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According to a National Diabetes Statistics Report, 34.1 million people ages 18 and older had diabetes in the United States in 2018. More concerning: 7.3 million adults who met the criteria for diabetes hadn’t been diagnosed.

When you have diabetes, it’s important to monitor your blood sugar, but a healthcare professional will also want to check your A1C levels to understand how your diabetes is being managed.

Your A1C, or HbA1c, as it’s sometimes referred to, is like taking a snapshot of your glucose readings over the past 8 to 12 weeks.

While your blood glucose readings can fluctuate throughout the day, your A1C is an average of these readings. The higher your level is, the more at risk you are of having complications from diabetes.

A1C can be used to screen or diagnose prediabetes or diabetes, or just monitor how your diabetes is doing.

Your A1C can fluctuate with lifestyle changes, certain medications, or hormonal changes. Because of this, it’s important to make sure you’re checking your levels at least twice per year if you’re getting treatment for diabetes, according to the American Diabetes Association.

It’s possible you may want to check your A1C more often if your doctor recommends it.

You can take this test at your doctor’s office, but with advances in telehealth, you now have more options for at-home testing.

Some people do at-home tests as a supplement to routine monitoring. If your aim is to substitute home testing for a test ordered by your doctor, it’s a good idea to first discuss it with them.

To select the best HbA1c test kits, we considered the following factors:

We reviewed the type of testing offered and whether testing was done at home or by going to a lab. The variety of these test kits allows for options for every person’s unique needs.

Best overall

LetsGetChecked

  • Price: $79 for Diabetes Test, and $89 for Diabetes and Heart Test
  • Insurance coverage: accepts FSA and HSA cards, but doesn’t take insurance
  • Results: 2-5 days

LetsGetChecked offers two options for diabetes testing: the Diabetes Test, and the Diabetes and Heart Test.

If you only want to know your HbA1c, the Diabetes Test is right for you. The Diabetes and Heart Test offers the HbA1c test, and also cholesterol, including HDL, LDL, and HDL percentage of total cholesterol.

People with diabetes or prediabetes have an increased risk of heart conditions, and it’s important to monitor cholesterol levels.

You can choose free delivery for standard shipping, or, for a fee, you can choose express delivery.

You’ll activate your test when you receive the box and answer a short questionnaire. Instructional videos are easily found on the testing page. If any results are out of range, a nurse will call you before your results appear on the platform.

Learn more about LetsGetChecked here.

Pros

  • The app is available for your phone (iOS and Android) or tablet.
  • It has CAP and ISO accreditation, and is CLIA-certified.
  • It can test for a variety of diabetes-related numbers.

Cons

  • You can’t use promotional codes in subscription purchase.
  • It doesn’t accept insurance.
  • It can’t ship to certain states or Air/Army post offices.

Use code “HEALTHLINE25” for 25% off

Best for membership

Everlywell

  • Price: $49 or $24.99 per month with membership
  • Insurance coverage: accepts FSA and HSA cards, but doesn’t take insurance
  • Results: within 5 days

Everlywell began in 2015 and offers a wide range of at-home testing, including the HbA1c test.

If you decide to become a member, you’ll have access to significant discounts on the testing options. For $24.99 per month, you can have one qualifying test shipped to you.

After you order and pay for your test, it will ship to your home in 5 to 10 business days. You’ll register your kit once it’s delivered using an ID number on the box.

Testing is done by pricking your finger, and instructional videos are available on the site.

A physician will review your results, and you’ll get those results delivered to your online account within 5 business days. This report also contains details of how to interpret your results. If the results are positive, or out of normal range, a physician will contact you to go over the results and discuss next steps.

Learn more about Everlywell here.

Pros

  • It has membership pricing options.
  • It’s CLIA-certified.
  • It offers personalized results, including optional live webinar to learn more about your results.

Cons

  • It’s not available in New York.
  • It doesn’t take insurance.
  • Everlywell has a slower processing time than other companies.

Use code “HEALTHLINE25” for 25% off.

Best for detailed results

Verisana

  • Price: $49
  • Insurance coverage: none
  • Results: within 3 weeks

You’ll receive your Verisana HbA1c kit within 5 to 7 days of ordering. Follow the instructions on the website to collect a finger-prick blood sample and post it to the lab.

Verisana will send your results via email within 3 weeks. Results include a lab report explaining the analyzed markers and symptoms that may arise if blood sugar levels are outside of the healthy range.

Verisana doesn’t provide medical advice and encourages you to visit a healthcare professional to interpret your results and receive guidance.

According to the website, Verisana values customer privacy and doesn’t disclose your information to unauthorized third parties.

Due to regulations, Verisana tests are not available in Maryland, New York, New Jersey, and Rhode Island.

Pros

  • The results are insightful and easy to interpret.
  • Sample collection is easy and convenient.

Cons

  • The results take up to 3 weeks.
  • The website can be difficult to navigate.
  • It doesn’t accept insurance.

Best for physician-reviewed testing

Cerascreen

Price: $49
Insurance coverage: none
Results: within 1 week

Cerascreen is a German company founded in 2012. The company also offers nutritional supplements, coaching, and health, nutrition, and fitness courses.

To take the Cerascreen HbA1c Test, prick your finger to take a blood sample and send it off to the CLIA-certified lab, where a doctor will review it.

You’ll receive your results via the Cerascreen app (available for iOS and Android) or an account on the website. The laboratory analysis will let you know if your HbA1c long-term blood is within a healthy range.

You’ll also receive personalized recommendations on how to improve your health and whether you need to see a doctor. Cerascreen also provides information about the importance of healthy sugar levels.

Due to restrictions, Cerascreen tests are not available in Maryland, New York, New Jersey, and Rhode Island.

Pros

  • The personalized results include recommendations.
  • It’s CLIA-certified.
  • There’s an app available.

Cons

  • It doesn’t accept insurance.
  • Customer service response times are long.
  • Some customers report delayed test results.

Best for laboratory testing

Pixel by Labcorp

  • Price: $39 for Diabetes Risk (HbA1c) Test
  • Insurance coverage: accepts FSA and HSA cards, but doesn’t take insurance
  • Results: varies

Labcorp was founded in 1969. It has since grown to a wide network of labs that are CAP-accredited and CLIA-certified.

The company processes millions of test samples weekly. Pixel by Labcorp is the at-home testing branch where you can request a test kit shipped to your home. There aren’t additional fees you need to pay when you go to the lab.

The Diabetes Risk (HbA1c) Test is specific to A1C, but there are also diabetes-related tests, including the Diabetes Management Blood Test. This test contains four tests: the A1C, cholesterol and lipid panel, comprehensive metabolic panel, and albumin:creatinine ratio.

You’ll need to create an account with Pixel and pay online for your physician-ordered test. Pixel will email you a requisition number that you’ll take to a Labcorp testing center along with your photo ID.

Your results will come back through the Pixel site. If your results come back out-of-range, a physician will notify you separately.

Learn more about Pixel by Labcorp here.

Pros

  • The company has a long-standing track record.
  • It has CAP-accredited and CLIA-certified laboratories.
  • Labcorp-contracted physicians order and review tests.

Cons

  • You must visit a testing site — home testing is not available.
  • Depending on where you live, there might not have a convenient test site near you.
  • A $6.50 fee is taken if you request a refund within 6 months of purchase.

Best for follow-up care

myLAB Box

  • Price: $74
  • Insurance coverage: none
  • Results: 1-5 days

myLAB Box has been providing in-home test services since 2014. The company’s specialty is sexually transmitted infection (STI) testing, but there are plenty of other tests.

Unlike other companies, myLAB Box offers testing in all 50 states, but the A1C test is temporarily unavailable in New York.

Ordering your test online is easy, and it ships to you in discreet packaging.

You’ll activate your A1C test online with the provided ID number, and then you’ll collect your sample using the finger-prick method, which takes 5 minutes.

The sample will need to be mailed on the day you take the test. If your results come back out-of-range, you have the option of a free telehealth consultation with a physician.

Pros

  • The tests are approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
  • The results are ready in 1 to 5 days.
  • It offers a free consultation from a physician for out-of-range results.

Cons

  • It costs more than the tests from other companies.
  • There’s no after-hours support available.
  • A1C testing is unavailable in New York at this time.

Best for quick results

DTI Laboratories

  • Price: $49.95
  • Insurance coverage: none
  • Results: within 24 hours

Considered a leader in HbA1c testing, the DTI Laboratories test kits have been approved by the FDA since 1998. The company specializes in diabetes testing.

In addition to the A1C test, DTI Laboratories also offers diabetes education and counseling. There are also kits related to diabetes care, such as monofilaments for testing the loss of sensation on your feet.

Delivery is typically 2 days from the time you pay. You’ll be assigned a secured ID and password for the site. Your test kit comes with a patient ID, a sample collection device, and a capillary device for pricking your finger. Only one drop of blood is needed, and your sample can be mailed back right away — no waiting for it to dry.

The AccuBase A1C Home Test Kit is FDA-approved, unlike many other home test kits. The kit uses HPLC-IE, which is a testing method known for more accurate results. This is because it tests for abnormal hemoglobins that can interfere with A1C results.

Pros

  • Results arrive within 24 hours.
  • It uses HPLC-IE lab techniques.
  • It’s FDA-approved and CLIA-certified.

Cons

  • The website can be difficult to navigate.
  • There’s no follow-up for out-of-range results.
  • There’s no medical professional to interpret your results for you.

Best price for at-home testing

Home Access

  • Price: $40
  • Insurance coverage: none
  • Results: varies

Founded in 1996 in Illinois, Home Access provides lab testing services at home.

The A1C tests meet the standards set by the National Glycohemoglobin Standardization Program (NGSP) and are FDA-cleared.

You’ll take the test by finger prick and will need to let the sample dry for 15 minutes before mailing the kit back. The company provides a video demonstration of how to perform the test and a detailed PDF instruction guide with pictures.

Online results aren’t available. You’ll need to call a 1-800 number between 6 a.m. and 7 p.m. Central Time to get your results.

According to the website, results are available “within days,” but there’s not a clear time frame of what to expect. There also isn’t any support for out-of-range results, so it’s important to follow up with your healthcare professional as soon as possible to share the results with them.

Pros

  • It’s cost-effective.
  • The tests are FDA-approved.
  • It meets NGSP standards.

Cons

  • There’s no follow-up from healthcare professionals for out-of-range results.
  • You must call a 1-800 number to get results.
  • There’s no specific information on turnaround time.

Best home monitor

PTS Diagnostics A1CNow Self Check

  • Price: $74.99
  • Insurance coverage: none
  • Results: 5 minutes

You can use the PTS Diagnostics A1CNow Self Check monitor to check A1C levels at home.

To perform the test, you’ll need to collect a finger-prick blood sample. You’ll be able to view your results in 5 minutes. Each NGSP-certified meter comes with four test strips.

According to PTS Diagnostics, the A1CNow Self Check is appropriate for people with diabetes who must check their A1C levels quarterly. It’s also an option for people who want to prevent or manage diabetes. The compact, portable device stores easily at room temperature.

This device expires, so you should check out the expiration date before making your purchase.

Pros

  • It’s user-friendly.
  • It’s NGSP-certified.
  • Results come back in 5 minutes.

Cons

  • There are potential test errors.
  • You can’t buy test strips separately from monitor.

TestPriceInsurance coverageResults
LetsGetChecked$79 for Diabetes Test,
$89 for Diabetes and Heart Test
accepts FSA and HSA cards;
doesn’t take insurance
2–5 days
Everlywell$49, or $24.99 with membershipaccepts FSA and HSA cards;
doesn’t take insurance
within 5 days
Verisana $49doesn’t take insurancewithin 3 weeks
Cerascreen $49 doesn’t take insurancewithin 1 week
Pixel by Labcorp$39 for Diabetes Risk (HbA1c) Testaccepts FSA and HSA cards;
doesn’t take insurance
varies
myLAB Box$74none1–5 days
DTI Laboratories$49.95nonewithin 24 hours
Home Access$40nonevaries
PTS Diagnostics A1CNow Self Check$74.99none 5 minutes

If your A1C levels are outside your target range or you want to discuss your results, make an appointment to talk with a doctor.

High A1C levels may be a sign of an underlying condition or diabetes. This can cause complications and symptoms, such as headache, fatigue, and frequent thirst and urination.

Your doctor may take additional tests, change your medication, or modify your treatment plan.

If you have diabetes and are meeting your treatment goals, see your doctor every 6 months. If it’s difficult to meet your treatment goals, visit your doctor every 3 months.

You should also see a doctor if you:

  • think you have diabetes
  • have a high chance of developing diabetes
  • develop any new symptoms or health conditions
  • have existing health concerns that worsen

Are A1C test kits accurate?

According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), some things can skew results, and your home reading should never be used to diagnose diabetes.

Overall, some A1C test kits have been demonstrated to be as accurate as laboratory testing.

Can you get a false A1C reading?

It’s possible to have a false A1C reading.

Certain conditions, such as hemolytic anemia or splenomegaly, can cause a false low reading. Other factors, such as older age or obesity, can elevate your A1C levels, too — even if you don’t have diabetes.

What are the symptoms of a high A1C?

If you have a high A1C, it’s a sign your treatment is not managing your diabetes well, and your blood sugar is too high.

You might experience the following symptoms:

  • increased thirst
  • fatigue
  • nausea
  • dry mouth
  • shortness of breath
  • frequent urination
  • fruity smell on your breath

It’s important to use your A1C as part of your diabetes monitoring, but it doesn’t replace daily blood sugar checks.

There are instances when your A1C might not be accurate. Always make sure you’re informing your medical professional of your results and any symptoms you may be having.