In This Article
In This Article
Cortisol is an important hormone that affects many bodily processes, including your immune system, nervous functions, and metabolism.1
Your adrenal glands, or the small glands located on top of each kidney, produce it.
Cortisol is often called the “stress hormone.” It is a part of your body’s fight-or-flight or stress response. It boosts your body's natural energy to fight or flee during stressful or threatening situations.
However, having excessive or too little cortisol can cause a number of symptoms. These can include unexplained changes in your weight, moods, energy levels, blood pressure, and so on.2
It’s essential to test cortisol levels to prevent any associated health problems. At-home cortisol test kits provide a more affordable, convenient way to assess your levels yourself.
In this article, we’ll review the most accessible at-home cortisol tests to use, including our top pick, LetsGetChecked.
KnowYourDNA is committed to making healthcare more accessible to the public, which is why we feature products that meet industry standards.
We only choose at-home kits with reliable testing methods and science-backed reports to improve your health.
Our in-house medical experts help ensure the accuracy of the information we give our readers by reviewing it before publication.
We picked LetsGetChecked because it’s a reputable brand and highly rated by users. We also liked that the company has a reliable and thorough testing method.
LetsGetChecked ensures that they only work with CLIA-certified labs for accuracy. It means your results are just as reliable as a cortisol blood test through a lab or your doctor's office.
LetsGetChecked also has helpful support services. You can call their dedicated clinical team to guide you on the testing process. You can also discuss your results with them.
In our opinion, having a medical expert explain your cortisol levels makes the test more valuable. This benefit makes the testing process easy and stress-free. However, we still strongly recommend verifying with your doctor.
While LetsGetChecked offers an at-home test, you can’t collect or return your sample over weekends. You should collect your sample on a weekday morning and send it immediately.
|Collection method||Finger prick blood sample|
Our upgrade pick is HRTOrg. If you want to get comprehensive insights into your cortisol levels, the HRTOrg Cortisol Test is a great option.
Cortisol levels vary throughout the day. A complete cortisol profile can offer more valuable insights than individual tests.
HRTOrg Cortisol Test allows you to track your cortisol levels from home throughout the day. It measures cortisol levels at four different times using saliva samples:
The company works with a CLIA-certified lab for precise analysis. You will receive your results conveniently within five to seven days through a secure online portal.
We selected Verisana for its affordable at-home testing kit. It suits those looking for a budget-friendly cortisol testing without sacrificing accuracy.
Verisana is a simple cortisol test that measures your salivary cortisol levels in the morning.
The results take more time than the others. While you may be waiting longer, the company ensures accurate analysis since they only partner with CLIA-certified labs.
Verisana doesn’t accept any insurance. But they claim their prices are way cheaper than what you usually pay out-of-pocket at a doctor's office.
|Collection method||Saliva sample|
We recommend MyLAB Box for its reliability as a company. We selected its Adrenal Stress Test as an upgrade option for additional testing and quick results.
Besides testing cortisol levels, the Adrenal Stress Test also checks your Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) levels. DHEA is another important hormone that the body uses to produce sex hormones.
Both cortisol and DHEA imbalances can be linked to health issues like anxiety, fatigue, insomnia, and bone loss.
Taking the test can help determine your hormone levels. In turn, it can help you take corrective measures.
MyLAB Box is an inexpensive way of monitoring your cortisol and adrenal health without frequent bloodwork or doctor's visits.
The at-home test kit provides you with all the essential tools for quick and accurate cortisol and DHEA testing.
|Collection method||Saliva sample|
We picked Rx HomeTest Cortisol AM-PM Test for its convenient and easy-to-follow test kit. Rx Home Test provides an accessible way to track your cortisol levels throughout the day.
The company claims that two samples can help provide an insight into your 24-hour cortisol cycle. To do the test, you’ll need to collect one sample in the morning and another in the evening.
Most AM-PM cortisol test uses blood sample, but Rx Home tests use saliva samples, which are less invasive than blood samples. You can easily collect samples at home and send them to the company’s certified lab for analysis.
The results can come out within five days. Rx Home Test offers a free consultation with a doctor to discuss your results in detail.
Getting a medical expert to review your cortisol levels is highly beneficial and provides valuable guidance.
|Collection method||Saliva sample|
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|At-home Test||Cost||Hormones Checked||Collection Method||Turnaround Time|
|LetsGetChecked Cortisol Test||$99||Cortisol||Fingerprick||2 to 5 days|
|HRTOrg Diurnal Cortisol Saliva Test||$155||Cortisol||Saliva sample||5 to 7 days|
|Verisana Cortisol Saliva Test||$49.95||Cortisol||Saliva sample||Up to 3 weeks|
|MyLAB Box Adrenal Stress Test||$149||Cortisol and DHEA||Saliva sample||2 to 5 days|
|Rx HomeTest Cortisol AM-PM Test||$119.99||Cortisol||Saliva sample||5 business days|
Several companies offer at-home testing. While most of them are accurate and reliable, it's important to note that not all of them have the same quality.
Our team and medical experts followed these factors in choosing the cortisol tests that made our list.
We picked brands with many positive customer reviews. For us, it means that the company is able to deliver results that lead to customer satisfaction.
We also prioritize companies working with facilities that meet industry standards. That’s why we look for certifications such as CLIA.
Working with CLIA-certified labs adds to a company’s reputatibility.
The price point for cortisol tests can vary. This is why we included various brands that suit different budgets. The range of test kits in our list offers great value for your money.
We focused on selecting tests that offer high value, accuracy, and actionable results rather than simply opting for the cheapest options.
We selected tests with clear and easy-to-follow instructions for collecting samples correctly at home. We included simple and fast saliva tests and comprehensive blood tests.
In addition, we considered the convenience of the ordering process, the speed of shipping, and the availability of customer support.
We recommended brands suitable for at-home use and offering a user-friendly experience.
At-home test results can be confusing and concerning, especially if you don’t have guidance.
We picked companies that offer phone or video consultations with specialists who can interpret your results, such as doctors or nurses.
Expert guidance helps you understand your results and determine the next steps.
At-home cortisol testing checks your cortisol production and stress hormone levels without visiting a doctor’s office. This test requires body fluids like blood, saliva, or urine.
The adrenal glands produce cortisol in response to stress. It’s often referred to as the “stress hormone.” It helps with many bodily functions, such as:
Typically, your cortisol levels vary depending on the stressors you’re facing from day to day. This test measures the free cortisol circulating in your body to assess hormone production.
Cortisol levels naturally fluctuate throughout the day and spike during stressful events. Having abnormal long-term levels can negatively impact health.
At-home cortisol tests are generally considered accurate. They’re processed by the same labs used by doctors' offices.
A CLIA certification means the lab uses analysis methodologies that meet industry standards.
However, the accuracy of at-home cortisol tests can depend on factors like collecting your samples correctly.
For instance, you risk getting inaccurate results if you fail to fill a collection container with enough samples.
Following the instructions correctly when obtaining your sample is crucial for reliable results. You can consult a doctor if you have doubts about your test results.
At-home cortisol testing allows you to measure your cortisol levels in the comfort of your home. Most test kits follow this simple process:
At-home cortisol tests are convenient. However, there are also advantages to getting tested at a medical facility as ordered by your doctor.
Here’s a quick comparison of the two testing options based on certain criteria:
At-home tests are generally accurate when samples are collected properly. However, lab tests might be slightly more precise since skilled medical technologists help collect your samples.
The prices of at-home test kits range from $50 to $150. It’s significantly lower than the cost of a doctor’s appointment and lab fees. But insurance may cover in-office testing.
Using at-home test kits means you don’t need to go out to get tested. Most of the time, the results also arrive quickly. However, a doctor can help determine the correct test type.
They can also oversee the timing of sample collection.
Doctor-guided lab tests provide medical supervision, although at-home cortisol testing has many benefits.
Cortisol levels in your blood, urine, and saliva are typically highest in the morning and gradually decrease throughout the day. They’re at their lowest by midnight.
However, working a night shift and sleeping at different times of the day can alter this pattern.
The normal range for cortisol levels can vary depending on the time of day and the type of test used. For instance, in most test that uses blood sample, the normal ranges are:3
A cortisol test helps assess if you have too much or too little cortisol. Normal cortisol levels fluctuate throughout the day.
Normal ranges may also differ between labs. You can ask your healthcare provider to interpret your test results and inform you if further testing is necessary.
You can also review your results with the test company if they offer complimentary consultations.
A higher than normal cortisol level may be a sign of different health problems, including:3
A lower than normal cortisol level may be a symptom of the following health conditions:
If you're experiencing symptoms of abnormal cortisol levels, consider taking an at-home cortisol test.
However, it is important to note that home testing shouldn’t replace a doctor’s visit. If you have an adrenal condition, it is crucial to monitor your hormone levels regularly.
Some of the signs of high cortisol levels include:
Inadequate cortisol levels can also lead to health issues. The signs of low cortisol levels include:
Our top pick for accurately and conveniently checking your cortisol levels at home is LetsGetChecked. Its cortisol blood test is in-depth and provides reliable results from CLIA-certified labs.
LetsGetChecked offers excellent support. You can discuss your results with their clinical team to clearly understand what they mean.
We also recommend HRTOrg Cortisol Test for those who want a more thorough assessment.
Testing cortisol at four different times throughout the day provides valuable insights into the fluctuations of your cortisol level.
After receiving your cortisol test results, be sure to discuss them with a medical professional to discuss the next steps for your health.
If your levels are abnormal, additional testing or treatment may be needed, so consult your doctor.
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