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:
  • 51 Customer Reviews
  • 2% Recommend This Company
1.2 out of 5
5 star: 1% 4 star: 0% 3 star: 1% 2 star: 7% 1 star: 88%

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  • I think Dexcom G6 is fantastic!

    • By Matt A.,
    • Dallas, TX,
    • Nov 19, 2020
    • Verified Reviewer
    • Length of Use: 6–12 months
    Overall Experience:

    It works great, other than an allergic reaction I got from the sensor patch adhesive. That was cleared completely by using kinesiology tape on my skin and placing the sensor patch on that. My A1c has dropped from 7.3 to 6.3 and nighttime lows have been eliminated through the alert function with this unit. It has been a life-changer. My level of control is much better. I've had nothing but positive results on those few occasions I've dealt with customer support. Seriously, my life has changed for the better.

    Pros and Cons:

    • Product
    • Support
    • Impact on my life
    • I'm highly allergic to sensor patch adhesive

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

  • Great product, horrible customer service and support

    • By Diane L.,
    • Manchester, NH,
    • Aug 30, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    I actually love my CGM. It has changed my life. However, getting in touch with customer service, ordering supplies or getting your supplies from the company is horrible and disastrous. They do not allow you to order online. You can't reach a live person ever and they always have to call you back. I have not received my order for this month and have been without supplies for almost two weeks. I have been hung up on twice since Monday and they still have not "approved" my order with their internal documentation department even though my insurance company has already approved it. My provider has called and tried to contact the local rep to no avail. If I could use another company I would, but they are the contracted company for my insurance.

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

  • Terrible customer service

    • By Kristie M.,
    • Tennessee,
    • Nov 14, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    I have had nothing but terrible customer service with Dexcom, the past two times we have needed sensors, they tell me we will get those sent out and after a couple of days of not receiving an email that the order was placed or shipped, I call and they tell me oh, the sensors are on back order. It is a constant problem with them and something needs to be done as the person that needs the sensors now has to go without their Dexcom because they can't seem to keep up with the demand. THIS IS UNACCEPTABLE.

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

  • Customer and technical service

    • By Gary H.,
    • Ringgold, GA,
    • Jul 11, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    Been using Dexcom for years. Lately customer service and tech service has gone downhill. It's like pulling teeth to get thru on the phone, then even harder to have your order shipped before you run out. Called tech service several times last night. Appears they no longer offer 24-hour, 7 days per week service. I have encouraged several fellow diabetics in the past to use Dexcom. Sorry but service has really slipped.

    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

  • 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

  • G5 app warning

    • By Egh43,
    • Virginia,
    • Apr 17, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    Warning! The Dexcom G5 mobile app does not adhere to your phone setting sound/volume choice. If you set your volume to a given level, set the phone to vibrate or set the phone to mute, the app still continues to sound an alert at the loudest volume level your phone has. Besides being an issue during a wedding, funeral, meeting, and so on, it also sounds while you are in a phone conversation. I had the phone next to my ear when it alarmed. The sound was so piercing that I had ringing and diminished hearing in my ear for several hours afterward. I have contacted Dexcom (including upper management) several times but have not received any response back from them.

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

  • Failed customer service and client communication

    • By Jeffrey Lang,
    • Tucson, AZ,
    • May 10, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    While Dexcom continuous glucose monitoring devices work well as advertised, the company fails miserably at timely and accurate customer service and delivery.

    After making timely shipments of scheduled disposable Dexcom sensors and transmitters, and despite having an unexpired physicians prescription on file and acknowledge by Dexcom as being current, Dexcom accepted an order for replacement transmitters promising immediate shipment, then failed to deliver as promised. No notice as to any exception was communicated by Dexcom as to any problem with the order.

    Upon contacting Dexcom Customer Service directly, I was told that the order was on hold "pending review." When I asked what was being reviewed, and why was I not notified of any issue, the response was that something was amiss with my previously acknowledged, verified prescription against which Dexcom had made multiple shipments without issue, was now being questioned.

    On my third follow up call with Customer Service, I was notified that Dexcom required a new prescription. I immediately contacted my physician, and the requested new prescription was delivered via fax as prescribed by Dexcom to Dexcom. Upon my fourth contact with Customer Service, I notified Customer Service of the prescription delivery, and was told that prescriptions were reviewed manually before being entered to their "system," and this process could take up to 48 hours. I then notified Dexcom Customer Service for the third time that their delay in order processing and failure to notify their customer (me) had resulted in my being without the use of my Dexcom glucose monitor for almost one week.

    Here is what I suspect is the truth. Dexcom is now in the process of transitioning to a new "G6" device, and they failed to properly forecast demand for G5 device replacements during the transition phase of the new product release (which will replace the G5). Rather than clearly communicate this to Dexcom customers, they are playing games with delayed delivery scripted replies. Even if my supposition is not completely true, the actions taken by Dexcom in their failure to provide timely service and communication to their dependent client is unforgivable. CGM devices are health monitoring, and in fact, life-protecting devices. Failing to provide timely delivery and/or services threatens the well being of Dexcom patients/customers.

    There are other equal or superior CGM devices available, and I will certainly explore these alternatives as a replacement for the devices offered by Dexcom.

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

  • The worst experience ever

    • By RK B.,
    • Maryland,
    • Jun 27, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    I’m having a hard time getting my supply. I really want to know if there is another company which makes or sell a similar product. They are inhuman people who choose to gamble over people’s health.

    I tried to get a transmitter two weeks ago. On my call with a customer service representative, I was told the availability of G6, and I was eligible to upgrade to G6. I told him I had only a week battery life on my G5. He said I would be ok, and the only thing they needed was a new prescription from my doctor. He said he would get it the next day. I agreed.

    I had waited for a week, but they hadn’t sent it. I called Dexcom again to check the status. A customer representative by the name of Andrew told me nothing happened on the order. He added that no one made a request for the prescription. Finally, he assured me he would expedite the process. I asked him if there was anything I could do from my side. He told me to call my doctor's office to have them send the prescription to Dexcom directly to expedite the process. I called my doctor’s office to provide the required doc. The next day I got an email from Dexcom saying they were in the process to get the referral from the doctor’s office.

    I called Dexcom on 06/20/2018 to check the status. After a long hold, I had got a chance to talk to a customer representative named Hector (102271). I told him what I was told in the last two calls, and asked for the status. He put me on hold for more than 13 minutes to tell me they had got the referral but the supply (G6) required a 30 days sugar reading (log sheet). I asked why I was not told in my first two calls. I also added I had always used the continues glucose monitoring (CGM) and uploaded my readings on Dexcom clarity. I also stated the question should have been to check if I use Dexcom clarity. Because it is super easy to upload the reading. He insisted they wanted 30-day logs. I asked to talk to a supervisor, but he told me I would be told the same thing, and didn’t want to transfer me to a supervisor.

    Then I gave up on the G6 and I asked for G5. He said that was easy for him to process it. He said I would be staying on the G5 until December 2018 which is six months. I told him how badly I wanted it because my commute is long, and managing my sugar is a very critical thing for me. I use the transmitter to better control my sugar for safety too. I do not get the product for free. I paid a lot of money through my insurance, but still, it is very hard to get it on time. It is a critical medical supply, not a luxury product. They should meet customer expectation 100% because their line of business is health care, and it needs maximum attention and follow-up.

    I haven’t received it yet! It has been two weeks, and counting.

    For anyone out there, do you know any other company which sells a similar product? If you do, please let me know. I am seriously considering to switch.

    Thank you.

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

  • Dexcom's awful customer service

    • By Allison A.,
    • San Francisco, CA,
    • Jul 4, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    I would not recommend Dexcom ever! I had a terrible experience getting incorrect information from their customer service group. I was told my Tandem t-slim would work with their G5 and it does not.

    I think they're desperate to get the consumer into a new device and technology so eventually, we'll all be on the G6 and forced to change our sites every 10 days.

    I also find that the shared technology doesn't always work, even when devices and cell phone are inches apart.

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

  • To the Dexcom board of directors

    • By Loretta W.,
    • Aurora, CO,
    • Jul 22, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    It is Monday evening. My Dexcom CGM transmitter is telling me I need to replace my sensor in 3:16:02 hours. It will start setting off alarms periodically, counting down until my CGM quits working because I have no replacement sensors. I dread this and can do nothing about it.

    It's the second time in a row that Dexcom has failed to provide me with sensors when I need them. From now on, each time I reorder, it will be with uncertainty - will Dexcom get it right THIS time?

    I have just filed a formal complaint with Medicare.

    I was so happy when Medicare finally approved the CGM as covered durable medical equipment. Almost immediately upon receiving my kit, it changed my life. Now I can avoid dangerous and unpredictable lows that were causing me to fear being alone or going too far from home. I feel more confident and independent - except when Dexcom fails to provide me with sensors and I am back to guessing insulin dosages off static periodic testing.

    Right from the first, working with Dexcom was confusing. I would get redundant phone calls and emails when I didn't need help and no response or impossibly long waits on the phone when I did need it. Supplies come in elaborate and wasteful packaging way too large for what's inside - clearly no one at Dexcom cares about the environment! Even my billing was a mess - I never got any bills until after I had called and left emails numerous times an finally got my "reorder specialist" (who I didn't even know existed until a month ago) to refer my question to an account specialist.

    My June 4, 2018 order was the first that was messed up. I ordered sensors online in plenty of time. A few days before my sensor ran out I received a large package that contained only a tiny box of test strips. Panicked, I called the next day and dealt with the long wait times, frustrating selection menus, etc. After several calls trying different menu options, I got through to someone who had no explanation for why I didn't have the sensors. She said she'd order some. For three business days. I pointed out I would be running out on Friday. After pressing her, she agreed to have them overnighted. Which didn't happen. So I had to call in a panic again on Friday when my sensor had stopped Thursday night. When I got through to someone, they told me that expediting hadn't happened, oops, so sorry. But they' be here in three business days. It was a weekend when I was alone in my home. I was fearful and uncertain until the sensors finally came late Tuesday. During this, I learned I had a "reorder specialist" and chose to reorder by phone, since online ordering had been unreliable.

    I had five weeks worth of sensors. I used the last one last Monday. The previous week my "reorder specialist" had called me and confirmed I needed more sensors and he would put in the order. I realized on Thursday that they hadn't come. Panicked again. I called JOEL (the "ro") on Friday. Oh, quality control stopped the order because they needed an update from my doctor. Why didn't anyone contact me? Well, it's not his job. I then called my doctor's office. They assured me that no one from Dexcom had contacted them about my order. I called Joel back. Well, he told me, Dexcom HAD called and then they called again today, but no one answered. That's nonsense, I told him. This is a large University of Colorado Hospital Endocrinology clinic and they answer their phone. After pressuring him, he agreed to have them called again and said he'd let me know the result. Of course, I heard nothing. So I called him and he told me that yes, Dexcom was now going to ship me the sensors. But I need them Monday. Well, too bad, it's three business days and the orders have come down from management that there will be no expediting without the patient paying for it. (Which Medicare has told me since is wrong if the error is on the part of the supplier.)

    So now my transmitter is counting down until soon it will be of no use to me for several days. The person I talked to at Medicare called this "unprofessional" on Dexcom's part. She wanted to provide me with another supplier, but of course, there IS no other supplier.

    Which, I suppose, is Dexcom's reason for being so polite but indifferent to the needs of its clients. I see that Dexcom has a D- rating from the Better Business Burea. I also see that there are many negative reviews of Dexcom on any relevant consumer site.

    Those who are on the Board of Directors should have some idea of how business works. Right now you have the best CGM on the market and exclusive access to Medicare participants. How long will that last? You must know that we who use your CGM feel zero customer loyalty due to our treatment at your hands. The minute somebody else builds a better mousetrap, we mice will be heading to that new piece of cheese. Do your stockholders know this?

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

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