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.
Choosing the right meter will depend on the products available to you, the cost of test strips (if you need to buy you our own), NHS prescription availability and the most suitable device for your individual requirements.
Some blood glucose meters can also check for the presence of ketones which is useful for people with type 1 diabetes or those who are otherwise susceptible to ketoacidosis.
Compare blood glucose meters
- BBI Healthcare
- Cambridge Sensors
- Inside Biometrics
- Nipro Diagnostics
- SD Bionsensor
- Spirit Healthcare
The following independent blood glucose meter reviews detail the types of blood glucose meters available in the UK, who they are made by, the range of features each meter brings and how to get one. In addition, you can read user reviews or leave your own review.
Your healthcare team should be able to advise you 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 National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) and the International Diabetes Federation (IDF).
Discuss your options with your healthcare team and GP. If you are buying your own meter and need to buy your own test strips, make sure to compare prices of test strips and lancets as it is these supplies that are the biggest cost associated with blood glucose testing. 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 and others have easier to navigate results and menus.
When choosing a meter, you may need to decide whether you need more features or whether you need a meter that has advanced features but is simpler to use. Investigate the process before purchasing and speak to as many peers and experts as possible.
How accurate are blood glucose meters?
In 2013, new and tighter accuracy standards (ISO standards) were issued for blood glucose meters to achieve. The previous accuracy guidelines were issued in 2003.
Where a blood glucose has met the 2013 ISO standards, we have included this fact within our meter reviews.
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.
You can check on the accuracy of your blood glucose meter by performing a control solution test. This involves performing a test using control solution instead of blood.
If you do not have any control solution or it is no longer in date, many meter manufacturers will be happy to send you a vial of control solution free of charge.
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 they can lead to inaccurate results. Meters should be cleaned regularly, and taken care of like any other electronic device.
- Read more about factors which can affect blood glucose accuracy
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.
Some blood glucose meters are specifically designed for use on the move and may enable you to test without needing a surface to place your kit down o, which can be a useful feature for people that need to test regular each day.
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 seconds
Are meters available for people who have problems with retinopathy or other eye disorders?
Some manufacturers have made 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.