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At-home tests for a urinary tract infection (UTI) are convenient because they are easily available online or in drugstores without a prescription. A UTI applies to a range of infections affecting the urinary tract, including the urethra, bladder, and kidneys.

UTI at-home tests are also affordable and have fairly reliable results. The standard UTI at-home dipstick test can be an economical way to begin if you think you have an uncomplicated UTI. Typically, these are good for someone who:

  • is a generally healthy person
  • is premenopausal
  • is not pregnant
  • has no known risks for complications from a UTI

If you get a positive result, the next step is making a doctor’s appointment for diagnosis and treatment. Only a doctor can diagnose a UTI. Research shows that untreated UTIs can lead to serious medical issues, such as sepsis or kidney infections.

Taking budget into consideration, we’re sharing the four best affordable at-home UTI tests.

We considered the following factors when deciding on the best affordable at-home UTI tests:

  • Cost: Every at-home UTI test on this list is budget-friendly. Most cost less than $25. Only one test costs more because it offers all-in-one testing and treatment involving a free doctor consultation.
  • Features: All these have UTI test strips that check for both leukocytes and nitrites, rather than just nitrites, for a more accurate result.
  • Quality: We combed online sources and only picked tests that are reported to give accurate and reliable results.
  • Customer reviews: We looked at online customer reviews and comments to pick tests that have satisfied users.
  • Vetting: The products on our list have been vetted to ensure that they align with Healthline’s brand integrity standards and approach to well-being. You can read more about our vetting process.

An at-home UTI test is a tool or kit you buy over-the-counter (OTC) or online to test whether you have a UTI infection. There are four types of in-home UTI tests available:

  • dipstick urine test
  • urine culture
  • next-generation sequencing
  • molecular (PCR)

Although at-home tests are available for all four types of UTI tests, almost all affordable in-home tests are dipstick tests. You urinate on a test strip, which changes color in several minutes to indicate a UTI.

Dipstick urine tests check for leukocyte levels (white blood cells) and nitrite (E. coli bacteria), two of the most common signs of a UTI. Some also test for pH level, another indicator.

A urine culture is usually done in a clinical setting and ordered by a doctor. The goal is to pinpoint the exact bacteria that are causing your infection in order to pick the best antibiotic for it. Your doctor may order this test after you get a positive dipstick test.

The last two types of tests, next-generation sequencing and molecular (PCR) tests, are advanced UTI testing and are generally reserved for chronic UTIs or specific medical conditions.

A note on price

General price ranges with dollar signs ($–$$$) are indicated below. One dollar sign means the product is rather affordable, whereas three dollar signs indicate a higher cost.

Generally, prices range from $10 to $20, though this may vary depending on where you shop.

Pricing guide

  • $ = under $15
  • $$ = $15–$25
  • $$$ = over $25
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Best for budget

Stix UTI Tests

  • Price: $$
  • Results in: 2 minutes
  • Type of test: test strips
  • Tests for: leukocytes, nitrite
  • Telehealth/prescription follow-up: no

Why we chose it

Stix UTI strips have a good reputation for ease of use and reliability among reviewers. The company says its test strips are the same that many doctors use. It also offers products for UTI pain relief and UTI daily maintenance.

What we like

  • results in 2 minutes
  • includes pH-balanced wipes to help get a clean urine sample
  • has separate results for leukocytes and nitrite

What to look out for

  • some reviewers say it’s difficult to match test strip result colors with the product’s color chart on the test wrapper

Best all-in-one test/doctor/prescription package

myLABBOX At-Home Test Kit

  • Price: $$$
  • Results in: 2 minutes
  • Type of test: test strips
  • Tests for: leukocytes, nitrite
  • Telehealth/prescription follow-up: yes

Why we chose it

This test kit combines a UTI test with a free telehealth consult and a medication prescription, if needed. Medication will cost extra.

What we like

  • includes test and free virtual consultation with a physician
  • medication prescribed, as needed
  • free shipping with discreet packaging

What to look out for

  • relatively expensive
  • kit not available in Montana, North Dakota, and Vermont

Best kit

Uqora UTI Emergency Kit

  • Price: $$
  • Results in: 2 minutes
  • Type of test: test strips
  • Tests for: leukocytes, nitrite
  • Telehealth consult/prescription included: no

Why we chose it

This kit gives you everything you need before you go to the doctor for assessment and treatment of your UTI. You can test, then take the included products for pain relief and infection control while you wait for your medical appointment.

We also like that this company is doing research into alternative treatments for UTIs other than antibiotics.

What we like

  • results in 2 minutes
  • includes UTI pain relief and infection control products
  • has extensive urinary health information on website

What to look out for

  • includes only 2 test strips
  • results may not be accurate if you take pain relief or infection control products included in the kit before you take the UTI test

Best for availability

easy@Home Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) Test Strips

  • Price: $
  • Results in: 2 minutes
  • Type of test: test strips
  • Tests for: leukocytes and nitrite
  • Telehealth consult/prescription included: no

Why we chose it

This UTI dipstick test is widely available online and at many of the major drugstore chains and big box stores. There’s nothing extra-special about it, but it is easy to access and use, and it provides results in 2 minutes.

What we like

  • cleared by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for OTC use
  • quick results
  • box comes with more than one test, so you can keep extra on hand for frequent testing (individually wrapped tests have a shelf life of 2 years)

What to look out for

  • some reviewers complain of false positives and false negatives
Stix UTI Tests$$• 3 tests, individually packaged
• plastic grip handle on strips
• separate tests for leukocytes and nitrite
• includes pH-balanced wipes for clean urine catch
myLABBOX At-Home Test Kit $$$• includes test and free virtual doctor consult
• medication prescription, as needed (medication cost is extra)
• tests for leukocytes and nitrite
Uqora UTI Emergency Kit $$ • 2 test strips, plus products for pain relief and infection control
• tests for leukocytes and nitrite
Easy@Home Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) Test Strips$• tests for leukocytes and nitrite
• packages available with varied number of tests
• FDA-approved for OTC use

An in-home UTI test result is usually accurate, but there are also false negatives and false positives.

False negative

Sometimes a UTI test can miss an infection. This is called a false negative. It means that your test results may indicate that you don’t have a UTI when you actually do.

If you continue to have UTI symptoms even though your test result is negative, it’s important to contact a medical professional for further advice. Research shows that the standard dipstick UTI tests are not reliable to rule out a UTI.

False positive

A positive UTI test result (confirming that you do have a UTI) is usually reliable, especially when discussed with a medical professional.

But it is common to see false positives among older people, especially those in nursing homes who often have bacteria in their urine that gives a positive result without a UTI.

UTIs are the most common infection among outpatients, and the largest subtype of infections acquired in healthcare settings. They account for about 7 million visits to medical professionals every year.

Symptoms vary depending on the type of UTI and the part of the urinary tract affected. But with a UTI, you will generally experience:

  • burning sensation when urinating
  • frequent need to urinate
  • cloudy urine
  • bad-smelling urine
  • lower back pain
  • feeling unwell, tired, or achy

At-home UTI tests are generally safe and reliable, but there are some situations in which doctor involvement is a better first step, such as when there is a higher risk of complications.

But an in-home test is a good first step if:

  • You think you have an uncomplicated UTI: At-home test kits are usually good for someone who is generally healthy with a normal urinary tract and no known risks for increased complications from UTIs.
  • You want to check the progress of your treatment: If you have already been prescribed antibiotics for UTI, some people like to do a UTI test to check the progress.
  • You want to check your urinary health: Some people do periodic tests for themselves or other household members to rule out UTIs. These should be done in communication with a doctor, as false negative results from UTI tests are always possible.

Ask a doctor first

  • If you’re pregnant: A UTI can put both the birthing parent and baby at risk, so there should be no delay in the treatment of a UTI.
  • If you think you have a complicated UTI: This is an infection with one or more factors that put you at higher risk for complications from a UTI. These include abnormal urinary tracts, diabetes, compromised immune systems, or a history of UTIs in which most antibiotics did not successfully control the infection.
  • If you were assigned male at birth: A UTI in a person assigned male at birth is considered a complicated UTI, but a doctor can help determine the cause.
  • If the UTI is in a young child: A UTI in a child is considered a complicated UTI. The usual symptom is fever, which should be diagnosed and treated quickly. Also, young children may be unable to talk accurately about symptoms, so a doctor should be involved.
  • If the UTI is in a person over 65: Complications from UTIs in older people can sometimes develop quickly, so treatment with a doctor is usually a good first step.
  • If there is blood in your urine: This could be a medical emergency and a doctor needs to be involved immediately.
  • If you think you might have a kidney infection: This is a serious condition that can be life-threatening if not treated quickly. Symptoms include fever, chills, pain in the lower back or flank, nausea, or vomiting.

Most at-home UTI tests check whether your urine contains the two most common signs of a UTI infection: nitrite and leukocytes. If both nitrites and leukocytes are present, it’s likely that you have a UTI.

Nitrites are a form of nitrogen that is often present along with bacteria, especially E. coli, which is responsible for about 80% of all community-acquired UTIs. Leukocytes are white blood cells, often present to fight inflammation and infection.

Hold your completed test strip up next to the results chart provided in your test package and match it to the closest color. The color will indicate if you are positive, negative, or have traces of nitrite and leukocytes.

Some tests have one result for both leukocytes and nitrite, while others indicate separate results for each.

Recurrent UTIs are common. About 1 in 4 women who have a UTI will have a future one.

Recurrent UTIs result from a disruption of the bacteria balance in the bladder, which can happen as a result of:

  • normal sexual activities
  • certain medical procedures
  • changes in bowel habits (diarrhea or constipation)
  • no clear cause

Some tips for avoiding UTIs:

  • Change birth control method: Spermicidal foam and diaphragms are known to increase the risk of UTIs in some women. Talk to your medical professional about another type of birth control.
  • Drink water regularly: Drink plenty of fluids (1/2 gallon daily) to keep well-hydrated.
  • Don’t put off urination or rush it: Holding in urine or not fully emptying your bladder can cause UTIs.

Does the FDA approve in-home UTI tests?

The FDA in general approves home use tests but advises that you see your healthcare professional regularly. Also, the FDA has issued a warning that you should not use home tests that are not authorized for sale in the United States.

The FDA database of specifically approved OTC tests was last updated in 2017 and does not include most of the currently available UTI tests.

What should I do if I get a positive result?

Call your doctor or a community clinic and tell them your test results. Ask for an appointment for a diagnosis and treatment.

Can I tell if I have a UTI without a test?

Your symptoms will usually be the first to tell you that you have a UTI. But a test will give you more assurance, and a diagnosis from a doctor will confirm it.

Are in-home UTI tests covered by insurance?

Most test companies suggest you ask your insurance provider whether your policy covers in-home UTI tests. In-home UTI tests are often allowable expenses in flexible spending accounts (FSA) and health savings accounts (HSA).

Are there any treatments for UTIs other than antibiotics?

Currently, antibiotics are the only known effective treatment for UTIs. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that taking antibiotics prescribed by a healthcare professional can treat most UTIs at home, but some cases still require hospitalization.

Is there any at-home treatment I can do to get rid of my UTI?

While antibiotics are the only medically recognized UTI treatment, there are many methods that people claim will either cure a UTI or help you feel better until you get to a doctor. Learn more about home remedies for UTI.

Can men get UTIs?

People with vaginas are more likely than people with penises to contract a UTI simply because of anatomy. Most UTIs result from fecal matter entering the urethra, which is closer to the anus in women than in men. Men can develop UTIs if they’re using catheters or have certain medical conditions.

A UTI in someone with a penis is considered a complicated UTI that is better tested by a medical professional than an in-home test.

An at-home UTI test can be an easy, efficient, and affordable way to identify a possible UTI. But UTI tests are screenings, not diagnoses. If you get a positive result, it’s important to contact a medical professional for diagnosis and treatment.

Also, experts warn that a negative at-home test doesn’t always mean you are UTI-free. If you continue to have UTI symptoms following a negative test, it’s essential to contact a medical professional promptly to discuss the next steps.