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At-home diabetes tests may help people record their blood sugar levels and check if they are regular. They may also help indicate prediabetes, a condition that may not present many obvious symptoms.

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At-home diabetes tests can help people monitor their blood sugar levels. This article gives an overview of home diabetes tests and lists some options to consider.

In the United States, 1 in 10 people live with diabetes, and of these individuals, around 90–95% have type 2 diabetes. The 2020 National Diabetes Statistics Report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that an estimated 34.2 million people have the condition.

The CDC also states an additional 96 million adults in the U.S. have prediabetes, a condition that presents with above-normal blood sugar levels that often precedes a diagnosis of type 2 diabetes. As many as 80% of people with prediabetes are unaware that they have this condition.

The United States Preventive Services Task Force recommends diabetes screenings for all people diagnosed with or undergoing monitoring for diabetes.

Home diabetes tests measure hemoglobin A1C, which doctors refer to as HbA1c. People who discover that they have elevated HbA1c levels after taking a home diabetes test should consult their doctor.

Anyone who suspects that they may have elevated blood sugar levels can benefit from taking a home diabetes test. Those with prediabetes, type 2 diabetes, and type 1 diabetes should also consider using these tests.

The CDC states that regular blood sugar levels fall between 70 and 140 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dl) of blood. Those with hyperglycemia have blood sugar levels above 140 mg/dl and may qualify as having prediabetes.

All at-home diabetes tests come with full instructions and tools to collect, store, and ship samples.

Individuals using at-home diabetes tests should:

  • wash and dry their hands
  • clean the testing area with a sterile wipe
  • prick their finger with a small lancet
  • squeeze their finger and allow their blood to form into a droplet

They should then place their blood samples on the testing strips provided, seal them inside a biosafe envelope, and mail it back to the designated lab for evaluation.

Below, we look at some of the best at-home diabetes tests to consider.

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 for confidentiality: LetsGetChecked

LetsGetChecked’s diabetes testing kit measures hemoglobin A1c. A person collects and mails their sample to a lab for processing.

These labs are the same labs that hospitals and healthcare providers use and are Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA)-approved and Laboratory Accreditation Program-accredited.

One advantage of this service is that it reportedly offers high levels of confidentiality. However, the tradeoff is that it can be more expensive than other tests.

LetsGetChecked diabetes testing kits are available online for around $80.

Most accurate: ­Everlywell

Everlywell’s diabetes home testing requires a finger prick sample collection that measures hemoglobin sugar levels.

This hemoglobin A1C test provides individuals with an accurate, 90-day picture of how they are maintaining blood sugar levels. Users mail their blood samples for testing in a CLIA-certified lab, after which a board certified physician reviews the results.

One advantage of Everlywell is that its results have approval from a physician. However, one drawback is that the service may involve a longer wait time for results.

The Everlywell Diabetes Testing kit is available for around $50.

Most comprehensive: Pixel by Labcorp

Pixel by Labcorp offers a kit that measures fasting glucose and HbA1c levels. In addition, it includes other screenings that annual health visits typically cover, such as cholesterol, calcium, electrolytes, and liver and kidney function tests.

This makes this service more comprehensive than just checking blood sugar levels. However, it is more expensive than smaller scale screenings.

The Pixel diabetes testing kit is available to purchase online for around $180.

Different companies will provide test results in different ways, but typically, a person will receive an email advising their results are ready. They can then log on to the company website and view their results on their secure dashboard.

If a person’s results show irregularities, some companies will arrange for a doctor or healthcare professional to contact them directly for follow-up advice.

However, it is important to note that these tests might not be as accurate as those that doctors or lab professionals administer. A person’s doctor may also recommend undergoing a second test to confirm certain results.

If a person is interested in checking their blood sugar regularly or if they have already received a diabetes diagnosis, they may benefit from an at-home blood glucose monitor.

How to monitor blood sugar

Most at-home diabetes monitors include:

  • a small needle, known as a lancet
  • a lancet holding device
  • blood testing strips
  • a glucose-reading meter

A person using a home diabetes test pricks their fingers with the small lancet and lets their blood form into a droplet. They then place the droplet onto a test strip that they insert into an electronic meter that reads the blood glucose levels.

The result appears on the meter’s display usually within 15 seconds. Some meters can also store readings and provide average measurements within a specified time.

Individuals who are interested in purchasing a blood sugar monitor may find the following products helpful.

Metene blood glucose monitor

This blood glucose monitoring kit features a blood glucose meter that the company claims uses the latest technology to generate reliable results. The monitor provides readings within 7 seconds and can store recent readings on its memory.

This testing kit does not require code matching for testing strips.

The lancet injection device comes with five depth settings.

The kit has the following advantages:

  • quick-read technology
  • no codes necessary
  • hygienic strip injection

However, an online review mentioned that the device stopped working after 2 months.

The Metene Blood Glucose Monitoring Kit is available to purchase online for around $30.

CareSens blood glucose monitor

This autocoding blood glucose testing kit is budget-friendly and claims to provide fast and accurate results.

The kit includes:

  • 100 lancets
  • 100 testing strips
  • a glucose meter
  • a comprehensive instruction manual

While this test kit is affordable and features autocoding, some reviews claim its readings are inaccurate.

The CareSens Blood Glucose Monitoring kit is available to purchase online for around $23.

Below are some common questions relating to at-home diabetes testing.

What is the HbA1C level?

HbA1C, or glycated hemoglobin, is a form of hemoglobin relating to blood sugar levels. A1C forms when glucose binds with hemoglobin, and it remains in the blood for around 3 months.

A1C levels rise along with blood glucose levels, and tests and monitors can detect any changes that occur.

What kind of samples are necessary for an at-home diabetes test?

At-home diabetes tests typically use a finger-prick blood test that measures HbA1C levels.

What does an at-home diabetes test kit include?

A home testing kit usually includes:

  • detailed instructions
  • lancets
  • a lancet holding device
  • testing strips
  • secure biosafe bags to return samples
  • prepaid return packaging

Does Medicare cover at-home diabetes tests?

Medicare covers many prediabetes and diabetes screenings, although a doctor may need to order them. There is also a prevention program in place that may benefit some individuals.

Read more about the Medicare Diabetes Prevention Program.

How much do at-home diabetes tests cost?

At-home diabetes test kits usually range from $50 to $180.

At-home diabetes testing kits can help people determine if their blood glucose levels are too high, which may indicate prediabetes.

Anyone with a diabetes test result that indicates high glucose levels should consult a doctor for further testing.