Blood glucose meters buying guide

We'll help you find the right meter to measure your blood glucose levels.

If you have diabetes or another condition that requires you to keep track of your blood glucose levels, you’ll need a blood glucose meter. Taking regular readings of your blood glucose levels can help you better manage your health. Your doctor or diabetes specialist should be able to tell you if a specific type of blood glucose meter would be best for you.

Glucose meters can be purchased from chemists, medical centres and online retailers and generally cost between $10 and $75. To use a blood glucose meter, you will also need to purchase test strips which cost around $0.40 to $1 per strip. The National Diabetes Services Scheme offers discounted test strips to those who are eligible.

Read on to find out what you need to know before buying a blood glucose meter.

Compare some of the best blood glucose meters

Data obtained November 2018. Prices are subject to change and should be used only as a general guide.
Updated July 21st, 2019
Name Product Average Price (AUD) Measurement range (mmol/L) Sample volume (microlitres) Memory capacity Reaction time (seconds) Purchase today
i-SENS CareSens N
i-SENS CareSens N
$14.95
1.1-33.3
0.5
1000 readings
5
The CareSens N comes with a reminder alarm and a data port for information transfers.
TRUEresult Kit
TRUEresult Kit
$15.95
1.1 - 33.3
0.5
500 readings
4
The TRUEresult Kit comes with a lifetime warranty and a compact carrying case.
Contour Next
Contour Next
$17.95
1.11-33.3
0.6
800 readings
5
The Contour Next meter uses MultiPulse technology to enhance testing accuracy for every single test sample.
Bayer Contour Next EZ
Bayer Contour Next EZ
$17.95
1.1-33.3
0.6
480 readings
5
The Contour Net EZ meter is an affordable option with an easy to read display.
Abbott FreeStyle Freedom Lite
Abbott FreeStyle Freedom Lite
$29.90
1.1-27.8
0.3
400 readings
5
The FreeStyle Freedom Lite has large buttons and display sizes for easy readability.
Accu-Chek Performa
Accu-Chek Performa
$34.95
0.6-33.3
0.6
500 readings
5
The Accu-Chek Performa has a large LCD display and only requires a tiny blood sample.
Contour Next One
 Contour Next One
$38.61
1.11-33.3
0.6
800 readings
5
The Contour Next One uses Second-Chance sampling to allow for blood re-application to prevent wastage and enhance reading accuracy.
Accu-Chek Guide
Accu-Chek Guide
$39.49
0.6-33.3
0.6
720 readings
4
The Accu-Chek Guide has wireless connective capabilities to send data and results to smartphones.
Accu-Chek Mobile
Accu-Chek Mobile
$46.95
0.6-33.3
0.3
2000 readings
5
The Accu-Chek Mobile allows for 50 readings on continuous tape, which means there are no single test strips to dispose of.
OneTouch Ultra 2
OneTouch Ultra 2
$94.13
1.11-33.3
1
500 readings
5
The OneTouch Ultra 2 has a 500 reading capacity with the option to add customised notes to each test result.

Compare up to 4 providers

What is a blood glucose meter?

A blood glucose meter is a device used to test the concentration of glucose within your blood, also known as your blood sugar level or glycemia. Blood glucose monitors are primarily used to help treat diabetes and hypoglycemia. They work by pricking your finger to take a blood sample, which is then put on a test strip to give you a reading. You can use this reading to make sure your blood glucose levels are within the recommended range. Regularly using a blood glucose meter can help you balance your food intake, exercise and insulin levels.

Costs

Blood glucose meters are often sold in kits that include test strips and anything else you may need to use the monitor. Kits are typically available from chemists, diabetes centres and online retailers. The price of these kits generally ranges from $10 to $75 per kit. Some providers offer free blood glucose meters, or a first free meter as a sample, and then charge for subsequent kits. Additional test strips can cost from $25 to $60 for sets of 50 strips.

You can also receive six months of subsidised test strips by registering with the National Diabetes Services Scheme (NDSS).

National Diabetes Services Scheme

The NDSS is an Australian Government initiative that aims to help people with diabetes manage their illness by providing support.

To be eligible to register with the NDSS, you must:

  • Have been diagnosed by an eligible medical practitioner as having diabetes or another condition that requires regular blood glucose monitoring
  • Be a resident of Australia or a country with a Reciprocal Health Care Agreement
  • Have a Medicare card or Department of Veterans’ Affairs card

If you have pre-diabetes or an impaired glucose tolerance, you will not be eligible to register.

Did you know?

Eligible people who are registered with the NDSS can access subsidised blood glucose test strips for a six-month period. Through the NDSS, a pack of 100 test strips can cost as little as $1.70 for pension card holders, $2.70 for Commonwealth concession card holder and $17 for those without a concession card. After the initial six-month period, you may be able to continue to receive the discounted test strips if an eligible medical practitioner claims that it is clinically necessary for you to monitor your blood glucose levels.

What to look for in a blood glucose meter

Your doctor will be able to tell you which glucose meter is most appropriate for you. Glucose monitors are generally pretty similar to each other, but some have extra features to make them easier to use. When comparing glucose meters, look for the following features:

How to use a blood glucose meter

When you are preparing to measure your blood glucose levels, make sure you have the following items:

  • Your glucose meter
  • Test strips that have not expired
  • A lancet device and a lancet
  • An alcohol swab
  • A needle-safe container to hold the used lancet

To use your blood glucose meter, follow the included instructions. Generally, the instructions will require you to calibrate the meter, insert the test strip and enter a code key from the box of test strips. Once your meter is set up, you should wash and dry your hands and use the alcohol swab to clean the finger you will be taking a sample from.

Your lancet device will have specific instructions to follow for you to safely insert the lancet or needle, and prick your finger. After you have pricked your finger, you may need to squeeze the finger to gather a drop of blood. Press this droplet into your test strip and wait for your results. When you are finished, remember to store the lancet in a needle-safe container.


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2 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    KevinDecember 1, 2018

    I have 2 types of glucose meters.

    One free style meter uses a sensor attached to your arm not fingersticks and one regular accu-check meter that uses finger sticks to measure the glucose.

    The freestyle always reads a difference by 4. For instance, the accu-check will read 120 and at the same time the freestyle will read 70. Why the difference? In need to follow the one that is accurate, my last checkup was AIC 5.68 with the doctor.

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      CharisseDecember 6, 2018Staff

      Hi Kevin,

      Thanks for reaching out to finder.

      Finger prick glucose meters and sensor glucose meters are most likely going to have different readings. It’s because the freestyle sensor measures the glucose level in the body’s interstitial fluid (a thin layer of fluid that surrounds the cells of the tissues below the skin) while the accu-check meter measures the glucose level in the blood.

      You may want to consult your doctor and ask advise on which glucose meter will be best for you to use.

      I hope this helps.

      Cheers,
      Charisse

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