Home health gadgets to monitor your wellbeing

Offering convenience and peace of mind…

Home health gadgets

by Piper Huxley |
Updated on

Some of us would rather avoid going to see the doctor, and there are some occasions when you can buy home health gadgets to help. They can be used to solve a requirement from the comfort of your own home rather than needing to head out to your local GP or even the hospital. After all, nobody ever wants to go see the doctor. Alternatively, even if you are simply just keen to keep a close eye on your health and wellbeing, a home health gadget can be incredibly useful for putting your mind at ease.

Our first port of call would be, of course, the NHS website or your GP for information if you’re concerned about your health. But, if you’re tired of looking at over-complicated health jargon, you’ve come to the right place – with our no-nonsense guide to home health gadgets that can help support you. From pulse oximeter – a small device to check your oxygen levels to a home ECG monitor – which listens to your heartbeat, we’ve included the best kit to help you feel like yourself again.

Home health gadgets can serve as an early detection of health issues, making sure you’re catching worrying blood sugar levels or blood pressure in time. If someone in your family has high blood pressure, keeping a blood pressure monitor on hand is ideal – as the symptoms aren’t always easy to spot. Similarly, whether you’ve been diagnosed with a condition like diabetes or not, keeping a spare glucometer in your cupboards at home for yourself or a loved one can make a difference.

Best home health gadgets at a glance

Best glucometer: Kinetik Wellbeing Blood Glucose Monitoring System – View at Argos
Best TENS machine: Beurer Digital TENS/EMS Pain Relief, EM49 – View on Amazon UK
Best blood pressure monitor: OMRON M3 Comfort Upper Arm Blood Pressure Monitor – View on Argos

On the other hand, a pelvic floor trainer isn’t used for diagnosis or monitoring. Pelvic floor exercises and trainers are ways to strengthen the muscles around your bladder and vagina and can even improve your sex life. Further, the great thing about a pelvic floor trainer (or indeed a TENS machine for an effective pain relief alternative) is that you can use them anytime, whether reading or washing up plates from lunch. Home health gadgets can offer convenience – and peace of mind for the health-conscious.

Best home health gadgets UK 2024

Best glucometer

If you have a family history of diabetes or you like to keep a spare glucometer in the cupboard in case your CGM goes kaput, we recommend the Kinetik Wellbeing Blood Glucose Monitoring System.

It offers simplicity, speed, and discretion in testing. Clinically validated to the highest standard, it's user-friendly for all, including pregnant women with gestational diabetes. With meal markers and alert settings, it provides instant results, requires no coding, and features a 1,000-reading memory - with essential accessories for on-the-go measurements. It's a worthwhile choice.

Customer review: "Excellent value for money and easy-to-read results. Step-by-step instructions. Great features."

Pros

  • User-friendly for all
  • Fast and accurate results
  • With 1,000 reading memory

Cons

  • Comes with only 25 testing strips

Best blood pressure watch

A handy watch that monitors your health is not a bad idea, especially if you're at risk of a heart issue.

Ideal if you're looking for a prettier watch that will look feminine and fashionable while you're on the move. As well as having all the bells and whistles as the rest of the blood pressure watches mentioned, the wallpaper of this Popglory Smart Watch can be changed to add your very own personal touch.

Customer review: "Very nice fitness watch. I bought this as a gift for my girlfriend who is into sports. It was very easy to use for her with Samsung 9, just download the app and synchronise. There are a lot of features and functions that are usable every day. Notifications are always instant. The strap is flexible and soft. Nice gadget."

Pros

  • Fashionable design with different colours
  • Customisable wallpaper for a personal touch
  • Heart rate, blood pressure and blood oxygen monitoring

Cons

  • The strap could be a little more robust

Best blood pressure monitor

A handy device that monitors your heart and circulation is not a bad idea, especially if you're at risk.

This OMRON M3 Comfort Upper Arm Blood Pressure Monitor wraps around the upper arm and also detects irregular heartbeat. Date and time are also shown alongside each reading to help you clearly track your results. It has easy-to-use control buttons and a clear LCD display that is easy to read.

Customer review: "Very pleased with my purchase. Having looked at quite a few other models on the market, my husband and I found this one to be good value for money and easy to use. The cuff is comfortable and doesn't slip. Would highly recommend it."

Pros

  • Easy-to-read high blood pressure colouring indicator
  • Cuff wrapping guide
  • Can store up to 60 readings

Cons

  • Requires four AA batteries to run, it would be better if it was rechargeable

Best pelvic floor trainer

Bodyotics Deluxe Kegel Weighted Exercise Balls - Pelvic Floor
Price: $44.90
Alternative retailers
Walmart$39.95View offer

If you're new to pelvic floor training, we'd recommend this Bodyotics model.

With six weights included ranging from 50g to 130g, this Bodyotics Deluxe Kegel Weighted Exercise Balls will take you from beginner level through to expert level, easing you into your daily Kegal workouts. Use for just 15 minutes per day to improve bladder control and build strength.

Customer review: "I had never used Kegel balls before purchasing this set and I have to admit that it took a little convincing from a friend to actually get them out of the box and give them a try. However, even from the first go, they were super easy to use (the pear shape makes for easy insertion and the various weight options give flexibility in intensity). After a couple of weeks of use, I can definitely feel a difference in my pelvic floor. I've been trying to build strength in this area for various reasons and incorporating Kegel balls into my routine has definitely helped - it's essentially turbocharged my workouts! The Kegel balls themselves are also really cute and beautifully presented in a smart storage box."

Pros

  • Includes six silicone weights that are BPA-free
  • Hypoallergenic
  • 100 per cent waterproof

Cons

  • Some reviewers wished they were heavier

Best thermometer

It's always worth keeping a thermometer in the cupboard - so, we chose our favourite.

Experience precise temperature readings with Braun Sensian™ Non-Contact Forehead Thermometer featuring Age Precision® Technology. Endorsed by doctors, it offers 3-in-1 measurements for the body, food, and liquids. With PositionCheck™ and mute function for nighttime use, it ensures accurate and hassle-free temperature monitoring for your child or baby. It's a versatile, multifunctional health gadget.

Customer review: "We received this thermometer just as the eldest child brought home the first of the season's nursery bugs.

With two adults, a 3-year-old and a newborn in the house, we had plenty of time to put it to the test. Initially, it was used alongside our traditional stick thermometer and gave approximately the same readings each time. However, with young children it was so much easier to use and the thermometer gives a reading very quickly, especially useful when you have a screaming baby to contend with.

It didn't take long to start making use of it for other purposes, such as checking the temperature of the baby's bath water. Again we did this alongside our traditional methods and found it very accurate. On the plus side, even our 3-year-old has been able to use this correctly to take her own temperature.

Would highly recommend this product."

Pros

  • Get accurate results from your own home
  • A non-invasive, multi-use medical device
  • Night-time friendly - can be used in the dark

Cons

  • Some customers have questioned the accuracy

Best TENS machine

If you're experiencing pain and want to avoid medication, this is a safe alternative with no side effects.

The Beurer Digital TENS/EMS Pain Relief, EM49 – your drug-free solution for pain relief and muscle recovery. With 64 pre-set programs and six customisable options, this device offers targeted relief and relaxation. Experience the magic of versatile, natural pain-killing and muscle stimulation with ease.

Customer review: "I have only used the TENS function on this machine and it is very good and easy to use and it works really well for pain relief. There is also a muscle toning function and a massage function but I haven't tried them. I think it is good value for money. I have had other TENs machines in the past that were more expensive but not as good as this one."

Pros

  • 64 pre-set programs for pain relief, strengthening and massage
  • 6 customisable programs available for individual programming
  • With four electrodes to place on your skin for targeted treatment

Cons

  • The device makes a loud noise so you know it’s been selected - which may be annoying

Best oximeter

If you're feeling breathless, monitor the oxygen levels in your blood with an oximeter.

We recommend this model, courtesy of Amazon. As well as providing quick results and measurements fit for athletes, seniors, adventurers or for day-to-day wellbeing checks, the aCurio pulse oximeter is suitable for children over four years old too - perfect for keeping the whole family in check.

Customer review: “Love this oximeter. Small enough to keep in the handbag. Purchased really as I was concerned about dropping oxygen levels being one of the contributing factors of COVID admissions and not being aware of this happening without checking levels regularly. I wanted to check the whole family daily. It is easy to read and easy to use. I feel it has given me peace of mind."

Pros

  • Large font makes it easy for people to read
  • Suitable for the whole family, including children
  • Comfortable design and portable

Cons

  • Batteries sold separately

Best home ECG machine

KardiaMobile Personal EKG Device
Price: $99
Alternative retailers
Target$79.99View offer
Best Buy$79.99View offer

If you've been told to look after your heart, consider an EKG for peace of mind.

AliveCor's KardiaMobile is a portable EKG monitor that helps you take control of your heart health. It provides accurate, medical-grade EKG readings anytime, anywhere. Compact and user-friendly, KardiaMobile seamlessly integrates with your smartphone, offering a convenient and reliable solution for monitoring and managing your heart's rhythm. No wires or patches - just contact with the monitor.

Customer review: "Bought this as recommended by the heart consultant. My husband has AF. The consultant recommended this for taking daily readings, which the consultant could then go into the history of after 6 months to get a more accurate day-to-day picture of what was going on. You can also add notes to each reading so a pattern can be detected (i.e. what exercise/food/events had happened that day). Ridiculously easy to use, and you can email a PDF of the results too. No need to pay for a subscription either if you just want to take and store the readings."

Pros

  • Make taking an ECG part of your daily routine
  • KardiaMobile is the most clinically validated EKG
  • Readings will be automatically saved to your phone

Cons

  • Requires a smartphone for results

Best peak flow meter

If you're asthmatic, you may need to replace your peak flow meter; this is the best one we've seen online.

The Medi Peak Flow Meter, Standard Range is an essential device for managing respiratory conditions like asthma. It measures peak expiratory flow rate, helping you monitor lung function and detect potential issues early. Compact and easy to use, it helps individuals to track their respiratory health.

Customer review: "Good product, no need for anything fancy just, does the trick."

Pros

  • An easy-to-use, portable device
  • Measure and monitor peak flow
  • Increases inhaler effectiveness

Cons

  • Numbers are a little small - get your specs out!

Buyers Guide

If a fitness tracker doesn't take your fancy, you can get some useful gadgets that have their own functions. For a little more clarity before you buy, we've got a glossary of home health gadgets:

Glucometers

These are relatively non-invasive, at-home devices to help individuals monitor and manage diabetes. Whether Type 1 or 2, a glucose monitor is, essentially, a small blood test. It can help diabetics eat meals without worry, dose insulin accordingly and combat highs and lows quickly. For pre-diabetics or those with a family history of the condition, you can monitor your blood sugar levels for peace of mind.

Blood pressure monitors

A blood pressure watch is one of the easiest-to-use gadgets for monitoring your circulation at home. So, if you're concerned about the levels of your blood pressure, we'd recommend having one. After all, high blood pressure is the UK's 'silent killer'. Cheryl Lythgoe, Matron at Benenden Health says: "symptoms aren’t always easy to spot", so a monitor can help you spot if you're at risk of this serious condition.

TENS machine

Unlike a glucometer and blood pressure monitor which keeps track of a health condition, a TENS machine can help combat and alleviate pain. Whether you are susceptible to migraines, have twinges of pain in your back or have sciatica, this device could manage pain. A TENS machine leads to electrodes (a sticky pad that goes directly onto your skin). Here, small electric impulses are delivered to affected areas.

Oximeter

Oximeters can help if you’re struggling with breathlessness or have a heart defect. They are a good way to monitor heart health – providing you with a little peace. Essentially, they monitor the oxygen levels in your blood. Your GP will use this device to diagnose or monitor lung disease. Maybe even those who test positive for COVID-19. They are a valuable tool to monitor levels, but should not replace medical advice.

Read our guide to heart health foods at Yours Magazine.

Home ECG machine

At the hospital or your local GP, they may use an electrocardiogram to "record the electrical activity of your heart, including the rate and rhythm", says the NHS. Quick and painless, it's used if you've been diagnosed with a heart condition or are having symptoms of a heart attack, coronary heart disease or problems with your heartbeat. At-home ECG monitors, known as EKGs, help you check on your heart.

Thermometer

A trusty thermometer will allow you to check on your family's well-being and health. Due to recent global events, the UK has been checking their health much more. And - if you're displaying cold or flu symptoms, having a thermometer on hand is important. A digital model will display accurate and clear results. A reading of over 38 degrees is classed as high. If you have questions or concerns, call 111.

Pelvic floor trainer

Our pelvic floor muscles can weaken due to a few reasons, which can include pregnancy, a shift in hormones as we age and as we begin going through menopause. Dr Masarat Jilani the Selfcare Doctor says, “If you leak when you cough, sneeze, exercise or laugh this is called stress incontinence." For this, he suggests a pelvic floor trainer to help you strengthen muscles around your bladder and vagina.

Peak flow meter

Performing a peak flow test is simple. It measures how quickly you can blow air out of your lungs says the NHS - and is "often used to help diagnose and monitor asthma." Available on prescription or to buy from a pharmacy, a peak flow meter can tell you if your airways are narrowed, which could be a sign of asthma. If you've been diagnosed with asthma, a peak flow meter can be used to monitor the condition.

Piper Huxley is a Homes, Garden and Wellness Product Writer for Yours, an all-rounder who will write on anything from décor to wellness. When not scouring the net for the best home bargains, Piper is listening to a musical soundtrack and tending to her houseplants.

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