A person tests their blood sugar using a blood glucose meter.

More than 30 million Americans have type 1 or type 2 diabetes, according to a 2017 study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. If that includes you, then controlling your blood sugar, or glucose, level is key. Eating a healthy diet and getting plenty of exercise can help.

And for some, regularly monitoring their blood sugar at home can also help them control it. Using a home blood glucose meter can help you understand what makes your blood sugar rise or drop, and see how your numbers respond to medication you may be taking for your diabetes, according to the American Diabetes Association (ADA).


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Who should monitor at home? If you use insulin for type 1 diabetes, the ADA recommends regularly checking your levels with a home blood glucose meter.

If you use insulin or other medication for type 2 diabetes, the association says you might benefit from monitoring at home. So talk with your doctor about whether you should consider getting a device. 

But for people with type 2 diabetes who don’t take insulin or any medication that could cause blood sugar to fall too low, such as metformin (Glumetza and others, and generic), regular at-home blood sugar checks probably aren't useful, according to the American Academy of Family Physicians.

If you're a good candidate for monitoring, your doctor can discuss with you how often you should do so (for some people, it may be several times per day, such as around meals), what your target blood sugar level should be, and what your numbers signify.

Your doctor will also explain when you need in-office testing. An AC1 test, for example, provides information about your average blood glucose levels over the past three months.

But which at-home device should you choose? Consumer Reports tests blood glucose meters for accuracy, repeatability (whether the monitor continues to return identical results after numerous sequential tests with the same sample of blood), and how easy they are to use. Here’s what you need to know.

How We Test
To evaluate each device, we enlist a panel of CR employees with and without diabetes. To evaluate the devices’ accuracy, we test their blood sugar on home blood glucose meters and compare the results with those of a standard laboratory glucose analyzing device. We also test each home monitor repeatedly using the same sample of blood to see whether the results are replicated.

In addition, our technicians check to see how simple each device is to use, looking for features like an easy-to-read display, large buttons, whether the monitor records the date and time of the reading, and whether data can be downloaded to a computer.

Below, you’ll find five of our top-rated home blood glucose meters. Members can see our full ratings and reviews here.

Quick Take

FreeStyle Freedom Lite Blood glucose meters

Price: $20

Accuracy
Repeatability
Convenience
Unlock Blood Glucose Meters Ratings
Quick Take

Bayer Contour Next Blood glucose meters

Price: $20

Accuracy
Repeatability
Convenience
Unlock Blood Glucose Meters Ratings
Quick Take

True Metrix Blood Glucose Meter Blood glucose meters

Price: $19

Accuracy
Repeatability
Convenience
Unlock Blood Glucose Meters Ratings
Quick Take

Accu-Chek Aviva Plus Blood glucose meters

Price: $30

Accuracy
Repeatability
Convenience
Unlock Blood Glucose Meters Ratings
Quick Take

FreeStyle Lite Blood glucose meters

Price: $20

Accuracy
Repeatability
Convenience
Unlock Blood Glucose Meters Ratings