Which should I buy? (Blood Glucose Meter)


I know there have been conversations in the past about people’s preferences and we’ve never purchased a new blood glucose meter…we’ve always just used the PDM. But I have known that my insurance provides a benefit each year that I’ve never taken them up on and I’d like to start taking them up on it, so I’m looking for what the BEST (if there is such a thing…most accurate, smallest blood drop required, etc.,) so that we can use our benefit funds this year for his annual benefit ($125 / pear maximum annual benefit per member for blood glucose meters.)

Anyone have any recommendations for the right one for Liam and us to take advantage of this benefit?




Works great for us.



Hmm, I’m wondering, though, if whatever I choose should use the same test strips we currently have prescribed (Freestyle) strips. Questions, questions.

On second thought, I guess this isn’t so important since we’re really not even going to be using it. It’ll be in the closet and saved for him when he grows up and needs it. By the time he’s 18, hopefully we’ll have him enough BG meters to do him for life. lol. Brand new, in the box just waiting on him to take them out and use them.

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To me the most important things are accuracy and precision.

There are a bunch of comparisons. Some of them mention things like bluetooth compatibility, battery life, and a lot of other things. But so what? Really, what’s important? Give me the right number!

There are always a few variations in the results. Steer clear of comparisons that were done by a BG meter company!

Some of these are a little bit old. But Contour is consistently at the top of almost any comparison. Every year. Go with Contour.



Freestyle is also near the top of almost every comparison I have seen. These meters are not expensive, if you have the space, get both.



I’m going to call my benefits center and/or my insurance to see how the $125 has to be spent.

i.e., if the meter is only $40, can I use the remaining money on strips for the meter up to the $125 max? Can I buy 2 or 3 meters as long as I’m under $125? Or, If the meter is only $40, is that it? The rest of the $125 will remain unused? Those types of things.

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I don’t live in the US, so maybe my frame of mind is different, but I wouldn’t buy a meter with plans to use it in 20 years. Using a meter from 2019 in 20 years when Liam is in his 20s would be like using a meter from 1999 today. I suppose it would still work, but it won’t be as accurate nor have anywhere near the number of features of newer meters. And if the expired strips are no longer accurate, it may be impossible to get new strips if they’re no longer on the market.

I think it would make more sense to get a backup meter (everyone should have one, in my opinion) that uses the same strips as your OmniPod.



This will happen naturally either way. Even if we plan to save them for his own use later, we will still have them if we need the backup meter now.



If cost is a factor then IMHO the cost of the meter is irrelevant. It is all about the cost of the strips.

Start with what strips you have coverage for.

We have coverage for the Contour Next strips. So I purchased the Contour Next One meters. I picked up six of the meters so we could place them in strategic locations and not be going around “looking for the meter”. At the time they were about $9 on Amazon. Looks like the meters are down to about $6. The Contour Next strips are about 22 cents so depending on how often they are used, those 22 cents can start to add up.



Yeah, I’m tending to agree to get the meter that we already get strips for so definitely one of the Freestyle meters. Anyone have one in particular that we may want to select? I think the most important things for us are accuracy of course, but also a meter that uses just a little bit of blood.



FreeStyle has several different kinds of strips for its meters. If you’re going with meters that work with the same strips as the OmniPod, I think your only choices are FreeStyle Lite, FreeStyle Freedom Lite, and maybe FreeStyle InsuLinx (not sure about that one). The FreeStyle Xtra, FreeStyle Precision Neo, and FreeStyle Libre all use different strips.



Just personal choice, but I agree with @Chris because this meter feeds directly into my XDrip, Tidepool and NightScout. I do have Freestyle Lite meters that I use on occasion as the strip cost was right for me with the copay card. Now Contour has a similar savings plan so I have migrated for convenience.



FreeStyle Lite is what you want.

The accuracy is fine. Also, it’s small, it has a light which is really useful, and you can use the same strips you use with your PDM - even though they will tell you to use the FreeStyle Lite strips, they are interchangeable between the devices.

If you get one, make sure you get the FreeStyle Lite. Not the FreeStyle Freedom Lite, not the FreeStyle, or any other of their meters. Their marketing group did a horrible job with their branding. Their names are not distinct.

If you are going with that brand, this is the one to get, FreeStyle Lite:




I find that every company in this space has so many confusing names for their glucose meter models and strips, that I find it easier to just resort to pictures. I think there must be a strategy to name them all similar but make them look different, I just for the life of me can’t figure out what the strategy is…



The names are especially confusing on forums, too, because they vary by country. Before the Lite line of products came out there was the FreeStyle Mini, which I used for a bit. But in the US the exact same meter was called the FreeStyle Flash. I’m pretty sure the same is true of names of today’s meters. Or the exact same meter has features that vary by countriy. Like the FreeStyle Precision Neo can test ketones in Canada but I don’t think has this feature in the US. The same is true ofpumps and CGMs. Confusing for sure!



What’s wrong with the Freestyle Freedom Lite? Just gotta know because that’s the one I have and likely will have to switch to from my Contour Next One (unfortunately) when I switch to private insurance?



I would not say anything is necessarily wrong with it. But it’s bigger and does not have the light for the strip when you apply blood. That’s a useful thing at night or in a movie theater!

So if I was picking one of them, I’d pick the FreeStyle Lite.

Here is a size comparison.




Freestyle Lite



The freestyle strips and meters are fine, they are consistently well rated, but they also tend to be quite expensive if you need to procure strips off the open market. That is why the Contour is so nice, better accuracy, good meter forms including the light, and the strips are available on the open market for a reasonable price.



I use the OneTouch Ultra 2. I would not recommend that meter for a small person that requires the smallest sample size. I have many of the Ultra 2 meters, one for each of my many locations. I have never had to purchase any of the units. Most meter providers want to make their $$ from the sale of the strips.
Also check with Consumer Reports on the best Glucose Meters. They just recently published a review of many meters.