2016 Blood Glucose Meter Comparisons

//2016 Blood Glucose Meter Comparisons

Choose Your Blood Glucose Meter Wisely!

These days, there is lots of emphasis on accuracy, particularly when it comes to continuous glucose monitors (and their ability to match blood glucose values) and insulin pumps (and their ability to deliver doses with extreme precision).  But let’s not forget about that trusty, dusty blood glucose meter that has been a staple of diabetes management.


Why is meter accuracy so important?  For those who take rapid-acting insulin to cover meals and “correct” out-of-range blood sugar readings, accurate readings are necessary for determining the right dose.  Inaccurate readings can lead to over- or under-dosing, which can produce dangerously high or low blood sugar results.  An inaccurate meter can also cause a person to treat hypoglycemia inappropriately (if the meter reads too low) or miss the need for treatment (if the meter reads too high).  And finally, with so many people using CGM systems, proper calibration is a must.  The more accurate the fingerstick readings, the better the CGM will perform.


Of course, no meter will provide accurate results if the user fails to use proper technique.  That means:


  • Making sure the finger (or other test area) is clean
  • Using the test strips prior to their expiration date
  • Keep the strips sealed in their bottle to prevent exposure to light and humidity
  • Applying enough blood to fill the test strip completely.
  • Never exposing the strips to extreme hot or cold temperatures.
  • Coding the meter (if required)


Our team believes that meters should be within 10% of lab values to be considered accurate.


One of the more important things you can do to ensure accurate results is to choose the right meter.  Blood glucose meters vary widely in terms of accuracy.  Accuracy is determined by comparing measurements obtained in a laboratory to the results obtained at the same time on the blood glucose meter.  For example, if the lab generates a value of 100 mg/dl while the meter generates a reading of 110 mg/dl, there is a 10% difference between the results.  If the lab result is 200 and the meter reading is 150, there is a 25% difference.


Our team believes that meters should be within 10% of lab values (or within 10 mg/dl of lab values when in a low range) to be considered sufficiently accurate.   The more often a meter falls within 10% (or 10 points) of the lab value, the more reliable it will be.


Almost all meter manufacturers document their meter’s performance in the “specifications” section of the user guide.
The chart below contains the accuracy figures for an assortment of commercially-available blood glucose meters, listed in order of how often they generate readings that are within 10% of lab values.  Interestingly, “alternate site” monitoring tends to produce significantly less accurate results than fingerstick monitoring.  This is likely due to the “lag time” inherent in alternate site testing – similar to that seen with CGM.


  BG <75 mg/dlBG >75 mg/dl
ManufacturerMeter Brand(s)How
of lab
How often within 10 mg/dl of lab value?How often within 5 mg/dl of lab value?How often within 20% of lab value?How often within 15% of lab value?How often within 10% of lab value?How often within 5% of lab value?
Bayer/AscensiaContour Next Link*100%100%100%100%99%99%80%
Labstyle InnovationsDario*100%100%81%99%99%97%86%
RocheAccu-Chek Mobile**98%98%75%100%100%97%67%
Bayer/AscensiaContour Next USB*100%100%100%99%98%96%78%
Bayer/AscensiaContour Next EZ*100%100%86%100%99%96%77%
AbbottFreestyle Lite*100%100%73%99%99%95%68%
RocheAccu-Chek Nano*100%100%90%100%100%95%70%
Livongo HealthLivongo*100%100%67%100%99%94%73%
AbbottFreestyle Freedom Lite*100%100%67%100%99%94%68%
AgaMatrixWavesense Presto,

Target Up&Up,

Kroger Basic,

CVS Basic*

AgaMatrixiBG Star*100%100%65%100%99%92%68%
AbbottFreestyle Insulinx*100%92%85%98%98%90%54%
RocheAccu-Chek Compact Plus*100%100%84%100%97%90%57%
ArkrayReli-On Prime*100%n/an/a99%96%90%57%
LifescanOne Touch Verio*100%90%51%100%98%89%62%
ArkrayReli-On Micro*100%100%100%100%98%89%53%
RocheAccu-Chek Aviva,

Accu-Chek Connect

Accu-Chek Expert

(plus strips)*

Acon LaboratoriesOn Call Express*100%100%73%100%99%88%54%
AgaMatrixBG Star**100%9383%99%96%87%62%
ArkrayReli-On Confirm*100%67%33%100%97%86%56%



  BG <75 mg/dlBG >75 mg/dl
ManufacturerMeter Brand(s)How often within 15
mg/dl of
lab value?
How often within 10 mg/dl of lab value?How often within 5 mg/dl of lab value?How often within 20% of lab value?How often within 15% of lab value?How often within 10% of lab value?How often within 5% of lab value?
Nova BiomedicalNova Max,

NovaMax Plus,

Nova Max Link*

AgaMatrixWavesense Jazz,

GoodSense Premium,

Kroger Premium,

Target Premium**

LifescanOne Touch Verio Pro**93%63%20%98%90%70%38%
LifescanOne Touch Ultra, One Touch Ultra Mini*100%85%49%96%88%68%38%


AbbottFreestyle Lite*n/an/an/a95%91%79%51%
RocheAccu-Chek Aviva (plus strips)*100%83%50%99%91%70%43%
AgaMatrixiBG Star*100%100%57%96%86%69%42%
Omnis HealthEmbrace*100%89%68%100%99%90%56%
Diagnostic Services IncProdigy Auto Code*100%85%48%99%96%74%40%
Diabetic Supply of SuncoastAdvocate Redi-Coden/an/an/an/an/an/an/a

n/a = data not available
* Source: Package insert, User guide, and/or company website
** Source: Freckmann G, et al. System Accuracy Evaluation of 43 Blood Glucose Monitoring Systems for Self-Monitoring of Blood Glucose according to DIN EN ISO 15197. J Diab Sci and Tech. vol 6, issue 5, Sept 2012, 1060-71.

For a printable version: < meter-accuracy-sept-2016 >

By |2016-12-08T23:26:35+00:00September 27th, 2016|Thinking Like A Pancreas Blog|6 Comments

About the Author:


  1. Lisanework Asfaw July 14, 2017 at 8:24 am - Reply

    Great Job.Helpful!!!

  2. Mike July 22, 2017 at 3:19 pm - Reply

    All meters for SMBG should comply with DIN EN ISO 15197:2013 or later.

  3. Suzanne Sawyers August 25, 2018 at 6:43 pm - Reply

    I use the Reli-on meter which measures in the 100’s and the Coutour-next measures from 1-10. If my reading on the latter is 6 and my reading on the former is 114, what is the comparative equivalent for each meter? Thank you

    • alicia downs August 29, 2018 at 2:21 pm - Reply

      It sounds like your reli-on is set to mg/dl but your Contour is set to mmol/L. Bayer customer tech support can assist you with getting your meter in the measuring unit that is best for you. 1-800-348-8100

  4. Mrs. B September 4, 2018 at 6:30 am - Reply

    My newest meter is Freestyle libre. My older one is One Touch ultra… the big for one touch said 375…. the big on libre said 301 & the its’ sensor reading said 300…Sooo, what’s my true reading?

    • Gary Scheiner November 11, 2018 at 3:35 am - Reply

      I’d usually go with the meter reading over the Libre when in doubt. However, the Ultra isn’t the most accurate meter on the market. Check into getting a more accurate meter, such as the Contour Next.

Leave A Comment