Dexcom G6 Reviews - Important Things To Consider

By Anthony Dugarte, M.D., C.S.C.S
Updated on: May 9, 2020

What is Dexcom G6?

The Dexcom G6 is a small sensor and transmitter that continuously monitors your glucose levels to guide treatment decisions and management of your diabetes without the need for traditional fingerstick tests.

More than 10% of the US population has been diagnosed with diabetes. Though the disease is associated with a number of unwanted physical and emotional burdens, even monitoring glucose levels can negatively impact the quality of life.

Since their introduction, portable meters have allowed for self-monitoring and better control of diabetes. However, these devices require frequent fingersticks to obtain measurements and can contribute to considerable patient morbidity.

According to Dexcom, the G6 continuous glucose monitoring (GCM) system offers a pain-free method of measuring your blood sugar levels.

The small, wearable sensor sends your glucose reading to a smart device every 5-minutes without the need of fingersticks.

According to the company, your Dexcom G6 will:

  • Help you predict where your glucose levels are heading
  • Allow you to make treatment decisions with using painful fingersticks
  • Alert you when you’re readings are outside of the desired range
  • Allow you to share your glucose data with up to 10 followers

Dexcom states that the G6 is proven to lower your A1C (a measurement that indicates how well blood glucose is controlled over a 2-3 month span) and also reduce the number of hypoglycemic (unsafe drops in blood sugar) events.

But can you be certain that Dexcom G6 measurements are accurate?

In this article, we’ll help you answer this question by reviewing any available research examining Dexcom G6’s ability to provide accurate blood glucose measurements.

How to Use the Dexcom G6

To begin using your Dexcom G6, you’ll need 3 things:

  • A display device - this can be the Dexcom receiver or a smart device.
  • The applicator and a built-in sensor
  • The Transmitter

The first thing you’ll need to do is download the Dexcom app through Google Play or the App Store. To link your device, enter the sensor code when prompted by the app.

Similarly, turn on your receiver and enter your sensor code when prompted.

Then, you’ll need to use the applicator to insert the built-in sensor just below the surface of your skin. To do so, remove the applicator from the box and select the appropriate sensor site. The patch of skin over your abdomen located between your belly button and hip is recommended.

Next, wash your hands and prep the sensor site with an alcohol wipe. Remove the labels covering the adhesive portion of the applicator. Place the adhesive on the skin over the sensor site and break off the safety guard.

Lastly, press the button to insert the sensor and discard the applicator.

To insert our transmitter, first, clean it with an alcohol wipe. Next, insert the transmitter tab into the sensor slot and snap the transmitter firmly into place.

It can take up to 30-minutes to pair your device to the sensor. Once paired, follow the prompts for the 2-hour warmup. Once this is complete, you’ll begin to receive your glucose readings every 5-minutes, up to 288 times each day.

At this point, you can configure your app and personalize your desired blood glucose range, as well as select with whom you’d like to share the data.

Now that you have a better understanding of how to use your Dexcom G6, it’s clear that the system seems to provide more data than would be obtainable from portable meters and fingerstick tests. After all, it certainly isn’t feasible to stick your finger 288 times in a single day.

While eliminating the pain associated with traditional methods of monitoring blood sugar is important, this doesn’t necessarily mean that the Dexcom G6 measurements are accurate.

Is There Any Science Backing the Dexcom G6?

According to Dexcom, the G6 is proven to lower your A1C and risk for hypoglycemia. Additionally, they claim that the Dexcom G6 has been compared to the test your doctor orders, which is considered the gold standard for measuring your blood glucose.

As both methods differ somewhat in how glucose is measured, the readings they provide are unlikely to be the same. They should be close, however. According to the Dexcom website, the G6 provides accurate readings, meaning that each measurement is relatively close to what your doctor would measure.

As an example, Dexcom believes that their system follows the %20/20 rule.

As your glucose is measured in mg/dL, your G6 reading should be within 20mg/dL when your meter reading is 80mg/dL or lower. If your meter reading is higher than 80mg/dL, your G6 measurement should be within 20% of this number. This rule is likely based on the results of clinical research.

When compared to a laboratory method of measuring blood glucose, Dexcom was found to be within 16.7% of gold standard measurements, on average.

When the original Dexcom system was modified, it was again put to the test. Over 7-days, subjects with diabetes wore a Dexcom sensor and compared glucose measurements to laboratory measures. Researchers concluded that the Dexcom system was within 9% of lab values, on average.

The Dexcom G6 was also studied. In both adults and children, this system was also found to be safe and accurate, with more than 90% of measurements falling within 20% or 20mg/dL of the gold standard.

The Dexcom G6 was also associated with fewer instances of hypoglycemia and more readings within the 70-180mg/dL range.

Most recently, the 20/20 rule was put to the test in pregnant women with diabetes that utilized the Dexcom G6 over a 10-day span. Researchers found that, when compared to the gold standard for measuring blood glucose, the Dexcom G6 was accurate and safe.

Dexcom devices have been safely and accurately tested in children, adults, and during pregnancy. The most recent generation has seemingly improved upon earlier devices.

Is It Safe to Use?

The Dexcom G6 CGM system is generally safe to use. Serious adverse effects were not reported in the available research studies that were published in peer-reviewed medical journals.

This does not mean that the Dexcom G6 is entirely without risk, however.

Skin irritation and infection are probably the most likely side effects of using this device. Following the instructions for placing the sensor can limit your risk for unwanted effects. Ensure that you’ve washed your hands and also prepped the skin, sensor, and transmitter with alcohol wipes.

You can take additional steps to limit skin irritation:

  • Make sure skin is clean and dried thoroughly
  • Trim hair over sensor site to ensure proper contact
  • Limit moisture at sensor site and avoid using lotions and creams in this area
  • A barrier film may help to further reduce the risk for skin irritation

While self-monitoring is a vital component of controlling your diabetes, you should always do it in conjunction with a medical professional.

Be sure to regularly discuss pertinent aspects of your care with your doctor regularly.

What Does It Cost?

Details regarding pricing are not provided on the Dexcom website.

The first step in obtaining your Dexcom G6 requires you to provide your personal contact information, as well as your diabetes type, current treatment, and insurance provider. To determine if Dexcom G6 is right for you, a customer representative will reach out to you to discuss further.

If you have Medicare, you may be eligible for coverage if you meet the following criteria:

  • You have a diabetes diagnosis
  • You have used a home blood glucose monitor at least 4x daily
  • You require 3 or more insulin injections or use an insulin pump
  • Your insulin dosing has required frequent adjustments
  • You’ve met with your doctor to discuss the criteria above every 6 months

If you don't meet the above criteria, you may be eligible to use the Dexcom G6. Once your doctor has prescribed it, you can pick up the system from your local Walgreens.

The Dexcom site does not provide pricing details if your insurance provider does not cover the Dexcom G6. Your best bet is to provide your contact information to speak with a representative about the most cost-effective options.

We were able to dig up some out-of-pocket pricing information elsewhere, however.

According to GoodRx, the Dexcom G6 is available over-the-counter from major retailers like Costco, Publix, Walmart, CVS, Target, and Walgreens.

Pricing for the G6 receiver varies, ranging from $600-$850.

Keep in mind that you will need to replace the sensors every 10 days. Also, the transmitter battery lasts about 6-months, so replacing your transmitter is also required as well. A pack of 3 sensors costs around $420 on average, while a transmitter often costs around $300.

As you can see, the Dexcom G6 can be an extremely expensive method for monitoring blood sugar if you are required to pay out-of-pocket. Again, speaking with a customer representative may reveal more cost-effective options. However, even a 50% reduction in average pricing would still represent a costly investment.

What Are the Alternatives to Dexcom G6?

There are other CGM devices available that similarly aim to avoid the pain and hassle associated with constant finger pricks.

The FreeStyle Libre System is one example. This GCM device uses a sensor that communicates with a receiver, and can store 90-days of glucose data. Medicare also covers this device.

The starter kit costs $215. Libre sensors last 14 days, and replacements cost $67/sensor. This is still a pricey option, but more cost-effective than the Dexcom G6. A prescription is required, however.

The Eversense Implantable GCM is also covered by medicare and uses a sensor that communicates with a receiver. Covered by Cigna and Medicare, Eversense sensors last for 90-days through insertion and removal must be done by a medical professional.

Again prescription is required and pricing information requires you to speak with a customer representative.

The Bottom Line

The Dexcom G6 is reasonably accurate when compared to the gold standard for measuring glucose. Also, serious side effects were not reported in the available research. Nonetheless, you should always take precautions to minimize the risk of skin irritation and infection.

While the Dexcom G6 does avoid the need for fingersticks, it is an expensive method for measuring blood glucose. If you aren’t covered by insurance, your monthly costs can top $700 for replacements.

There are more cost-effective CGM devices available that also use sensors to communicate with receivers. If you’re interested in CGM and are required to pay out-of-pocket, these may be a better option when compared to the Dexcom G6.

Be sure to speak to your doctor about your current management to determine if CGM is safe for you to use.

Customer Reviews

Start your review of Dexcom G6:
  • 49 Customer Reviews
  • 0% Recommend This Company
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  • Not working

    • By Jeff B.,
    • Vancouver, WA,
    • Sep 2, 2020
    • Verified Reviewer
    • Length of Use: 3–6 months
    Overall Experience:

    I updated my operating system about a month ago and it seldom works. If they're gonna sell this product, they should be able to keep up with the operating systems. I do not recommend this.

    Pros and Cons:

    • No “pros” were specified in this review
    • System does not work

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

  • Worst customer service ever

    • By Steve B.,
    • Texas,
    • Jul 9, 2020
    • Verified Reviewer
    • Length of Use: 2+ years
    Overall Experience:

    If you need assistance, you will be placed on hold for almost ever, stuck listening to commercial after commercial prior to being able to make a choice for the next round of choices and the next hundred commercials. The people are great but the phone option menu lengths and commercials are horrifically long and never-ending.

    Pros and Cons:

    • Decent device
    • The horrible phone help menus and commercials

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

  • Dexcom is focused on profits, not patient service

    • By Mark D.,
    • Lawrence, KS,
    • Feb 24, 2020
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    I love the Dexcom G6 system, which performs wonderfully to provide blood sugar readings over 5-minute intervals to your phone, and the Clarity software is easy to use, provides awesome analysis tools, and even allows me to provide my doctor access to the readings. These are the positives.

    Unfortunately, the negatives are awful. My experience reordering sensors and transmitters has been horrendous. Orders I have placed online offered a variety of shipping options, and I have generally chosen the 3-day option. Most of the orders I have placed in the past year have been delayed and have taken weeks to be delivered. And the problem is Dexcom, not the courier. I have emailed customer service and rarely get a response. The time I did receive a response via the email option, it came almost 36 hours later. By then, I had given up and called the customer service number. By then, the order was 8 days old, and I was down to my last 2 days of sensor life on my remaining supply. The customer service rep (CSR) said the hold-up was insurance verification. I clarified that I was prompted to verify my insurance information in the order process and fully complied, so asked if the issue was on Dexcom's end, verifying whether the info I provided was consistent with the insurance company's records. He said yes. I've dealt with my insurance company on earlier issues with Dexcom, and the insurance company has superior customer service, so I suspect Dexcom was sitting on the order. The rep said he would get the order released for carrier pick-up that afternoon. Two days later, my order was picked up by FedEx, and the tracking information shows the order will arrive FOUR DAYS AFTER IT WAS PICKED UP. That will be 14 DAYS AFTER THE ORDER WAS PLACED.

    Dexcom is very efficient at charging your credit for your orders, at the expense of accuracy. I had experiences last year when Dexcom charged my card so early that the charges appeared on my bill before I received my insurance company's explanation of benefits statement. After discovering, as a result, that I had been billed for charges that my insurance company had covered, I called my insurance company to address the issue, which quickly determined I was overbilled for a total of over $700 for two orders. The insurance company rep followed through by contacting Dexcom, which responded by stating my credit card would be credited for the full amount. I waited for over a month to no avail, had to call my insurance company again. The insurance rep called Dexcom while I waited on hold, and after addressing the matter with his contact, patched me into a 3-way call to get a commitment from the Dexcom rep that the credit would be provided in the next day or two. Monitoring my credit card online, I received the first of two credits in two days, and a second for the remaining balance in four days.

    Dexcom offers an excellent product that overwhelmingly exceeds the quality of the company's patient care and customer service. I believe it is practices like Dexcom's that call for more thorough federal regulation of companies that are granted patents for drugs and medical supplies. If those granted the patents for medical devices cannot provide adequate services to sufficiently respond to patient needs by meeting reasonable standards of service, the patents should be permanently revoked, freeing the formula or technology opened to competitors to produce, sell, and distribute. I could guarantee that that type of check and balance would motivate Dexcom's behavior to better respond to its patients or at least provide them sufficient competition to promote patient welfare that is seriously lacking in this instance.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

  • Lack of customer service

    • By Gordon L.,
    • San Antonio, TX,
    • Jan 14, 2020
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    I am a Medicare/Tricare for Life customer of Dexcom. I use the G6 sensors and transmitter. They are wonderful products. Using the call center that Dexcom routes its calls to is absolutely useless. I tried reordering my supplies, I called Dexcom, was routed overseas, the agent said I did not have a valid Medicare number and to call my doctor's office and get one. The next said I needed a four-day investigation to determine benefits although Dexcom used my Medicare account the month before. My sensor expires in 8 days after that I’ll move to another CGM with USA-based customer service.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

  • In my opinion this is a rip-off company

    • By Patricia C.,
    • Alabama,
    • Jan 8, 2020
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    I have been dealing with Dexcom for over a year now. I filled out the information required to have a representative contact me about ordering the Dexcom G6. I first waited until Medicare-approved paying their part for this apparatus. When I called I was asked to pay cash then try to get my money back from Medicare. Are you kidding me? I know this wouldn't go too easy if I ever got my money back from Medicare. I told him I couldn't afford this. He then told me to call back in 3 to 4 months and maybe they would have some machines available to Medicare Insurance clients then. I waited again and called back with the same runaround. I think Medicare should check into the practices of this company. Am I not being discriminated against by Dexcom for only having Medicare insurance along with my supplementary insurance instead of having the cash needed to purchase this Dexcom G6.

    Needless to say, I am still sitting here with no Dexcom G6. I am in my 70's and type 1 diabetic but who cares? Certainly not Dexcom. In my opinion, I call this company a rip-off and disgraceful company to do business with. I don't know how they get anyone to work for them and most involved with this company will account for their actions some day. If you can go with another CGM system then I would advise it as that is what I am going to do myself.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

  • Do not drink the Kool-Aid

    • By David H.,
    • United States,
    • Dec 12, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    My frustration with this company and also US MED (once you are assigned a medicare supplier you are stuck) can not be described in language suitable to be printed!

    I am out of supplies and US MED says they don't have any but when I call Dexcom they say they have plenty (G6 system).

    Don't get sucked up and depending on these people as I was.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

  • OK, BUT...

    • By Heath M.,
    • Victoria, Australia,
    • Nov 13, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    Have been a freestyle Libre user for 18 months with a Miao Miao and thought I would try a Dexcom.

    Insertion is OK and it is compact, etc. Software interface is easy enough, however...

    Signal loss issues. I can't tell you how annoying it is to wait up to 30 minutes to reconnect it to my phone if I walk to the other end of the house or just go into the next room without my phone.

    I went for a run this morning and when I got back I did a few things in the next room, you guessed it, signal loss, been waiting 20+ minutes for it to reconnect all the time wondering about my levels after my run. So off to do blood pricks.

    With the Libre and Miao Miao, the range is much much larger and when it drops out it instantly reconnects. I mean how hard can it be?

    In all, it is a NO from me. I will spend my cash on the Libre Miao Miao combo.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend


    • By Patrick K.,
    • Chandler, AZ,
    • Oct 25, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    The Dex product is good. However, Dex customer service will be the worst you have ever experienced. If you call CS, you will be on hold for at least 20 minutes EVERY time (with what may be the worst hold music ever - it's all I can do to not hang up!). Worse is trying to reorder supplies. It is next to impossible to get Dex to send supply reorders on time. They let reorders sit, and they don't email or call with updates.

    My advice? Though a great product, avoid Dex because of the horrific customer experience.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

  • No support from Dexcom

    • By Mike S.,
    • Shawnee, KS,
    • Oct 22, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    I’ve contacted Dexcom multiple times and started the process to get set up to get a Dexcom CGM. After weeks of this process, I have not received any follow-up phone calls to get processed and approved for use of a CGM. Dexcom service is awful and it’s ridiculous how difficult it is to get their product.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

  • Horrible customer service

    • By Niall M.,
    • Charlotte, NC,
    • Oct 15, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    Worst customer service imaginable. No follow-up. If you place an order for supplies, be prepared for (i) lengthy delays, often with no order shipped often until your 2nd, 3rd or 4th call; (ii) broken promises regarding shipment dates, and (iii) totally non-responsive customer service. FYI…even the SUPERVISOR’S promise (my FOURTH call) to ship "by tomorrow" was broken. Long-standing backlog on inventory causes lengthy delays between order and shipment, but the company has done nothing to come up with a solution. A billion-dollar company like Dexcom could increase manufacturing if it cared, but it obviously does not. It sells all it can make and has no competition. This is what happens when consumers have no real choice and is a perfect example of the ugly side of patent protection. Unless you have hypoglycemic insensitivity (like most potential Dexcom users) go with Libre instead of Dexcom!

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

  • Bad product/terrible support

    • By Warren F.,
    • Fort Myers, FL,
    • Oct 9, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    When the CGM works it’s a great product. When it doesn’t work it’s frustrating and potentially dangerous.

    Way too many communication failures. Sometimes wait 30-45 minutes, sometimes it’s a sensor failure. I had 2 sensor failures yesterday.

    Also, frequent inaccurate readings. Sometimes up to 100 points higher than from an actual finger stick. My CGM showed a reading of over 180 the other night. The actual bg count was 88. If I actually trusted the CG5 I would either be in the hospital or dead. No excuse for this.

    Other than shipping out replacement sensors, customer support is basically useless. Lots of time asking questions but no resolution to problems other than sending additional sensors.

    To make things worse, my transmitter has about 1 more week to go and my distributor told me that they have not received any shipments. So it won’t matter if the senors are inaccurate since the transmitter won’t work.

    There are other CGM systems. I recommend you investigate them before ordering from Dexcom.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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