Daily blood sugar testing is a vital component of any successful diabetes management plan. It can help determine if you have your blood sugar under control, while also helping identify patterns that can lead to a spike or crash. It also reveals how factors like stress and exercise can impact your blood sugar, and it assists you in examining the effectiveness of any diabetes medications you may be taking.
While the frequency and cadence of your blood glucose testing depends on your specific diagnosis and your physician’s recommendations, it’s up to you to select the glucometer—or at-home blood sugar-monitoring device—that will best support your needs. Luckily, a wide variety of glucometers exist on the market today. From the simplest blood sugar readouts to Bluetooth-enabled devices that sync with your smartphone and come loaded with extra features, there is a glucometer out there for every person eager to self-manage their diabetes and avoid long-term complications.
In an effort to simplify your search, our experts combed through dozens of options and identified the nine best glucometers for monitoring your blood sugar. We’re confident that one of these devices will suit your medical needs, monthly budget, and personal preferences.
Best Overall: Contour NEXT EZ Diabetes Testing Kit
This complete starter kit is ideal for senior patients who are looking for a simpler monitoring device and don’t want to have to shop separately for all the required accessories. It comes with a Contour NEXT EZ diabetes monitor, 100 Contour NEXT test strips, 100 Active Forward lancets, a Microlet lancing device, Contour NEXT control solution, a monitor manual, a data logbook, and a carrying case.
The glucometer itself is both fast and accurate, providing test results within five seconds. There is no coding (or calibration) required with new boxes of test strips. If you tend to forget to check your blood sugar, you can set several reminder alarms on the device. And if you’re focused on using your data trends to better manage your diabetes, this glucometer saves pre- and post-meal glucose level test results in 7-, 14-, and 30-day averages.
Best Budget: AccuChek Aviva Plus Meter
This glucometer model from AccuChek is well-known as one of the most accurate blood sugar-monitoring devices on the market. It uses AccuChek Aviva Plus test strips, which fill quicker with less blood (0.6 microliters), making it a more comfortable device to use. It has more than 150 system integrity checks help detect and prevent unreliable results.
The device itself is simple in design and easy to handle. Similar to the Contour NEXT EZ diabetes monitor, it doesn’t require any coding and it comes with several customizable test reminders. The AccuChek Softclix lancing device is proven to be less painful than other brands, and you can use it on multiple test sites on the body. The monitor’s test results are ready within five seconds, and it has a downloadable 500-value memory, offering 7-, 14-, 30-, and 90-day averages.
Best for Travel: FreeStyle Lite Blood Glucose Monitoring System
When you’re on the move, a compact and minimally invasive glucometer can be the key to successful diabetes management. This pick from FreeStyle is designed with travel in mind. It’s small enough to fit easily in your pocket or purse, and it has a large enough LED display to be easy to read. It requires a smaller blood sample size than most monitors to provide an accurate reading in just five seconds, and it works on several testing sites, so you can give your fingertips a rest whenever necessary.
The FreeStyle Lite doesn’t require coding, keeping your testing process simple no matter where you are. The monitor can store up to 400 results, noting both the date and time, and it provides 7-, 14-, and 30-day averages, too. It also comes with four alarm reminders to help keep you on track when your daily routine fluctuates.
Best for Home: AUVON DS-W Blood Sugar Kit
When you’re testing from the comfort of your own home, it’s easier to get a little bit more high tech with your monitoring system. This glucometer from AUVON utilizes cutting-edge test trips that consistently surpass international accuracy standards. The strips are produced using an automatic carbon printing technique, which ensures that they remain both stable and precise. The lancet device used to retrieve your blood sample is also said to be less painful than others. The monitor itself fits comfortably in the palm of your hand, is easy to read, and stores continuous 7-, 14-, and 30-day average results.
This kit comes with the AUVON DS-W blood glucose monitor, one battery, 150 blood test strips, 25 lancets, one lancing device, a meter use guide, and a test strip user guide. It does not include a control solution.
Best User-Friendly: One Touch Ultra2 System
This glucometer is one of the most commonly used monitors—and with good reason. The device has larger display numbers for easier readouts, and it’s very simple to operate. It only takes five seconds to deliver your results, and it provides before-and-after meal averages so you can better understand how the foods you eat impact your blood glucose. The monitor can store up to 500 test results in its internal memory, and a single battery can power the device for six to 12 months, depending on how frequently you test your blood sugar.
One of its best features is that it uses test strips that are compatible with at least a half-dozen other glucometers from One Touch and are available at almost every store that stocks diabetic supplies. Users say that the lancing device it uses is gentler than others, making for a more comfortable testing experience.
Best Talking: Prodigy Glucose Monitoring Kit
If you’re visually impaired, trying to read a glucometer several times a day can feel really frustrating. Fortunately, this monitor can guide you through the testing process and read your results aloud for you. It communicates in four different languages—English, Spanish, French, and Arabic. It’s one of the best glucose monitors in terms of accuracy, so you feel confident in your reading. It doesn’t require you to code new test strips each time, either.
This kit includes the Prodigy Autocode blood glucose monitoring system, 100 test strips, an adjustable depth lancing device, 10 twist-top lancets, two batteries, a carrying case, a data logbook, and a user manual. The device itself can store up to 450 readings in its internal memory, and it has a standard USB port that enables you to download your test data to your computer for easier management.
Best for Data Management: Dario Blood Glucose Monitoring System
For those who are hyperfocused on analyzing trends in their blood sugar reading data, our experts recommend this iPhone-compatible device from Dario. The smart, pocket-sized meter connects directly to the phone via its charging port so you don’t have to deal with any cables or batteries. All results are automatically recorded in the accompanying app on your phone, which also analyzes your results and makes it easier for you to track diabetes-specific metrics, such as carbohydrate consumption, physical activity, and medication adherence. You can even opt to share this data with your caregivers or family members.
The meter itself is fast and accurate, providing readings in less than six seconds. It also features a built-in emergency hypoglycemia alert paired with your GPS location so you can feel as safe as possible as you self-manage your blood sugar. The kit comes with the glucometer, 25 test strips, 10 lancets, and 10 disposable covers.
The number one thing you should do before purchasing a glucometer is to check with your insurance company about what they will cover. But don’t just check the glucometer. Make sure you’re checking the testing strips compatible with the device. Taking your insurance coverage into consideration will not only help you narrow down devices, but it will also guide you to a budget-friendly and cost-effective option.
Once you know what your insurance company will cover you can start to differentiate devices based on the additional features they offer. Looking for a larger screen? Then you can likely eliminate any monitors that make it more difficult to read the numbers. Looking for a device easy to carry around? Then you should definitely consider size and where you would likely store the device when taking on the go.
If you’re looking for a kit that has everything you need to accurately read your blood sugar levels, AccuChek Aviva Plus Meter is a great starting point. But not every glucometer has an intuitive design. One Touch Ultra2 System is a user-friendly option that offers plenty of easy-to-follow tutorial videos so that you can guarantee an accurate reading. Ultimately, the device needs to work for your daily life, depending on your personal diagnosis. Consider what features will make monitoring your blood glucose levels feel less like a chore to find a glucometer that fits your lifestyle.
What to Look for in a Glucometer
Accuracy: The quality of your glucometer and the quality of the testing strips used in your glucometer can dramatically impact the overall accuracy of your blood glucose monitoring tests. Some meters are known for giving readings that show blood glucose levels up to 15 percent higher or lower than they actually are. That variance is accepted by the Food and Drug Administration, but the more accurate readings you can get from your glucometer, the better.
Ease of use: Considering most people need to use their glucometers multiple times per day, it’s important to pick one that you find easy and as comfortable as possible to use. For some, that means a very simple interface that just reports and records the numbers you need. For others, that means features like Bluetooth connectivity so you can easily keep track of your data on your smartphone. Regardless, your glucometer should empower you to manage your health successfully on a daily basis.
Data display: When using a glucometer, reading and understanding your blood glucose reports needs to be a quick and somewhat automatic process. Many people prefer LED screens with high contrast and large readouts so they don’t strain their eyes as they read off their numbers on the handheld device multiple times per day. It’s also important to pick a device with data review settings that feel intuitive to you so you can reduce the burden of frequent testing.
Insurance coverage: Akankasha Goyal, an endocrinologist at NYU Langone Health, says the most important consideration when researching glucometers is if it will be covered under your insurance company. “It has to be cost effective at the end of the day because people check their blood glucose at least once or twice per day,” she says.
You don’t just want to select a device that is covered under your health insurance, but you also want the test strips, or a portion of the strips, to be covered as they are the item that really adds up when it comes to price. So when purchasing a meter, pay attention to what specific test strips it requires and how expensive they would be under your health insurance. That should help you narrow down the options available on the market.
Storage size and retrieval: Most glucometers store about 50 to 100 readings, but there are others on the market that can store up to 500 readings. The difference can matter for some because more readings allow you to discover patterns in when your blood glucose levels dip and rise. Dr. Goyal recommends purchasing a device with more memory storage, but only if your insurance company covers the glucometer.
Blood-sample size: Glucometers require different sizes of blood droplets on the test strips in order to accurately determine your blood glucose levels. “Less expensive meters tend to require a larger amount of blood,” says Matt Petersen, vice president of medical information and professional engagement at the American Diabetes Association. If pain is a key factor in your decision then you will want to consider a more expensive device that will allow for a smaller drop of blood. But if this consideration isn’t a deal breaker for you then you can likely get away with using a more inexpensive device that requires more blood.
“There are a lot of choices but fundamentally they all work. The choices come down to cost, your personal desire for the features, etc.”—Matt Petersen, vice president of medical information and professional engagement at the American Diabetes Association
- Best Overall: Contour NEXT EZ Diabetes Testing Kit at Amazon
“It’s both fast and accurate, providing test results within 5 seconds.”
- Best Budget: AccuChek Aviva Plus Meter at riteaid.com
“The lancing device is proven to be less painful than other brands, and you can use it on multiple test sites on the body.”
- Best for Travel: FreeStyle Lite Blood Glucose Monitoring System at cvs.com
“The monitor can store up to 400 results, noting both the date and time.”
- Best for Home: AUVON DS-W Blood Sugar Kit at Amazon
“Utilizes cutting-edge test trips that consistently surpass international accuracy standards.”
- Best User-Friendly: One Touch Ultra2 System at Amazon
“Larger display numbers allow for easier readouts.”
- Best Talking: Prodigy Glucose Monitoring Kit at Amazon|
It communicates in four different languages — English, Spanish, French, and Arabic.”
- Best for Data Management: Dario Blood Glucose Monitoring System at Amazon|
The smart, pocket-sized meter connects directly to your iPhone.”