Best Pregnancy Tests (Reliable and Fast)

Kimberly Peven, RN, MPH
Reviewed by Kimberly Peven, RN, MPHWritten by Neve Spicer Updated on April 19th, 2023

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Whether you are actively trying to get pregnant or your night out took an unexpected turn, waiting to find out if you are pregnant can be a time filled with emotion, excitement, nervousness, joy or even sadness. While it’s natural to feel any one of these emotions, bringing an innocent child into the world is a big and daunting responsibility!

The sooner you discover if you are, indeed, pregnant, the sooner you can begin planning the rest of your life. Before rushing out to buy the ultimate pregnancy pillow, let us help you learn whether you’re actually pregnant!

Early signs of pregnancy

Paying attention to your body is important as you’re waiting to find out if you are pregnant. That said, it is equally important to remember that many early pregnancy signs can also be symptoms of your period’s arrival. Mother Nature has quite the sense of humor, it seems.

If you think you might be pregnant and exhibit any of these signs, it would be wise to put that after-work cocktail on hold until you have a definitive answer.

Potential early pregnancy signs can include:

  • Morning sickness
  • Sensitivity to smells
  • Swollen and/or sore breasts
  • Darkening around the areolas
  • Fatigue
  • Spotting
  • Frequent urination
  • Bloating
  • Nausea
  • Elevated temperature

When to take a pregnancy test

If you have noticed any of the above symptoms and your period is late to make an appearance, it is time to make a drug store run and pick up a home pregnancy test.

Naturally, the anticipation of knowing whether or not you are pregnant is overwhelming. So when is the best time to take an at-home pregnancy test?
In the past, you had to wait awhile to get the best results. Modern tests can often detect the pregnancy hormone in your urine 5-6 days before the expected period.

Pregnancy tests work by measuring the hormone called human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG).  hCG is produced after a fertilized egg attaches to the uterine wall and will begin to increase rapidly about six days after this takes place.

For the most accurate results, doctors recommend testing after your period is one day late. Testing too early can lead to a false negative, so if you do see a negative result, we encourage you to try again after a few days have passed just to be sure your results are as accurate as possible.


How to take a pregnancy test

Now that the waiting game is over and you are ready to get some answers, the good news is that home pregnancy tests are quite easy to take.

The best time to take a pregnancy test is in the morning when your urine is the most concentrated.

Most commonly, a pregnancy test will tell you to either hold the stick directly in your urination stream or to pee into a cup, which you will then put the stick in. Afterward, it is advised to lay the pregnancy test on a flat surface and, unfortunately, play another waiting game. Luckily, this round should be under five minutes.

We know you are excited and nervous but is vital that you read the instructions of your chosen pregnancy test thoroughly. There will be variations depending on which test you have purchased and, to avoid erroneous results, you must administer them properly.

Digital vs. analog

Both of these tests have been proven to be very accurate as long as you follow their instructions. Digital tests tend to be a bit more expensive, but they can be easier to read. At the end of the day, it boils down to a matter of budget and preference.

Now that you know the basics about pregnancy tests, it’s time to take the plunge and make that purchase. Here are some of our pregnancy test picks.

Our pick of the best early pregnancy tests

Naturally, the sooner you can tell if you have a ‘bun in the oven’, the better. While it’s important to remember that testing early does decrease the accuracy of the reading, here are our picks for early pregnancy detection tests.

Top pick

Our opinion

This is the only test that  claims to  be able to give you a result six days before you even miss your period. Perfect if you’ve got a hunch and can’t wait to see whether your period is going to be late. It ranks as a #1 best seller in Amazon’s Home Medical Tests department.

With a curved handle to fit your hand and a wide testing strip to ensure contact during urination, this is an easy to use, accurate test.

Display: Analog
Results in 3 minutes

Our second choice

Our opinion

This pregnancy test can be used five days before your missed period. It features a wide test strip to minimize mess as well as a Smart Countdown feature. Unique to this product, the Smart Countdown reassures you that you have followed the directions correctly and that the product is calculating your result. Once the countdown is over, you can check your results knowing that the test has had the proper amount of time for an accurate reading.

Display: Digital
Results in 1-3 minutes

Best budget pregnancy tests

No law says that you have to break your bank to get a quality pregnancy test. If you are more interested in saving your money for a wardrobe of cute onesies than on pregnancy tests, we’ve got just the products for you.

Our third choice

Our opinion

For under $5.00, you can have a pregnancy test that is easy to use and offers reliable results. Simply urinate into a cup and use the provided dropper to put four drops into the round well on the stick. Within minutes, you will have your result.

Display: Analog
Results in 2 minutes

Our fourth choice

Our opinion

Don’t feel guilty about testing multiple times with this bargain buy. A USA made product, each testing strip comes sealed in an individual pouch, and they are 99% accurate.

Display: Analog
Results in 2-5 minutes

Our fifth choice

Our opinion

Clearblue claims that is the only test that has a Color Change Tip that turns pink when urine is being absorbed. Not sure this is the best selling point; after all, most of us have the patience to wait until we’re finished peeing to look for the result.

You can take the test five days early and results show in just one minute. The +/- sign is one of the more clear to read, as tests go. It is 99% effective from the day you are supposed to get your period and comes with a 100% customer satisfaction guarantee. This test claims it is as accurate as those the doctor will run and can pick up very low levels of hCG.

Display: Analog
Results in 1-3 minutes

Easiest to read pregnancy tests

If you are looking for something that has clear to read results, you are probably going to find yourself preferring a digital display. Here are our picks for easy to read tests that provide you with the answer to the most important question of your life.

Our sixth choice

Our opinion

The #1 Doctor recommended test, e.p.t. provides an accurate product with very simple to read results. After placing the test strip either directly into your urine stream or into a cup that contains a urine sample, the product will begin its work. This test also has a flashing hourglass that appears on its display to let you know that it is working.

Display: Digital
Results in minutes

Our seventh choice

Our opinion

Not only is this test easy to read, but  also has a unique and very modern feature. First Response claims to be the only pregnancy test to have Bluetooth technology.

Simply download the First Response App and follow the instructions to connect to your phone. Not only will you be kept busy with entertaining activities as you await your result, but the answer to the most important question of your life will show up on the stick and in bold letters on your phone. The app also features emotional support opportunities that will run the entire length of your pregnancy.

Display: Digital
Results in 3 minutes

Best combo kit for ovulation and pregnancy testing

If you are actively trying to get pregnant, a combination ovulation test and pregnancy test kit is the perfect helper product. You can have accuracy and affordability with our combo kit pick.

Our eighth choice

Our opinion

Unlike some combination packages that only furnish you with one pregnancy test, this product provides you with 20 test strips. With the inclusion of their ovulation test strips and a price under $25, this is a must have item for a mommy in planning.

Display: Analog
Results in 3-5 minutes

Wrapping up

With any luck, you will get the results you want after you take any one of these tests. Or any ten of them – we know how it can be! Whether you are already practicing your baby bump look, gearing up to try again, or even happily sighing in relief over your lack of future morning sickness, we wish you all the best on your journey and cannot wait to help in any way we can.

Kimberly Peven, RN, MPH
Reviewed by Kimberly Peven, RN, MPHWritten by Neve Spicer Updated on April 19th, 2023

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