FreeStyle Lite Glucose Meter and test strips

One of the best-known brands in diabetes gear is FreeStyle, made by Abbott Diabetes Care. Traditional fingerstick glucose meters and test strips have been their bread and butter for over 2 decades, long before the company launched its innovative FreeStyle Libre “flash” continuous glucose monitor in the United States in 2017.

The FreeStyle lite fingerstick glucose meters and FreeStyle lite test strips are familiar to US consumers because of the little butterfly on the boxes and test strips.

“Key features, pros and cons, accuracy, user feedback, and where to buy are some of the things we’ve covered in our guide to FreeStyle lite products.”

The FreeStyle lite is a bloodglucose monitoring system. It was made with convenience in mind, as it is a small size and can be taken anywhere you need it.

It is easy to test anytime, day or night with the help of the display and strip port light. You can choose to have multiple test sites, and it only requires a small blood sample size. The results are averaged over seven, fourteen, and 30-day periods.

FreeStyle lite is one of the high ranked products from FreeStyle.


  • A tiny sample of blood is required for testing.
  • meters are full-featured
  • The FreeStyle lite meter has a port light for checking readings in the dark.
  • If the first sample is too small, the meters will allow for a 60-second re-test.
  • The test strips use a technology called ZipWik tab to get blood into the strip for easier testing.
  • Products with a butterfly on them are easily recognizable.
  • The system is rated high on accuracy standards.


  • The thin test strip design can be difficult to insert into the meter.
  • Certain brands of test strips may be covered by insurance.
  • The subject of past product recalls can cause concern for those who find older information online.

The FreeStyle lite is perfect for busy people.

It is the smallest meter in the family and is compact enough to take anywhere. It has a lot of speed and features that are user friendly. It stores up to 400 results without coding.

The FreeStyle lite was designed for comfort if you use a bloodglucose monitor. The sample size is one of the smallest on the market and the meter uses a ZipWik Tab on the FreeStyle lite bloodglucose test strips. The blood was easily sucked into the strip.

The upper arm, forearm, thigh, and calf are some of the alternate test sites you can use to give your fingers a break.

This brand of fingerstick meters has been the top selling brand in the United States since 2007.

It is small and portable, measuring just over 8 ounces. The smallest blood sample sizes are just 0.2 microliters.

The FreeStyle lite gives you a result in 5 seconds. It has up to 400 blood sugar results and offers averages for the past 7 days.

The FreeStyle lite has a display backlight and test strip port light to help you check your blood sugar at night or in dimly lit settings, and the meter turns on automatically when you put a test strip into the port on the bottom. The lights can be controlled by pushing the bottom button. The replaceable 3-volt battery is labeled to last for 500 tests.

For tracking and analyzing your glucose data, the FreeStyle Lite is compatible with Abbott’s FreeStyle Auto-Assist software and LibreView for Mac and Windows.

This slightly modified version of the basic FreeStyle Lite meter has been available since 2008.

It requires a blood sample size of less than 0.25 micro liters and includes all of the same features as the main meter.

The Freedom model is even smaller, at just 4 x 2 x 7 inches and just over 5 ounces. The main FreeStyle lite model has a port light and a backlight, but the larger display model does not.

The replaceable 3-volt battery used in the FreeStyle Freedom model lasts up to 1,000 tests.

“The FreeStyle Freedom is compatible with Abbott’s FreeStyle Auto-Assist and LibreView software for analyzing trends and creating reports.”

The FDA approved FreeStyle lite test strips in 2007, they had ZipWik tabs on each side of the strip.

“The tabs break the blood surface so that you can easily absorb blood when you touch a drop. You don’t have to use a strip or switch sides to get the blood to register.”

“If you don’t apply enough blood the first time, there’s a 60-second window to apply more to the test strip, which will help you to avoid wasting test strips.”

“The marketing for the test strips states that you don’t need to use code numbers to identify the test strips you’re using. This is a standard now but was a novelty when FreeStyle strips were first introduced.”

You can buy the FreeStyle lite test strips in most drug stores and online.

Abbott makes the FreeStyle blood sugar monitoring products. They make medical devices and health products related to nutrition, pain and movement care, and heart health.

While the company’s products are used by millions, they don’t have a pristine reputation. At the time of publishing, the company has a rating of 1.3 out of 5 stars on Trustpilot, with 81 percent of users giving the company one star. Many users cited poor customer service.

“The company’s products were easy to use and affordable, according to those who left positive reviews.”

The answer is yes.

In a 2018 study examining 18 different brands of meters and test strips, researchers from the nonprofit Diabetes Technology Society (DTS) found that FreeStyle Lite strips are among the top 5 most accurate.

“The gold standard of the DTS is that a meter and test strips should give readings within 15 percent or 15 percent of the independent laboratory values at least 95 percent of the time. Only six brands passed that test, and Abbott’s FreeStyle lite strips were one of them, hitting that mark 96 percent of the time.”

It is important to note that the experience with test strip can be different. Testing with dirty fingers, extreme temperatures, and other factors can make a reading skewed.

The FDA has flagged several recalls of FreeStyle meters and test strips.

One of the largest diabetes recalls involved the FreeStyle and FreeStyle Flash meters and test strips in 2014. Other companies have also made headlines and triggered safety notifications over the years, as these instances are not uncommon in the diabetes product space.

You can find the FreeStyle lite meters and test strips in most drug stores and pharmacy.

The FreeStyle Freedom lite meter is priced at about $20 to $26.

There are options to buy a box of multiple strips from the same box.

Cash prices vary depending on where you’re shopping, from $30 on Amazon to nearly $100 at large retail pharmacies like CVS and Walgreens.

It is always a good idea to check with your insurance plan to see if this brand is included in their preferred network and how many test strips they cover.

Some reviewers pointed to inaccurate readings, but these are popular products.

The FreeStyle lite meter has an average of 4.5 stars on Amazon. Commenters say that it is easier to use and that it requires less blood than most other glucometers. The display is easy to read. Would purchase again.

The FreeStyle Freedom lite meter is 4.5 out of 5 stars on Amazon and people say that the display is clear to see and accurate, and the system is very easy to use.

“The FreeStyle lite test strips have an average of over 4,700 reviews on Amazon. People praised the ZipWick technology, saying that it made it easy to use for either hand. You have enough time to get another blood drop if you didn’t get enough to make the glucometer read.”

Some reviewers complained that these strips are a bit pricey compared to other glucose test strips on the market.

Abbott Diabetes Care has two other fingerstick meters in the US that are called FreeStyle. They use test strips named after the meters.

  • FreeStyle Precision Neo: This meter has been around since 2015, offered as a low cost option with updated features and capabilities. It includes a larger touchscreen display with simple, easy-to-read icons and numbers, has a slim more rectangular design thinner than a AAA battery, and stores up to 1,000 readings in memory. You can read our product review here.
  • FreeStyle InsuLinx: This meter has been around since 2012 and is aimed at including the ability to log insulin dosing along with blood sugar readings. It has a touchscreen and electronic logbook that records blood glucose results, insulin doses, pre- and post-meal markers, exercise, and more. This model was the subject of a product recall in 2013, but the issues were resolved, and it can be purchased online from various retailers.
  • FreeStyle Libre: Many people with diabetes are now opting to use a continuous glucose monitor (CGM) instead of a fingerstick meter. Abbott Diabetes Care has the Abbott FreeStyle Libre flash glucose monitor. It requires users to wear a small sensor on their upper arm and scan it with a separate handheld receiver or smartphone app to get a glucose reading. Read our review of the FreeStyle Libre here.

There are many other brands of fingerstick glucose meters available too — from Accu-Chek, Contour, OneTouch, One Drop, and multiple off-brand generic meters available at retail and mail-order pharmacies.

How often should you replace your glucose meter?

Many meters can last for a long time. To take advantage of the latest technologies, you may want to replace them every 3 to 5 years.

How do you use the test strips?

You need to insert the test strip into your meter and use the lancet to get your finger bloodied. The test strip should be applied with the drop of blood. You should get a reading within seconds.

The FreeStyle lite meters and compatible test strips are easy to use and have special technology to make blood sugar checking easy.

The meters are small and useful. The strips are often covered by insurance plans and are available at online stores.