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We personally tested and compared the best at-home STD tests available online and found that Everlywell offers users the best overall experience.

Best at-home tests

Service and
insurance accepted
Price**Test forMedicationResultsFollow-up guidance
Everlywell$69–$169basics*, hepatitis Cyes, through an online visit with a network clinicianwithin daysyes, if positive
myLAB BoxFSA/HSA$59–$399basics*, Mycoplasmayes, for chlamydia, gonorrhea, and trichomoniasis2–5 daysyes, if positive
Nurxi$30–$220 (plus medical consult fee, service fees, and applicable copays and deductibles)** basics*, hepatitis Cyes7 business daysyes
LetsGetCheckedFSA/HSA$99–$249basics*, Gardnerella vaginalis, Mycoplasma, Ureaplasmayes, at an additional cost2–5 daysyes, if positive, $39
iDNA$78–$298basics*, hepatitis C, Mycoplasma, Ureaplasmapart of iDNA membership2–7 dayspart of iDNA membership
STDCheck$24–$259basics*, hepatitis (A, B, and C)yes, $951–2 daysyes, if positive, $95
PrioritySTD$69–$198basics*, hepatitis B and Cyes, for chlamydia, gonorrhea, and trichomoniasis1–3 daysyes, if positive for chlamydia, gonorrhea, or trichomoniasis, $65

*Note that we use the term “basics” to encompass chlamydia, gonorrhea, herpes, HIV, HPV, syphilis, and trichomoniasis. Other STDs tested are unique to that brand.

*FSA/HSA =FSA/HSA accepted only i =insurance accepted

Regular testing for sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and sexually transmitted infections (STIs) is important for overall health and any necessary treatments. Taking an STD test at home can provide an accurate and convenient method for knowing your status.

To fully check your STD status, you’ll want a comprehensive test — also called a complete test, an STD panel test, or a test kit. These tests check for a number of STDs at once. But if you’re only concerned about one STD, you can get what is called a simple STD test, which is usually less expensive and faster.

The incidence of STDs has been increasing since the pandemic, and the rate of syphilis infection is the highest it’s been since the 1950s. Both the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC) and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) have issued recent warnings about the STD surge.

The World Health Organization reports that more than 1 million sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are acquired every day worldwide, most of which have no symptoms.

Dr. Dhaval Desai, a physician board certified in internal medicine and pediatrics and director of hospital medicine at Emory Saint Joseph’s Hospital in Atlanta, emphasized the urgency of getting tested. “STDs or STIs are still a major concern for public health,” he said. “Testing for STDs/STIs is necessary from both an epidemiology and a treatment standpoint.”

Here’s some quality information at-home STD and STI test options, how to figure out what type of test is best for you, and when to contact a doctor.

STI? I thought it was STD?

Note: An STI is considered an STD when it causes symptoms. Usually, an infection is the first step to potentially developing a disease.

Not all diseases start as infections. But in the case of STDs, they do. In both cases, STIs and STDs are used interchangeably, mostly because of the stigma associated with the term “STD.” We also use these terms interchangeably throughout the article.

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There are a lot of factors to consider when choosing an at-home STD test, which is why we turned to the experts.

Every product we recommend and brand we work with is thoroughly vetted by our team. If there are any lawsuits, recalls, or regulatory action letters documented about these products or companies, our vetting team makes sure they’re reported and listed.

In addition to legalities, our team always checks for medical credibility, good business practices, privacy practices and security, social impact, and the validity of any health claims a brand makes about a product. At-home testing services are required to abide by telehealth standards in the following circumstances:

  • Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA) and/or Certified Analytics Professional (CAP) certified
  • guidance available to customers who test positive for an STD
  • prescription services available in the event of positive test results
  • physician orders for in-person lab test available where necessary

Both the CDC and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) pointed to an overwhelming recent surge in STDs:

  • The CDC issued a January 2024 report showing more than 2.5 million cases of syphilis, gonorrhea, and chlamydia in the United States during 2022.
  • The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) in a January 2024 report warned of the “surging syphilis epidemic,” reminding that untreated syphilis can damage the heart and brain and can cause blindness, deafness, and paralysis.

“STDs or STIs are still a major concern for public health,” Dr. Desai said. “These diseases are still spread. We want to encourage safe sex practices among our population, and make sure people are aware of disease manifestations and symptoms.”

“Sex does not have to be looked at as a taboo topic or one that we shouldn’t be talking about,” he added. “It’s something we should embrace about doing safely and with knowledge to ensure a long-term healthy sex life and overall health.”

“Getting tested for STDs regularly is important, even if you always use barriers like condoms and feel totally fine,” Planned Parenthood said in a February 2024 press release.

“Most people with STDs don’t have symptoms or know they’re infected, and they can easily pass the infection to their partners. So testing is the only way to know for sure whether or not you have an STD.”

Dr. Gary Bucher, an anal health specialist who is the medical director and founder of Anal Dysplasia Clinic MidWest in Chicago, emphasized the urgency of testing:

“Regular STD testing in sexually active persons is key in preventing sexual partners from becoming infected and spreading STDs,” he said. “Treatment of STDs is necessary to prevent health issues that occur with untreated STDs.

“Some STDs, such as syphilis, gonorrhea, and chlamydia, can have reproductive and individual health consequences if left untreated, and other STDs like human papillomavirus (HPV) can cause certain cancers,” he explained.

Home tests for STDs are relatively new. You used to have to go to a clinic or doctor’s office to get tested. The FDA granted its first authorization for marketing a test using at-home sample collection for an STD other than HIV to the LetsGetChecked Sample 2 test for chlamydia and gonorrhea in November 2023.

At that time of the authorization, the FDA gave a green light to the future of such tests.

“This authorization marks an important public health milestone, giving patients more information about their health from the privacy of their own home,” said Dr. Jeff Shuren, director of the FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health, in a November 2023 press release.

“We are eager to continue supporting greater consumer access to diagnostic tests, which helps further our goal of bringing more health care into the home.”

The two doctors that we reached out to for expert opinions, Dr. Desai and Dr. Bucher, both agree about the convenience and anonymity that home tests can offer. But they also point to potential downsides, including mistakes in collecting samples, unreliable results, privacy breaches, and lack of follow-up care.

“If there were to be a positive reading on a home test, the individual would still need to proceed to see a primary care or urgent care [clinician] for the best treatment and steps moving forward,” Dr. Desai advised.

Bucher pointed out that home kits are not available for all STDs. “Until home kits are available for a broad range of STDs and STIs, it is important that patients seek out primary care from healthcare [professionals] who are highly trained clinically and that prioritize patients’ privacy,” he pointed out.

Pros

  • It’s more discreet.
  • They can test for several STDs and STIs at once.
  • The timing for collecting the sample may be more convenient for you and provide your test results quickly.
  • Some companies offer subscriptions for people who test regularly.
  • Some services offer medical consults and access to prescriptions if needed.

Cons

  • If your test results are positive, treatment isn’t always readily available.
  • The results may be difficult to interpret without a healthcare professional.
  • There may be delays in sending and receiving tests.
  • The tests may be expensive.
  • A risk of error in collecting samples yourself means your test results could be inaccurate.
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With dozens of at-home testing kits available, it can be hard to choose the right one. After all, what does a good at-home STD test kit look like? What should it entail? What do you need?

There’s no one-size-fits-all answer. Your needs will vary depending on your situation and circumstances. Also, they may change over time.

This chart can help you determine which type of home test is right for you.

Reasons to testFully online test Home-to-lab test In-office test
out of curiosity X X X
after sex without a condom or another barrier method, or after a condom broke X X
experiencing unusual symptoms X
before or after a new partner X X
recent or current partner received a positive test X
want to stop using a condom with your current partner X X
haven’t had an in-office test in 1 or more years X X X

If you think you’ll need help determining results from your test, taking an in-office test may be preferable. It’s an immediate source of information, and an action plan can be created on-site in the case of a positive result.

Also, be sure the test you choose is approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). To determine whether the FDA approves a product, you can check the FDA website.

At-home STD tests arrive with all the tools needed to collect a sample, such as:

  • needles or lancets
  • swabs
  • collection tubes
  • alcohol wipes
  • bandages
  • a prepaid envelope to mail your sample back to the company

You might need to provide a blood or urine sample or perform a rectal, oral, or vaginal swab. It’s best to return the samples the same day you take them. The company then sends your test results through your online account, usually within 1–7 days.

While every home STD testing service is different, most brands recommended here offer professional advice or support for reading your test results at home.

If you do a fully-at-home STD test, there’s a risk you’ll misinterpret your results. Lab-based tests can also be difficult to interpret without a medical background.

As such, it’s best to opt for a testing service where you have access to a healthcare professional who can discuss your results with you. They can help you interpret your results and advise on treatments and next steps.

Related at-home STD tests

The tests listed above test for a bunch of different STIs and STDs in one kit, but if you want to test for a specific STI, check out these options:

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Talk with a healthcare professional if one of your partners has recently tested positive for an STD or STI or if you’re experiencing possible symptoms of an STI.

The CDC recommends STD screenings from a healthcare professional in the following cases:

  • You’re between 13–64 years old and have never been tested for HIV.
  • You share needles. A doctor may recommend annual HIV testing.
  • You have sex without a condom or other barrier methods. A doctor may recommend annual HIV testing.
  • You have oral or anal sex regularly. A doctor may recommend throat and rectal testing.
  • You’re pregnant. A doctor will test you for hepatitis B and C, HIV, and syphilis.

If you have an STI but are experiencing more or worsening symptoms, like genital discharge or urinary symptoms, you can contact a healthcare professional to further evaluate your symptoms. They can help you with STI testing and treatment.

The CDC makes the following additional recommendations for screening:

  • People who are sexually active and assigned female at birth, people assigned male at birth, and people under 25 years old may want to undergo annual chlamydia and gonorrhea testing.
  • People who are sexually active and assigned male at birth who have sex with other people assigned male at birth may want to undergo testing as frequently as every 3 to 6 months.

Our roundup of at-home STD tests is a good starting point if you want to get tested without contacting a doctor.

Depending on the test, you may need to visit a lab for collection. Every other part of the process is done online, including the:

  • lab order
  • payment
  • results

If you receive a positive test result, the testing kit company may offer a consultation with one of their doctors. During that consultation, you can discuss any next steps, such as further testing or treatment.

At this point, it’s also a good idea to contact your primary care doctor to share your results.

With both at-home and lab-direct tests, you’ll provide a sample. The samples may include:

  • blood
  • urine
  • anal swabs
  • vaginal swabs
  • oral swabs

The samples are submitted to a lab, and results are shared discreetly.

If you receive a positive STD result, contact your primary care clinician to discuss the best treatment option for you. Also, be prepared to notify any partners of the positive result.

An at-home test may confirm whether you have an STD, but it’s important to contact a doctor if you have symptoms of a possible infection. These symptoms may include:

  • vaginal or penile burning or discharge
  • frequent urination
  • pelvic or genital pain
  • sores or bumps around your genitals, anus, or mouth
  • atypical bleeding (bleeding other than menstruation)

The CDC recommends that people ages 13–64 get tested for HIV at least once a year as part of their routine health checkup.

The CDC also recommends that sexually active women younger than 25 years get tested for gonorrhea and chlamydia every year.

In addition, the CDC suggests that pregnant people get tested early in their pregnancy for:

  • syphilis
  • hepatitis B
  • hepatitis C
  • HIV

Sexually active men who have sex with men may want to also get tested annually for:

  • syphilis
  • chlamydia
  • gonorrhea

If you experience symptoms at any time, don’t wait to get tested. The quicker you’re tested, the sooner you can begin treatment.

Most modern STD tests are highly accurate. Still, test accuracy can vary, depending on the type of sample and the test detection method.

Traditional in-office tests are more accurate than fully online tests, and home-to-lab tests are more accurate than self-collected tests. But all are highly efficient.

While in-office STD tests may be considered the most reliable, the at-home test kits on our list also have a reputation for being highly accurate.

It’s important that you don’t rely on home testing in place of contacting a doctor if you have any possible symptoms of an STD or STI or have other important questions about your overall health.

Most insurance plans cover the cost of STD tests, as these tests are considered preventive and covered under the Affordable Care Act. But whether your plan covers a specific STD test depends on several factors, including your:

  • age
  • sex and gender
  • risk factors
  • pregnancy status

Also, the coverage of at-home tests varies.

To learn more about your specific options, you can talk with:

  • a nurse
  • a doctor
  • your insurance company

You can also find free or low cost STD testing sites across the country.

Yes. Alabama, as well as many other U.S. states, offer confidential free STD testing and treatment options through the state’s Department of Public Health in a variety of  clinics and healthcare settings.

These STD testing options are in-person, not at-home. To find free testing sites near you, contact your local county health department.

 

 

Any one of the platforms providing at-home STD tests listed in this article is a good first step. You can order a test online and get results within a couple days. Either the service or your regular healthcare professional can prescribe treatment if the test is positive.

You can also find free and low-cost in-person STD testing in your area through these resources:

Not all online services offer rapid tests, but many do promise quick service. For example, STDCheck promises results in 1–2 days and PrioritySTD in 1–3 days, when you are tested in their network facilities.

Many people want at-home STD test instant results, but this is not possible. You can usually carry out the test within minutes, but processing of  STD test kits takes time. they must be analyzed in reliable labs and reviewed by qualified personnel.

Transporting the test to and from your home also takes time. The testing process is fastest if you are able to visit a lab within the provider’s network, rather than rely on the mail to receive and deliver tests.

Testing for STDs and STIs regularly is important.

Testing can help prevent the transmission of STIs. It can also help you get the appropriate treatment options if you have a viral, bacterial, or fungal infection, as many STDs and STIs can be treated or cured.

Contacting a doctor or other healthcare professional is generally the most reliable way to know whether you’ve contracted an STI or have an STD. But an at-home test is an excellent alternative. For many, an at-home test is a confidential and convenient option.