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Several companies market at-home cholesterol tests for people wanting check their cholesterol levels. These tests may benefit those who cannot easily visit a healthcare facility. However, people should consider seeking medical advice if they receive positive results.

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Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like substance that travels through the bloodstream in the form of lipoproteins. It helps the body by:

  • 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.

LDL

LDL, or “bad cholesterol,” makes up most of the body’s cholesterol.

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:

Learn more about high cholesterol here.

HDL

HDL, or “good cholesterol,” collects the bad cholesterol from the arteries and carries it back to the liver so that the body can get rid of it.

The American Heart Association (AHA) states that HDL may protect people from heart attack and stroke by preventing excess cholesterol from entering the arteries.

Triglycerides

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.

According to the AHA, people with high triglyceride and LDL levels may also have an increased risk of developing cardiovascular disease.

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.

Types

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.

Reliability

According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), at-home cholesterol tests are as accurate as tests doctors provide in a clinic. The FDA recommends that people follow the manufacturer’s instructions to help prevent inaccurate results.

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 CDC, people aged 20 years or older and who have a low risk of cardiovascular disease should undergo a cholesterol test every 5 years.

However, doctors may recommend more frequent cholesterol screenings for people with:

  • a family history of heart attack and high cholesterol
  • diabetes
  • obesity
  • hypertension

The CDC states that cholesterol levels should be as follows:

  • 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 at-home cholesterol test kit. However, they may also wish to consider the following:

  • Laboratories: A person should check whether or not a company works with 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 some companies offer subscription plans for people who need to check their cholesterol levels regularly.

Medical News Today does not rank products or recommend one over another. A person should opt for the one that best fits their needs.

At MNT, we choose at-home tests that meet the following criteria:

  • Laboratories: When possible, we choose companies that process test samples in CLIA-certified labs. These labs follow state and federal regulations.
  • Budget: We choose tests that suit a wide range of budgets.
  • Privacy: We include companies with robust, transparent privacy measures, such as data protection and discreet packaging.
  • Test result speed: We include companies that inform customers when they will receive their results and whether they will arrive via email, app, or phone.
  • Further support: We indicate whether companies offer further support, such as a follow-up phone consultation with a doctor to discuss test results.

Below are some at-home cholesterol tests a person can purchase online.

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.

Medical News Today follows a strict product selection and vetting process. Learn more here.

Best instructional video: LetsGetChecked Cholesterol Test

  • Price: $89Use code “HEALTHLINE25” for 25% off
  • Collection type: Finger prick
  • Results in: 2–5 days

LetsGetChecked offers a finger prick cholesterol test and states that it may suit people with:

The LetsGetChecked website has an instructional video explaining 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 approved by Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA) 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 anytime to discuss their results.

A person may wish to consider the following pros and cons of this test:

  • Pros
    • company works with CLIA-approved laboratories
    • subscription plan for regular testing
    • nurse consultations for those with positive results
    • mobile app for health tracking
  • Cons
    • higher cost
    • costly expedited shipping
    • not all test available in bundles

Learn more about LetsGetChecked here.

Best for lower budgets: Everlywell Cholesterol & Lipids Test

  • Price: $49
  • Collection type: Finger prick
  • Results in: 5–7 business days

Everlywell offers a finger prick sample collection that measures:

  • total cholesterol levels
  • HDL
  • calculated LDL
  • triglycerides

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 pros and cons of this test, including:

  • Pros
    • telehealth consultations available
    • a wide range of tests available
    • bank-level encryption technology that guarantees privacy
  • Cons
    • expensive test kits
    • finger prick sample collection may not suit everyone
    • slower processing time than some other companies

Learn more about Everlywell here.

Best for phone consultations: myLAB Box At Home Cholesterol and Lipids Test

  • Price: $89
  • Collection type: Finger prick
  • Results in: 2–5 days

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.

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 their 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 pros and cons of this test:

Best illustrated guide: CardioChek Analyzer Starter Cholesterol Kit

  • Price: Around $290
  • Collection type: Finger prick
  • Results in: 90 seconds

CardioChek’s cholesterol kit is suitable for people who smoke and those with diabetes, low HDL cholesterol levels, and high blood pressure.

It measures:

  • total cholesterol levels
  • HDL
  • triglycerides

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 following pros and cons of this test:

  • Pros:
    • easy-to-use design
    • analyzes multiple types of cholesterol
    • includes illustrated instruction guide and booklet
  • Cons:
    • high cost
    • different strips required for each analysis
    • anectodtal evidence suggests poor customer service and inaccurate test results

Best for travel: Curo L5 Blood Total Cholesterol Test Kit

  • Price: Around $120
  • Collection type: Finger prick
  • Results in: 2 minutes

This product has a slim and lightweight design. Its lancing pen has six skin penetration depths to manage pain. It has internal storage for 200 test results and a travel-sized carrying case.

The company provides the following tools for people who buy this test kit:

  • 10 test strips
  • capillary pods
  • lancets
  • a user manual

Price: A test kit costs around $95 on Amazon.

A person may wish to consider the pros and cons of this test:

  • Pros
    • suitable for traveling
    • large storage memory
    • compatible with blood glucose strips
  • Cons
    • higher cost
    • does not measure HDL
    • according to customer reviews, short expiry date on tests strips and inconsistent readings

Best test result storage: SDBIO CURO L7 Lipid Blood Cholesterol Test Home Kit

  • Price: Around $260
  • Collection type: Finger prick
  • Results in: 3 minutes

SDBIO’s cholesterol test kit measures:

  • HDL
  • LDL
  • triglycerides
  • total cholesterol levels
  • non-HDL

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, lancets, a manual, batteries, and an EziTube blood applicator.

A person may wish to consider the following pros and cons of this test:

  • Pros:
    • portable design
    • large internal storage
    • no lancing pens required
  • Cons:
    • higher cost than some other options
    • customer reviews report missing parts and inaccurate results
    • some may find the instructions unclear

Best for instant results: SELFCheck Cholesterol Level Test

  • Price: Around $19
  • Collection type: Finger prick
  • Results in: 5 minutes

This single-use test provides results in under 5 minutes.

Each test kit contains a test card, lancet, and plaster. A person uses the lancet to prick a finger and get a small blood sample.

The company recommends that people contact a doctor if the result is over 5 millimoles per liter.

VivoMed says that its equipment has the same components as the equipment in hospitals.

Price: A test kit costs $19.49, which includes tax.

A person may wish to consider the following pros and cons:

  • Pros:
    • results within minutes
    • cost effective
    • company claims ease of use
  • Cons:
    • fewer features than other products
    • no customer reviews
    • only one test per pot

The table below compares the tests in this article.

PriceResults in…Number of tests
LetsGetChecked$892–5 days1
Everlywell$495–7 business days1
myLAB$892–5 days1
CardioChekaround $12090 seconds9
Curo L5around $952 minutes10
Curo L7around $2603 minutes500
SELFCheckaround $195 minutes1

All tests use a finger-prick sample collection.

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.

Doctors may recommend specific home care strategies, such as exercise, reaching or maintaining a moderate weight, and following a balanced diet.

Also, a doctor may prescribe medications, such as statins, to help lower cholesterol levels.

Learn more about how to lower high cholesterol with lifestyle changes here.

Below are answers to common questions about testing cholesterol at home.

Are home cholesterol tests reliable?

The FDA states that at-home cholesterol tests are as accurate as those a healthcare professional may administer.

However, a person must follow the instructions carefully to ensure that they collect a valid sample. This increases the likelihood of receiving an accurate result.

Can I test cholesterol myself?

A person can use an at-home cholesterol test. However, always follow up with a healthcare professional for advice and any necessary treatment.

How can you tell if your cholesterol is high without a test?

High cholesterol does not cause any symptoms. The only way a person can find out if they have high cholesterol is through a test.

However, risk factors include having overweight, not exercising regularly, eating fatty foods, and drinking and smoking. High cholesterol may also have a genetic component and run in families.

What to eat the night before a cholesterol test

A healthcare professional or the manufacturers of an at-home test should provide instructions on whether a person needs to fast or if they can eat and drink as they normally would before taking a cholesterol test.

If a person needs to fast, this usually means that they can only drink water for a certain amount of time before the test.

Learn more about what to eat the night before a cholesterol test.

How long to fast before a cholesterol test

According to the American Heart Association, a healthcare professional may advise a person to avoid eating, drinking most beverages, and taking medications, for 9-12 hours before a cholesterol test.

However, not all cholesterol tests require fasting. A person should only fast if their doctor or the test manufacturer recommends it.

Learn more about fasting before a cholesterol test here.

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 collaborating with CLIA-certified laboratories. This indicates that companies have established quality standards for laboratory testing.

People may seek 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.