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Lipid Panel Test
Updated on June 15, 2023
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At Home Health
Lipid Panel Test

A lipid panel measures the fat molecules (called lipids) in your blood. Most lipid panels look at triglycerides and different types of cholesterol.

People with too many lipids (hyperlipidemia) usually don’t experience symptoms for a long time. It can take years—even decades—before you notice any signs. 

“Dyslipidemia is the medical term used to describe abnormal levels of lipids. It is usually a silent disease, but its complications can cause significant morbidity in patients,” says our in-house expert, Dr. Rizza Mira. 

High lipid levels can affect the heart and brain. When this happens, a person may suffer from stroke or cerebrovascular disease (CVD), or myocardial ischemia (heart attack).

A lipid profile can help doctors assess your risk for these conditions. But if you want a practical and affordable alternative instead, you can buy at-home testing kits.

An at-home lipid panel allows you to:

  • Check your lipids from the comfort of your own home
  • Find out whether you need to see a doctor
  • Monitor your cholesterol and triglycerides for changes


Lipid panel tests measure the fat molecules in your blood to determine if you have high lipid levels (hyperlipidemia), which is often a silent disease. People who suffer from abnormal lipid levels may experience strokes, cerebrovascular diseases, or heart attacks.

At-home lipid panels can empower you to check your lipid levels from the comfort and convenience of your own home.

Everything We Recommend

The Best At-Home Lipid Panels Compared

CostLDLHDLHDL%Total CholesterolTriglyceridesCholesterol TreatmentActionable StepsMedical Support
Lets Get Checked Home Cholesterol Test$89
EverlyWell Cholesterol & Lipids Test$49

Why Take A Lipid Panel Blood Test?

Too much cholesterol and/or triglycerides can cause plaque to build up inside the walls of your arteries. This is known as atherosclerosis.1

As plaque accumulates, it can harden your arteries and reduce blood flow to areas of your body, including the heart, brain, kidneys, arms, and legs.1,2,3

Plaque can also rupture and form into clots. Blood clots can travel across your bloodstream and block blood vessels leading to your heart or brain.1,2 

This increases your risk for heart attacks (myocardial infarction) or stroke.1,2 Without immediate care, they can lead to death.

Unfortunately, you may not experience symptoms until it’s too late—which is why it’s a good idea to schedule a lipid test even if you don’t show any signs.

“Screening for atherosclerosis is ideally done at 20 years of age. For persons with risk factors for the disease, this screening is repeated every four to six years even if there are no symptoms,” says Dr. Mira.

A lipid test can check for elevated lipid levels even if you’re asymptomatic.

Lipid panels can help your doctor assess your risk for coronary artery disease (CAD), peripheral artery disease (PAD), and carotid artery stenosis.

Healthcare professionals may also use a lipid panel to:

  • Provide a general picture of one's health in those with liver disease, pancreatitis, chronic kidney disease, and hypothyroidism
  • Screen your cholesterol levels as part of a routine checkup
  • Monitor your results for changes, especially if you previously had high cholesterol or are at high risk for heart disease or stroke
  • Assess your response to treatments like cholesterol medications and healthy lifestyle changes


High lipid levels and too much cholesterol/triglycerides can cause a build-up of plaque in the walls of your arteries, which can harden them and reduce blood flow throughout your body. They can create clots that may block blood passage to your heart or brain, making you more susceptible to heart attacks or strokes.

Lipid tests check your levels even if you're not experiencing anything untoward.

What Does A Lipid Panel Test For?

A standard lipid panel typically includes these measurements:

  • Low-density lipoprotein (LDL)
  • High-density lipoprotein (HDL)
  • Total cholesterol
  • Triglyceride levels

A fasting lipid panel may also include your very low-density lipoproteins (VLDL). Other tests may provide additional reports.

How A Lipid Panel Test Works

Doctors usually order a fasting lipid panel and ask you to fast for 9 to 12 hours before the test. Sometimes, they will request a nonfasting lipid panel.

Both tests are performed in clinics, hospitals, and laboratories using a blood draw. A small amount of blood is collected from a vein in your arm.

If you fasted before the test, you can eat right after, but you may need to avoid intense physical activity for a few hours.

People who take an at-home lipid panel don’t need to prepare for the test. You can buy the test online, send back your sample, and wait for the results.


When doing a lipid panel test, expect the following:

  • Fasting 9-12 hours before the test (though some may not require fasting)
  • A blood sample is to be drawn from your arm
  • Avoiding physical activity for a few hours after

At-home lipid panel tests don't require all this prep.

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The Best Lipid Panel Tests For Home Monitoring

We looked at over 10+ home lipid tests and evaluated them based on:

  • Value for money — what you get for the cost
  • Lipid panel — the measurements included in your report
  • Support offered — if they provide high cholesterol treatments, medical support, and actionable steps to lower your cholesterol
  • Speed of testing — how soon you can get your report
  • Reliability — analyzes samples in CLIA-accredited labs

Using these criteria, we were able to pick the best at-home lipid panels:

LetsGetChecked Home Cholesterol Test

Lipid Panel Test 3
Sample CollectionFinger-prick
CLIA-Accredited LabYes
Speed of test results2 to 5 days

Why We Recommend It

It’s currently the most complete cholesterol test you can take at home. Besides measuring lipids, LetsGetChecked offers treatment for elevated cholesterol.

The test checks your total cholesterol, LDL, HDL, and triglycerides. It also compares the amount of “good cholesterol” (HDL%) with the total cholesterol.

If you have high cholesterol, a nurse will call to explain your results. People who qualify for treatment may be asked to sign up for Cholesterol CarePathway™.

The cholesterol management program is optional, but for only $39 per month in the first year, it’s a bargain.

The program includes regular testing, FDA-approved cholesterol treatment, and support. We recommend this test for people who want an all-in-one at-home solution.

EverlyWell Cholesterol & Lipids Test

Lipid Panel Test 4
Sample CollectionFinger-prick
CLIA-Accredited LabYes
Speed of test results5 to 8 days

Why We Recommend It

The kit from EverlyWell measures your triglycerides, HDL, LDL, and total cholesterol. When your results are ready, you’ll get:

  • A personalized report that explains each tested marker
  • An educational video that guides you on the next steps
  • Access to resources and health tips for a healthier lifestyle

It doesn’t offer cholesterol-lowering medications like LetsGetChecked. But it’s a good option for people who want to take the test at home.

What Your Lipid Panel Test Results Mean

Lipids are measured in milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) of blood. If you took an at-home test, your report should explain your results. 

However, you should still see a doctor who can assess your results based on your health and risk factors. They might ask you to take more lab tests to be sure.

These values are also interpreted in combination with other examinations like an electrocardiogram (ECG), blood sugar, and liver function tests.

If your doctor prescribes a lipid profile, they can read your report. Depending on the cholesterol tested, adults may have results within these ranges:4

LDL Cholesterol Levels

Ideal range< 100 mg/dL, especially if you have diabetes or heart disease
Near ideal range100 to 129 mg/dL
Borderline high130 to 159 mg/dL
High160 to 189 mg/dL
Very high190 mg/dL or above

Low-density lipoproteins (LDL) are considered “bad cholesterol” and elevated LDL increases your risk for cardiovascular diseases.1

HDL Cholesterol Levels

High-density lipoproteins (HDL) are “good cholesterol.” Having high levels of HDL can be good for you. The higher your HDL, the lower your risk for heart disease.4 

Ideally, your HDL levels should be above 40 mg/dL. But experts believe you need at least 60 mg/dL or more to enjoy its heart-protective benefits.4

Triglyceride Levels

Normal< 150 mg/dL
Borderline high150 to 199 mg/dL
High200 to 499 mg/dL
Very high500 mg/dL or above

Triglycerides are a type of fat found in food. The body also produces them when it converts excess calories into stored fats.

Elevated triglycerides are linked to a higher risk for heart disease.4

Total Cholesterol

Normal< 200 mg/dL
Borderline high200 to 239 mg/dL
High240 mg/dL or above

This measures your overall cholesterol levels. When you have “high cholesterol,” it means that your total cholesterol levels are 240 mg/dL or above.5


Here is what your lipid panel test results will tell you:

  • LDL cholesterol levels - What's considered "bad cholesterol"
  • HDL cholesterol levels - What's considered "good cholesterol"
  • Triglyceride levels - Fats found in food, high triglyceride levels are typically not good
  • Total cholesterol - Overall cholesterol levels

Are Lipid Panel Tests Accurate?

Yes. Lipid blood tests taken by medical professionals and analyzed in CLIA-certified laboratories are usually reliable. 

As long as you follow your doctor’s instructions (such as fasting when needed), you can ensure the accuracy of your results.

At-home cholesterol testing can be reliable if it tests for different types of lipids and not just your total cholesterol.6

You can improve the accuracy of these tests by pricking your finger just enough to provide just a few drops of blood. 

Don’t squeeze or “milk” your finger for it because it can dilute your sample and destroy the red blood cells, which can lead to inaccurate results.6,7

Doctors can use your results to determine if you need follow-up testing.


Lipid panel tests are accurate, so long as you religiously follow instructions.

At-home tests can be reliable as well if it tests for more than just total cholesterol and ensuring you're following product instructions.

How Much Does A Lipid Panel Test Cost?

The cost of lipid testing depends on factors like:

  • Where you took the test (e.g., doctor’s office or hospital)
  • Whether you have insurance coverage
  • Your location (some U.S. states are more expensive)

Most health insurances cover cholesterol tests prescribed by doctors. However, you should talk to your doctor and insurance provider about the actual costs.

Even with insurance, you may need to spend on a deductible, copay, and additional fees that aren’t covered by your policy.

At-home cholesterol tests are much cheaper and usually cost $50 to $150.


Prices vary, but at-home tests are cheaper in comparison as they're priced at $50-$150.

When To Take A Lipid Test

Experts generally recommend that you start screening for elevated lipids once you reach the following ages:8

  • 35 years if you’re a healthy male
  • 25 years if you’re a male with a high risk for CVD
  • 45 years if you’re a healthy female
  • 30 to 35 years if you’re a female with a high risk for CVD

Doctors might screen you every four to six years if you’re low-risk. But if you have a higher risk for CVD, they might screen you earlier and more frequently.7

Some risk factors that doctors consider include:

  • Older age (over 45 in men and over 50 to 55 in women)
  • Being overweight or obese
  • Lack of physical activity
  • History of cardiovascular issues
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol before testing
  • Having diabetes or prediabetes
  • Smoking cigarettes
  • Unhealthy diet

If you have a first-degree relative (like a father or sister) who developed heart disease at a young age, your doctor may monitor your lipid profile given your family history.

Doctors may also order lipid testing for high-risk children who are obese, have high blood pressure, eat an unhealthy diet, have high cholesterol, or have parents with hyperlipidemia.

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Updated on June 15, 2023
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8 sources cited
Updated on June 15, 2023
  1. Coronary Artery Disease.” Cleveland Clinic.
  2. Carotid Artery Disease (Carotid Artery Stenosis).” Cleveland Clinic.
  3. Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD).” Cleveland Clinic.
  4. Lipid Panel.” John Hopkins University.
  5. High Cholesterol Facts.” Centers for Disease Control & Prevention.
  6. Cholesterol testing at home: It may be faster, but is it better?” Harvard Health Publishing.
  7. WHO Guidelines on Drawing Blood: Best Practices in Phlebotomy.” National Center for Biotechnology Information.
  8. Hyperlipidemia.” National Center for Biotechnology Information.
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.
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