The 7 Best First Aid Kits of 2023, Tested and Reviewed

The Protect Life First Aid Kit has everything you need for minor injuries

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Best First Aid Kits

Health / Tamara Staples

Accidents happen—big and small—so it’s always a good idea to keep a first aid kit on hand. Whether it’s a burn in the kitchen at home or a run-in with poison ivy during a hike, a well-stocked kit can help heal most injuries or serve as a stopgap until you can make it to a doctor.

Most first aid kits offer a variety of bandages, compresses, and wound care supplies, with some containing things like tourniquets, emergency blankets, and multitools. But the most important part of buying a first aid kit isn’t what’s inside—it’s making sure you know how to use what is.

“I think that my message would be that people would benefit greatly from knowing exactly what’s in their kit and having familiarity with how to use it before they need it in a critical situation,” says Shalom Sokolow, MD, an emergency medicine doctor and EMS fellow at Phelps Hospital in Sleepy Hollow, NY. “I think that’s the most important thing.”

To find out just what was in some of the top first aid kits on the market, the Health team tested 15 options in our lab, looking at not only what supplies they contained but also their quality, organization, and overall value.

Best Overall

Protect Life 200 Piece First Aid Kit

First Aid Kit for Home/Businesses - Emergency Kit/Travel First Aid Kit for Car. Small, Mini First Aid Kit Bag Survival/Medical kit. Hiking First aid kit Camping/Backpacking med kit


What We Like: It includes 200 pieces, many of which are not available in other kits.

It’s Worth Noting: This kit is so packed with items that you might have to move them around as needed.

Our top choice is the Protect Life First Aid Kit, which has 200 first aid supplies for taking care of everything from small wounds to contusions, two of the most common needs in a first aid kit. Its durable hard zip case also makes it a perfect choice for stowing in a car or taking on a trip without worrying about damaged supplies.

One of our favorite features is the kit’s first aid guide. Alicia M. Hoffman, MSN, RN, Critical Care Clinical Specialist at MercyOne Dubuque Medical Center in Iowa, notes that while first aid training is ideal, “a simple guide for basic first aid and recognition would be helpful as well,” especially for understanding things like stroke recognition (BEFAST) and administering aspirin for chest pain.

While this kit was our top choice thanks to its focus on everyday supplies, our tester noted a couple of issues. While the kit has plenty of supplies, it’s not organized in a particular way, meaning that if you need the kit on short notice, it might take some digging to find what you need. The kit is “jammed packed with items, so you had to take some out to find others,” our tester said.

Product Details:

  • Also Contains: Cold pack, first aid guide
  • Number of Pieces: 200
  • Size: 7.8 x 2.6 x 5.9 inches
  • Case Type: Hard zip case

Price at time of publication: $25

Protect Life First Aid Kit


Best for Injuries

Homestock+ Professional First Aid Kit

【2023 New】Portable Small First Aid Kit Compact Medical Kits with with Compartments EVA Case for Car, Home, Outdoors, Sports, Camping, Hiking and Office


What We Like: Our tester loved how this kit was organized, finding everything on the supply list in under a minute.

It’s Worth Noting: This kit is difficult to open with one hand, which can be a negative in some first aid situations.

In an emergency situation, time is of the essence, meaning that one of the top criteria you should think about when selecting a first aid kit is organization. This kit from Homestock+ is organized with labeled compartments and the MOLLE system—meaning each section is contained in its own modular pouch.

Our tester, a nurse, raved about how easy it was to find supplies in this kit, calling it an “incredibly well-organized kit [that] folds out, so everything is visually and manually accessible.”

This kit contains shears and supplies for burn care in addition to a CPR kit and more standard wound care supplies.

Product Details:

  • Also Contains: Emergency blanket, burn care
  • Number of Pieces: 104
  • Size: 7.9 x 5.9 x 3.6 inches
  • Case Type: Soft zip case

Price at time of publication: $34

Homestock Plus First Aid Kit


Best Budget

Be Smart Get Prepared 110 Piece First Aid Kit

Be Smart Get Prepared 110 Piece First Aid Kit: Clean, Treat, Protect Minor Cuts, Scrapes. Home, Office, Car, School, Business, Travel, Emergency, Survival, Hunting, Outdoor, Camping & Sports, FSA HSA


What We Like: Even at a lower price, this kit has many of the supplies you want in a first aid kit.

It’s Worth Noting: It has a limited number of supplies, so it might not work for a kit that serves a large group.

One of the most important parts about having a first aid kit is access to supplies and knowing how to use them, according to Dr. Sokolow, meaning there’s no real difference between having a top-of-the-line kit and a more budget-friendly pick as long as you understand what’s inside. 

This kit from Be Smart Get Prepared is a value option that has many supplies you won’t find even in higher-priced kits, like splints and a cold compress. Most of its supplies are dedicated to cuts and contusions, which are the most common need in a first aid kit.

We also like that the case is a hard plastic, making it easy to open with one hand and keep organized for use on short notice.

Product Details:

  • Also Contains: Splints, first aid guide
  • Number of Pieces: 110
  • Size: 7.5 x 2.5 x 6.8 inches
  • Case Type: Hard plastic

Price at time of publication: $21

Be Smart Get Prepared First Aid Kit


Best for Families

SHBC First Aid Kit



What We Like: This compact kit is well organized, with supplies in different packages for easy access.

It’s Worth Noting: It has plenty of supplies but doesn’t contain everything you might need in a first aid kit.

Between cuts, scrapes, and falls, kids are more prone to small injuries than adults. A first aid kit that’s small but stocked is a must for families. This kit contains ACE wraps, which Mohini Bedi, MD, an emergency medicine physician at the University of Maryland St. Joseph Medical Center, called out as a must for families with children. “[They’re] an ideal addition to any first aid kit, especially for families with children in sports or weekend warriors, since these help provide support and comfort for strains and sprains,” says Dr. Bedi.

SHBC’s first aid kit contains alcohol and prep pads for wound cleaning, small and large bandages, gauze, and even more additional first aid supplies like emergency blankets, a CPR mask, and a multitool.

Product Details:

  • Also Contains: Emergency blanket, CPR mask
  • Number of Pieces: 228
  • Size: 8.3 x 6.3 x 3.2 inches
  • Case Type: Hard zip case

Price at time of publication: $33

SHBC Compact First Aid Kit


Best for Travel

Protect Life 100 Piece Small First Aid Kit



What We Like: While small, this kit contains high-quality items and some pieces that aren’t available in larger kits.

It’s Worth Noting: It’s hard to find items in the kit because there’s no real organization.

A first aid kit can come in handy no matter where you are, but that’s especially true when you’re on the go. If you want something small enough to stow in a bag or car, Protect Life’s Small First Aid Kit contains 100 first-aid items in a kit that’s under 8 inches wide.

While the kit is a little less organized than larger first aid kits because everything is contained in one pouch, our tester was impressed by the supplies inside. The kit contains typical supplies like bandages, alcohol prep pads, and swabs; it also has items that aren’t available in some larger kits, like an emergency blanket and a tourniquet.

The kit also includes saline wash, which Dr. Bedi noted as an item anyone should think about adding to a first aid kit if it’s not included. “When possible, try to avoid antiseptic sprays or alcohol pads, as these can cause more pain and squirming—and a less-thoroughly cleaned wound—when caring for small children or panicked adults,” she says.

Product Details:

  • Also Contains: Eye wash, tourniquet
  • Number of Pieces: 100
  • Size: 7.5" x 5.2" x 1.5"
  • Case Type: Soft zip

Price at time of publication: $25

Protect Life Small 100-Piece First Aid Kit


Best for Backpacking

Everlit 250 Piece Survival First Aid Kit

EVERLIT 250 Pieces Survival First Aid Kit IFAK EMT Molle Pouch Survival Kit Outdoor Gear Emergency Kits Trauma Bag for Camping Boat Hunting Hiking Home Car...


What We Like: This kit’s organization makes it easy to find and replace materials in a hurry.

It’s Worth Noting: It doesn’t include batteries for supplies that require them.

When thinking about buying a first aid kit, you should consider where and how you’ll use it—and that’s especially true when packing for an outdoor adventure. “For example, a first aid kit in an office environment may not require a flashlight, batteries, or handheld tools, such as a knife or rope, clean drinking water, or food packs,” says Jay Woody, MD, FACEP, ABEM, chief medical officer of Intuitive Health and a co-founder of Legacy ER & Urgent Care. “These items may be required for someone who is camping or hiking instead of someone located in the city.”

EVERLIT’s Survival First Aid Kit is geared toward hikers, with a kit that includes standard first aid supplies like bandages and alcohol pads, but also includes a flashlight, fire starter, and an 11-in-1 pocket tool. They're all of the supplies that Dr. Woody called out as necessities for outdoor survival.

One thing you might want to stock up on is batteries—this kit doesn’t include them for the supplies, like a flashlight, that might need them. You’ll also want to top up on a saline solution or even plain water if you’re planning on taking this kit into the wilderness. “If you’re outside of the house, you want the availability of something to clean an injury with,” says Dr. Sokolow. “You can have a bottle with either sterile water or sterile saline; it doesn’t matter.”

Product Details:

  • Also Contains: Firestarter, flashlight, tactical knife
  • Number of Pieces: 250
  • Size: 8 x 6.5 x 5 inches
  • Case Type: Soft zip

Price at time of publication: $50

250-Piece Everlit Survival First Aid Kit


Best Compact

Johnson & Johnson All-Purpose Portable Compact First Aid Kit

Johnson and Johnson first aid kit

What We Like: The kit includes only brand-name items for top quality in an emergency.

It’s Worth Noting: While it has plenty of quality supplies, it’s missing a few key items that would come in handy in an emergency.

When looking for a first aid kit, you want to be sure the items are high quality to hold up in case of an emergency. Band-Aid’s First Aid Kit includes only brand-name products, including the brand’s namesake bandages, as well as products from Bengay, Tylenol, and Neosporin.

While the supplies in this compact kit were all high quality, it was missing a few supplies that you might need in a critical care situation, like splints or CPR supplies.

Product Details:

  • Also Contains: Anti-itch cream
  • Number of Pieces: 140
  • Size: 3.27 x 9.75 x 7 inches
  • Case Type: Hard plastic

Price at time of publication: $19

Johnson and Johnson First Aid Kit


How We Tested and Selected

The Health team tested 15 of the top first aid kits in our lab, looking at their ease of use, organization, quality, and overall value.

During testing, the team—including a registered nurse—determined how easy each case was to open with one hand and then were tasked with finding specific items in the case, timing their search. We also inspected the items for quality and replaced them in the kit to see how easy it would be to keep organized. 

What to Know About First Aid Kits

Essential Supplies

All the experts we spoke with agreed on a standard supply list for any first aid kit. Adhesive bandages in multiple sizes, gauze, shears, gloves, antibiotic and hydrocortisone ointments, and something to clean wounds with—whether that be alcohol or sterile water, as the experts suggested. You’ll also want a splint and something to secure it with, typically a cravat—also called a triangular bandage.

Wound care is most critical in first aid situations, notes Dr. Sokolow. “People sometimes wait a bit too long before coming into the emergency department,” he says. “It’s important to note that, in most cases, lacerations that require stitches can only be closed within about the first 18 or so hours after the injury.” So most of a first aid kit’s focus is on cleaning out wounds while keeping an eye out for more severe injuries that require attention.

In addition to these basic supplies, you’ll also want to include OTC medications like Benadryl and ibuprofen.

What Else to Include

While most first aid kits will have you covered for minor injuries, Hoffman suggests adding a few more specialized supplies depending on who you may need to help, including “an AED, EpiPen, aspirin, glucometer, and tourniquet.” Dr. Sokolow also mentions Naloxone, an intranasal spray that can be used to treat narcotic overdoses in an emergency, noting that it can be a lifesaver in a critical situation.

Dr. Woody mentions a few everyday supplies you can find around the house that will come in handy in a pinch. “Other items that may be of use include storage, trash or sandwich bags; candies or items with sugar; super glue, tampons, towels, or aloe vera,” he says.

Finally, if you’re planning on going remote with your kit, you should think about adding extra blankets, clothing, and water. “Things like this are not technically in a first aid kit but are good things to have on hand,” says Dr. Bedi.

How Much to Expect to Pay for a First Aid Kit

First aid kits are largely inexpensive because they are mostly made up of inexpensive, everyday supplies. The kits we’ve included here are between $20 and $50, with higher-priced kits containing more niche supplies. For most individuals or families, you’ll probably pay less than $30 for a first aid kit. If you need a kit for more people or a more specialized situation, like hiking or backpacking, you might pay closer to $50.

More First Aid Kits to Consider

In addition to the kits in our roundup, we also tested these kits. They all contained plenty of helpful first aid supplies, but they fell short on organization or types of supplies.

Medique Multi-Purpose First Aid Kit

While this kit includes products that aren’t available in a lot of other first aid kits, like burn creams and cold packs, it’s a little more difficult to find than most of the other kits on our list and also has fewer total items.

Swiss Safe Professional First Aid Kit

This kit is stocked with 200 first-aid items, but their labels may be a little difficult to read and identify in a hurry. The kit also doesn’t include any pain relievers.

American Red Cross Be Red Cross Ready First Aid Kit

The Red Cross kit contains most of the items in an ideal first aid kit, but the products aren’t name-brand.

Your Questions, Answered

Should you buy or make a first aid kit?

According to Dr. Sokolow, the most important part of owning a first aid kit—whether purchased or homemade—is knowing your supplies and how to use them. If you buy a first aid kit, you should open it and identify the supplies inside, especially less familiar supplies like tourniquets and CPR masks, making sure you’re familiar with how to use them.

What size should a first aid kit be?

While the doctors we spoke to had their own suggestions for how many of each supply you should stock in a first aid kit, they agreed that it really depends on your situation. If you’re looking to stow a kit in your car or bag for easy everyday access, you should go for a smaller kit that contains plenty of supplies for wound care, like bandages or cleaning supplies. The Protect Life First Aid Kit, our pick for best travel kit, comes in at under 8 inches wide and focuses on wound care.

If you want a kit to be longer term and have a little more space for it—like in your home or at work—you can opt for a larger kit that serves more people. Our pick for backpacking, the EVERLIT Survival First Aid Kit, has 250 pieces and a larger bag for stowing in a backpack, tent, or car.

How long do first aid kits last?

This depends on how many pieces you have in your kit and how many people you plan to serve with a kit. Most first aid kits have a shelf life of about three years, maybe even longer, depending on the materials inside. “Most items in a first aid kit have a 3–5 year lifespan, but it’s still important to frequently check the kit, especially if it contains medications,” says Dr. Woody.

Hoffman also suggests reviewing first aid kits at least once yearly to ensure a good stock of supplies and that things like medications or specialized equipment have not passed their expiration date.

Who We Are

Jaylyn Pruitt has a Master of Library and Information Science with a focus on health information. Her goal is to provide easy-to-understand information with a patient perspective in mind.

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