The Best At-Home Diabetes Tests for 2020

Worried about pre-diabetes? Take a test at home

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First Look

According to a 2015 National Diabetes Statistics Report, 30.3 million Americans were found to have diabetes. This number represents 9.4% of the population in the United States. Another 84.1 million people have a condition that is often a precursor to a diagnosis of diabetes, called prediabetes. Prediabetes is a serious condition that involves higher than normal blood sugar levels (but not high enough for a diagnosis of diabetes). The 2015 report also discovered that 7.2 million Americans (1 in 4 adults) were unaware they had diabetes, and only a little over 11% of adults with prediabetes knew that they had the condition. These numbers illustrate the significance of knowing the warning signs, as well as why getting tested for diabetes is important.

Most people don’t seek medical attention until they have symptoms of diabetes, which often appear as a result of high blood sugar (hyperglycemia). Common warning signs of diabetes often include increased thirst, frequent urination, excessive hunger, fatigue, and more.

Early diagnosis and intervention may help to prevent serious complications that can occur from having diabetes. Many people may not be aware that a quick and easy blood glucose test can be performed in the convenience of one’s own home. The test is called a hemoglobin A1C (sometimes referred to as A1C or HgA1C). If the results of your home blood glucose test reveal that your HgA1C level is high, it’s important to consult with your healthcare provider right away.

These tests are more reliable than they were in the past; there’s never been a better time to have a quick and painless screening test for diabetes. Here are our top picks for at-home diabetes screening tests.

Our Top Picks

Best Overall: Pixel by Labcorp

Pixel Labcorp

Pixel Labcorp

Pros
  • A full-service professional lab company with a wide range of screening profile tests

  • CAP-accredited and CLIA-certified laboratories

  • Quality assurance testing performed by labs

  • Physicians (contracted with Labcorp) order tests and review lab results

  • Medical professionals consult with customers about positive results that require prompt medical attention

  • Competitive pricing

Cons
  • Test results may take longer than some other companies

Pixel by Labcorp was selected due to its proven track record of success as a professional lab, quality testing process, access to medical professionals, and longevity in providing lab services.

Founded in 1969, the company has been providing diagnostic lab services for over 50 years via its network of CAP-accredited and CLIA-certified laboratories. This means that the lab meets the highest standards of accuracy of test results.

The company itself performs a very high volume of lab tests, touting over 2.5 million patient samples each week. Pixel by LabCorp is a division of LabCorp aimed at serving those who prefer to do at-home tests. LabCorp performs quality assurance tests regularly to ensure the accuracy of its lab test results.

Here is how the Pixel Labcorp test works. An independent healthcare provider will review and approve your order (you do not need to visit a physician.) Then, your test kit will be mailed out to you. When you receive your kit, it will include detailed instructions on collecting a blood sample.

You'll receive your results in two to seven days, and you can read your results online. But some results require prompt attention and physician consultation by phone or mail. The cost is about $46 and only private pay is accepted; there is no insurance billing.

Customer phone support is available Monday through Friday during business hours and Saturday through Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET. There is also an email form for customer inquiries. The website is HIPPA compliant and adheres to the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) Privacy Policy.

Best Budget: Home Access

Home Access

Home Access

Pros
  • Affordable

  • FDA Approved

  • Meets the standards set by NGSP (National Glycohemoglobin Standardization Program) for measuring A1C

  • A written report can be mailed to you and your healthcare provider upon request

Cons
  • There are no medical professionals available for consultation for positive 

    tests

  • There is limited background information on the website about the company’s 

    history

  • Limited test types offered (an HbA1C test and cholesterol panel only)

  • There is no information on the website about the turnaround time for test results

  • Results are not available online; you must call in to get test results

Founded in 1993, HomeAccess was selected for its quality standards and competitive pricing.

The HbA1C test kit includes a self-collected finger stick blood sample as well as package and mailing products. There’s an instructional video that provides step-by-step instructions on the blood sample collection process. You'll submit your results in the mail with the included postage-paid envelope. Results must be obtained over the phone.

The cost of the test is $40; at-home screening tests are not covered by Medicare or most types of private insurance. As far as privacy goes, Home Access Health Corporation reports that it may only disclose your health information for the purposes of treatment, payment, or healthcare options.

There's a customer service number, with support available from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. CST (days of the week are not listed.) There's also a general information line and an email inquiry form. Customers are encouraged to consult with their own healthcare provider for any medical consultation or follow-up care that is required for positive results.

Fastest Results: DTI Laboratories

DTI Laboratories

DTI Laboratories

Pros
  • 24-hour turnaround time available

  • 24-hour technical support line

  • Utilizes HPLC-IE lab techniques

  • Small blood sample required

  • Employs test for abnormal hemoglobin (recommended by the American Diabetes Association ADA)

  • FDA approved

Cons
  • There is an additional fee for quick test results

  • No consultation with medical professionals available for support after positive tests

  • The website content is very scientific and may be difficult to understand for a person without a medical background

  • There is no access to medical healthcare professionals to explain test results

DTI Laboratories was selected because of its fast, efficient, and accurate method, combined with its long history in the laboratory and testing industry.

The AccuBase A1C Home Test Kit utilizes a method of testing that is approved for the diagnosis and screening of diabetes. Many other types of tests are not FDA approved; the Accubase A1C test utilizes a method of testing called HPLC-IE, which has been known to be more accurate because it tests for abnormal hemoglobins (which can interfere with A1C test results).

Other types of tests are not able to detect abnormal hemoglobins. In addition, some other types of assessments are more impacted by environmental factors (such as outdoor temperatures), but the AccuBase A1c Home Test is reportedly stable for up to 21 days after the sample is sent off to the lab.

The kit comes with a positive patient ID, a sample vial that preserves the blood sample, and a unique capillary (small blood vessel) device for ease of collecting an accurate sample (only 1 drop of blood is required).

Test results are usually available in five to seven days from mailing, but a quick turnaround option (just 24 hours from receipt of the test) is available. The accuracy rating on the website is reportedly less than 2% CVs (a technical term for the number used to calculate the total error of a lab test).

The company is HIPPA compliant, offering a secure website for lab result reporting; each patient gets assigned a secure ID and password to the website. Tests cost about $45 each, and insurance doesn’t usually cover at-home tests.

Best Customer Satisfaction: Everlywell

EverlyWell

Everlywell

Pros
  • Utilizes CLIA-certified labs

  • Results are verified by an independent, board-certified physician

  • Highly recommended by over 100 satisfied customers

  • Results in 5 to 8 days

  • Offers a wide-range of home screening tests

Cons
  • Slower turnaround time than many other services

  • Not available in New York, New Jersey, or Rhode Island

  • Blood sample takes 15 minutes to dry before it can be mailed out

  • Requires a larger quantity of blood than some other tests

Everlywell was selected for its easy-to-understand website content, simple ordering process, and clear and understandable online educational data about HgA1C testing. The company was also selected due to its high number of positive customer satisfaction reviews.

With more than 110 satisfied customer reviews, the Everlywell test method is fast and easy to use. The company has been around since 2015 and claims to have served half a million people for at-home testing.

The website is encrypted to ensure data security and the company complies with HIPAA standards; the company vows never to sell or share any of your data, under any circumstances.

The test works like this: Once you receive your test kit, you'll enter your unique test ID. Then, you'll complete a finger prick, and apply the blood to a sample collection board. After the sample dries, you'll send it in via a prepaid shipping envelope. A board-certified physician (licensed in your state) will read the results, and you will receive your lab results on a secure platform in five to eight days.

Each lab that works with Everylywell is CLIA-certified (Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments). This means that state and federal certification has been obtained from the lab’s high-quality standards and regular lab inspections.

There’s a lot of educational data on diabetes and on the test itself on the website. The test kit includes a detailed step-by-step manual on how to perform the test, sterile blood collection tools, and a prepaid return shipping envelope.

Once you receive your results, Everlywell can suggest some healthy lifestyle changes (such as a change in diet), and you will be encouraged to share them with your own healthcare provider. The cost of the test is about $49; Everlywell accepts Health Savings Account (HSA) payments.

Best Nationwide: myLAB Box

myLAB Box

myLAB Box

Pros
  • Offers at-home testing in 50 states

  • FDA approved

  • Fast results (2 to 5 days)

  • Free telemedicine consultation from a licensed healthcare provider

  • Utilizes CLIA and CAP certified laboratories

  • Nationwide testing-to-treatment platform

Cons
  • The HbA1C test is more expensive than many competing companies

  • The customer service line is only open during business hours; there is no after-hours support available

Based in Los Angeles, myLab Box has been providing mail-in lab testing services since 2014 and is one of the few online lab testing organizations to offer its services in all 50 states. The testing service offers unique services such as a free telehealth consultation with a trained counselor (if you receive a positive test result).

The test is simple and fast: After you get your test, you will then be able to activate it online and create a unique ID number ensuring your sample matches your account. Then, you will collect your sample in just 5 minutes, according to the package instructions. Return your sample on the same day with a prepaid shipping label provided, and results will be available within two to five days.

The MyLab Box website is HIPPA compliant. Any information about your screening or results is said to be held in strict confidence. No third parties will receive your information unless they are legally authorized to do so. There is a customer service line that's open during business hours.

The cost of the lab kit is about $69, and the service is not covered by insurance providers.

Best Medical Support: LetsGetChecked

LetsGetChecked

Let'sGetChecked

Pros
  • Nursing team available 24/7 for consultation about results

  • Fast turnaround time (2 to 5 days)

  • Discount available for subscribers

  • Lab test orders and results reviewed by physicians

  • Laboratories are CLIA-approved and CAP-accredited

  • Medical review of your health history and subsequent professional support is provided when needed

Cons
  • No incoming phone support for medical consultations

  • All support issues are handled via email

  • Nurse consultation involves an outgoing call to you

LetsGetChecked was selected because of its unique nursing consultation services, its physician reviews of lab results, and because it is one of the only at-home testing companies that gathers a medical health history as part of the ordering process.

The company encourages the use of technology (via the useful and simple app) to track lab results and keep a personal health record. The mission statement is all about empowering people to take control of their own health.

A health history is taken as part of the initial ordering process, and your health record will be reviewed by a medical team member at LetsGetChecked. The company provides support via its 24/7 team of nurses to stand by throughout your testing process and explain your test results. Physicians review lab reports and provide support when needed. And, when it comes to privacy, the LetsGetChecked website is HIPPA-compliant. Plus, the company claims that they won’t share your information with any third party.

After you order your test, here are the steps to your final results: After you receive your test in the mail, you'll activate it and be connected to the alphanumeric barcode within the kit. (This ensures the correct lab results will be assigned to your specimen.) After collecting your blood sample via the enclosed instructions, you'll return it with the prepaid shipping label that's provided. Results will be accessible online within two to five days from the time your sample arrives at the lab.

The one-time cost of the HbA1C home test is $49, but you can receive a discount if you order a screening test via the subscribe and save option. Insurance plans will not cover the cost of at-home screening tests.

How We Chose the Best At-Home Diabetes Tests

The companies offering at-home diabetes tests were selected according to the unique services they provide, the speed of results, cost, the quality of the tests and lab testing facilities, as well as consumer reviews and special services offered (such as medical consultation after the test results are received).

Pixel Labcorp earned the best overall title for its quality testing process, access to medical professionals, and longevity in providing lab services. Home Access stood out as a budget option for its low cost (about $40) and its easy-to-follow instructions, thanks to a video the company provides. LetsGetChecked was a top pick for its medical support, as a 24/7 team of nurses is on standby to help with your testing process and explain your test results.

What Is the HbA1C Level?

A home test for A1C is a simple method of finding out how high your blood sugar has been for the past 60 to 90 days. Glycated hemoglobin (HbA1C) is a form of hemoglobin that is chemically linked to blood sugar (glucose) levels. What this means is that when glucose in the blood binds with hemoglobin, A1C is formed and it is detectable in the blood for 60 to 90 days. The higher your blood glucose level, the higher your A1C level. In fact, according to the American Diabetes Association, an HgA1C of under 5.7% is normal, test results of 5.7% to 6.4% indicated prediabetes and if your HgA1C level is 6.5%, or higher, this indicates a person has diabetes.

What Kind of Samples Are Required for an At-Home Diabetes Test?

The sample that is required for the HbA1C test is a capillary blood (small blood vessel) supply via a finger prick.

What Does an At-Home Diabetes Test Kit Include?

Most kits include some sort of lancet for pricking the finger, a receptacle for the blood sample (which differs according to the specific type of test used), instructions for obtaining the specimen, information on registering your profile on the website and mailing in the specimen, and a prepaid mailing envelope.

How Much Do At-Home Diabetes Tests Cost?

The average cost of an at-home diabetes test is between roughly $40 to $69.

Does Medicare Cover At-Home Diabetes Tests?

At-home screening tests are not usually covered by insurance companies, or by Medicare, though there are exceptions.

A Word From Verywell

It’s important to understand that while in-home medical testing is becoming more popular these days, the tests are not considered 100% accurate or reliable by most medical professionals. At-home screening tests are never meant to provide a diagnosis, or to guide treatment or intervention methods. Therefore, it’s vital to follow up with your private healthcare provider regarding any health symptom you have, and to ensure that you are receiving reliable screening results.

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Article 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.
  1. CDC. "New CDC report: More than 100 million Americans have diabetes or prediabetes."