11 quick Covid-19 home tests — and where to find them

It should be noted that we previously listed Ellume as a “Covid home test to avoid” because of it has been withdrawn due to a “higher than acceptable false positive test result” for Covid-19 in October and November 2021. In December, security researchers discovered that they could fake the results. test positive or negative via Ellume’s Bluetooth enabled testing device. But an Ellume spokesman said all affected tests have been withdrawn from store shelves and online retailers since then. The Ellume tests currently available for purchase are safe to use and are not affected by the recall—the connected app will not allow you to continue testing if it’s a recalled version. As for the hack, Ellume says it has fixed the problem.

Alert: An app is required to use this quiz, so you should check if your phone is compatible. You will receive a “Test Failure” result if the test fails, including from exposure to extreme heat or humidity.

Photo: Siemens Healthineers


The Clinitest Rapid Covid-19 comes with five tests per pack. For each test, you will have a sterile swab, test tape, prefilled extraction tube, and dropper tip. Wipe both nostrils five times each, mix cotton swabs with the solution, place four drops on the cassette and wait 15 minutes. If the test is positive, you will see two pinkish red lines appear—one on the “C” line (control) and the other on the “T” line (test). If negative, you will only see a line next to the letter “C” on the cassette. I have used this test and it is very easy to do and understand.

In addition to at-home antigen rapid tests, you can also opt for at-home molecular testing. Antigen test (rapid test) protein detection on the surface of the virus, while molecular tests (commonly known as PCR tests) detect the virus’ genetic material—making this test often more accurate. But because PCR tests require a lab and several days to get results, they’re not as convenient as a quick 15-minute test.

The molecular tests below use central hubs equipped with laboratory-quality technology. With the help of some other accessories, these tests can give PCR-like results within 15 minutes. It is more useful for people who frequently travel and/or work in industries that require a lot of people around.

Cue Health home molecular testing (7/10, Recommend wired) is probably the most luxurious on the market (a sentence I never thought I would say). If it’s not for it extremely high price (Cue Reader and 10 packs of gauze will set you back a whopping $854) even if you choose one Its membership level with subscription price)—I would easily recommend it just for its ease of use (plus 97.8 percent accuracy). No solution, tube, cassette or test strip required. Simply open the connected app, insert the cartridge into the Cue Reader, pick your nose, and insert the swab into the cartridge. After 20 minutes, you will get the results on your phone. The company says its test has an accuracy rate of 97.8%.

Alert: An app is required to use this quiz, so you should check if your phone is compatible.

Amazon, Lucira

Lucira does not require a smartphone, but you can download the Lucira Connect app to keep your test records. It’s easy to use—put the vial of solution on the reader, pick both nostrils, stir the cotton swab in the solution, cap the vial, and push deeper into the reader. After 30 minutes, you should see a green light next to the positive or negative label, depending on the result. There is also a label for invalid results, which means you should repeat the test.


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