Which meter to trust?


Please note that the Contour strips pictured above are NOT the same as the Contour NEXT strips one needs for the Contour Next series of meters (one of which is also pictured above). A pharmacy will catch this and probably help you avoid a mismatch, but if buying from the internet on your own, double-check the meter and strips compatibility!


Nice catch !!!


I got my new Contour Next meter in the mail and did another comparison of all my meters (now 4). This was done using the same big drop of blood from the thumb on my left hand.

Dario - 132
OneTouch - 136
Contour Next - 143
CVS Advanced - 164

The CVS meter is consistently 30 points above where my Dario is (I’ve done a lot of other tests this past week and received the same results). The article promoted by Diatribe said this meter had a 97% accuracy compared to lab results. However, what I’ve seen this past week really makes me question whether this meter is trustworthy, especially now seeing that all of my other meters are so close to each other. I know accuracy is hard to quantify because all these values are approximations of the true value, but I, personally, want to be able to trust the values my meter gives me, and at this point I just don’t trust the values the CVS Advanced meter gives me.


Great point about trusting strips you buy online. I, too, worry about this. There is such a range of prices on Amazon for Contour test strips that it’s hard to know who to trust.

Does anyone have a trusted source where they buy strips online other than Amazon?


I would be fine buying the strips from Amazon as long as I am assured that I will not get strips that are either expired or almost about to expire.
I would be fine with minimum six months on the expiration date. Other than that - I would have no concerns. Although the point mentioned by @Dessito is a great one. Obviously it is easy to accidentally be looking at the wrong strip especially if you are in the process of switching from one brand/type to another and are not very familiar with the new ones.

If my current distributor does not get an order placed (having a bit of unexpected trouble with them) before the end of this upcoming week then I will be ordering the Contour Next strips (and a few meters) from Amazon. I did send an email to one of the Amazon distributors and asked them about the expiration dates. I assume I will hear back from them by Tuesday after the Holiday.


One thing I noticed in my two episodes buying strips online is that the sellers on Amazon who have test strips available change all the time. I don’t know if there IS such a thing as a “trusted source” when it comes to this particular product.

For what it’s worth, my 10/2015 purchase was from a place named “Buy Wholesale Prices” (300 strips for $66.50 or 22.17 cents/strip) and the more recent one last week from “PoeticSag” (400 strips for $99 or 24.75 cents/strip). Contour Next both times since I do personally use (and highly recommend, including for accuracy) the Contour Next link meter by Bayer.


I bought 300 Contour Next strips for $64 on Amazon, seller was “Diabetes Health Supplies”. I’ve used up the first 50 which seem fine compared to the previous batches purchased at Walmart.

Back in 2014 I ordered some strips from some legit looking supplier I found using Google. The strips were “back ordered” forever, never delivered. I think they were figuring I’d wait long enough to not reverse the charge on my cc. I am much more comfortable buying on Amazon after that experience. I’ve had to return a few other things from Amazon in the past and the return process is easy.


David - if you read the details behind the testing they did, the “failed” meters were only slightly less synchronized with the lab results than the “passed” meters. Frankly, the test completely ignores one of the basic realities of blood glucose concentrations - ITS DIFFERENT THROUGHOUT YOUR BODY. Your blood is NOT homogenized. Two successive drops of blood are RARELY going to have the identical concentration of glucose. Just as your BG changes from minute to minute - it’s also different all over your body. Glucose is added to your bloodstream in the gut (primarily the small intestine, but also at the liver) and spreads throughout your body as the blood gets pumped through the system. As it travels through the vasculature and organs, it is distributing the glucose it carries into the cells of all of your body’s tissue. As a result - every hematocrit carries a different concentration of glucose. So DO NOT expect two tests (using two different drops of blood) to be the same. This difference is NOT an indication of an “error” in the meter. AND… statistically, the LARGEST source of error in SMBG is the person doing the testing; the second largest source of error is the strips themselves.

I’ll stop there… and offer a couple of articles on the subject that should help:




I queried “PoeticSag” regarding the expiration date of their Contour Next strips. They just replied and stated expiration date of 2/2019. That works for me. If any problems, I can follow-up with Amazon customer service.

300 Contour Next strips (B0106LF3MM) on Amazon from PoeticSag for $64 w/ free shipping. 21 cents per strip. Expiration 02/2019.


I’ve used just about every meter on the market since the mid 1990’s. My personal favorite for accuracy is any of the various models of the Contour Next (I have 3 of their models).


I think what’s missing from the comparison is factoring in bias that certain models may have, i.e. the tendency to report numbers higher or lower, compared to the lab value. If you go back to the Diabetes Technology Society BGM Surveillance data, you can see the bias and Bland-Altman plot, which help to visualize the data points and % of error. You’ll notice certain brands and even within certain brands, particular test strip models, the data points may have a tendency to clump below the 0 line (negative bias) or above the 0 line (positive bias). The CVS Advanced meter is actually pretty evenly spread, although the Contour Next is a little tighter.

Compare that to other meters which also passed, like the FreeStyle Lite, which has a negative bias (-6.0%) which means that meter will have a tendency to report a lower BG value, but still be considered accurate. If you were comparing results between a meter with a significant negative bias vs a meter with a significant positive bias, you’ll see a much larger variance. But both may be considered accurate!

If you stick with one meter, even if there’s a bias, you’ll be making consistent treatment decisions based off what you’re seeing. If you switch often between meters, that’s where it can cause more issues.

(Disclaimer: I work in the industry for a medical device company)


Tim35, that’'s what I do. Because I have chronic anemia (had dealt with anemia since birth) the One Touch meters read too high. Problem with that, is that I would correct for high BG’s I wasn’t experiencing and not treating lows because the meter would “confirm” that I was in range (over 90) or (indeed) high - so I corrected for high’s when I was actually low. I can’t get the Contour Next covered by my health plan (I am trying to get involved in the RFP process) so I pay out of pocket for the Contour Next and use two strips a day for calibration. I dose off my Dexcom. I haven’t had a low (for me below 55) in about 6 months now.


Color me very jealous! :slight_smile:


I have to say that my success is mostly due to accurate calibrations and Dexcom. The mistakenly high readings from the One Touch (due to my anemia) had me tanking several times a week. I was very very fortunate to get invited to a seminar on meter accuracy for Endo’s in the Pacific NW and learned of the various reports son meter accuracy (and inaccuracy) I am not happy that there is an acceptable (not to me) 20% error margin on glucose meters. Added to that is there is very little - if any - post FDA approval review of the devices.


Someone told me that they believe there is a meter coming to market that is accurate to within 1%. Its ready for the FDA, so it might be a couple years, but it is said to exist. I asked if it was expensive. Answer: no.


i heard one would never require blood and using sound it would improve my blood sugar.