Recent studies have reported that preadmission metformin users had lower mortality than non-metformin users in patients with sepsis and diabetes mellitus; however, these results are still controversial. Therefore, we conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of published observational cohort data to determine the association between preadmission metformin use and mortality in septic adult patients with diabetes mellitus. Methods: The MEDLINE, EMBASE, and Cochrane CENTRAL databases were searched from their inception to September 30, 2018. Cohort studies that evaluated the use of metformin in septic adult patients with diabetes mellitus were included. The quality of outcomes was evaluated using the Newcastle-Ottawa Scale (NOS). The inverse variance method with random effects modelling was used to calculate the pooled odds ratios (ORs) and 95% CIs. Results: Five observational cohort studies (1282 patients) that were all judged as having a low risk of bias were included. In this meta-analysis, metformin use was associated with a significantly lower mortality rate (OR, 0.59; 95% CI, 0.43-0.79, P = 0.001). Conclusions: This meta-analysis indicated an association between metformin use prior to admission and lower mortality in septic adult patients with diabetes mellitus. This finding suggested that the possible effect of metformin should be evaluated in future clinical trials.