Blood glucose monitors help you keep track of your diabetes and reduce your risk of complications, such as retinopathy and kidney disease. Devices immediately tell you your blood sugar levels, letting you track how they respond to lifestyle factors and treatment over time. Today, there are multiple glucose monitors on the market. And, interestingly, they’re not just for people living with diabetes. Health and anti-ageing gurus are now critical consumer niches, too. In this post, we explore three of the best glucose monitors on the market. We explain what they do, the main differences between them, and the pros and cons of each.
What does the FreeStyle Libre do?
The FreeStyle Libre is a continuous glucose monitor. Instead of using blood, it relies on interstitial fluids instead to measure blood glucose levels. To use the FreeStyle Libre, patients wear a small patch with a sensor on their upper arm. The sensor then connects to a companion device that displays blood glucose levels in real-time.
What does the Accu-Chek do?
The Accu-Chek is Roche Diabetes’ premium glucometer, designed for beginners to those with long-term diabetes and blood sugar control issues. The device provides quick, four-second blood glucose content readouts, making it a great option for anyone looking to get regular snapshots of their blood sugar levels. Standout features include an easy-to-read display, a port light that switches on automatically when you enter a test strip, and a quick test strip eject button on the right-hand side.
What does the Rite Aid TrueMetrix Meter do?
The Rite Aid TrueMetrix Meter is a budget glucose monitor that provides results in as little as four seconds. The traditional device relies on lancets and test strips which users must buy separately. It is available from most online pharmacies and stores without a prescription and comes with a helpful carry case.
What are the main differences between the FreeStyle Libre, the Accu-Chek and the Rite Aid TrueMetrix Meter?
The Accu-Check and the Rite Aid TrueMetrix Meter both rely on traditional lancets to draw blood for sample strips, whereas the Freestyle Libre uses interstitial fluid (a substance that surrounds cells) to measure blood sugar levels. Because of this, the Freestyle Libre does not require lancets that penetrate the skin to draw a sample. Since it connects to the body in the form of a patch, it can also provide continuous glucose readouts, making it easier to track how various lifestyle factors play into blood sugar reasons. The Rite Aid TrueMetrix Meter is considerably more affordable than the other two options, making it great for those on a budget while the Accu-Chek is a mid-priced product that offers more features, such as a companion app and port light.
Pros and cons
FreeStyle Libre pros:
• Uses interstitial fluids instead of blood to measure glucose levels
• Provides continuous glucose monitoring
• Avoids the need to prick the skin multiple times per day
FreeStyle Libre cons:
• You need to replace the sensor on your arm every 14 days
• It can be hard to keep track of new models since they have similar names
• Availability is low for users who do not have diabetes
• Provides blood glucose read-outs in four seconds or less
• Connects to the free Accu-Chek app, making it easy to record blood sugar levels over time
• Bright backlit screen, making read-outs easier to see in direct sunlight
• Only accurate within 10 mg/dL of laboratory reference levels
• Requires piercing of the skin to take a blood sample
• Issues pairing the device with the companion app
Rite Aid TrueMetrix Meter pros:
• Traditional, affordable kit
• Comes with multiple reminder alarms for insulin shots
• Stores up to 500 results
Rite Aid TrueMetrix Meter cons:
• Test strips do not come with each kit – you must buy them separately
• Relies on lancets which must also be bought separately (after you use the first three)
Which is the right product for you?
If you’re on a budget and don’t want to wear a patch on your arm all the time, then the Rite Aid TrueMetrix Meter could be the best option. It offers rapid blood glucose read-outs and lets you store up to 500 data entries.
However, if you don’t mind wearing a patch and want to go high-tech, the FreeStyle Libre could be the product for you. This device avoids the need to lance the skin, making tracking your sugar levels a more pleasant experience.
The Accu-Chek is a traditional device. However, it may appeal to users who want app options and more storage for glucose level read-out data.