What to Buy Medical Devices & Treatments The 7 Best At-Home COVID-19 Tests of 2023, Tested and Reviewed The iHealth COVID-19 Antigen Rapid Test is budget-friendly and easy to use. By Nsisong Asanga Nsisong Asanga Website Nsisong Asanga is a public health physician and field epidemiologist with several years of clinical and field experience. health's editorial guidelines Updated on December 15, 2022 Medically reviewed by Farah Khan, MD Medically reviewed by Farah Khan, MD Farah Khan, MD, is an allergist/immunologist that treats pediatric and adult patients in her private practice in Northern Virginia. learn more Share Tweet Pin Email In This Article Expand Jump to a Section Reviews Our Testing Process What to Know About At-Home COVID-19 Tests More At-Home COVID-19 Tests to Consider Your Questions, Answered Who We Are We independently evaluate all recommended products and services. If you click on links we provide, we may receive compensation. Learn more. Health / Leticia Almeida If you’ve been exposed to COVID-19 or feel symptomatic, it’s important to test yourself so you can avoid spreading the virus. However, getting a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test requires a lab visit that can be time-consuming and take days to get your results back. Fortunately, rapid tests allow you to test yourself for the virus without leaving your home, and you can see your results in a matter of minutes. Plus, rapid tests can be used on the go, and are suitable for administering while you’re traveling or at work. So who should be taking at-home COVID-19 tests? Pretty much anyone—vaccinated as well as unvaccinated. Although vaccination provides some protection from COVID-19, you can still get the disease if you’re vaccinated. If you’re experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 such as cough, runny nose, or fever, it’s better to test yourself to be sure of whether or not you have the virus. It’s also recommended that you test if you plan on attending a large gathering such as a wedding, and you want to ensure you don’t mistakenly infect others. At-home COVID-19 tests are typically designed for adult administration. In most cases, adults need to administer them to children aged two to fourteen years, but older kids and adults can test themselves. And it’s a good idea to stick to brands authorized by the FDA and to check expiry dates before use, according to David Souleles, MPH, director of the COVID-19 Response Team at University of California, Irvine. When looking for an at-home COVID-19 test, you should consider each test’s ease of use, comfort, speed, cost, size, and supportive technology. We tested at-home COVID-19 tests in our lab to narrow down your search. While we didn’t test for accuracy, we did test for ease of use and clarity of instructions to ensure you have the smoothest testing process possible. Recall Alert: Detect, Inc. COVID Tests On December 12, 2022, at-home COVID-19 test manufacturer, Detect, Inc. voluntarily recalled more than 11,000 tests that may give a false negative results. According to the FDA announcement, no false negatives have been reported by consumers, but Detect, Inc. is recalling the products shipped to consumers between July 26 and August 26, 2022, out of an abundance of caution. The reliability of positive test results is not affected. If you are considering using an-at home COVID-19 test from Detect, Inc., be sure to check the company website for additional information on the recall and the batches affected. Here are the best at-home COVID-19 tests according to their ease of use. Best Overall iHealth COVID-19 Antigen Rapid Test 4.7 Amazon View On Amazon View On Walmart View On Instacart.com Why We Like It: This test has minimal components, it’s easy to use, and the results are extremely clear. It’s Worth Noting: You need to pour the solution into the tube yourself (it doesn't come pre-filled like similar brands), which might get messy.The iHealth COVID-19 Antigen Rapid Test is an FDA-authorized, over-the-counter, self-administered test that delivers results in 15 minutes. It easily slid into our best overall spot because its results are clearer than most and it has minimal components, which makes testing a breeze. The test requires you to insert about half an inch of a simple nasal swab into your nostril. People aged 15 years and above can administer this test independently, but those aged 2–14 years will need assistance from an adult. Our testers loved how the test was intuitive enough that you barely needed the printed instructions. “Figuring out what to do with each [component] was straightforward, even without the instructions. So with the instructions, it seems impossible to get wrong,” our tester said. There are also optional step-by-step instructional videos available through the mobile app. The app is available for Apple and Android users and allows an administrator to track results for small group members, which can be useful for events, schools, or work. Price at time of publication: $18Product Details: Collection Method: Nasal swab Results Time: 15 minutes Recommended Age for Use: 2–14 with adult assistance; 15+ self-administered Health / Leticia Almeida Best Budget Celltrion DiaTrust COVID-19 Ag Home Test 4 Amazon View On Amazon Why We Like It: This at-home test comes in a pack of two at a low price point and is easy to use. It’s Worth Noting: Its instruction booklet isn’t as easy to read as other kits.Celltrion DiaTrust COVID-19 Ag Home Test is a great option for anyone looking to avoid a high price point. At only $14 for a pack of two, you won’t have to break the bank to test yourself at home with this kit. Our testers said the results are very fast and the color of the strip is exceptionally bright and easy to read. It’s also FDA-approved and has an extended shelf life of 12 to 18 months, so you don’t have to use it right away after purchasing. And while the test itself was pretty straightforward, we did find that the instruction manual was a little harder to read. Our tester suggested the manual would be improved significantly with a few more illustrations. It’s also important to note that the collection vial included has a rounded shape, so you have to hold it while you collect the nasal swab sample. For that reason, this test may not be great for anyone traveling or on the go. However, for the low price point, we think this test makes up for any negatives.Price at time of publication: $10 Product Details: Collection Method: Nasal swab Results Time: 15 minutes Recommended Age for Use: 14+ Health / Leticia Almeida Best for Quick Results On/Go COVID-19 Antigen Self-Test 4.8 Amazon View On Amazon View On Walmart View On Gopuff.com Why We Like It: This budget-friendly home COVID-19 test delivers faster results than similar products. It's Worth Noting: The print used in the instructions is pretty tiny and could be harder to read for those with poorer eyesight. On/Go At-Home COVID-19 Rapid Antigen Test delivers results in ten minutes, which is noticeably faster than similar products. Plus, our testers noted that the results were easy to read. The components include a swab solution, test unit, and tray. It’s important to note that there's a warning not to read results after fifteen minutes. So while the test is great for getting results quickly, you have to make sure to read your results within a short, five-minute window. Our testers also noted that the tiny print could be a challenge for some, so if you use reading glasses, make sure to have them handy. Overall, if speedy results are crucial, or you don't have time to wait, this test delivers. Price at time of publication: $20 Product Details: Collection Method: Nasal swabResults Time: 10 minutes Recommended Age for Use: 2–13 years with adult assistance; 14+ self-administered Health / Jessica Juliao Easiest to Use Flowflex COVID-19 Antigen Rapid Home Test Kit 5 Rite Aid View On Walmart View On CVS View On Fsastore.com Why We Like It: Our tester said the instructions were super intuitive. It's Worth Noting: It comes with just one test in the box, so you may need to get more than one to use as a backup in case anything goes wrong. At-home testing can be uncomfortable and stressful, especially for a first-time user. That's where the FlowFlex COVID-19 Antigen Home Test can come in handy. We found it the easiest to use above all other tests. With this test, there’s no hassle, complicated steps, extra technology, or hard-to-use components. The test components include a tube pre-filled with liquid, a testing stick, and a swab. The instructions are intuitive—everything works “just how you expect them to,” our tester said. There are instructional videos on their site and downloaded instructions in different languages. The compact packaging also supports testing on the go. The only downside is that there's just one test in the pack, so you may need to get more than one in case something goes wrong while testing. Price at time of publication: $8 Product Details: Collection Method: Nasal swab Results Time: 15 minutes Recommended Age for Use: 2–13 years with adult assistance; 14+ self-administered Health / Leticia Almeida Best for Families Boson Rapid SARS-CoV-2 Antigen Test Card 4.5 Amazon View On Amazon View On Peachmedical.com Why We Like It: It has concise instructions, delivers quick results, and contains up to eight tests in a pack. It's Worth Noting: You need to follow instructions closely because there's an extra step in the process. Testing as a family can be expensive and inconvenient. But the Boson Rapid SARS-CoV-2 Antigen Test Card makes it somewhat easier. Each pack contains up to 8 test kits, which can serve a family of two or more or can be used by a single user multiple times. This FDA-authorized kit contains a swab, solution, test unit, and a tray for the vial. The instructions also have drawings which make them easier to understand. There's also an instructional video available online for more details. And results are pretty quick, coming in at only fifteen minutes. However, it's important to note the extra step in the process that makes it different from most tests: you need to leave the swab in the solution for a minute before dropping it into the tester. Price at time of publication: $44 Product Details: Collection Method: Nasal swab Results Time: 15 minutes Recommended Age for Use: 2–13 years with adult assistance; 15+ self-administered Health / Leticia Almeida Best for Frequent Testing Clinitest Rapid Covid-19 Antigen Self-Test 4.6 American Drug Test View On Amazon View On Americandrugtest.com View On Bttnusa.com Why We Like It: It's easy to open, use, and read. And it includes five tests, which makes it a great option for frequent testing or testing large groups. It's Worth Noting: The instructions are in tiny print, and there's an extra step in the process. When you have to test frequently or you have to test a crowd, you need a product that's easy to use, easy to read, quick, and affordable. This product was designed to be used without assistance and with minimal hassle. This kit has a unique port on the box that you could punch in and use as a holding slot for the testing vial, which our tester loved. “It is a clever little thing and made the testing so much easier to do,” our tester said. However, the instructions are written in very small font, so you’ll want to have your glasses nearby. And there’s an extra step in the process that requires you to leave the swab in the testing solution for one minute before dropping it on the test strip. Price at time of publication: $26 Product Details: Collection Method: Nasal swab Result Time: 15 minutesRecommended Age for Use: 2–13 years with adult assistance; 14+ self-administered Health / Leticia Almeida Best for Travel Indicaid COVID-19 Rapid Antigen At-Home Test 4.8 Amazon View On Amazon View On Americanscreeningcorp.com View On Discountsafetygear.com Why We Like It: It's easy to use, gentle on the nasal cavity, and comes in a small box that you can easily carry around. It's Worth Noting: At 20 minutes to receive results, it's not the fastest test. And opening some parts of the packaging may be a struggle. If you are going to be away from home for a few days, and you don’t want to expose others to COVID-19 unwittingly, it makes sense to carry a self-test along with you. The Indicaid COVID-19 Rapid Antigen Test is easy to administer, read and understand. It's gentle on the nasal cavity and small enough to fit into your hand luggage. There's no app or video to worry about, and its minimalist packaging means less waste and less strain on the environment. However, our testers noticed that opening some parts of the test kit—such as the packaging for the nasal swab—was tough. Also, the results came in 20 minutes, which is longer than similar products. Price at time of publication: $17 Product Details: Collection Method: Nasal swab Result Time: 20 minutes Recommended Age for Use: 2–13 years with adult assistance; 14+ self-administered Health / Jessica Juliao Our Testing Process The Health team tested the most popular at-home COVID-19 tests to determine which ones were easiest to use and which ones had the easiest results to understand. We paid particular attention to things like the number of steps you needed to take, how easy it was to follow the instructions, and whether or not you needed additional technology or assistance to complete the test. Health / Jessica Juliao What to Know About At-Home COVID-19 Tests When to Use an At-Home COVID-19 Test You should use an at-home COVID-19 test if you believe you’ve been exposed, you’re displaying symptoms of the virus, or you expect to travel or attend a group event where you want to mitigate the spread of the virus. You should use at-home COVID-19 tests to check your COVID-19 infection status quickly and conveniently without going to a clinic, hospital, or laboratory. What You Should Look for in an At-Home COVID-19 Test When choosing a test kit for home use, you should look for those authorized by the FDA and be mindful of expiry dates. You may also consider how easy the test is to use, how much it costs, how fast the results are displayed, and how many tests are included within the product. How Much Can You Expect to Pay for an At-Home COVID-19 Test? You can expect to pay anywhere from $8 to $50 for a standard at-home COVID-19 test. Larger kits with many tests may have a lower unit price. But there's a product for almost every budget. More At-Home COVID-19 Tests to Consider While not all of the at-home COVID-19 tests made it onto our list, these ones may still be of interest to you. Cue Health 3 COVID-19 Tests & Cue Reader: While results were fast and easy to understand, our testers found that the process for using this test was no walk in the park. Plus, at the current price point of $394, it’s not very budget-friendly. Roche Rapid Antigen COVID-19 Test: This test offers great value for a family of four. But we found that the vial was challenging to use, the test needed more drops than other brands. OraSure InteliSwab, At-Home COVID-19 Rapid Antigen Test: Our testers ranked this product as one of the easiest tests to use. The test had a simple three-step process, the fonts were large and easy to read, and there was no need for an app. However, the swab for this test is much larger than other swabs in similar products and can be somewhat distressing for someone who isn’t used to taking nasal swab tests. Your Questions, Answered Should I trust the results of a self-test? If you test positive on a self-administered at-home test, you are likely to have COVID-19. However, if you test negative, there’s still a chance you may have the virus. “Generally, antigen tests tend to be more accurate if a person has COVID-19 symptoms,” says Pia MacDonald, PhD, MPH, an Infectious Disease Epidemiologist at RTI International, a nonprofit research institute. Are at-home COVID-19 tests accurate? At-home COVID-19 tests are less accurate than molecular tests but better than not testing at all. “They are less accurate in the early stages of infection and if you have no symptoms,” says Dr. MacDonald. The FDA advises that people repeat at-home COVID-19 tests if they have a negative result. The repeat tests should be carried out 48 hours apart. You should repeat the test once if you have symptoms and twice if you don't, but think you may have been infected. If you still test negative after these tests and you have no symptoms but are concerned that you could have COVID-19, you should contact your healthcare provider. Who We Are Nsisong Asanga is a public health physician and field epidemiologist. She has been actively involved in testing, surveillance, and prevention since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. She researches and shares information that helps people prevent the spread of COVID-19. Was this page helpful? Thanks for your feedback! Tell us why! Other Submit Sources Health.com uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy. Benefits of Getting A COVID-19 Vaccine. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Published August 17, 2022. At-Home COVID-19 Antigen Tests-Take Steps to Reduce Your Risk of False Negative Results: FDA Safety Communication. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Published August 11, 2022.