Blood glucose meters (BGMs) measure a person’s blood sugar level at the specific moment of checking. To use a meter, people insert a test strip, prick their fingers with a lancing device to draw blood, and then put a small drop of their blood onto the test strip. The meter gives a blood glucose reading in mg/dl (US standard) or mmol/l (European standard).
A blood sugar level under 70 mg/dl (3.9 mmol/l) is typically considered hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). A level over 180 mg/dl (10 mmol/l) is considered hyperglycemia (high blood sugar). Hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia are potentially dangerous situations where blood sugars are out of normal range and can be addressed using fast-acting carbohydrates (in the case of a low value) or insulin (in the case of a high value).
What Supplies Do I Need?
To monitor your blood sugar, these supplies are required:
Lancing instrument (used to prick the finger for blood)
Blood glucose meter
Most meters are coupled with smartphone apps to monitor data
Last updated: August 14, 2020
Useful Links on Blood Glucose Meters:
One Drop Chrome –The One Drop Chrome is a Bluetooth-enabled BGM that can send data to the One Drop app available on iPhone or Android.
Choice, an Amazon Brand BGM – Meters, test strips, and lancets by Amazon can be less expensive and streamline ordering.
Blood Glucose Meter Accuracy – in 2017, 18 BGMs were put to the test to compare their accuracy.
Accu-Check Guide – This BGM comes with less expensive test strips, uploads to smartphones, and is compatible with the mySugr app.
LifeScan OneTouch Verio Flex Meter – Low-cost option; OneTouch Reveal app works with Apple and Android phones.
All-in-One Dario BGM System – A compact, all-in-one smartphone blood glucose monitoring system.
FreeStyle Precision Neo Meter – This BGM focuses on low costs, plus it flaunts a thin design and comes with individually-packaged test strips.
LifeScan OneTouch Verio Meter – An older OneTouch BGM, this meter has a color-coded range indicator plus motivational messaging.
Accu-Chek Aviva Expert BGM with Built-in Bolus Calculator – The first-ever BGM with a built-in bolus calculator.
Contour Next Link – The Contour Next Link is a BGM from Medtronic and Bayer.
Useful Links on BGM and Test Strip Subscription Plans:
How to Get Unlimited Test Strips and Personal Diabetes Coaching – Low-cost monthly subscription services from mySugr, One Drop, DarioHealth, and Livongo.
Livongo’s Family Care Plan – The monthly subscription service includes a cellular-enabled BGM, unlimited test strips, and access to a remote care team.
One Drop: Unlimited Test Strips and Coaching for $39.95 Per Month or Less – One Drop Premium and Bluetooth-enabled Chrome meter available in US and EU, as well as 24/7 in-app support.
How to Get More Strips on a Budget – A 2017 compilation of cash-pay strips with good accuracy and co-pay programs to save money.
Accu-Chek Guide BGM Includes Cheaper Strips – Learn about the BGM and several options for paying for test strips.
Please note, this page is not a comprehensive list of all of the available resources or products available. All links are organized chronologically within their respective sections.