A home blood glucose meter is an essential tool for managing diabetes.
Especially for anyone taking insulin as part of your diabetes treatment, daily blood glucose (BG) checking is pretty much essential – because only your meter can tell you when your glucose is running too low or too high.
Even if you’re not taking insulin, it’s still important to test your glucose several times a day to gauge the effect of foods, medication, and activity on your glucose levels.
Remember: don't be fooled into thinking you can "feel" this on your own. Only your meter can verify your actual BG level.
Here are our reviews of some of the most popular, meter models (in alphabetical order):
Accu-Chek Aviva Connect - link to our written review
The Accu-Chek Aviva Connect system from Roche Diabetes Care debuted in early August 2015, bringing people with diabetes in the U.S. a wirelessly device that connects to certain iOS and Android mobile devices, automatically sends BG data to the Connect app where you can view it add info like food and exercise notes, and utilize a bolus advisor. You can also email BG reports to youreself and your doctor and send text messages with results or as low alerts.
Our initial coverage of this Accu-Chek Connect system is here.
Bayer Contour NEXT Link Glucose Meter - link to our news coverage
See also: "Critiquing Three Diabetes Devices" (including the Bayer meter).
A thumb-sized, USB meter that connects wirelessly with Medtronic insulin pump and transmits glucose data to that device as well as other One Touch software.
iBGStar Wireless Meter for iPhone – link to our product review
The first blood small pinky finger-sized glucose meter that could be used on its own or connected directly to an Apple iPhone or iPod touch to easily display, manage and communicate your results.
Compatible with the iPhone 5/5C/5S/6/6 Plus or iPod touch 5 using an Apple brand 30-pin adapter (sold separately).
iHealth Wireless Blood Glucose Meter – link to our video product review
New meter that connects with a free iHealth Gluco-Smart app to automatically keep a history of your data, and gives you the option to share your information with your doctor or caregiver. Works with Apple devices.
ForaCare Test N 'Go Meter - link to our product review
A small, thin meter about the size of an index finger that has Bluetooth connectivity so you can transmit data directly to an a user-friendly app on an iPhone, iPad, iPod, Android device or web-based browser. It has a blacklight for easy testing at night or in dark places, and the mobile app shows your glucose data history and trends.
FreeStyle Lite Glucose Meter – link to our video review
This popular meter from Abbott Diabetes Care takes just a tiny blood sample, and has a convenient backlight and test strip port light so you can test anywhere, even in dim lighting.
Livongo InTouch Glucose Meter – link to our product review
A new meter with a colorful touchscreen that incorporates a pedometer and is constantly in two-way communication with a "smart cloud" setup. It not only stores your data, but sends you feedback and suggestions on what to do next, and can also alert a care coach to call you immediately in case help is needed.
OneTouch Ultra2 Glucose Meter – link to our video review
A popular meter model from Johnson & Johnson LifeScan that offers a large, easy-to-read screen with backlight and 'before and after' meal averages so you can see the effect of various foods on your blood glucose.
OneTouch Ultra Mini Glucose Meter – link to our video review
A small, USB stick-sized meter from Johnson & Johnson LifeScan that features a big display for easy viewing. It has less data storage than other models, but is highly portable and comes in six different colors.
Telcare Wireless Glucose Meter – link to our product review
The first wireless glucose meter with embedded cellular technology that automatically transmits your glucose data to the mytelcare.com repository. The data can also be viewed on a smartphone. The system also sends messages with tips, in response to specific levels of blood sugar readings. The meter itself is rather large and looks similar to a Blackberry.
True2Go Glucose Meter – link to our video review
A tiny, easy-to-carry meter that actually snaps on the top of a vial of glucose test strips, to act as the lid. There’s no data storage or even tracking of dates and times, but it is very convenient for on-the-go testing.
Verio IQ Glucose Meter - link to our video review
and link to our written product review
Johnson & Johnson Lifescan’s first “smart meter” that aims to alert patients when they're trending high or low. The PatternAlert feature analyzes blood sugar readings and alerts you with a code when it notices a recurring pattern. The downside is that you have to look up the meaning of alert codes in an accompanying paper booklet.
VerioSync Wireless Glucose Meter – link to our video review
The first meter to automatically send your glucose results to an iPhone ior iPad, using the OneTouch Reveal mobile app. It's simple to use, with an easy-to-read screen and test strip port light for testing in the dark. Also, the app can be used with or without the meter.
“Beam Me Up, Bluetooth Meters”
See our review of the VerioSync and iHealth BG5 Wireless Meters
We compare the Bluetooth-enabled VerioSync from market leader JnJ Lifescan and the BG5 Bluetooth Glucometer from the much lesser-known iHealth Labs. Both are exciting but nevertheless have some drawbacks – like the need to plug in to recharge batteries.