Best At-Home Cortisol Test

LetsGetChecked is the most comprehensive cortisol at-home test kit

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Cortisol is known as the “stress hormone” and is produced in the adrenal glands which are located on the top of the kidneys. Cortisol plays a role in the stress response in your body and taking an at-home cortisol test is an easy and convenient way to discover what your levels are. Knowing your levels can help you correct any imbalances and improve your overall health. 

But cortisol has functions other than its connection with stress responses. In fact, this hormone plays a role in all areas of the body. Cortisol also helps to:

  • Regulate blood sugar and metabolism
  • Decrease inflammation
  • Form memories
  • Control blood pressure
  • Balance salt and water levels in the body
  • Supports a fetus in pregnancy

Taking a cortisol stress test can help diagnose certain health conditions such as Addison disease and Cushing syndrome. Both of these conditions mean your body is producing too little or too much cortisol. Common signs of both include weight fluctuations, thinning or bruising skin, acne, weakness, nausea or vomiting, and confusion.

Getting these levels checked can help explain any symptoms you may be experiencing or can help diagnose a medical condition. The best at-home cortisol tests can help guide conversations with your healthcare provider and are a good first step in uncovering any underlying concerns.

Best At-Home Cortisol Test of 2022

Best Overall : LetsGetChecked


Let’s Get Checked

Let’s Get Checked

Key Specs
  • Price: About $100
  • Availability: Ships to 47 states
  • Results: Approximately 5 days
Why We Chose It

We chose LetsGetChecked for its overall support, ease of use, and affordability. It offers personalized health assessment and follow-up care along with the benefit of a mobile app for convenience.  

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Free nurse consultations

  • Subscribe and save discounts

  • Review of health history from medical providers

Cons
  • Shipping isn’t available in all countries

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Overview

Founded in 2014, LetsGetChecked stood out because of its comprehensive health assessment and follow-up. It offers free nurse consultations, physicians to review your test results, and technology for maintaining your health records. 

The cortisol test uses a fingerprick method and tests your blood for high or low levels of the cortisol hormone. You will collect your sample in the morning, between 8 a.m. and 10 a.m. Monday through Thursday and return your kit the day you collect the sample. If your test results come back out of range, a nurse will call you for a consultation free of cost.  

You can order your test online using the website or mobile app. Once you receive your test kit, you’ll register it online and answer a series of health history questions within your account. Then, simply your blood sample using the package instructions and return it in the prepaid return envelope. Test results will appear online in your account in about five days.

The laboratories for LetsGetChecked are CLIA (Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments)-approved and CAP-accredited. CLIA regulates lab testing and before human samples can be used for testing, these labs need to be certified by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services. When a lab is CAP-accredited, it’s inspected by the College of American Pathologists and its standards help maintain the accuracy of test results. Your sample is processed in the same labs that providers and hospitals use. 

The cortisol test costs about $100 and while the company doesn’t take insurance, you can use your flex spending account (FSA) or health savings account (HSA) to help pay for the test. Shipping is free and once you order your kit, it ships to you by next day delivery. Test kits can’t be shipped to Rhode Island, New Jersey, Alaska, or certain PO boxes. And using their subscribe and save plan, you can earn a discount on their test kits.

LetsGetChecked has been reported overall as being easy and convenient, and users seem to appreciate the nurse follow-up for results. Shipping delays or missing test kits appear to be the common frustrations with the company.  

Best for Rapid Results : MyLAB Box


MyLabBox

MyLabBox

Key Specs
  • Price: Around $150
  • Availability: Ships 49 states
  • Results: About 2 to 5 days
Why We Chose It

We chose MyLAB Box for its turnaround time for results without leaving home, as well as for its accuracy and value. 

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Painless testing method

  • Fast results (2 to 5 days)

  • Free telehealth consult from licensed provider

Cons
  • No after-hours support

  • Not available outside the United States

  • No subscription service available

Overview

MyLAB Box offers the quickest test results without leaving your home. Even better? It’s available in every state except New York. Since 2014, MyLAB Box has been providing home testing services in the area of sexual health and has expanded to include a wide variety of tests. 

The adrenal stress test uses a saliva sample to check your cortisol and DHEA levels. DHEA is a steroid hormone that converts to estrogen and testosterone in your body.

You can order your test online and once you receive it, activate it online and you’ll be asked to create an ID number to make sure your sample matches your account. You’ll test your saliva four times a day for a full day; testing takes about five minutes, and instructions are included. You’ll return your kit after your fourth saliva sample and mail it back with the prepaid shipping label. You can expect to review your results in two to five days from your secure account. 

If your test results come back out of range, you have the opportunity to have a telemedicine consultation to help you interpret your values.

The adrenal stress test costs about $150 with free, three to five day shipping. While not covered by insurance, you are able to use your FSA/HSA account. It takes one to three days to receive your test kit.

The company states its tests are as accurate as the ones in health care facilities and are CAP-accredited and CLIA-certified.

Some online users complained that they didn’t receive their test results, but most had a positive experience. MyLAB Box appears to offer good customer service, though it's only available during business hours. Users received their test kits and results quickly and can also order directly from Amazon. 

Best for Sleep and Stress Hormones : Everlywell


EverlyWell Indoor & Outdoor Allergy Test

EverlyWell Indoor & Outdoor Allergy Test

Key Specs
  • Price: Around $200
  • Availability: Ships to 49 states
  • Results: About 5 to 7 days
Why We Chose It

Everlywell has a good reputation in the at-home testing industry. The test not only checks your cortisol levels but gives you insight into your sleep concerns by testing your melatonin levels and kidney function. 

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Easy, painless sample collection

  • CLIA-certified laboratories

  • Available in all states except New York

Cons
  • Costs more than other cortisol tests 

  • Can take longer to get results back

  • Membership is for one test only

Overview

Everlywell has been around since 2015 and offers a comprehensive screening of the three necessary hormones needed for your overall health. 

The Sleep and Stress test uses a urine sample to check for these hormones. Besides cortisol, the Sleep and Stress Test also measures:

  • Cortisone: a steroid that comes from the adrenal glands and is converted to cortisol in the body
  • Melatonin: the hormone associated with sleep which tends to be higher in the fall and winter months when nights are longer
  • Creatinine: a muscle metabolism byproduct and gets filtered through your kidneys. Testing creatinine in the urine is a way to make sure you don’t have issues with how your kidneys are functioning that could skew your other results.

You will test for these hormones four times a day. After requesting your kit online, your order is approved by a board-certified physician in your state. Once you receive your kit, register it on the site using the ID number provided in the box. Collect your urine sample in the container, then dip the filtered collection card into the cup and saturate the paper. You can also choose to urinate directly on the filter paper. The sample needs to dry overnight. After that, close the card, place it into the biohazard bag, and return the sample using the provided shipping label. 

When results are available, you’ll get an email notification to log into your account in about five to seven days. A physician will review your results and provide insight within the platform, suggesting some sleep and lifestyle changes you can make to improve your numbers if needed. You can also attend a live webinar to get your questions answered. 

The Sleep and Stress Test that costs around $200. While not covered by insurance, Everlywell does take FSA and HSA payments. Shipping is free and takes about five to 10 business days to arrive. The company offers a subscription program where you can take one test every month, every quarter, or twice a year at a discount, though you aren’t able to mix and match tests for this program. 

Everlywell’s laboratories are CLIA-certified and some are CAP-accredited. Their sample collection methods have been validated against the testing done in health care clinics and offices. Testing is available in all states with the exception of New York. 

Everlywell overall has positive reviews. Customers report timely results and interpretations that are easy to understand. Users indicated that knowing their results helped start conversations with their healthcare providers and allowed them to advocate for their own health. 

Best Budget : Verisana


Verisana

Verisana

Key Specs
  • Price: Around $50
  • Availability: Ships to 46 states
  • Results: Roughly 3 weeks
Why We Chose It

Verisana is more cost-effective than the other companies reviewed and also offers a membership service. 

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • One of the most affordable testing options

  • Uses one saliva test tube

  • Offers membership services

Cons
  • Results can take 3 weeks

  • Not available in all states

  • No follow up with a provider or nurse

Overview

Verisana isn’t anything fancy, and results can take several weeks to get, but it’s the most affordable at just under $50 for a cortisol test kit. A German-based company that began in 2012, Verisana wants to support its customers by improving health and well-being.

The Cortisol saliva kit measures morning cortisol levels, so you only provide one saliva test. You can order a test kit on their website or by emailing them. (If you order through email, your only option to pay is through PayPal.) For the most part, Verisana doesn’t take insurance, though some employers do cover at-home tests, so you can check with your provider. 

Most people will receive their kit in five to seven days. You’ll collect your sample following the instructions and mail it in the return envelope. It takes three weeks to get results, much longer than other home testing companies. 

With reference ranges to guide you, you can tell if your levels are high or low. Verisana encourages you to talk with your healthcare provider about your results; the company doesn’t provide any consultations but may be able to recommend specialists in your area for follow-up. 

Verisana offers a membership called “Health Club” that automatically ships new test kits every month at a discount. However, tests are shipped to you in a certain order which can’t be adjusted, so you don’t get to choose what you want. The Cortisol Saliva Test costs under $50 with free shipping.

The company states that it vets any new testing methods against scientific studies and participates in laboratory control tests to ensure accuracy. Verisana laboratories are CLIA-certified but aren’t able to service those living in New York, Maryland, Rhode Island, or New Jersey. 

Overall users report satisfaction with Verisana’s holistic approach to care. However, there is some confusion with the graph that’s given for test result interpretation, reiterating the need to discuss results with a licensed provider. 

Final Verdict

Many at-home testing companies offer cortisol testing with accurate results and ease of use. Overall, LetsGetChecked offers the most comprehensive health history assessment and supportive follow-up care, along with the ability to save with subscriber discounts. 

At approximately $100, the cost is about average for home cortisol testing, but results come back fairly quickly in about five days. It’s helpful to have a free nurse consultation to get your questions answered and help you interpret your results. It uses a blood sample collection method with a low or no pain fingerprick and detailed instructions are provided. LetsGetChecked also has the added benefit of an app, offering convenience for ordering and viewing test results from its secure platform. 

Compare the Best At-Home Cortisol Tests

Company Cost Availability Time for Results Hormones Tested
LetsGetChecked Best Overall About $100 47 5 days 1
MyLAB Box Best for Rapid Results About $150 49 2 to 5 days 2
Everlywell Best for Sleep and Stress Hormones About $200 49 5 to 7 days 4
Verisana Best on a Budget About $50 46 3 weeks 1

Guide for Choosing the Best At-Home Cortisol Test

Should You Test Your Cortisol Levels At Home?

Testing your cortisol levels at home can help you better understand your body and how you respond to stress. For example, if you're struggling to lose weight, having trouble concentrating, noticing changes in your libido or menstrual cycle, or you're feeling more tired than usual, it might help give you an idea of why you're feeling that way.

However, it should be noted that an at-home test is not a substitute for medical advice from your doctor. If your symptoms are severe, you should consult a medical professional, regardless of whether you take an at-home cortisol test or not.

If you're diagnosed with a medical condition that causes your body to produce too little or too much cortisol, such as Addison disease or Cushing syndrome, your doctor might have you test your cortisol levels at home as part of your treatment.

Comparing At-Home Cortisol Tests

Many different telehealth companies offer at-home cortisol test kits, and while most are accurate, reliable, and have some sort of support services available, not all are created equal. When comparing at-home cortisol tests, consider:

  • Cost: The more hormones you have tested, the more a kit tends to cost. While at-home test kits tend to be cheaper than out-of-pocket provider costs, they aren’t typically covered by insurance. Howver, you may be able to use your FSA/HSA benefits. 
  • Number of hormones tested: If you want an overview of multiple hormones, you may want to choose one with more comprehensive testing. If you’re just looking for cortisol levels, stick with a single hormone test. 
  • Availability in your state: Because of regulations, at-home test kits aren’t available in every state nor do they ship to all PO boxes.
  • Timing of results: If you’re looking to get results back fairly quickly, ensure that a fast response is possible.
  • Follow-up consultation: Not all test kits provide consultation services with a nurse or physician. While it’s a good idea to inform your provider of your results, a complimentary follow-up with the company's health care professional can answer any immediate questions you may have. 

Ordering Your At-Home Cortisol Test

Most companies allow you to order a kit directly from the website or a third-party seller such as Amazon, though offer mobile apps and phone or email orders. 

After you receive your kit, review the instructions provided. Some companies offer video direction, and most kits should arrive with instructions included. Collect your sample and send it back in the pre-paid packaging. 

The timing of results can vary, but most offer results that can be viewed on a secure online platform. You may want to consider taking advantage of any consultation services offered such as a phone call with a nurse who can help you interpret your results and answer questions. 

Frequently Asked Questions

How Much Does an At-Home Cortisol Test Cost?

Most at-home testing companies don’t work with insurance, but they will likely take FSA/HSA payments. It’s best to reach out to your insurance company about coverage. At-home tests tend to cost less than going to the clinic since you would also be paying for a provider visit in addition to lab testing. Home cortisol test kits tend to range from about $50 to around $200 depending on the test. 

Is an At-Home Cortisol Test Accurate?

Since the laboratories are the same location for testing in a clinic or provider office, you can assume your results are accurate. However, if you don't obtain your collection samples correctly, such as not getting enough blood for the collection container, you do run the risk of getting an inaccurate result. It’s a good idea to consult with a healthcare professional if you’re unsure about your test results. 

Who Should Take an At-Home Cortisol Test?  

If you’re having symptoms that make you wonder if you should be tested, it may be an option to take an at-home test instead of going to a clinic. However, it doesn’t replace regular medical care, and if you have an adrenal condition, you will want to make sure you’re getting your levels checked on a regular basis. 

How We Chose the Best At-Home Cortisol Test

We looked at several at-home testing companies for this review. The most important considerations were cost, ease of use, and follow-up care provided. Note that the cost depends on how many hormones are tested per kit along with consultations with a healthcare professional. 

The ease of registering and sample collection are also important and we made sure to choose kits that offer quick, low or no-pain test collection along with simple-to-follow instructions.

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4 Sources
Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
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