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At Home Cholesterol Test

Updated on September 15, 2021
Medically Reviewed by
Dr. Dhingra
Written by
Joel
1 sources cited
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High cholesterol is one of the most common health issues Americans face. Unfortunately, many of them have no idea it’s a problem because there are no obvious symptoms. An at home cholesterol test is a convenient and effective way to assess your cholesterol.

Is High Cholesterol Always Unhealthy?

Whether or not high cholesterol is bad depends on whether it is good or bad cholesterol. You want your high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol high because it’s the healthy cholesterol your heart needs to function. But if your low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol is high, it’s bad for your health. This is the kind of cholesterol that builds up in your arteries and blocks blood flow to and from your heart. High LDL cholesterol increases your heart attack and stroke risk. High triglycerides in your blood do the same.

Healthy cholesterol levels are approximately:

  • LDL 100 mg/dL or less
  • HDL 60 mg/dL or higher
  • Triglycerides 150 mg/dL or less
  • Total cholesterol 200 mg/dL or less

In the past, the only way to measure your cholesterol levels was to have your doctor conduct a blood test. But now, there are at home cholesterol tests that help you get an idea of where you stand, so you can improve your diet and make other lifestyle changes to improve your cholesterol.

Remember, even if your cholesterol levels are less than ideal, they don’t need to stay that way. Cholesterol is one of the health issues over which most people have a decent amount of control.

Should I Take an At Home Cholesterol Test?

Unless your doctor has recently tested your cholesterol and your results were good, you might want to consider an at home cholesterol test. These tests give you a fairly accurate assessment of your cholesterol levels if you aren’t sure and tell you if any recent lifestyle changes you’ve made have improved your numbers.

If you know cholesterol is a problem for you, at home testing is an affordable way to monitor your levels and track any changes as you make adjustments to your diet.

There are three different types of at home cholesterol kits, including:

  • Cholesterol kits with meters that offer electronic results that are similar to what you get from a blood glucose meter.
  • Cholesterol kits without meters that include test strips and lancets for finger pricking. You get results within a minute or two.
  • Mail-in kits that require you to send your blood sample to a lab for assessment and then provide you with results online or by phone.

According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), many at home tests are accurate and a great tool for managing your cholesterol. But they should never replace a professional medical assessment. 

Accuracy of tests also tends to vary from brand to brand, so checking with your doctor before using at home tests is a good idea.

It’s also important to keep in mind that at home tests might not provide comprehensive results. Many only give you your overall cholesterol score, which means you won’t know the separate values of LDL and HDL. Your test results might be within the normal range, but HDL might be too low and LDL might be too high.

Some people also find it challenging to read test results from tests that do not include a monitor.  And even if you can read the results, it’s difficult to understand them without your medical provider’s input.

For many, at home cholesterol tests aren’t very helpful because they don’t know how to interpret the information. At best, they are incomplete, and at worst, they are misleading. It’s always best to undergo testing administered by a healthcare professional. 

However, these tests do make a useful supplemental tool if cholesterol is a concern for you. They offer an affordable option if you want to check your cholesterol frequently. Ideally, you’ll work with your doctor and include at home cholesterol testing as part of your overall health plan.

Best At-Home Cholesterol Tests

There are several reliable at-home test kits, including: 

1

EverlyWell Cholesterol & Lipids Test - Our Top Pick

KnowYourDNA Recommends

At Home Cholesterol Test 6

Key Features:

  • Measures your total cholesterol, calculated LDL, HDL, and Triglyceride levels
  • Allows the user to gain meaningful insights about their health through easy-to-understand results
  • Includes additional insight into your heart health
  • Easy to use
  • Experts analyze and interpret results
  • Makes use of blood sample obtained through finger prick collection into a test strip
  • Works with CLIA-certified laboratories

2

CardioChek Home Cholesterol Test System

At Home Cholesterol Test 7

Key Features:

  • A two-button function for ease of use
  • Fits the palm for portability
  • Features a large digital readout
  • Accurate; trusted by physicians for health and wellness programs
  • Provides information on HDL, total cholesterol, and triglycerides
  • Fast; results in as little as 45 seconds
  • Starter kit comes with the following: electronic analyzer, 3 triglyceride test strips, 3 HDL test strips, 3 total cholesterol test strips, and 9 lancetsProgrammable in nine languages: English, Chinese, Dutch, Italian, French, German, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish (not all languages are available in all locations)

3

Solana Health Best Home Cholesterol Test

At Home Cholesterol Test 8

Key Features:

  • FDA-approved, 3-step cholesterol test
  • Measures LDL, HDL, and triglyceride levels
  • All-in-one kit contains: 2 finger stick devices, 2 bandages, 1 gauze pad, 1 direction brochure, 1 blood collection card, and 1 postage paid sample envelope
  • Has a high rate of consistency in terms of lab results vs. doctor’s reports 

4

Curo L5 Blood Cholesterol Test Kit

At Home Cholesterol Test 9

Key Features:

  • Measures total cholesterol, HDL, and triglycerides
  • Comes with a portable storage pouch for on-the-go testing
  • Fast, instant results in 2 minutes with accurate results
  • Includes: Curo L5 Device, 10 total cholesterol test strips, 20 capillary rods, 10 lancets, lancing pen, storage pouch, 2 AAA batteries, user manual
  • Budget-friendly

5

SELFCheck Cholesterol Test Kit

At Home Cholesterol Test 10

Key Features:

  • Measures total cholesterol, HDL, and triglycerides
  • Comes with a portable storage pouch for on-the-go testing
  • Fast, instant results in 2 minutes with accurate results
  • Includes: Curo L5 Device, 10 total cholesterol test strips, 20 capillary rods, 10 lancets, lancing pen, storage pouch, 2 AAA batteries, user manual
  • Budget-friendly

If you aren't sure which kit to choose, look for one approved by the FDA and includes an electronic meter, so it's easier to read. Speak to your doctor if you still aren't sure which at-home cholesterol test is the right one for you.

The Drawbacks of At-Home Cholesterol Testing

It's important to keep in mind that at-home tests might not provide comprehensive results and the technology itself may have limitations. Many only give you your overall cholesterol score, which means you won't know the separate values of LDL and HDL. Your test results might be within the normal range, but HDL might be too low, and LDL might be too high.

Some people also find it challenging to read test results from tests that do not include a monitor. And even if you can read the results, it's difficult to understand them without your medical provider's input.

At-home cholesterol tests aren't very helpful for many because they don't know how to interpret the information. At best, they are incomplete, and at worst, they are misleading. It's always best to undergo testing administered by a healthcare professional.

However, these tests do make a useful supplemental tool if cholesterol is a concern for you. They offer an affordable option if you want to check your cholesterol frequently. Ideally, you'll work with your doctor and include at-home cholesterol testing as part of your overall health plan.

Resources

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Harvard Health Publishing. “Cholesterol Testing at Home: It May Be Faster, but Is It Better?” Harvard Health, www.health.harvard.edu/heart-health/cholesterol-testing-at-home-it-may-be-faster-but-is-it-better. Accessed 20 Dec. 2020.

Dr. Dhingra
Dr. Harshi Dhingra
Medical Reviewer
Dr Harshi Dhingra is a licensed medical doctor with a specialization in Pathology. Dr. Dhingra has of over a decade in diagnostic, clinical, research and teaching work, including managing all sections of Pathology laboratory including histopathology, cytology, hematology and clinical Pathology.
Joel
Content Contributor
Joel is a writer with a passion for the science of DNA and the power of its manipulation.
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