One of the most essential aspects of managing diabetes, whether you have type 1, type 2, or gestational diabetes, is through blood glucose monitoring. Understanding how foods and beverages affect your blood sugar, as measured by a blood glucose monitor, can guide you in making healthier choices. It will also allow your doctor to assess the effectiveness of your medication regimen.
With multiple blood glucose monitoring systems on the market, it can be hard to choose, this article identifies the best blood glucose meter available in 2023.
The best glucose meter: a shortlist
- Oxiline Gluco X Pro — best overall glucose monitor
- Ascensia CONTOUR Blood Glucose Monitoring System — best blood glucose meter for tech-savvy patients
- Agamatrix Wavesense Presto — best easy-to-read glucose meter
- Freestyle Lite Blood Glucose Monitoring System — best glucose monitor for minimal blood samples
- Ascensia CONTOUR Next One Meter — best glucose monitor for an active lifestyle
How we compiled the list for best blood glucose meters
To evaluate the top blood glucose monitors, we established a set of criteria and applied them to each review. This allowed us to uniformly evaluate and judge each blood glucose meter on its merits. Below are the criteria used and a short explanation of their importance.
|Accuracy||Correct reporting of blood sugar level|
|Ease of use||Simple and intuitive to use|
|Sensor longevity||Sufficient lifespan of the blood glucose meter|
|Price and value||Affordability of the meter and testing supplies|
|Special features||Availability of features such as bluetooth|
- Accuracy. The ability of the blood glucose meter to correctly report the blood sugar level is vitally important. Being able to trust the machine gives you peace of mind.
- Ease of use. Whether you have never used or are an experienced user, the blood glucose monitor should be intuitive and simple to use.
- Sensor longevity. The blood glucose monitor's durability is crucial to ensure it lasts until you are eligible for a replacement through your health insurance.
- Price and value. The initial blood glucose monitor and ongoing test strips should be affordable, as test strips are a recurring expense while using the machine.
- Special features. The availability of certain features such as Bluetooth connectivity or wireless reporting can be valuable for those wanting this functionality in a blood glucose monitor.
The best glucose monitor: product overview
After selecting criteria for the evaluation of each blood glucose monitor's features, we compiled a list of the top 5 glucose monitoring devices. When choosing a meter, identify the key attributes that suit your blood sugar monitoring needs best.
1. Oxiline Gluco X Pro — best overall glucose monitor
The Gluco X Pro is an FDA-cleared blood glucose monitoring device with the ability to provide an accurate result in under five seconds with no coding necessary. Blood glucose monitors that do not require coding can use any device-approved test strip without the need for calibration when starting a new box. This is also the most accurate glucose meter on our list.
Using a large display panel and backlight features, the results are easily visible whether tested in dark or bright environments. The easy-to-use design and ability to store up to 500 readings, allows one to review previous readings and identify trends in blood glucose levels.
For more tech-savvy customers, this blood glucose monitor comes with a free app that allows the automatic uploading of data, unlimited storage capacity, and the ability to export data in a PDF to share with your doctor.
The Gluco X Pro is available for $49 which includes 1 lancet device, 50 test strips, 50 lancets, and a travel case. Each purchase is backed with a 30-day money-back guarantee and a lifetime warranty on the device.
2. Ascensia CONTOUR Blood Glucose Monitoring System — best glucose tracker for tech-savvy patients
The Ascensia CONTOUR has the ability to provide accurate results in less than 5 seconds from the traditional fingertip blood sample as well as alternative sites like the forearm and palm. This device is FDA-cleared and does not require coding when using a new box of test strips.
The simple design of the Ascensia CONTOUR provides an easy-to-use interface with the possibility to store up to 480 results and provide a 14-day average. This device can also upload results to a free app on your smartphone.
This blood glucose monitoring system is priced at $92.99 which includes 1 lancet, 10 test strips, 10 lancets, and a carrying case. The meter is protected by a 5-year warranty that will replace any meter found to be defective during this time.
3. Agamatrix Wavesense Presto — best easy-to-read glucose monitor
The Agamatrix Wavesense Presto is an FDA-cleared device that can provide fast, accurate results without the need for coding. It also offers alternative testing using the forearm and palm.
The easy-to-use design with intuitive buttons and backlighting, makes this blood glucose monitoring device ideal for those wanting a more simple device.
This device has the capability of storing up to 300 results and can provide 14, 30, and 90-day averages to better help track blood glucose levels. The device can also connect to your smartphone to upload results in an app that can later be reviewed by your healthcare provider.
The cost of an Agamatrix Wavesense Presto device that includes 1 lancet device, 10 test strips, 10 lancets, and a carrying case is $27.39.
4. Freestyle Lite Blood Glucose Monitoring System — best glucose meter for minimal blood samples
The Freestyle Lite is a FDA-cleared device that provides accurate results using the smallest amount of blood for testing. The results are available on average 5 seconds after testing and this device does not require coding.
The small, compact design of the Freestyle Lite blood glucose monitoring system makes it ideal for those with an active lifestyle who are often testing on the go. With a backlight feature, obtaining results can be accurately done in any degree of light.
This device has the capacity to store up to 400 results with the ability to show 7, 14, and 30-day result averages. In addition, using a USB connection, the results can be uploaded onto your computer using the free Freestyle Auto-Assist software providing you with many different monitoring functions with the ability to send results to your healthcare provider.
The Freestyle Lite is available for $26.54 and includes 1 lancet device, 10 test strips, and carrying case.
5. Ascensia CONTOUR Next One Meter — best glucose monitor for an active lifestyle
The Ascensia CONTOUR Next One is an FDA-cleared device with a unique shape that makes it easy to transport. With results available in seconds, no coding required, and a backlight feature, this device can provide quick, accurate results anywhere.
This device can be paired with a free app using Bluetooth connectivity, giving it an unlimited storage capacity for results and the ability to easily share results with your healthcare provider.
The Ascensia CONTOUR Next One is available for $24.33 and includes a lancet device, 10 lancets, and a carrying case. The devices no longer include sample test strips and must be purchased separately.
Comparing the best blood sugar monitors on the market
|Brand||Model||Price||Number of test strips in kit||Additional Features|
|Oxiline||Gluco X Pro||$49||50||Bluetooth, app|
|Agamatrix||Wavesense Presto||$27.39||10||Bluetooth, app|
|Ascensia||CONTOUR Next One||$24.33||0||Bluetooth, app|
How does a glucose monitor work?
Glucose monitoring devices work by using specialized test strips that contain an enzymatic reactor which detects the amount of glucose in the blood. The test strip then sends this result to the detector contained in the glucose monitor and the results are displayed for a real-time reading of your blood sugar level.
Why should you monitor your blood glucose with a meter?
Blood glucose monitoring is an essential part of effectively managing diabetes and provides a number of benefits such as:
- Accurate detection of low (hypoglycemic) and high (hyperglycemic) episodes to help you safely navigate your blood sugar levels.
- Gives you and your healthcare provider consistent results to determine the effectiveness of your diabetes regimen.
- Helps maintain good blood sugar control which can lower your risk of diabetic complications such as kidney disease, eye-related issues, and heart disease.
- Provides a convenient option to test your blood sugar multiple times a day in the comfort of your home.
Types of blood sugar monitors
When looking at glucose monitoring devices, you will notice that there are two different types available on the market – standard and continuous.
Standard monitoring devices
Standard glucose monitoring devices are the traditional testing method. Patients use a lancet device to prick their finger or other alternative testing site to obtain a small amount of blood. This blood is then used by the machine to provide accurate and fast results.
Continuous monitoring devices
Continuous glucose monitoring devices use a wearable glucose monitor (small sensor) that is placed on an approved site (i.e. back of the arm) and continuously samples the blood to provide real-time monitoring. These devices will often sample the blood every minute and alert you when the blood sugar is too low or high.
Which one to choose?
Continuous monitoring devices are most suitable for patients who need strict blood glucose control, including those with type 1 diabetes, unstable blood glucose levels, or individuals who don't experience warning signs of high or low blood sugar.
If you require intermittent testing and have stable control of your diabetes, standard monitoring devices may be the best option for you.
Key features to consider when choosing a glucose monitor
When selecting a blood glucose monitor it is important to find a fast, accurate, and easy-to-use meter. For those that are technologically advanced, meters with Bluetooth connectivity and a free app or website can add additional functionality to the monitoring process.
Some blood sugar meters will have a warranty or the ability to upgrade to newer models as they become available. These perks are important to ensure you always have a working and up-to-date model.
Tips for efficient glucose monitor usage
Using your glucose monitor effectively will allow you to track your blood sugars and provide important information to your healthcare provider. Following these simple tips can help improve your monitoring effectiveness.
Check your blood sugar frequently
Discuss with your doctor the number of times you are to check your blood sugar and determine if the specific times should vary each day or remain the same. Also, it is important to check your blood sugar if you have symptoms indicating it is too low or high and to seek treatment as recommended by your doctor.
Wash hands before and after testing
Washing your hands with warm water and soap can help stimulate blood flow to your fingers and ensure good hygiene.
Keep test strips closed and properly stored
When not in use, the test strip container should be closed tightly and stored in a cool, dry place and out of direct sunlight. This will ensure they will function properly up until the expiration date on the container.
The best glucose monitor – conclusion
Choosing the best glucose monitoring devices comes down to the individual characteristics of the meter and your personal preferences. Selecting one of the listed devices will ensure you have an accurate and reliable meter as a glucose tracker.
The biggest difference to consider when purchasing is the price of replacement test strips, as well as any additional functionality you prefer to have in a meter. If you are having trouble selecting a meter, do not hesitate to reach out to your healthcare provider for recommendations.
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Which glucose monitor is the most accurate?
Glucose monitors must be 95% accurate within a 15% range based on FDA standards for glucose monitors. Therefore, it is important to select an FDA-cleared device to ensure accuracy. Testing your sugars at the same time you are having labs drawn is one way to estimate the accuracy of your meter.
Which glucose monitor hurts the least?
Continuous glucose monitors are the least painful for monitoring glucose levels but may not be the right method for everyone. Continuous glucose monitors use a sensor or wearable glucose monitor that will perform frequent checks without the need for a finger poke.
Does squeezing your finger change your glucose reading?
Yes, too much pressure used to squeeze out a drop of blood from your finger could result in extra plasma (fluid) entering the blood which can change your reading. It is best to use warm water to increase blood flow rather than milking or squeezing the finger.
How can I check my blood sugar without a monitor?
The most accurate method to check blood sugar levels is with a meter; however, a urine test strip can also be used to identify glucose in the urine. Normally, sugars should not be present in the urine. When elevated the kidneys will excrete the excess sugar into the urine resulting in a positive test.
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- Journal of Diabetes Science and Technology. Measures of Accuracy for Continuous Glucose Monitoring and Blood Glucose Monitoring Devices.
- Journal of Diabetes Science and Technology. Effects of Structured Versus Unstructured Self-Monitoring of Blood Glucose on Glucose Control in Patients With Non-insulin-treated Type 2 Diabetes: A Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials.
- The American Journal of Medicine. The role of self-monitoring of blood glucose in the care of people with diabetes: report of a global consensus conference.