Best pregnancy test

Pregnancy

Pregnancy tests are good for a couple of years. Using an expired test is a common way to get a false negative result, so always check the expiration date on the box, even if it’s on a store shelf.

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Which pregnancy tests are best?

At-home pregnancy tests are up to 99% accurate and can save you costly trips to the doctor if you’re in the process of conceiving. These discreet products test for the presence of the pregnancy hormone, human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), in the comfort and privacy of your own bathroom.

Before buying a pregnancy test, you’ll need to know about the different types of tests and other important considerations, which we’ve covered in this buying guide. We’ve also included our top pick, Clearblue Digital Pregnancy Test, which features a countdown display and spells out your results to avoid confusion. 

What to know before you buy a pregnancy test

Method

Pregnancy tests fall into two categories: streaming or dipping method. Streaming tests require that you hold a test strip, usually a dipstick, beneath you as you urinate. Some require you to hold it for up to 10 seconds in your urine stream. Dipping requires that you collect your urine in a sterile cup, often provided with the testing kit, and then dip the test strip in the collection container.

Accuracy

At-home pregnancy tests are highly accurate, ranging between 97% to over 99% accurate. You must follow the test’s directions correctly for an accurate test. For example, testing too soon (like before your first missed period) can lead to false negatives if the test isn’t sensitive enough.

Display

Consider how easy the results are to read when choosing a pregnancy test. Tests may indicate pregnancy by changing colors, displaying one or two lines, or a symbol. The easiest displays to interpret are digital screens that simply read “pregnant” or “not pregnant.” Digital tests are the priciest pregnancy tests.

What to look for in a quality pregnancy test

Wider tip

For streaming tests, you may want a dipstick that features a wider absorbent tip so that it’s easier to hit and causes less of a mess.

Early testing

It’s understandable to be anxious if you think you may be pregnant, which is why some manufacturers offer tests that deliver results even before you miss a period. These tests claim to be sensitive enough to detect low levels of hCG five or six days before your expected period date.

Testing time

Some tests take only a minute to show results, whereas others can take up to 10 minutes. Again, consider how anxious you are to get results and factor in the testing time when selecting a pregnancy test.

Quantity

The number of pregnancy tests that come in a kit can range from one or two tests to 20 or even 100. Multipacks may be appropriate if you’re dealing with fertility issues and trying to conceive, or for women who need to test themselves regularly.

Countdown

A nice feature of digital tests is a countdown animation that keeps track of testing time so you don’t have to guess or time how long you have to wait.

How much you can expect to spend on a pregnancy test

Pregnancy tests that come in bulk are the best bargain, starting at $0.50 per test, while higher-end tests cost $4 to $5 per test. These test kits contain two to five individual tests and they’re priced between $8 and $25.

Pregnancy test FAQ

Q. What’s the difference between a pregnancy test performed in a doctor’s office and one taken at home?

A. Your doctor is able to administer a blood test, which not only tests for the presence of hCG but also the levels of the pregnancy hormone. It’s important to confirm your test with your healthcare provider.

Q. Is there a best time of day to take a pregnancy test?

A. Yes. It’s best to take a pregnancy test in the morning when hCG levels are more concentrated. Many manufacturers advise against drinking an excessive amount of water before testing, which can dilute hormone levels and produce a false negative.

What are the best pregnancy tests to buy?

Top pregnancy test

Clearblue Digital Pregnancy Test

Clearblue Digital Pregnancy Test

Our take: A very accurate test that features a digital screen for confusion-less results.

What we like: Over 99% accurate. Trusted brand name. Features a wide, absorbent tip. Includes five digital dipsticks. Easy-to-read results say “pregnant” or “not pregnant.”

What we dislike: Although this test can detect hCG hormone five days before your first missed period, it may be more accurate closer to the missed period date or afterward.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top pregnancy test for the money

AccuMed Pregnancy Test Strips

AccuMed Pregnancy Test Strips

Our take: A no-frills multipack containing 25 pregnancy test strips for under $10.

What we like: Versatile testing strips can either be held in urine stream or dipped in a cup (not included). Bargain-priced. Highly accurate and can detect low levels of hCG.

What we dislike: Don’t let this test sit out, as the test result lines fade over time.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

First Response Early Result Pregnancy Test

First Response Early Result Pregnancy Test

Our take: A trusted name brand that features an easy-to-use dipstick and clear results without the higher cost of a digital screen.

What we like: Can detect pregnancy six days before your first missed period. Quick testing time in three minutes. Three tests per package. Detects four forms of hCG.

What we dislike: Some users received false negatives, so it’s always best to confirm with your doctor. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

 

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Ana Sanchez writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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