Blood Sugar and Ketone Meters

Blood Sugar Meters That Do Double Work with Blood Ketones

diabetes test strip
Saturn Stills/Science Photo Library/Getty Images

In addition to testing blood glucose, meters are also available to provide the ability to test blood ketones. It is particularly important to test for ketones during periods of illness. Traditionally, ketones have been measured with urine strips, but the American Diabetes Association now recommends blood ketone testing as the more accurate and preferable method for detecting ketones.

You should discuss home blood ketone testing with your doctor to learn whether it is recommended in your case and when you should perform the testing.

Urine Ketone Strips vs. Blood Ketone Testing

Other drawbacks of urine ketone testing is that the urine levels may show what was going on hours before rather than what is happening in your blood right now. Often you have a bottle of urine ketone strips for weeks or months and they lose their accuracy the longer it has been open.

Blood Ketone and Glucose Meters for Testing at Home

Glucose test strips cannot be used in these meters to test for blood ketones. A special type of test strip needs to be purchased to test for ketones. They are approved for home use for fresh whole blood, only from the fingertip, alternate sites are not approved. They measure beta-hydroxybutyrate, which is the most important of the tree ketone bodies that circulate in your blood.

The chart below lists the glucose meters that measure blood glucose and blood ketones, along with some other important features that may be of interest to you.

Both are available for sale online and from major retailers. The meters themselves are inexpensive but the strips can be a large ongoing expense.

Precision Xtra: This meter from Abbott has a memory that can store up to 450 measurements and it displays your blood glucose average results for the past week, two weeks and month.

You can also download your results to a computer with data management software.

Nova Max Plus: The meter is often provided free with the purchase two boxes of test strips (glucose, ketone, or both). It will remind you to test for ketones if your blood sugar level is 250 mg/dL or higher. It doesn't require entering a code to switch it from blood glucose to ketone testing, simply inserting the ketone test strip.

Meters that measure blood sugar and blood ketones

MeterResults storedBlood sampleComputer downloadBacklit displayCoding neededCompany
Precision Xtra4501.5 microliterYesYesYesAbbott Diabetes Care
Nova Max Plus4000.3 microliterYesNoNoNova Biomedical

Also check out glucose meters that:


Annette Plüddemann, et. al. "Point-of-care blood test for ketones in patients with diabetes: primary care diagnostic technology update." Br J Gen Pract. 2011 Aug; 61(589): 530–531.

Precision Xtra, Abbott Global, accessed 2/12/2016.

Nova Max Plus, Noval Diabetes Care, accessed 2/12/2016.

"Hyperglycemic Crises in Diabetes," ADA. Diabetes Care 2004;27:S91-103.

Continue Reading