Type 2 Diabetes Guide

Choosing a Diabetes Test Kit

A home allows diabetics to test their blood glucose levels whenever necessary. A complete test kit should include a blood glucose monitor (sometimes called a blood glucose meter, or ), test strips, a lancet (to prick the finger for blood), a blood pressure monitor, and a log book to record blood glucose readings.

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If you have been recently diagnosed with , it's easy to feel overwhelmed with information and trying to choose a test kit just adds to the information overload. Your doctor or diabetes educator can help you find the right supplies and may even have demo units or samples at the office so that you can try them out.


In a blood glucose monitor, look for: ease of use, readability, cost, how easy it is to care for, and extra features. Extra features can include conveniences like a memory function that stores your blood glucose readings, a light to improve visibility of your reading, or the ability to have your test results read out loud to you as well as displayed (especially helpful for people with vision problems). Some glucose meters will even allow a test site other than the fingertip. The lancet comes in various sizes and they don't all work with every blood glucose monitor, so be sure to check before you buy.

Test Strips and Lancets

Test strips will be the biggest expense. The lancet is used to get a blood sample, which is then placed on the strip. The strip is fed into the monitor where your blood glucose level is read.

Blood Pressure Monitor

Blood pressure monitor are readily carried in stores. The blood pressure cuff is wrapped around your upper arm and blood pressure read. People with diabetes should regularly monitor their blood pressure in addition to blood glucose, since chronic high blood pressure can lead to additional health problems. If you have larger arms, look for a monitor with extended-length cuffs in order to get more accurate readings.

Log Book

Finally, the log book is for keeping records. Record your blood glucose readings and highlight or notate any unusual readings (either unusually high or unusually low). Add notes about exercise, carbohydrate intake, and anything else that could have impacted your blood sugar. These records can be very useful when looking for patterns or just in case medications or insulin need to be adjusted.

A diabetes test kit is an important part of managing the disease. Ask your doctor or diabetes education for suggestions or assistance on choosing a kit that's right for you.



The information on this website is based on our own research and personal experience, and is not a substitute for medical advice. Questions about your health and individual situation should be directed to your doctor.