- 1 What’s in a Diabetes Test Kit?
- 2 What to Consider When Buying a Diabetes Test Kit
- 3 The 5 Best Diabetes Test Kits on the Market
- 4 Conclusion
In today’s sugar-filled world, many people struggle with their blood sugar levels and diabetes, in all its forms. It’s a serious health problem that most people don’t pay enough attention to and it can have serious repercussions.
However, keeping your blood sugar at safe and healthy levels is not all that difficult – as long as you know exactly what your sugar levels are. Here’s where blood glucose meters and other similar testing kits come in handy, and for someone with diabetes, they are a must-have.
Today, you’ll learn all about how to use these tools to test your sugar blood levels and see what the best diabetes test kits on the market are.
What’s in a Diabetes Test Kit?
If you’ve never bought a diabetes test kit before you might not know what they’re supposed to contain.
Well, the main part of each diabetes test kit is a blood glucose meter. This is what you’ll be using to test your blood sugar, and it works by using strips that convert the blood placed into them into electronic impulses that the meter can read. Some meters use a different method though and read the blood contents through color.
Besides that, most kits also include the strips that need to be inserted into the meter, since they are disposable.
Another disposable thing that is included in most kits are the lancets; the small needles used to prick your finger to draw blood from it for the test. Lancets are used with a lancet holder, a small device that is pressed to your finger at which point you press the button on the other side of it.
There are other things that may be included, but those are the basics which you should expect in almost every diabetes test kit that you buy.
What to Consider When Buying a Diabetes Test Kit
When you’re buying a diabetes test kit, you need to watch out for a few different things to get the best deal possible. Here are the most important aspects that you need to consider.
There are three different types of glucose blood meters that could be in a diabetes test kit, and each of them has its own benefits and downsides.
Analog – These meters have mostly been phased out these days, and they’re inferior to other types. If you see a test kit with one, pass it over even if it’s cheap.
Digital – Today, most meters are digital in nature, allowing them to interface with different devices like PCs, laptops or smartphones.
USB – These digital glucose meters can plug directly into a device’s USB port to interface with it, allowing for easy information transfer. They usually come with a piece of software designed specifically to interact with them.
Since you’re getting a diabetes test kit to test your blood sugar levels and know exactly what they are at all times, you want the glucose meter included in the pack to be as accurate as possible.
The best meters go up to three decimal points but even those that measure the glucose level up to one decimal point are still good, and that’s what you should look for.
They also need to accurately measure your blood sugar levels on repeated readings. If you take 3 or 4 readings back-to-back and they’re vastly different, the accuracy of the meter is definitely off-point.
Since there’s no way to test most of these meters before you buy them, try to look for user experiences and gauge the accuracy based on that.
The contents of the kit also need to be reliable in the long run, or you’re wasting your money. The strips, for example, need to work every time or almost every time. If one in three strips is wasted, for example, that’s too unreliable.
The test results also need to be consistent, and the meter itself also needs to work without a hitch – malfunctions should be kept to a minimum since they also waste your time, strips and blood. It should also work fast, so you don’t have to spend more time on the test than necessary.
You should also consider the long-term durability of the meter and lancet holder. If they don’t hold up for a long time and start breaking down quickly, you should take a pass on the purchase.
Again, search out user experiences and reviews to get an idea of how reliable the contents of the kit are.
Ease of Use
Not all glucose meters in diabetes test kits are equally easy to use, and people with diabetes might have trouble using them for different reasons.
For example, the size and brightness of the display as well as the size of the numbers are important, especially for older people who might have eye problems along with diabetes. Large displays with the most important reading in large numbers, right in the center, are the best.
Some people with diabetes have shaky hands and meters that are easy to hold and have large buttons that can’t be easily missed are good for such people.
The amount of blood needed is also important, and it should be as little as possible. Since most diabetic people need to test their blood sugar often, they don’t want to need to spend a lot of blood on it.
The other parts of the test kit also need to be equally easy to use. The lancets need to be sharp enough to pierce your skin each time; the lancet holder needs to work even when you press it lightly, the test strips need to be large enough so you can easily drip blood onto them and they should fit easily within the device.
Here, user experiences are also your best friend, and it will help you gauge how easy or difficult the contents of the kit are to use.
While the blood glucose meter is the main part of a diabetes test kit, other essential equipment is also included most of the time, and you need to see what you get in the kit before you buy it.
You should get the basics – a blood glucose meter, lancets, a lancet holder, test strips, and control solution. Sadly, not all kits contain these necessary elements and you might need to buy some of them separately.
Some kits will also contain things like manuals, carry cases, extra batteries for the meter and more. All of those things increase the value of the kit immensely.
The blood glucose meter itself might also have some extra features that you might not expect, but which could be useful. They might be able to test other things in your blood or perform more complicated tests, and that could be useful if you need it.
The 5 Best Diabetes Test Kits on the Market
Easy Touch Diabetes Testing Kit
With this testing kit, you get almost all of the essentials for a good price. The kit contains a blood glucose meter, lancing device, 100 lances and 100 test strips. Besides that, you also get a carry case and a log book to keep track of your results.
Notably, you do not get any control solution in the package, and you’ll have to buy it separately though that’s not a huge deal.
The meter itself is incredibly fast, and it can give you results within around 5 seconds. The lancets are also great since they can be reused, despite what the packaging says, and it won’t affect the accuracy of the results.
Sadly, the accuracy can be off by 20 points, and it’s noted on the packaging as well. In practice, though, it’s usually not more than 10 units off, though that also makes it a bit too inaccurate.
Overall, this is a good kit that comes at a great price though it does have a few faults.
- The lancets can be reused
- It comes at a great price
- Easy to use with large buttons and display
- Extremely fast testing
- The accuracy can be off by a full 20 points
- Doesn’t come with control solution
Contour NEXT Diabetes Testing Kit
In this package you get everything you need and more – it has a glucose meter, 100 lancets and 100 test strips, lancing device, and even some control solution. You also get a manual for the kit, a log book, and a carry case. Everything here is of high quality.
The meter itself offers 5-second results, and they tend to be highly accurate, being 8 units off at most, though that’s rare. It also has a lot of functions including meal alarms, saved results and long-term statistics.
Another good thing is that this whole set comes with an 18-month warranty, so you’re covered if something goes wrong even if you’re insurance is bad. Also, you don’t need to worry about meter malfunctions.
There are some problems with this kit, though. The lancets are a bit too dull, and they seem to have some trouble drawing blood, and that might hurt you. Also, if you want to interface your meter with your PC or Mac, you might have issues since the included software is not too good.
Still, it’s quite a good kit for the price.
- It comes with control solution
- Comes with an 18-month warranty
- Saves results and shows you relevant statistics
- Highly accurate
- The lancets have trouble drawing blood
- The included software doesn’t seem to work right
Care Touch Diabetes Testing Kit
For the most part, this is quite a standard kit, containing a blood glucose meter, 100 lancets, lancing device and 100 test strips. It doesn’t contain any control solution though, but it does have instructions, a carrying bag, and a log book. You also get an extra battery for the meter.
The meter has some nice extra features, like 14-day averaging and automatic turn off when not being used. It is decently fast and reads results in a matter of 5 seconds.
The meter does lack some features which should be standard, like a display that lights up. However, the meter is extremely accurate, and you don’t have to worry about that part of the deal.
Besides that, the lancets do hurt a lot when you use them since it seems that they are a bit duller than other lancets.
Still, this is quite a good deal for the price and replacement strips are also quite inexpensive.
- Fast results
- The price is extremely affordable
- Comes with an extra battery
- The meter is extremely accurate
- The lancets hurt a lot
- The display doesn’t light up
- Doesn’t come with control solution
KETO-MOJO Blood Ketone and Glucose Testing Meter Kit
This is a kit made for testing more than just blood sugar since it’s intended to also test blood ketone for people who are on a ketogenic diet, either for health reasons or because of a condition they have.
Since ketogenic diets are popular for dealing with diabetes, this feature will be extremely useful for a lot of people. Besides that, it also has hematocrit and hemoglobin measurements.
The meter also has some other useful features, like being able to store the information of up to 1000 tests and having a large display with just one, large button.
The meter is quite useful, reliable and accurate – but what about the rest of the package?
Well, you don’t get as many lancets or testing strips as you would in other kits – only 10 of each. The lancet device is also not good since it is inconsistent and it might hit your finger too lightly or too strongly at times. You do get replacement batteries, but that’s one of the few upsides. Even the carrying bag you get is poor.
So, overall, it’s a good device bundled with some extras that are sub-par.
- It also measures blood ketone levels
- Extremely easy to use
- It comes with a lifetime warranty
- Accurate and fast readings
- The lancet device is poorly made
- You only get a few lancets and testing strips
In this kit, you get a blood glucose meter along with some extras, which includes a few guidebooks, 2 test strips, 2 lancets, 2 shaker pouches and a lancing device. For the price, that’s not too good, and the testing strips and lancet costs will rack up quickly.
For the most part, the device included in the kit works well as does the lancet holder and you won’t have too much trouble with them. The readings are fairly accurate, and you won’t be wasting any test strips since the meter works reliably well. It’s also easy to use, and the instructions included in the package are clear and detailed.
Overall, the device is good though the kit as a whole is a bit lacking.
- Easy to use
- Mostly accurate
- The lancing device works well
- You don’t get a lot of extras
- The testing device can waste strips
So, that’s about it! Now you know all you need to know about picking the best diabetes test kit you can find. But, the question remains – which one of these five products is the best?
Well, this time it seems to be the Contour NEXT Diabetes Testing Kit for sure. Despite some problems, it works well, it delivers extremely accurate results, and it comes with everything you might need. It easily beats out all other kits presented here, though they’re also good.
If you want to ask a question or have some thoughts on the topic, sound off in the comments! Until next time, remain healthy!