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dexcom g6 vs freestyle libre

Dexcom G6 vs Freestyle Libre [My Personal Experience]

*Disclaimer: All content and information in this blog is for informational and educational purposes only. This article was written by Pete Lomas (T1D) and medically reviewed by Rachael Baker, BNg, CDE, MNgPrac
Last updated on 01/02/24.

If you’re trying to decide between Dexcom G6 and Freestyle Libre, you’re in the right place! As someone living with T1 diabetes, I understand how important it is to find a CGM that fits seamlessly into your life. That’s why I’m here to share my personal journey and insights on Dexcom G6 vs Freestyle Libre. In this short guide, we’ll compare their features, ease of use, and what I and others with T1 diabetes have to say about each system. I’ve gathered all the essential details and laid them out in a simple, easy-to-understand way, so you can pick the CGM system that fits your life best. So, if you’re curious about the real-life experience of using Dexcom G6 vs Libre, you’re in the right spot. Let’s dive in!


Dexcom G6 vs Freestyle Libre: I wore a Dexcom G6 & a Freestyle Libre for 7 days and this is how it went!

Let’s start with the disclaimers because they’re important and influence the results.  


dexcom vs freestyle libre

dexcom vs freestyle libre


I’ve been wearing the Freestyle Libre CGM for several years and I am a big fan.  It has improved my HbA1c significantly (7.9 to 6.7). So the Dexcom G6 always had an uphill battle in this n=1 clinical trial. I’d heard great things about the G6.  Specifically that it was more accurate, so I was intrigued and hopeful.


Quick notes about Dexcom

Dexcom is a Continuous Glucose Monitor made by “Dexcom” – founded in 1999 and gaining FDA approval in 2006.  The Dexcom helps to make better treatment decisions by placing a small filament under the skin that reads the glucose levels in the interstitial fluid of skin. 

The filament data is communicated via a transmitter helping to reduce finger pricks. The G6 version doesn’t require finger pricks, reducing the need for calibration. This was authorised by the FDA March 27th, 2018. This factory calibration has been closely reviewed to ensure safety and efficacy. Dexcom is one of the more expensive CGM’s on the market at $3,828 USD per year and lasts 10 days.


How does Dexcom work 

Dexcom works by inserting a filament in the skin to interpret glucose levels, avoiding finger pricks. Dexcom has been shown to reduce hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) for people using multiple daily injections. It does this by providing more information to the patient enabling better informed decision making about blood glucose management.


How accurate is it

There is substantial data published in clinical trials showing that the Dexcom is highly accurate, for example one particular study showed that the G6 CGM is a reliable tool and improves glucose control . The study enrolled 262 patients.


What I liked about Dexcom G6 / Pros

Adjustable alert function

I liked the fact that there is an option for an alert and that this alert can be adjusted as required and that having this option for an alert can help me to avoid hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia events.

These alarms can be useful, especially if you have issues with hypos while sleeping.  Not essential for me at this stage but if I was a parent of a kid with T1D then I’d favour this function. 


What I didn’t like when wearing Dexcom G6 / Cons

Shape and Size of the Dexcom G6

I didn’t like the shape and the size of the Dexcom G6. I found it to be a little too bulky especially compared to the Libre and generally the aesthetics of the Dexcom G6 were not my preference. The G6 felt larger than I expected and got caught on my shirt more than the Libre does. This may have been due to the newness of it.

Dexcom G6 price

I also understand that the G6 is more expensive than the Freestyle Libre and this does influence my preferences. The cost of the Dexcom G6 can be a significant burden. It’s frustrating to know that such an essential part of our healthcare comes with a high price tag, and it often feels like a financial strain that adds to the everyday stress of managing Type 1 diabetes. The technology is incredible, but I wish the cost didn’t weigh so heavily on those of who rely on it to manage their health.

How accurate it is compared with Freestyle Libre

I found that the Dexcom G6 was not quite as accurate as the Freestyle Libre although this is not consistent with other users so may just be a one-off result. 

The pain

The Dexcom G6 also caused me some pain. I had experienced this sort of pain with the Libre in the early days of wearing it.  It felt like nerve pain. It was uncomfortable and it stayed painful for longer than I’d expected. 


What I learnt after wearing Dexcom G6

What I learnt after this experience was that it’s hard to make comparisons for medical devices such as  Freestyle Libre vs Dexcom G6.  When I had been wearing the Freestyle Libre for more time.  This caused a bias in my viewpoint but I was always aware that this bias existed.  So really my conclusions need to be taken with a Grain of salt. 

I also learnt that aesthetics are important when wearing a device on my skin. And the smaller slicker option is my preference and that whilst the Dexcom G6 does offer alerts, and this can be helpful, my preference is to go with the Freestyle Libre. 

Also, if you want to prolong the lifetime of you sensor you should wear it with Dexcom covers comfortable to wear. Note: Patches created by Not Just a Patch don’t irritate your skin.


dexcom vs freestyle libre dexcom vs freestyle libre dexcom vs freestyle libre

*the time on the Freestyle blood glucose test is incorrect in all the pics but rest assured these are all the same time


dexcom vs freestyle libre  dexcom vs freestyle libre dexcom vs freestyle libre

Quick notes about Freestyle Libre


The Freestyle Libre, also known as a flash glucose monitoring system, is not technically a CGM, but operates in a similar fashion.

A flash system is made up of:

  • a sensor you stick to your arm (about the size of a £2 coin)
  • a reader (a small device you use to scan the sensor to see your sugar levels. You can also use a smartphone app to scan the sensor.)

Sensors usually last for 14 days and they are waterproof in up to 1meter for 30 minutes. When using adhesive stickers for Freestyle Libre the lifetime of the sensor will be improved for more than 10 days.  

Unlike a CGM system, flash does not have an alarm for hypo or hyper warnings.

With a CGM, your sugar levels are always visible on the screen of your receiver. With flash, you use the reader to scan the sensor when you want to see your levels.


dexcom g6 vs freestyle libre dexcom g6 vs freestyle libre dexcom g6 vs freestyle libre

* sharing my glucose readings is somewhat sensitive…I’m far from a perfect T1D!

What I liked at Freestyle Libre / Pros

The aesthetics and multiple scanning

I’ve been wearing the Freestyle Libre for several years now. Therefore I have very much experience with it and some of the things that I like are it’s low profile. It’s more aesthetically pleasing to me.  It allows scanning multiple times per day and overall has improved my diabetes management and my hba1c.

The adhesive

I can’t fault the Freestyle Libre although there are several people out there who do complain about the adhesive.

In my opinion the adhesive holds up well as well as you can expect a device like this stuck on your skin while you’re going about your daily activities. I think the manufacturer did a good job in making these so that they stick fairly well.


What I didn’t liked at Freestyle Libre / Cons 

Lack of alert options

It would be nice for the Libre to have alert options and I believe that the upcoming Libre 2 does offer alert options. 


What I learnt after wearing Freestyle Libre

The greatest thing in my opinion about these devices is the power of information that they provide in a sense. It’s micro information that allows us to keep a constant eye on the movement of our blood glucose levels and this micro information gives us more power and allows us to react more quickly to changes in our blood glucose movement. These micro changes overtime add up to an overall improvement in health and hba1c and various other markers of diabetes management.


Which is better: Dexcom G6 or Freestyle Libre?

This will be somewhat dependent on your preferences and approaches to diabetes management. For me, when thinking at dexcom vs libre, the Freestyle Libre is the preferred device when put head-to-head. Why? Because the Libre also won out on ease of wearing.  It was less obtrusive and stayed on better than the G6.  


Which is cheaper: Dexcom or Freestyle Libre?

Dexcom G6 vs Freestyle Libre Cost 

This is an advantage for the Freestyle Libre which cost approximately $200 per month whereas the Dexcom G6 currently costs around $300 per month.  Dexcom claim that they have better accuracy. However this was not my experience and therefore I can’t justify the extra $100 per month.



In summary, I’ll be sticking with the Freestyle Libre for now, looking forward to the day we see the Freestyle Libre 3 here in Australia. I wonder if I’d been wearing a Dexcom G6 for several years, would the results be the reverse.  Perhaps!


About Rachel Baker, BNg, CDE, MNgPrac

Rachael Baker is a leading Nurse Practitioner Credentialed Diabetes Educator (CDE) in Brisbane and is passionate about staying up to date with Diabetes Technology and optimising these tools to be implemented in a way that is helpful and practical for people living with Diabetes. Using a holistic approach, Rachael focuses on self-empowerment for individuals living with Diabetes and supports them to live a life without limits.

About Pete Lomas, T1D 

Pete is the CEO and Founder of a diabetes technology start-up called Balance Health and the CEO of Not Just a Patch. As a person with T1D himself, he sees the opportunity in improving patient experiences via technology, product and brands. He is driven to make a difference in the lives of people with diabetes via design driven products and solutions.