Many companies offer at-home iron test kits and promise fast and accurate results. However, not all of them will deliver on their promises, which could cause you unnecessary stress, not to mention slow down your health journey.
This is why we tested dozens of at-home iron tests and rounded up 5 that actually work well and can help you understand your body better. They’re quick and reliable, with proven track records and user-friendly reports. Some of them are even very budget-friendly.
Our all-around winner is LetsGetChecked, even though its prices are on the higher end. However, it offers free shipping and frequent discounts, and it’s well worth the price for the wealth of information that you get.
Short on time? Here are the best at-home iron tests:
- LetsGetChecked – Comprehensive iron screening with an in-depth report and free one-to-one physician support.
- Everlywell – Detailed iron and ferritin tests at an affordable price.
- SelfDecode – Health reports that include various nutrients, including iron.
- MyToolbox Genomics – One DNA test kit that checks your predisposition for iron-related issues.
- Nebula Genomics – Whole genome sequencing to identify possible iron deficiency in the future.
How We Tested the Best At-Home Iron Tests
When reviewing the best iron tests, I looked for kits that deliver value both in terms of the information you get and the price you pay. Here’s how I assessed each test.
- Relevant biomarkers: I looked for kits that analyze total iron, TIBC, ferritin, and transferrin, plus I found some anemia screening tests for extra insight.
- Results turnaround: Every kit on this list offers results in a few days, so you’re not waiting long to find out your levels.
- Free support: Some tests include free physician consultations who are able to walk you through your results and provide personalized advice.
- Value for money: I only recommended kits that are budget-friendly and worth the cost.
Best At-Home Iron Tests Reviewed
- Iron test screens for four biomarkers related to iron deficiency and overload
- Results in 2-5 days
- Free phone call with a nurse to discuss your results
- Subscription options for ongoing testing every 3, 6, or 12 months
LetsGetChecked’s iron test screens for four key biomarkers associated with iron deficiency or overload, and it’s the most comprehensive out of the kits we’ve reviewed.
It looks at your overall iron levels, as well as total iron-binding capacity (TIBC), ferritin, and transferrin saturation. We liked that the report not only shows the levels of each biomarker in your blood, but that you can see them on a color-coded scale. This makes it easy to identify if you sit outside of normal ranges.
The report also includes a description of each biomarker and how it might affect your health, which is useful. Plus there’s loads of information on the website, particularly around symptoms of anemia and what to look out for.
Taking the test was really easy. It only required a single finger-prick blood test, but pay close attention to your kit’s instructions. My colleague had to fast beforehand and it said to take his sample before 10 am.
You also have to send your test back on the same day you take it, and only between Monday-Thursday.
My colleague’s report was ready in 3 days, but it could be anywhere between 2-5 days. It’s accessible from an app that’s easy to navigate and understand. We were really impressed with the report.
We also received free advice from a nurse following our results. They walked my colleague through his report and offered advice on the next steps, including possible treatment.
You can sign up for regular subscriptions to keep on top of monitoring your iron levels, which also helps you save up to 30% in price. You can choose between every 3, 6, or 12 months.
- Health tests kits include iron deficiency tests
- Easy-to-follow instructions
- Only takes a blood sample
- Results within a few days
Everlywell offers a range of comprehensive and convenient at-home tests, including tests related to iron deficiency and iron levels. Its iron-related tests provide accurate and reliable results to help you understand your iron levels and identify any potential deficiencies. The Iron & Total Iron-Binding Capacity (TIBC) Test measures both your iron levels and TIBC, which reflects the body’s ability to transport iron.
Additionally, Everlywell offers a Ferritin Test, which specifically measures your ferritin levels. Ferritin is a protein that stores iron and serves as an indicator of the body’s iron stores. Monitoring ferritin levels can help detect iron deficiency early on, even before symptoms become apparent.
Once you’ve ordered your Everlywell iron-related test kit, it will be delivered straight to your doorstep. Inside the kit, you’ll find easy-to-follow instructions, a lancet for collecting a small blood sample, and all the necessary components for secure sample packaging. Simply collect your blood sample, send it back to Everlywell using the prepaid shipping label, and receive your results securely online within days.
- All in one test for health insights
- Iron level report and predispositions with actionable tips
- User-friendly reports
- Results in 6-8 weeks
SelfDecode doesn’t have specific iron tests, but it does provide detailed health insights through its DNA Kit+ Health Insights test. Within this test, you’ll get reports that estimate your iron deficiency risk, as well as your risk for common iron-related issues.
It will also elaborate on how your body processes iron and other vitamins while giving you actionable tips to boost your health. If they do detect an iron deficiency, they’ll include supplement recommendations tailored to your DNA and they way your body responds to micronutrients.
When you order a test kit, all you have to do is take a simple saliva swab and send it back to SelfDecode. They will process your DNA and deliver your reports within 6-8 weeks.
If you’d rather have your results faster, you can also upload your raw DNA data from another DNA testing company (if you previously tested your ancestry with AncestryDNA or MyHeritage), and receive results within a few days. This option is cheaper.
- DNA test kit which includes iron level reports
- Actionable tips and supplement recommendations
- Simple saliva swab + free shipping
- Results within a few weeks
MyToolbox Genomics understands the importance of personalized health information, and their DNA test kits deliver just that. With a simple at-home sample collection process, you can unlock a treasure trove of insights about your genetic makeup.
Within their standard DNA test kit, MyToolbox Genomics provides detailed reports on your genetic predisposition to iron deficiency. By analyzing specific genes associated with iron metabolism, they can identify potential risks and offer valuable recommendations to optimize your iron levels.
The reports provided by MyToolbox Genomics are both informative and user-friendly. They break down complex genetic information into easily understandable terms, making it accessible even for those new to DNA testing. The iron deficiency reports provide actionable recommendations, such as dietary adjustments and lifestyle changes, to help you maintain optimal iron levels and improve your overall health and well-being.
All it takes is a simple saliva swab, and you can expect to get results within a few weeks. And while the price is a bit on the high end, you won’t have to pay for shipping, and the service provided is well worth the price.
- One DNA test for health, ancestry, and nutrition help
- User-friendly reports and ongoing updates
- Simple saliva swab
- Results in 6-8 weeks
Nebula Genomics is a leading direct-to-consumer genetic testing company that provides comprehensive health reports and valuable insights into various aspects of personal health.
One of the noteworthy features of Nebula Genomics is its health reports, which offer detailed information on a range of health-related traits and conditions. These reports are based on a comprehensive analysis of your genetic data, providing insights into factors such as disease predispositions, carrier status for inherited conditions, drug response, and much more.
When it comes to iron levels, its reports offer details on an your genetic predisposition to iron-related conditions, such as hemochromatosis or iron deficiency anemia, which can help them take preventive measures or seek appropriate medical advice.
The kit includes easy-to-follow instructions for collecting a DNA sample, which is usually done through a simple saliva or cheek swab. Once the sample is collected and sent back to Nebula Genomics using the provided prepaid shipping label, you can expect results in a few weeks.
How Accurate Are At-Home Iron Tests?
All of the tests I’ve recommended are highly accurate. In fact, most of them use the exact same laboratories that your doctor would send your sample to for testing. It just means you get to skip the middle man and get your results much quicker.
No test is ever 100% accurate because there’s always a small room for error, but you can rely on at least 95% accuracy from the tests in this list.
At-Home Iron Test Kits: Important Things to Note
When using at-home test kits, it’s vital to be mindful of possible extra costs, such as shipping, subscriptions, or consultations with medical experts. Our detailed examination of the terms for the tests mentioned revealed that LetsGetChecked stands out by offering free consultations without hidden fees. All their home testing kits include free shipping for sending the kit and returning the sample, with no extra lab processing or unforeseen test charges.
For accurate test outcomes, it’s crucial to read and adhere to the provided preparation instructions. Many kits might require you to fast for 8-12 hours before the test, and taking the test in the morning is often recommended for optimal accuracy.
What Will the Results From an At-Home Iron Test Tell Me?
With an at-home iron blood test, you can learn about your iron levels, but you also get some other insights into your health, too. Here’s what you can expect.
- Your overall iron levels and whether you have deficiencies or are overloaded
- Your TIBC, ferritin, and transferrin levels
- Your risk of developing anemia
- Your metabolic profile levels, if you choose a more comprehensive kit
- How your iron levels may affect other areas of your wellness, including cardiovascular health and fatigue
Understanding Iron and Iron Deficiency
Iron is a crucial mineral that supports several vital functions in the body. It’s key for producing hemoglobin, a protein in red blood cells responsible for transporting oxygen throughout the body. Iron also plays a role in generating energy and bolstering the immune system.
When the body lacks sufficient iron, it can lead to several health issues. Iron deficiency anemia is one of the most common outcomes of this deficiency. This condition is marked by a reduction in the number or size of red blood cells, which leads to diminished oxygen transport to the body’s tissues and organs.
Symptoms of iron deficiency may vary but commonly include:
- Pale skin
- Shortness of breath
- Cold hands and feet
- Brittle nails
- Swollen or sore tongue
In more severe cases, individuals may experience chest pain, rapid heartbeat, and restless leg syndrome. It’s important to note that these symptoms can be indicative of other health issues as well, so proper diagnosis is crucial.
To boost iron levels and prevent deficiency, it’s recommended to consume iron-rich foods. There are two types of dietary iron: heme iron, which is found in animal sources such as red meat, poultry, and fish, and non-heme iron, which is found in plant-based sources such as beans, lentils, spinach, and fortified cereals. Heme iron is generally more easily absorbed by the body.
Boosting iron absorption can be achieved by pairing iron-rich foods with those high in vitamin C. Foods like citrus fruits, berries, tomatoes, and bell peppers are excellent sources of vitamin C. Conversely, some foods and substances hinder iron absorption, including calcium-rich foods, tea, coffee, and high-fiber foods. To optimize iron absorption, it’s advisable to consume these inhibitory substances separately from iron-rich meals.
It’s important to note that iron deficiency can have various underlying causes, such as inadequate dietary intake, poor absorption, or increased iron requirements due to factors like pregnancy or heavy menstrual bleeding. Identifying and addressing the root cause is essential for long-term management.
When to Take an Iron Deficiency Test
If you suspect you may have iron deficiency, it is advisable to consult a healthcare professional for proper diagnosis and guidance. They can perform a blood test to measure your iron levels and determine the best course of action. In some cases, iron supplements may be recommended to help restore iron levels more rapidly.
You should take an iron deficiency test if you have any of the symptoms mentioned above or after consulting your healthcare provider.
Certain groups of people are more prone to developing iron deficiency due to specific factors that increase their risk. Identifying these risk groups is important for early detection and targeted interventions. Here are some common risk groups for iron deficiency:
- Women of reproductive age: Women are particularly susceptible to iron deficiency due to regular menstrual blood loss. Heavy menstrual bleeding can lead to significant iron loss over time. Additionally, pregnancy and breastfeeding increase iron requirements. Pregnant women need more iron to support fetal development, and breastfeeding women may experience iron depletion as they transfer iron to their infants through breast milk.
- Infants and young children: Infants and young children are at risk of iron deficiency due to rapid growth and inadequate dietary intake. Breast milk or iron-fortified formula is the primary source of iron for infants. After around six months of age, solid foods, particularly iron-rich foods, should be introduced to meet the growing iron needs. An exclusively milk-based diet beyond six months can lead to iron deficiency.
- Adolescents: During adolescence, there is a rapid growth spurt, and iron needs increase significantly. However, poor dietary choices, such as frequent consumption of processed foods and limited intake of iron-rich foods, can contribute to iron deficiency. Inadequate iron intake during this critical period can have long-term consequences on cognitive and physical development.
- Vegetarians and vegans: Plant-based diets can provide sufficient iron if well-planned, but vegetarians and vegans may have a higher risk of iron deficiency. This is because plant-based iron sources (non-heme iron) are not as readily absorbed by the body compared to iron from animal sources (heme iron). It is important for individuals following vegetarian or vegan diets to incorporate a variety of iron-rich plant foods and optimize iron absorption by combining them with vitamin C-rich foods.
- Individuals with gastrointestinal disorders: Certain gastrointestinal conditions, such as celiac disease, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), or gastric bypass surgery, can impair the body’s ability to absorb iron properly. Chronic inflammation in the digestive tract can lead to malabsorption and subsequent iron deficiency. Regular monitoring of iron levels and appropriate supplementation may be necessary for individuals with these conditions.
It’s important to note that these are just some of the common risk groups for iron deficiency, and other factors and health conditions can also contribute to iron deficiency. Regular health check-ups and consultations with healthcare professionals can help identify individual risk factors and guide appropriate preventive measures and interventions.
Best At-Home Iron Tests: Comparison Table
|Time to Results
|Total iron, TIBC, ferritin, and transferrin
|Total Iron, TIBC, ferritin
|Iron deficiency and predisposition
|Iron deficiency and predisposition
|Iron deficiency and related conditions
An Easy Option to Assess Iron
You can save yourself the inconvenience of visiting the doctor by opting for at-home or in-lab iron tests. Not only does this save you time, but it can also reduce costs and provide quicker results. My preferred option is LetsGetChecked. I found their results turnaround time impressive and was satisfied with the quality of their report.
How do you test the iron levels in your blood at home?
Iron blood tests usually require a finger-prick blood spot sample, which is quick and painless. Some might also require a urine or stool sample, depending on the test you choose.
Once you’ve taken your test, mail it back to the laboratory where your sample will be reviewed. After a few days, your report is usually ready.
How long does an iron blood test take?
Usually, at-home iron blood test results take no more than a few days. In some cases, you can get your results less than 24 hours later. This is typically only for in-lab options, though, since at-home kits require you to mail your sample back before it’s reviewed.
Do iron blood tests require fasting?
Yes, you usually have to fast before taking your iron test. Times vary but this is typically between 8-12 hours before taking your sample, so always check the kit instructions first.
Most tests also advise that you take your sample first thing in the morning before 10 am for the most accurate results.
How do you read iron blood test results?
Levels vary between men and women, with 13.5-17.5g/dL considered normal for males, and 12.0-15.5g/dL for females. Anything outside of these may indicate a deficiency or possible iron overload.