From mobile phones to sunscreens, from bottled water to walking shoes, no matter what we need it seems that there’s an endless number of options. Luckily, for people with diabetes who need to test their blood sugar, there’s a wide range of blood glucose meters available to choose from as well.
For the most part, blood glucose monitors – or meters – all do the same job. They measure and display the amount of sugar in your blood. But like everything else, meters have gotten more sophisticated. What’s most important is that you find a meter that you can use comfortably and confidently.

To help simplify the selection process you might want to consider these three criteria first: Ease of use, required sample size, and cost.

Make Sure the Meter is Easy to Use

You’ll probably be using your meter on a fairly regular basis so ease-of-use should be priority one. It’s all about personal preference.
To judge how user-friendly a meter will be for you, consider everything from the size and weight of the meter to the readability of the display to the time it takes to get your results. Will you be better served by a larger meter that’s easier to hold or a more streamlined meter that’s compact, lightweight and discreet?

Check to See What Size Blood Sample is Needed

One feature that’s particularly important to many is the size of the blood sample necessary to measure your results. If you test often or have sensitive fingers, then a meter that works with small sample size may be the best choice.
You’ll find that many meters use less than 1.0 microliter – or 1.0 μL – and take 10 seconds or less to display results. Some meters require a small sample size of 0.6 microliters or less and display results in 5 seconds.

Factor in the Cost of Both the Meter and Test Strips

Your actual out of pocket costs will very likely be an important factor in your decision. One-time costs for meters and ongoing costs for test strips will vary depending on several factors, including insurance coverage, participation in manufacturer savings programs and availability of free meters, rebates and retail coupons.

Consider Buying Your Monitoring System Over the Counter

If your out of pocket costs for blood glucose test strips are high, you might benefit from buying your test strips over the counter. Until now, it hasn’t been possible to buy meters and test strips from leading brands over the counter at accessible prices. But now the FreeStyle family of products has a system that’s available over the counter, without a prescription.

The new FreeStyle Precision Neo meter and test strips give patients a quality alternative to using insurance and paying high copays for blood glucose test strips. You can find the FreeStyle Precision Neo meter and test strips at major retailers or drugstores in the diabetes supplies section or you can buy them online at Prices may vary, but the MSRP for 50 test strips is $21.99.

What Works for You

Whether you’re replacing a meter or shopping for a new meter, be sure to look into product review sites, comparison charts, and how-to-use videos to weigh all the options and get the best sense for how the system will suit your needs. Good luck and good health!