The Balance Upper Arm Blood Pressure Monitor, from Greater Goods, has been cleared by the FDA as a medical device, and is supplied with a cuff that fits arms from 8.75″ to 16.5″ in circumference.
Features include a hypertension indicator bar, irregular heart beat detection, a 120-reading memory, and clear systolic and diastolic readings via the large LCD screen.
But how does it compare to the bestselling devices from Omron, such as the 7 Series or 10 Series?
In our review, we’ll take a close look at the design features, ease of use, accuracy, and customer feedback. This is to decide whether the Balance device (0602 model) is the best home blood pressure monitor for you.
Every home blood pressure monitor we’ve reviewed detects your blood pressure using the oscillometric method. Omron, Vive Precision, and now Greater Goods have all subscribed to using this method in their devices.
Oscillometric is considered excellent for accuracy, and much easier to use than the standard stethoscope and sphygmomanometer. It’s also more user friendly, with automatic cuff inflation and deflation.
The large, backlit LCD display shows your systolic and diastolic blood pressure, pulse, and date/time. There’s also an irregular heartbeat detection feature (arrhythmia), and a display of your blood pressure grade (high, low, normal).
For convenience, the unit of measurement used for displaying your blood pressure can be switched between kPa (kiloPascal) and mmHg (millimetres of mercury).
Tracking Irregular Heartbeats
The Balance Upper Arm BPM also features an Irregular Heartbeat Detector (IHD). This calculates the standard deviation of the time between heartbeat intervals.
If the result is greater than 15, the IHD symbol lights up, which is exactly the same calculation and determination used by Vive Health with their devices.
Irregular heartbeat detection is a feature of most home blood pressure monitors, including all Omron devices. The Panasonic EW3109N is one of the only home BPMs we’ve seen that doesn’t offer this feature.
Viewing Historical Blood Pressure Readings
Greater Goods have also used a similar memory system to Vive Health. Specifically, their Vive Precision Upper Arm BPM.
When the monitor is off, you can press the ‘MEM’ button to show an average of the three most recent BP results. Omron uses a slightly different system, whereby averaging is only available across 3 readings taken in the past 10 minutes.
There are 2 user profiles to choose from, each of which can store 60 readings. This is less than half of the 125 per user that you can store with the Vive Precision monitor.
Unfortunately, both the Vive and Balance devices share the same options for deleting BP readings. You can select a user and delete all of their readings, but not one specific set of results.
Powering the Device
The Balance Upper Arm BPM is powered by 4 ‘AAA’ batteries. This is unusual for an upper arm monitor, as most require 4 of the ‘AA’ battery type. You can also use the AC adapter provided to charge the device via an electrical outlet.
Balance Upper Arm BPM – Product Summary
- Newly updated with a premium cuff and a professional kit
- Measures systolic and diastolic blood pressure as well as pulse with a single button
- Hypertension indicator bar and irregular heartbeat sensor
- Large, backlit LCD display with oversized numbers
- Upper arm cuff comfortably fits adult arm sizes from 8 3/4″ to 16 1/2″
- 2 users can store up to 60 records each
- Turns off automatically
- Kit includes a case for convenient storage and a power cord
- 4 AAA batteries also included
- Cleared by the FDA for use as a medical device
- A piece of your purchase helps Love146 fight trafficking & care for survivors.
Accuracy and Ease of Use
10 Tips For Accurate Readings
- Keep your body as still as possible while the monitor is taking a reading
- No exercise, smoking, or caffeine within 30 minutes of measuring your blood pressure
- Have at least 15 minutes of rest before measurements
- Sit in a solid chair (not sofa or soft cushions), with your back straight and supported
- Keep your legs uncrossed and feet flat on the floor
- Rest your arm on a flat horizontal surface, with your upper arm at heart level
- All clothing covering the cuff location should be removed
- Ensure the room is a comfortable temperature
- Measure at the same time every day
- Take three readings, each one minute apart. Unfortunately the Balance Upper Arm BPM doesn’t automatically average the past 3 readings, which is a feature of the Vive Precision and Omron devices.
Video: Getting Started with the Balance Blood Pressure Monitor (0602)
What Arm Cuff Size Do I Need?
The American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) was founded in 1947 to promote high quality standards for family doctors.
It’s one of the largest national medical organizations in the world, with 129,000 members across the U.S. and internationally.
The AAFP has the following recommendations for choosing a blood pressure cuff size:
22 to 26 cm
27 to 34 cm
35 to 44 cm
45 to 52 cm
Recommended Cuff Size
12 × 22 cm/4.75″ x 8.7″ (small adult)
16 × 30 cm/6.3″ x 11.8″ (adult)
16 × 36 cm/6.3″ x 14.2″ (large adult)
16 × 42 cm/6.3″ x 16.5″ (adult thigh)
Children (by age)*
Newborns and premature infants
Recommended Cuff Size
4 × 8 cm/1.6″ x 3.1″
6 × 12 cm/2.4″ x 4.75″
9 × 18 cm/3.5″ x 7.1″
*A standard adult cuff, large adult cuff, and thigh cuff should be available for use in measuring a child’s leg blood pressure and for children with larger arms
Videos of the Balance Upper Arm BPM (Model No. 0600)
- 2 years from date of purchase. Only available for the original purchaser.
Who Are Greater Goods?
Based in St. Louis, MO, Greater Goods is a company that’s passionate about the journey of how their products are made, in addition to their high quality.
This is achieved through responsible sourcing of materials and production in factories that treat their workers well.
As a company, Greater Goods encompasses several major brands, including:
- Rise: Coffee company that sustainably sources their beans. An American roaster is used who reduces the waste they generate through manufacturing and turns excess heat from the roasting process into usable energy. Also partnered with Pure Earth.
- Nourish: A line of kitchen products designed to help you prepare your favorite recipes. A portion of each purchase is given to the Global Orphan Project.
- Balance: Personal health management technology, including blood pressure monitors.
- Weight Gurus: Smart scales that can assist with weight management goals by syncing to your smartphone.
- Connect: High-quality electronics and tech accessories that help create communities.
What Do Other Reviews Say?
An important part of any BPM review is to consider the feedback from other people who have bought and used the device in their own home.
How easy was it to take a reading? Did they have a good experience with customer service? Was the reading accurate, and how comfortable was the cuff?
But reading through hundreds or even thousands of reviews can be time consuming.
That’s why we did the leg work for you.
Listed below you’ll find a summary of the pros and cons for the Balance upper arm BPM, based on direct customer feedback.
- Being so lightweight and compact makes it easy to bring to doctors appointments to review past BP readings
- Supplied with dry-cell batteries and an AC adapter, so you can start measuring blood pressure immediately
- Indicator on the cuff makes it easier to align with the main artery for more accurate results
- All measurements are stored with a date and time, which helps identify patterns of high and low blood pressure
- Quick and easy to setup
- Excellent customer service from Greater Goods
- Pulse and irregular heart beat sensors are useful features that aren’t available on many BPMs, and helps people with postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS) to closely monitor their symptoms (high heart rate and low blood pressure)
- Cuff is comfortable to wear
- Backlit screen makes it easier to view blood pressure and pulse readings
- Accuracy is excellent, and correlates well to devices used in the doctor’s or nurse’s office for most customers
- Simple to change the batteries
- Many of the lower ratings were related to cuff size not fitting their arms, so be sure to check your arm is larger than the 8.75″ minimum velcro setting. However, Greater Goods do have a smaller cuff that they can send you, if you contact them directly they should be able to mail it out
- Some people found the tubing to be too short for a standing reading. Most companies that manufacture BPMs, as well as health organizations, recommend measuring your blood pressure from the seated position, to improve accuracy
- Cuff material is quite stiff for the first few readings, which can make it difficult to manage on your own
Many of the lower rated reviews were for an earlier version of the product. A newer version was released towards the end of 2017, which included numerous improvements, including longer battery life.