How To Choose the Right Glucose Meter: Medshop Advice

How To Choose the Right Glucose Meter: Medshop Advice

Steven Cumper

Steven Cumper

Published in MedShop Blog

0 min read

January 22, 2024

If you have diabetes, you need to monitor your sugar level. With a glucose meter, you can check your sugar and track your results. We realise that choosing the right meter means you need to know what to look for. Read on and learn about the different monitoring devices, and what each of them can do.

It Is Important To Use a Glucose Meter to Monitor Your Sugar

Monitoring your glucose levels is vital because it can help decrease your risk of experiencing diabetes-related complications (e.g., kidney problems and vascular disease).

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) states that diabetes affects about 1.3 million Australians. The AIHW recommends that patients taking diabetes medication monitor their blood sugar levels using a glucose meter.

People with type 2 diabetes usually check their blood glucose levels (BGLs):

  • Upon waking (fasting).
  • Before meals.
  • Two hours after meals.
  • Before heading to bed.

Nevertheless, if you have any form of diabetes, your doctor will determine your specific diabetes management protocol. In addition, your doctor will tell you the glucose levels that you should aim for.

Ways You Can Monitor Your Glucose Levels

Glucose monitoring options include the capillary blood glucose meter, continuous glucose monitor (CGM) and flash glucose monitor (flash GM). The type of diabetes you have helps determine which of these diabetes care devices will be your best option.

A Capillary Blood Glucose Monitor

Capillary Blood Glucose Monitor

If you have type 2 diabetes, this is probably the blood glucose monitor your healthcare professional will recommend. A capillary blood glucose monitor uses a test strip and a single drop of blood to measure your sugar level.

A Flash Glucose Monitor (Flash GM)

If you use a Flash GM, a healthcare professional places a sensor just beneath your skin. When you scan the sensor, the monitor checks the sugar level in your tissue. The flash glucose monitoring method works because the glucose levels in your interstitial fluid are comparable to those in your blood.

A Continuous Glucose Monitor (CGM)

Continuous glucose monitors measure your glucose levels at specific intervals 24 hours a day. Just as with the flash GM, a healthcare provider inserts a sensor beneath your skin. This sensor has a transmitter attached to it. Using Bluetooth technology, the CGM’s transmitter uses a receiver to send data to your doctor.

If you use a CGM or flash GM, you need to have a capillary glucose meter as well. That way, you can regularly check the accuracy of your flash or CGM device. Furthermore, if your continuous or flash glucose monitor malfunctions, you can use your capillary meter to check your sugar.

What To Look For in a Glucose Meter

Glucose Meter

How important each feature is to you depends on what your specific needs are. If you are unsure which options to select, consider asking your health- care provider for advice.


Nearly all the capillary blood glucose monitors available today are easily transportable. Although portability is important, make sure the meter you choose has a display that is large enough for you to read.

A Strip-Port Light

If you need to take your test in an area that is dimly lit, a lighted strip port can be helpful. Since this feature is rare, if you are unable to find a monitor with a lighted port, consider one with a wider test strip dosing area.

A Backlit Display

A backlit display can make it easier for you to see your results. As such, if you think you will need to use your meter in areas that have very little lighting, consider selecting a monitor with this feature. Furthermore, if you have vision problems, you may benefit from a backlit display.

Memory Capacity

For long-term diabetes management, you must be able to reflect on your previous readings. Therefore, be sure to select a blood glucose monitor with ample storage capacity. Today, many monitors can store up to 1,000 sets with the date, time, AC (fasting) and PC (non-fasting) mode readings.

LifeSmart Twoplus Blood Glucose & Ketone Meter image

LifeSmart Twoplus Blood Glucose & Ketone Meter


  • Great for people of all ages.
  • Ketone warning.
  • Four daily alarms.
  • Only needs a small drop of blood.
  • Easy to use.
  • Large display.
  • USB.
  • Free app.
  • Stores 1000 memory sets.
  • Compatible with IOS and Android.


  • No Bluetooth.
  • No lighted display.
  • No port strip light.

Blood Glucose and Ketone Test Strips

We know that when test strips stick together, separating them can be a frustrating task. During the separation process, some may fall to the floor. Since dirt causes an inaccurate reading, these strips are unusable. Avoid this challenge with a meter that has a test strip cassette or ejector option.

AccuChek Guide Me Blood Glucose Meter Kit

AccuChek Guide Me Blood Glucose Meter Kit


  • Includes lancets and lancet device.
  • Test strip cassette available.
  • Includes a carrying case.
  • Easy to use.
  • App automatically sends results to phone.
  • Large display.
  • Wide test strip dosing area.
  • Bluetooth.
  • Quick, accurate results.
  • Compatible with IOS and Android.


  • No lighted display.
  • No port strip light.
  • No alarms.
  • No test strips with kit.

Software May Be Available

If you choose a meter that connects to your PC or smartphone, you can use an app to review your blood sugar levels and watch for trends. In addition, with Bluetooth or a USB cable, you can quickly and easily share your data with your healthcare professionals.

LifeSmart Twoplus Blood Glucose & Ketone Meter with Blue Tooth

LifeSmart Twoplus Blood Glucose & Ketone Meter with Blue Tooth


  • Great for people of all ages.
  • Ketone warning.
  • Four daily alarms.
  • Small drop of blood.
  • Easy to use.
  • Large display.
  • Bluetooth.
  • Free app.
  • Stores 1000 memory sets.
  • Compatible with IOS and Android.


  • No lighted display.
  • No test strip port light. 

Audio Capability

We know how difficult it can be to see your display when very little light is present. A meter with audio capability can literally tell you your test results. Therefore, if you are looking for ease of use in dimly lit areas, consider choosing a monitor that has this option.

A Multi-Function Glucose Meter

If you want a meter that offers versatility, consider one that monitors multiple parameters.

Accutrend Plus System

Accutrend Plus System


  • Tests glucose, cholesterol, triglycerides and lactate.
  • Provides accurate results for each parameter.
  • Stores up to 100 results.
  • Automatic performance and self-testing.
  • Easy to use.
  • Large display.


  • No lighted display.
  • No port strip light.
  • No Bluetooth. 

How Much Do Blood Glucose Meters Cost?

A capillary glucose monitor’s features directly affect its price. The price of a capillary glucose meter in Australia ranges from $23.00 to $250.00 AUD.

How To Use Your Blood Glucose Monitor

Before you begin, make sure you have gathered all the supplies you need.

What you need:

  • Your meter.
  • A lancet device.
  • A lancet.
  • Testing strips.
  • An alcohol wipe.
  • A sharp’s container.

Using your monitor:

  1. Wash your hands with soap and warm water.
  2. Dry your hands with a paper towel or fresh cloth towel.
  3. Insert the test strip.
  4. Clean the side of your fingertip with an alcohol wipe. Save this wipe.
  5. Let the alcohol dry completely before you prick your finger with the lancet.
  6. Use your lancet to prick the side of your fingertip.
  7. Pick up your monitor.
  8. Bring the test strip to the drop of blood.
  9. Touch the test strip to the drop of blood.
  10. Cover the collection site with the alcohol wipe.
  11. Place the lancet in your sharp’s container.
  12. Read your monitor’s display.
  13. Remove the test strip from your meter.
  14. Place the test strip in a garbage bin.

Target Levels for Blood Glucose

Your doctor or diabetic educator will let you know what your blood sugar target range is. However, Diabetes Australia provides information about blood glucose target levels.

Diabetes Australia’s Target Blood Glucose Levels

Target BGLs

Before a Meal

2 Hrs. After Meal

Type 1 diabetes

4.0 to 6 mmol/L

4.0 to 8 mmol/L

Type 2 diabetes

4.0 to 7 mmol/L

5.0 to 10 mmol/L

Monitoring Blood Glucose Levels During Pregnancy

For the health of the mother and child, it is vital that a woman with gestational diabetes use a glucose meter to manage her blood sugar. The mother’s doctor may also recommend that she modify her diet.

What if the Readings Do Not Seem Right?

Your monitor gives you a different reading for each drop of blood you measure. However, you will begin to see trends in your glucose levels. Nonetheless, glucose level variances of 2 mmol/L or less are nothing to be concerned about.

If your reading seems slightly off, try the troubleshooting options below:

  1. Are you using an expired strip?
  2. Is there enough blood on the test strip?
  3. Have your strips been exposed to heat or light?
  4. Is your battery flat or low?
  5. Are you using the correct test strip?
  6. Is your strip inserted into the port correctly?
  7. Were your hands dry before you collected your sample?
  8. Did you squeeze your finger to obtain the blood sample?
  9. Is your meter clean?
  10. Did you let the alcohol dry?
  11. If you used sanitiser, did you let the sanitiser dry completely?
  12. Could there be a calibration issue? If you think your calibration is off, you can use the meter’s control solution to check its range. Be sure to follow the directions in your user manual when performing this test.
  13. Is the monitor too hot or too cold? If this is the problem, let your monitor reach room temperature before trying to use it.

If you still have questions, your pharmacist or diabetes educator can help you check for other issues.

To learn more about using a glucose meter to monitor your sugar levels, read the Blood Glucose Monitoring Fact Sheet from the National Diabetes Services Scheme (NDSS).


Author: Steven John Cumper, B.App.SC. (Osteo.), M.Ost., is a businessman with a strong foundation in biomedical science and osteopathic medicine, who founded and led Medshop to international success, culminating in its acquisition by the Bunzl Group in September 2021, where he continues to serve as Managing Director (Medshop Group).

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