The 5 Best At-Home STD Tests of 2022
- Also Known As:
- At-Home STD Screening
At-home STD test kits let you check your status without visiting a doctor’s office and may offer prescription medications when necessary.
Test Quick Guide
Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are infections that can be transmitted between sexual partners and through skin-to-skin contact. Many STDs cause mild symptoms or no symptoms at all. Having an STD can also increase your risk for getting HIV. Screening is important to ensure early detection and prompt treatment to prevent the spread of STDs.
Even during the COVD-19 pandemic in 2020, when social distancing mandates were in place, there were 2.4 million new cases of chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis in the U.S., according to the CDC’s latest report. This is likely a conservative number, as people were probably less inclined to seek testing from doctors during the pandemic, a trend the CDC expects to continue for several more years.
You shouldn’t avoid getting tested because you’re reluctant to go to a doctor’s office or clinic. At-home STD testing allows users to collect urine, blood, oral fluid, and other samples before mailing them to be analyzed at a laboratory. Samples are checked in a laboratory for evidence of the bacteria, viruses, or parasites that cause STDs. At-home STD testing is a form of screening that requires follow-up testing with a medical professional if test results are positive.
The Best At-Home STD Tests Compared
|Test||Price||Type||Tests for:||Results in:||Insurance accepted?||Who should use it:|
|LetsGetChecked Standard 5 STD Test
|$149||Self-collection blood or urine||
||2 to 5 days||No||Sexually active adults who want to test for the STDs commonly tested for by physicians.|
|Everlywell STD Test
Best for FSA/HSA
|$149||Self-collection blood, urine, or vaginal swab||
||A few days||No||Sexually active adults seeking discreet, affordable at-home STD testing.|
Best in-lab option
||Within 1 to 2 business days||No||Sexually active adults who want a complete STD panel taken at a lab.|
Best for insurance
|$150 out-of-pocket or $75 + copay/deductible with insurance||Self-collection of blood and urine||
||Within 7 business days||Yes||Sexually active adults who have been tested for STDs before and want a status check covered by insurance.|
Best for privacy
|$169||Self-collection of urine, blood and/or vaginal swab||
||Within 2 to 5 days||No||Sexually active adolescents and adults who are comfortable with telemedicine consultations if they get a positive result.|
About At-Home STD Tests
Purpose of at-home STD tests
The purpose of at-home STD testing is to determine whether a person is likely to have an STD. Positive results indicate the need to follow up with a medical professional for treatment and/or additional testing.
What do the tests measure?
At-home STD tests detect the presence of specific STDs. Each STD requires a different laboratory test, so it’s important for people to make sure that the at-home testing kit they’re using is designed to detect the appropriate STD.
Some STD tests look for the genetic material, or DNA, of the bacteria, virus, or parasite that causes the STD. Other tests detect viral proteins, called antigens, or antibodies that are produced by the body in response to an STD infection. Examples of at-home STD tests, the necessary test samples, and what each test measures are listed in the table above.
How do at-home STD tests work?
At-home STD tests are mailed to your home for self collection, or you may have the option to visit a local lab for assistance. You or the lab will send the sample to a certified lab for testing. Most STD test results are returned within a week, often faster than that. If you test positive, at-home testing companies may offer support with physician followup and prescriptions.
Which at-home STD test should you choose?
Many at-home STD kits allow users to choose between different STD panels, each including a different set of tests. For example, a standard panel of STD tests may include testing for chlamydia, gonorrhea, HIV, syphilis, and trichomoniasis. A complete STD panel test may include a standard panel, plus testing for herpes and three types of bacteria associated with bacterial vaginosis (gardnerella, mycoplasma, and ureaplasma).
Benefits and Downsides of At-Home STD Tests
At-home STD testing is different from being tested for STDs by a medical professional. Benefits of at-home testing include:
- Convenient: At-home STD testing allows people to screen themselves for STDs without making a medical appointment or leaving their home.
- User-friendly: Test kits are designed to simplify the testing process, often providing detailed instructions and pre-paid labels to mail samples to a laboratory.
- Upfront pricing: Testing companies often provide clear pricing for at-home STD tests. There are usually no unexpected fees for at-home tests.
Downsides of at-home testing include:
- Follow-up appointments needed: Although most at-home STD tests are considered accurate, some at-home test results need to be confirmed by a medical professional. Follow-up may involve additional laboratory testing.
- Potential for errors: While kits offer detailed instructions, there may be increased risks of errors and contamination when collecting the sample.
- Results without a doctor: Although some at-home tests can connect you with a medical professional over the phone, with an at-home STD test you won’t have your doctor immediately available to answer questions or begin treatment.
- May not be covered by insurance: You typically have to pay for at-home tests out-of-pocket, although some at-home STD tests may be covered by health insurance.
- Not available in all states: Current regulatory requirements limit the availability of some types of at-home STD tests in certain U.S. states.
The Best At-Home STD Tests
There are many different types of at-home STD tests available, and it’s important to consider what type of STD testing you’re looking for when selecting an at-home STD test. The following sections provide information about top picks for at-home STD testing:
At-home STD tests were reviewed based on value, convenience, and availability of tests. These overall factors are based on data including price, insurance acceptance, comprehensiveness of tests, and how quickly you can get results and speak to a doctor. STD test selections have been screened by Testing.com’s Medical Review Board.
|Price:||$149 (get a 25% discount)|
|Results timeline:||Within 2 to 5 days|
|Accuracy:||Labs are CLIA approved and CAP-accredited, the highest level of accreditation.|
|Physician follow up:||A nurse will call if you get a positive result.|
|Prescriptions offered:||Yes. Medication is provided at no extra cost if you get a positive result.|
Let’sGetChecked offers a simple STD test that screens only for chlamydia and gonorrhea for $99. Or you can do the most comprehensive test, which provides a complete STD panel, screening for eight different STDs, including gardnerella and mycoplasma, and costs $249. You can get a 25% off discount here. A subscribe and save option is also available that lets you have kits mailed to you every three, six, or 12 months for a discounted price. Let’sGetChecked accepts FSA and HSA payments.
You get your results on LetsGetChecked’s personalized online dashboard, which highlights any abnormal results and provides a detailed breakdown, including factsheets and next steps. If a result does come back abnormal, you’ll be contacted by a registered nurse who can walk you through next steps and arrange for free medication, if needed.
One of the best features is the free medication that’s available in 40 states. You can check if your state is unavailable on the list of state restrictions here. If you test positive for a disease that LetsGetChecked can’t provide treatment for, a nurse will walk you through the best next steps.
Reviewers praise the LetsGetChecked test for its ease of use and affordability, saying, “The results came back within a few days and the instructions were easy to follow.”
|What’s great about LetsGetChecked’s STD test?||What’s not so great?|
Why is LetsGetChecked’s at-home STD test the best overall?
LetsGetChecked has some of the best medical support of any at-home STD test. A nurse can arrange for medication to be delivered to you free of charge if your state allows (which 40 states currently do).
Who should use LetsGetChecked’s at-home STD test?
Sexually active adults who want to test for the STDs commonly tested for by physicians and may want to use the discounted subscription plan.
Best FSA/HSA Acceptance
|Sample:||Blood, urine, or vaginal swab|
|Results timeline:||Within a few days|
|Accuracy:||Labs are CLIA-certified and every test is reviewed and approved by an independent board-certified physician.|
|Physician follow up:||If you get a positive result, you’ll have the opportunity to connect with a physician in Everlywell’s independent physician network for treatment.|
Everlywell’s STD test screens for seven common STDs. It requires two samples: a blood spot from a finger prick and a vaginal swab or urine sample. You collect your sample at home and use a prepaid mailing label to send it to a CLIA-certified lab for testing.
Within a few days, you’ll get an email telling you your results are ready and can log into Everywell’s secure platform to see a detailed report of your results. If you get a positive result, you’ll be contacted by a board-certified physician in your state who can discuss next steps and prescribe mediation if necessary.
Reviewers praise its convenience and speed, with most saying they received results within three days. One reviewer notes, “Taking this test set my mind at ease knowing that I’m able to discreetly test, in the privacy of my own home, and I got results back in a few days.”
While Everlywell does not accept insurance, you can generally use your HSA or FSA account to pay for at-home test kits since they are authorized by a physician. It’s best to check with your plan beforehand to confirm it covers the test you’d like to take. You can also get less comprehensive at-home STD kits for $49, such as one to test for only chlamydia and gonorrhea, or only syphilis.
|What’s great about Everlywell’s STD Test?||What’s not so great?|
Why is Everlywell’s at-home STD test the best for FSA/HSA acceptance?
While Everlywell doesn’t accept insurance, you can use your FSA or HSA card for payment.
Who should use Everlywell’s at-home STD test?
Sexually active adults seeking discreet, affordable at-home STD testing.
Best In-Lab Option
|Results timeline:||Within 1 to 2 business days|
|Accuracy:||Labs are CLIA-certified and FDA-approved.|
|Accepts insurance:||No, but you can get an itemized receipt for insurance reimbursement.|
|Physician follow up:||Doctor consultations are available if you get a positive result, or you can call the care advisor hotline at (800) 456-2323.|
|Prescriptions offered:||Yes. The consulting physician can prescribe treatment for an additional fee.|
STD Check offers private and confidential in-lab testing with its 10-panel STD test. The test screens for 10 common STDs, including hepatitis A and HIV-2. You can order a test online at your closest testing center.
All you need is to bring your lab test code or requisition form with you to the testing center, where a technician will collect your samples. The sample collection process usually takes no more than five minutes and you don’t need to set an appointment. Some test centers even have Saturday hours.
Note that the testing centers can’t accept payment, so you’ll need to pay online or over the phone before visiting the testing center.
Reviewers say STD Check is easy and private with a quick process. STD Check provides some of the fastest results timeframes in the industry: You’ll get your results back in one to two days. If you get a positive result, you can have a doctor consultation to help arrange treatment. The physician can prescribe medication, but it will cost an additional fee.
You can add HIV RNA early detection testing to your panel for an additional $119, or you can create your own panel with tests for individual diseases for $24 to $59 each.
|What’s great about STD Check’s STD Test?||What’s not so great?|
Why is STD Check’s at-home STD test the best in-lab option?
STD Check enables you to get tested in a lab where a trained clinician will take your samples.
Who should use STD Check's at-home STD test?
Sexually active adults who want a complete STD panel taken at a lab.
Best for Insurance
|Price:||$150 out-of-pocket or $75 + copay/deductible with insurance|
|Results timeline:||Within 7 business days|
|Accuracy:||CAP-accredited and CLIA-approved lab.|
|Accepts insurance:||Yes. A list of the in-network insurance providers for STI testing at Nurx’s partner lab, Molecular Testing Labs, can be found here.|
|Physician follow up:||Yes|
Nurx’s basic test uses a finger prick and urine sample, although for added thoroughness, you can opt for an additional throat and rectum check in their Full Control Kit, which costs $220 out of pocket or about $75 with insurance. You’ll get a collection cup and urine tube, which you’ll need to transfer your sample to using the provided dropper.
If you test positive, the Nurx medical team will help you determine the appropriate next steps, be it medication or meeting with an in-person health care provider. For $15, you can get unlimited access to Nurx’s medical team to discuss the test or your results. Note that Nurx’s medical providers are not licensed in all 50 states. To check for licensure in your state, you can review the list of providers by state here.
Reviewers appreciate the convenience and cost-saving benefits of getting to use their insurance. One reviewer notes, “The ease with which I was able to use my insurance from the comfort of my home to order birth control and an STI testing kit, as well as the speed with which both were shipped and results provided, was stellar.”
|What’s great about Nurx’s STD Test?||What’s not so great?|
Why is Nurx’s at-home STD test the best for insurance?
Nurx’s test is one of the few at-home STD test kit providers that accepts health insurance. A list of the in-network insurance providers for STI testing at Nurx’s partner lab, Molecular Testing Labs, can be found here.
Who should use Nurx’s at-home STD test?
Sexually active adults who have been tested for STDs before and want a status check.
Best for Privacy
|Sample:||Blood, urine, vaginal swab|
|Results timeline:||Within 2 to 5 days|
|Accuracy:||Labs are CAP and CLIAcertified.|
|Physician follow up:||Yes|
myLAB Box STD tests are available to anyone age 14 or older, which is important given many STD rates are highest among adolescents and young adults. The 5-Panel test uses a blood, urine or vaginal swab test, which you then return in a prepaid envelope.
If you test positive, you’ll be given instructions on how to access your free telemedicine follow-up consultation. Depending on your infection and state regulations, the physician may be able to prescribe medication for you to pick up at your local pharmacy.
Reviewers point out how fast and easy the sample collection process is, saying it “only took minutes to collect samples” and was much more convenient than going to a local lab. One reviewer writes, “The whole process (from) start to finish was really fast. Instructions were easy to follow. Doing the test in your own home, and not having to answer personal questions, or sit in a waiting room makes it the perfect way to get tested.”
While myLAB Box doesn’t accept health insurance, you can pay with your HSA or FSA card. Note that just because myLAB Box accepts the card for payment, it doesn’t mean your plan covers at-home STD testing. It’s best to check with your plan provider before paying.
|What’s great about myLAB Box’s STD Test?||What’s not so great?|
Why is myLAB Box’s at-home STD test the best for privacy?
myLAB Box provides telemedicine follow-up consultations to help protect your privacy, so everything from ordering your kit to collecting your swab to receiving your results and talking to a physician can be done from your own home.
Who should use myLAB Box’s at-home STD test?
Sexually active adolescents or adults who are comfortable with telemedicine consultations if they get a positive result.
Interpreting At-Home Test Results
Generally, results from at-home STD testing show whether the substance measured by the test was detected in the sample. If the substance was detected, this is reported as a positive test result.
Talking to your doctor is the best way to understand what an STD test result means for your health. Important considerations related to the results of at-home STD testing include:
- Positive tests require follow-up: A positive STD result on an at-home test requires follow-up with a medical professional.
- Tests don’t detect recent STD exposure: Depending on the type of test, it can take days, weeks, or even months for an infected person to test positive. For this reason, a negative result does not rule out an STD infection if the test is taken too soon after potential exposure.
- Tests should not guide behavior: High-risk behavior should be avoided regardless of whether a test result is positive or negative.
- Regular screening may be necessary: Age, gender, health history, and number of sexual partners can affect what to test for and how often. It’s important to talk to your doctor about how often to be tested for STDs.
- Testing may cause anxiety: Getting the results of at-home STD testing can cause anxiety. Consider reaching out to your doctor, a mental health professional, or a support organization to get support for the emotional impacts of testing.
- HIVinfo.NIH.gov. HIV and Opportunistic Infections, Coinfections, and Conditions. Updated August 26, 2021. Accessed June 10, 2022.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Sexually Transmitted Diseases. Updated April 12, 2022. Accessed June 10, 2022.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Sexually Transmitted Disease Surveillance 2020 – Impact of COVID-19 on STDs. Updated April 12, 2022. Accessed June 10, 2022.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Sexually Transmitted Infections Treatment Guidelines, 2021 – Adolescents. Updated July 22, 2021. Accessed June 10, 2022.
- Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. Sexually Transmitted Disease. Updated 2020. Accessed June 10, 2022.