A vitamin D test can help people check their vitamin D levels at home. Many of these tests are of the same quality as those that medical professionals use.

A quick look at the best at-home vitamin D tests

This article discusses how at-home vitamin D tests work, how reliable they are, and which products to consider. It also looks at when a person might consider getting medical advice on vitamin D deficiency.

How we chose the best vitamin D tests

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. 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.

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

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Best vitamin D tests

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.

Comparing the best vitamin D tests

The following table compares the vitamin D tests in this article on price, turnaround time, and more.

LetsGetCheckedEverlywellmyLAB Box
Price$89$49$89
Membership planunavailableunavailable $80.10 twice a year
• receive tests every 6 months
Results turnaround2 to 5 days5 to 7 business days2 to 5 days
Consultation after resultsavailablelive group webinarfree consultation
FSA and HSA paymentsyesyesyes
Insurance coveragenonono
Availabilityall states apart from New Yorkall states apart from New Yorkall states apart from New York

What is the 25-hydroxy vitamin D test?

Vitamin D tests involve taking a blood sample, determining the vitamin D levels in the bloodstream. This type of test may suit individuals with chronic conditions, such as asthma, psoriasis, or an autoimmune disease.

There are two forms of vitamin D in the blood: 25-hydroxy vitamin D, or calcidiol, and 1,25-dihydroxy vitamin D, or calcitriol. Tests will measure the amount of 25-hydroxy vitamin D in the blood. This is because 25-hydroxy vitamin D is a better indicator of a person’s vitamin D levels and stays in the bloodstream for longer, making it easier to detect.

If a person has a vitamin D test at a doctor’s office, the doctor will take a small blood sample from the arm using a needle. If a person takes a test at home, they will take a blood sample using a finger prick test.

Learn more about the 25-hydroxy vitamin D test.

How to take a vitamin D test

A test measures the vitamin D levels in a blood sample. Here is how it works:

  1. An individual first decides whether to order an online test to do at home or visit a doctor’s office.
  2. At a doctor’s office or lab, the specialist uses a phlebotomist to draw a blood sample from the person’s arm.
  3. At home, a person needs to use the finger prick lancet they receive to collect a small blood sample from their finger and send it to the lab.
  4. At the lab, a scientist measures the 25-OH D levels and submits the results.
  5. A person then gets their results through an online portal or via email. If they took their test at a doctor’s office, they can check in with the doctor to get their results.

How to choose

Some things a person may consider when looking for an at-home test include:

  • Cost: Some tests are more cost-effective than others, so a person may consider their available budget when choosing a test.
  • Certifications and accreditations: Individuals should check for CAP, CLIA, and ISO certifications.
  • Reviews and reputation: Checking independent reviews from sites such as Trustpilot or the Better Business Bureau (BBB) can help a person make an informed decision about a company’s reputation.

Who should take a vitamin D test?

Doctors may suggest taking a vitamin D test to monitor bone conditions, especially if a person has symptoms of vitamin D deficiency. These may include:

  • bone weakness
  • bone softness
  • bone malformation
  • fractures

Further, people with a high risk of developing vitamin D deficiency may also consider buying a vitamin D test. This may include people who have:

Are there any risks to vitamin D tests?

There are some risks to getting vitamin D tests. The main risk is that a person may collect a sample incorrectly, leading to an invalid test result.

Test samples may get lost in the post, or, rarely, laboratories may mix up results. However, using tracked mail delivery services and laboratories that follow regulations will minimize these risks.

Additionally, people may bruise themselves when collecting a sample. People who do not feel confident collecting their own sample may wish to ask a friend or family member or go to a healthcare professional to conduct the test.

About vitamin D

People can receive vitamin D from sun exposure, supplements, and some types of food.

When a person is out in sunlight, UVB rays convert to vitamin D. This conversion only happens when a person is outside, as UVB rays cannot travel through glass. Additionally, the weather, time of day, and skin melanin content affect how much vitamin D a person gains through the sun.

This process generates the inactive form of vitamin D, 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25-OH D). The liver and kidneys then convert it into its active form, 1,25-dihydroxy vitamin D.

The inactive version of vitamin D, 25-OH D, lasts around 14 days in the bloodstream. In contrast, the active version becomes undetectable within a few hours. This is why the majority of vitamin D tests measure the level of 25-OH D in the bloodstream.

Vitamin D from supplements is often in the form of lanolin from sheep or animal-free alternative lichen. While this vitamin is not plentiful in food, mushrooms are one of the best sources of vitamin D through diet.

Vitamin D deficiency

Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin the body needs to carry out vital functions, such as maintaining bones and teeth and helping the immune system fight bacteria and viruses.

According to a 2022 overview of vitamin D deficiency, around 1 billion people worldwide have a vitamin D deficiency, and 50% of the global population has vitamin D insufficiency.

Although the article states that most people with a vitamin D deficiency will not experience symptoms, some people do.

Another important thing to consider is the source of vitamin D. The overview suggests people should spend 20 minutes a day in the sun. However, this also brings risks of premature aging and skin cancer.

A person should always use sunscreen when outside to protect the skin against the sun’s harmful effects.

Learn about the best sunscreens.

How to increase vitamin D levels

The body is able to make vitamin D naturally when a person exposes it to the sun. However, people who are older, live further north or have a darker skin tone may not be able to create enough vitamin D.

Spending 20 minutes per day in the sun can help increase vitamin D levels. However, it is important to wear sunscreen to protect the skin against sun damage.

People can also use vitamin D supplements to increase their vitamin levels. The British National Health Service (NHS) recommends taking 10 micrograms of vitamin D supplements every day during the fall and winter.

When to speak with a doctor

Some people may be at a higher risk of developing a vitamin D deficiency.

These include people with insufficient intake of foods containing vitamin D and malabsorption syndromes, such as Crohn’s disease and celiac disease.

Symptoms that may indicate a vitamin D deficiency include:

People at risk of a vitamin D deficiency or with symptoms of a vitamin D deficiency may wish to consult a doctor for possible monitoring and further tests.

Frequently asked questions about vitamin D test kits

The vitamin D test is a blood test that a person can get done at a doctor’s office or at home. It will determine the amount of vitamin D in the bloodstream. The best test to get is a 25-hydroxy vitamin D test because it is a suitable indicator of a person’s levels.

Many people will not experience symptoms from low vitamin D. However, some symptoms may develop due to secondary conditions that chronic or severe vitamin D deficiency causes. These conditions can include rickets, osteoporosis, and hyperparathyroidism.

In children, symptoms of low vitamin D may include lethargy, irritability, bone changes, fractures, and delayed development.

People will take a vitamin D and a vitamin D3 test in the same way.

Doctors measure vitamin D deficiencies in nanomoles per liter (nmol/L) or nanograms per milliliter (ng/mL). The current staging is as follows:

• Deficiency: Below 30 nmol/L or 12 ng/mL.

• Inadequate levels: 30 to 50 nmol/L or 2 to 20 ng/mL.

• Adequate levels: 50 to 125 nmol/L or 20 to 50 ng/mL.

• High levels: Above 125 nmol/L or 50 ng/mL.

Samples from at-home tests go through the same lab processing as those from medical professionals in a doctor’s office or clinic. The validation process for at-home testing is the same as for traditional testing that takes place in a lab and clinic.

However, a person taking a test at home must follow all of the test manufacturer’s instructions to avoid invalidating the results.

A person can check whether the lab that processes their chosen test has accreditation from the College of American Pathologists (CAP) and certification from the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA). A person can also check if the lab’s manufacturing facilities have International Organization for Standardization (ISO) certification.

Vitamin D test results may list vitamin D as 25 hydroxyvitamin D, or 25(OH)D. This is because the liver changes vitamin D into 25(OH)D so the body can use it.

No, a complete blood count (CBC) test does not test for vitamin D. It tests for red and white blood cells and platelets.

Summary

Several at-home vitamin D tests are available online that provide people with a convenient and comfortable way to check their vitamin D levels. They can cost between $50 and $90.

Vitamin D is essential for vital bodily functions, and low vitamin D levels can have widespread effects on the body.

People who experience symptoms of vitamin D deficiency or receive test results indicating they may be deficient in vitamin D should speak with a doctor for treatment advice.