There are many options for meters and the test strips. As a general rule, everyone should have a blood glucose meter on hand. Meters and test strips can be bought over the counter without a prescription. Some of your options include:
- Inexpensive Meters – If you don’t have insurance, consider an inexpensive meter option. The Reli-on meter is available at most drugstores and the strips cost 9 cents each. If you go on vacation and forget to pack enough strips, this is a better option than buying an emergency supply of your strips without insurance (which can cost up to $1.82 each).
- Bluetooth Meters – Newer (and more expensive) meters can now connect to an App on your smartphone to track and analyze your glucose data. These meters make it easy to share data with your diabetes care team. These meters can also be linked to other bluetooth compatible devices.
- Meters + Coaching – There are now “meter plus coaching” options, such as Livongo and One Drop. You pay a monthly fee and unlimited strips are provided. Your assigned coach, a certified diabetes educator, will be notified if you are experiencing a low and will call to check on you. Plans start as low as $20 a month.
The American Diabetes Association provides an up-to-date consumer guide on different types of meters and other diabetes technology.
Reviewed by Anastasia Albanese O’Neill, PhD, 7/15/19
This document is not intended to take the place of the care and attention of your personal physician or other professional medical services. Our aim is to promote active participation in your care and treatment by providing information and education. Questions about individual health concerns or specific treatment options should be discussed with your physician.