffs can be used to measure the blood pressure of multiple patients. The cuff circumference has a wide range from 3 inch-19 inch. Reusable cuffs can be used to measure blood pressure from infants to adults.

Common BP Machines That Use Reusable Cuffs Are –

  1. Omron HEM-7130L
  2. Dr Trust USA BP iCheck 116
  3. Dr Trust Smart talking Automatic digital BP machine

D-Ring Cuff

D-ring cuff

D-Ring cuffs are especially designed to fit perfectly for comfortable measurements. It is a cuff where the user loops one end of the cuff through a metal ring, and the other end close to the arm.

D-Ring cuffs come in market in different sizes of Small, Standard and Large. You should buy the cuff according to the circumference of your arm/biceps.

D-Ring Upper Arm Cuff comes in three sizes-

1) Small D-Ring Cuff 

The circumference of small D-Ring cuff ranges from 7 inch to 9 inch.

This cuff comes in two variants from Omron brand-

A) Model H-003DS- Not Compatible with the 2014 Advanced BP monitor series. This includes various models-

  1. Omron HEM-432CN2
  2. Omron HEM-705CPN

B) Model CD-CS9- It is compatible with 2014 Omron Advanced Accuracy BP monitor series. This series includes various models –

  1. Omron BP710N
  2. Omron BP742N
  3. Omron BP765

2) Standard D-Ring Cuff

  • The circumference of this Standard D-Ring Cuff ranges from 9 inch to 13 inch. Standard cuff is most commonly used in the digital BP monitoring machines.
  • Some of the top-rated models that uses this standard cuff are-
  1. Omron BP710
  2. Omron HEM-432C
  3. Dr. Morepen BP-02

3) Large D-Ring Cuff

  • The circumference of Large D-Ring Cuff ranges from 13 inch to 17 inch. This cuff is generally used for persons with larger arm/biceps.
  • It is also not compatible with the 2014 Advanced Blood Pressure Monitor Series.
  • This cuff comes with the various models of Omron –
  1. Omron BP710
  2. Omron Elite 7300W
  3. Omron HEM-432C

Disposable Cuff

Disposable cuff

It is the second most commonly used blood pressure cuff in the market and will be the most popular in the coming days because of the rise in the spread of infectious virus. Hospitals and Nursing homes are giving preference to disposable cuff to reduce the spread of infectious viruses (such as MRSA, C-Diff, Corona).

DIsposable cuffs are made up of polyester or vinyl chloride and are solely used for single-patient use. They are used in ICUs (Intensive Care Units) and CCUs (Critical Care Units). The circumference of disposable cuff ranges from a newborn baby’s thigh to the thigh of a normal person, i.e 1 inch-19 inch.

Expandable Cuff

Expandable cuff

Expandable cuff usually fits biceps measuring from 9-17 inches in circumference. Also these are more comfortable as compared to the D-Ring cuff. Many brands offer this type of cuff with the BP monitoring machine, as it is a universal type of cuff and easily fit with all ranges of arm circumference.

It is also named as “Comfit Cuff” by companies like Omron. The cuff covers almost 360° circumference of the arm and mainly over the brachial artery to reduce the measurement error.

Expandable type of cuff are also used in wrist blood pressure machines with smaller type sized cuffs that have a circumference between 5¼  inches and 8½ inches.

Models that uses this expandable types of cuffs are-

  1. Omron HEM 6121 Automatic wrist BP monitor
  2. Smart Care BP monitor TD 3128
  3. Diamond BP monitor BPDG024

Speciality Cuff

Speciality cuff
Source: Suntechmed.com

Speciality cuffs are specially made for ambulatory blood pressure monitoring and in some exercise tests. These cuffs are mainly used for the special medical test of the athletes or in patients whose blood pressure is monitored for 24 hours.

It is highly designed with soft elastic and has a supple sleeve which holds the arm very gently. These are generally costly as compared to other BP cuffs and are used in special cases.

How BP Cuffs Impact Blood Pressure Readings?

Make sure to buy good quality blood pressure cuffs to get accurate blood pressure readings. It is best to go with an ISO product.

According to research, low quality cuffs can absorb around 80% of the pressure transmitted from the arterial surface in the upper arm area, whereas quality cuffs can absorb the arterial pressure upto 90% and the specialty cuffs have the transmission ratio of 95%.

This shows that the blood pressure measurements get highly affected if they are measured with the fabric body cuffs or low quality cuffs.

Conclusion

Getting accurate blood pressure readings is the first step towards controlling the high blood pressure. To get accurate readings, you need a good arm cuff. I hope you are now well aware of the different types of cuffs available in the market and the difference between them.

In case you have any doubt regarding any blood pressure cuff, feel free to ask your query in the comments below.

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