FreeStyle Libre 3: A look at one of the most popular CGM’s on the market

Breakthroughs in blood sugar testing continue to make life easier for so many people living with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes. Since the advent of the Continuous Glucose Monitoring (CGM) device in 1999, first introduced and marketed by Minimed, this technology has exploded with new and better systems that have been proven to dramatically improve blood sugar control among thousands of patients with diabetes.

Most recently, the Freestyle Libre 3 burst onto the scene from Abbott, touted as the most convenient CGM on the market with the world’s smallest sensor. The Libre 3 is the first FreeStyle Libre CGM to automatically send readings to a smartphone application without the user " wanding” the sensor.

In this profile, we’ll look at the FreeStyle Libre 3 and its features and provide an introductory look at how it works and how to set it up and get started. Remember, any CGM device requires a physician’s prescription, so if the FreeStyle Libre 3 sounds like something that could help you improve blood sugar control, speak with your doctor about making the switch.

What is A CGM?

A continuous glucose monitoring device or CGM is a system that uses a sensor, usually embedded in the upper arm or abdomen, that sends real-time blood sugar readings to a receiver or smartphone throughout the day. A CGM eliminates the need for daily finger pricks and test strips while providing more detailed blood sugar data to guide diabetes management and improve blood sugar control.

Why The FreeStyle Libre 3?

There are many reasons people are choosing the FreeStyle Libre 3. It boasts the industry’s smallest, thinnest, and most discreet sensor – less than the width of two stacked pennies. Additionally, these sensors last 14 days before needing to be replaced, which means two weeks of real-time blood sugar accuracy without dealing with finger pricks and glucose test strips multiple times daily. Finally, incredible user features are designed to make blood sugar data available at a glance and make it easy to share this data with your diabetes physician. We’ll dig deeper into these features later. First, let’s get started with the FreeStyle Libre 3.

Getting Started with The FreeStyle Libre 3

The brains of the Libre 3 is a sensor applied to the upper arm. This sensor integrates with a free mobile application that can be downloaded to an Apple or Android smartphone. Here’s a quick step-by-step guide to get started:

  1. Download the FreeStyle Libre app from the app store. It’s always free.
  1. Apply a FreeStyle Libre 3 sensor to your upper arm. The sensor comes already set up in an applicator. Clean a flat area on the back of your upper arm with soap and water. Dry it thoroughly and sanitize it with an alcohol swab. Once dry, place the sensor applicator over the area and push down firmly. You’ll hear a click, then wait a few seconds and gently pull the sensor applicator away. Your FreeStyle Libre 3 sensor is now applied.
  1. Open the app on your phone. Touch the sensor with the top of your phone and wait until you hear a tone and feel a vibration. Once you do, you’re ready to go, and the sensor will begin sending real-time blood sugar data to your phone automatically after about one hour of setting it up.

Using The FreeStyle Libre 3

The natural beauty of the Libre 3 lies in how simple it is to use. It automatically sends blood sugar readings to the app every minute. Look at your phone to know your blood sugar at any given instant. Plus, the Libre 3 features make controlling blood glucose a breeze. Here’s how:

The Home Screen

The home screen of the FreeStyle Libre 3 app displays your current blood sugar reading in significant, bold type right at the top – a reading that is refreshed every minute for maximum accuracy. But that’s not all. The display shows your reading in “green” when your numbers are correct where they should be, in “red” if your glucose has dropped below the 70 mg/dL hypoglycemic threshold, “yellow” if your blood sugar is out of your target range, and “orange” if your blood glucose is high. So you can instantly see where you stand.

Additionally, next to your blood sugar reading is a trend arrow that indicates how your blood sugar is currently trending so you know if it's rising, falling, or holding steady.

On the lower portion of the home screen is a 12-hour glucose graph that shows your current and historical readings over the past 12 hours, displayed against your blood sugar target range. This gives you a clear idea of how well your blood sugar has been under control throughout the day.

Finally, at the bottom of the home screen, you’ll see a display indicating how many days remain for effective use of your current Libre 3 sensor.

Blood Glucose Alarms

The Libre 3 also features optional blood glucose alarms that you can customize to notify you anytime your blood sugar is too high or too low. The app will sound an audible alarm when you are outside the dictated range.

Sharing Data with Your Doctor Using LibreView

Your Libre 3 app will automatically send all your blood sugar data to a secure website called LibreView. Your data can only be accessed by you and your diabetes physician. Instructions on inviting your doctor to LibreView are included with the app, but rest assured, it’s easy and only takes a few minutes. You and your doctor can work together to fine-tune your diabetes management program based on accurate, real-time data.

How much does the FreeStyle Libre 3 cost?

Abbott touts the Libre 3 as the most affordable continuous glucose monitoring system on the market – even for those without insurance. For those with insurance, the company states that people pay an average of less than $40 per month to use the system. You can learn more about insurance coverage and associated costs here.


In this post, we’ve touched upon the basic features and advantages of the Libre 3 CGM solution. There are certainly other aspects of the system to explore and understand. If you think the Libre 3 system might help you improve blood sugar control, the first step to making the switch is speaking with your diabetes physician. You’ll need a prescription for the Libre 3 or any other CGM system. So, schedule a consultation with your doctor to determine if the Libre 3 suits you.


At Diabetic Warehouse, we’re committed to helping those with diabetes manage blood sugar with a complete selection of testing and treatment supplies at up to 65% less than those found at most pharmacies and suppliers.