Blood Glucose Meter Guide
Keeping an accurate idea of your blood glucose levels is an integral part of successful diabetes management. Blood glucose meters allow you to do this.
Urine testing remains important (to check for the presence of ketones), but having an accurate blood sugar meter makes sense for staying on top of your diabetes.
Choosing the right meter will depend on the products available to you, the cost of test strips, NHS prescription availability and the most suitable device for your individual requirements.
Compare blood glucose meters
The following independent blood glucose meter reviews detail the types of blood glucose meters available in the UK, benefits for self testing, who they are made by, and how to get one.
Your healthcare team should be able to advise on how many times per day you need to check your blood sugar levels. Learn more about the recommended blood glucose level ranges as advised by the International Diabetes Federation.
The Abbott Diabetes Care Freestyle Freedom Lite is a small, convenient blood glucose meter. Watch our video tutorial on the Freestyle Freedom Lite.
The Freestyle Lite is a stylish, discreet blood glucose meter, similar to the Freedom Lite. Watch our instructional video on how to use the Freestyle Lite.
The Abbott Freestlye InsuLinx is a touchscreen, user friendly blood glucose meter which can tell you how your insulin levels work.
The Optium Neo is a completely touchscreen blood glucose meter that logs your glucose readings and remembers them and can also log your insulin doses, too.
The Xceed from Abbott provides simple blood glucose testing and Ketone testing amonst a range of unique features, including a tiny sample size of just 0.3 µL.
Lightweight and slender, the Accu-Chek Aviva is a discreet and comfortable choice for people with diabetes who wish to check blood glucose levels. Includes a video review of the Accu-Chek Aviva.
The Combo monitor comes in at 94 x 55 x 25 mm (3.7 x 2.1 x 1 in) and weighs 103 grams (3.6 oz) with replaceable batteries and download capabilities.
The Aviva Expert from Accu-Chek is only available through your diabetes specialist nurse as it calculates your suggested insulin does in terms of carb to insulin ratio.
The first monitor to feature the detachable Fastclix lancing device and also uses Accu-Chek’s Smart Pix technology. A revolution in Accu-Chek meters.
The Nano revolutionised blood glucose meters in terms of size. The Aviva Nano has a discreet glow in the dark meter display, and includes a proven less-painful Multiclix finger pricker.
The Aviva Advantage features Comfort Curve diabetes test strips and least-painful lancing technology developed by Accu-Chek.
The Accu-Chek Aviva Active includes flexible dosing both inside and outside the meter, allowing testers to choose the easiest method of testing.
The BREEZE 2 is complete with Bayer's No Coding technology, automatically coding each new set of disks.
Every Bayer Diabetes Care CONTOUR meter comes complete with a MICROLET®2. This lancing device is designed to be gentle.
The Contour NEXT blood glucose meter is the latest in a line of blood glucose monitoring devices from Bayer Diabetes Care.
The Contour XT analyses a blood sample 7 times before producing a result, offering excellent accuracy within 5 seconds.
Bayer's Contour NEXT USB is easy to use out of the box. You also receive free meter wallets, control solution and a lifetime warranty. Enter the Contour NEXT USB giveaway.
Bayer's first USB-based, rechargeable blood glucose meter. Watch our exclusive video review and read what other users have to say about the Bayer Contour USB.
The Contour Link works alongside Medtronic insulin pumps and transmits blood sugar readings wirelessly. The idea is to make insulin dosing easier.
The Bayer Didget plugs into a Nintendo DS system and allows children to make testing fun.
The Clever Chek blood glucose meter from BBI Healthcare features voice commands all the way through your blood testing.
2011 saw German company Bbraun releasing the Omnitest 3 blood glucose meter.
The GlucoMen LX Plus is a blood glucose meter that incorporates a 2-in-1 blood glucose and ketone testing facility. Blood results in 4 seconds.
At just 13mm thick, the GlucoMen GM from Menarini stands out as being one of the thinnest blood glucose meters available in the UK.
The Menarini GlucoMen LX blood glucose meter is designed to make testing as fast, painless, simple and easy for people with diabetes.
The GlucoMen Visio is one of the smallest blood test meters available, weighing just 39g.
The GlucoRx blood glucose monitoring system is simple to use but delivers precise blood glucose measurement in under 7 seconds.
The GlucoRx Nexus features a large LCD screen with a backlight, making it easy to read at night or in low lighting.
Home Diagnostics TRUEResults blood glucose meter is one of the Home Diagnostics range including the TRUE2go, TRUETrack, TRUERead, Sidekick, Prestige IQ and TrackEase.
The TRUEresult Twist is simple and fast use, as it only requires a 0.5 microliter sample size with results taking just 4 seconds.
Home Diagnostics TRUEone blood glucose meter is the world’s smallest blood glucose meter.
The IME-DC blood glucose test meter aims to be extremely easy to use, and in fact features just one button.
The OneTouch Ultra 2 is based on the widely-used OneTouch Ultra. After more testing feedback from doctors, nurses and patients, and latest technology.
Providing a fast and accurate reading in just five seconds, the OneTouch UltraEasy Meter is simple to use and helps manage diabetes.
The OneTouch UltraSmart Meter is the first combination blood glucose meter and logbook, providing an easier way to understand blood glucose results.
The OneTouch Verio features a simple design - one screen, simple menu and three buttons to make using the device as easy and intuitive.
The OneTouch Verio IQ blood glucose meter spots patterns of high and low results, helping people who self-adjust their own insulin.
Lifescan's established OneTouch range included the One Touch VITA early in 2009 and was revised later in the year to accommodate user feedback.
The Mendor Discreet is an all-in-one blood glucose meter from Finnish company Mendor. It comprises of blood test meter, test strips and lancing device.
Checking your blood glucose with the BGStar meter isn't just accurate - it's pretty simple too.
The iBGStar is the first blood glucose meter which plugs directly into your iPhone or iPod Touch.
The SD Codefree blood glucose meter has become popular since early 2012 due to it having affordable test strips.
The CareSens N is a small and discreet meter produced by Spirit Healthcare in the UK.
WaveSense is a new technology in blood glucose testing. There is no coding involved and one version of the meter is wireless.
Discuss your options with your healthcare team and GP, and always make sure to compare prices. Some people prefer to have more than one blood glucose monitor - one for home and one for the office, or one for home and one for travelling.
How easy are blood glucose meters to use?
This will depend on the design interface favoured by the manufacturer, but some blood glucose monitors are definitely easier to use than others. For instance, some meters require a smaller drop of blood to give a reading. Investigate the process before purchasing and speak to as many peers and experts as possible.
How accurate are blood glucose meters?
All meters on the market should have a high degree of accuracy. Because of the possible implications if they are inaccurate, most manufacturers make certain that their products give accurate readings.
However, testing the meter regularly to ensure that it is still accurate is a good idea, as meters can become less accurate over time.
How do I test the accuracy of my blood glucose meter?
Many professionals recommend checking the accuracy of your blood glucose meter at least once every month.
The best way to do this is to use the meter at the same time you visit the doctor for a test, and then compare the two results.
Why might a blood glucose meter become inaccurate?
Blood glucose meters may malfunction and become inaccurate should they be dirty, ageing or if they become too hot or damp. Furthermore, if the strips are outdated or the meter has a problem calibrating with the strips, the meter may malfunction. Meters should be cleaned regularly, and taken care of like any other electronic device.
Are blood glucose meters portable?
All blood glucose meters today are light to carry and are mostly run on batteries, meaning that portability is not usually an issue. When it comes to carrying your meter on board a flight, you should prepare by getting a letter from your GP in advance.
How long do tests take using blood glucose meters?
Most meters don't take more than a minute to provide accurate blood sugar level results. For most people and in the case of most meters, speed of testing will not really be an issue.
Most blood glucose meters will provide results in 5 to 7 seconds.
Are meters available for people who have problems with retinopathy or other eye disorders?
Several leading brands also make audible blood glucose monitors that give verbal instructions and verbal test results to their user. This range includes meters that can speak in other languages besides English.