Best Pregnancy Tests

Updated July 2021
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
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We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

38 Models Considered
26 Hours Researched
2 Experts Interviewed
110 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Buying guide for Best pregnancy tests

Wondering if you are pregnant can be one of the most stressful periods of your life. To find out the answer to your question quickly, you can get a pregnancy test to use in the privacy of your own home.

Pregnancy tests have come a long way over the years. On the higher end, you can get mess-free kits that feature an easy-to-read display and are as accurate as having a blood test at the doctor’s office. Lower-cost pregnancy tests are just as accurate, but they may be a little harder to read or have other drawbacks.

If you would like to learn more about pregnancy tests — how to know when it is time to purchase one, how to get the most accurate results — keep reading. If you just want the answer as fast as possible and are looking to purchase a highly rated test, consider the tests we spotlight in this article.

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If your home test reveals you are not pregnant but you truly believe that you are, wait a few days and take the test again. The level of HCG in your body increases over the course of a pregnancy, making it easier to detect. Another option is to call your healthcare provider.

Key considerations

The top three areas you will want to consider when purchasing a pregnancy test are method, accuracy, and how easy the results are to determine.

Method

There are two main ways you can perform a pregnancy test at home. For the purpose of this article, we will refer to those two ways as streaming and dipping. With streaming, you hold a test strip beneath your urine stream for a designated amount of time. With some kits, this could be as long as 10 seconds.

If you do not have steady hands or good aim, or if you are concerned that you might not be able to produce a steady stream for the designated amount of time, you may wish to use the dipping method. This method offers a little more control because you simply have to collect some urine in a sterile container (that should be provided with the test kit) and dip the tester in it. This method is a little more mess-free than the streaming option.

Many pregnancy tests are designed so the test can be performed using either method.

Accuracy

While accuracy may seem like a crucial point, even the least-accurate tests available are still roughly 97% accurate if the test is performed correctly. However, if you'd prefer a greater degree of precision, it is fairly simple to find a test that is over 99% accurate.

Easy to read

The results of a pregnancy test may be displayed in a variety of ways, from changing color to producing one or two lines or a symbol. Sometimes, it can be frustrating trying to interpret what the test is actually displaying, especially if you are testing early. If you'd like to clear up some of that confusion and don't mind spending a little more, it is possible to purchase a pregnancy test with a digital readout that displays the term "pregnant" or “not pregnant" on the screen.
 

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Did You Know?
After two or three years, a pregnancy test will expire. Since most tests are used immediately, chances are they won't expire in your home, but they could expire in a store if the stock isn't properly rotated.
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Features


Control window: It is impossible to know if a pregnancy test is working as expected without a control window. The control window reveals a symbol or indicates in some way that the test strip is functioning properly after it has been exposed to urine.

Wider tip: If you do not have the best aim, consider a pregnancy test with a wider tip so it is a little easier to hit your mark.

Early testing: Some pregnancy test kits state that they can deliver accurate results even before you miss a period. If you have reason to believe that you need early testing, this feature might allow you to shave away a few stressful days of wondering.

Testing time: The time it takes for a test to produce results can vary. Some are ready in a minute while others might take as long as 10 minutes. If you just can't wait a few extra minutes, look for a test that yields results in less time.

Amount: Some pregnancy kits come in a pack of one or two while others come in a multipack of up to 20. You can even get a box of 100 pregnancy tests, if you'd like.

Bells and whistles: Various manufacturers offer extra “bells and whistles” designed to get the consumer excited about their purchase. With pregnancy tests, this can range from a guarantee that the test strip will more easily absorb the proper amount of urine to a countdown that lets you know exactly when the results are ready.
 


You do not need insurance or a prescription to purchase a home pregnancy test.

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Pregnancy test prices

The price of a pregnancy test can range from less than .50 per test to around $5 per test. To get lower-priced, no-frills test strips, you usually need to purchase in bulk. For most consumers, the best option is a kit with two to five tests that are easy to use and read. These higher-end tests cost roughly $4 to $5 apiece, so the overall expected price may be anywhere from $8 to $25.
 

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Did You Know?
The most common reasons for receiving a false negative on a pregnancy test are testing too soon, not following the directions, or using an expired test.
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Tips


A home pregnancy test is only accurate if the test is performed correctly. To get the best results, follow these tips.

  • Wait a little. While you may be extremely anxious for results, many tests are more accurate a week after missing a period.
  • Do not use an expired test. While an expired pregnancy test may still work, its ability to detect human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) may be greatly diminished, so the test may provide unreliable results.
  • Take the test first thing in the morning. HCG is more concentrated and easier to detect in the morning.
  • Read and follow the directions. Whichever pregnancy test kit you purchase, make sure you follow the directions. Most pregnancy tests are very similar, but there may be some differences that decrease accuracy if the test is not performed correctly.
  • Vertical, then horizontal. In general, hold the tester with the tip facing down (closer to vertical) while taking the test (either dipping or streaming). Then, place the tester in a horizontal position while waiting for results.
  • No shaking. The tester is going to be wet. Resist the urge to shake it dry or blot it, as this may interfere with obtaining accurate results.
  • Understand how to read the results. Every test is a little different. Some kits may display a line or two while others may change color to reveal the results. Make sure you understand how to correctly interpret the display.
  • Don't read the test too soon. It can take several minutes to produce an accurate reading. Checking before the test has had time to work could lead to a false negative.
  • Don't let a test sit. It is possible that a test could produce a false positive if you wait too long before checking the results.
  • Check with your health care provider about medications. Some medications may produce a false positive. Check with your health care provider to determine if any medications that you are currently taking could affect the results of an at-home pregnancy test.
  • Confirm the results. Many pregnancy test kits come with multiple tests. If this is the case, wait a few days and test again to be sure you get the same results.
  • Follow up with your healthcare provider. After you get the results of your test, it is important to follow up with your healthcare provider, especially if the test is positive. This will not only confirm your test, but it will help you determine what your next steps should be.
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There are no known risks associated with taking a home pregnancy test and no special dietary preparation needed before taking the test. However, some manufacturers recommend not drinking an excessive amount of water before testing because this could dilute the results and produce a false negative.

FAQ

Q. How does a pregnancy test work?

A. When a fertilized egg implants in the uterus, the female body starts creating a hormone called human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG). Typically, this hormone is only made during pregnancy. A home pregnancy test simply determines if there is any HCG in the urine. HCG can also be found in the blood, but you would need to see your healthcare provider to get a blood test done.

Q. How accurate are pregnancy tests?

A. Home pregnancy tests are between 97% and 99% accurate. However, a test is only accurate if performed correctly. Read and follow all directions to avoid receiving erroneous results. The blood test that you get done in a doctor's office is only 99% accurate, but it does have other benefits.

Q. Is there a difference between urine test results and blood test results?

A. Yes. A urine test determines if there is HCG present, while a blood test determines how much HCG is present. This information is important because the level of HCG will gradually increase over the course of a pregnancy. Because of this, a blood test can be useful in determining how far along a pregnancy is. It can also help determine if you are having twins. However, one of the most important reasons to confirm pregnancy with a blood test is that it can be used to help identify risks that may be present, such as an ectopic pregnancy.

Q. Are there any signs that would suggest I should take a home pregnancy test?

A. The reason most women take a home pregnancy test is a missed period. However, there are a wide variety of symptoms that could suggest a pregnancy. These symptoms include swollen or tender breasts, morning sickness, frequent urination, cramps, bloating, and fatigue. If a contraception method failed, that might be another reason you would want to take a pregnancy test.

 

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