The Best Blood Glucose Monitors available on the market

In this combination article, I will be going over the Best Blood Glucose Monitors you can find on the market today, in list format. There will be some determining factors such as technology, pros, and cons, availability of refills for strips and the overall quality of these glucose monitors. As well as how you can find them online.

There are many options for every type of consumer and get as specific as, creating a data log through an app on your phone or being voice activated, and considering the fact that nowadays artificial intelligence can be integrated into almost anything, it can show pretty astounding improvements inconvenience in the life of a diabetic.

Things to know Before buying Blood Glucose Monitors

The main form of measurement of blood glucose is by milligrams per deciliter or mg/dL and that measurement is used to measure blood sugar and for reference of how accurate a monitor is, for example, a blood glucose level of 100 mg/dL or lower is considered to be normal, levels of 100 mg/dL to 125 mg/dL is considered pre-diabetes.

Keep in mind that in type 1 diabetics it is more common to have ketones than type 2. Some newer monitors can read ketone levels as well and are in a similar way to a blood glucose monitor by the FDA. The measurement for ketones is by millimoles per liter or mmol/L. Ketones are waste left over from fat or fatty acids. They are naturally produced in the body and people with type 1 or type 2 diabetes, ketones aren’t regulated as well.

Another thing to take note of is alternate testing sites on the body the FDA says, “Some meters allow you to test blood from sites other than the fingertips. Examples of such alternative sampling sites are your palm, upper arm, forearm, thigh, or calf. Alternative site testing (AST) should not be performed at times when your blood glucose may be changing rapidly, as these alternative sampling sites may provide inaccurate results at those times.”

The process of turning fat into ketones happens in the liver and enters the circulation to become fuel for tissues within the body. The differences between type 1 and type 2 diabetes are type 1 happen in childhood while type 2 can happen in adulthood. Type 1 diabetes is genetic and not preventable. In type one, the mechanism of an immune response to cells in the pancreas, which can stop it from producing enough insulin, is dangerous to the body. And would need to be treated with insulin indefinitely.

In type 2 diabetes, the body builds up insulin resistance, so that glucose does not enter the blood. FDA suggests for standard care this:

 

You should use only blood from your fingertip to test if any of the following applies:

  • you have just taken insulin
  • you think your blood sugar is low
  • you are not aware of symptoms when you become hypoglycemic
  • the results do not agree with the way you feel
  • you have just eaten
  • you have just exercised
  • you are ill
  • you are under stress

Also, you should never use results from an alternative sampling site to calibrate a continuous glucose monitor (CGM), or in insulin dosing calculations.”(1.2)

In the further depth of FDA guidelines or “guidances” for testing are, “…95% of all measured blood glucose meter values must be within 15% of the true value (a lab measurement); and 99% of meter values must be within 20% of the true value.”(2) Standard of testing that all glucometer manufacturers must follow.

Another thing to be aware of is the convenience of a data management app or software. Some glucometers may not work in elevations higher than 8,000 ft. For the sake of simplicity, trends for low/high numbers may not be used in the Glucometer but is stored into the app instead. And some meters that are disposable may not have any kind of app to go along with it.

The other questions you might be asking is, “How much do glucose monitors cost?” “What is the availability of strips?” and  “Do  glucometers expire?” In terms of price for a glucometer the type of insurance you have could make a lot of difference with the number of glucometers there are and you could probably do a subscription based payment for strips to go along with it if you get it from sites such as Amazon and the like.

Average for prices are $20 to $50 for glucometers.  You may want to consider what is the best option with your doctor as they are also a good source of information on what would be best for you.  Another factor is, what kind of warranty does the monitor have (if it has one)? As for the amount of time that you should have a blood glucose monitor is an average of about two years.

Here is a list of the 16 Best Blood Glucose monitors From Amazon:

  1. KETO-MOJO Blood Ketone and Glucose Testing Kit


This glucose monitor and is very widely available on Amazon as mainly ketone checking tool. It is an FDA approved product and has an affordable price for strips. One of its features is that it has four alarms that you can set throughout the day.

One of the reasons it could be so popular on Amazon is that it is endorsed by social media influencers. Some users have boasted that the Keto-Mojo reader has accurate and fast readings consistently every time you use it although they may vary a little bit after each use or after a meal. It also has been marketed towards people on a ketogenic diet.

The way to set-up the device is to open the battery cover hatch on the back of the device, and you’ll find a little yellow button near the batteries. Press it with a pencil to set up your device. Press it once to set the time and date and use the front main button to increase the day, month, year, or time of day.

Press it several more times to cycle through the alarms, reader settings, backlit settings, etc. For quick setup, you don’t need to adjust any of these options. Note that you will have to set up the year correctly or you will be getting error messages saying that your strips have expired.

2.On Call Express Diabetes Testing Kit





This device is another highly sought after Glucose reader and it has some features such as a setting for 5 reminder alarms, a test time at 4 seconds, meal markers and a memory of 300 tests. It also has more complex features which are hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia alarms.

It also has a phone app that you can use with this device through Bluetooth for data management. It has a memory of 300 tests.  The company who designed this device, Acon Labs is a great producer of innovation through the use and functionality of its products.

To set up the meter choose either the right button and hold it for 2 seconds from  safe mode or from memory mode or an average mode of a meter will   set mode when turned on for the first time by any method to set up the clock, set the clock to a 12 or 24 hour mode press the left button to switch between the two settings then press the right button to save your choice now you can start to set at the year, month and day.

Then you can continuously go through the instructions and set the time and how you want you to remove markers to be set by a simple button push either the left or right button for yes or no on each setting. What comes in this kit is standard for any glucose monitor kit which is 10 blood test strips with Lancing device and a logbook, 30 lancets complete with a carrying case.

3. One Touch Ultra2 System Kit 1



What comes in this kit is a sterile Lancet, lancing device, test strips, control solution, and a carrying case. The menu system in this device is a little bit more complicated than other entries that are earlier in this list actually has a screen that doesn’t have a sharp contrast and you can go through each menu navigation with the down button going to each option you’d like to change.

However, this device does have limitations of specific alarms before meals and reminder alerts, as well. There are options to use Meal flags and comments based on the options that you pick from the menu system that you can use as notes and or reminders after each meal to show your doctor changes and trends in your diet.

4. Contour Next Diabetes Testing Kit



The line of Contour devices is made by Bayer and the Contour Next has similar functionality to its related devices and also has a high low range that’s customizable for you to change based on what is usually your normal, And makes it possible to read in a range from 20 to 600 mg/dL with accuracy.

Testing done at high altitudes doesn’t hinder how this device works at altitudes higher than 8000 ft it can still work and provide accurate readings, but not higher than that. The memory can store up to 480 readings. It also has Bayer’s Multipulse technology., which improves accuracy even further.

5. One Touch Ultra Mini Blood Glucose Monitoring System



The OneTouch ultra mini glucometer is a very interesting device that has more versatility than its other one touch devices that use the same strips and a design that is meant to be smaller and an offering of different colors that are described as the silver moon, blue comet, and purple twilight.

It also has a memory of up to 500 tests and is compatible with the OneTouch diabetes software, and with resources for fitness and nutrition management online that a diabetic can use as necessary.  The battery can last up to 12 months or more.

6. Dario LC Blood Glucose Meter Starter Kit :



The Dario LC is a purely smartphone-enabled glucose meter and is a newer glucose reader device on the market than some of the ones on this list. To use it you have an app that you must download as a part of the device interface and uses a 3.5 mm plug-in blood reader that takes your blood sample.  The downside to a product like this is the strips can’t be bought anywhere but online.

Although, the functionality of the app is more preferable to a black and white screen that only has two buttons that go through options and has to have a separate screen to even view complex blood readings. In the kit it can hold the audio jack blood tester, a spring-loaded lancet and is smaller than other cases for various other meter devices. It has a more modern design as well.

7.Contour Next One Smart Meter:



This device is also great for data management but, it is used through an app for Android and iOS and is developed by Bayer and is distributed and marketed by Ascensia Diabetes Care. The features and functionality for such a small glucometer are great.

For example, it shows a red or green light to detect if it is good or bad reading from the test strip and the light also turns white to show where you insert the test strip and also has little signifiers, on screen, such as an apple to signify a meal marker. The ability for the Contour Next One to use it’s Bluetooth connectivity to transmit a real-time reading from the reader itself to the app helps it stand out. It can hold 800 tests in storage.

 

8.Sidekick all-in-one Glucose Meter Kit:



This kit comes with 50 test strips, 10 lancets, and a lancing device. This device is also disposable and has an expiration date shorter than most glucose meters you would find anywhere on the internet. This meter also has other benefits that go along with it as a beneficial part of your diabetes care, it can be bought anywhere and no coding for blood test strips. The design of the Glucometer is interesting, the reader is a part of the cap of the strip container. You can also take readings from your forearm for alternative site testing.

One of the things it’s lacking in functionality is data management. It is very simple with no buttons and due to it being disposable has a memory up to 50 tests, and can only operate between 68 to 77°F. There is no setup for this kind of device either but, the upside is that it will be able to be used sooner.

9. One Touch Verio Flex Kit:



This glucometers selling point is that it has an indicator under it’s screen that shows a high/low range. A small arrow prompt–blue for below range, green for in range and red for above range. It also can be used along with the One Touch data management app. It has a 500 test memory with date and time, it also has accuracy consistently, is Bluetooth capable and uses a rechargeable lithium ion battery that can be charged by USB.

The test strip insert does not have a light and the screen is not backlit. In the Verio family of glucometers this device shares compatibility with Verio test strips.

10. True Metrix Self Monitoring Blood Glucose System:



This device is different than the True Metrix Air which is on this list and it has Bluetooth connectivity, whereas this does not. It has a memory of 360 of blood tests and has meal markers. It does not have the test strips coded for use. It can show a test result in 4 seconds.

It can track 60 to 90-day averages and can be used with an app and can store up to 500 tests and can be used for AST (alternate site testing). It can also be set up to show 4 reminders a day, uses a 3-volt battery.

11. Accu-Chek Performa/Aviva:



In the U.S. this device is called the Accu-Chek Aviva and on amazon, the kit comes with Lancets, 110 test strips with long expiration dates, an English manual and comes with a very comfortable case.

It has an LCD meter display, it automatically powers on in 90 seconds when you insert a strip and has auto off in 2 minutes if it goes unused. It has a hypo indicator, and 4 customizable test reminders, general flag, auto control ID, automatic recognition and rejection of expired test strips. It has a memory of 500 tests and reads blood in 5 seconds. It operates at 43-111 degrees Fahrenheit. It has a FastClix lancing device which holds 6 lancets in a drum.

This Accu-Chek has a backup battery that holds the time and memory of your tests for 72 hours, that should be enough time to change the batteries.

12.FORA 6 Connect blood ketone and blood glucose test kit:



This device is another interesting one because it is marketed as a glucometer and a ketone reader, there are others on the market that are similar, but not many.  It can’t read ketone levels at the same time as blood sugar levels. It has a brightly lit screen and also has easy to use buttons for navigation.

Test strips for the FORA6 Connect are hard to find. This one is the newer model that ForaCare has sold.  It’s app, iFora HM is great for long term management and works on Bluetooth. In the kit, it has one lancing device, 100 lancets, 10 ketone test strips, and 50 glucose test strips in it.  Both test strips are made out of gold. The result of a ketone reading is 10 seconds and for ketone strips, 5 seconds glucose strips.

13.Contour Next EZ Blood Glucose Monitoring System w/ 10 test strips:



The Contour Next EZ is a very easy device to set up thus, its name. It has a high/Low customizable range.  It has 10 Contour Next blood test strips, lancing device, 10 microlet lancets, and Contour Next control solution. The Contour EZ has a test time of 5 seconds and can read levels from 20 to 600mg/dL. It can store 480 readings up to capacity and uses CR2032 batteries.

The app that it uses is called GlucoFacts and can found for PC and Mac as downloadable software.  One thing it does not have is alternate site testing functionality. It is limited compared to the Contour Next One in terms of memory but it has a second chance feature where you can add more blood to a sample without changing a blood test strip.

14.True Metrix Air Meter:



This glucometer is the Bluetooth enabled version the standard True Metrix. This version works with the True Manager Air which is the app that collects data to your smartphone or a mobile device and what’s more this device can store up to 1000 test results.

It also has a tagging system that you can include with each reading, that shows meal markers if you are sick if you just used medication and the other option.  The strips you use don’t need to be coded but, you can only use specific True Metrix Air test strips. It has a 4-second blood reading result.   As far as features go the device itself is pretty simple in design like many other glucometers on this list. Even has an injection button near the insertion site for test strips.

15. Free Style Precision Neo:



This Glucometer is by Abbot, it has a simplified and in the kit it has, it’s definite setbacks and does not offer what other Glucometer do, in terms of data management or various settings for high/low trends. What does lack in features it makes up for in design with a touch screen? It has a 1000 test memory.

What Abbott markets this device as is an even cheaper alternative that is claimed to have the same accuracy of other  FreeStyle Glucometers. The blood test strips are of an old design and come wrapped in foil. It doesn’t have an app to go along with it, but it has data management that is through computer only use due to the fact that you need to plug it in via USB to upload data.

 

  1. FORA TN’G Voice:


This glucometer maybe the most well thought out because it loudly tells the user the blood test result. This voice guidance feature can also walk a new user through menus who are visually impaired. Although, the voice guidance volume is high users say that it is clear. A problem is the availability of test strips for the product is lacking.

The proclivity of using such a device with the iFORA app is useful for data management. The readability of the device’s screen is high quality enough. It can store up to 450 tests and has Bluetooth connectivity. It takes 5 seconds for a result. Also, there is a loyalty program on Foras site where you can earn rewards and it most likely the best place to buy strips for it.

There is no kit version of this product, on the site it has FORA TN’G  blood glucose test strips for $19.99, FORA lancets 100pcs(30G) for $6.90, FORA Safety Lancet 100 pcs at $12.99 and a FORA lancing device at $9.00, which adds it all up to around $76.87.

 

Conclusion

Overall, there is a lot of variety when it comes to glucometers. The levels of accessibility for these devices may become antiquated as time goes on for the fact that CR2032 batteries are not used as much, but have been replaced by rechargeable lithium ion batteries. The Dario has some stylish appeal for people of certain tastes, while the OneTouch series of Glucometers goes for the functionality of test strips that can be used across the whole line.

The ones that utilize data management are definitely more customizable which may be what some people want or alternatively they may want a glucometer just for the portability. What your insurance coverage is could make all the difference and doing your own research of your health coverage can add to the affordability of glucometers shouldn’t be underestimated.

There is even some upcoming innovation that may have not been shown here that will go further to merge accessibility and data management. The variance in how fast a glucometer will produce a result in this list is an average of about 4 to 5 seconds, compared to a hospital glucometer which may take up to 12 seconds for a result, although something like that would be designed for reading more than just glucose in the blood.

Then, compared to an even older glucose meter that was used in the 70’s when it could only be measured in hospitals.

 

References & Citations:

1.https://www.fda.gov/medical-devices/vitro-diagnostics/blood-glucose-monitoring-devices

2.https://diatribe.org/fda-publishes-final-recommendations-blood-glucose-meter-accuracy

3.https://www.amazon.com/Best-Sellers-Health-Personal-Care-Blood-Glucose-Monitors/zgbs/hpc/3777171/ref=zg_bs_nav_hpc_3_3761401