Comparing two similar but different home blood pressure monitors from Welch Allyn.
Although they look exactly the same, have similar quality, durability and features, there’s three key differences implemented by Welch Allyn. The 1700 Series is the updated version of the 1500.
This blog post will walk you through the differences between the Welch Allyn 1700 and Welch Allyn 1500 to help you decide which is the better option for you.
Disclaimer: Some links in this article are affiliate links which means I may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. As an Amazon associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
Welch Allyn 1700 vs Welch Allyn 1500 Key Differences
The 1700 Series comes with Welch Allyn’s SureBP technology, and the 1500 does not. It’s the same used in hospital-grade medical devices. The 1700 monitor is able to measure your blood pressure and give the results in only 20 seconds.
This is the fastest of all home blood pressure monitors by far and twice as fast as the Omron 10 Series. In addition to obtaining a fast reading, it’s much less time your arm has to feel uncomfortable in an inflated cuff. When I use it, at the exact time my arm starts feeling uncomfortable, the pressure is released and my reading is done.
The technology can help compensate for less than perfect conditions, like excess arm movement.
The 1700 was tested in a Welch Allyn study compared to other home monitors. Blood pressure was measured while the people flexed their forearms every five seconds.
The Welch Allyn Home had an average error of about 4 mmHg under motion, while the next best monitor had an error of 7 mmHg. The Omron had an average over 12 mmHg 1.
The 1500 Series does not come with the SureBP technology. Although it does measure blood pressure while inflating and not deflating similar to the 1700 series. The results are faster measurements and less time your upper arm is squeezed from the cuff.
The 1500 measures in about 30 seconds compared to 20 seconds for the 1700 series. 30 seconds is still quite fast compared to other home monitors. The Omron 10 series measures in approximately 39 seconds.
Compatible Cuff Sizes
The 1700 and 1500 series come with the standard size blood pressure cuff. This size cuff fits arms between 8.75″ to 16.5″ (22-42cm). For most people this size range should be fine.
For those with smaller or larger arms, an extra small cuff and extra large cuff can be purchased separately for the 1700 but not for the 1500 series.
The extra small cuff is made for arms between 5.75″ to 9.5″ and the extra large cuff fits upper arms between 15.75″ to 21.25″. The blood pressure cuff size ranges available for the 1700 series are one of the best available.
If your upper arm doesn’t fall in the standard size range, the 1500 series monitor is not a good choice for you. Measuring your blood pressure with a cuff too small or large will result in measurements inaccurate.
Welch Allyn 1700 Series vs Welch Allyn 1500 Similar Features
The Welch Allyn Company has been in business for over 100 years and is located in New York State. They are a leading manufacturer of medical equipment including blood pressure monitoring.
Almost every hospital and physician office utilize Welch Allyn equipment. Next time you’re visiting either place, take a look and see what blood pressure equipment they are using. Both the 1700 and 1500 series home monitors come with the same high quality standard used in hospitals.
Both monitors are packaged in a quality box and packaging includes the following:
- The monitor
- One Bp cuff
- 4 AA batteries
- Instruction booklet
Quality and Design
The 1700 and 1500 Series are well-built home monitors. They’re not made of cheap parts. The higher quality is evident while assembling them for the first time. Most home monitors have a plastic fitting and connector for the air supply tube.
The Welch Allyn has a metal one with a sleeve and a metal connector protruding out from the side of the device. The air hose is easy to connect, just push it on until it snaps into place.
Operation and Display
The 1700 and 1500 Series both have the same simple design with one button. When it’s time to measure your blood pressure, all you have to do is press the button once. The face of both monitors has an easy to read large display. When the monitors are on, the very dark background has large contrasting numbers and symbols.
Many other monitors have a grey background with darker grey numbers. The 1700 and 1500 series displays are great for anyone, but especially for those who don’t have perfect eyesight.
IMPORTANT: Some older versions of the 1500 on sale on Ebay has the grey display. The newer 1500 series sold on Amazon and elsewhere have the better display colors.
Both the 1700 and 1500 Series come with batteries and no power adaptor. The power adaptor is not needed to use the monitor, and it operates perfectly fine on battery power alone. For those of you interested, the power adaptor can be purchased separately.
When I first received my 1700 series monitor, I took it to the physician’s office and had it tested for accuracy. Luckily, I worked in a medical facility and didn’t have to wait for my next doctor’s appointment.
I’ve taken it back every year since and haven’t had a difference more than 1 mmHg between their device and mine.
The same can be said for the 1500 series. Every time somebody or I had it checked for accuracy, it was similar to the physician’s device.
Some other manufacturers recommend their monitors to be calibrated every two years. Welch Allyn states right in their manuals for both the 1500 and 1700, calibration is unnecessary. I recommend a recalibration when the monitor is no longer accurate.
Fortunately, this hasn’t happened with my 1700 or 1500 series. Since they don’t require scheduled calibrations, it says something about their accuracy and quality.
Bluetooth and Phone App
Both monitors have the bluetooth connectivity and use the same Welch Allyn phone app.
The phone app connects your monitor to your smart phone. It’s the only way to store your past readings. You can use the monitor without the phone app connected, and it will operate fine displaying your readings.
If you choose not to use the app or don’t have a smart phone, you can make a log of your readings manually.
If you use the app to store your readings, you don’t need it connected at the time of your measurement. Sometimes you’ll be using your phone for other reasons, or it may be in the other room, and you don’t feel like retrieving it at that moment. You can still measure your pressure without the phone.
The next time you connect to the monitor with the app, every measurement taken prior without the phone connected, will automatically download.
I was wondering how many are stored in the monitor internally, so I called Welch Allyn. The rep informed me; the monitor will store up to 99 readings prior to transferring them to the app. The app will store unlimited readings.
Price Comparison of the 1700 series vs The 1500 Series
The Welch Allyn 1700 series costs more than the 1500 Series. Typically, it’s approximately $30 more. For hospital grade technology in your home, either one is considered a bargain. If you can afford the 1700 Series, I think it’s the better choice.
I’ve had other home monitors in the past and the Welch Allyn 1700 Series is the best I’ve owned. I couldn’t ask for anything better. The 1500 Series is a fine runner up with the same quality. You can’t go wrong with either one.
When reviewing a product or asking people I know about their Welch Allyn, I always ask a particular question. If you could travel back in time, would you buy this monitor again, knowing what you know now? My answer is yes and so is theirs!
Check their current price:
1700 Series on Amazon Check Price
1500 Series on Amazon Check Price