The 10 Best Pregnancy Tests to Buy in 2020

The 10 Best Pregnancy Tests to Buy in 2020

Since the introduction of at-home pregnancy tests in 1976, women have been empowered to self-diagnose this life-changing event with minimal medical assistance. Almost 5 decades later, home-based pregnancy test kits have become one of the most widely used, self-administered diagnostic tools.

They’ve also come a long way in accurately predicting the results of the test. The wait for the result of a pregnancy test is beset by a range of emotions, from excitement to hope, trepidation to anxiousness, and everything in between. Skip faulty testing and results by arming yourself with the right knowledge to choose the best pregnancy test kits for your requirements.

Things To Know Before You Buy A Pregnancy Test Kit

Not all pregnancy tests are created equal. You can find a pregnancy test in just about every price range, but they vary greatly not only in their overall effectiveness and accuracy, but in how they’re used, too. To separate the good from the bad, it’s important consider the following factors.

Pregnancy and Related Hormones

There are a couple of hormones associated with ovulation and Pregnancy, such as the Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH), Luteinizing Hormone (LH), human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), and more. Most home pregnancy tests, also known as assays, are designed to detect the increased levels of hCG in the urine, as it is the main indicator of the presence of an embryo.

A regular home pregnancy test targets hCG, otherwise known as the human pregnancy hormone. If the ratio of hCG in the urine is less than 5 mIU/ml (milli-international units per milliliter), the test gives a negative result. hCG values above 20 mIU/ml result in positive tests. We’ll learn more about hCG later in the article.

Ovulation test strips, on the other hand, are designed to detect LH levels in the urine. These are sold as a packaged deal along with pregnancy test strips to help users determine their most fertile days.

Sensitivity & Accuracy of Test Kits

These two factors are tied together, as sensitivity to hCG makes the results of a test more accurate. Most tests are designed to detect hCG levels of 25 mIU/ml and above. However, some early detection kits boast of lower hCG sensitivity thresholds. If you are looking for an early pregnancy detection kit, and do not want to wait until you’ve missed your period, be sure to select a sensitive kit.

Types of Pregnancy Test Kits

Pregnancy tests are available in four major designs.

  1. Midstream Tests: Simple pregnancy test sticks that need to be peed on directly. These are no-fuss kits that require minimal efforts. You wait for the appearance of a blue or pink control line to indicate if the test was valid, and a second line to determine whether you are pregnant or not. This is how most non-digital pregnancy test kits display their results.
  2. Dip Tests: Pregnancy test kits that provide a cup to collect urine and strips to dip in it. Most do not provide the cup, just the strips. This method requires a few extra steps. There’s also the hassle of cleaning up after usage.
  3. Dropper Tests: Kits that provide an eye-dropper tool along with the test sticks. Collect urine in a cup, use the tool to pick up a few drops, add them onto the test strip well, then wait for the results. There are a few more steps, but they’re perfect for germaphobes and clean freaks.
  4. Digital Tests: Pregnancy test sticks that come with an LED display component. Technology removes all doubts about whether that was half a bright line or two faint lines, and instead displays words that spell out the result.

Your at-home pregnancy test should be a do-it-yourself, reliable, and easily readable kit with proper instructions in the product insert. You should know that different pregnancy test kits are designed to react to the presence of different hCG proteins in your urine, and, depending on the day of your menstrual cycle, and the timing of your test, your results may vary. You should also know when certain pregnancy tests will give you the most accurate results, and when they’re bound to give you false readings. Based on the various factors listed above, we’ve created a list of the best pregnancy tests available online.

The 10 Best Pregnancy Tests 2020

Easy@Home Pregnancy + Ovulation Test Strips Combo Kit

Why we like it: It’s the best combination pregnancy kit that helps you track your ovulation cycle in addition to providing accurate pregnancy test results. Give this kit a try before going in for expensive hormonal/conception treatments.

Editor’s Rating:

Type: Strips
Tests for: LH and hCG

This kit contains pregnancy test strips in addition to ovulation test strips and is sold as a package deal. It contains ample strips to test through two menstrual cycles and perform a couple of pregnancy tests. The brand also has a free online app for both Android and iPhone devices, where users can log their test results to keep track of their progress.

This pregnancy test kit is best for those who are trying to conceive and need to track their ovulation cycles with accuracy. It is especially helpful for women who suffer from PCOS, hormonal imbalances, hyperthyroidism, and related problems and do not have a regular menstrual cycle. It will keep you informed of the hormonal changes every single day and help you figure out when’s the most fertile window to conceive.

This is a classic pregnancy test kit with strips that have a control line to validate your tests. Simply dip a strip in your urine and hold for at least 10 seconds. Lay it down and wait for 5 minutes for the result. The lines that appear are dark and clear, with no ambiguity in reading the results. The brand also offers phone support to customers to answer product as well as pregnancy related queries. While the pregnancy strips detect the presence of hCG, the ovulation strips are designed to read the LH levels in the urine.

Protips: Dip the strip for a good 10 seconds before withdrawing for clear lines. LH levels build up during the day so testing around noon, after holding your bladder for a while, might yield the most accurate results for the ovulation strips.

How early can I take it?
Up to 5 days before the first day of your missed period with 95% accuracy. 99% accuracy on the first day of the missed period.

Pros

  • Free app to track test results
  • Tests for ovulation and pregnancy
  • Easy to use strips
  • Clear and dark indicator lines

Cons

  • Takes a bit longer than some tests
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2. Best Premium Pregnancy Test Clearblue Rapid Detection Pregnancy Test

Clearblue Rapid Detection Pregnancy Test

Why we like it: It is the most uniquely designed pregnancy test stick with a design award to boot, and it works as well as any other.

Editor’s Rating:

Type: Stick
Tests for: hCG

This is an award-winning pregnancy test stick, feted for its design. Instead of the traditional 2 lines model, it shows a ‘+’ or a ‘-’ sign to display positive and negative results. Manufactured by Clearblue, a respected brand name in the pregnancy tests arena, this pack contains two sticks with wide tips that change color. The test tip turns pink to indicate the tip has sufficient urine for the test – whether you choose to pee on it directly or dip it in a cup. And the result could take as little as a minute, justifying the ‘rapid detection’ tag.

For all the hoopla about the design, if you don’t read the instructions carefully, you’ll probably end up wasting the sticks. Some people might confuse the separate window that shows the control line to indicate a negative result. Other times there are faint shadow lines for the plus sign already, leading to confusing results.

But, when used according to the directions, the Clearblue pregnancy test is excellent. It’s quick, accurate, and sensitive.

Protip: This is unlike any other pregnancy test kit you’ve used before, so follow the instructions carefully to avoid wasting the not so affordable sticks.

How early can I take it?
From the first day of your expected/missed menstrual period.

Pros

  • Novel design
  • Plus and minus signs to display results
  • Wide tip is easier to target if you’re using it mid-stream
  • Tip changes color to indicate sufficient urine was sampled

Cons

  • Not the most affordable of pregnancy kits
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3. Most Sensitive Pregnancy Test First Response Early Result Pregnancy Test

First Response Early Result Pregnancy Test

Why we like it: It’s the best pregnancy test kit for early results with the hCG sensitivity threshold around 6 to 8 mIU/ml. It can give you accurate results almost a week before a missed period.

Editor’s Rating:

Type: Stick
Tests for: hCG

This pregnancy test kit is best for those who are either too excited or too worried about conceiving. You don’t have to wait until after you’ve missed your period to take this test. It can accurately predict test results almost 6 days before the first day of your next period. It’s an easy to use stick that shows a dark pink control line and another pink line to confirm Pregnancy. It’s designed to detect four major forms of the hCG protein in the urine, thereby providing wider coverage for hCG detection and improved accuracy. This line test yields results in 3 minutes flat.

Protip: Since this test is designed to detect a wider range of hCG proteins, you can take it any time of the day and get the same results.

How early can I take it?
6 days before the first day of your missed period. Keep in mind that results taken any earlier than this may be false negatives.

Pros

  • Early detection
  • Quick results in 3 minutes
  • Designed to detect at least 4 different hCG proteins
  • Reliable results even in the earliest days of pregnancy

Cons

  • Can give false negatives if taken too early

Clearblue Digital Pregnancy Test with Smart Countdown

Why we like it: It’s the best digital pregnancy test kit available in the market, combining speed, accuracy, and affordability.

Editor’s Rating:

Type: Digital stick
Tests for: hCG

This pregnancy test kit is usually available as a packaged deal with the Clearblue Advanced Digital Ovulation Predictor Kit. While the pregnancy test gives sound results, we do not recommend buying the ovulation strips. This kit eliminates the need to wait for lines and the guessing game of correctly reading them. It also has a timer bar that validates the test and also shows its progress. Unlike many pregnancy tests, it presents its results in writing, so you won’t have to work to decipher ambiguous lines.

As far as digital pregnancy test kits go, this is the best option. However, fertility treatments, PCOS medication, and other induced hormonal changes throw this test for a loop, and you can’t rely on the outcome of the results to be accurate.

Protip: Although the package says you can test as early as 4 days before your period date, for accurate results, the first day of the start of your period is the ideal time to test.

How early can I take it?
Up to 5 days before the first day of your missed period.

Pros

  • Easy to read results with no lines involved
  • LED display that shows a clear ‘Pregnant’ or ‘Not Pregnant’ reading
  • Digital countdown bars that show the test is in progress

Cons

  • Does not give accurate results if you’re undergoing fertility treatments
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5. Best Pregnancy and Ovulation Test Kit PREGMATE Ovulation and Pregnancy Test Strips Predictor Kit

PREGMATE Ovulation and Pregnancy Test Strips Predictor Kit

Why we like it: It’s the most affordable packaged deal with both Ovulation and Pregnancy Test strips included in the kit.

Editor’s Rating:

Type: Strip
Tests for: hCG and LH

Although this pregnancy test kit is widely popular for its OPK (Ovulation Predictor Kit) tests, this kit is designed to detect even low levels of hCG in the urine, making it a very reliable pregnancy indicator. Be careful while handling the strips, and make sure you don’t oversaturate them in the urine—this might make your results less accurate.

If you are tracking your fertile days and maintaining a log to monitor progress, these aren’t the most reliable strips as they tend to get darker over time. Even the ones with negative results tend to show dark lines after a few days.

Protip: While the best time to test for hCG is early in the morning or after a few hours of holding in your pee, the best time to test for ovulation is afternoon.

How early can I take it?
Up to 5 days before the first day of your missed period.

Pros

  • Complete package to track LH and hCG levels
  • Easy on the wallet
  • Reliable results when used properly

Cons

  • Might not read true if oversaturated
  • Results darken and disappear quickly
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6. Best Budget Pregnancy Test Wondfo Pregnancy Test Strips HCG

Wondfo Pregnancy Test Strips HCG

Why we like it: It’s the most affordable pregnancy test kit, and its very simple to use, has great hCG sensitivity, and gives fast and reliable results.

Editor’s Rating:

Type: Strip
Tests for: hCG

This is as simple as it gets, with a box full of test strips that can be dipped in a cup of urine. The strips are clearly marked to tell the user how much of the strip to dip in. Hold in the strip for 5 seconds max, then lay it down for 5 minutes. Two pink lines indicate a positive result, while only one pink line indicates otherwise.

The official gurantee is an hCG sensitivity threshold of 25 mIU/ml, but the test has been shown to detect early cases with a sensitivity threshold as low as 10 mIU/ml even. Your mileage may vary, so it’s best to stick to the official numbers.

On the downside, a few batches of this kit are defective and are known to give false positive results. You should check your batch code online to see if you need to send them back.

How early can I take it?
From the first day of your missed/expected period.

Pros

  • Very easy to use
  • Affordable
  • High hCG sensitivity - reliable results

Cons

  • Defective batches haven’t been recalled
  • Too many false positives
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7. Best Early Detection Pregnancy Test PREGMATE Pregnancy Test Strips

PREGMATE Pregnancy Test Strips

Why we like it: It’s an affordable pregnancy test kit that can accurately predict pregnancy early after ovulation.

Editor’s Rating:

Type: Strips
Tests for: hCG

This test has given accurate positive results as early as 9 days past ovulation, making it a very affordable option for early pregnancy detection. The strips in this kit are wide and the lines that appear are clear. Since these are dirt cheap, you can take as many tests as you want to confirm the results. On the downside, it beats the purpose of accuracy if you have to take as many tests to be sure of the results.

As with other cheaply made products, different batches of this product have been shown to produce varying results. On top of that, the test isn’t as accurate as some others when taken early, so it’s good to double check—especially since these are so cheap.

Protip: Take the test a couple of times to confirm the results. If you’re unsure of the outcome, crosscheck results with a different brand.

How early can I take it?
5 days before the first day of your missed period.

Pros

  • Wider strips for easier usage and reading
  • Great for early detection
  • Very affordable

Cons

  • Test accuracy isn’t great
  • Too many false negatives
  • Hard to read in the early days of pregnancy

Easy@Home Pregnancy Test Strips for Early Detection

Why we like it: This pregnancy test kit is FSA eligible - you can claim it as an essential maternity expense with a Flexible Spending Account.

Editor’s Rating:

Type: Strip
Tests for: hCG

[email protected]/Premom is a reliable brand and this is the affordable version of their standard Pregnancy + Ovulation Test Kit offering with fewer perks. It is as accurate in terms of results as the pregnancy test kit that tops our list. There are no additional perks like the app to log your results on or track progress. These tests give more reliable results as your pregnancy progresses.

This kit is very affordable, offers no additional perks, works like a regular kit with accurate results from the first of the expected period. It’s the best deal for those who have regular menstrual cycles and are not anxious about conceiving but just checking in to see if they’re expecting. It won’t work as early as most tests, and any tests taken earlier than instructed might give false results.

Those who need to track their cycles, are hopeful of a positive result, or need to know the results early, should opt for other pregnancy kits that figure higher on our list.

Protip: This test kit is ideal for those who are looking to conceive naturally and have regular cycles.

How early can I take it?
A day before the first day of your expected menstrual period.

Pros

  • Value for money
  • Simple to use
  • Accurate and sensitive

Cons

  • Early tests tend to give false negative results

AccuMed Midstream Pregnancy Test

Why we like it: This is cheap pee-on pregnancy test kit offers reliable results, but quality control is lower and even the manufacturer says you should take multiple tests.

Editor’s Rating:

Type: Stick
Tests for: hCG

These pregnancy test sticks are designed for an easy grip with a long tapering tip that’s easy to hold midstream while you pee. It uses the standard line result method to display results with one line for a negative result and two lines indicating a positive. No line on the column marked C indicates an invalid result.

The test should work well for most people, but the product is inconsistent. Quality control is low, and you should take more than one test each time to ensure that your results are accurate.

Protip: Early pregnancy detection yields very faint positive lines but can be relied on for accuracy.

How early can I take it?
Around 5 days before the first day of your expected period.

Pros

  • Standard line test that’s easy to read
  • Very affordable
  • Reliable when multiple tests are taken

Cons

  • Even the brand recommends taking multiple tests to confirm results

Easy@Home Pregnancy Test Sticks

Why we like it: It’s a hassle-free test kit designed with an ergonomic handle to hold the stick mid-stream in the urine. The accompanying app makes it very easy to track progress.

Editor’s Rating:

Type: Stick
Tests for: hCG

This test eliminates the need to collect urine, wash cups, or use eye-droppers. It is designed for mid-stream usage and can be held by hand near the urine stream while peeing. Then wait for a few minutes and get your results.

A helpful app designed by Premom is available with this product. It stores pictures of the test for easy comparison and progress tracking and eliminates the need to store all your test strips.

They also offer good service with a free customer care helpline that also facilitates easy returns. This is just as well since many of their packages arrive with a stick or two that is damaged, and this relatively low quality control also tends to lead to occasional false results.

Protip: Use this test kit first thing in the morning for the best results.

How early can I take it?
One day before the first day of your missed period.

Pros

  • No need to store all your test strips to track progress
  • Hassle-free testing kit with an ergonomic handle to hold it midstream
  • Access to a well-designed app that stores pictures

Cons

  • Not as precise as it could be
  • A lot of kits have a stick or two that are dead on arrival - no control line, no valid tests

Everything You Need to Know About Pregnancy Tests

You may choose any of the above pregnancy test kits based on their price tags, accuracy, response rates, and other perks offered. In addition to the quick tips we’ve listed above to help you choose the best pregnancy kit for you, we’ve also compiled a helpful guide of do’s and don’ts and good to know facts to help you along in this journey. Whether you’re trying to conceive or avoid it, arming yourself with these helpful facts will aid you in getting the most desired outcome.

Know Your Pregnancy Vocabulary

Apart from the official abbreviations used for various hormones and standard medical terms, there’s a list of abbreviations that online users employ while discussing pregnancy on popular forums like The Bump. If this is the first time you’re stepping into this arena, fret not, we’ve got you covered with most of the popular terms associated with pregnancy and related discussions online. Here’s a list of such terms in alphabetical order:

  • BFP – Big Fat Positive!!!
    Getting an undeniably positive reading on your pregnancy test result.
  • DPO – Days Past Ovulation
    Embryo implantation occurs about 8 to 10 days after ovulation. Pregnancy can be detected as early as 12 to 14 DPO. This window of testing varies for different women. This is also why testing too early may result in false negative results.
  • DTD – Do the Deed
    Take the necessary steps to conceive.
  • Evap Line – Evaporation Line
    A residual line, faint in appearance, that can be seen on a test strip/stick, once it dries up. This is why you shouldn’t read a test after the allotted time frame, you might end up with false positive readings. Another reason why you shouldn’t rely on tests that are past their expiration date – spurious lines and unreliable results.
  • FMU – First Morning Urine
    Recommended for getting accurate pregnancy test results.
  • HCG – Human Chorionic Gonadotropin
    It’s a hormone produced by the embryo after implantation. The production of hCG increases every 48 hours until 11 weeks of pregnancy. Here’s a helpful table for those who would like to know the average range for hCG values for each week of pregnancy until the first trimester. HCG mainly helps in maintaining the uterine lining.
  • HPT – Home Pregnancy Test
  • LH – Luteinizing Hormone
    As LH rises, you move into the window of opportunity for conception. This is the best time to DTD.
  • LMP – Last Menstrual Period
  •  OPK – Ovulation Predictor Kit
    A pregnancy test that measures LH to determine ovulation, like the PREGMATE Ovulation and Pregnancy Test Strips Predictor Kit

General Pro-tips:

There are a couple of do’s and don’ts to keep in mind to get the most accurate results from your pregnancy tests.

  1. Always read the instructions carefully. The same test kit may have different rules for different strips/sticks in the kit.
  2. Choose a pregnancy test kit that caters to your needs specifically. Early pregnancy detection kits like PREGMATE Pregnancy Test Strips are more sensitive to the presence of hCG, unlike regular pregnancy tests. Similarly, some pregnancy tests are not designed to account for fertility treatments and related hormones, so read the package carefully before you buy.
  3. It’s always good to use the FMU for HPT as hCG concentration is the highest in this sample. (Getting down with the abbreviations yet?)
  4. Excessive intake of fluids, a few hours before the test, can muddle the results.
  5. If you don’t see the control line, the test is invalid.
  6. Specific medications like phenothiazines, chlorpromazine, and more, will mess with the test results. If you’re undergoing fertility treatments or taking medicines for specific diseases like cancer, please consult your physician about your results. Most HPTs are not designed to address the presence of these chemicals in the urine.
  7. A good practice to confirm results is to use pregnancy tests from different brands. Some are dirt cheap and can be accommodated in your budget. Since different tests target different hCG proteins, where one test fails, the other can pick up the slack. Some tests, like First Response Early Result Pregnancy Test , measure all four, making them very accurate.
  8. Cheap doesn’t imply inaccurate or unreliable.
  9. The most reliable test results will be inaccurate if you don’t conduct the test properly. Always follow instructions diligently.
  10. FMU should not be used for OPK strips. LH only starts building up in the urine as the day progresses.
  11. Always check the expiry date on the box before using the contents. Pregnancy test kits can expire and using such kits will give you unreliable results.

Good To Know Facts

  1. Positive results are more often than not more accurate than negative results.
  2. Implantation takes place around 9 DPO, once you’ve DTD. This is when the hCG levels start doubling every 2 days from their below 5 mIU/ml mark. 2 to 5 days after implantation there’s enough hCG in the urine for HPTs to detect. So, count a minimum of 12 to 14 DPO before you take a pregnancy test.
  3. Even if you’re using an early detection kit, do not despair if you get false negatives. Every woman has a unique hormonal cycle and what works for most might not work for you.
  4. False negative results are more common than false positive results. This is because most women end up taking pregnancy tests too early, before the 12 to 14 DPO mark.
  5. Most pregnancy test kits have two years shelf-life from the date of manufacturing.
  6. Some women will not have enough hCG buildup in their urine to use early detection kits, even during the stated timeline.
  7. Testing after a chemical pregnancy, a miscarried term, or a recently stopped fertility treatment can lead to false positive results.
  8. It’s always best to consult a physician if your test results aren’t what you were expecting.
  9. Most women have an average menstrual cycle of 28 days and can begin testing for LH after day 10, and hCG 12 days past ovulation.

Frequently Asked Questions About Pregnancy, Ovulation, and Pregnancy Test Kits

What is the control line?

The control line is the first line that appears when you take a pregnancy test. It merely tells the user that they conducted the test right and the result shown will be accurate.

What happens if the control line does not appear?

If you don’t see a control line appear on the stick, then the test is invalid. It means either the kit was faulty or you didn’t follow the instructions properly. Do not bother with the result line – even if it is positive if there’s no control line as this test isn’t valid anymore. If you don’t want to fuss with a control line, try an easy-to-read pregnancy test like the Clearblue Digital Pregnancy Test with Smart Countdown.

When can I take an at-home pregnancy test without worrying about DPO, false negatives, and false positives?

Regardless of what the brand claims are, testing on the first day of your missed menstrual period should give you an accurate result. There are no false negatives or false positives from this day onwards as there’s sufficient hCG buildup in the urine. If you suspect that your results are faulty, cross-check with a kit from another brand or get a blood test. Past this date, most pregnancy test kits can reliably predict pregnancy with 99% accuracy. If not, then you have a faulty test kit on your hand. Having said that, some test kits like our top overall pick can detect pregnancy nearly a week before the first day of your missed period.

What does 25 mIU/ml mean?

It’s a unit of measurement of hCG in the urine. Following international conventions, it’s measured on a per milliliter basis. Here’s a quick look at what these numbers mean:

  • <5 mIU/ml – Not Pregnant
  • 5 to 24 mIU/ml – Grey Area (Could be pregnant or it could be something else.) You need to retest for confirmation after a day or two.
  • >25 mIU/ml – Definitely Pregnant (99% Accuracy)

When does my menstrual cycle begin?

The first day of your menstrual cycle is the first day of your period when you start bleeding. This cycle ends the day before your next period starts.

How many days are in a menstrual cycle?

Regular or normal menstrual cycles can vary from 21 days to 38 days. If you’re trying to get pregnant, it’s important to know about your cycle duration to markdown fertile days for conception. This is also crucial information to know when to start using ovulation test strips.

I am pregnant, what’s next?

Congratulations! And Celebrations! (Or our condolences if this wasn’t the outcome you were expecting.)
Next is another test to confirm the BFP, and then a meeting with your physician to chart a course for a healthy pregnancy. Good luck!That brings us to the end of this helpful guide. We’ve done our best to include all the relevant information regarding pregnancy, pregnancy test kits, and a few details about menstrual cycles and ovulation. You should now be able to track your periods, know their duration, figure out when to start testing for ovulation, and most importantly, choose the right pregnancy test.