10 FDA-Authorized At-Home COVID-19 Tests for Quick and Accurate Results

You can buy most at-home rapid tests online from retailers including Walgreens, CVS, and Amazon.

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Ever since the beginning of the pandemic, accurate COVID-19 testing has been an important step in tracking and limiting the spread of the virus.

While getting a COVID test used to require scheduling an appointment or waiting in line at a lab or pharmacy, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued emergency use authorizations (EUAs) for dozens of brands of at-home kits. This allows people to self-administer certain tests and either read the results at home or send the samples directly to a lab.

The emergency authorization means these tests have met standards set by the FDA during public health emergencies and are authorized for at-home use when necessary. Though in-person testing is still recommended whenever possible (and sometimes required for international travel), at-home rapid tests are an additional measure you can take to see if you've been exposed to the virus.

Are At-Home Rapid Tests Accurate?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are two main types of COVID-19 tests: nucleic acid amplification tests (which include the familiar PCR-based tests) and antigen tests. In certain circumstances, says the CDC, one test type may be recommended over the other.

PCR tests are typically the most reliable tests for people with or without symptoms, says the CDC. Since PCR tests require trained lab technicians to read the results, at-home PCR test samples need to be submitted to an authorized lab for testing. However, you can still purchase these types of COVID tests online, self-administer them in your home, and then mail your sample in without having to visit a facility.

As PCR tests detect viral genetic material, which may stay in your body for up to 90 days after you test positive, you should not use them if you have tested positive in the last 90 days.

FDA-authorized rapid antigen tests are faster, easier to administer, and still tend to have accurate results. With a rapid test, you self-administer a nasal swab, follow the kit's instructions for running the test, and then read your own results in as little as 10 minutes without having to mail in your sample. These tests react to viral protein.

Self-tests, or at-home tests, are usually antigen tests that can be taken anywhere without having to go to a specific testing site. You should follow FDA and manufacturer's instructions, including the number of times you may need to test. Multiple negative test results increase the confidence that you are not infected with the virus that causes COVID-19.

"Home tests are fairly accurate when it comes to symptomatic individuals trying to see what they may be sick with," infectious disease expert Amesh A. Adalja, MD, a senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, told Health.

It's important to note that not all at-home COVID test kits have been authorized by the FDA—but over 50 have met the requirements for emergency use authorization. Because a false positive or negative test result can lead to misdiagnosis and cause a delay in appropriately treating someone's symptoms, it's essential that you only use FDA-authorized tests. Stay up to date on the most recent EUAs and guidelines by visiting the FDA's website.

Where to Buy an At-Home COVID-19 Test

You can order free self-test kits at COVIDtests.gov or purchase tests online, in pharmacies, and retail stores like CVS, Walgreens, and Amazon. The tests are designed to detect whether or not you have an active coronavirus infection and show your results in 30 minutes or less. Scroll down to buy some of the at-home COVID tests that were granted emergency authorization from the FDA. We highlight 10 tests but here are more on the market.

EverlyWell COVID-19 Test Home Collection Kit

At-Home COVID-19 Tests
Everlywell

FDA Emergency Use Authorization Letter

Get easy-to-read digital results with this at-home PCR test from EverlyWell. After purchasing a test kit, you'll register your unique kit ID online, then self-collect a nasal swab sample (must be completed Monday through Friday and shipped out the same day). The kit comes with detailed instructions to help you correctly administer the test, including how to mail back your sample and tips for making sure your test isn't rejected. EverlyWell will digitally send a personalized report of your test results within 48 hours of the lab receiving your sample. If you test positive, the brand offers a free telehealth consultation to walk you through next steps.

Lucira Check It COVID-19 Test Kit

At-Home COVID-19 Tests
Amazon

Emergency Use Authorization Letter

As the first FDA-authorized molecular home test available, the Lucira Check It test kit offers results in 30 minutes without you needing to send your sample to a lab. According to the manufacturers, this molecular test is 98% accurate, rivaling a PCR test's accuracy while offering the quick results and convenience of a rapid antigen test. The Lucira Check It test displays positive and negative results on a small device that will light up, making it easy to accurately read your test results.

On/Go COVID-19 Antigen Self-Test

at-home covid tests
Amazon

Emergency Use Authorization

The On/Go at-home COVID test (also referred to as the CareStart COVID-19 antigen test in FDA documentation) allows you to self-administer a rapid antigen test, then read your results and view the results of family members in a convenient app. Start by downloading On/Go's free app via the QR code on the rapid test box. You can administer the test on yourself or on children ages 2-14. Follow the clear step-by-step instructions within the app to better ensure accuracy. If you're hosting guests over the holidays, getting together with friends, or traveling in the near future, this feature makes it easier to limit potential exposure to COVID-19.

iHealth COVID-19 Antigen Rapid Test

at-home covid tests
Amazon

Emergency Use Authorization Letter

Authorized by the FDA for at-home use in November 2021, the iHealth at-home COVID antigen test comes with two nasal swabs, test cassettes, fluid vials, and vial caps. Individuals over age 14 can self-administer this test, and adults can administer it to children as young as 2 years old. For the test, you'll follow the included instructions to swab your nose, mix the solution, and squeeze a few drops of the solution onto the testing tray. Your results will be ready to view in as little as 15 minutes.

BD Veritor At-Home COVID-19 Test

at-home covid tests
Amazon

Emergency Use Authorization Letter

Thanks to an app that guides you through testing, the BD Veritor at-home COVID-19 antigen test simplifies the entire process to help eliminate user error. BD Veritor At-Home COVID-19 Test is able to detect multiple variants, including Delta and Omicron. The app has easy-to-follow instructions and a how-to video to keep you from getting confused along the way. Also, the app will display a positive or negative test result in words, which is unlike other at-home tests that only display faint colored lines to indicate your results.

BinaxNOW COVID-19 Rapid Antigen Test

at-home covid tests
Walgreens

FDA Emergency Use Authorization Letter

The BinaxNOW nasal swab test can detect an active coronavirus infection and display a positive or negative result in as little as 15 minutes. Able to detect both Delta and Omicron strains of the virus in addition to the original SARS-CoV-2 virus, this at-home rapid antigen kit comes with everything you need for two self-tests. For serial (repeat) testing, take both tests over a three-day period, waiting at least 24 hours between each self-test.

DxTerity COVID-19 Saliva At-Home Collection Kit

at-home covid tests
Amazon

FDA Emergency Use Authorization Letter

If you're someone who dreads taking a nasal swab test, DxTerity has a COVID-19 at-home PCR test allows you to provide a saliva sample, ship it to a laboratory, and receive your results within 24 to 72 hours. You'll begin by registering your test kit online using the unique code inside the box, and then collect a saliva sample in the provided vial. Each test collection kit comes with an express shipping label so you can mail your sample to the lab free of charge. It's important to note that you must mail your sample on the same day you register your test kit online. Once your test results are available, you'll receive an email with a link to view your results.

FlowFlex COVID-19 Rapid Antigen Home Test

at-home covid tests
Walgreens

FDA Emergency Use Authorization Letter

This nasal swab test comes with one disposable nasal swab, a buffer tube, and a disposable cassette for reading and displaying your results. The included directions guide you through the self-administered test, and the product can be used on adults and children as young as 2 years old. In October 2021, the FDA announced that FlowFlex does not require serial testing like some other rapid antigen tests, meaning you won't need to take multiple tests across several days in order to get an accurate result.

QuickVue Rapid At-Home COVID-19 Antigen Test Kit

at-home covid tests
Walgreens

FDA Emergency Use Authorization Letter

The QuickVue at-home rapid test aims to detect COVID-19 proteins in your body whether you have symptoms or not. Similar to other self-administered COVID tests, you'll follow the directions to swab both nostrils, then swirl the swab in a tube of solution before inserting the testing strip into the tube. The QuickVue test takes 10 minutes to display your results; if your test is negative, take another test 24 to 48 hours later to confirm the results.

InteliSwab COVID-19 Rapid Antigen Test

at-home covid tests
Walmart

FDA Emergency Use Authorization Letter

The shallow swab in this at-home rapid antigen test is designed to be less prickly than other FDA-authorized models, but it can still detect a SARS-CoV-2 infection in both symptomatic and asymptomatic people. Authorized for use on individuals ages 15 and up, the test involves swabbing the insides of both nostrils, swirling it in the test tube, and waiting 30 minutes for the results. If the test reads negative, you'll need to take a second test (which is included) 36 hours after the first one to ensure an accurate result.

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