The Problem with Ketone Breath Meters (And Why We Don’t Sell Them)

You’ve probably heard of ketone breath meters (aka breath testers) whilst researching methods of testing ketone levels. They are one of three ways with which you can measure whether you’re in ketosis. We don’t recommend this method of testing for the following reasons:

RELIABILITY

Breath ketone meters are notoriously unreliable at providing consistent readings. This is in part due to user error and also due to substandard breath meters. However, even expensive and well-made breath meters can suffer from this too (take the Ketonix for example, which is quite pricey but the reviews for it are average).

Substandard breath meters include most of what comes out of China. Often these testers are simply rebranded alcohol testers with low-quality sensors. You might get lucky and buy a decent unit, but, you won’t know unless you have a blood meter to compare the results to (and if you have a blood meter then why bother with a breath meter?).

Furthermore, the readings for breath meters can vary due to:

  • your breathing patterns prior to testing
  • how much you breathe out
  • whether you get your breath to hit the sensor correctly
  • and other factors (eg, an old sensor in need of recalibration)

COST

Breath ketone meters are generally quite expensive, and this is especially so for well known branded ketone breath meters. Your outlay will be anywhere from $40 to $80 for a no-name (and probably inaccurate) meter. For a well-known brand such as Ketonix then you should expect to pay at least $300.

Compare this cost to a blood ketone meter such as the Abbott Optium Neo, which you can pick up for about $50, with test strips at about $1.50 each. This product is a medical-grade device and very reliable. The ongoing costs might be a little more as you’re buying disposable testing strips, but the results you get will be the most accurate.

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