The aim of this study was to explore the correlation between visit-to-visit and short-term blood pressure variability (BPV), including systolic BPV (SBPV) and diastolic BPV (DBPV), calculated using different methods, and the glomerular filtration rate (GFR) in a late, middle-aged population. Using cluster sampling, we randomly selected retired employees of the Kailuan Group who were ≥ 60 years and participated in a third health examination for 24-h ambulatory blood pressure monitoring and inspection. Among the 3064 randomly selected observation subjects, 2464 were included based on the criteria. BPV was calculated using s.d., coefficient of variation (CV, s.d./Mean), variability independent of mean (VIM, s.d./Meanx) and BPV ratio (BPVR, s.d. (SBPV)/s.d. (DBPV)). Multivariate linear regression was used to analyse the correlation between estimated GFR (eGFR) and BPV calculated using different methods. The mean age of 2464 subjects was 67.4 ± 6.1 years, with 1667 male subjects (67.7%). A total of 2104 cases were included in the visit-to-visit BPV group, and 1382 in the short-term BPV group. SBPV calculated using different methods showed statistically significant increasing trends for the SBP versus all s.d. and short-term BPVR. There was a significant, positive correlation between the visit-to-visit and short-term BPV calculated using different methods, which were all negatively correlated with eGFR (P < 0.05). Multivariate linear regression analysis showed that, with correction for possible confounding factors, SBPV (24-h s.d., CV and VIM, and daytime CV and night time CV) and all DBPV demonstrated negative linear relationships with eGFR (P < 0.05).