Freestyle Libre 3 Reader vs. Competitors: A Detailed Comparison

In the rapidly evolving field of diabetes management, Continuous Glucose Monitoring (CGM) systems have become invaluable tools. The Freestyle Libre 3 Reader, developed by Abbott, is one of the leading CGM devices available. This comprehensive guide compares the Freestyle Libre 3 Reader with its competitors, examining features, accuracy, user experience, cost, and other critical factors to help you make an informed decision.


Overview of CGM Systems

Continuous Glucose Monitoring (CGM) systems provide real-time glucose readings by measuring glucose levels in the interstitial fluid. These devices consist of a sensor, a transmitter, and a display device or reader. CGM systems are crucial for diabetes management as they offer a continuous stream of data, helping users maintain better glucose control and prevent complications.

Importance of Choosing the Right CGM System

Choosing the right CGM system is essential for effective diabetes management. Different CGM systems offer various features and capabilities, and what works best for one person may not be ideal for another. Understanding the differences between leading CGM systems can help users select the one that best meets their needs and lifestyle.

The Freestyle libre 3 price may vary based on factors such as geographic location, healthcare coverage, and any available discounts or assistance programs. 

Freestyle Libre 3 Reader: Key Features

Design and Build

Sensor Size and Wearability

The Freestyle Libre 3 reader features a small, discreet sensor that is easy to apply and wear. It is designed to be comfortable, with a low profile that minimizes interference with daily activities.

Reader Interface

The reader for the Freestyle Libre 3 is user-friendly, featuring a clear, intuitive interface that displays glucose readings, trends, and patterns. It also includes customizable alerts for high and low glucose levels.

Technology and Functionality

Glucose Monitoring

The Freestyle Libre 3 provides continuous glucose monitoring with readings every minute, offering real-time data that helps users manage their glucose levels effectively. It uses a sensor inserted just under the skin to measure glucose in the interstitial fluid.

Data Transmission

The Freestyle Libre 3 uses Bluetooth technology for real-time data transmission, allowing users to view their glucose levels on the reader or compatible smart devices. It also supports Near Field Communication (NFC) for data transfer.

Accuracy and Reliability


The Freestyle Libre 3 is factory-calibrated, meaning it does not require manual calibration by the user. This simplifies the user experience and ensures consistent accuracy.

Clinical Validation

Numerous clinical studies have validated the accuracy and reliability of the Freestyle Libre 3. It has received regulatory approval from health authorities such as the FDA and CE, demonstrating its efficacy in managing diabetes.

Competitors Overview

Dexcom G6

Design and Build

The Dexcom G6 CGM system includes a sensor, transmitter, and receiver or compatible smart device. The sensor is slightly larger than the Freestyle Libre 3 but is still designed for comfortable wear.

Technology and Functionality

The Dexcom G6 provides real-time glucose monitoring with readings every five minutes. It uses Bluetooth technology to transmit data to the receiver or smart device and includes features such as customizable alerts and predictive glucose trend analysis.

Accuracy and Reliability

The Dexcom G6 is factory-calibrated and known for its high accuracy. It has undergone extensive clinical validation and is widely regarded as one of the most reliable CGM systems available.

Medtronic Guardian Connect

Design and Build

The Medtronic Guardian Connect system consists of a sensor, transmitter, and a compatible smart device. The sensor is designed to be worn on the abdomen or arm and is slightly bulkier than the Freestyle Libre 3.

Technology and Functionality

The Guardian Connect provides real-time glucose readings every five minutes and uses Bluetooth technology for data transmission. It includes advanced features such as predictive alerts and integration with Sugar.IQ diabetes assistant app.

Accuracy and Reliability

The Guardian Connect requires two calibrations per day, which can be a drawback for some users. However, it offers high accuracy and has been clinically validated for effective diabetes management.


Design and Build

The Eversense CGM system is unique as it features an implantable sensor that lasts up to 90 days. It includes a transmitter worn over the sensor and a mobile app for data display.

Technology and Functionality

Eversense provides continuous glucose monitoring with real-time readings every five minutes. It uses Bluetooth technology for data transmission and offers features such as predictive alerts and vibration alerts on the transmitter.

Accuracy and Reliability

Eversense requires calibration twice a day but is known for its high accuracy. It has been clinically validated and is particularly suitable for users who prefer a long-term sensor option.

Detailed Comparison

Design and User Experience

Sensor Size and Comfort

  • Freestyle Libre 3: Small, discreet, and comfortable sensor suitable for long-term wear.

  • Dexcom G6: Slightly larger sensor but still comfortable, designed for up to 10 days of wear.

  • Medtronic Guardian Connect: Bulkier sensor, typically worn on the abdomen, requiring more frequent changes.

  • Eversense: Implantable sensor lasting up to 90 days, with an external transmitter.

Reader and Interface

  • Freestyle Libre 3: User-friendly reader with clear display, real-time data, and customizable alerts.

  • Dexcom G6: Uses a receiver or smart device with a comprehensive app for data display and trend analysis.

  • Medtronic Guardian Connect: Data displayed on a smart device, integrated with the Sugar.IQ app for advanced insights.

  • Eversense: Data displayed on a mobile app with vibration alerts from the external transmitter.

Accuracy and Calibration

Calibration Requirements

  • Freestyle Libre 3: No manual calibration required, factory-calibrated.

  • Dexcom G6: No manual calibration required, factory-calibrated.

  • Medtronic Guardian Connect: Requires two calibrations per day.

  • Eversense: Requires two calibrations per day.

Clinical Accuracy

  • Freestyle Libre 3: High accuracy, validated in clinical studies.

  • Dexcom G6: Known for excellent accuracy, widely trusted.

  • Medtronic Guardian Connect: High accuracy, but calibration requirements can be a hassle.

  • Eversense: High accuracy, particularly noted for long-term use.

Features and Functionality

Data Transmission

  • Freestyle Libre 3: Bluetooth and NFC, real-time data transmission.

  • Dexcom G6: Bluetooth, real-time data transmission.

  • Medtronic Guardian Connect: Bluetooth, real-time data transmission.

  • Eversense: Bluetooth, real-time data transmission.

Alerts and Notifications

  • Freestyle Libre 3: Customizable alerts for high and low glucose.

  • Dexcom G6: Customizable alerts and predictive trend alerts.

  • Medtronic Guardian Connect: Predictive alerts, integration with Sugar.IQ for insights.

  • Eversense: Customizable alerts, vibration alerts from the transmitter.

Cost and Accessibility

Sensor Cost

  • Freestyle Libre 3: Typically more affordable per sensor.

  • Dexcom G6: Higher cost per sensor but includes advanced features.

  • Medtronic Guardian Connect: Similar to Dexcom, with frequent calibration requirements.

  • Eversense: Higher initial cost due to implantable sensor but lasts longer.

Insurance Coverage

  • Freestyle Libre 3: Widely covered by insurance plans.

  • Dexcom G6: Broad insurance coverage, often considered the gold standard.

  • Medtronic Guardian Connect: Coverage varies, often included in comprehensive diabetes management plans.

  • Eversense: Coverage can be less common due to its implantable nature.

User Experiences and Feedback

Freestyle Libre 3

Positive Feedback

Users appreciate the small size, ease of use, and lack of calibration requirements. The real-time data transmission and customizable alerts are particularly praised.

Common Complaints

Some users have noted issues with sensor adhesion and occasional data transmission delays.

Dexcom G6

Positive Feedback

Widely praised for its accuracy and reliability, as well as the comprehensive app and predictive alerts.

Common Complaints

Higher cost and occasional sensor insertion issues.

Medtronic Guardian Connect

Positive Feedback

Users appreciate the predictive alerts and integration with Sugar.IQ app.

Common Complaints

The need for frequent calibration and the bulkier sensor design are often cited as drawbacks.


Positive Feedback

The long-term implantable sensor is a significant advantage, and the vibration alerts are useful.

Common Complaints

Higher initial cost and the requirement for a minor surgical procedure for sensor implantation.

Case Studies

Case Study 1: Freestyle Libre 3 User

A 45-year-old male with Type 1 diabetes switched to the Freestyle Libre 3 from traditional fingerstick testing. He reported improved glucose control, fewer hypoglycemic episodes, and greater convenience in daily management. The real-time data allowed him to adjust his insulin dosage more accurately.

Case Study 2: Dexcom G6 User

A 30-year-old female with Type 1 diabetes found the Dexcom G6 significantly improved her ability to manage her glucose levels. The predictive alerts helped her avoid severe hypoglycemia, and the comprehensive app provided valuable insights into her glucose trends.

Case Study 3: Medtronic Guardian Connect User

A 55-year-old male with Type 2 diabetes using insulin reported positive experiences with Medtronic Guardian Connect. The predictive alerts and integration with the Sugar.IQ app provided actionable insights, although he found the calibration requirement cumbersome.

Case Study 4: Eversense User

A 40-year-old female with Type 1 diabetes opted for the Eversense system due to its long-term sensor. She appreciated the extended wear time and vibration alerts, which allowed her to manage her diabetes discreetly. However, she found the initial implantation procedure and cost to be notable considerations.

Future Directions in CGM Technology

Ongoing Research and Development

Sensor Technology

Advancements in sensor technology aim to improve accuracy, reduce size, and extend wear time. Research is focused on developing sensors that require no calibration and can measure additional health metrics beyond glucose.

Data Integration

Future CGM systems will likely offer enhanced integration with other health monitoring devices and platforms, providing a more comprehensive approach to health management. This includes seamless data sharing with healthcare providers and integration with insulin pumps for automated insulin delivery.

Potential Innovations

Non-Invasive Monitoring

Researchers are exploring non-invasive glucose monitoring methods, such as optical sensors and transdermal patches, which could eliminate the need for sensor insertion.

Artificial Intelligence

AI and machine learning algorithms are being developed to provide more accurate glucose predictions and personalized diabetes management recommendations. These technologies could offer predictive analytics and automated adjustments to treatment plans.


The Freestyle Libre 3 Reader and its competitors, including the Dexcom G6, Medtronic Guardian Connect, and Eversense, each offer unique features and benefits. Choosing the right CGM system depends on individual needs, preferences, and lifestyle. The Freestyle Libre 3 stands out for its small size, ease of use, and affordability, while the Dexcom G6 is praised for its accuracy and advanced features. The Medtronic Guardian Connect offers robust predictive alerts, and the Eversense provides a long-term implantable option.


Understanding the strengths and weaknesses of each system can help users make an informed decision, ultimately leading to better diabetes management and improved quality of life. As CGM technology continues to evolve, future innovations promise even more advanced and user-friendly solutions for individuals managing diabetes.