The Contour Next meter is one of the few glucometers that use test strips that were available in every pharmacy and online store we checked. The strips are also among the most affordable. The meter has a Second-Chance feature that allows you to add more blood to a test strip if you didn't gather enough the first time, which saves you from wasting strips.
Test-Strip Costs & Availability
We visited local pharmacies and 15 online stores to evaluate the availability and cost of each glucometer we reviewed. The Contour Next is one of the few blood glucose meters that had test strips everywhere. It manufactured by Ascensia Diabetes Care, one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world, which helps with distribution. This is an important consideration because it means you can easily run into any pharmacy and get refills when you run out.
When purchased in a box of 100, each strip costs an average of 55 cents, and the average cost per strip in a 50 pack is 57 cents. This certainly isn't the cheapest test strip on the market — some brands have test strips that cost as little as $0.12 each — but it's one of the most affordable. For comparison, the most expensive test strips of the glucometers we reviewed are $1.39 each in pack of 100, and the cheapest are 24 cents each in the same package size. Your insurance may cover some of the cost, which can make the test strips even more affordable, so it's worth contacting your provider.
Design & Features
You can set a personal high and low range to customize the Contour Next to your specific needs. It accurately tests blood glucose levels between 20 and 600 mg/dL, but you can program in your typical upper and lower levels to help you quickly spot trends before problems develop.
The Contour Next meter isn't the smallest glucometer on the market, but at 3.15 x 2.09 x 0.5 inches, it's not considered large, either. It weighs just 1.6 ounces with the two CR2032 batteries installed. This no-frills glucometer has a black-and-white, high-contrast display that makes it easy to read text, especially in direct sunlight or dark rooms. This is essential for people with vision problems.
The GlucoFacts Deluxe software is available on the Contour website, along with a series of how-to videos and other tools to help with nutrition planning and blood sugar monitoring. The software is free to download and works on both PC and Mac operating systems. The Contour Next can hold up to 800 readings, which you can transfer to your computer using the software to spot trends and manage your diabetes more effectively.
Ease of Use
The glucometer also produces rapid test results in five seconds or less with a high degree of accuracy. The process starts with innovative test strips, which use proprietary Sip-In sampling to absorb the necessary 0.6 microliters of blood to ensure accurate results on the first try. This blood glucose monitor then uses Bayer's Multipulse technology to evaluate the sample. It also has a unique feature called Second-Chance, which allows you to add more blood to the test strip if you failed to get the necessary 0.6 microliters the first time. This saves you from having to eject the test strip and use a second one.
The Contour Next is solid yet simple. One concern for some users is that it does not allow for alternative-site testing. But this is an easy-to-use glucose monitor with a five-year warranty and test strips that are readily available, making it a good choice if you are new to blood sugar testing.