Ask the experts:
Are blood pressure readings taken at home reliable?
This is a good question because blood pressure measurements taken at home have been recommended to distinguish sustained high blood pressure from "white coat" hypertension and also to monitor the treatment of hypertension.
Most patients reliably read and report the blood pressure readings they take at home, according to a report in the British Medical Journal (BMJ). The researchers asked 54 patients with suspected or proven hypertension (high blood pressure) to measure their blood pressure at home twice a day for 30 days and record the time that the measurement was taken as well as the result. The patients used an automated upper-arm blood pressure monitor equipped with a memory device so that stored measurements could be compared with the readings reported by patients. The reporting accuracy of the blood pressure measurements taken at home was found acceptable in most patients.
(Reference: Nordmann A et al. BMJ 1999;319:1172.)