Everyone I Know Is Getting COVID, But COVID-19 Test Kits Are Dirt Cheap on Amazon

woman holding binaxNOW covid tests
Courtesy of Walgreens

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Looking for at-home COVID test kits you can order online? We regret to inform you that, yet again, COVID cases are on the rise in the U.S. However, we have good news, too. Rapid COVID tests have never been easier to find, and you can buy home test kits for just $7-$9, often with fast, free delivery.

Shoppers can head to Amazon to order a variety of at-home COVID test kits, and we’ve got all the details below. In addition, you may still be able to order free COVID-19 test kits from the government.

If You Only Buy One Test…

on-go covid tests Courtesy of Amazon

The current rise in cases is nowhere near the Omicron surge we experienced in January, but we’re in the middle of an unexpected summer surge in cases as people take fewer precautions and the virus mutates to resist vaccines. It’s also the opinion of many health experts that an endemic form of COVID-19 will continue to be a part of our lives for years to come.

Anecdotally, the SPY team knows a lot of people that have tested positive and fallen ill in recent weeks. Fortunately, vaccinated adults usually have mild cases, but this disease can still put you out of commission for 1-2 weeks.

The good news: at-home COVID-19 tests are widely available, in stock, and cheaper than ever. Amazon frequently discounts prices on leftover COVID-19 test kits, and you can buy these tests for as little as $7 each. If you’re willing to wait a few weeks for delivery (or longer, in some cases), the government is still offering free COVID tests to U.S. households.

  

1. iHealth COVID-19 Rapid Antigen Test

iHealth is another top-rated test brand that has an FDA-authorized at-home test kit for COVID-19. It’s an antigen test that gives you results in 15 minutes. This is one of the top-reviewed COVID-19 tests on Amazon and also the top-selling COVID. The test is designed as a lateral flow assay for the detection of a nucleocapsid protein antigen from COVID-19. The test is self-administered via a non-invasive nasal swab and it comes with an app you can use to track test results of a large group, like a school classroom or event guest list.

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iHealth rapid antigen self test kit, at-home covid test kits Courtesy of Amazon

  

2. On/Go At-Home COVID-19 Rapid Antigen Self Test (2-Pack)

The On/Go test kit, like many others, uses a shallow nasal swab to test for COVID-19 infection in both symptomatic and asymptomatic individuals. It’s been FDA-authorized for at-home use and gives you results in as little as 10 minutes. You can scan the QR code on the box and download the On/Go companion app for guidance on completing the test and getting results.

Previously, Walmart was selling these test kits for $30, but they recently dropped prices to $24.99 to better match Amazon. As of June 2022, only single and 12-pack On/Go home test kits are available via Amazon, which is where we would recommend ordering these test kits.

On/Go COVID-19 Antigen Self-Test Courtesy of Walmart

  

3. CLINITEST Rapid Covid-19 Antigen Self-Test

Amazon only recently started selling the CLINITEST test kits, which are produced by Siemens, a global healthcare company. In addition, these tests are sold directly by Amazon rather than via a third party. Like other rapid COVID-19 Antigen test kits, a quick nasal swab is all that’s needed to collect a test sample, and results can be ready in 10-15 minutes. We appreciate that this package comes with five individual test kits so that customers pay just $7.00 per test, which is the lowest price we’ve found on rapid COVID-19 test kits.

LOWEST PRICE

CLINITEST Rapid Covid-19 Antigen Self-Test Courtesy of Amazon

  

4. Quidel QuickVue at-Home OTC COVID-19 Test Kit

This COVID-19 test kit from QuickVue is another great option available to order on Amazon. It has a higher price tag than other options, but it works efficiently and each box comes with two tests, to help you confirm your results. You get results in 10 minutes, and the test kit comes with everything you need to comfortably swab your nose, and get a straightforward, easy-to-read result. You can also order them in packs of 45 boxes, if you really want to stock up.

QuickVue covid test Courtesy of Amazon

  

5. BinaxNOW COVID-19 Antigen Rapid Self-Test Home Kit

The BinaxNOW COVID-19 tests are among the most popular at-home rapid tests, and this brand of tests is sold at CVS, Walgreens and other pharmacies around the country. Unfortunately, due to its popularity, it’s also frequently out of stock online. This test is done via a simple nasal swab and can be taken at home or on the go. You’ll get results in 15 minutes, and each box comes with two tests. It’s designed to detect multiple strains, including Delta, and in our experience can detect the Omicron variant as well.

BinaxNOW COVID-19 test, at home covid test kits Courtesy of Walmart

  

6. Lucira Check It Single-Use At-Home COVID Tests

This kit is more expensive than other antigen test kits on this list, but it’s FDA-authorized for emergency use and designed to give you PCR-level accurate results in 30 minutes. It’s a molecular test, designed to amplify virus genetic material for early detection of the virus in your system. It involves a shallow nasal swab, but a longer wait time for the results. Each test is around $90, but if you’re willing to cough up some extra change it’s a convenient solution.

Lucira single-use COVID-19 test, at home covid test kits Courtesy of Amazon

  

7. Ellume COVID Test Kit

The Ellume COVID test kit is more expensive than some of the other options on this list, as it only comes with one test per box. If you are having trouble finding other options in stock, then this is a good alternative. Available via Walmart, this rapid test kit delivers results in about 15 minutes.

Ellume covid test kit Courtesy of Walmart

  

8. EverlyWell At-Home COVID-19 Test Collection Kit

Like the Amazon test, this home-testing kit from EverlyWell will not provide instant results like the other rapid tests featured here. Instead, this kit lets you take a nasal swab and ship it to a lab for testing. Once EverlyWell receives your test sample, they promise to provide digital test results within 24-72 hours. If you want a lab to confirm your COVID-19 diagnosis, then this is an excellent and well-reviewed option. EverlyWell makes a variety of at-home medical test kits, and so you can trust they’ll handle your test and results with great care.

everly well covid 19 test Courtesy of EverlyWell

  

9. Celltrion DiaTrust COVID-19 At-Home Test

Another at-home COVID test option is this 2-pack from Celltrion DiaTrust. It’s a rapid antigen at-home testing kit with two tests you can use and get results from at home. You get test results in as little as 15 minutes, with a negative percent agreement of 99.8% and a positive percent agreement of 86.7%. The test kit also comes with an app that walks you through the steps to performing the test accurately, and it’s designed to detect multiple targets, so it can still give accurate results even as new variants emerge.

Celltrion covid test Courtesy of Amazon

  

10. Roche Rapid Antigen At-Home COVID-19 Test Kit

This Roche kit is available to order on Amazon and comes with four tests per box. The test kit is calculated to have 95.3% relative sensitive and 100% relative specificity. It’s designed to detect the omicron and delta COVID-19 variants, and is FDA EUA-approved to detect nucleocapsid protein antigens in 20 minutes.

Roche at-home covid tests, where to buy covid tests Courtesy of Amazon

  

How To Order Free COVID-19 Rapid Tests Online

In the mask department, we’ve got you covered. From the best N95 masks for protection to KN95 masks from Amazon, you can order face masks easily online. We’ve also got a round-up of comfortable face masks for less risky situations, as well as a guide for spotting counterfeit N95 masks online.

When it comes to testing, a PCR (polymerase chain reaction) test is still going to be the most accurate and sensitive when it comes to detecting COVID-19 infection. However, with case numbers rising in many U.S. cities, wait times at testing sites and have become longer and at-home COVID-19 test kits have become harder to find. The FDA has given Emergency Use Authorization to a number of at-home COVID-19 tests, and it’s often easier to find these tests in stock online rather than in person. The best COVID-19 rapid tests can be completed in 10-15 minutes at home, and that means you don’t need to risk infection in a waiting room at your doctor’s office or drive all over town looking for test kits.

In addition, this January the Biden administration made 500 million free COVID-19 rapid tests available to all U.S. households, and many are still unclaimed — so if you haven’t placed an order for yours you still can.

You can have these rapid tests shipped to your home for free via the U.S. Postal Service, but there is a limit on how many tests you can order. Check out our guide to ordering free COVID-19 tests from the government. And if you want to order additional rapid test kits online, keep scrolling for a selection of at-home COVID-19 test kits for sale and in stock online.

All of the tests included in our list below have received Emergency Use Authorization from the FDA. You can always double-check and see if the one you found at your local pharmacy or grocery store has been given the same approval on their website.

  

How Do At-Home COVID Test Kits Work?

Most at-home COVID-19 test kits are antigen tests, distinct from PCR tests in that they look for molecules on the surface of the virus within your sample, rather than actual genetic material from the virus itself. This means you can get results in as little as 15 minutes, rather than multiple days, since antigen tests don’t require the expensive equipment that PCR tests do to interpret results. However, there is a tradeoff: rapid tests can be less accurate than PCR tests.

When used properly, they can detect infection in people carrying a high viral load, meaning that false positives with antigen tests are very rare. False negatives, on the other hand, are more common.

Many at-home COVID-19 test kits use a nose swab to gather a sample. Don’t worry — you don’t have to tickle your brain like in the early COVID testing days. Instead, you get a swipe of each nose, dip the swab in solution, put a test strip in that solution and wait for the results.

on-go-covid-tests Courtesy of Amazon

  

Do Rapid At-Home COVID Test Kits Work?

Getting a PCR test done at a doctor’s office or pharmacy is still going to give you the most accurate results. So, if you’re showing symptoms but test negative on an at-home antigen test, it’s recommended you get confirmation from a PCR test before gathering with others.

But, at-home COVID test kits can help you rule out asymptomatic cases most of the time, and can give you some peace of mind before going to school or on vacation.

If you take an antigen test too early on in an infection, it can give you a false negative. According to data gathered by The New York Times, rapid at-home antigen tests are 85% accurate at detecting infection. This leaves behind about 15 positive cases in a group of 100, but given the time, money and convenience factors we still have a lot to gain from using them.

  

When Should I Use An At-Home COVID Test?

You should use an at-home COVID test kit if you:

  • Develop symptoms of COVID-19, including a fever, cough, body chills, etc
  • Are about to visit a medically vulnerable or immunocompromised family member or friend
  • Are about to gather with others in a large group for a birthday party, wedding, etc
  • Have had a known COVID-19 exposure, after 3-5 days

At-home COVID tests can be super useful for large institutions like schools, sports programs and companies looking to limit COVID-19 spread and gather safely. Many schools have opted to hand them out to students before the start of a new semester, and they’re being used at large companies like Google and the NBA as well.

  

Are At-Home COVID Tests Safe?

All of the tests on this list have been approved by the FDA under an Emergency Use Authorization, or EUA, meaning they’ve been cleared as long as the FDA deems them necessary for public use.

None of the tests involve blood or anything too invasive, and all of them are self-administered, so you shouldn’t be too uncomfortable when gathering the sample. Many of the brands on this list also say they’re safe to use with children, but please consult your medical provider first before employing them on yourself or anyone in your family.

Many kits come in boxes with two tests inside, with the recommendation that you test yourself multiple times over the course of a few days for the most accurate result possible. Make sure you follow the instructions carefully in order to avoid false results.

  

Where Else Can I Find At-Home COVID Tests Online?

Before you raid your local CVS, you should know there are plenty of at-home COVID test kits you can get delivered to your door, many without a large delay. In addition, you can order a limited number of free COVID-19 tests from the government. If you haven’t already, check out the White House website for free COVID-19 tests.

You can also buy COVID-19 tests online. In our experience, the best places to buy COVID-19 tests online are trusted retailers with lots of inventory and fast (or free!) shipping. Typically, that means Walmart and Amazon are the best places to start, but you can also check out the Walgreens online store. If you’re looking for the best places to buy the BinaxNOW rapid tests online, then you should check out Walmart or Walgreens.

If you receive a positive test, please consult your doctor and/or the CDC website immediately about next steps.

  

Updates: This piece was last updated on Friday, June 24, at which time we removed test kits that were no longer available. We also added a new rapid COVID test kit from On/Go. The prices and availability of these tests are subject to change.

  

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