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Folate, or vitamin B9, is an important micronutrient that plays a key role in many aspects of health, including DNA synthesis, red blood cell formation, and fetal growth and development.

Folic acid is a lab-made version of vitamin B9. In its natural form, vitamin B9 is called folate.

It’s important to get enough folate in your diet to prevent anemia and other related concerns, including development abnormalities in your baby if you’re pregnant.

You can get folic acid through fortified foods such as pasta, rice, bread, and cereal. Folate is also found naturally in foods such as leafy greens, broccoli, and citrus fruits.

If you think you might not be getting enough folate in your diet or have an underlying health condition that affects nutrient absorption, an at-home testing kit may be worth considering.

A folic acid test measures the levels of folic acid, or folate, in your blood.

These tests often involve getting your blood drawn by a medical professional or using a finger-prick collection method at home and sending the sample to a lab to measure your folate levels.

Whether you suspect a deficiency, have a chronic condition that affects how your body absorbs vitamins, or are planning a pregnancy, you may benefit from knowing your levels of vitamin B9.

Many folic acid tests also measure levels of other B vitamins, including vitamin B12 or vitamin B6, which may affect the absorption of folate.

Understanding your blood levels of folic acid and other B vitamins can help you adjust to your diet or supplement routine — as directed by a doctor or dietitian — to ensure that you’re meeting your needs.

We read customer reviews, listened to healthcare professionals, and considered the following factors to narrow down the options:

  • Ease of access: Is the test available in the United States? Are there shipping costs? Is the website relatively user-friendly?
  • Cost: Insurance does not cover most at-home blood tests, but you may be able to pay with your flexible spending account or health savings account. The options below range in price from $89–$299, depending on insurance.
  • Ease of use: How clear are the instructions? Is the packaging easy to open? Is it simple to send the blood sample in?
  • Wait time for results: There isn’t a ton of variation, but we did look at how long you’ll have to wait to get your results. Some companies have a faster turnaround time than others.
  • Reputability: Does the product have generally positive reviews? Is the lab certified by a laboratory accrediting organization such as College of American Pathologists (CAP), Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA), or COLA Inc? All the laboratories on our list are certified by at least one of these agencies.

Why you should trust us

We vetted the most popular at-home folic acid tests and updated our list to reflect what we believe to be a better solution set for our audience.

The products listed below have all passed our vetting process and been approved by Healthline’s team of medical experts.

Several tests failed our vetting process and were removed from our list because of non-evidence-based methodologies or recommendations.

Best professionally administered test

Labcorp Vitamin B12 + Folate Blood Test

  • Price: $89
  • Turnaround time: 1 to 2 days from when the lab receives your sample
  • Tests for: vitamin B9 and vitamin B12

Labcorp is a reputable company that offers a variety of convenient at-home testing kits and in-person blood tests.

Their Vitamin B12 + Folate Blood Test makes it easy to test your blood levels of these two important nutrients to help detect a potential deficiency.

After purchasing your test, you can visit one of Labcorp’s nearly 2,000 locations for sample collection with a trained technician.

Tests are processed at a CLIA-certified lab, and, according to the company, you should be able to view your results online within 1 to 2 days by accessing your Labcorp OnDemand account.

Pros

  • tests levels of both folate and vitamin B12
  • more affordable than some other options
  • CLIA-certified labs

Cons

  • requires in-person visit for sample collection

Best for accuracy

LetsGetChecked Folate Test

  • Price: $89
  • Turnaround time: 2 to 5 days from when the lab receives your sample
  • Tests for: vitamin B9

The folate test from LetsGetChecked is our top pick for accuracy because their laboratory is both CLIA-certified and CAP-accredited.

Another way they ensure accurate results is by providing an instructional video on the website to walk you through sample collection. They also have a 24/7 nurse call line in case you need help with the process or understanding your lab results.

The test is a bit more expensive, at $89 for only one vitamin level. However, if you think you will need to test your folate levels regularly, they do have a subscription program that decreases the cost.

Your results should be available 2 to 5 days after the lab receives your sample. This is pretty standard but longer than our pick for fastest results.

Pros

  • offers follow-up support from a medical professional
  • at-home sample collection
  • fast turnaround time of 2 to 5 days
  • CLIA-approved and CAP-accredited labs

Cons

  • tests only folate levels
  • relatively expensive for a single-nutrient test

Best for convenience

Next Medical Concierge Blood Test

  • Price: $299, or $199 with insurance
  • Turnaround time: 12 to 48 hours after testing
  • Tests for: vitamins B12, B6, and B9

A unique option, Next Medical is a company that offers at-home vitamin testing on demand. They call their service “Uber, but for vitamin testing.”

If you get queasy thinking about seeing blood or want more guidance from a healthcare professional, this could be a great option for you.

You’ll schedule an appointment online, and a nurse or lab tech will come to your house to collect the blood sample. Alternatively, you can schedule a same-day visit at one of their 5,000 partner locations.

Because it’s a local process, you should get results in 12 to 48 hours. A doctor will review your results with you and can recommend a treatment plan or prescribe medications if needed.

Next Medical is not available everywhere — you can use their location finder to see whether they operate in your area. Although this test costs more than many others, you’ll get a full B-vitamin panel and professional attention without leaving the comfort of your home.

The staff will also walk you through the insurance submission process if you have insurance. The company estimates that you can get up to 70% of the cost covered.

Pros

  • offers at-home testing and same-day visits
  • includes follow-up consultation with a medical professional
  • tests levels of vitamin B12, vitamin B6, and folate
  • quick turnaround

Cons

  • expensive
  • not available in all areas

People who are most likely to need a folic acid test are those who:

  • are pregnant or planning a pregnancy
  • have chronic conditions such as Crohn’s disease or celiac disease, which can affect vitamin absorption
  • have symptoms of anemia
  • have the MTHFR gene, which can affect the way your body processes folic acid

A healthcare professional or registered dietitian can give you a physical exam and listen to your health history to determine whether low folic acid may be a concern. They can also provide a recommendation during a telemedicine visit.

If you’d prefer not to go to a traditional appointment, you might want to try an at-home folic acid test.

While mild folic acid deficiency won’t cause noticeable symptoms for most people, severe vitamin B9 deficiency can cause a number of symptoms, including:

Low vitamin B12 levels can cause similar symptoms. A test can help you understand exactly which deficiency you need to address.

Anemia and vitamin B deficiency

Anemia can be the result of a vitamin B deficiency or an iron deficiency. A folic acid test (especially one that also checks your B12 level) may help determine the underlying cause.

Symptoms of anemia may include:

  • fatigue
  • unusual paleness
  • shortness of breath
  • rapid heart rate
  • confusion
  • dizziness
  • lightheadedness

If you follow the collection instructions carefully and use a reputable laboratory company, the results should be considered reliable. We specifically chose tests from companies that use accredited labs.

As with any blood test, there is always some risk of receiving inaccurate results, whether from sample collection error or lab error.

If you have serious health concerns, it is best to talk with a doctor and have them guide you through the lab process to ensure you get accurate results and the best treatment possible.

In most cases, you will need to fast from food and liquid for 8 to 12 hours before performing a blood vitamin test. For this reason, most people prefer to do their test early in the morning before they eat or drink for the day.

Some medications can affect the results. Your test kit should come with complete instructions to help you prepare.

Each kit will come with an instruction booklet to walk you through the test. Make sure you read through the instructions carefully from start to finish before beginning.

After reading the instructions, gather all your supplies, including the instructions for reference. Each kit will have different specifics, but here’s the general process:

  1. You’ll clean the tip of your finger with an alcohol wipe.
  2. You’ll use the lancet to prick your finger and squeeze a small amount of blood into a card or tube.
  3. You’ll package your sample according to the kit instructions and mail it back to the laboratory.

Again, for the most accurate results, read your kit’s instructions carefully and follow them as closely as possible.

While at-home folic acid tests can be a useful tool to help you keep tabs on your health, it’s best to consult a medical professional if an at-home test shows that your folic acid levels are low or if you suspect you may have a nutrient deficiency.

This is important because low levels of folic acid can cause serious adverse effects, including anemia and an increased risk of fetal development issues in those who are pregnant.

A healthcare professional can check your levels of other nutrients you may be lacking in addition to folate.

Plus, they can identify any other health conditions or genetic variations that could contribute to a nutrient deficiency and help you develop a treatment plan tailored to your needs, which may include medications or supplements.

A dietitian can recommend dietary modifications to help ensure that you’re meeting your needs for folate and other essential vitamins and minerals.

What is a folic acid test used for?

A folic acid test is used to measure the amount of folic acid in your bloodstream. Folic acid is a lab-made form of folate (vitamin B9).

Low folic acid levels can lead to anemia or fetal development abnormalities. A folic acid test can help determine whether you may benefit from a folic acid supplement.

What is the expected range for folic acid?

The range that’s considered typical for folic acid is 3 to 13 nanograms per milliliter (ng/mL). A result lower than 3 ng/mL can mean you have a folic acid deficiency.

What does high folic acid test result mean?

While a result higher than 13 ng/mL isn’t usually a problem, it could mean you have low levels of vitamin B12. Vitamin B12 helps absorb folic acid, so if you don’t have enough B12, folic acid might be staying in your blood instead of getting absorbed by your body.

The best way to understand your lab results (and what to do next) is to consult a doctor.

A number of conditions or dietary factors may lead to low folic acid levels. It is especially important for pregnant people to get plenty of folic acid through food and supplements.

You can purchase at-home test kits to check your folic acid levels and determine whether you need more folic acid supplementation. However, if you are having serious health concerns or are pregnant, it is best to speak with a healthcare professional.