Preformed or flexible cuff?

A blood pressure monitor and a cuff are inextricably linked. After all, without a blood pressure cuff, a blood pressure monitor cannot measure.

Cuffs come in a variety of shapes and sizes. There are two different types, a flexible cuff and a preformed cuff.

There are a number of important and significant differences between the two types. We have listed these differences for you.

Flexible cuff

The traditional cuff is the flexible cuff. This cuff is often used in a doctor's office or hospital. A flexible cuff is a long piece of fabric that is fastened with Velcro. The band is, as the name implies, very flexible. It can be put over the upper arm with special metal rings.

Although it is possible to put a flexible cuff on independently, it is recommended to have another person do it. The reason for this is the effort that must be made to fasten the cuff. If this is not done tight enough then the cuff is too loose and will slide around the arm.

A flexible cuff should always be put on correctly. The tube or pressure point must be placed exactly on the correct vein. If not, the measurement will fail.

Flexible cuffs are available in most sizes from 12 to 52 centimeters.


Preformed cuff

A preformed cuff is a new type of cuff. This band is made is of a hard, preformed, plastic tube. This tube has fabric on it so it feels softer.

A preformed cuff has 3 major advantages. The cuff is easy to put on. This can be done independently without any problems. You simply slide your arm through the tube. With the Velcro, you only need to give it the extra hold so it doesn't come loose when measuring.

Another advantage is the placement. A preformed cuff can measure around the arm. So it's pretty much always attached in the right way. This is in contrast to a flexible cuff that must be placed precisely on the vein.

The last benefit is the feeling. The cuff feels comfortable during measurement. A preformed cuff is therefore also called a comfort cuff. This differs from person to person though. There are also those who find that a preformed cuff feels uncomfortable because it gives a feeling of "cutting" into the arm when measuring. Obviously the cuff does not cut, but due to the shape of the upper arm it can feel different.

Preformed cuffs are only available in a universal size from 22 to 42 centimeters.


Is Either Cuff Better?

No, both cuffs can measure just as accurately. The important thing here is, that a cuff is of course attached correctly. This is more difficult with a flexible cuff.

What we do see is that in certain populations, for example, diabetic patients and pregnant women, a preformed cuff displays blood pressure more clearly.


Can you switch between both cuffs?

No, you cannot switch between the two cuffs. If you have a blood pressure monitor with a flexible cuff, you can only use a flexible cuff. A blood pressure monitor with a preformed cuff can only be used with a preformed cuff. The reason for this is that the technology inside the blood pressure monitor to inflate the cuff is different.