I don't think there is one "best"...but there are many good ones. Some of it depends on what features you need; i.e., how many tests do you want it to keep in memory; do you need a backlight in order to read the screen; can you afford test strips; do you want it to be able to "mark" a glucose reading with other info...and on and on.
I personally use the One Touch Ultra, and I like it very much. It has a lot of features (although no backlight), it's extremely accurate, especially on the lower end of the scale.
All blood glucose meters are only required to be accurate to within 20%, which can be a problem or not, depending on your particular situation. I once used another meter which was fairly accurate EXCEPT on the lower end of the scale. Well, since I'm on insulin and subject to low blood sugar, that was no good for me.
Perhaps others can weigh in on their particular meters and what they like about them?
If you have insurance check with your company, some companys offer a free meter under their plan. Often if so they also can help with or pay for the test strips( which you will find can be very pricey). Check under both drug coverage and medical for your insurance company. You never know where the coverage might be. If you don't have insurance check with manufacturers to see if they have any help programs. I have used several different meters with brand name manufacturers over the past twenty years and found them all satisfactory. I am currently using accu-chek aviva. I can been told the life of a meter is about two years. However, I do not have a low blood sugar issue ever so feel the comments regarding low numbers should be noted. If you have a chance to attend at seminar or workshop in your area that is a good place to get a look at meters when the manufacturers are marketing them. Meters are often very low cost or even free at diabetic or health workshops. Best of luck;
In Canada, at least, most meters are given out by the company for free when you purchase a box of test strips. I use the one touch ultra mini. It's VERY compact and relatively accurate, although it will test you a bit higher than you actually are (about .3) so I just subtract .3 from my readings.
I've probably used every brand of monitor out there -- I started with the glucometer elite, then went to the accuchek, then a one touch that was discontinued, then the one touch ultra smart then the accuchek compact, and finally, the one touch ultra mini. Out of all my monitors I've liked the one touch brand the best. I find their lancets hurt A LOT though, so I'm going to try the BD lancets which will fit into my lancet device I believe and have a finer needle.
if you're not into handling strips, you can get either the Dex from bayer or the accuchek compact. Both have drums, although the accuchek compact has more strips in their drum. You can also get lancet drums for their lancet devices so you don't have to handle so many lancets.
I use the freestyle mini. The important thing is to check your own blood sugar when you get your labs drawn. You can then see how accurate your individual meter is. Because they vary so much, you will want to see what the accuracy of yours is.