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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.
A quick look at the best at-home diabetes tests
- Best for confidentiality: LetsGetChecked
- Best for accuracy: Everlywell
- Most comprehensive panel: Diabetes Management Blood Test
- Best for prevention: LabCorp Diabetes Risk
- Best for FDA approval: DTI Laboratories
- Best for follow-up support: MyLAB Box
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, around 1 in 10 people live with diabetes, and of these individuals, around
The CDC also states an additional
The United States Preventive Services Task Force recommends diabetes screenings for prediabetes and type 2 diabetes in adults aged 35–70 with overweight or obesity.
Home diabetes tests measure hemoglobin A1C, which doctors refer to as HbA1c. People who discover elevated HbA1c levels after taking a home diabetes test should consult a doctor.
HbA1c tests are just one type of test a doctor may order.
HbA1C is also called glycated hemoglobin. It is a form of hemoglobin associated with a person’s blood sugar levels. A1C forms when glucose binds with hemoglobin. It stays in the blood for approximately
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 can also consider using these tests.
Home tests measuring HbA1C may report it differently than the levels mentioned above. A person’s results can be
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.
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-certifiedlabs. This means they follow state and federal regulations.
- Budget: MNT chooses at-home tests that suit 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: MNT will indicate whether a company offers further support, such as a follow-up phone consultation with a doctor to discuss test results.
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.
All quotes are provided by a Medical News Today Editor, Lois Zoppi, who received free test kits from LetsGetChecked to review. However, they were not diabetes tests.
Best for confidentiality: LetsGetChecked
- Price: $89
- What it tests for: hemoglobin A1c
- Results time: 2–5 days
- Pros: fast delivery of results, confidential communication, the company claims the results are accurate
- Cons: more expensive than other options, does not accept insurance, a person must fast to take the test
- Who it is best for: people who prefer confidential communication
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
One advantage of this service is that it reportedly offers high levels of confidentiality, such as with the packaging when sending out a person’s test. However, the tradeoff is that it can be more expensive than other tests.
“I would recommend LetsGetChecked to MNT readers. Tests are easily accessible and allow you to gain insight into your health. The ordering and testing process is very easy and relatively pain-free, and results come quickly. LetsGetChecked tests could be a great option for people who find it hard to get health tests done due to location or price, although they may be unsuitable for people on a very tight budget.” — Lois Zoppi, Medical News Today Editor
Most accurate: Everlywell
- Price: $49
- What it tests for: HbA1c
- Results time: 5–7 business days
- Pros: physician-approved results, free shipping, affordable, it shows a person’s blood sugar levels over the past 90 days
- Cons: information on results delivery time is hard to find
- Who it is best for: people looking for physician-approved results
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 than other companies.
Most comprehensive panel: LabCorp Diabetes Management Blood Test
- Price: $179
- What it tests for: glucose and HbA1c levels
- Results time: not stated
- Pros: it offers a more in-depth test for overall health, checks blood and urine, accepts HSA and FSA payments
- Cons: expensive, those under 18 cannot buy the test, a person must fast and go to a lab
- Who it is best for: a person who wants an overall health test
This test 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.
A person must visit a LabCorp location in-person to provide a sample, which is not as convenient as at-home testing. However, this may be suitable for people who travel or do not have a fixed address.
This makes this service more comprehensive than tests from other brands. However, it is more expensive as a result.
Best for prevention: LabCorp Diabetes Risk
- Price: $79
- What it tests for: HbA1c levels
- Results time: within 2 weeks
- Pros: it is reportedly the same test doctors use, accepts HSA and FSA payments
- Cons: longer wait for results time than other brands, it is unavailable to those younger than 18
- Who it is best for: people looking to prevent type 2 diabetes
LabCorp states that this test is easy to use, and the blood sample can trace a person’s average blood sugar levels over an 8–12 week period. This can indicate if a person needs to make diet or lifestyle changes to prevent diabetes.
Testing that indicates blood sugar averages over a longer period may be more beneficial than tests that only measure glucose levels at the time of testing. It helps to build a more detailed picture of a person’s health.
LabCorp states the results will be available online within 2 weeks. A PWN Health doctor will call the customer if their results need immediate attention.
Best for FDA approval: DTI Laboratories
- Price: $50.95
- What it tests for: A1c levels
- Results time: 3–4 days
- Pros: FDA cleared, reportedly the only at-home test able to identify abnormal hemoglobins, more affordable than other brands
- Cons: the website does not offer access to its FDA-clearance or approval documentation
- Who it is best for: people looking for an FDA-accredited test
DTI Laboratories claims that this test is the only at-home test capable of identifying abnormal hemoglobin. The company writes that abnormal hemoglobin can interfere with A1c results. The company also claims the test is FDA-cleared.
This test requires a finger prick sample. It is not a dried blood spot test.
Results are typically available within 3-4 days, but DTI Laboratories states that it can arrange expedited results. A person can get their results online or via email.
Best for follow-up support: MyLAB Box
- Price: $74
- What it tests for: HbA1c levels
- Results time: 2–5 days
- Pros: reportedly CDC-listed, offers follow-up doctor’s consultations, accepts HSA and FSA payments
- Cons: temporarily unavailable in New York state
- Who it is best for: people who want a quick turnaround
MyLAB Box states that the CDC recommends this test, and people can pay with their HSA or FSA. It shows average glucose levels from the past 3 months.
The laboratories MyLAB Box works with are CAP- and CLIA-certified.
The company can return results within 2–5 days. A person can then have free follow-up consultations with an accredited physician.
The table below compares each of the tests in this article for the price, results time, and more.
When choosing an at-home diabetes test, a person should consider the following factors:
- Price: The cost of at-home tests can vary, but many are between $50–80. People should consider how detailed they would like their results to be, as cheaper tests may not offer as much insight as more expensive tests.
- Test type: At-home diabetes tests are finger prick kits. Some may use dried blood spot kits, while others will ask for a small vial of blood. Dried blood spot kits may be more susceptible to environmental changes than vials. A person can research the pros and cons of both of these methods before purchasing a test.
- Accreditation: Brands will state whether their tests are FDA-cleared or whether they sell tests that doctors would use. Before buying a test, a person should verify any claims on FDA clearance or approval.
- Results turnaround: Some labs can return results within 2 days, but others may take up to 2 weeks. If a person needs results quickly, they should choose a company that offers a fast turnaround or expedited analysis.
- Extras: Some people may benefit from extra services that some brands off, such as free doctor’s consultations. However, others may prefer to speak about their results with a doctor they know well. A person should always discuss their results with a doctor before changing their diet or lifestyle.
A person should speak with a doctor if their results show that they are at risk of or they may have diabetes.
A person should seek medical advice if they have symptoms of diabetes, which include:
Different companies will provide test results differently, 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 has 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.
However, some blood sugar monitors do not involve finger pricks.
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 remains in the blood for around
A1C levels rise along with blood glucose levels, and tests and monitors can detect any changes.
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
- 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.
How much do at-home diabetes tests cost?
At-home diabetes test kits usually range from $50–180.
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.