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BinaxNOW COVID-19 Antigen Self Test by Abbott is an at-home test that screens for the presence of SARS-CoV-2, which causes COVID-19. This test provides results within 15 minutes and detects the Delta and Omicron variants.

According to the World Health Organization, there have been over 90 million confirmed cases in the United States since January 2020.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has authorized 22 at-home COVID-19 tests that can detect whether a person has this virus. One of these tests is the BinaxNOW COVID-19 Antigen Self Test.

This article discusses the BinaxNOW COVID-19 Antigen Self Test, how it works, its accuracy, and where to purchase it online.

All data and statistics are based on publicly available data at the time of publication. Some information may be out of date. Visit our coronavirus hub for the most recent information on the COVID-19 pandemic.

The BinaxNOW COVID-19 Antigen Self Test uses a shallow nasal swab rather than a deeper nose and throat swab to detect the presence of SARS-CoV-2.

Learn more about where to buy COVID-19 self-tests here.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) state that a person should self-test:

  • immediately if they have any COVID-19 symptoms
  • immediately, or as soon as possible, before going to an outdoor event or gathering
  • within 5 days if they have exposure to someone with COVID-19

Learn more about when to get tested for COVID-19 here.

Antigen tests work by detecting the presence of viral proteins. The BinaxNOW Antigen Self Test screens for the nucleocapsid protein antigen.

A 2022 review found that antigen tests detected the coronavirus in 73% of symptomatic individuals and 55% of those without symptoms.

The researchers state that antigen tests are more effective if a person takes them within the first week after first displaying symptoms. For asymptomatic people, the test was more accurate if they were likely to have had exposure to people with a COVID-19 infection.

Learn more about the different tests for COVID-19 here.

A 2021 review states that antigen tests vary in accuracy, correctly detecting the virus in 72% of people with symptoms and 58% without symptoms — and that they are most accurate within the first week of displaying symptoms. However, the researchers conclude that the antigen tests discussed in the review could be a good alternative to polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests but noted that accuracy was difficult to assess given difficulties in measuring infectiousness and prevalence. The authors also state the antigen tests are good alternatives to PCR tests if someone requires a rapid result.

A 2022 study on the BinaxNOW COVID-19 Antigen Self Test found that it can accurately detect the following variants:

  • Alpha
  • Beta
  • Delta
  • Eta
  • Gamma
  • Lambda
  • Mu

However, the test is less sensitive to the Omicron variant.

Abbott states that people should take the BinaxNOW COVID-19 Antigen Self Test within 7 days of symptom onset. People with or without symptoms should test twice if negative, ideally 48 hours after the initial test.

The company also states that this test is suitable for people aged 15 years and older. Adults can perform the test on children who are at least 2 years old.

Each box of this product includes:

  • two test cards
  • two dropper bottles
  • two swabs
  • instruction sheet

Abbott also provides an instruction video in English and Spanish on its website. The instructions are as follows:

  1. Wash and dry hands thoroughly.
  2. Unwrap the test card and place it on a flat surface for the duration of the test, ensuring there is a blue line in the test window.
  3. Open the test card out and lay it flat without touching the test strip.
  4. Remove the dropper bottle cap, and without touching the dropper to the card, squeeze six drops into the top hole of the card.
  5. Open the swab packet from the end with the stick, making sure to avoid touching the cotton swab.
  6. Insert the swab into one nostril, around half an inch inside, and rotate the swab against the nostril walls five times for 15 seconds.
  7. Repeat with the second nostril using the same swab.
  8. Insert the swab into the bottom hole of the test card and firmly push the swab until it is visible in the top hole.
  9. Turn the swab clockwise three times and leave the swab inside the card.
  10. Peel the adhesive off of the strip on the right-hand side of the card and close the left side over the right, pressing firmly on the edge to seal it closed.
  11. Wait 15 minutes.
  12. Check the result.

If a person’s test is positive, two pink or purple lines appear in the control and sample section. Negative test results will only show one pink line in the control section. All other test results — such as a combination of a pink and a blue line, one blue line, or no lines — represent faulty results.

Abbott is a healthcare and medical device company and the owner and manufacturer of BinaxNOW. The company has been manufacturing the BinaxNOW COVID-19 Antigen Self Test since August 2020.

Abbott does not hold accreditation with the Better Business Bureau (BBB), and the organization does not give Abbott a grade.

Two of Abbott’s acquisitions — Alere Inc. and St. Jude — have BBB warnings. In August 2021, Alere Inc. entered a settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice for alleged violations of the False Claims Act.

Additionally, St. Jude settled with the Civil Division and the District of Maryland for allegedly failing to disclose serious adverse effects regarding the company’s implantable defibrillators.

Abbott has an average customer rating of 1.05 out of 5 stars on the BBB. The company has closed 63 complaints in the last 12 months.

Abbott has an average customer rating of 1.4 out of 5 stars on Trustpilot. Most of the reviews focus on other products the company offers rather than the BinaxNOW COVID-19 Antigen Self Test.

However, customers on Amazon give the test an average of 4.7 out of 5 stars. Those who left positive reviews state that the test is accurate and easy to use.

Customers who left more negative reviews mention product seals broken on arrival, expired tests, and missing components.

The following table compares the BinaxNOW COVID-19 Antigen Self Test to some of its competitors.

BinaxNOWEllumeLetsGetCheckedQuickVue
Test typeantigenantigenPCRantigen
Results time15 minutes15 minutes24–72 hours10 minutes
Price$19.88 for two tests$24.99 for one test$109 for one test$23.99 for two tests
FDA authorization yesyesyesyes

BinaxNOW is available for purchase in most pharmacies and large retailers. Each purchase provides two rapid self-tests.

Abbott states that the following online stores offer this test.

Amazon

This test has an average of 4.7 stars out of 5 with 10,789 reviews.

Price: The BinaxNOW COVID-19 Antigen Self Test is out of stock at the time of publishing.

Walmart

Walmart offers next-day pickup and next-day delivery. The BinaxNOW test is also available in-store.

Customers give this test a rating of 4.6 out of 5 stars with 5,144 reviews.

Price: The BinaxNOW COVID-19 Antigen Self Test costs $19.88.

Walgreens

Walgreens offers in-store pickup, same-day delivery, and shipping.

Customers give this test a rating of 4.3 out of 5 stars with 28,218 reviews.

Price: The BinaxNOW COVID-19 Antigen Self Test costs $23.99.

CVS Pharmacy

CVS Pharmacy offers in-store pickup and 1–4 day shipping.

Customers give this test a rating of 4 out of 5 stars with 503 reviews.

Price: The BinaxNOW COVID-19 Antigen Self Test costs $23.99.

Kroger

Kroger offers in-store pickup, delivery, and shipping.

The company only allows a person to order one test at a time.

Price: The BinaxNOW COVID-19 Antigen Self Test is out of stock at the time of publishing.

Rite Aid

Rite Aid offers free pickup in-store within an hour of ordering and free shipping on orders over $34.99.

This test has a customer rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars with 15 reviews.

Price: The BinaxNOW COVID-19 Antigen Self Test costs $23.99.

Here we answer some common questions about the BinaxNOW COVID-19 Antigen Self Test.

Are COVID-19 self-tests reliable?

A 2021 study states the rapid antigen test can accurately identify people who are likely to have the SARS-CoV-2 infection, especially in the setting of high prevalence. Lower prevalent areas had less chance of identifying those with the virus.

Can I get a false positive from the BinaxNOW COVID Antigen Self Test?

False positives and false negatives are possible with all COVID-19 tests.

Abbott recommends testing twice over 3 days, waiting 24–48 hours between each test.

Are antigen or PCR tests more accurate?

A 2021 systematic review states that PCR tests are the gold standard when it comes to testing for COVID-19.

However, antigen tests are useful for fast results.

Does the BinaxNOW test detect the Omicron variant?

Abbott states that the BinaxNOW Antigen Self Test can detect the Omicron variant.

A 2022 study found that the BinaxNOW test is less sensitive to the Omicron variant but can still detect the virus.

The BinaxNOW COVID-19 Antigen Self Test is a rapid test that can detect SARS-CoV-2 — the virus that causes COVID-19 — by looking for the presence of certain proteins.

This test is available online and in-store in most pharmacies and retailers.