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Best glucometer

Which glucometers are best?

Millions of Americans live with diabetes and rely on a glucometer to measure their blood glucose levels. Glucometers take a blood sample to an enzyme electrode and mix it with a glucose oxidase enzyme. Then an electrical current measures the level of resistance and provides a reading. This helps people with diabetes know if their levels are too high or low, which would require insulin or ingesting sugar, respectively.

Since a glucometer is used every day for such an important purpose, finding the right one is essential for managing your diabetes. For a complete start with a glucometer, test strips and lancets, the Ascensia Contour Next Blood Glucose Monitoring System All-in-One Kit is the top choice.

What to know before you buy a glucometer

Glucometer sizes

There are multiple sizes of glucometers. Some are large, resembling the size of a smartphone, around 2 by 3 inches. Others are smaller, slightly bigger than a computer flash drive, around 1 by 2 inches. Decide where you plan to carry your glucometer and determine which size is best for you. What's most important is to make sure the carrying case includes test strips and a lancet for your next measurement.


Since manufacturers use their own test strips with their glucometers, test strips come with a code that needs to be entered into the meter for it to work properly with a new batch of test strips. There are newer glucometers that no longer require coding or read the code automatically, saving time in the testing process. Check your manufacturer’s requirements for coding. 

Amount of blood

The less blood you have to provide, the better. Many glucometers require three-tenths to six-tenths of a microliter of blood. Look for meters and test strips that require the least amount of blood.

What to look for in a quality glucometer


Glucometers are reviewed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, so their accuracy is held to the highest standard for medical devices. This is important since users are making decisions about whether to increase their sugar intake for hypoglycemia or to take insulin for hyperglycemia. Even though all are FDA-approved, test results can vary slightly.

Data storage

You and your doctor should review your blood glucose trends to determine how best to manage your diabetes. Knowing how your body is responding to exercise, diet and medication, and even what time of day your levels increase, is essential for building your treatment plan. Look for glucometers that can store your readings over a long period, such as a week. This data can often be downloaded at your doctor’s office.


Newer glucometers can upload your readings to a smartphone app that can hold the data for your next doctor’s appointment and also provide you with real-time updates about your latest trends.

How much you can expect to spend on a glucometer

They run from $10-$100, depending on features. Ease of use and accuracy are critical, so look for those first, within your budget.

Glucometer FAQ

Do glucometers come with test strips?

A. Many come with an initial supply of test strips, but you’ll eventually need to purchase more. They can be expensive, but many insurance companies cover a portion of this cost. Check your plan to determine how much coverage you have.

What else can I do to better manage my diabetes?

A. Regularly see your doctor and follow their advice. Also be sure to see your dentist and eye care professional for regular exams, since diabetes can affect teeth and eyes, too. Exercise according to your doctor’s recommendations and limit your consumption of artificial sweeteners and carbohydrates. Consider an insulin pump if you’ll be having repeated injections.

What’s the best glucometer to buy?

Top glucometer

Ascensia Contour Next Blood Glucose Monitoring System All-in-One Kit

What you need to know: This complete starter kit comes with everything you need, all while providing fast, accurate results.

What you’ll love: In addition to a compactly designed meter, this kit comes with 20 test strips and 10 lancets, a manual and a carrying case. Affordable and accurate, there is no coding, and the glucometer has alarm reminders. An 18-month warranty on all parts is included.

What you should consider: Some inaccurate readings have been reported. The console is a bit more confusing than others in this series.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top glucometer for the money

On Call Express Diabetes Testing Kit

What you need to know: This affordable kit provides results in just a few seconds.

What you’ll love: It has a large, easy-to-read screen, and results come within four seconds. It’s backed by a five-year warranty and 24/7 customer service.

What you should consider: Calibration of the glucometer can be challenging but is necessary.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

FreeStyle Freedom Lite Blood Glucose Monitoring System

What you need to know: This kit is small, fast and accurate, from a trusted brand.

What you’ll love: It comes with a sleek-styled glucometer, lancet, lancing materials and a manual. It’s very fast and reasonably accurate.

What you should consider: The kit doesn’t come with test strips, and the test strips for it can be pricey.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon 

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Steve Ganger writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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