The 6 Best Cholesterol Test Kits of 2021

Stay on top of your health with these at-home products

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Healthy cholesterol levels are a key component of cardiovascular wellness. The American Heart Association recommends getting tested every four to six years beginning at age 20—a blood lipid panel includes your total cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein (HDL), low-density lipoprotein (LDL), and triglycerides. If you have cardiovascular disease or elevated risk, you may need more frequent testing. After age 40, your doctor would recommend testing based on your calculated risk of having a heart attack or stroke.

These regular check-ins can guide your doctor's assessment of whether you need to make lifestyle adjustments or take medication to keep your blood cholesterol within a healthy range.

“Cholesterol testing today requires complex interpretation, where results help determine if medications ought to be started," says Dr. J.D. Zipkin, Chief Medical Officer at GoHealth Urgent Care. "Patients should use at-home cholesterol test kits in conjunction with a medical evaluation and recommendation."

At-home testing kits can be handy for people diagnosed with high cholesterol who may want to test their blood more frequently. While home cholesterol testing should not be used as a replacement for the comprehensive diagnostics provided by your physician, it can be an addition to a proactive health regimen.

We researched dozens of cholesterol test kits and evaluated them for reviews, test types, result speeds, types of cholesterol measured, accuracy, and price. Each of the products chosen in this article were determined to be the best of these factors.

Here are the best at-home cholesterol test kits that you can use in-between visits with your doctor.

Our Top Picks
A simple, cost-effective, and accurate blood cholesterol monitoring system.
An intuitively designed meter paired with smart test strips, making for quick and effective testing.
Analyzes your full blood lipid panel with just one sample on one test strip.
Accurately reports your total cholesterol in a matter of three minutes for less than $20.
An easy, non-intrusive way to learn how your lifestyle is impacting your long-term health.
Results take about three to five minutes, and the device will store the most recent 30 for easy review.

Best Overall: CardioChek Analyzer Starter Cholesterol Kit with 3 Count Cholesterol Test Strips by PTS Panels

CardioChek Analyzer Cholesterol Kit
Pros
  • Easy to use

  • Can analyze multiple types of cholesterol

Cons
  • Separate test strips are required for each stat analysis

  • Pricey

This cholesterol testing kit makes it easy to monitor your blood cholesterol no matter where you are. It comes with the electronic analyzer, test strips for total cholesterol, test strips for HDL, test strips for triglycerides, lancets, and capillary rods. When used properly, the meter produces accurate readings that you can rely on between doctor appointments. 

This meter functions similarly to a blood glucose meter. You simply place a droplet of blood on a test strip, insert the test strip into the electronic meter, and review your results in as little as 90 seconds. The device is user-friendly, and the test strip refills are very reasonably priced and much less expensive than requesting additional lab work at your doctor’s office.

Test Type: Test strips and electronic analyzer | Type of Cholesterol Measured: Total cholesterol, HDL, and triglycerides | Result Speed: 90 seconds

Most User-Friendly: KPI Blood Total Cholesterol Test Kit Curo L5 Digital Meter

Curo L5 Digital Meter
Pros
  • Comes with smart test strips that draw your sample into the blood inlet via capillary action

  • Testing is quick and accurate

  • Budget-friendly

Cons
  • Only comes with 10 cholesterol testing strips; others must be purchased separately

The Curo L5 has an intuitive design that makes it simple and easy to use. The test strips quickly and effectively draw your sample into the blood inlet via capillary action, making it easier to provide the correct sample size the first time around and receive accurate testing results. With the right test strips, it can measure your total cholesterol, HDL, and triglycerides. This kit comes with 10 total cholesterol testing strips—the others must be purchased separately. 

The device shares your test results within two minutes. It’s also compatible with Curo blood glucose testing strips should you want to monitor your blood sugar as well. And it comes with a lifetime warranty, so you can feel good about the initial investment.

Test Type: Test strips and electronic analyzer | Type of Cholesterol Measured: Total cholesterol, HDL, and triglycerides; Also compatible with blood glucose strips | Result Speed: Two minutes

Most Comprehensive Home Kit: SDBIO CURO L7 Professional Grade Lipid Blood Cholesterol Test Home Kit

CURO L7 Professional Grade Lipid Blood Cholesterol Test Home Kit
Pros
  • Provides your full blood lipid panel (6 data points) on one strip with just one blood sample

  • Pro level electronic monitor is sleek and compact, ideal for traveling

Cons
  • Limited 1-year warranty

  • High cost compared to similar electronic analyzers

Another electronic monitor, the Curo L7 cholesterol test kit, provides the best range of cholesterol test options. It reports six data points with just one blood sample—total cholesterol, HDL, LDL, LDL/HDL, non-HDL, and triglycerides. It uses profile cholesterol test strips that are capable of reporting your entire blood lipid panel instead of requiring a different type of test strip for every type of cholesterol.

The monitor itself is sleek and compact, making it an ideal choice for folks who travel a lot or seem to always be on the move. The kit comes with the meter, 10 profile testing strips, lancets, capillary rods, and a one-year warranty.

Test Type: Test strips and electronic analyzer | Type of Cholesterol Measured: Full blood lipid panel: total cholesterol, HDL, LDL, LDL/HDL, non-HDL, and triglycerides | Result Speed: Three minutes

Best Budget Test: SELFCheck Cholesterol Test Kit

SELFCheck Cholesterol Test Kit
Pros
  • Budget-friendly price and easy to use

  • Provides results quickly in under 5 minutes

Cons
  • Can incur user error with manual analysis

  • Results limited to 5 mmol/L range

In the realm of more basic, manual cholesterol testing kits, SELFCheck is a great option. This single-use test can report your total cholesterol in a matter of three minutes. It’s simple to use, known for its accuracy, and it can provide a helpful data point for people who recently began keeping track of their blood cholesterol. 

The packet contains a test card, a lancet, and a plaster. It’s ideal for adults over the age of 40 seeking a clear indicator of their current cardiovascular health so they can be more proactive with medical interventions that will get them on track and help them stay there. If the test produces a result outside of the 5 mmol/L range, consult with your doctor for a full blood lipid panel and their advice on how to better manage your blood cholesterol.

Test Type: Manual cholesterol test | Type of Cholesterol Measured: Total cholesterol | Result Speed: 3 minutes

Most Comprehensive Mail-In Kit: Choose Health 6-in-1 Health Test Cholesterol & Lipids Test Kit

Choose Health Cholesterol & Internal Health test
Pros
  • Results available for review on the Choose Health app

  • Provides additional stats for cardio and general health

Cons
  • Results are more delayed than other options with mail-in style test

  • Higher cost per test

If you want access to important details about your blood cholesterol and other important components of cardiovascular health all in one test, this mail-in kit is your best bet. A single blood sample returns a cholesterol analysis, including HDL, LDL, and triglycerides. It also provides your average blood sugar reading, tests for insulin resistance (an important marker for diabetes), measures your visceral fat, and analyzes your body’s current levels of inflammation and oxidative stress.

Basically, this test helps you learn how your lifestyle is impacting your long-term health, which can help you determine whether you need to make any significant lifestyle changes. After you submit your finger-prick blood sample via the pre-paid envelope, your results will be available for review on the Choose Health app within seven days.

Test Type: Mail-in kit | Type of Cholesterol Measured: HDL, LDL, and triglycerides as well as blood sugar reading, tests for insulin resistance, visceral fat, and current inflammation levels and oxidative stress | Result Speed: Within seven days

Most Comprehensive: CardioChek Blood Testing Device Kit

CardioCheck Blood Testing Device kit
Pros
  • Results come back quickly in 3 to 5 minutes

  • The device will store the most recent 30 results for convenient comparison

  • Simple and user-friendly device

Cons
  • Higher cost for device and accessory combination

  • Doesn’t analyze full lipid panel

The CardioCheck Blood Testing Device is the perfect combination of simplicity and utility, allowing users to test total cholesterol, HDL cholesterol and triglycerides using only two buttons. It’s also useful for testing for diabetes and other diseases.

Unlike the CardioChek Cholesterol Analyzer, the device’s true value comes into play when you consider what’s included: 18 lancets and capillary tubes, and six test strips for each of the three lipids CardioCheck screens. Results take about three to five minutes, and the device will store the most recent 30 for easy review.

Test Type: Test strips and electronic analyzer | Type of Cholesterol Measured: Total cholesterol, HDL cholesterol and triglycerides | Result Speed: Three to five minutes

Expert Insight

“People with risk factors for heart disease (high blood pressure, smokers, people with diabetes, those who lead a sedentary lifestyle), a family history of stroke/heart disease, those with a high BMI, and people who have a family history of diabetes” can most benefit from at-home cholesterol test kits.

Chun Tang, M.D.,  from Pall Mall Medical, a private healthcare provider in the UK

Final Verdict

If you’re looking for a way to monitor your blood cholesterol levels frequently and accurately between doctor visits without spending an arm and a leg on test strips, you can’t beat the CardioChek Analyzer Cholesterol Kit (view at Amazon). But if the price isn’t a factor for you, our experts say splurge a little on the Curo L7 Meter (view at Amazon) instead so you can access your full blood lipid panel. Manual tests are usually the cheaper option, but they provide far less information.

What to Look for in a Cholesterol Test Kit

FDA Approval:

Only a handful of over-the-counter home cholesterol test kits have received approval from the Food and Drug Administration. These tests are considered almost as accurate as the tests conducted at a doctor’s office and sent to a laboratory for evaluation when users follow the instructions correctly. Our experts recommend looking for the “FDA Approved” label to ensure that your home results are truly informative and worth the expense.

Test Type:

There are three types of at-home cholesterol test kits.

  • You can use an electronic monitor similar to a glucometer to analyze your blood sample.
  • You can use test strips to read visually by comparing them with a color change chart.
  • You can send your blood sample to a lab and wait to receive your results via mail or email.

Decide which type of test best suits your needs to narrow down your options easily and effectively.

Type of Cholesterol Measured:

All at-home cholesterol test kits measure total cholesterol, and the more advanced options provide HDL and triglycerides readings as well. Only one of the FDA-approved cholesterol test kits also measures LDL. Pay close attention to what each test measures if you’re in need of a more comprehensive analysis, and expect higher price tags on the tests that provide more measurements.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Are cholesterol test kits accurate?

    Accuracy and reliability vary from test kit to test kit, but there are good at-home testing kits available with reliable and reproducible results. “Home testing kits rely on a variety of technologies to determine cholesterol levels,” says Spencer Kroll, M.D., PhD FNLA, Board Certified Internal Medicine Specialist and Director of the Northeast Lipid Association. “As a result, some are more reliable than others. Traditional commercial laboratory testing of cholesterol requires centrifuging your collected blood and extracting the cholesterol containing proteins from the resulting blood serum. This blood centrifuging can’t be done at home. But alternative methods for measuring whole blood, although less reliable, can provide a good estimate of the blood cholesterol components."


    He adds that for more accurate results, cholesterol testing requires 12 hour fasting that must also be done for an at-home test.

  • How often do you need to check your cholesterol?

    How often you need to check your cholesterol depends on your risk for heart disease. “The normal recommendation is for low risk people to check their cholesterol for screening purposes every five years,” says Dr. Kroll. “But heart disease is the number one killer of Americans and therefore there are lots of people with increased risk as well as millions of Americans with familial heart disease patterns. In the case of someone with increased risk, testing, which could be done by at-home cholesterol tests should be done every year."


    Dr. Kroll says that if there are significant weight changes, significant dietary changes or the introduction of new medications, at-home testing could be done every three months. Any significant change in at home cholesterol levels should be confirmed by a commercial laboratory, he adds.

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Additional reporting to this story by Jennifer Nied

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  1. American Heart Association. How to Get Your Cholesterol Tested. Updated November 9, 2020.

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