- Strips are the most expensive thing about checking blood glucose levels. Meters are often given away (check with your diabetes provider if you haven’t already). You will want to know which type of strip (each meter goes with certain strips) your health insurance covers. That’s the meter you will want to use (unless you are independently wealthy or otherwise want to pay out of pocket for a different meter/strips). If you do not have health insurance, or if you do not have sufficient coverage, there are generic (store-brand) meters with strips that are markedly cheaper than the brand-name ones.
- If your health insurance (or bank account) allows you the luxury of choosing between different brands of meters, some things to keep in mind:
- Type of battery: I had to change my meter batteries yesterday (not sure why I didn’t get a warning, instead it just stopped working), and my meter, it turns out, takes a somewhat obscure battery (two of them). Luckily I had a couple on hand, so not a crisis, but it certainly would have been easier if a) I had a warning and some time to buy the obscure batteries or b) my meter took the kind of batteries I have hanging around the house.
- Meter display: For many people, reading the result (numbers) and messages on their meter display is challenging (face it, we are not getting any younger). There are meters with larger displays, lighter/darker numbers, backlights, and so on. For those who need them, there are even meters that talk.
- Carrying case: I use my blood glucose meter “kit” as my wallet, so I need to fit not only my meter, strips, poker thing, insulin and syringe in there, but also my ID and credit cards. I am also very picky about my meter, strip bottle and poker thing being oriented in such a way that I can place strip in meter, poke, and apply blood without ever removing anything from its holder. Saves a lot of time!
What else do you look for in a glucose meter?