Glucose Monitors 4/24/15

Home glucose monitors to help diabetics stay on top of their blood sugar levels

If you’re one of the almost 10 percent of Americans with diabetes, keeping track of blood sugar levels can help keep you out of the hospital. A home glucose meter is essential.

Consumer Reports tested 29 blood glucose meters for accuracy by comparing their results to those from a glucose analyzer used in medical labs.

Another important consideration is the cost of the test strips. Those little strips are a big, ongoing expense. And the cost can vary wildly.

For example, Consumer Reports’ top-rated glucose meter, the FreeStyle is easy to use, very accurate and costs just $20. But the strips are very expensive, $2,400 per year if you test four times a day.

Compare that with the Up & Up glucose meter from Target. The same number of strips costs far less, $525. That’s an annual savings of about $2,000. And Consumer Reports found the Up & Up meter easy to use and very accurate. It costs $15.

Another good choice is the $15 ReliOn Micro from Walmart. It takes a few seconds longer to get a reading, but it’s also very accurate, and the annual cost of the strips is also $525.

Consumer Reports health experts say that anyone taking insulin should monitor their glucose levels frequently at home, as should pregnant diabetics. How often you test is a decision you should discuss with your doctor.

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