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Where to buy rapid COVID tests online

At-home DIY tests are a fast way to self-screen for the virus. Here's what to know.

Note: Finder has not tested kits listed on this page and can’t guarantee test accuracy. We update providers based on availability, but stock fluctuates frequently with demand. Seek a PCR test to more accurately test for active infection.

As the world adjusts to COVID, we’re hitting bumps as cases surge and new variants such as Delta and Omicron emerge.

The CDC encourages vaccines and boosters, continued mask-wearing and frequent testing to curb the spread of Omicron. To further reduce the chance of spread, it also recommends rapid COVID tests as an over-the-counter, at-home way to screen yourself for the virus if you have symptoms of or have been exposed to COVID-19. Before choosing a kit, familiarize yourself with the nuances of antigen, PCR and saliva collection kits.

Where can I get an at-home COVID test?

We’ve rounded up top retailers that advertise at-home COVID tests in stock for immediate purchase. Note that stock and price frequently fluctuate.

DMB Supply

DMB Supply

Rapid COVID tests ready to ship.

DMB ships rapid COVID tests the same or next day. Prices of two-pack test kits may be more expensive than from competitors, though you'll find discounts on bulk orders.

  • In stock now
  • Multiple brands available
  • Same- or next-day shipping

Shop now

DreamHug

DreamHug

Find iHealth rapid COVID tests online here.

DreamHug currently stocks at-home COVID test kits, as well as face masks and other essentials.

  • In stock now
  • Ships today
  • No order limit

Shop now
Blue Bear

Blue Bear

COVID test kits and PPE supplies in stock here.

Blue Bear Protection currently stocks several brands of at-home COVID test kits, as well as face masks and other PPE supplies.

  • In stock now
  • Multiple brands available
  • Free shipping over $59

Shop now

Rafi Nova

Rafi Nova

On/Go at-home test kits available online.

Rafi Nova stocks On/Go COVID test kits, available for purchase in quantities of 1 to 20 boxes.

  • In stock now
  • Bulk options available
  • 15% off with email signup

Shop now

DailySale

DailySale

Find in-stock COVID test kits online.

DailySale currently stocks BinaxNow and other brands of rapid COVID tests online. Prices of two-pack test kits may be more expensive than from some competitors, however, and stock fluctuates often.

  • In-stock now
  • Multiple test brands available
  • Free shipping over $49

Shop now
MedEx

MedEx

Find iHealth rapid COVID tests online today.

MedEx Supply stocks packs of two at-home COVID test kits that are available for online purchase right now.

  • In-stock now
  • Ships in 1-2 business days
  • Bulk quotes available

Shop now

GRJ Health

GRJ Health

Choose from several brands of rapid COVID tests online.

GRJ Health carries iHealth, QuickVue, BinaxNow and other rapid COVID test kit brands.

  • In stock now
  • Multiple brands available
  • Competitive pricing

Shop now

Amazon

Amazon

Find a variety of at-home COVID tests, including nasal swabs and saliva tests.

Choose from several brands and types of at-home COVID test kits, many qualifying for Amazon Prime shipping. Test kits available on Amazon may limit the number of tests you can buy at a time.

  • Check back for stock availability
  • Multiple brands to choose from
  • Fast shipping
Walmart

Walmart

Select COVID test kits available online.

On/Go at-home test kits and DxTerity saliva collection test kits are currently available to buy online from Walmart. BinaxNow tests are available for in-store pickup in some locations.

  • In stock now
  • Multiple brands to choose from
  • Fast shipping

Shop now

Walgreens

Walgreens

Call your local Walgreens for availability.

Walgreens carries BinaxNow, On/Go, QuickVue, FlowFlex and other at-home COVID test kits. However, tests for sale online go out of stock rapidly. Check with your local store to see if rapid tests are available for in-store pickup.

  • Call store for availability
  • Multiple brands offered
  • Free drive-through COVID testing
CVS Pharmacy

CVS Pharmacy

Rapid test kits may be available at your local CVS.

CVS carries BinaxNow, QuickVue, FlowFlex, Ellume and Pixel test kits. However, tests for sale online go out of stock quickly. Check with your local store to see if rapid tests are available for in-store pickup.

  • Call store for availability
  • Multiple brands offered
  • Free on-site COVID testing
Target

Target

Select test kits available for in-store pickup.

Target currently carries Ellume, FlowFlex and Access Bio COVID test kits. However, tests for sale online go out of stock quickly. Check with your local Target store to see if rapid tests are available for in-store pickup.

  • Call store for availability
  • Multiple brands offered
  • COVID-19 vaccination available at Target Pharmacy

While you can buy at-home COVID tests at a pharmacy or grocery store, many retailers restrict the number of tests you can buy at one time, and there’s no guarantee of availability. CVS, Walgreens and Walmart all list at-home tests as out of stock online but potentially available in stores.

Cities and metropolitan areas are finding test kits hard to come by, whereas you may find wider availability in outlying and rural areas. Look out for retailers reportedly inflating their prices for at-home test kits. Call around to different locations to learn what’s in stock and how much they cost.

What are the different types of at-home COVID tests?

There are two types of diagnostic tests you can perform on yourself or a dependent at home — antigen or PCR tests. While they can both determine if you have the virus, they differ from each other.

Antigen tests, otherwise known as “rapid” tests, detect nucleocapsid protein from SARS-CoV-2, according to the CDC. Results can come back in as little as 10 minutes or as long as 45 minutes. They can cost anywhere between $10 and $30 each.

PCR, or polymerase chain reaction, or “molecular” tests can identify trace amounts of coronavirus DNA on a patient’s sample. Results typically take longer, from one hour up to two days. PCR tests can cost upward of $100 or more.

How do at-home COVID tests work?

Rapid and molecular testing procedures have many similarities. Most COVID tests require you to take a nasal swab, but some — Dxterity, for example — only require a cheek swab to collect a saliva sample. You typically insert the swab into a solution for 10 to 15 minutes.

Results are often similar to home pregnancy tests that show two lines for a positive result and one for negative, though several provide results through a smartphone app.

Each test unit is designed for one-time use. Some kits contain two or more test trials inside. Carefully read the instructions for your kit before you begin.

How accurate are at-home COVID tests?

Preliminary studies show antigen tests accurately pinpoint COVID infections in 72% of people with symptoms on average, compared to 58% of infected people who are asymptomatic.

However, molecular tests are highly sensitive and accurate, getting error-free results between 95% and 100% of the time.

How to safely use your at-home COVID test

As with any product, carefully follow the instructions included with your at-home testing kit. Before using it, ensure that your test is not damaged in any way, and always check the expiration date.

If you test negative but are experiencing COVID symptoms, the CDC suggests self-testing again within two to three days to rule out negative results due to testing too early in your infection.

If you test positive, contact your primary care physician to report your results and learn about treatment specific to your symptoms.

I’ve tested positive. How do I know if it’s Omicron?

It’s not possible to tell. Most tests that commercial and public health labs use can identify SARS-CoV-2 — the virus that causes COVID — yet there isn’t a way to determine the particular variant without sending your sample to a lab for genetic sequencing to isolate genetic signatures unique to a specific variant.

Continue to follow the CDC’s isolation and quarantine guidelines, no matter the variant you think you’ve contracted.

Are at-home rapid and viral COVID tests approved by the FDA?

The FDA has approved more than 400 at-home rapid antigen tests designed for COVID screening — including BinaxNow and QuickVue — for what’s called emergency use authorization since March 2020.

Cue COVID-19 Test for Home and Over The Counter (OTC) Use is the first at-home PCR COVID test to meet FDA approval for emergency use authorization and is approved for at-home use without a prescription as of March 21, 2021.

Experts at the FDA can approve products like tests and vaccines for emergency use without a prescription if it determines they’re important to the community’s health and safety. Doing so makes them more readily available to the public.

How do I get a free COVID test?

The White House announced in December 2021 that starting in January 2022, the public can receive at-home COVID tests through an official website that’s yet to launch. Half a billion at-home COVID tests are slated to be available for delivery.

In the meantime, the CDC is handing out free test kits at select airports across the country with more airports lined up in the near future. Many school districts nationwide are sending students and staff home with free testing kits after the Christmas break. And many municipalities are offering test kits through community centers, fire halls and libraries.

Call your city or county public health office to learn whether you live in a municipality offering test kits through community centers, fire halls and libraries.

When a COVID test is appropriate

Experts suggest the best time for screening yourself with a COVID test is when you:

  • Experience any COVID symptoms.
  • Intend to gather with high-risk or vulnerable people.
  • Plan to travel or attend an event that doesn’t allow for distancing.

Otherwise, regularly self-test to ensure against the possibility of a false negative result from a single test. False positives are more likely to come up when you use an at-home COVID antigen test and have no symptoms.

How much do at-home COVID tests cost?

Over-the-counter rapid COVID tests can cost anywhere from $10 to $30 each for antigen tests and over $100 for PCR tests.

The Biden administration has announced that as of Saturday, January 15, private health insurers will be required to cover up to eight DIY Covid-19 tests per month for people on their plans. Coverage is expected to either allow individuals to purchase the tests for free under their insurance, or submit receipts to their provider for reimbursement.

Can I buy COVID test kits in bulk?

Unless you’re a small business or clinic, you can’t buy at-home COVID tests in bulk. And many stores that sell at-home COVID tests have capped the number of kits each person can buy at one time.

Both Walgreens and CVS set a limit of 10 test kits per person. Walmart’s online marketplace sets its limit at six kits per person depending on availability. And Amazon advertises the On/Go at-Home COVID-19 Rapid Antigen Self-Test 2-test kits in 2- or 40-unit bundles when in stock.

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