A glucose meter is a device that you use at home to monitor the concentration of glucose in your blood. For people who have type 1 or type 2 diabetes, a glucose meter is pretty much a necessity to prevent abnormal blood glucose levels. Best Blood Glucose Meter in general. Keep reading!
Daily blood sugar testing is a vital component of any successful diabetes management plan. It can help determine if you have your blood sugar under control, while also helping identify patterns that can lead to a spike or crash.
It also reveals how factors like stress and exercise can impact your blood sugar, and it assists you in examining the effectiveness of any diabetes medications you may be taking.
The Top 15 Best Blood Glucose Meter Review
Best Budget: Oh’Care Lite Blood Sugar Test Kit at Amazon
“The monitor is provided with a reminder alarm for your daily testing.”
This kit gives you everything you need at a fraction of the price of the Contour NEXT EZ Diabetes Testing Kit. It includes the ISO Standardized Oh’Care Lite meter, control solution, 110 test strips, 125 lancets, a lancing device, a deluxe carrying case, a data logbook and, and an instructions manual.
It produces accurate and reliable test results in just five seconds with a small blood sample size, and it comes with the test strips automatically (just be sure to restock Oh’Care Lite Strips specifically when you’re due for a refill).
The reusable Oh’Care lancing device also offers five different depth settings, enabling you to gather the right sample size without excessive pain every time.
The monitor is equipped with a reminder alarm for your daily testing, and it calculates averages based on its memory bank of 365 test results. This glucometer is an ideal pick for folks who test their blood sugar less frequently but do so daily.
Best Overall: AccuChek Aviva Plus Meter at Amazon
“The lancing device is proven to be less painful than other brands, and you’ll use it on multiple test sites on the body.”This glucometer model from AccuChek is well-known together of the foremost accurate blood sugar-monitoring devices on the market.
It uses AccuChek Aviva Plus test strips, which fill quicker with less blood (0.6 microliters), making it an easier device to use. It has more than 150 system integrity checks to help detect and prevent unreliable results.
Best for Travel: FreeStyle Lite Blood Glucose Monitoring System
“The monitor can store up to 400 results, noting both the date and time.”
When you’re on the move, a compact and minimally invasive glucometer can be the key to successful diabetes management. This pick from FreeStyle is designed with travel in mind. It’s small enough to fit easily in your pocket or purse, and it has a large enough LED display to be easy to read.
It requires a smaller blood sample size than most monitors to provide an accurate reading in just five seconds, and it works on several testing sites, so you can give your fingertips a rest whenever necessary.
Best for Home: AUVON DS-W Blood Sugar Kit at Amazon
“Utilizes cutting-edge test trips that consistently surpass international accuracy standards.”
When you’re testing from the comfort of your own home, it’s easier to get a little bit more high tech with your monitoring system. This glucometer from AUVON utilizes cutting-edge test trips that consistently surpass international accuracy standards.
The strips are produced using an automatic carbon printing technique, which ensures that they remain both stable and precise. The lancet device used to retrieve your blood sample is also said to be less painful than others. The monitor itself fits comfortably in the palm of your hand, is easy to read, and stores continuous 7-, 14-, and 30-day average results.
Best User-Friendly: One Touch Ultra2 System at Amazon
“Larger display numbers allow for easier readouts.”
If you want something that is super-portable and dead simple to use, OneTouch has a great product that will work well for you. The accuracy is quite good, too, making this a good option if you just want something that is simple and precise.
Why we like it: If you travel a lot and are sick of large, clunky glucose meters, the tiny size of the OneTouch Ultra Mini is hard to beat. There isn’t another glucose meter on the market that can match its accuracy and its small size at the same time.
Flaws: As you might expect, simplicity in a compact form factor does come with a few drawbacks in the way of features.
Other products offer more options for logging and tracking your blood glucose levels over time, so if you want this suite of broader capabilities, another glucose meter might be a better fit.
Best Talking: Prodigy Glucose Monitoring Kit at Amazon
“It communicates in four different languages — English, Spanish, French, and Arabic.”
If you’re visually impaired, trying to read a glucometer several times a day can feel really frustrating. Fortunately, this monitor can guide you through the testing process and read your results aloud for you.
It communicates in four different languages—English, Spanish, French, and Arabic. It’s one of the best glucose monitors in terms of accuracy, so you feel confident in your reading. It doesn’t require you to code new test strips each time, either.
Best for Data Management: Dario Blood Glucose Monitoring System at Amazon
“The smart, pocket-sized meter connects on to your iPhone.”
For those who are hyper-focused on analyzing trends in their blood sugar reading data, our experts recommend this iPhone-compatible device from Dario. The smart, pocket-sized meter connects directly to the phone via its charging port so you don’t have to deal with any cables or batteries.
All results are automatically recorded in the accompanying app on your phone, which also analyzes your results and makes it easier for you to track diabetes-specific metrics, such as carbohydrate consumption, physical activity, and medication adherence. You can even opt to share this data with your caregivers or family members.
Best Glucometer That Measures Ketones: KETO-MOJO Blood Ketone and Glucose Testing Kit at Amazon
“It will store up to 1,000 tests, and it’s sufficiently small to form it easy to require on the go.”
Not all glucometers test for blood glucose and ketone levels, but if you’re insulin-dependent and on the keto diet, you’ll want ones like Keto Mojo’s Blood Ketone and Glucose Testing Kit. Some people without diabetes use it for help in following a keto diet as well.
It comes with a testing meter, a lancing device, 10 lancets, 10 ketone testing strips, a ketone code chip, 10 blood glucose testing strips, and a carrying case. It even comes with three AAA batteries already installed everything you need right out of the box. It will store up to 1,000 tests, and it’s small enough to make it easy to take on-the-go.
If you want to know what the blood glucose meter of the future looks like, this is it. The slick, ultra-portable look of the selection Wireless blood sugar Monitor may be a nice break from traditional glucose meters that look straight out of the ‘80s.
The wireless connection beams your blood sugar data straight to your smartphone.
Why we like it: When it comes to wireless glucose meters, this one is pretty good. It’s very hard to beat in the size department, too.
Flaws: Like other wireless models, connectivity is sometimes an issue, and the functionality of the app is mediocre at best. While this device is listed by several major health organizations, many users note that readings seem less accurate on this model compared to others.
It seems like wireless functionality and accuracy are difficult to get working at the same time in the same device.
If you want to track your blood sugar in a systematic and automated way, iHealth’s Wireless Glucose Meter is definitely worth a look. This glucose meter comes with Bluetooth connectivity, making it easy to transfer, store, and track your results via your smartphone.
Why we like it: If you are a data geek, or if you just want to monitor your blood glucose levels over the long term, wireless connectivity is a must.
The ability to transfer results and store them in the cloud is a great new feature that is surprisingly lacking in many of the other competitors for the top spots on our rankings.
Flaws: iHealth Smart Wireless Glucose Meter suffers from some reliability problems, and the test strips have shorter shelf lives than the test strips that work with other glucose meters.
Also, the only way to store your numbers is on an account online with the company—that limits your options if you want to analyze your data in a more sophisticated way.
TrueMetrix strikes a good balance between simplicity and desirable features while maintaining great accuracy and a few perks that are hard to find in top of the line devices.
Why we like it: TrueMetrix has a broad range of features that make the process of monitoring blood glucose less of pain: it supports testing from alternative test sites (like your palm, which is less sensitive than your fingertips), and its on-board memory can store up to 500 glucose readings, along with the date and time of the reading.
Results are ready in just four seconds, and the display screen is large and easy to read—which makes it great for older adults.
Flaws: While the on-board device memory is impressive, there’s no way to wirelessly transfer that data elsewhere; you’ll have to copy it by hand if you want to log it electronically.
And while alternative test sites are great, they aren’t guaranteed to be as accurate as your fingertips. Of course, just because a glucose meter is capable of reading blood from other test sites doesn’t mean you have to TrueMetrix works great at the fingertip, which might be the best plan for accurate readings in any case.
The Contour Next EZ is great for people with diabetes or anyone new to blood glucose testing or for those who don’t need all the fancy bells and whistles on a monitor. The display screen is not backlit, therefore, it may be hard to read in poor lighting. The entire meter fits well in a hand coming in at just over 3 inches tall and about 2 inches wide.
Even though it’s not the tiniest meter on the market it doesn’t weigh much, only 1.7 ounces with the two 3-volt coin-cell batteries installed. The Contour Next EZ is very accurate.
It uses a 0.6 microliter sample and reruns the test 6 times, using multipulse technology, to make sure the simplest result. Even though the sample is run several times, you will get your result in just 5 seconds. The meter’s retail pharmacy price is $19.99 and therefore the test strips are very affordable at just $0.83 per strip.
The basic Contour Next EZ does not have Bluetooth technology however you can download Bayer GlucoFacts Deluxe free software for your PC or Mac and link the two via a data cable. Bayer also offers helpful meal planning tips and how-to videos on the software program. A con to this meter is that it requires a fingertip sample, you cannot sample from any other alternate site.
Accuracy – DTS passed accuracy
Features – Quick to set up and start using, personal hi/low range setting, rapid test results of five seconds or less, does not have Bluetooth technology, offers meal planning tips
Accuracy – DTS passed accuracy
Features – Alternate places testing, no coding required, results in 4 seconds, 360 test memory with time and date stamp.
If you’re looking for a bargain for self-monitoring of blood glucose, try the Wal-Mart ReliOn Confirm. This meter is a good option for those without insurance, or who are pre-diabetic and do not have insurance coverage for diabetes meters or supplies.
According to one user, this is a great option for those with diabetes of all ages, including children. For one user that has type 1 diabetes and uses an insulin pump for glycemic control, this meter should definitely get more attention.
While it’s a basic blood sugar system, it provides the same accuracy levels when compared to others, at a much lower and more affordable cost. For those without insurance coverage, this might be the best option for you.
The ReliOn Confirm costs only $14.98 and test strips cost on average $0.40 per strip. These are some of the lowest-priced strips on the market, and they do not require coding, which is a plus.
Another plus is that the blood sample is only 0.3 microliters. Like most glucometers, the Wal-Mart ReliOn Confirm takes one 3-volt coin-cell battery.
There are several reviews on Walmart.com stating that the ReliOn Confirm does not offer accurate readings however based on my experience it’s one of the most accurate devices in the market, we suggest you try and test for accuracy yourself.
There is also a control solution that is not included but can be purchased for an additional cost of five dollars. The solution is recommended to ensure accuracy.
The Sanofi iBGStar is another great meter for the tech-savvy. It can be used on its own or plugged into the user’s iPhone.
However, recently with the changes to the iPhone (removing the headphone jack), you need a special plug for this meter to work with the iPhone. The Sanofi iBGStar is one of the most expensive meters on the market at $74.99 (iPhone not included).
Test strips are on the higher end as well at $1.30 per strip but do not require coding. The blood sample size needed is 0.5 microliters and therefore the test results appear in 5 seconds.
With the iBGStar, the user can found out to 7 alarms to remind themselves to check their blood sugar. For a small device, it weighs 1.7 ounces including two 3-volt coin-cell batteries.
The meter itself can hold 300 readings on its internal memory. When plugged into an iPhone you can use an app to track results and trends. This device is extremely portable; it comes with a 3 square inch carrying case. This device is not covered by most insurance. It is best to call your insurance company for a list of covered devices.
Accuracy – Accuracy for ketone levels is pretty good, not so much for glucose readings
Features – also read Ketones along with blood glucose levels, no coding needed, no maltose meter, pain-free gauge lancets, 5 seconds glucose results, and 10 seconds ketone results, can test on alternate sites of the body
The Nova Max Plus not only checks blood glucose but also determines if ketones are present in the blood. For the blood glucose test, the sample size is 0.3 microliters and for the ketone test, the sample size is 0.8 microliters.
The blood sample can be taken from the palm of a hand, forearm, or fingertip. The Nova Max Plus retails for $19.99 and the glucose test strips are $0.40. The ketone strip will run you $2 per strip.
There is no coding required for the strips. One 3-volt coin-cell battery is required for this monitor. The not-so-small screen text is easy to read but it is not backlit and can be hard to read in poor lighting conditions.
Another downfall is the monitor requires a control solution but it is very hard to find the control solution in stores. If you call the company, then they will mail out the solution, but this takes a few weeks. Another con is that the memory cannot be cleared and there’s no way to transfer data to a smartphone or computer.
Overall, if you need this to check ketones it works but you’re going to be paying a hefty price to check them. As far as a glucometer, again, it works but it’s very basic.
Who Should Buy a Glucose Meter?
Glucose meters are commonly recommended for people who have either type 1 or type 2 diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is usually diagnosed fairly early in life, while type 2 diabetes develops later.
Though it can also be influenced by genetic factors alongside the more commonly known risk factors (physical inactivity, being overweight, and a diet high in refined carbohydrates and sugars).
Both type 1 and type 2 diabetes are characterized by an inability of your body to control blood sugar normally. Glucose meters are a way to check at home how well your blood sugar is controlled.
If your doctor has recommended glucose monitoring, or if your doctor has at least advised you to consider it, using a glucose meter on a regular basis is definitely the best way to keep track of your blood sugar levels.
For many people with diabetes, the biggest benefits of blood sugar monitoring using a glucose meter come from tracking your glucose levels over time. Doctors often recommend measuring your blood sugar several times a day; doing so can help you identify what makes you more likely to have abnormal blood sugar levels, and can help you see if your diabetes management plan is working long-term.
In the past, you could only track blood glucose over time by hand. Now, automated data logging is a feature that you’ll find in many of the best glucose meters on the market.
Some tests have found monitors to be off by as much as 11 percent, which can make managing diabetes with precision trickier. Something to keep in mind is that blood sugar monitors must be calibrated to each batch of test strips you purchase, either by entering a code or downloading a smartphone app. If done incorrectly, your results won’t be accurate.
Strips and Lancets Compatibility
Some blood sugar monitors use proprietary strips, while others are compatible with different kinds. Take the time to look at the costs and availability of these accessories when comparing blood sugar monitors.
If you’re prone to test your sugar levels while out and about, a compact blood sugar monitor is a good choice, although they can be difficult to operate if you have dexterity issues. Some models can hold multiple test strips, but those tend to be bulkier.
Ease of Use
Some monitors are easier to operate than others. Some feature a large display screen, while others require very little blood for testing. For those that test frequently, blood glucose monitors with test readouts of 5 seconds or less offer convenience.
Look for blood sugar monitors that store at least 360 readings to best track and manage your blood sugar. Some models even allow you to notice if reading was taken before or after a meal or exercise.
For those with visual impairments, audible blood sugar monitors allow for easy monitoring of blood sugar levels.
Always check with your insurance company to see if it will cover a specific unit, as well as how many test strips and needles are included in your coverage each year. Just what proportion does a blood glucose monitor cost? You can find units priced anywhere from about $10 up to $75 or more, depending on accuracy, size, and available features.
What’s more important than the cost of the monitor, however, is the cost of testing strips and lancets, which can add up to hundreds or even thousands of dollars in annual expenses.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q. Are blood sugar and blood glucose an equivalent thing?
Answer: Yes—“blood sugar” is a more colloquial term for blood glucose. Technically, there are many different kinds of sugar, like sucrose, fructose, and glucose.
Glucose in particular is consumed by every cell in your body, and to sustain this energy consumption, your body shuttles glucose around in your bloodstream.
Doctors and scientists usually specify that they are talking about glucose in the context of blood monitoring, but in conversation, especially with patients, the term “blood sugar” is used more often.
In practice, you can treat these terms as identical in their meaning.
Q. How accurate are glucose meters?
Answer: The typical accuracy of a glucose meter that passes muster at the FDA is surprisingly lackluster. All that’s required for a device to be certified from an accuracy standpoint are for it to measure within 15% of the true blood glucose value, at least 95% of the time.
That means a device that’s completely off the mark one in twenty times can skate right through regulatory approval. Concurringly, some research by experts on diabetes suggests that even among devices that do pass regulatory approval, many fail to meet their specified accuracy when used out in the real world.
Generally, even with a good glucose meter, a margin of error of 10% is quite likely. That means your measured blood glucose could be substantially higher or lower than the true value.
Q. What BGM would you recommend?
Answer: Depending on what your needs are and what standard features are you trying to find, that recommendation may differ. We recommend that you read as much as you can on the device that you are eyeing to buy and make an informed decision based on your research.
Q. Can two different people use the same blood glucose meter?
Answer: Two people may use the same blood glucose meter to record their readings, but it is strongly advised to not share any sharp or lancing objects in order to do the reading.
Q. What are the normal numbers for blood sugar level?
Answer: For blood glucose, the recommended target reasonable ranges are 4-7 mmol/L before meals and 5-10 mmol/L two hours after a meal.
Q. Can I share my blood glucose meter with someone else?
Answer: Please do not share insulin needles or testing supplies with someone else, unless they have their own needles and finger stick supplies. This will put you at an increased risk of getting illnesses such as:
3. Hep B
4. Hep C
Q. How often should I change or replace my glucose meter? How long does a blood glucose meter last?
Answer: If you’re diligent about properly maintaining your device, you will want to replace your blood glucose meter for diabetes every one to two years.
Q. What is the least painless glucose meter?
Answer: According to documented cases of consumer reviews, Accu-Chek Multiclix causes the smallest amount amount of pain when used for testing.
Q. What is capillary blood glucose?
Answer: It is another term for blood glucose.
Please note that the expiration date for some testing strips applies. Make sure you look out for those otherwise you may get inaccurate results. Most of the BGM reviewed here fall within an affordable price range.
For questions about any of the products, you can call their toll-free number and speak to a representative who can respond to specific product questions. If you are still unsure as to which one would be best for your needs, get in touch with your certified diabetes educator or a health care provider and see if they can help you with picking one.
Please remember that to have readings that you will be satisfied with, it is important to follow your diabetes self-management on a daily basis as determined by you and your doctor! Not following your diabetes management may lead to unwanted blood sugar spikes within an unacceptable range.
Finally, tracking your results, either manually or using a Bluetooth-enabled glucose monitor with cloud storage, enables you and your doctor to figure out a management strategy to keep your blood sugar levels healthy over the long run.