Blood Pressure Home > What Is a Good Blood Pressure?

When Is Blood Pressure Too High?

Because your blood pressure changes so often throughout the day, it is best to use more than one reading to figure out your average. This is because, from day to day, a person's blood pressure usually fluctuates within a certain range. Posture, exercise, tension, and nicotine use are a few things that can make a person's blood pressure change within a few minutes.
 
Once you have your average blood pressure, the next step is to see where the numbers fall. Generally, anything under 120/80 is considered a good blood pressure. Average numbers between 120/80 and 139/89 are considered "prehypertension." If the average of your numbers is more than 140/90, you have high blood pressure.
 
One reading of more than 140/90 doesn't necessarily mean that you have high blood pressure. However, it's likely that your doctor will want to watch your numbers over a certain period to see if your blood pressure stays there.
 

Good (and Bad) Blood Pressure Levels

The following table outlines the different categories of blood pressure for adults based on the blood pressure numbers.
 
 
Blood Pressure Level (mmHg)
Category
Systolic
 
Diastolic
Normal
< 120
and
< 80
Prehypertension
120-139
or
80-89
High Blood Pressure
Stage 1 hypertension
140–159
or
90–99
Stage 2 hypertension
160
or
100
 
When systolic and diastolic blood pressures fall into different categories, the higher category should be used to classify blood pressure level. For example, 160/80 mmHg would be stage 2 hypertension (high blood pressure).
 
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last updated/reviewed:
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