The Best At-Home Testosterone Tests in 2020

Find out if your symptoms could be due to low testosterone

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From maintaining bone density to supporting male fertility, the hormone testosterone plays a lot of important roles in the body. According to an article in The Journal of Urology, testosterone testing and prescriptions for testosterone replacement have nearly tripled in the past few years. The journal also reported there are a significant number of men who could benefit from testosterone therapy but who don't receive it.

Could you have low testosterone levels? The symptoms can vary widely, but can include:

  • Depression
  • Erectile dysfunction 
  • Loss of body hair
  • Loss of muscle mass
  • Male infertility
  • Memory problems
  • Problems losing weight
  • Reduced sex drive
  • Unexplained fatigue

You’re also more likely to have low testosterone if you have medical conditions such as diabetes, obesity, or a history of chemotherapy use or testicular radiation.  The testing kits can also tell you if you have high testosterone, which could indicate how well your testosterone medications are working or indicate potential medical concerns, such as adrenal hyperplasia.

Doctors estimate that about 1 in about every 50 men have low testosterone, according to the American Urological Association. The older you are, the more likely you are to have low testosterone—as many as 50% of men ages 80 and older have low levels of the hormone.

Low testosterone can affect men of all ages, but a lot of men are hesitant to see their doctor and ask for a testosterone test. At-home testing can provide one confidential and non-invasive (no blood draws) method for you to find out your testosterone levels.

The at-home testing field is growing, so we reviewed 18 kits to narrow it down to the six best. Criteria we used included costs, laboratory testing policies, results explanations, and company history. Keep reading to find out what we determined were the best at-home testosterone kits on today’s market.

The Best At-Home Testosterone Tests in 2020

Our Top Picks

Everlywell: Best Overall

Everlywell

Everlywell

Pros
  • Uses only Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA)-certified laboratories to test its kits

  • Accepts HSA/FSA payments

  • Subscribe-and-save option

Cons
  • Tests aren’t available in New Jersey, New York, or Rhode Island

  • Doesn’t report a specific timeframe for receiving results

Everlywell is an Austin, Texas-based company that offers more than 30 at-home testing panels, including one that is FDA-approved for testing for COVID-19. The company has been in operation since 2015.

Its testosterone test measures levels of free testosterone via a saliva sample at a price of $59. At the time we reviewed the product, Everlywell advertised a coupon code to save 30% on test orders. There is also an option to subscribe to receive future testing kits, which saves anywhere from 15% to 25% based on how frequently you order the kit. Everlywell will also accept health savings account (HSA) or flexible spending account (FSA) payments or provide you with an itemized receipt for HSA/FSA reimbursement.

There were a few aspects that stood out about Everlywell’s product, in addition to the wide range of testing capabilities. It only utilizes laboratories that have received a CLIA certification, which can indicate the lab’s quality and reliability. The company also has a board-certified physician review each test result before providing your results.

The company’s test measures free testosterone levels, which it reports can be a better predictor of low testosterone. The test provides a report of your testosterone levels, which includes the detected level, assigns it a value of low, normal, or high, and provides you with some suggestions on the next steps.

You can’t get Everlywell’s tests in all states—for regulatory reasons, the company cannot sell the tests in New Jersey, New York, or Rhode Island. It also doesn’t specify a timeframe when you will receive your test results, but it does report that you will get results “within days.”

Imaware: Best for Blood Testing

Imaware

Imaware

Pros
  • Blood testing makes results more comparable

  • Does not require fasting or special precautions

  • Offered in all states

Cons
  • Not for those who dislike the sight of blood

  • May be more likely to not obtain an adequate sample

Headquartered in Houston, Texas, Imaware has been in operation since 2018. While most at-home testosterone kits utilize saliva samples, the Imaware test kit uses a small-drop blood sample to measure total testosterone levels. By using blood testing, you can more easily compare and interpret your results to standardized levels of low testosterone.

The American Urological Association says blood testosterone levels lower than 300 ng/dL are considered low (saliva tests use different units of measurements, specifically the picogram).

The Imaware testing kit costs $69 and comes with an alcohol pad, two lancets to stick your finger, a dry-spot blood card to place the blood on, and a small bandage to apply to the finger. After sticking your finger, you cover the blood card (it’s in a special case) and mail it back to the Imaware laboratory. Because the test is a blood test and not saliva, you don’t have to wait to eat, brush your teeth, or follow any other traditional stipulations before collecting the sample. Within seven days of mailing your test, you’ll receive a results report.

The company does not file the test with insurance, but it does provide information should you wish to pursue reimbursement from your HSA/FSA.

We liked the Imaware platform for testing because the company utilizes CLIA-certified laboratories and physicians to review testing results. A study published in the journal Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine (CCLM) validated its testing methods and results. We also liked that you can see a sample report before purchasing the product.

This is a blood test, so that is one major drawback; if you aren’t comfortable sticking your finger or if have poor circulation, you may not be able to obtain a result. We also didn’t see anything on the company's website that explained what happened if you could not obtain an adequate blood sample.

However, you can obtain this test in all states. Included in the purchase price is a requisition approved by an Imaware telemedicine doctor so there are fewer state-based restrictions. As a result, you don’t need a separate prescription or requisition to purchase the test.

MyLabBox: Best for Speed of Results

MyLabBox

MyLabBox

Pros
  • Returns results within two to five days of receiving the sample

  • Offers free physician phone consultation to discuss results

  • Accepts HSA/FSA card payments

Cons
  • Most educational focus is on STD testing

  • No results example on its website

Based in Los Angeles, California, my LAB Box has been in operation since 2014. While its initial offerings were for STD testing kits, it has expanded to other tests, including testosterone.

The MyLabBox test kit offers a saliva testing kit for $69 and measures free testosterone levels. MyLabBox does accept FSA or HSA payments if your insurance company accepts the test as a qualified medical expense. The testing kit promises to return results within two to five days of the laboratory receiving your testing sample, making it one of the fastest results return windows we reviewed.

The company uses CLIA and College of American Pathologists (CAP)-certified laboratories to test samples. It promises to deliver your testing kit in discreet packaging to protect your privacy and confidentiality. Like other saliva-based testing kits, the MyLabBox kit is not available to ship to New York. Another potential drawback is that because its predominant service is STD testing, most of the education and frequently asked questions on the site are related to STD testing and its STD products.

After you receive your results in two to five days, you have the extra option of scheduling a free phone consultation with one of MyLabBox's contracted physicians. You can use this opportunity to have further questions answered regarding your results.

LetsGetChecked: Best Discount Options

LetsGetChecked

LetsGetChecked

Pros
  • Offers coupon codes and subscribe-and-save discounts

  • Accepts HSA or FSA payments

  • Offers free call from a nurse to review your results

Cons
  • Must take the test after fasting, before 9 a.m.

  • Must mail your sample the same day you collect it

  • Must fill sample in a blood collection tube

LetsGetChecked was founded in Dublin, Ireland, in 2014 and launched in the United States in 2017, with an office in New York.

The base price for the LetsGetChecked test is $69, but discounts are often available. For example, the company's website listed a subscribe-and-save option that offers the kit at $48.30 if you sign up to receive one every three months for testing. It also accepts HSA and FSA payments.

The test requires a blood sample and provides results for total testosterone. The test kit comes with alcohol swabs, three lancets, a bandage for your finger, instructions, and a blood collection tube. This is different from most tests, which require you to press your blood onto a dry sample collection. As a result, you may need more blood and the collection process could be messier.

LetsGetChecked requests that you fast before collecting the sample, and that you should collect the sample before 9 a.m. After that time, you must mail your test kit that day for accurate results (it requests that you don’t collect or mail your sample Friday, Saturday, or Sunday. This means you must commit to and plan for the testing and mailing process, which may be difficult if you don’t have a flexible schedule.

The website features a video on how to collect and package your sample for greatest accuracy. Once the sample arrives at its laboratory, you can expect results within two to five days. LetsGet Checked uses laboratories that are CLIA-approved or CAP-accredited. They also manufacture the testing kits at a medical device-accredited facility.

Once the laboratory has established your results, the company will not only make your results available on a secure portal, but you will also receive a call from a LetsGetChecked nurse, who will review your results with you.

LiveWellTesting: Best for Test Variety

LiveWellTesting

LiveWellTesting

Pros
  • Results in three to five business days

  • Extensive panel of tests available

  • Results were more extensive, even for entry price

Cons
  • Results can be difficult to interpret

  • Did not list laboratory review information

  • Cannot be shipped to New York

LiveWellTesting is a San Diego, California-based company that’s a subsidiary of Confirm Biosciences, which was founded in 2008. It offers an at-home testosterone saliva test that measures free testosterone. It will return results within three to five days of receiving your sample—one of the fastest turnaround times we found in our research.

The testosterone and hormone imbalance kit was $54.99, which was also one of the less expensive options we reviewed. There were also coupon codes available on the company's website to reduce the costs even further.

While we were mainly reviewing basic testosterone test kits, LiveWellTesting offers 14 test kits that incorporate testosterone results. One is a combination blood and saliva test for those who want their total and free testosterone results. The saliva test kits cannot be shipped to New York due to state shipping restrictions.

We also saw no explanation regarding the certification of the labs utilized. The sample reports do show a physician’s sign-off, so this is available as part of its reliability process. The site also did not list information about reporting the cost to an HSA/FSA.

Depending on how you like to interpret your results, the LiveWellTesting panel can be a bit confusing. It offers extensive information that goes beyond most results panels, including a breakout of additional hormones such as cortisol and progesterone. The testing process also involved answering more extensive questions about any hormonal medications we were utilizing as well as additional medical conditions that hormones may influence. We felt the testing results were likely best when you were going to review them with a physician, who could more thoroughly interpret them.

Thorne: Best Personalized Planning

Thorne

Thorne

Pros
  • Results offer recommendations on dietary changes and activities

  • Tests both free testosterone and sex hormone-binding globulin

  • Subscribe-and-save option

Cons
  • At $100, the test was one of the most expensive we reviewed

  • The company may suggest its products with your results

  • Results come in seven to nine days

Thorne is based in Summerville, South Carolina, and initially started in 1984 as a nutritional supplements company. Since then, it has expanded to include at-home testing.

The company offers a blood spot test for $100 that tests both free testosterone and sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG). By having these two results, you can also calculate your total testosterone value. While the price was higher than most other testosterone tests we reviewed, testing both aforementioned hormone values and the existence of subscribe-and-save discounts are beneficial.

The test kit contains an alcohol prep pad, a blood collection card, a plastic box in which to place the blood collection card, two safety lancets, a gauze pad, Band-Aids, and a return label. The blood collection card has nine spots to put blood drops on, so it may require more finger-squeezing than most of the other one-spot products we reviewed.

Thorne utilizes laboratories that are either CLIA-compliant or accredited by the CAP to test your sample. Although the company does not offer free medical reviews with a doctor or nurse, it has a listing of doctors in your area with whom you can consult should you have more questions regarding your test. The promised return time is seven to nine days after receiving the sample in its laboratory, slightly longer than most testing kits.

Thorne sells supplements and other wellness products on its site, so it does make recommendations regarding these in your results. The pitch doesn’t seem too aggressive, but be aware that you may receive information about these products.

In reviewing the product and results, the strength of its testing is in the results panels Thorne provides. According to its website, Thorne collaborated with the Mayo Clinic to create a user-friendly test results panel. The sample results page shows it will assign a value of low, normal, or high to your testosterone results. It also provides education about your test results, including any notes from the laboratory that tested the sample. In addition to these results, Thorne will make recommendations regarding your overall health. Examples include diet and activity levels.

What Is an At-Home Testosterone Test?

Most at-home testosterone tests measure your testosterone levels by analyzing your saliva. Your body naturally secretes hormones like testosterone in your saliva, and laboratories can use different methods to test the amount present.

People have used at-home testosterone tests as an alternative to a blood test for detecting the amount of testosterone present in your body. To do this, purchase a test kit, follow the directions, and send it to the laboratory via mail. The laboratory tests the saliva and provides your results.

Other at-home test kits require blood samples for testing, which usually involve a finger stick and applying the blood to a spot or tube for collection.

The American Urology Association recommends collecting a testosterone sample first thing in the morning. This is when testosterone levels are likely to be at their lowest.

What Does an At-Home Testosterone Test Include?

Most at-home testosterone testing kits include the following:

  • A tube or specimen collection receptacle
  • Directions on how to provide a sample
  • A biohazard bag to put the sample in
  • An envelope with prepaid shipping

If at any time you have questions about providing your sample, contact the company directly to ensure you get the best results.

Are At-Home Testosterone Tests Reliable?

The reliability of at-home testosterone kits (and hormone saliva tests in general) has been in question since researchers started using them. Several research studies have found that at-home testing kits can vary in their abilities to predict a consistent testosterone level. Each manufacturer may use its own formula to calculate your testosterone levels, so it’s tough to know which one is “right.” You also have to consider factors such as closely following the package’s directions in order to collect the best sample.

Tip:

The presence of blood in a saliva testosterone test can throw off results (blood usually has a higher level of testosterone). This is why many kits will recommend refraining from brushing your teeth for at least an hour before collecting a sample.

It’s also good to know that at-home testosterone test kits may not be as effective in detecting hormone levels in women, who usually have lower levels of testosterone. Some testing kits will say they are just for men, while others will say they are for men and women.

However, doctors and researchers use saliva test kits to measure testosterone for a number of purposes, including for sports performance and anti-doping tests. The kits are also easy to use and cost-effective, which can make their results a helpful first step in identifying if you have low testosterone.

Evaluating the test kits and choosing one that is upfront about its testing methods can help ensure its accuracy. Plus, if you get results that are concerning, it’s always best to talk to your doctor to see if you need further testing.

What Do I Need to Send in for an At-Home Testosterone Test?

At-home testosterone test kits involve collecting your saliva, blood, or both. While test kits may vary by brand, they will usually include swabs or a test tube-like receptacle that allows you to spit into the collection tube. Most will also include a return envelope and information for you to fill out to return to the testing laboratory. If for any reason your provided sample may be invalid (likely due to improper capping of the tube), the laboratory should notify you.

Important:

It’s important to follow the directions on the testosterone test’s packaging carefully. For example, many require you to not eat or drink for a certain amount of time before providing a saliva sample. Doing so helps to ensure the test’s accuracy. 

How Much Do At-Home Testosterone Tests Cost?

At-home testosterone tests can vary in costs, but most start at about $60 to $105. Some testing companies will offer “bundles” where you can have multiple tests for a lower price or special discounts for purchasing the test. These may vary by season and by the test (or tests) you purchase.

Companies also may offer subscribe-and-save options where you can agree to get more testing kits at a duration of your choosing to receive a discount. If you are tracking your progress with testosterone supplements, this option may be cost-effective for you.

Are At-Home Testosterone Tests Legally Acceptable for Paternity?

Most courts will not consider at-home tests legally acceptable for paternity cases because courts require a “documented chain of custody” for a saliva sample to prove legal issues. Chain of custody means how your sample is handled (and by who) from the minute you provide it until the results are submitted to the courts. An at-home test is not currently considered legally acceptable because there is little way of proving that you were the person that sent in the sample.

In legal paternity samples, you’re usually required to go to a physical laboratory, which will collect and maintain custody of the sample until your results are received. While both of these samples use a cheek swab or saliva collection, maintaining the chain of custody is what makes the difference in terms of legal use.

Will My Insurance Cover At-Home Testosterone Tests?

Insurance companies do not typically cover at-home testosterone testing. They will usually require in-office or other types of laboratory testing and generally require a doctor’s referral if you have symptoms that indicate you may have low testosterone.

However, you may be able to reimburse yourself for your at-home testosterone kit if you have a flexible spending account (FSA) or a health savings account (HSA). Some FSA and HSA programs consider at-home kits, testosterone kits included, as a “qualified medical expense” and will reimburse the cost. You may want to check with your benefits coordinator or company to determine if you can claim this expense.

You also may wish to contact your insurance company individually if you have circumstances that may keep you from in-person testosterone testing (such as being home-bound or not having a testing facility within a certain driving distance). You may be able to work with your doctor and insurance company to potentially obtain an exemption.

How We Chose the Best At-Home Testosterone Kits

In conducting our research, we reviewed more than 18 at-home kits from varying companies. We evaluated each one based on company history, testing kit quality, laboratory review policies, results sampling, website navigability, cost, and turnaround times. We also reviewed company privacy policies, if the company provided reimbursement information, and if additional counseling was available. Through this process, we selected and recommended six testing kits.

A Word From VeryWell

At-home testosterone tests are considered unreliable by medical professionals. We recommend you consult a doctor for interpretation of test results, confirmation of results, and advice regarding your needs.

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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.
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