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Several companies market at-home cholesterol tests for people who want to check their cholesterol levels. These tests may be beneficial for those who cannot visit a doctor’s clinic. However, people may still wish to consider seeking medical help if they receive positive results.
This article explores what cholesterol is, how to choose a reliable at-home test kit, which kits are available to purchase online, and when to contact a doctor.
- Best instructional video: LetsGetChecked Cholesterol Test
- Best for lower budgets: Everlywell Cholesterol & Lipids Test
- Best for phone consultations: myLAB Box At Home Cholesterol and Lipids Test
- Best illustrated guide: CardioChek Analyzer Starter Cholesterol Kit
- Best for travel: KPI Blood Total Cholesterol Test Kit
- Best test result storage: SDBIO CURO L7 Lipid Blood Cholesterol Test Home Kit
- generating vitamin D
- producing bile acids that help the body absorb nutrients and digest fat
- producing hormones
The body produces cholesterol naturally. However, cholesterol is also present in some foods, including:
- processed meats
- full fat dairy products, such as milk, cheese, and yogurt
- seafood, such as octopus and prawn
There are two types of cholesterol: low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and high-density lipoprotein (HDL). Cholesterol tests also measure triglycerides, which are a form of fat in certain foods.
When a person has high LDL levels, the cholesterol builds up in their blood vessels, causing them to narrow. This prevents blood from flowing, which, in turn, increases the risk of heart attack and stroke.
High LDL levels are linked to:
A lipid profile also measures triglycerides. These are common types of fats that people get from foods such as butter and oils. The body changes these calories into triglycerides and stores them in fat cells. It then releases them when it needs energy.
Using at-home cholesterol tests is a convenient way for people to test their cholesterol levels without needing to make an appointment with a healthcare professional.
There are two types of at-home cholesterol tests: self-collection and laboratory-based.
With self-collection tests, a person can use test strips that measure cholesterol levels. They need to add a drop of blood to the strip and read the color change. They can also buy an electronic meter, which requires them to add a drop of blood to a test strip, insert the strip into the meter, and read the results.
With laboratory-based tests, people receive their at-home test kit with all the tools they need, such as alcohol swabs, collection tubes, and pre-addressed envelopes. Once they collect their blood sample, they can send it to a laboratory, where a healthcare professional performs the test.
According to the
The FDA also notes that at-home tests that say they are “traceable” to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) may be more accurate than others.
When to test
According to the
However, doctors may recommend more frequent cholesterol screenings for people with:
- a family history of heart attack and high cholesterol
- Total cholesterol levels: These should be under 200 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dl).
- LDL cholesterol: This should be under 100 mg/dl.
- HDL cholesterol: This should be greater than or equal to 60 mg/dl.
- Triglyceride levels: These should be under 150 mg/dl.
A person should ask a doctor to help them choose an appropriate cholesterol test kit for them. However, they may also wish to consider the following when looking for a test kit:
- Laboratories: A person should check whether or not a company works with
Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA)-certified laboratories. This indicates that they hold federal certifications and meet quality laboratory testing standards.
- Consultations: Many brands offer doctor’s consultations for people who wish to discuss their results. However, these may only be available to those who receive a positive cholesterol test result.
- Design: Some devices are small, lightweight, and portable. These may be suitable for individuals who travel regularly. Some test kits also come with a travel case.
- Guide: It is best to choose a device that comes with a user guide that explains how individuals should use the test kit. Some brands, such as LetsGetChecked, also provide instructional videos on their website.
- Subscriptions: At-home cholesterol test kits come with a one-time price, but there are also companies that offer subscription plans for people who need to check their cholesterol levels regularly.
Please note that the writer of this article has not tried these products. All information presented is purely research-based and correct at the time of publication.
Best instructional video
LetsGetChecked offers a finger prick cholesterol test and states that it may suit people with:
- a sedentary lifestyle
- kidney disease
- polycystic ovary syndrome
- a family history of heart disease
LetsGetChecked has an instructional video on its website that explains how a person should collect the sample. The company suggests that people do so before 10 a.m. and before they eat breakfast.
LetsGetChecked offers a one-time purchase as well as a subscription plan for those who require regular cholesterol testing.
It states that its laboratories are CLIA-approved and part of the College of American Pathologists (CAP) program.
People should receive their results within 2–5 days. Additionally, they can contact a LetsGetChecked nurse at any time to discuss their results.
A test kit costs $79.
A person may wish to consider the advantages and disadvantages of LetsGetChecked.
Best for lower budgets
Everlywell offers a finger prick sample collection that measures:
- total cholesterol levels
- calculated LDL
After purchasing the home kit, a person can register it on the Everlywell website. There, they need to include their order’s identification number. Then, once they collect their sample, they can send it to one of the Everlywell testing facilities.
The company claims that it works with laboratories with CLIA certification.
People should receive their results through the Everlywell online platform. They may also receive tips and additional resources to help them understand their results.
A person may wish to consider the advantages and disadvantages of Everlywell.
A test kit costs $49.
Best for phone consultations
myLAB Box offers a finger prick collection method. This FDA-registered entity states that it works with CAP and CLIA-certified laboratories.
The company offers free 2-day shipping on home kits. Once a person has collected their blood sample, they should receive their results within 2–5 days.
myLAB Box states that people do not need to fast or adjust their diet before collecting their sample. It also recommends that people still take any prescription medications until they discuss the test results with a doctor.
A person can also book a consultation with a myLAB Box physician if they receive a positive result.
A person may wish to consider the advantages and disadvantages of myLAB Box.
A test kit costs $89.
Best illustrated guide
CardioChek’s cholesterol kit is suitable for people who smoke and those with diabetes, low HDL cholesterol levels, and high blood pressure.
- total cholesterol levels
Some of the tools that people receive in this test kit include:
- nine lancets
- nine capillaries
- three count HDL test strips
- three count triglyceride test strips
- three count total cholesterol test strips
The test kit weighs 1.8 pounds.
In addition, the manufacturer states that the test strips have expiration dates and that people should ensure that they use the correct-sized blood droplet on the strip.
A person may wish to consider the advantages and disadvantages of CardioChek.
A test kit costs around $183.99 on Amazon.
Best for travel
This test comes with several features, including:
- a travel-size carrying case
- a slim and lightweight design
- a lancing pen with six skin penetration depths to reduce pain
- storage for 200 test results
It can also produce results within 2 minutes.
The company provides the following tools for people who buy this test kit:
- 10 test strips
- capillary pods
- a user manual
A person may wish to consider the advantages and disadvantages of KPI.
A test kit costs around $95 on Amazon.
Best test result storage
SDBIO’s cholesterol test kit measures:
- total cholesterol levels
It can store up to 500 test results and issue results within 3 minutes.
Furthermore, the company claims that customer care agents are available for individuals who may need to ask questions. It also provides video demonstrations for people who may need help with using the SDBIO cholesterol kit.
The package also includes:
- cholesterol strips
- a manual
- an EziTube blood applicator
A person may wish to consider the advantages and disadvantages of SDBIO.
A test kit costs around $299 on Amazon.
People who receive a positive cholesterol test result should consider seeking medical advice. A doctor can help a person interpret their results and suggest the most suitable treatment plan.
A person who wants to check their cholesterol levels can purchase an at-home test kit. These kits come with instructions and all the tools a person needs to collect their sample.
People may purchase an at-home test kit from FDA-regulated companies that collaborate with CLIA-certified laboratories. This indicates that companies have established quality standards for laboratory testing.
People may consider seeking guidance from a doctor if they have other health conditions or a family history of heart disease and high cholesterol. These people may need to check their cholesterol levels regularly.