How to Choose a Blood Glucose Meter

When choosing a new blood glucose meter, the sheer number of options can make the task rather daunting.  How do you know which meter is right for you?  First, know that there are a number of items that vary from one meter to another, that may influence your preference.  A lot of the choice has to do with personal leanings, so don’t worry too much about buying a “bad” meter, as long as you buy from a quality medical store.

One of the first things to consider is the size of the meter.  Some people couldn’t care less if it was tiny or as big as their toaster.  However, for others (especially individuals who have to test very often throughout the day), a compact meter that can fit easily into a purse or pocket is ideal.  A deck of cards is the average blood glucose meter size, though there are some much smaller coming onto the market. 

The volume of blood needed is also a concern for many home patients.  Everyone wants the smallest pinprick of course, but some meters require a much larger drop of blood.  The rule of thumb is the newer the model, the less volume required, but verifying this before buying is a smart move.  Look for numbers like 0.3 or 0.4 required for the smallest volume needed. 

When looking for a new blood glucose meter, you may also want to check for systems that allow you to get blood from other parts of the body.  For those people who work with their hands often (and who doesn’t really?) getting a drop of blood from the forearm or thigh may be much more convenient, as well as less painful.  Some studies are questioning the extreme accuracy of this however, so be sure to do your homework before deciding. 

Other factors to consider are display image size (which may be important to those with weak eyesight), and extra features, such as models that have audio instructions and results.  Test strips are a concern as far as price, and coding can be a pain if you are not good with gadgets.  Testing times can also vary from model to model, so if you have little patience, look for one that takes under five seconds to return results.

The best place to comparison shop these days is of course online.  Find a quality medical site that offers customer reviews, and start comparing features that are important to you, to the statements made by others.  Finding the best blood glucose meter doesn’t have to be hard work, just knowing some of the big differences can help narrow down the options!