5 Best Blood Ketone Meters in 2019 [Beginners Guide]

Staying in ketosis will make or break your keto journey - you either burn fat or not.

You cannot go into ketosis halfway and still lose weight. It doesn’t work like that.

But how do you know that you truly are in ketosis? It shouldn’t be a guessing game.

Using a blood ketone meter is the most precise way to measure your ketone levels, period.

best blood ketone meter s

In this article, I will show you exactly

  • how to choose the right meter,
  • which meters you can benefit the most,
  • and some extra tips for measuring ketone levels.

In a hurry? The best blood ketone meter is Keto Mojo.

How do blood ketone
meters work?

A blood ketone meter is a small electronic device that is used to measure the amount of ketones in your blood, and it works the same way as a glucose meter.

All blood monitors have a digital display showing accurate readings described in mmol/L.

blood ketone monitor
  • People with diabetes make sure their ketone levels are not at dangerously high which leads to a condition called ketoacidosis.

  • Healthy people on a keto diet, however, use it to see if their body is producing ketone bodies, and how deep in ketosis they are.

The testing process is similar to how people with diabetes test their blood glucose levels for high blood sugar.

Prick your finger, squeeze a drop of blood out, tap it on a testing strip and the blood meter detects your blood ketone levels.

Measuring ketone levels in your bloodstream provides the most reliable test results because it removes factors that can distort the results, such as how drinking water can dilute urine results.

Ketone blood meter vs.
breathalyzer

Blood Ketone meter measures the amount of BHB (beta-Hydroxybutyrate) in your blood. It shows how many ketone bodies are circulating your bloodstream at a particular moment in time. 

Ketone breath meter indicates the amount of acetone in your breath. Acetone gets produced by the breakdown of acetoacetate in the blood. This shows that your body uses the initial ketone body and then converts it further into an additional source of energy.

ketone breathalyzer vs blood ketone meter keto

When it comes to choosing which ones are the best, then for the best results you’ would want to know both: your blood ketones as well as the amount of acetone in your breath.

  • But if you need to choose one, then I suggest going with a blood ketone meter. It is considered as a gold standard and provides the most accurate results.

  • Ketone breathalyzers are a very convenient way to measure ketosis, but the initial investment is more expensive and there aren't lot of products to choose from.

  • Another reason to choose blood ketones over breathalyzers is that you can also measure your blood sugar levels (in addition to ketones). This is essential when you are starting out, as you need to have lower blood sugar levels for ketosis.

What is the optimal ketone
level for ketosis?

Understanding how to read your blood ketone results is essential. Keep in mind that everyone have different pace when producing ketones and entering ketosis.

*The ketone levels chart below describes the ketone levels of healthy individuals. People with diabetes or other medical conditions will have different readings and should consult with the doctor.

ketone levels chart

When you use a blood ketone meter, you will find that you have a readout that’s generally anywhere between 0 and 3.

    • 0.1 - 0.5 mmol/L - If your readings are between this range constantly, you are just barely in ketosis, and you are not producing enough ketones to be in the optimal, desired ketone range.

    • 0.5 - 1.5 mmol/L - You are in light nutritional ketosis. You are getting some cognitive and weight loss benefits but it is still not ideal. If you're not on a keto diet but are diabetic, this reading means you need to call your doctor.

    • 1.5 - 3.0 mmol/L : This range is what’s considered optimal or ideal nutritional ketosis. Within this range, you are getting maximal benefits in terms of energy, mental clarity, appetite control, and especially weight loss.  

    • 3.0+ mmol/L - Numbers over 3 mmol/L are not really necessary. It's mostly caused if you aren't physically active enough throughout the day. Your body isn’t utilizing the ketones properly, so you are creating a lot of them. Dangerous for diabetics. 

    How to properly use a blood
    ketone monitor?

    Best time to measure ketones in the blood?

    • Ketone levels do not remain stable throughout the day. Alcohol, exercise, food, and other factors can and will all affect your readings.

    • A study published by the Nutrition & Metabolism journal in 2016 found that the most reliable time to test urine ketones is either in the early morning or post-dinner. (1)
    • Whatever time you choose, stick with a specific time. Like in the morning or several hours after your last meal of the day, for the best comparison.
    how to measure blood ketone levels

    The process of measuring blood ketones looks like this:

    1. Load a needle into the lancet pen according to package directions.
    2. Wash your hands with soap and dry them well.
    3. Remove a test strip from the packaging and insert it into the meter.
    4. Place the lancet pen on the side of your fingertip and push the button.
    5. Squeeze (gently) your finger to get a drop of blood. You will need a large drop to load the strip properly. 
    6. Touch the end of the test strip to the drop of blood until it fills the little opening and the meter registers.
    7. Wait for the meter to give you a reading (just a few seconds).
    8. Record your results.

    Tips for measuring blood
    ketone levels

    • Since consistency is very important for testing ketones and glucose, the best time to test yourself is when it’s convenient for you. Make a routine to test daily, you will be able to compare your results to prior days at the same time and get some good data out of it.

    • If you decide to test in the morning, note that due to the “dawn effect”, ketone levels are lower and blood glucose levels are higher as compared to later in the day. (2) If you, however, choose to test later in the day, the best time would be before you have a meal.

    • If you prick your finger, then prefer the "side of the finger". Because that part has fewer nerve endings and will be a more enjoyable process.

    • Another trick is to see how you are reacting to the foods you are eating. Test once before you have the meal, and then 60, and 120 minutes after eating. This shows what effect the food you eat has on your ketone levels. Also, you can do this same test for your blood glucose levels as well.

    • Don’t reuse test strips. You might have seen some posts suggesting to re-use your test strips or even cut them in half, but we strongly suggest against it. What usually happens is you get an error message, but even if you manage to trick the device into “thinking” it’s a new valid test strip, doing so can very likely alter the reading you get. 

    How to choose a blood
    ketone monitor?

    There are multiple factors to consider when it comes to making a decision on which ketone monitor to pick.

    Warranty - If a product has a long-lasting warranty, it is usually an indicator that the company strongly believes their product is of great quality and that most customers will be happy with it.

    Blood glucose - Look out for ketone meters which have the ability to measure blood glucose as well - since blood glucose plays such a vital role in the ability to get into and stay in ketosis.

    Bluetooth - This is not a mandatory functionality but it's very useful for day-to-day users. It allows you to sync your data with a mobile app, adding notes to your readings, set up alarms, and even compile averages and trends based on readings.

    Accuracy - Always verify that the ketone meter is FDA (Food and Drug Administration) approved, so you can be sure that you have a quality product and your readings are as accurate as they can get. 

    Support - You will understand the importance of this once you have an issue with the product. Luckily many manufacturers have a toll-free number that you can call if you need help.  

    Price - While a lot of people focus on the price of the meter itself, what’s more important is actually the price of the ketone test strips. So in addition to meter price, always calculate your ongoing costs for test strips as well.

    Meter kit - If it's your first ketone meter, then consider buying a "kit". Usually you will get the most value for your money, and other useful goodies which you cannot buy separately. For example protective cases, log books, and much more.

    Best blood ketone meter

    #1. Keto Mojo

    The Keto Mojo is probably the most popular and least expensive ketone testing kit on the market at the moment.

    Keto Mojo has a large, modern, and easy to read display screen. It’s also simple to navigate through the options. 

    The device is FDA approved, uses newer technology and is more accurate than most competitors on the market.

    Keto Mojo strips are quite affordable - 0.99$ per strip.

    keto mojo blood ketone meter

    They have also released a Bluetooth connector that allows you to connect to an App where you can instantly download and keep track of all of your readings.

    » Check the price of Keto Mojo here (-15% Discount Applied)

    The good

    • FDA approved for standards for accuracy
    • Includes lifetime warranty
    • Big, easy to read display screen
    • Other than ketones and glucose, it can test hematocrit and hemoglobin as well
    • Their website has a bunch of free resources
    • Can use either US or EU number readings

    The bad

    • Can be difficult to find if you live in Europe

    » Check the price of Keto Mojo here (-15% Discount Applied)

    Memory: up to 1000 tests
    Measurements: ketones, blood glucose, hematocrit, hemoglobin
    Package includes: testing meter, ketone strips, lancet device, lancets, carrying case
    Meter price: Relatively cheap for the value provided

    #2. Precision Xtra

    Precision Xtra, Abbot, was founded in 1888 and produces a broad range of pharmaceuticals, medical devices, and nutrition products.

    It could be said Precision Xtra is the dinosaur of ketone meters - in a good way.

    It has a much smaller monitor as compared to the Keto Mojo (almost twice as small), and it has 3 buttons for navigation.

    The device is relatively cheap and provides very accurate readings.

    precision xtra blood ketone meter

    The main downside is that additional testing strips are quite pricey compared to competitors.

    » Check the price of Precision Xtra here

    The good

    • Can calculate average blood glucose numbers for 7, 14 and 30-day intervals
    • An accurate number of readings
    • Straightforward to use
    • Package includes alcohol wipes for hygienic purposes

    The bad

    • The testing device has a much smaller memory than most other devices
    • The monitor is small in size as compared to other meters

    » Check the price of Precision Xtra here

    Memory: 450 tests
    Measurements: ketones and blood glucose
    Package includes: testing meter, ketone strips, glucose strips, lancet device, lancets, carrying case, alcohol wipes
    Meter price: On the pricier side

    #3. CareTouch

    Care Touch Ketone Meter is another popular option among people following low-carb diets.

    It has a quite handy automatic strip ejection button which makes the testing process a bit more hygienic.

    It has an average-sized monitor with big, easy to read numbers, operates with 1 button, and it has pretty straightforward to use options.

    The main downside is that it can only measure blood ketones, so if you want to test blood glucose as well you would have to buy a separate device.

    » Check the price of CareTouch here

    CareTouch blood ketone meter

    The good 

    • Large memory capacity
    • Has an automatic strip ejection ability so you don’t have to manually remove it after testing
    • Quality of the device is competitive with other brands

    The bad

    • Tests only ketones, so you would have to buy a blood glucose meter separately if you want to test glucose as well
    • Very weak online presence (can get difficult to get support)
    • Care Touch doesn’t seem to offer any kind of warranty for the device

    » Check the price of CareTouch here

    Memory: up to 1000 tests
    Measurements: ketones
    Package includes: testing meter, ketone strips, lancet device, lancets, carrying case
    Meter price: On the cheaper side

    #4. Fora 6 Connect

    The Fora 6 Connect is the newest ketone and blood glucose testing device manufactured by ForaCare.

    The latest Fora 6 Connect has 3 buttons, which make it way easier to use and navigate through the functions.

    Meter also comes with Bluetooth which syncs with Fora 6 App, allowing you to track readings, spot averages and trends, add notes to your readings and more.

    It features new, “gold” technology strips, which ForaCare claims are as accurate as the other top quality ketone and glucose meters available.

    fora 6 connect blood ketone monitor

    But, quality aside, the strips themselves are quite pricey to buy compared to the other brands.

    » Check the price of Fora 6 Connect here

    The good

    • Large memory capacity
    • 5-year warranty
    • The website has how-to video guides for using the meter
    • Comes with an App that allows you to track your testing results
    • Includes one AAA battery, a quick start user guide, and a log book

    The bad

    • While most of the other ForaCare’s products are clinically validated, the Fora 6 Connect is not
    • Additional test strips availability. Other than the manufacturer’s website, test strips on other websites are very often out of stock

    » Check the price of Fora 6 Connect here

    Memory: up to 1000 tests
    Measurements: ketones, blood glucose
    Package includes: testing meter, ketone strips, glucose strips, lancet device, lancets, carrying case
    Meter price: Average

    #5. Bruno Pharma MD6

    The Bruno MD6 blood ketone and glucose monitor is the only product that the company Bruno Pharma sells.

    The device is FDA approved, and Bruno Pharma promise that it provides “lab-like” readings from home.

    The meter has an average-sized, well-rounded, clean looking monitor, it operates with one button, and it has a simple, easy to read interface.

    It comes with integrated Bluetooth so you can log and monitor your test readings.

    bruno pharma md6 blood ketone meter

    On the other hand, a big downside of the product is that additional test strips are hard to find and are quite pricey.

    » Check the price of Bruno Pharma MD6 here

    The good

    • Has a 5-year warranty
    • FDA approved and up to their accuracy standard
    • Large memory capacity
    • Includes a how-to-use guide, a daily log book, and batteries
    • Comes with an App that has various useful, easy-to-use tools

    The bad

    • Testing strips are very expensive
    • Additional testing strips are not very accessible to purchase

    » Check the price of Bruno Pharma MD6 here

    Memory: up to 1000 tests
    Measurements: ketones, blood glucose
    Package includes: testing meter, ketone strips, glucose strips, lancet device, lancets, carrying case, AAA batteries, log book
    Meter price: Overall expensive compared to the others

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