menu iconknow your dna logosearch icon
At Home Diabetes Test - What To Expect
Updated on January 31, 2024
Back to top
back to top icon
At Home Health
At Home Diabetes Test - What To Expect

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that 37.3 million people in the U.S. have diabetes. About 23% of American adults don’t know they have it.1   

“Even kids can get this illness without prior symptoms,” says Dr. Rizza Mira.

People with diabetes may get no warning signs. Diabetes is also known as a silent disease. Early detection and blood sugar monitoring are crucial to prevent health complications. 

We talked to Dr. Rizza Mira, our resident medical reviewer at KnowYourDNA, to help explain what you need to know about at-home diabetes testing.

At Home Diabetes Test - What To Expect 2

What Do At-Home Diabetes Tests Check

An at-home diabetes test measures your hemoglobin A1c, which healthcare professionals call HbA1c. 

Hemoglobin is a protein in your red blood cells that carries sugar through your bloodstream. 

Your HbA1c describes your average blood sugar level for the last two to three months. It can help you identify your risk of developing diabetes. 

A high blood sugar means more sugar or glucose is attached to hemoglobin. Blood glucose level testing checks the percentage of red blood cells with sugar-coated hemoglobin.

Know Your DNA Reviews

Best DNA Kit

Don't miss out on the opportunity to learn more about yourself. Read our best DNA test page to find the best one for you.

What’s Inside An At-Home Diabetes Test Kit?

Each at-home diabetes kit you order contains everything you need to collect and mail your blood sample to the lab. 

Here are the things you’ll find in the test box:2

  • Manual — Detailed instructions on how to collect and send your blood sample.
  • Alcohol wipes — Used to sterilize your finger before collecting blood. 
  • Sterile lancet  —  A small needle used for a finger prick
  • Gauze — This is for wiping off the first drop of blood. 
  • Blood collection tube — It’s for collecting and preserving your blood sample.
  • Bandaids — You use them to dress your finger after collecting blood. 
  • Biohazard bag — It secures your blood sample for transport. 
  • Return envelope — You’ll send your blood sample to the lab in this envelope.

How Home Diabetes Tests Are Performed

Many people use glucose monitors to measure their blood sugar levels at home. It’s convenient because your result is ready in less than a minute. 

Here’s how to use your blood glucose meter:3

  • Wash your hands
  • Insert the lancet in the lancing device
  • Put the test strip into the glucometer
  • Prick your finger with the lancing device
  • Drop your blood on the test strip 
  • Read your results displayed on the blood sugar meter

Steps to Taking an At-Home Diabetes Test

Another option is to use at-home diabetes tests. They give you accurate results that your healthcare provider can use. It requires the following steps:

  1. Read the instructions 
  2. Activate your kit online using its unique code 
  3. Enter your details on the biohazard bag provided 
  4. Wash your hands with warm water 
  5. Open the sample collection tube and keep it upright on a desk 
  6. Twist the cap to open the lancet 
  7. Wipe your chosen finger with the alcohol swab and wait for it to dry 
  8. Prick the side of your finger with the lancet
  9. Clean off the first blood droplet with gauze
  10. Massage your finger to let blood out and direct it into the sample collection tube
  11. Ensure you fill the vial to the top marked line
  12. Wash your hands and apply the bandaid 
  13. Place the lid on the sample tube and press down until you hear a click
  14. Rock the tube upside down ten times 
  15. Place the sample collection tube in the biohazard bag and seal it 
  16. Return the biohazard bag to the test kit box and place it in the return envelope 
  17. Send your package to the address provided on the same day 

After sending your blood sample, it takes 2 to 5 days to get your results. You can access it on the company website or an accompanying mobile app. 

Their medical team may call to give you more details. 

What Your Blood Glucose Levels Say About Your Health

After your test, the results can take a few minutes to a couple of days to be ready. Here’s what your blood sugar test results might mean for your health: 

Normal Blood Glucose Levels

The American Diabetes Association recommends keeping your fasting and random blood sugar levels between 80 and 130 mg/dL if you have diabetes.4 

This range helps keep health complications at bay. It also shows that your treatment plan and a healthy lifestyle are paying off.

Dr. Mira explains that your fasting blood sugar must be lower than a random blood sugar:

“The normal values for fasting and random blood sugar levels vary. The values after an overnight fast are generally lower than sugar levels taken at other times of the day,” says Dr. Mira.

Elevated Blood Glucose Levels

If your fasting blood sugar is above 130mg/dL, it’s high. But you may not see symptoms until it reaches around 180 to 200mg/dL.5 

High blood sugar can give you long-term health problems that affect your organs, including 

  • Hear
  • Kidneys
  • Nerves
  • Eyes

You might be due for a doctor’s appointment if you frequently get high results. 

Low Blood Sugar Levels

You may have hypoglycemia if your blood sugar level is below 70mg/dL. It can happen if you have taken too much insulin or haven’t eaten enough.6

Untreated diabetic hypoglycemia can lead to severe consequences such as seizures and loss of consciousness. It can also be fatal.

Is Home Diabetes Testing Accurate?


Blood glucose monitors — small devices that read your blood sugar level — are generally accurate when you follow the correct steps. 

Occasionally, however, you may get an incorrect reading. It might be due to machine malfunction, code errors, or problems with the test strip.

Tips for Accurate Home Diabetes Testing

Diabetes testing at standard laboratories ensures accurate results. Choose testing companies that have medical labs with CLIA Approval and CAP Accreditation, like LetsGetChecked.

These certifications ensure that they follow strict industry guidelines. Your test results are error-free and as reliable as your healthcare provider's. 

You also get a detailed report that your doctors can use.

How to Test for Diabetes At Home

At-home glucose test kits are easy to use and open to everyone. They give you all the tools to collect and send blood samples.

LetsGetChecked — Home Diabetes Test Kit

LetsGetChecked Home Diabetes Test Kit

Consider using a reliable testing company such as LetsGetChecked. They process your samples at CLIA Approved and CAP Accredited laboratories for accuracy. 

You can also access a medical support team to explain your results.

Use code "YOURDNA" for 25% OFF

Why Test for Diabetes At Home?

Diabetes often goes unnoticed because you don’t always get symptoms. It is why regular blood sugar testing is essential. 

Diabetes home tests allow you to check for diabetes or prediabetes (early diabetes) from the comfort of your home.

“People with diabetes urinate more often and are frequently hungry and thirsty. Other symptoms of diabetes are fatigue, slow-healing wounds, weight loss, and numbness or tingling sensations on the hands and feet,” says Dr. Mira.

Your healthcare provider will decide whether you must check your blood sugar at home. You may consider self-monitoring your blood glucose through diabetes home tests if you have

  • Type 1 diabetes
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Prediabetes
  • Gestational diabetes or a type of diabetes that can develop during a woman's pregnancy

Blood sugar readings tell you how well your diabetes treatment plan is going.

You can do this with an at-home diabetes test kit like the LetsGetChecked Diabetes Test.

Know Your DNA Reviews

Best Microbiome Test

Looking for the best microbiome kit on the market? Look no further! Our review round-up page has all the information you need to make an informed decision.

Updated on January 31, 2024
Dr. Rizza Mira
Dr. Rizza Mira
Medical Reviewer
Dr. Rizza Mira is a medical doctor and a general practitioner who specializes in pediatrics, nutrition, dietetics, and public health.

As a pediatrician, she is dedicated to the general health and well-being of children and expecting parents. She believes that good nutrition, a healthy lifestyle, and prevention of illness are key to ensuring the health of children and their families.

When she’s not in the hospital, Rizza advocates and mobilizes causes like breastfeeding, vaccination drives, and initiatives to prevent illness in the community.
Ada Sandoval
Ada Sandoval
Content Contributor
Ada Sandoval is a B.S. in Nursing graduate and a registered nurse with a heart for abandoned animals. She works as a content writer who specializes in medical-related articles and pet health.
Back to top icon