The 8 Best Pregnancy Tests of 2021

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Best Pregnancy Tests

Verywell / Chloe Jeong

Our Top Picks
Get results up to six days before your missed period thanks to the extra-sensitive hCG detectors.
Just as accurate as a stick test, minus the costly price tag, you can stock up on these test strips without breaking the bank.
Skip the antsy wait with this test that offers faster results with the same high level of accuracy.
Take the guesswork out of reading lines on a test with this straightforward digital pregnancy test option.
These no-frills test strips will get the job done quickly.
When one test isn't enough, this three-pack will help you confirm the right results.
These no-frills test strips will get the job done quickly.

If you’re wondering whether or not you’re pregnant, an at-home pregnancy test can ease your mind, even days before your missed period. The best pregnancy tests are reliable, easy to take, and won’t break the bank.

When choosing a test, think about the day you’d like to test (early or after a missed period), and how you’d like to read the results. Digital readers can make things more simple by translating your results to text, like Not Pregnant or Pregnant. If you have more experience with pregnancy tests, test strips with line results are typically cheaper and come with more in the package.

Here we discuss the pros and cons of our top picks for at-home pregnancy tests.

Best Overall: First Response Early Result Pregnancy Test, 3 Tests

First Response Triple Check Pregnancy Test 3 ct.
Pros
  • Early detection (6 days before missed period)

  • App converts line results into words (not pregnant, pregnant)

  • #1 best selling

Cons
  • Expensive

This bestselling pregnancy test can provide results up to six days before your missed period (and in three minutes time) so you don’t have to sit around wondering. Data shows that the First Response Early Result manual test’s findings are especially accurate because it can detect all forms of the different types of hCG found in urine. Studies show that First Response tests are able to detect hCG in 76 percent of users five cycle days before their expected period and detect 100 percent of the hormone on the day of the missed period.

Reviewers say that this brand is the gold standard of pregnancy tests, and many add that they won’t use any other brand. They also liked that you get three individually wrapped sticks in a pack, so you can try again if need be—or just hold onto the extras for the next time you need to take a test.

Number of tests: 3 | Display method: Line test (word option through the app) | Result time: 3 minutes 

Best Budget: ClinicalGuard HCG Pregnancy Test Strips

Pros
  • Individually sealed, easy to carry around

  • Affordable

Cons
  • Not great for early detection

  • Waste

If you’re trying to conceive and think you’ll likely go through a lot of tests, ClinicalGuard’s dip-in strips may be right for you. They come in bulk but are individually sealed, so you’ll always be prepared. You’ll also need a cup for these so you can submerge the strip. If your result is positive, you’ll see two different color bands pop up.

Women love that these strips are just as accurate as a stick test but cost way less. It’s perfect for anyone who wants to test frequently without wasting money.

Number of tests: 25 | Display method: Line test | Result time: 5 minutes 

Fastest Test: Clearblue Rapid Detection Pregnancy Test

Pros
  • Fast & accurate

  • Ergonomically curved handle

  • Wide tip + Floodguard prevent errors

  • Color tip tells you the test is working

Cons
  • Less sensitive

If you are pregnant, you could find out as soon as one minute after taking the test using the Rapid Detection Pregnancy test. The wide, color-changing tip on this manual test makes it easy to use (it’ll go from pink to white when used correctly), while the special "FloodGuard" feature helps prevent any user errors. This Clearblue product can be used up to five days before your missed period.

People who tried this test praise its accuracy and speed of results. They also love that it’s easy to read so they don’t have to wonder about the findings. And quite a few mentioned that it only took a small amount of urine for the test to work—a fact that comes in handy if you’re trying out multiple tests!

Number of tests: 3 | Display method: + / - | Result time: 1 minute

Best Digital: Clearblue Digital Pregnancy Test with Smart Countdown

Clearblue Digital Pregnancy Test with Smart Countdown
Pros
  • Shows countdown to result

  • Early detection (up to 5 days before missed period)

  • Wide tip helps reduce testing errors

Cons
  • Expensive

  • Bulky

Waiting for your test result can be nerve-wracking, so Clearblue’s Smart Countdown feature can help calm any anxiety and can be taken five days before your missed period. A little on-screen tracker indicates how much longer you’ll need to wait—generally three minutes but some results appear within one minute—providing reassurance that the test is still working. And once your result is ready, you’ll see either “pregnant” or “not pregnant” clearly on the screen, so there’s no need to interpret any lines, symbols, or colors. Bonus: if you get a positive result, the test will display “pregnant” for six months so you can show it off to excited loved ones.

Those who tried this digital test rave about how easy it is to understand. They also love being able to actually see the word “pregnant” on screen and share it with their partner—it makes the experience feel even more magical.

Number of tests: 3 | Display method: Words (Pregnant/Not Pregnant) | Result time: 1-3 minutes

Best Strips: PREGMATE 40 Pregnancy Test Strips

PREGMATE 40 Pregnancy (HCG) Urine Test Strips
Pros
  • Bulk pricing

  • Wider than the average test strip

Cons
  • No plastic applicator

  • No urine cup

If you don’t need lots of bells and whistles on your pregnancy test, these no-frills test strips will get the job done quickly (and are often used in doctors offices). In order to use, you’ll pee into a cup, dip one of the strips in the liquid for three seconds, and then lay it flat. In five minutes, you’ll have your answer. The test can be used up to five days before a missed period.

Users were impressed by the accuracy, high-quality materials, and affordable price of these strips. Plus, they come in discreet packaging with fairly little waste, making them a slightly more eco-friendly choice. These strips are a great option for those who are actively trying to conceive since you might go through a lot of tests over a period of time, which can be costly.

Number of tests: 40 | Display method: Line test | Result time: 5 minutes

Best Assurance: First Response Early Result Pregnancy Test, 3 Tests

First Response Triple Check Pregnancy Test 3 ct.
Pros
  • 3 different types of testing

  • Early detection (up to 6 days before missed period)

  • Detects all forms of pregnancy hormones

Cons
  • Expensive

Sometimes, we need a little extra reassurance in order to be certain. This First Response kit comes with three tests to give you the confirmation you need. You'll get two two-line tests—which can give you results as early as six days before your missed period—and an easy-to-read digital version. Each of the three delivers an answer in three minutes or less.​

Reviewers liked the variety of the pack and the peace of mind it provided. It also worked well for people who weren’t sure if they wanted to go with a manual or digital test since they got to try both kinds.

Number of tests: 3 | Display method: Line, Yes/No | Result time: 3 minutes or less

Best Strips: PREGMATE 20 Ovulation Midstream Tests Predictor Kit

PREGMATE 20 Ovulation (LH) Midstream Tests Sticks Strips Combo Pregnancy Predictor Kit Pack
Pros
  • Has both pregnancy and ovulation tests

  • Budget-friendly

Cons
  • No applicator

If you’re hoping to start a family, it’s helpful to know when your body is ovulating. Many people assume that women ovulate on a particular day of their cycle, but in reality, it often shifts around a little. That’s why plenty of couples rely on the Pregmate LH Ovulation test to be sure. It works just like a regular pregnancy test—you’ll need to pee on it and then wait three minutes. If your result is positive, it means you’ll likely ovulate within the next 24 to 48 hours.

Number of tests: 20 pregnancy / 100 ovulation | Display method: Line | Result time: 5 minutes

Best Kit: Pregmate LH Ovulation and Pregnancy Test Strips

PREGMATE 100 Ovulation and 20 Pregnancy Test Strips

PREGMATE 100 Ovulation LH And 20 Pregnancy HCG Test Strips
Pros
  • Has both pregnancy and ovulation tests

  • Budget-friendly

Cons
  • No applicator

For couples trying to conceive, this pack of ovulation and pregnancy tests can be a massive help. You can use the much-loved Pregmate ovulation strips to figure out when the ideal time for intercourse is, and afterward, you can easily determine if you were successful with the pregnancy test strips. This product is no-fuss, accurate, and budget-friendly, making it a no-brainer.

People who purchased this kit loved how easy it was to read their results and track their cycle. A few even called it the best item they’d ever purchased!

Number of tests: 20 pregnancy / 100 ovulation | Display method: Line | Result time: 5 minutes

Final Verdict

The right pregnancy test for your needs will mostly depend on your budget, how often you plan to take the tests, and how early you want to know whether or not you are pregnant. Don’t get caught up in accuracy percentages. We like the Clearblue Rapid Detection Pregnancy Test (view at Amazon) because it’s easy to use and available at most drugstores and pharmacies.

What to Look for in a Pregnancy Test

Display Method

Most home pregnancy test kits work by having a slip of paper that reacts by changing color when hCG, or human chorionic gonadotropin (the pregnancy hormone), is present. Or in the case of digital pregnancy tests, when hCG is present, the "pregnant" sign lights up, but it's still doing so because the pregnancy test detected hCG, says Robin Elise Weiss, PhD, MPH.

If you are worried about your ability to read a pregnancy test, you may wish to consider a digital pregnancy test. This is a simple readout that says “Not Pregnant” or “Pregnant.” 

A strip test will have two lines, either parallel or in the form of a plus for pregnant, or one line vertical (instead of two lines) or a negative sign instead of a plus sign (check the instructions on how to read the test).

Do not read the test later than instructed, particularly the next day as it is not accurate. Typically any color change in the area of the second line would indicate the presence of hCG and therefore a positive test. The two lines do not need to be the same shade for the test to be positive.

Cost

Pregnancy test kits vary from just under a dollar for bulk purchases without lots of packaging to over $25 for a single pregnancy test, typically a digital, early pregnancy test with lots of packaging and a toll-free number. How much you pay for your test is not typically correlated with how well it works, Dr. Weiss mentions. So, even if you decide to go for a test with more instructions and support, you can still save a lot of money by purchasing test kits that have multiple pregnancy tests included.

If you can't spend the money on a home pregnancy test, there are places to get a free pregnancy test as well. Be sure you know who is doing the test and what their credentials and motives are for testing.

In short, the difference lies in the test’s ability to detect smaller amounts of hCG. More expensive tests might tell you if you are pregnant earlier, have a digital reader, or a well-designed plastic holder.

Expiration Date

No matter which brand of test or type of home pregnancy test you chose, be sure that you check the expiration date on the pregnancy test box. The biggest error people get when testing for pregnancy is using expired pregnancy tests.

If you are buying your pregnancy tests online, be sure that you know the tests you're purchasing are not expired or about to expire (for bulk purchases). And if you don't take all of the tests this pregnancy, you can usually save the other tests for a couple of years, but that's why checking for the expiration date is so important.

FAQs

How do home pregnancy test kits work?

The pregnancy will begin to produce hCG, also known as the pregnancy hormone, and it is what a pregnancy test is looking for to say whether or not you are pregnant. Home pregnancy tests look for hCG in your urine, as the hormone is excreted or passed when you use the bathroom. Dr. Weiss explains that at first, this happens in very small quantities, but the further along in pregnancy you are, the more hCG can be detected.

A blood pregnancy test is also looking for the hormone hCG, though it is screening your blood. These are ordered by your doctor or midwife. Blood pregnancy tests are generally only done for women who are having problems in their pregnancy or require special testing. Even if you go to your doctor's office for a pregnancy test, the vast majority of them will offer you a urine test.

How early can I test if I am pregnant?

Hormone levels vary from female to female, but some tests can detect a positive pregnancy as early as six days before a missed period. You will probably get better results first thing in the morning or after you have not urinated for several hours. Later in pregnancy, this won't matter as most tests detect very small amounts of hCG.

In reality, a blood test, at the earliest, will detect miniscule amounts of hCG about seven to 10 days after conception (not ovulation), and a urine or home pregnancy test kit will begin to see some positives 12 to 14 days after conception.

You can use an early home pregnancy test kit, though it’s recommended to not start until at least 12 days post-ovulation, though that may also not be helpful because a negative pregnancy test may simply mean it's a bit too early and multiple tests may be needed. 

If you have a positive pregnancy test, you will want to schedule an appointment with the doctor or midwife of your choice. They will guide you further in how to care for your pregnancy. They will also be the person with whom you can share concerns or ask questions, even prior to your appointment.

Could I be pregnant and my test be negative?

Yes, sometimes it’s too early for the test to detect the pregnancy hormones. If the result is negative and you still believe you are pregnant, wait 48 hours to retest as the hCG level will typically double in that time. In this case, Dr. Weiss always tells people to assume a positive is a positive and that a negative is an "I don't know yet" until your period starts or you have a positive. Act pregnant until you know you're not.

You should repeat a test that is negative prior to the start of your period. It is best to wait at least two days to test to give your body a chance to build up to the hCG needed to turn the test positive. You should also repeat it if your period does not start after a couple of days to a week.

Why Trust Verywell Family? 

Deanna McCormack is a freelance writer and copywriter who covers lifestyle, parenting content for a variety of platforms. She’s a mom of two kids under the age of 3, and spends time outside her work researching, reviewing and testing products made for modern families.

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  1. Church and Dwight C. 510(K) Substantial Equivalence Determination Decision Summary. https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/.