The Ascensia contour glucose meter family by Bayer are very good meters. The meter is Bayer Corporation’s flagship model. The key distinguishing characteristic of the device is that it allows the user to go simple (Basic Mode) or program the meter to perform more complex tasks (Advanced Mode).
I don’t know of any other meter that makes this type of distinction. I suppose it comes in handy if you want a meter to get started with. Then, as you become more comfortable with testing, you can increase the level of analysis you want to accomplish.
For those of you who like to express your individuality, the meter also offers a choice of 5 different colors!
- Customizable Testing. The Contour offers dual testing modes. The Basic Mode allows simple No Coding technology, a large display, 5 second test results and 0.6 microliter sample size. The Advanced Mode offers all of the Basic Mode features, plus 7, 14, and 30 day averages, personal high and low markers, and pre and post meal markers. The advanced features allow you to customize your experience, especially helpful if you are having some problems managing your blood sugar levels.
- Alternative Site Testing. The AST feature of the meter allows testing on the finger, palm, forearm, abdomen and thigh.
- Color Choice. Yes, this is a bit weak, but some people really like to customize their color choice.
There are not a lot of complaints about the Contour glucose meter. For people who do like a lot of memory, there is only storage capacity for 480 tests. We would also point out, as noted below, that the Contour owner’s manual and Bayer website is very sparse.
There is little technical data offered compared to competitors. We had to have an extensive conversation with the customer service department to get even basic technical specifications for the meter, usually offered on other manufacturers’ websites and manuals.
The monitor requires Contour Test Strips. The strips usually come in a bottle that claims to keep the strips fresh for up to 6 months after opening.
This is great for diabetics who do not require a lot of testing or use the Contour as a second or spare meter. Meter prices vary greatly. We saw prices ranging from just under $50 dollars for 100 qty. to over $100 dollars.
To Compare the BEST prices on strips, check out our Diabetic Test Strip Price Comparison page.
Most users rave about the Contour’s ease of use, particularly in the Basic Mode. This ease can make it especially helpful for children. The meter is small, fast and offers a good value. If you are not like us, and do not like to scour owner’s manuals and websites for technical information, then these product short comings will not matter to you
As mentioned above, we found the support material for the Contour, and all Bayer glucose meter, to be a bit lacking.
Nonetheless, Bayer does offer other support options through its free Bayer Easy CARE program. This program has articles and other tools to help you track your testing, nutrition and exercise programs.
The company also offers free downloadable software called GlucoFacts Deluxe to help manage your blood sugar levels. The data cable must be purchased separately.
|Auto. Shut Off||3 minutes|
|Battery Type||Two CR2032|
|Battery Life||1,000 Tests|
|Alternative Site Testing||Yes|
|Memory Capacity||480 Tests|
|Operating Temp.||41 to 113 F|
|Result Range||10 to 600 mg/dL|
|Sample Size||0.6 microliter|
|Test Time||5 seconds|
|Weight (battery)||1.7 oz. (yes)|
|Size (Inches)||2.35 x 2.8 x 0.77|