Which CGM (Continuous Glucose Monitor) is right for you?

Which CGM (Continuous Glucose Monitor) is right for you?

October 21, 2020

There is no doubt that a continuous glucose monitor (CGM) can improve the quality of life for just about everyone with diabetes. But you may be wondering, which CGM is best for me?

When making a choice, it helps to understand what each system has to offer. In this article, we discuss today’s leading CGMs so that you can make a better decision about which CGM will be right for you.

Below is a comparison of the Dexcom G6, FreeStyle Libre, and Medtronic Guardian Connect CGM systems. Before choosing a CGM you should consider these key features.



Dexcom G6

FreeStyle Libre

Medtronic Guardian Connect

MARD (lower number means better accuracy)




FDA Approved For ages

Ages 2+

Ages 18+

Ages 14-75

Calibration Required?

No, but calibration is possible if the sensor is off track


Not possible

Yes,  3-4x daily

Sensor Life

10 days


10 Days

7 days

Warmup time

(New Sensor)

2 hours

12 hours

2 hours


Lasts 3 months, no recharging

Fresh Transmitter connected to each sensor

Must re-charge weekly

Display options



BT connection

Tandem X2 pump

Handheld receiver

Handheld scanner

Smartphone, Smartwatch

Hi/Low Alerts

Yes, customizable


Yes, customizable, including extended predictive alerts

Live Data Sharing

Yes – high/low alerts and current glucose level/trend


Yes - high/low alerts

Downloading/Data Analysis

Automatic upload to Clarity software.

Freestyle Libre software

Automatic upload to Carelink Software

Sugar IQ program for analyzing data


Approx $300 per transmitter

$80 per sensor


$600 per receiver



Approx $60 for scanner

$40 per sensor


Covered by Medicare and most private insurance plans


Approx $1000 per transmitter

$80 per sensor


Coverage Pending



Unique features of Dexcom G6, FreeStyle Libre, and Medtronic Guardian Connect CGM monitor systems.


  1. Medtronic - Medtronic uses a Bluetooth transmitter that sends glucose readings to a phone app every five minutes and offers a predictive alert feature.


  1. Dexcom - According to Dexcom, the G6 is currently the most water-resistant CGM on the market. It is also the only CGM that is FDA approved for children in the US. The Dexcom G6 (aside from the FreeStyle Libre) can obtain accurate readings even when the patient is taking acetaminophen.  Dexcom offers high and low alerts, customizable alarms, and data sharing.


  1. FreeStyle Libre - Readings are not sent automatically, instead, users have to manually swipe the handheld receiver (or a smartphone) over the sensor to get glucose readings. Each scan provides a current glucose reading, a trend arrow, and an 8-hour history. It is one of two CGMs available whose reading remains accurate even with acetaminophen use.


For further comparison and potential drawbacks check out: https://integrateddiabetes.com/continuous-glucose-monitor-comparisons-and-reviews/


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