Which blood glucose test strips are best?
According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), over 30 million Americans have diabetes and nearly 90 million have prediabetes. Measuring blood glucose levels is critical for maintaining optimal health and identifying sudden changes.
Fortunately, the technology for measuring blood glucose has greatly advanced. It has never been easier to precisely measure blood glucose with accurate results. Test strips are a critical step in the measuring process that delivers a blood sample to the meter that measures the glucose content. For exceptionally fast and accurate results, the Contour Next Blood Glucose Test Strips are the top choice.
What to know before you buy blood glucose test strips
Should I use brand-name or generic test strips?
Test strips are no different than other medications and healthcare products that offer off-brand alternatives. Generic test strips often cost less than brand-name test strips, but you need to make sure that they are compatible with the glucometer that you use. Many manufacturers have designed their meters to only work with their brand of blood glucose test strips. In that case, it is actually more affordable to use brand-name test strips. Check the manufacturer’s list of compatible glucometers to ensure that your test strips will be usable.
Does the amount of blood matter?
Most test strips draw between 0.3 to 0.6 microliters of blood. This is a very small amount, but it is vital that the sample covers the test strip pad for a correct reading. The size of your sample is not as important as making sure that the test strip pad is saturated.
Is there a way to ensure the test strips are accurate?
Control solution is a glucose solution available in low, medium and high levels. Apply the solution to your test strips and see if they return results that fall within the parameters of the control solution.
What to look for in quality blood glucose test strips
Previously, if you did not get enough blood on the test strip, you would have to start over with a new test strip. New technology provides a window of opportunity, though — usually around one minute — to reapply more blood on days when you are struggling to draw enough blood for an adequate sample.
Drawing blood from other places than your finger
Though the fingertip is the recommended place for drawing blood with a lancet, some users develop painful sensitivities over time because of the frequent pricking at the fingertip site. Some test strips now allow you to draw blood from other places like your palm or abdomen. There are even some test strips that let you draw blood from anywhere on the body. Check the manufacturer’s recommendations to make sure you are following their preferred draw sites.
Coding no longer required
Many test strips now come without the need to recalibrate the meter when a new box of test strips is being used. The test strips provide the new code automatically to the meter, which saves a lot of time for the user and streamlines the process overall.
How much you can expect to spend on blood glucose test strips
For a bulk package of 100 test strips, you can expect to pay between $10-$100. The middle range test strips sell for $30-$60 and usually are more accurate and convenient. Higher-end test strips cost between $60-$100 and offer a reapplication window and typically require the least amount of blood for the sample.
Blood glucose test strips FAQ
Do test strips expire?
A. All test strips have a shelf life. The expiration date is usually printed on the box as well as the test strip protective wrapper. Always check the expiration date before using a test strip. Some users set an alarm on their phones to remind them when the expiration date is nearing.
What can cause inaccurate blood glucose readings?
A. In addition to expired test strips, blood glucose readings can also be negatively affected by a dirty glucometer and unclean hands. Always wash your hands before testing your blood glucose levels, and it is recommended to clean your glucometer according to the manufacturer’s guidelines.
What are the best blood glucose test strips to buy?
Top blood glucose test strips
What you need to know: From a trusted manufacturer, these test strips are known for accuracy and results in just a few seconds.
What you’ll love: There is no coding technology, which streamlines the process, and the strips require a very small blood sample. Second-chance technology allows the user to add more blood if necessary instead of using a second test strip.
What you should consider: The test strips can only be used with the Contour series of blood glucose meters.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Top blood glucose test strips for the money
What you need to know: These test strips are very affordable compared to other brands and are compatible with Prodigy meters.
What you’ll love: Using special technology, the test strips will not register a reading until enough blood is present. This saves time and money by eliminating additional test strips. All Prodigy meters work with the test strips.
What you should consider: There have been some reports of the test strips expiring before the printed expiration date. The user is limited to Prodigy meters only.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Worth checking out
What you need to know: Very affordable and easily calibrated, these test strips are ideal for anyone whose insurance won’t cover test strips.
What you’ll love: This is a viable option for OneTouch test strips for people who cannot afford brand-name test strips. These test strips perform well in side-by-side tests with brand-name products. They are easy to use and available in bulk quantities.
What you should consider: The test strips only work with OneTouch meters. There have been some reports of inconsistent readings.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
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Steve Ganger writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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