Which lancing devices are best?

Daily blood glucose testing is a crucial part of the daily routine for many type 1 and type 2 diabetics. Your blood glucose levels determine the effectiveness of blood sugar control routines and how many units of insulin to inject before meals. 

That’s why it’s so important to find the right lancing device to gather your blood samples without causing unnecessary pain or skin damage. It’s also crucial to know the features to look for in a lancing device, as well as the best options on the market today.

What to know before you buy a lancing device

Lancet depth selection

Some people have callused or thick skin, while other people have very thin skin, but the best lancing devices enable you to adjust the depth and power of the stick to meet your particular needs. It’s important to find a model that provides at least 6 degrees of depth selection.

Barrel design

There is a noticeable difference between the lengths of the barrels on different lancing devices. Some barrels are fairly large, while other barrels are small enough to be concealed in your palm. Installing a new multi-click barrel or changing out a single lancet should be fairly straightforward.

Lancet compatibility

Some lancing devices are not compatible with a diverse assortment of different lancets. It’s important to look for a universal lancing device that accepts lancets from multiple different manufacturers, as long as they meet a particular industry standard.

What to look for in a quality lancing device

Alternative blood sampling

The fingertips are typically the best location for a blood glucose sample collection, but some people say that the process gets more painful over long periods of time. You can try alternating fingers or hands to address the problem, but this does not always work. It can help to find an alternative collection site, like the thigh, the upper arm, the forearm or the palm.

Keep in mind that not all lancing devices provide the option of alternative site blood sample collection, but the feature should be mentioned in the packaging or the product description if it is an option. A lancing device meant for alternative sites typically features a special transparent cap that fits over the end of the barrel. The cap offers extra pressure and a slight vacuum when using an alternative site and enables you to see when you have obtained the sample.

Vacuum-powered extraction

Another common issue that many people see is an insufficient blood sample, since the lancet sometimes doesn’t penetrate the skin deeply enough. Some high-end lancing devices feature powered vacuum caps to address this issue. The vacuum seal allows the blood to flow without a second lancing or painful squeezing.

Ergonomic design

There are many mid-range and high-end lancing devices out there with ergonomic designs for optimized comfort in the hand. These devices are typically easier to control than the more basic devices.

How much you can expect to spend on a lancing device

Inexpensive lancing devices usually go for less than $10, while mid-range lancing devices vary in price from $10-35 and high-end lancing devices cost over $35.

Lancing device FAQ

Can you and your partner share the same lancing device if you are both type 2 diabetics?

A. Yes, you can share the same lancing device to get your blood samples, but keep in mind that you should not use the same lancets. It’s important to make sure that the lancing device includes a fresh and sterile lancet each and every time you or your partner uses it to draw blood.

How do you tell which setting is right for you on a lancing device with multiple settings?

A. There are multiple different ways you can figure out the best setting for your fingertips. Some people automatically set their new lancing device to a standard, medium level and adjust either up or down after their first test with the device. 

Other users begin at the lowest setting and work their way up to higher settings until they find a setting that punctures the skin without causing unnecessary pain or penetrating too deeply.

What’s the best lancing device to buy?

Top lancing device

Genteel Lancing Device

Genteel Lancing Device

What you need to know: This comprehensive lancing device may be a little pricey, but it provides versatility and a nearly pain-free operation.

What you’ll love: This Genteel lancing device features a vacuum pump, nearly painless lancet sticks and six depth levels. The lancing device is also suitable for use on animals and enables users to draw various amounts of blood.

What you should consider: Keep in mind that the vacuum pump on this lancing device doesn’t always draw blood, so squeezing some blood out may be needed.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top lancing device for the money

Active Forward Microlet Lancing Device with 100 Active Forward 30-Gauge Lancets

Active Forward Microlet Lancing Device with 100 Active Forward 30-Gauge Lancets

What you need to know: This affordable, entry-level lancing device is an excellent option for people who are new to diabetic blood glucose testing.

What you’ll love: This budget-friendly lancing device features 100 ultra-thin lancets and fits most travel-size test kits. It also works on alternative sites, like the forearm, and the quick deployment reduces any anxiety.

What you should consider: The lancets might be too wide to fit the device correctly.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Care Touch Microlet with 300 Twist-Top Lancets, 30-Gauge

Care Touch Microlet with 300 Twist-Top Lancets, 30-Gauge

What you need to know: This budget-friendly and reliably sharp lancing device is a great option to replace a higher end brand.

What you’ll love: This affordable lancing device features super sharp, color-coded lancets for simpler identification and a long shelf life. The lancing device also accommodates multiple brands of lancets.

What you should consider: It’s important to consider that the spring can wear out after some time.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon


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Alex Kilpatrick writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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