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Consumers are becoming more tech-savvy and taking their health into their own hands — and this is a good thing.

Home test kits, in particular, are often cheaper than in-office visits and can help uncover any health concerns. Results can easily be sent to your healthcare professional for a follow-up appointment.

The thyroid gland is located at the base of your neck. It’s part of the endocrine system and is responsible for regulating hormones throughout your body to help you sleep, give you energy, and help you stay warm.

The main hormones it produces are thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3), which control how your cells use energy. Your thyroid gland regulates your metabolism through the release of these hormones.

Hypothyroidism occurs when the thyroid doesn’t make enough T4, T3, or both. It’s the most common thyroid condition, affecting 5% of the population worldwide, with another 5% who have the condition but haven’t been diagnosed.

In hyperthyroidism, the opposite occurs. The thyroid becomes too active and makes too much of the thyroid hormones.

Testing your thyroid levels at home is convenient and accurate when done correctly, and with the range of home test kits to choose from, you may find one that you like.

Read on to find out what thyroid tests are available and if they’re right for you.

Anyone can get their thyroid checked. However, certain populations can be at higher risk for thyroid disorders, including:

  • people born with a uterus
  • people with autoimmune disorders, including type 1 diabetes
  • people with a history of thyroid disorders
  • people who smoke
  • people with a family history of thyroid disorders

You may want to undergo testing if you’re showing any symptoms of hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism.

Symptoms of hypo- and hyperthyroidism

Hypothyroidism

  • feeling tired or having little energy
  • feeling cold
  • gaining weight
  • dry, scaly skin
  • brittle hair and nails
  • depression
  • constipation

Hyperthyroidism

  • feeling hot or sweating
  • fast or irregular heart rate
  • weight loss
  • frequent and loose bowel movements
  • hand tremors
  • muscle weakness
  • fertility concerns
  • fatigue, but difficulty sleeping
  • nervousness
  • irritability

If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, consider getting your thyroid levels checked. If left untreated, hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism can cause health concerns.

Hypothyroidism may increase your risk of:

  • developmental issues for a fetus
  • an enlarged thyroid
  • heart issues
  • fertility concerns
  • renal complications
  • nervous system issues, including muscle weakness and nerve injury

Hyperthyroidism may increase your risk of:

Since thyroid concerns are common and you can have thyroid issues without symptoms, you can still get tested as part of your preventive healthcare routine.

To choose the best at-home thyroid testing companies, we looked for those that offered the most benefits.

We used the following criteria:

  • Cost: We chose tests that are reasonably priced.
  • Type of test: All tests measure thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH). Some options also measure additional biomarkers, including T3, T4, and antibodies.
  • Privacy: To protect your privacy, the companies on this list offer confidentiality and discreet packaging.
  • Online reviews: We read online reviews to look for positive mentions of clients’ experiences and the test’s reliability.
  • Reliable follow-up results: We looked for companies that provide interpretation, consultations, and medical guidance so you can easily understand your results.

A note about at-home test results

The at-home test kits recommended below have gone through our vetting process and have passed. In general, however, at-home test kits are not a reliable substitute for visiting your primary healthcare professional.

At-home tests are not all-encompassing and don’t consider your personal or family history. They also may not test for features or cultures that a healthcare professional would know to look for. The tests listed below are recommended to use in conjunction with a healthcare professional to make sure you get the best possible care.

An important note: You shouldn’t change your medication based on what the at-home test kit results provide to you. Always consult your doctor before making changes to your medication. For any abnormal results, make sure the tests are confirmed at a lab and with supervision and guidance from your healthcare professional.

Best for follow-up on results

LetsGetChecked

LetsGetChecked offers two options: the thyroid test and the thyroid antibody test.

The thyroid test checks thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH), T4, and T3. If your results come back outside of the normal range (either high or low), you have the option of a free consultation by phone with a nurse to discuss your next steps. With your lab report, you’ll also receive information on how to understand your results.

After requesting a thyroid test kit, you will receive an unmarked box in the mail that includes everything you need for testing. You’ll take a finger prick in the morning and send back your sample in the provided biohazard bag the same day. Results are sent to you in 2 to 5 days.

Best for: follow-up on results

Price: $99–$119, depending on which test you choose

Coverage: LetsGetChecked doesn’t take insurance, but they do accept flexible savings account (FSA) and health savings account (HSA) cards.

Learn more about LetsGetChecked here.

Use code “HEALTHLINE25” for 25% off

Pros

  • free nurse consultation to discuss test results
  • confidential packaging
  • labs are Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA)-certified and accredited by the College of American Pathologists (CAP)

Cons

  • shipping may not be available in all countries
  • some concerns with data privacy and timeliness of personal information deletion from the site
  • provides testing only — no health assessments are offered

Best membership

Everlywell

Everlywell is a relatively new company that provides a range of testing options, including thyroid kits. These thyroid tests evaluate TSH, TPO antibody, T3, and T4.

By becoming a member, you’ll get a significant discount on testing options. You’ll collect your sample with a finger prick and return the kit to be tested. There are videos on their website that walk you through how to collect and return your sample.

Results are returned in 5 business days. Depending on volume, it may take up to 8 days.

Best for: membership

Price: $99 (without a membership) or $24.99 (with a membership)

Coverage: Everlywell isn’t covered by insurance, but you can use your HSA or FSA account to pay for testing.

Pros

  • membership options for more frequent testing
  • high-quality certified lab
  • accepts HSA and FSA payments

Cons

  • more expensive than other test kits
  • less comprehensive than other tests
  • not available to New York residents

Best for specialized care

Paloma Health

Paloma Health is a telemedicine company with healthcare professionals who specialize in thyroid disorders. The company only does thyroid testing. Their main goal is to be a one-stop shop for all aspects of thyroid health.

In this way, Paloma stands out from their competitors with a more holistic approach to care. They offer nutritional consults and health coaching, and one doctor is assigned to you throughout all your testing. This whole-body approach offers more than just the usual thyroid testing. Their additional antibody tests can detect Hashimoto’s thyroiditis and other thyroid disorders.

You have the options to have TSH and free T4 levels tested, but the thyroid panel also includes testing of anti-TPO antibodies and free T3 levels.

You’re provided a lancet to take a finger prick. This sample will be sent back in the provided biohazard bag. While results are read by healthcare professionals, for a separate fee, they can provide information about your results, as well as a treatment plan. Results are returned in 7 days.

Best for: specialized care

Price: $99 for the thyroid test kit, additional costs for medications, and coaching and treatment plans

Coverage: Consultations are covered by insurance. If Paloma isn’t in-network, you can submit for reimbursement. Check with your insurance company to find out if they will cover at-home test kits.

Pros

  • fully focused on managing hypothyroidism
  • remote telemedicine services
  • offers free consultation before you sign up

Cons

  • can have slower test shipping and processing
  • not available in all states in the United States
  • each service is priced separately

At-home thyroid testPriceCoverageResults
LetsGetChecked$99–$119no insurance but accepts HSA/FSA2–3 days
Everlywell$99 (no membership)
$24.99 (with membership)
no insurance but accepts HSA/FSA5–8 days
Paloma Health$99check with your insurance on coverage7 days

To decide which at-home thyroid test is best for you, consider the following:

  • Type of test: Decide if you want a test that measures only TSH or additional biomarkers such as T3, T4, TSI, and TPO antibodies.
  • Price: Find out what the price includes and if the company accepts HSA, FSA, or insurance.
  • Test results: Check to see how much interpretation, guidance, or medical support the company offers. See if there is an additional cost for consultations, personalized advice, or treatment recommendations.
  • Privacy: Check out the privacy policy of each company. Find out if they provide confidentiality and discreet packaging.
  • Reviews: Read online reviews to get a sense of the company’s reputation and the test’s reliability, benefits, and downsides. You can also get a feel for the company’s reputation.

What to consider when searching for an at-home thyroid test

In your search for an at-home thyroid test, decide what is most important for your needs. Most tests measure TSH and T4 levels. You may need further tests that measure levels such as T3, T7, TSI, and antibodies. Find out what types of recommendations for additional testing or treatment plans each company offers.

At-home tests can be considered if you have symptoms that cause you to suspect a thyroid disorder. You may also want to test your thyroid levels after implementing lifestyle changes, starting a new medication, or beginning a treatment plan. It’s also a good idea to do a home test if you are at risk of developing a thyroid disorder.

At-home thyroid tests offer plenty of advantages and drawbacks to consider.

Pros

  • often more confidential, convenient, and affordable than in-office testing
  • fairly reliable and accurate if performed correctly
  • results may include a consultation, health assessment, and detailed interpretation

Cons

  • results may be difficult to interpret
  • more room for human error, which can reduce accuracy and reliability
  • diagnosis and treatment require a doctor’s visit

Thyroid tests use blood samples to check the levels of TSH and T4. If there are any concerning results, more detailed testing can be done, including checking T3 levels.

If your levels are too high, you may also need an iodine uptake and scan to view how much your thyroid absorbs. You may need to go on daily medication to regulate your levels.

Kits may show your results in different ways, use different units of measurement, and provide varying levels of information that help you to understand them. You may also have the option of having a consultation or receiving another type of medical guidance.

It’s always a good idea to show your results to your doctor. They can provide more interpretation and decide if additional testing or a treatment plan is necessary. Your results may also provide insights into some of your other health concerns.

Interpreting results

Most of these home test kits do provide interpretations of your lab results. If they don’t, it’s best to consult with your healthcare professional.

TSH levels depend on your age and sex, but they can fluctuate based on medications, diet, and pregnancy. The normal range is 0.45 to 4.5 milliunits per liter (mU/L).

Hypo/hyperthyroidism

A prolonged change in these hormones can affect your overall health. When TSH levels are too high, the thyroid gland isn’t making enough T4, which can lead to hypothyroidism. Conversely, if TSH levels are too low, the thyroid gland may be producing too much T4, which can lead to hyperthyroidism.

According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), home test kits, in general, are a suitable way to receive quick and confidential lab results. They’re not a substitute for receiving regular care from a healthcare professional.

A thyroid blood test is only one part of receiving a diagnosis, and for some people, more testing or clinical exams might be necessary.

Some endocrinologists, or doctors who specialize in hormone-related conditions like thyroid disorders, have concerns about the reliability of thyroid kits and the potential for misdiagnosis. But this is why it’s still important to inform your healthcare professional of any at-home test results.

Contact a doctor if your test results are abnormal, which could indicate a thyroid disorder. If your results are normal, you may want to see a doctor if you have any health concerns, symptoms of a thyroid disorder, or a personal or family history of thyroid conditions.

You can also visit your doctor to discuss or interpret your test results. They can confirm the results of your home test, which may include a diagnosis of a thyroid condition. Your doctor can also recommend treatments, additional tests, and any lifestyle changes.

See a doctor if you have symptoms of hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism, which may include:

  • mood changes
  • energy level changes
  • body temperature changes
  • weight fluctuation
  • irregular bowel habits
  • fertility or menstruation concerns
  • cardiovascular concerns
  • a swollen or thick neck

How can I check my thyroid at home?

To check your thyroid at home, order an online test, which you will receive by mail. Once you receive your kit, carefully read and follow the instructions, which may specify the time of day to do the test.

In addition to written directions, companies may provide instructional videos and online tutorials. Contact the company or a healthcare professional before taking the test if you have questions or if any of the information is unclear.

Most tests require using a lancet to prick your finger and collect a blood sample. Drop the blood onto a test strip or into a small tube before sending it to the laboratory. You’ll usually receive your electronic results within a week.

How reliable are home thyroid tests?

Home thyroid tests from reputable companies are usually reliable if you perform the test correctly. To ensure quality and accuracy, choose a company with CAP accreditation and CLIA certification.

Compared with tests done in a healthcare setting, home thyroid tests are less accurate and reliable. They’re not a replacement for routine exams at a doctor’s office.

How do you get a thyroid test without a doctor?

To get a thyroid test without a doctor, order a test from an online supplier. After receiving your testing kit in the mail, collect a sample and send it to the lab. Most companies provide you with digital test results within a week.

You’ll still need to visit a doctor to analyze your results and receive a diagnosis. Don’t change your medication or treatment plan based on home test results.

Do I need to fast before a thyroid test?

In most cases, it’s not necessary to fast before a thyroid test. However, if you are taking additional blood tests at the same time — for lipids and glucose, for example — you may need to fast for 8 to 10 hours.

Overall, thyroid test kits are a great way to check and monitor how your thyroid is functioning and if there are any concerns you should address.

Home testing companies vary in the services they offer, as well as their pricing. It’s a good idea to research each company for more information on their services, as well as their healthcare professionals and accreditations. This can help you decide whether at-home thyroid tests are right for you and which company to try.

Risa Kerslake is a registered nurse, freelance writer, and mom of two from the Midwest. She specializes in topics related to women’s health, mental health, oncology, postpartum, and fertility. She enjoys collecting coffee mugs, crocheting, and attempting to write her memoir. Read more about her work at her website.