Covid Antigen Testing

What is "Antigen Testing"

Two types of diagnostic tests are currently available in the US. PCR tests detect viral RNA. Antigen tests, also called rapid diagnostic tests, detect specific proteins on the surface of the coronavirus. Antigen test results may come back in as little as 15 to 45 minutes; you may wait several days for PCR test results.

How reliable are the tests for COVID-19?

  • Positive Results: Positive antigen test results are highly specific, meaning that if you test positive you are very likely to be infected.

  • Negative Results: There is a higher chance of false negatives with antigen tests, which means that a negative result cannot definitively rule out an active infection. If you have a negative result on an antigen test, your doctor may order a PCR test or a second rapid antigen test to confirm the result.  Early data suggests that antigen tests may be even more likely to miss the Omicron variant. If you have a negative result on an antigen test, your doctor may order a PCR test or recommend a second rapid antigen test to confirm the result.

It may be helpful to think of a COVID antigen test as you would think of a rapid strep test or a rapid flu test. A positive result for any of these tests is likely to be accurate, and allows diagnosis and treatment to begin quickly, while a negative result often results in further testing to confirm or overturn the initial result.

Compare Popular Home Antigen Tests

We have chosen the following popular home antigen tests sold or developed by accredited providers. 

Brand
Product
Product Image
Collection
Sample Type
Highlights
Price
Purchase
FlowFlex COVID-19 Antigen Home Test
At-home
Nasal Swab
15-minute rapid test
$9.99 (1 test)
iHealth COVID-19 Antigen Rapid Test
At-home
Nasal Swab
15-minute rapid test
$19.80 (2 tests)
BinaxNOW COVID-19 Antigen Self Test
At-home
Nasal Swab
15-minute rapid test
$20.89 (2 tests)
Quidel QuickVue at-Home OTC COVID-19 Test
At-home
Nasal Swab
10-minute rapid test
$23.99 (2 tests)
On/Go at-Home COVID-19 Rapid Antigen Self-Test
At-home
Nasal Swab
10-minute rapid test
$24.00 (2 tests)
DiaTrust™ COVID-19 Ag Home Test
At-home
Nasal Swab
15-minute rapid test
$24.30 (2 tests)
QuestDirect COVID-19 Rapid Test
In-person visit
Nasal Swab
Integrated with Quest MyQuest
$30 (1 test)
BD Veritor at-Home COVID-19 Digital Test Kit
At-home
Nasal Swab
15-minute rapid test
$33.75 (2 tests)

Covid PCR Test

What is "PCT Test"

PCR tests detect the presence of the virus's genetic material using a technique called reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction, or RT-PCR. For this test, a sample may be collected through a nasal or throat swab, or a saliva sample may be used.

The sample is typically sent to a laboratory where coronavirus RNA (if present) is extracted from the sample and converted into DNA. The DNA is then amplified, meaning that many copies of the viral DNA are made, in order to produce a measurable result. The accuracy of any diagnostic test depends on many factors, including whether the sample was collected properly, when during the course of illness the testing was done, and whether the sample was maintained in appropriate conditions while it was shipped to the laboratory. Generally speaking, PCR tests are highly accurate.

How reliable are the tests for COVID-19?

The PCR test has been the gold standard test for diagnosing COVID-19 since authorized for use in February 2020.

The accuracy of any diagnostic test depends on many factors, including whether the sample was collected properly. For PCR tests, which are typically analyzed in a laboratory, test results may be affected by the conditions in which the test was shipped to the laboratory.

Results may also be affected by the timing of the test. For example, if you are tested on the day you were infected, your test result is almost guaranteed to come back negative, because there are not yet enough viral particles in your nose or saliva to detect. The chance of getting a false negative test result decreases if you are tested a few days after you were infected, or a few days after you develop symptoms.

Generally speaking, if a test result comes back positive, it is almost certain that the person is infected.

If you experience COVID-like symptoms and get a negative PCR test result, there is no reason to repeat the test unless your symptoms get worse. If your symptoms do worsen, call your doctor or local or state healthcare department for guidance on further testing. You should also self-isolate at home. Wear a mask when interacting with members of your household. And practice physical distancing.

Title
Image
Provider
Brief Intro
Type
Location
Specimen
Disease/Condition
Price
Order More Info
LocationLogo
SpecimenLogo
ProviderLogo
PriceSort
AffiliateAvailable
PurchaseButton
Amazon COVID-19 Test Collection Kit DTC
Amazon
Results in 24 hours from lab receipt
Molecular (PCR)
At-home
Nasal Swab
Covid-19
$39.99 (1 test)
1
39.99
Yes
DxTerity COVID-19 Saliva at-Home Collection Kit
DxTerity
At-Home Collection Kit with Prepaid Express Return Shipping
Molecular (PCR)
At-home
Saliva
Covid-19
$84.99 (1 test)
1
84.99
Yes
Lucira Check It COVID-19 Test Kit
Lucira Check
PCR results at home within 30 min
Molecular (PCR), Rapid Test
At-home
Nasal Swab
Covid-19
$89.00 (1 test)
1
89
Yes
Vault Test for COVID-19
Vault
Results in 24 hours from lab receipt
Molecular (PCR)
At-home
Saliva
Covid-19
$90.00 (1 test)
1
90
No
Notch COVID-19 Home Test
Notch
Results in 5-10 business days
Molecular (PCR)
At-home
Saliva
Covid-19
$99.00 (1 test)
1
99
No
Assurance Simplicity COVID-19 PCR Home Testing Kit
Assurance Scientific Laboratories
Results in 24-48 hours from lab receipt
Molecular (PCR)
At-home
Nasal Swab
Covid-19
$99.00 (1 test)
1
99
Yes
EmpowerDX at-Home COVID-19 Nasal PCR Test
EmpowerDX
Results in 48 hours from lab receipt
Molecular (PCR)
At-home
Nasal Swab
Covid-19
$99.99 (1 test)
1
99.99
Yes
LetsGet Checked Coronavirus Test (COVID-19)
LetsGet Checked
Results in 24-72 hours from lab receipt
Molecular (PCR)
At-home
Nasal Swab
Covid-19
$109.00 (1 test)
1
109
No
Everlywell COVID-19 Test Home Collection Kit DTC
Everlywell
Results in 24-72 hours from lab receipt
Molecular (PCR)
At-home
Nasal Swab
Covid-19
$109.00 (1 test)
1
109
Yes
Labcorp COVID-19 Test (At-Home Collection Kit)
Labcorp
Results in 48 hours from lab receipt
Molecular (PCR)
At-home
Nasal Swab
Covid-19
$119 (1 test)
1
119
No
My Labbox At Home Coronavirus (COVID-19) Test – Nasal
My Labbox
Results in 24 hours from lab receipt
Molecular (PCR)
At-home
Nasal Swab
Covid-19
$119.00 (1 test)
1
119
Yes
My Labbox At Home Coronavirus (COVID-19) & Flu Viral Detection Test
My Labbox
Results in 24 hours from lab receipt
Molecular (PCR)
At-home
Nasal Swab, Saliva
Covid-19, Flu
$149.00 (1 test)
1
149
Yes
QuestDirect COVID-19 and Flu Test Panel
QuestDirect
Detects RNA from COVID-19, influenza A and influenza B
Molecular (PCR)
In-person visit
Nasal Swab
Covid-19, Influenza A virus (Flu), Influenza B virus (Flu)
$205 (1 test)
1
205
No
CUE COVID-19 Tests
Cue Health
Delivers lab-quality results, including for emerging variants, in 20 minutes.
Molecular (PCR), Rapid Test
At-home
Nasal Swab
Covid-19
$225.00 (3 tests)
3
225
No
CUE Reader with COVID-19 Tests
Cue Health
Delivers lab-quality results, including for emerging variants, in 20 minutes.
Molecular (PCR)
At-home
Saliva
Covid-19
$474.00 (3 tests)
3
474
No