Freestyle Libre in the US: 10-day vs 14-day sensor comparison

14-day vs 10-day sensors comparison in the US

10 day sensors

Your current prescription covers them and your current reader will scan them

14 day sensors

You will need a new prescription if you are using 10 day sensors, as well as a new prescription for a new 14 day reader. Abbott is issuing “free” coupons for 14 day readers to most current 10 day users. Unless they had a free 10 day reader to start with?

10 day sensors

12 hr warm up and 10 days readings, using factory 10 day reader (see note 1)

14 day sensors

1 hr warm up and 14 days reading, using factory 14 day reader

10 day sensors

Work with miaomiao and nightrider
Work with 3rd party apps on specific NFC enabled smartphones (see note 1)

14 day sensors

Do not work with miaomiao and nightrider
Do not work with 3rd party apps on specific NFC enabled smartphones (see note 1)

LibreLink Software app in the US

recently released in the US along with the 14 day system
only for use with for iPhone 7 or newer
Will read 10 day or 14 day sensors
will NOT extend 10 day sensors to 14 day use
must initialize sensor with the applicable factory scanner first, or else the sensor will only be readable via the phone app


Pricing on the 10 day vs 14 day sensors has been “normalized” by Abbott.
In other words, whatever you were paying for 3pcs of 10 day sensors, you will now be paying roughtly the same for 2 of the 14 day sensors.
(The math is not precise, i.e. 365 days / 10 days = 35.5 sensors/year (3 per month) vs 365 days / 14 days = 26 sensors/year ( 2 per month using a 28 day month or 13 months/yr)
The same rough monthly price, but you will get less sensors/year. Abbott gets the same money, you get fewer sensors, but the same number of days usage. In theory, your ANNUAL cost should stay the same, unless you are already getting 14 days from 10 day sensors using 3rd party apps (see note 1) If that is the case, your ANNUAL cost will go UP by switching to the 14 day sensors.

Note 1

Third party apps, which work on specific NFC enabled phones, already allow for 1 hr warm up and 14 day sensor reading from the 10 day sensors.
Third party apps, which work on specific NFC enabled phones, allow for using transmitters like the nightrider and miaomiao

Bottom line

If you are using the 10 day sensors, with the factory 10 day reader, switching to the 14 day sensors with a 14 day reader means less sensor changes annually and 1 hr warmup, at roughly the same price as you currently pay for the 10 day system. Note that none of your transmitter accessories with be usable, 3rd party apps will not work, and only compatible iPhone owners can use the LibreLink app. All others must use the factory scanner.

BUT- If you are currently using the 10 day sensors with 3rd party apps, you already get 14 days of readings with 1 hour warm up, your transmitter accessories all work, and you get 6 weeks worth of sensors for the price everyone else is paying for 30 days.
With the 14 day sensors, your effective cost goes up, and you are stuck using the 14 day factory reader since your 3rd party apps no longer work, nor your transmitter accessories. You can however, use the LibreLink software if you own a compatible iPhone.


If you are currently using the 10 days sensors with the factory 10 day scanner, and nothing else, by all means, go for the “upgrade” to the 14 day system.
If you are currently using the 10 day sensors with 3rd party apps, and getting 14 days with 1 hr warm up, or if you have transmitter accessories, there is no reason to “upgrade” and plenty of reason to NOT upgrade. In fact, you may want to ask your 10 day friends that are upgrading to sell you their remaining 10 day sensors, since they will undoubtedly soon become impossible to obtain, making your investiment in transmitters and 3rd party apps worthless until someone manages to somehow get things working properly again. No matter how that all plays out, YOU are going to be paying more for your sensors compared to your previous annual expense with an upgrade to the 14 day system.


As in all things diabetes, your actual mileage may vary…

End of wiki ---------- comments start here


The conjecture is that MOST of the differences between the two is in the software/app/firmware in the scanners. The sensors are virtually the same, other than some alterations in the data packets, which is what is causing the incompatibilities with transmitter devices and 3rd party apps. As for inconsistencies, that facet is pretty well accepted that a certain percentage of the sensors are “duds” whether they are 10 day or 14 day models. In the US, reports are that Abbott has been pretty good of late about replacing them via coupons for replacements.


Thanks, @DaveJ. That’s great information. So once they sort out the problems with the incompatibility issues, maybe I’ll consider the 14 day then. I use Spike, thanks to my mom and @glitzabetes, and it does wake me up at night.

Thank you for the answer!


@DaveJ, this is really an excellent post! I think it would be worth making it a wiki and giving it its own thread. Would you mind?


I agree! Great info.


A Wiki?
I don’t see why not.
Glad I could help. I’ve learned so much since finding FUD, thanks to everyone’s willingness to share their own knowledge. It’s a good feeling to be able to give a little something back.

The Libre system can be a great addition to the fight to control diabetes, but it’s by no means perfect, and there is still a LOT of room for improvement, by Abbott, by 3rd party developers, and by the db community.

Once this little snafu of switching over to the 14 day sensors settles down, the next big HUGE hurdle is going to be to address the sizable number of folks that develop really NASTY skin reactions to the adhesive. This is going to become critical as more folks start using these devices, and the numbers of people that have a reaction continues to grow. Most disturbing, to me at least, is the fact that it’s possible to use the sensors quite successfully for an extended period of time, and then develop a skin reaction almost out of the blue.
By all accounts, once this occurs, you will always have that potential reaction with the current adhesive formulation. Folks that have been successful with incorporating the sensors into their self care regimen are devastated when this reaction strikes, and their only viable option is to give them up completely, and to go back to doing blood glucose finger sticks. I’ve made a conscious decision to hold off on even thinking about the addition of a transmitter accessory until I have some degree of confidence that I am not prone to this potential problem, or that it has been solved. They are much too expensive, for me at least, to invest in a device that I may have to give up using completely within a few months after acquiring one.

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I’ve been pretty fearful of this happening. I have a sensitivity to a lot of adhesives, but so far both the Libre sensors and the SimPatch do not bother me. There have been a couple times I’ve put a new sensor on and felt some irritation/burning, and thought a reaction was finally happening, but thankfully not.


Understandable, when you see how useful a CGM is.

I am not familiar with skin reactions for the Libre, but I am very familiar with those for the Dexcom. We have a long wiki discussing how to deal with such reactions, and most people find a way to accomodate it, even with severe reactions:

My feeling is that the very large majority of people would be able to surmount the problem using some of the techniques discussed in this wiki! The simplest is SkinTac, which we use as a prevention and also as a way to withstand frequent swimming practices. But there are many layers and levels :slight_smile:

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OK, I just made it into a wiki, added the bottom limit, and put it into the TOC.

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2 posts were split to a new topic: Using the Freestyle Libre with third party transmitters

5 posts were split to a new topic: Freestyle Libre: allergies and skin reactions

I just send a message to Ambrosia and asked if the Nightrider is working on the 14 days sensors. They said they had never heard about any problems with the 14 day sensor and the Nightrider . Any comments ???

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Thanks so much for the info. My Endo appt is this afternoon and I was going to ask her for the Libra 14 day Rx so I could upgrade for free. Now I think I’ll stick with the 10 day and my MiaoMiao. I also had thought they would both use the same sensors, just a new reader. As I said, greatly appreciated info.


All of the info presented above is based on a combination of either my own personal experiences, or anecdotal information from various online user groups that I frequent.

I do not personally have any experience with the Ambrosia NightRider transmitter.
If Ambrosia is telling their customers, or potential customers, that their equipment works with the 14 day sensors, then I have no personal knowledge to the contrary.

It is however, important to note that US 14 day sensors DO NOT perform in the same way that international sensors perform, so it is entirely possible for Ambrosia to be correct about 14 day sensors in some locations, but not in others.
In a nutshell, this exact difference in the specific US version 14 day sensors vs the 14 day sensors used all over the rest of the world is what has the whole situation in a “Who’s On First?” state of affairs right now.

As a US Freestyle user, I am not familiar enough with how the international version sensors work to even begin to have an opinion.

Hence, as specified in the original post-


As in all things diabetes, your actual mileage may vary…


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Will the glimp app work with the US 14 day sensors id the are started with the glimp S app. Has anyone tried

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At the current time, no 3rd party apps or transmitter devices will work with the newly released US 14 day Libre sensors. These units can only be read by the new 14 day Libre scanner or the Libre app for iPhone 7 or higher.
There is supposedly an Android version in development, but no firm release date as of yet.
The developers of the various 3rd party apps and transmitters are working on a solution, but there are currently no indications as to when, or if a solution is expected.

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Does anybody know where the best place to follow this particular issue is? I’m on the US 14-day sensors and I ordered, then cancelled the miaomiao, waiting for it to be usable with Glimp or XDrip+. I’d like to try to follow the development of the apps, and maybe even the hardware if it’s not a software related issue. Any one forum where these developers hang out?


There are numerous Facebook groups that are oriented towards the Libre, MiaoMiao, and 3rd party apps.
For US users, which are the only folks having difficulties with the 14 day sensors, some of the best info can be found here:

USA users - Abbott Freestyle Libre

Miaomiao Smart Libre Reader

Abbott Freestyle Libre users

Abbott Libre Off Topic

Libre Geeks

Dexcom and Libre rash



@DaveJ, do you happen to knkw if LibreLinkUp is available in the U.S?? I have a friend whose 14 year old is starting on the Libre 14 day sensor and is looking for a way to follow. Do you have any ideas??

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With the LibreLinkUp app1, get glucose readings sent to your phone2 from family and friends who use the FreeStyle LibreLink mobile app. Ideal for parents and caregivers, the LibreLinkUp mobile app allows you to stay in touch, anywhere they go.3
Sent it both places.:grinning: