Not all glucose meters are created equal. You can read one study done here. The comparison chart is on page 4 of that link. There are other studies out there, but they are on paid sites and I can’t afford to get those. Most studies find that there is a very wide variation in the accuracy of meters.
FDA guidelines require that a blood glucose meter be within 20% of actual blood sugar. Although it should be within 20% of your actual blood sugar, that doesn’t mean that it will be. The best way to test the accuracy of your meter is to take it to the lab when you have a blood draw and test your blood sugar when the technician actually takes your blood. Blood glucose can change rapidly so don’t take it at home before you leave or while you are sitting in the waiting room; have your meter out and test it as soon as they take the blood from you.
Just because someone else likes a meter doesn’t mean that it will work for you. One time on TuDiabetes when we were discussing the accuracy of different meters, one woman said one particular meter always read high for her but it read on target for her husband. There seems to be different things in our genetic makeup that effects how a meter will work for us.
Back in 2010, I needed to get a new meter so I thought I would check to see if there was anything new out there that was better. I tried a Wavesense Presto based on it having a lot of very good reviews. It was horrible and did not pick up my lows. I took it to the lab to test it against a blood draw and it didn’t come within the 20%. I decided to stick with my AccuChek Aviva because it does pick up my lows. When I test that against the lab, it comes within a few points of my blood draws.
The American Association of Diabetes Educators did a press release about the problems with Medicare’s competitive bidding program and blood sugar meters. According to that press release, diabetic patients are having problems getting the supplies promised by Medicare. The article stated that patients are being forced to use meters that are unreliable. You can read the full article here.
Medications that you take can also affect how that particular meter will work for you. Make sure you read the insert that comes with your test strips to see if can affect that accuracy of the test strips. I use the AccuChek Aviva and this is part of their insert: