Which At-Home COVID Tests Are Most Accurate, Give Quickest Results?

Of all the things that have changed and grown more efficient during the course of the pandemic, testing is perhaps the most useful. What used to require a trip to the local health care center or testing site now can be done in the comfort of your own home, without long waiting periods to find out your results.

Rapid antigen testing has become widely popular in recent months, with the surge in cases and variants, and several big-time manufacturers have begun producing them on a larger scale.

With the recently growing market for them, it's hard to tell which ones to invest in keeping around the house.

Here is a list of some of the most affordable, accurate and efficient at-home tests:

1. BinaxNOW COVID-19 Antigen Self Test

The BinaxNOW was revealed in a new study to be one of the most accurate at-home tests on the market right now for detecting Omicron. In the study of more than 700 people who visited a walk-up testing site in San Francisco, the BinaxNOW test caught 98 percent of those with symptoms and 90 percent of those without symptoms who were positive, researchers found.

It is currently unavailable on Amazon but costs $30 to $70 on average, and results are available in about 15 minutes.

2. iHealth COVID-19 Antigen Rapid Test

This test is approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and is currently one of the more affordable options for at-home testing. It only requires a shallow swab through the nose, and results are available in as little as 15 minutes. Unfortunately, there are mixed reviews regarding its accuracy. Ultimately though, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that, with all at-home tests, success rates depend largely on how well an individual can follow the specific directions.

3. On Go At-Home COVID-19 Rapid Antigen Self-Test

This test is also FDA-approved and comes with a promise of providing results with 95 percent accuracy. It works whether you are showing symptoms or asymptomatic, and is suitable for children as young as 2 years old when administered by an adult. Results are available in 10 minutes, and the On Go test can be found on Amazon for $24.99.

4. Lucira Check It Single-Use COVID-19 Test

Different from any of the other antigen tests, the Lucira test is a molecular test, which means that, unlike the antigen tests, it detects the virus that causes COVID-19, so it has a much higher degree of accuracy (this particular test has a 98 percent degree of accuracy).

It is more expensive than some of the others, and results are available in 30 minutes.

5. Quickvue At-Home OTC COVID-19 Test

The Quickvue rapid test is another antigen test that requires a painless nose swab and provides results within 10 minutes. While it has not been fully FDA-approved, it is cleared for Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) and is fairly affordable as well.

Newsweek reached out to an FDA media contact for further information.

We rounded up a list of the most accurate at-home COVID tests with the fastest results. Above, rapid at-home test kits are distributed by the GreenRoots environmental protection organization and Chelsea Community Connections in Chelsea, Massachusetts, on Dec. 17, 2021. Joseph Prezioso / AFP via Getty Images