Top 5 Blood Glucose Meters
1. Best user-friendly: Care Touch Blood Glucose Monitoring Kit
Care Touch blood glucose monitoring system is easy to use and affordable. Some highlights of this glucose meter include:
- Readings available in less than 5 seconds
- Provides 14-day readings on average
- Can store up to 300 readings at a time
2. Best continuous: FreeStyle Libre
FreeStyle Libre is a continuous glucose monitor that uses your interstitial fluid to measure blood sugar levels. The device works via a sensor that has a thin needle that you put over your upper arm. It uses a flash system, which means you can scan the sensor with your smartphone to get your glucose reading. You can repeat the process as often as you like. Though there may be a little discrepancy in readings between FreeStyle and glucometer, the tool is helpful for those who have labile diabetes, are afraid of skin pricks, or need to regularly titrate insulin.
3. Best data management: Dario blood Glucose Monitoring Kit
This is an iPhone-compatible device that is excellent for getting advanced data analysis. You can measure your carbs and monitor your physical activities and share the results with your physician for further updates. It comes in an all-in-one kit.
4. Best budget-friendly option: TrueMetrix Meter
The TrueMetrix meter is the best budget-friendly option. It has additional features, such as four sets of reminders, and can store 500 test results on the device.
5. Best overall: Contour Next
How To Choose The Best Glucose Meter For You
When picking a good glucose meter, there are specific features that can make your life easier when taking regular blood sugar readings at home. According to the Mayo Clinic, accuracy should quite rightly be top of the list. Some meters are known for giving readings that show blood glucose levels up to 15% higher or lower than they actually are. That variance is accepted by the Food and Drug Administration, but the more accurate readings you can get from your glucometer, the better.
Other features to look for when choosing the best glucose meter for you include:
Insurance When youre testing your blood glucose multiple times a day, the cost of test strips ramps up, so speak to your insurance provider to see what theyre prepared to cover, whether thats the full cost or a portion of it.
Ease of use Most diabetics use a glucose meter throughout the day, so choose one that is simple to use and has a lancing device size that feels more comfortable to you.
Display Large displays make it easier for you to see and read your test results quickly. Bluetooth-connected smart glucometers take this a step further by storing your readings in an app that you can view on your phone.
Spoken results If you have low vision, the best glucose meter for you is the one that speaks your blood sugar reading test results aloud.
Best Glucose Meters: The Final Word
Glucose meters wear out over time and should be renewed every two years to ensure accurate and reliable results. Before buying a glucose meter, check with your insurance provider to see what they will cover. That includes test strips compatible with the glucometer youre thinking of purchasing, as strips can drive up the overall cost in the long-term.
Once you know where you stand with your insurer, you can then make a shortlist of the best glucose meters within your budget range. Look for features that will make your life easier, such as a large display, or data storage for multiple readings. Keep the size in mind too, as youll be carrying your blood sugar testing kit with you throughout the day.
Ultimately, a glucose meter is only good for you if it works for your diagnosis, your lifestyle and your budget. If youre really stuck and still dont know which glucometer to choose, ask your doctor or a diabetes health expert if they can make some recommendations even a steer on brands will point you in the right direction.
Don’t Miss: How To Come Sugar Disease
Continuous Glucose Monitoring Vs Standard
Continuous glucose monitors use a sensor that is placed under your skin, where it measures your blood sugar levels and sends frequent readings to a recording device worn on your person. Some CGMs can be programmed to sound an alert if it senses your blood glucose levels are too low or high.
When we spoke to diabetes educator and nurse clinician Susan Stauffer, BSN, RN, CDE, she explained how, A Continuous Glucose Monitor has a sensor that must be inserted into subcutaneous tissue with a needle that then leaves the small sensor below the skin. CGM devices are wonderful alternatives to routine blood glucose testing, however, not all people need these devices and they are expensive to use.
The accuracy of both the Dexcom G6 and the Freestyle Libre have proven to be as good if not better than blood glucose meters, continues Stauffer, and the FDA has approved the BG number to be used for insulin dosing.
There are four FDA-approved CGMs available to buy, and they are made by Abbot, Dexcom, Senseonics, and Medtronic. These devices are more expensive than basic glucose meters and vary from around $300 to several hundred.
The replaceable sensors, most of which need to be changed every one to two weeks, cost $40-$60 each. You might also need to use a standard glucose meter to confirm the blood sugar level readings and to program the CGM never use results from an alternative sampling site to calibrate a CGM.
Best Glucose Meters: The Different Types
Currently, there are three main types of glucose meter:
- Basic blood glucose meters
- Continuous glucose monitors
- CGM-Insulin Pump Combos
The most simple glucometers are handheld devices with a digital screen that displays a reading, and these are the devices were mostly focusing on with our guide to the best glucose meters. These readings are gathered from disposable blood sugar test strips treated with specific chemicals that react to glucose. A new test strip is inserted into the glucometer for each new reading.
Standard glucometers are usually battery operated and capable of storing readings, and many can be connected to a computer so that you can download and store your readings to look back on as needed.
Some basic blood glucose meters are designed with a spring-loaded needle that pricks the side of your fingertip to draw a small drop of blood for testing. Others use an external lancing device.
Once blood is drawn, you touch it to the test strip, which will absorb your blood sample and display a reading on the glucometers screen. While response times vary between blood sugar monitors, were usually talking seconds.
Some glucose meters are approved for Alternate Site Testing . That means they give results within 20% of correct values when used on alternative sites such as the palm, forearm or thigh. However, Diabetes Self Management advises that, you should still check alternate site readings on yourself before trusting them too much.
Also Check: Blood Sugar Increase Symptoms
What About Health Insurance Coverage
Its helpful to know that the Dexcom G6, Abbott FreeStyle Libre 2, and Eversense implantable CGM are all covered by most private and public health insurance plans, including Medicare . Medtronics Guardian Connect, however, was not covered by Medicare as of December 2021.
Historically, people with type 1 diabetes have had a much easier time qualifying for a CGM through insurance than those with type 2 diabetes because it was easier to establish medical necessity.
Still, if you have T2D and your doctor can make a case for medical necessity, you may qualify. But your insurance company may still want to confirm whether you actually need a CGM.
If you can prove youre experiencing both high blood sugars and low blood sugars regularly, you will likely qualify. This can be proven by providing blood glucose logs uploaded from your fingerstick meter. Generally, hyperglycemia is defined as a blood glucose level of 250 mg/dL or over, while hypoglycemia is a blood sugar 70 mg/dL or below.
If your insurance company denies your coverage for a CGM, talk with your doctors office about peer-to-peer reviews and appeals. Pushing your doctor to fight for you matters.
Manufacturers can have your back here, too. Dexcom, for instance, has an easy-to-complete patient information form you can submit along with your insurance information. The company will then contact your insurer to work on getting your device authorized and covered. Medtronic offers a similar service.
If All You Need Is A Reliable And Easy
Pros: Usually on sale for less than $10, stores up to 500 test results, supplies date stamps for each result, can download data to an external source
Cons: Sometimes has a hard time reading a sample
If you’re looking to start monitoring your blood sugar levels but don’t want to spend much money, the True Metrex glucose meter is the device for you. Available for less than $10 at a number of outlets, this unit proves you can still get accurate readings without breaking the bank.
Don’t let the low price fool you, too, as the True Metrex still offers a number of handy features. For instance, not only can it store up to 500 test results, complete with a time and date stamp but that data can also be downloaded to a computer for long-term storage and analysis.
The device displays 7-, 14-, and 30-day averages and it comes with the ability to set up to four daily reminders for when it is time to take a test. Fast enough to provide results in under 4 seconds yet still accurate and reliable, this glucometer proves that a low-cost device doesn’t have to come with a lot of compromises.
Recommended Reading: What Vitamin Deficiency Causes Sugar Cravings
How Much Is Blood Glucose Monitors
blood glucose monitors come in a variety of designs and pricing ranges. Its difficult to predict product costs nowadays. You dont know how much something costs because the pricing range is so vast. For example, a pair of pants can range from $20 to $200 depending on where you buy them. Similarly, additional goods like as blood glucose monitors.
Best Glucose Meter For Spoken Results
Reasons to avoid
The Prodigy Voice is designed for blood glucose testing using fresh capillary whole blood samples, and is the only glucometer to receive an Access Award from the American Foundation for the Blind and an Access Plus Award from the National Federation of the Blind . As it reads results aloud, its considered the best glucose meter for people with no or low vision. Its also a good choice for people with dyslexia or who encounter discomfort when reading digital screens.
There are over 700 user reviews of the Prodigy Voice Glucose Meter on Amazon, with an average rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars. 88% of them are 4-star rated and above. As with every glucose monitor in this guide, while the majority of people praise the accuracy, a minority are critical of it.
When the audio function is activated, the Prodigy Voice will welcome you and state the day and time, then it will tell you to apply your blood sample to the test strip. After six seconds it will then read aloud your blood glucose milligrams per deciliter/millimoles per liter.
Theres a button you can press to repeat the last spoken result, just in case you missed what was said, and there are imprinted buttons with tactile markings, including directional arrows and letters, to enable blind users to easily find and use them. On the side youll find volume controls and a headphone port for private listening to spoken results.
Also Check: Sugar Tablet Before Or After Food
Do I Need A Specific Size Shape Or Color When Buying The Blood Glucose Monitoring Device Medical Term
You are probably wondering what the product is and if you should look for a specific size, shape or color. The world of consumer products is vast and varied, with new items being introduced every day designed to enhance our lives in one way or another.
It can be easy to find the right product that meets all our needs in terms of size, shape, color, etc., but it is essential not to stop until you have found an item that meets the our practical and aesthetic needs.
First, consider what you intend to use for this product. Do you want it as a decoration in your home? Looking for something small enough to take with you when you travel? Will it be used by children?
There are many shapes and sizes of products available depending on what they will be used for, ensuring any size or shape is perfect!
It’s also important to keep in mind which colors best suit your space and your lifestyle.
Libre 2 With Optional Alerts
Just but available overseas a couple of years before that, the Libre 2 was the first model to introduce optional glucose alerts for highs and lows. It uses Bluetooth to determine the glucose range programmable from 60 to 100 mg/dL in order to trigger a Low alert and 120 to 400 mg/dL for a High alert. While the notifications came without a need to scan the sensor, you still needed to scan the sensor before getting an actual result.
For many people, that continued need to scan before getting a result meant the Libre 2 still didnt offer the same kind of protection for high and low glucose levels as competing CGM tech offered particularly overnight, when hypoglycemia can be even more dangerous as people are sleeping and not actively monitoring or experiencing symptoms.
The first two iterations of the FreeStyle Libre named the 14-day and 10-day, respectively were pretty much the same base technology as the Libre 2, minus optional alerts. Both also included the handheld scanner needed to get results, though the 14-day unit eventually could be scanned with a smartphone app instead of the handheld receiver.
Don’t Miss: When To Take Sugar Tablet
The Guardian Connect System
The Guardian Connect System is a CGM that can tell you your current glucose readings quickly via a connected app and also lets you easily access trends and data about your blood sugar over time. One feature that stands out with The Guardian is the “predictive” alerts you can get about your sugar. Unlike other CGM systems that alert you when your sugar is already high or low, The Guardian uses technology that predicts when your blood sugar might get high or low, before it happens. Another feature that comes with the monitor is the Sugar.IQ diabetes assistant app for diabetes management, which uses your data to help you figure out what diet, exercise and insulin works best for you.
Resources For People With Diabetes
Diabetes.org: The American Diabetes Association is the online authority on diabetes. If you or a loved one have diabetes, becoming a member is a great idea. The association is devoted to education, prevention, community and meal planning.
Diabetes Forecast: A partner of The Healthy Living Magazine, this resource includes consumer guides on diabetes products and medicines, as well as recipes and tips for taking care of the psychological impacts of living with diabetes.
diaTribe: Excellent resource for finding the latest academic studies on diabetes and clinical trials currently underway, including how you might be able to take part in the trials.
DiabeticGourmet: A website and magazine of diabetic-friendly recipes, diet tips and resources. You can register for free and keep track of your favorite recipes, connect with others on a forum, and receive tips for better management.
Diabetes Food Hub: A partner of the American Diabetes Association, this website is devoted to providing diabetic-friendly recipes and meal planning.
Beyond Type 1: A community of over 2 million people in over 150 countries. This website features programs, stories and news on Type 1 diabetes.
John Hopkins Patient Guide to Diabetes: One of the most comprehensive online resources for diabetes articles, news, terminology, treatments and tools.
Diabetes Exercise News & Organization: A resource for exercise-related articles to help with home-monitoring, recognizing symptoms and managing complications.
Read Also: Sugar In Low Blood Pressure
How Much Does A Cgm Cost
As you can see from the prices listed above, CGM systems are not cheap, especially if you pay out of pocket.
While the base hardware for CGMs do not need to be replaced often, the costs of the disposable sensors and implant procedures can quickly add up.
Without insurance factored in, CGM systems supplies can range from roughly $160 per month all the way up to $500 per month .
Dont be afraid to speak up or ask for deals or discounts from the manufacturers. Most medtech companies have patient assistance programs in place for those who qualify for financial help.
Once approved, you can buy the system and supplies for some CGMs directly from the manufacturer or a third-party medical equipment supplier like Edgepark, and some are also now available in U.S. retail pharmacies like Walgreens, Rite Aid, and Costco.
Make Physical Activity Part Of Your Daily Routine
Set a goal to be more physically active. Try to work up to 30 minutes or more of physical activity on most days of the week.
Brisk walking and swimming are good ways to move more. If you are not active now, ask your health care team about the types and amounts of physical activity that are right for you. Learn more about being physically active with diabetes.
Following your meal plan and being more active can help you stay at or get to a healthy weight. If you are overweight or obese, work with your health care team to create a weight-loss plan that is right for you.
Don’t Miss: Sugar Tablets Side Effects