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The thyroid is a small, butterfly-shaped gland located near the throat. Your thyroid makes hormones that regulate the way your body uses energy. It also plays an important role in regulating your weight, body temperature, muscle strength, and even your mood.

Thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) is produced by the pituitary gland, situated at the base of the brain. When the pituitary gland releases TSH, it stimulates thyroid hormone production.

TSH tests are often performed to detect thyroid disorders, which affect about 20 million people in the United States. If your TSH levels are too low or too high, this may indicate an overactive or underactive thyroid, respectively.

A TSH test is a blood test used to see if the thyroid gland is functioning properly. It’s part of thyroid function testing to detect hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism, or other thyroid disorders.

The pituitary and thyroid glands work together in a negative feedback loop.

When the thyroid gland produces too little thyroid hormone (hypothyroidism), the pituitary gland releases more TSH. In this case, the pituitary gland is trying to stimulate the thyroid gland. When the thyroid gland is producing too much thyroid hormone (hyperthyroidism), the pituitary gland releases less TSH.

TSH is a more stable hormone, meaning its levels don’t fluctuate over a day or from day to day. This makes the TSH test a reliable tool for diagnosing hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism.

At-home thyroid tests are available as a convenient, cost-effective alternative to traditional in-office testing. At-home testing options usually require a blood sample collected via a finger prick.

Your doctor may recommend a TSH test if you’re experiencing symptoms of hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism. A TSH test may also be used to detect thyroid disorders in people not experiencing any symptoms.

Hypothyroidism symptoms

  • weight gain
  • fatigue
  • constipation
  • depression
  • hair loss
  • slow heart rate
  • hand tingling or pain
  • irregular period
  • muscle cramps
  • impaired memory
  • cold intolerance
  • dry skin

Hyperthyroidism symptoms

  • weight loss
  • fatigue
  • rapid heart rate
  • anxiety
  • goiter (enlarged thyroid)
  • tremors
  • irregular period
  • frequent bowel movements
  • heat intolerance
  • excessive sweating
  • difficulty sleeping
  • low sex drive

At-home testing tends to be more convenient and affordable than a visit to the laboratory. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) acknowledges the benefits of at-home tests, though it doesn’t recommend replacing periodic doctor visits with them.

We chose the best at-home TSH tests by considering pricing, insurance coverage, and online reviews. We also ensured the companies listed offer discreet packaging, patient confidentiality, and medical support.

Best medical support

LetsGetChecked

  • Price: $99–$119
  • Insurance coverage: LetsGetChecked doesn’t accept health insurance, but you can pay with your flexible savings account (FSA) or health savings account (HSA)
  • Results: within 2–5 days

With a team of nurses available 24-7, LetsGetChecked offers the privacy, convenience, and affordability of at-home testing, but the medical support of traditional in-office visits. The company offers two at-home thyroid testing options: thyroid test and thyroid antibody test. Both check for TSH levels.

After you receive the unmarked box in the mail, you’ll provide a small blood sample. To do this, simply follow the instructions to safely prick your finger and collect the sample. Send your sample to the lab, and await your online results in 2 to 5 days.

Most comprehensive

Everlywell

  • Price: $99 for nonmembers or $24.99 for members
  • Insurance coverage: Everlywell doesn’t accept health insurance, but you can pay with your HSA or FSA
  • Results: within 5 days

The Everlywell thyroid test checks for the three main thyroid hormones, including TSH levels, and thyroid antibodies. You’ll prick your finger to collect a blood sample, return it with prepaid shipping, and view your results online within days.

Everlywell works with CLIA certified labs for quality laboratory testing and independent board certified doctors to ensure that ordered tests are relevant to your health and wellness. A doctor will also review the results of your tests.

Best for specific tests

HealthLabs

  • Price: $39–$59
  • Insurance coverage: HealthLabs doesn’t bill your health insurance company directly, but you can submit receipts for reimbursement or pay with your HSA or FSA
  • Results: within 1–3 days

If you don’t need a comprehensive thyroid test, HealthLabs offers an individual test for TSH. There’s also a thyroid panel that tests for TSH, T3, T4, and T7.

The TSH test offered by HealthLabs isn’t a fully at-home test. You place an order for the test online and visit a nearby laboratory for a blood test. You don’t need a doctor’s referral, health insurance, or an appointment to visit one of 4,000 laboratories nationwide.

The blood test usually takes less than 10 minutes, and your results will be available within 1 to 3 days. If your results require it, you can consult with a doctor.

Best for women

imaware

  • Price: $69
  • Insurance coverage: Imaware doesn’t accept or bill health insurance, but you can file for reimbursement through your health insurance provider
  • Results: within 7 days

Imaware offers a female-only at-home thyroid test.

Thyroid disorders affect more women than men, so the test is ideal for women with an increased risk of an underactive or overactive thyroid. Note that the test only checks for TSH.

You’ll follow a simple three-step process to take this test at home: Collect your sample at home, ship your sample the same day, and review your results within 7 days. Your sample will be processed in a third-party, CLIA certified lab, and a doctor will confirm the results.

Best for specialized care

Paloma Health

  • Price: $99
  • Insurance coverage: Paloma Health is an out-of-network provider that doesn’t accept insurance; but you may receive reimbursement for consultations, and your prescriptions may be covered by insurance
  • Results: within 5 days

Paloma Health specializes in thyroid disorders. The company offers telemedicine services, at-home testing, and vitamin supplements for people with hypothyroidism. The at-home thyroid blood test covers TSH, T3, T4, and TPO antibodies. You can also add testing for vitamin D and reverse T3 levels at checkout.

The finger prick test can be done at home and only takes a few minutes to prepare and collect. Your results are analyzed by a CLIA certified laboratory and reviewed by a doctor. You can expect to receive your results within 5 days. Depending on your results, you’ll receive guidance on what to do next.

Most detailed results

ZRT Laboratory

  • Price: $175–$349
  • Insurance coverage: ZRT Laboratory bills select health insurance companies as an out-of-network provider
  • Results: within 5–7 days

ZRT Laboratory has the most expensive TSH test we’ve seen, but the tests are comprehensive and the results are detailed. They offer two thyroid tests that check TSH levels, and it can be difficult to know which to choose without guidance from a doctor.

The at-home tests use a finger prick to collect a blood spot sample. Your results should be returned to you within 5 to 7 days of your sample arriving at the lab. The results include two graphs showing your hormone levels and symptoms, as well as an individualized evaluation of your hormones.

Best for personalized health plan

Thorne

  • Price: $140
  • Insurance coverage: Thorne doesn’t bill insurance directly, but tests may be covered by your HSA or FSA
  • Results: within 8–10 days

Thorne’s thyroid test checks for T3, T4, TSH, and TPO antibodies. To use it, you collect a blood spot sample via a finger prick and then mail the sample to the laboratory with a prepaid shipping label. Your results will be available online within 8 to 10 business days of receiving your sample.

Along with your test results, which are reviewed by a board certified doctor, you’ll receive a personalized health plan with diet, activity, and supplement recommendations.

What should your TSH levels be?

Normal TSH ranges can vary by age and sex. The typical range for TSH levels is between 0.45 and 4.5 milliunits per liter (mU/L). High TSH levels may indicate an underactive thyroid, while low TSH levels may signal an overactive thyroid.

When should TSH levels be checked?

If you have symptoms or a history of thyroid disorders, your doctor may recommend a TSH test.

If the test reveals an imbalance and you begin medication to get your levels within the standard range, your doctor will likely check your thyroid levels yearly.

If you don’t have a history of thyroid disorders, your doctor may only recommend a TSH test if you’re experiencing symptoms. In general, thyroid testing is recommended for older adults, especially women.

Are TSH tests accurate?

The accuracy of thyroid blood tests is variable. Some factors may affect your results, such as an illness, medications, and supplements.

For this reason, endocrinologists recommend testing TSH twice to confirm hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism. TSH is a more stable hormone, while T4 and T3 levels can vary over a day and from day to day.

If you have symptoms or a history of thyroid disorders, consider testing your TSH levels. This usually requires a blood test done in person at a doctor’s office or laboratory.

Most at-home TSH tests require a small blood sample collected via a finger prick. It takes only minutes to prepare, and your test results will be available within days. Most at-home tests are analyzed by accredited laboratories and reviewed by doctors.


Lacey Bourassa is a health, wellness, and beauty writer based in Southern California. She holds a BA in English. Her work has appeared in digital publications like Livestrong, Verywell, Business Insider, Eat This Not That, and others. When she’s not writing, Lacey is likely pursuing her other interests: skin care, plant-based cooking, pilates, and traveling. You can keep up with her by visiting herwebsite or herblog.