The two-week wait can be the longest of our lives. Waiting to find out if you are pregnant is rough and all-consuming. It can be emotional and nerve-wracking, so you want the best test when you are ready to take a pregnancy test. You want one that is easy to read, accurate, and budget-friendly. You do not want to doubt whether you are getting an accurate result. The pregnancy tests below are the best of the best; taking them will give you peace of mind and confidence in the result, but you need to know a few things first.
Timing Is Key
When you take a home pregnancy test, you need to time it right. The longer you can wait before taking one, the better. Getting a false negative because you tested too early can drive you crazy as you wait another week or two before testing again. According to Dr. Jane Frederick, MD, a reproductive endocrinologist and medical director of HRC Fertility in California, the home pregnancy tests are “most accurate when you take them after you have already missed your period.”
While there are early-result pregnancy tests out there that boast being able to detect hCG, which you only produce while pregnant, the closer you get to your missed period, the higher the accuracy rating. The other thing to keep in mind is that you should use the first urine of the day to test. Since overnight is the longest that you go without cycling out water, it is the most concentrated and is most likely to detect the hCG levels.
All pregnancy tests search for hCG in your urine, but there are a few different styles. For most of them, you can pee directly onto or dip into collected pee. Dye pregnancy tests can either be wands or strips and are very sensitive to hCG. There are also digital options that are more user-friendly that are easier to read.
How Reliable Are They?
Home pregnancy tests are pretty reliable, with most advertising 99 percent accuracy on the day of your missed period. False positives are rare but can be triggered by certain fertility drugs or expired tests.1 When you get a negative and find out later that you are pregnant, this is usually due to testing too early.
The Best Pregnancy Tests at the Store
For those who like digital tests:
Clearblue Digital Pregnancy Test with Smart Countdown
This choice is my favorite and what I prefer to use. This digital test has a smart countdown, so you know how soon the result is coming. It is straightforward and will read “Pregnant” or “Not Pregnant.” I prefer tests that are easy to read, like this one. You can take it as early as four days before an expected period, but the accuracy on that day is only 51 percent. You would need to wait to make sure this one is accurate. On the day before your expected period, the accuracy is at 95 percent, and on the day of your expected period, it is at 99 percent. This one is an excellent choice if you can wait until close to your period.
For those who want to double-check:
First Response Early Result Pregnancy Test
If you are not sure which type of pregnancy test you want to take, this is an excellent pack for you. It has an early test you can use six days before your missed period, a rapid test that takes one minute to show you a result, and a digital test. This set is of great value. If you use the early detection test and get a negative but think you could be pregnant, you already have tests that you can use to double-check when you get closer to or miss your period.
For those on a budget:
ClinicalGuard HCG Pregnancy Test Strips
This pack of pregnancy test strips comes with 25, which is excellent if you are actively trying to conceive and taking multiple tests each month. It is the most budget-friendly and much less expensive than the applicator tests. Wondfo is another one that is very similar to ClinicalGuard and is at about the same price point.
For those who want the fastest result:
Clearblue Rapid Detection Pregnancy Test
If the two-week wait feels long, the usual three minutes you must wait for standard pregnancy tests to come back can feel even longer. This test from Clearblue comes back in just one minute.
For those looking for the best test strips:
PREGMATE Pregnancy Test Strips
These pregnancy test strips are great for those looking for bulk pricing. Another great thing about these is that they are more user-friendly due to their wider than average size. You will need to wait a bit longer than some of the other tests since it takes five minutes for this one to show results. There is very little waste with these, which makes them more eco-friendly.
There are many options for pregnancy tests, but the ones above will give you what you are looking for in a test. Good luck getting through the dreaded two-week wait!