Meter Experiences and Advice?

I'm shopping for a meter. It's almost a year since I was diagnosed T2 and started using the Contour the pharmacy gave me. Sometimes the strips don't fill up right and won't test. Been thinking about getting a different kind, maybe one that'll upload to the computer. And now my numbers are suddenly higher, so I'm motivated to change and see what's going on.

Seems like most of the ones out there are the same, but with cosmetic changes. The real differences are in the strip prices. $20-144!!!! Holy Hannah!!!

Looking for some sage advice on what's a good meter (or bad), either with or without USB.


I use a Bayer Contour nextUSB meter and just love it. Never had a strip problem. I like downloading numbers for my endo. The Bayer staff concerning meters are very helpful. Nancy

The best meter is the one that the insurance covers the strips for! That being said, I have used the Contour, the USB version of the same (uses the same strips), Precision xTRA, One Touch UltraSmart, Accu-Chek Aviva, and now the Aviva Combo (same as the Aviva but also controls the insulin pump).

Wasn't a big fan of the Precision xTRA...the strips are individually wrapped in foil (a HUGE pain in the A*#)! The Aviva Combo (the one for the pump) is really nice as it allows for detailed categorization of testing at almost the level that the One Touch UltraSmart does. Prior to the Aviva Combo the UltraSmart was my favorite as it allowed for a lot of categories of testing (pre-meal, post-meal, pre-workout, etc).

All of the ones mentioned above allow you to download the content to a computer for analysis except for the xTRA (it may but it was my very first meter and I literally hated it for a number of reasons and those damn foil wrapped strips sealed its fate). The only concern there would be Windows 8 compatibility (and the newer Apple OS'). Those issues will work themselves out over time though.


Freestyle seems to have the best rating, and was VERY accurate when I used it, but the expensive strips aren't covered for me. Accucheck is the 2nd best I have used. The rest I have tried aren't more accurate than the generics (walmart or online).

Thanks folks. Very good advice. Went to Walgreens tonight and got a surprise. Even though they have my insurance info on file, they can't tell me what any of the strips will cost unless it's the one my dr prescribes. How can you make a choice without seeing the difference? May as well throw everything in a big bag, close your eyes and reach in! Sorry. Stressful day and bottomed out before work ended. Thought I could make a quick trip to the drugstore, grab a new meter and get back in control. Silly me!

I would call the insurance company and see what they say. My insurance covers very few and they are the cheaper ones. Since I test a lot I often have to buy out of my own pocket anyway so that is ok. I have a True Test and I think it has the ability to be transferred into a spreadsheet or something. Strips range from $25 to 65 per 100 depending on where I've bought them.

Thanks! I called the ins co and they gave me the two brands they cover. Even though my prescription is still on file I had to get a new one for the new meter, one for strips and another for lancets. Not to mention choosing which model first without knowing what any of it would cost. Just love red tape!!! Ended up with a Freestyle Lite. I like that it requires less blood than my Contour. Copay for strips is 25. Data cable is online order only. Guess I'm all set for another year. Thanks to everyone who responded. It helps a lot!

very good.

I do not use the Accuchek.

Not all meters are the same. Depending how ones body handles the man made sugars and does not leak them to blood system unchanged, why yes most meters generally are similar and appear to work well.

The real problem is that some strips read ALL sugars and interferors in blood and some read only the glucose D. I am one of those that needs the accurate properly filtered test strips responding only to glucose D. Other wise I get readings 40 to 100 points off.

The other joke is that all meters vary somewhat at the extremities and if your body is operating at those ; one may find that certain meters perform better than others.

The idiots hiding the specs and pretending all meters are the same are serving no one well.

How does one know which parameters to watch for when diabetic care can be casual

excellent question.

I have three which are accuracy and interferor response;
water content/moisture, blood hemocratic response and oxygen sensitivity.
The real tragedy, one has to try different meters or sneak around the FDA approval files looking for reports on these beasties!

Actually you make good point about care being casual. I got to 13.3 a1c; 330 lbs and started seeing eyes - hemorrhages - retina and kidneys going down; so decided the casual approach was going to kill me.

I had already cut out excess snacks, candies etc and did follow that - not enough! Now on Mediterranean diet, cutting carbs - grains back tightly and meter after my meals religiously and adjust eating. Numbers in line, weight down, kidneys stabilized and eyes/retinas clean last 4 years!

One reading a day/week is utter useless and the witch doctors proposing that should be shot!
I am deadly serious about it now - 1200 calories per day, 1.5 to 2 miles walking and metformin and insulin and read and learn all I can.

Metformin, insulin, diet and exercise key to managing mess.

The casual approach is after 30 years+ type2 in a word asinine and part of the reason this mess is so bad and numbers so great world wide!

It sneaks up quietly and what seems benign and then rushes the body in the end!

Another thing might be to buy a few meters and see which ones work best. The meters themselves are practically free, and then Walmart test strips are cheap.

What I like to see is....
1. Test/retest is very close together.
2. Decent response time from the meter.
3. Almost no wild readings. One cheaper meters I get the occasional WTH reading that isn't shown in retest.
4. The meter is accurate. That's tough to figure out, but when you know you are low or high, the numbers should correspond. When you get tested at the doctor's office test with your own meter at the same time. Also compare it to other meters.

PS Most meters should be good enough. The key is to test regularly. The generic Advocate Redicode I had to use for a year (couldn't get a doctor to prescribe 8 test strips a day) was only marginally less accurate for me than my Accucheck.

Manufacturing comes into play too. Their science might be the best, but if they screw up every 10th strip they make or have defects in their meters, then they wont be the best.

PS Jims, good work on the lifestyle changes.