We include products we think are useful for our readers. If you buy through links on this page, we may earn a small commission. Here’s our process.

Medical News Today only shows you brands and products that we stand behind.

Our team thoroughly researches and evaluates the recommendations we make on our site. To establish that the product manufacturers addressed safety and efficacy standards, we:
  • Evaluate ingredients and composition: Do they have the potential to cause harm?
  • Fact-check all health claims: Do they align with the current body of scientific evidence?
  • Assess the brand: Does it operate with integrity and adhere to industry best practices?
We do the research so you can find trusted products for your health and wellness.
Was this helpful?

The best at-home STD tests use CLIA-certified labs and can identify many STIs, including chlamydia and HIV. Here we discuss tests from Everlywell, Nurx, and more.

Testing for STIs is an important part of a person’s sexual and general well-being. While rates of chlamydia and gonorrhea infections are similar or lower than in previous years, syphilis infections have risen by over 17%, with the largest amount of infections since the 1950s.

Below, we look at five of the best STI tests people can order and complete at home.

Disclaimer: All the services tested below were tried by Medical News Today and Healthline editors, who received test kits for free. All opinions are their own.

Telehealth options make it possible for a person to work directly with some labs to get an in-lab STD test. With an in-lab test STD test, a person knows their sample will be collected by a health professional and they have ready access to professional medical advice. However, in-lab STD tests also mean a person has to schedule a test, travel to the lab, and have less privacy.

Medical News Today’s methodology

MNT chooses at-home tests that meet the following criteria:

  • Laboratories: Where possible, MNT will choose companies that process test samples in CLIA-certified labs.
  • Budget: MNT chooses at-home tests that are suitable for a wide range of budgets.
  • Privacy: MNT includes companies that offer robust and transparent privacy measures, such as data protection and discreet packaging.
  • Test result speed: MNT selects companies that inform customers when they will receive their test results and whether they will receive them via email, app, or phone.
  • Further support: MNTwill indicate whether a company offers further support, such as a follow-up phone consultation with a doctor to discuss test results.
Was this helpful?

The table below compares the STI test kit brands listed above. The prices listed in this table are for one-time purchases without insurance.

Follow-up care?
Prescription medication?
Subscriptions?
Result timeline
yes
yes
yes
2–5 days
yes
no
yes
1–2 days
yes
yes
no
7 days
yes
yes
yes
2–5 days
yes
no
no
20–40 minutes
from
yes
yes
no
1–2 days

Some advantages and disadvantages of at-home STI tests, compared with lab tests, include:

Pros

  • They offer greater privacy.
  • They provide speedy results and are convenient.
  • They can come in discreet packaging.
  • They can test for multiple STIs.
  • People can test regularly with STI test subscriptions.
  • People can get prescription medication sent to their homes.
  • People can get medical consultations included in their purchase.

Cons

  • There can be potential delays in sending and receiving samples.
  • Medical consultations may only be available to those with positive results.
  • Some people may find results difficult to interpret.
  • There may be a delay in getting treatment.
  • People may not feel comfortable doing a test themselves.
  • There is a risk of errors during sample collection.
  • They can be expensive for those without insurance.
Was this helpful?

After receiving their test kit from an online provider, people can take the STI test with all the company’s tools. This may include needles or lancets, swabs, collection tubes, alcohol wipes, bandaids, and a prepaid envelope.

An individual might need to take a blood or urine sample or a rectal, oral, or vaginal swab, depending on the STI test. They can then return their sample to a testing center through the mail.

Typically, companies will ask people to take and return their samples on the same day.

The company will then test the sample — usually at a CLIA-certified lab — and send a person’s results through a secure online portal. People can then discuss their results with the company’s medical team or a healthcare professional.

People should not make health decisions based on the results of an at-home test without first consulting a doctor.

The FDA states that at-home tests are cost-effective, fast, and confidential ways to test for health conditions at home. However, it warns that these tests should not replace regular care from a doctor. People can find FDA-approved at-home tests on the FDA website.

The accuracy of these tests may depend on the sample collection method, how quickly a person ships their sample back, and the lab that tests the sample.

To ensure accuracy and quality, a person should look for tests with Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments of 1988 (CLIA) certifications. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) claims that these are established quality standards for laboratory testing that offer an accreditation program for clinical labs.

Healthcare insurers, including Medicare and Medicaid, typically cover some or all STI testing costs. However, there are several places where a person may receive free or low cost STI screening, including:

Learn more about where to receive STI testing.

The CDC mentions that STI tests may benefit people with an increased risk of contracting a sexual infection. They include:

The CDC also states that taking an STI test during pregnancy may help prevent complications.

It is important to note that STIs do not always cause symptoms. However, people may wish to take a test if they experience:

Individuals may wish to take a test if they believe they have had exposure to an STI.

Some people may prefer to get tests done in person. This may be a more suitable option for those who feel uncomfortable collecting a sample themselves. Others may not want to have an STI test sent to their home.

Below, we list some of the best in-person STI testing options.

  • QuestDirect: This company may best suit pregnant people, as it offers a pregnancy STI test that can identify seven STIs. Results are available within 2–5 days, and follow-up care and medication are available.
  • STDCheck: This company also sells panel tests. People can choose from a 9- or 10-panel test. It also provides an early HIV detection test, which can detect HIV 11 days after exposure. People can get their results within 2 days, and follow-up consultations are available.

Some people may feel nervous talking about their STI results and may not know which questions to ask. Below are some examples that may help people discuss with a healthcare professional about their results.

  • Will the STI have any short- or long-term effects on my body?
  • Are there ways of managing any side effects of the STI?
  • Is there any treatment for the STI?
  • Do I need to take any medication, and how long must I take it if I do?
  • Does the medication cause any side effects?
  • How long will I have to wait before I can have sex without transmitting the infection?
  • How do I reduce my risk of contracting an infection in the future?
  • Are any local centers or organizations providing free or low cost condoms?

Yes, many companies offer STI testing at home.

At-home testing often requires collecting a urine sample or a vaginal, rectal, or throat swab. People must then send these samples to the lab the company uses. Individuals will typically receive their results within 2 weeks of sending off their samples.

The Preventive Services Task Force states that at-home testing is highly accurate for chlamydia and gonorrhea.

While the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) does not state how accurate self-testing is, it recommends healthcare professionals use at-home HIV tests as an additional strategy to encourage testing among gay and bisexual males.

While self-testing is accurate, people need to be aware that there is always the risk of collecting a sample incorrectly, leading to a potentially inaccurate result. If a person receives a result they do not understand or were not expecting, they can contact a healthcare professional for further advice.

 

If a person believes they have an STI, they should contact a doctor or clinic to arrange testing or purchase an at-home test kit.

Some clinics and organizations, such as Planned Parenthood, offer free or low cost testing.

Insurance covers most STI testing, but it is always worth checking with the insurance company before making an appointment. Many companies that offer at-home testing do not accept insurance.

Different STI testing will require different samples. However, people will typically need to collect a urine sample or a throat, rectal, or vaginal swab. Then, the samples will go to a lab where technicians will test for signs of STIs.

People will often receive their results within a couple of weeks. If a person goes through a clinic or doctor’s office for testing, they will receive a prescription for medication if they receive a positive result.

Most companies offering at-home testing do not provide prescriptions with a positive result.

A full-panel STI test screens for the most common STIs. Generally, these will look for chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, hepatitis B and C, and HIV.

Some full panels may test for other STIs, such as trichomoniasis, herpes, and Gardnerella. However, these are likely to be more expensive.

Free or heavily discounted STI testing may be available in the U.S. People can search the CDC database to find free tests nearby.

Certain foundations and nonprofit organizations also provide free testing. For example, the AIDS Healthcare Foundation offers this in over 28 locations nationwide.

Learn more about where to get free or low cost STI testing here.

An at-home STI test may suit people needing convenient, discreet STI testing. Various companies offer test bundles, consultations, and retests, and the results are generally available within a few days.

Follow the company’s instructions carefully to increase the likelihood of an accurate result.