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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.

Regular testing for sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and infections (STIs) is crucial for overall health.

STD rates have risen since the COVID-19 pandemic, with syphilis infections at a 70-year high. The Centers for Disease Prevention and Control and Prevention (CDC) and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) have issued warnings about this surge. Globally, over 1 million STIs are acquired daily, most without symptoms.

At-home STD testing kits offer convenience and accuracy. For a comprehensive check, consider an STD panel test. However, if you’re concerned about a specific STD, a simple test may suffice and is often quicker and cheaper.

Here’s some valuable information on at-home and private lab-based STD testing options, helping you choose the best test for your needs and knowing when to seek medical advice.

Service and
insurance accepted
PriceTest forMedicationResultsFollow-up guidance
Everlywell$69–$169 (occasional sales)basics*, 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$60–$220 ($30 medical consult fee, plus any service fees and applicable copays and deductibles)** basics*, hepatitis Cyes7 business daysyes
LetsGetCheckedFSA/HSA$89–$249basics*, G. vaginalis, Mycoplasma, Ureaplasmayes, at an additional cost2–5 daysyes, if positive, $39
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

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 due to the stigma associated with the term “STD.” We also use these terms interchangeably throughout the article.

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There are many 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 HHS 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.
  • In a January 2024 report, the HHS warned of the “surging syphilis epidemic,” reminding that untreated syphilis can damage the heart and brain and can cause blindness, deafness, and paralysis.

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. “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 blog.

“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 Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted its first authorization for marketing a test using OTC 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 at-home STD 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 doctors we reached out to for expert opinions, Desai and Bucher, agree about the convenience and anonymity that home tests can offer. However, 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.


  • 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 provide medical consults and access to prescriptions if needed.


  • 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 difficult to choose the right one. After all, what does a reliable 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. They may also change over time.

This chart can help you decide 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 home STD test, taking an in-office test may be preferable. It’s an immediate source of information, and you can work with a healthcare professional to create on-site in the case of a positive result.

Also, be sure the test you choose is FDA-approved. You can check on 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 to your online account, usually within 1–7 days.

While every STD self-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 check for a bunch of different STIs and STDs in one kit, but if you want to test for a specific STI, consider these options:

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You can talk with a healthcare professional if a partner 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 had a HIV test.
  • 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 evaluate your symptoms further. They can help you with STI testing and treatment.

The CDC makes the following additional recommendations for screening for people who are sexually active:

  • Women younger than 25 years and men who have sex with other men may want to undergo annual chlamydia and gonorrhea testing. Men who have sex with other men may want these tests as often as every 3–6 months.
  • Women over 25 years old with any risk factors, like new or multiple partners or a partner who has an STD, should also receive annual gonorrhea and chlamydia tests.

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 sent to a lab, and results are shared discreetly.

If you receive a positive STD result, you can 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 checkups.

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.

Most insurance plans cover the cost of STD tests, as these 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.

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 solid first step. You can order a test online and get results within a couple of 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:

Online services offering STD home-testing kits typically don’t offer rapid tests or instant results. However, many do promise quick service. For example, STDCheck promises results in 1–2 days and PrioritySTD in 1–3 days, when you’re tested in their network facilities.

Many people want at-home STD test instant results, but this isn’t possible. You can usually carry out the test within minutes, but processing STD test kits takes time. They must undergo analysis in reliable labs and be reviewed by qualified personnel.

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

At-home STD tests can be quite accurate, but the accuracy can vary depending on the specific test and how it’s performed. Most home tests claim to be around 95–99% accurate, which is similar to the accuracy of tests done in a clinic or doctor’s office.

However, it’s important to follow the instructions carefully to ensure the best accuracy.

Yes, there are OTC tests for chlamydia that you can purchase at pharmacies such as Walgreens, CVS, and Walmart, or online. One example is the Simple 2 Test from LetsGetChecked, which is the first FDA-authorized test with at-home sample collection for any STD other than HIV.

These STD home tests typically involve collecting a urine sample or a swab from the genital area and then sending it to a lab for analysis. However, it’s important to ensure that any test you choose is FDA-approved and provides accurate results.

Urine tests for STDs, like chlamydia and gonorrhea, are typically accurate when conducted correctly. However, the accuracy can vary based on factors such as the specific STD and the timing of the test in relation to potential exposure.

Following the test instructions precisely and consulting with a healthcare professional for result interpretation is crucial for accuracy.

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.