Keeping on top of your iron levels means you can identify deficiencies, overload, and your risk of anemia. But not everyone wants to pay the price of testing your iron through your doctor.
So we’ve rounded up the best at-home or in-lab kits that offer quick, reliable, and budget-friendly iron screening. The best choice is LetsGetChecked because it gives you an in-detail report and you get a free follow-up consultation with a nurse.
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.
- Walk-In Lab – Choice of individual iron tests and bundle options with other health screening, and quick results.
- Health Testing Centers – Same-day, in-lab testing available with a huge bank of iron and anemia screeing kits.
- Plus 5 more at-home iron tests I See how each test compares I FAQs
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.
- 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.
- Choice of over 30 tests including iron screening
- Screens your metabolic profile as well as iron levels
- Results take 1-5 days depending on the kit you choose
- Same-day testing available in a walk-in lab
We were impressed with Walk-In Lab’s huge lineup of iron tests. You can buy individual kits for the important biomarkers like TIBC, iron serum, ferritin, and transferrin, which is great if there’s only one thing you’re concerned about.
There’s also the choice of three anemia kits, all of which analyze iron levels alongside your metabolic profile, so you get insights on folic acid, hemoglobin solubility, and vitamin levels.
We actually had the choice of 35 different tests in total. Iron screening is included in some other comprehensive kits, such as fatigue screening and nutritional assessments, so you have many options depending on how much of your health you want to screen.
Walk-In Lab does offer some home kits, but we noticed that all of the available iron tests are in-lab only. My colleague had to visit their nearest Quest or LabCorp labs to give their sample, but there are always loads nearby. It was really easy too, and you can visit without an appointment on the same day you buy your test.
Some of the kits required preparation. My colleague took the iron serum test without any preparation, but the anemia kits required him to fast for 10-12 hours before.
Results times also vary depending on which test you take, but most of the time you won’t be waiting any longer than 5 days. My colleague’s report for the iron serum test only took 1 day to get back.
In the report, it showed our researcher’s overall result and reference intervals, but it didn’t give any more information than that, so we had to do a bit of research to find out if they were normal or not.
- Individual kits for iron, TIBC, ferritin, and transferrin
- Bundle options including iron alongside vitamin levels and heavy metals
- Results take a couple of days
- Same-day testing available
With Health Testing Centers, you have the choice of 9 different iron tests. We liked it best for the comprehensive vitamin and heavy metals kits which analyze your iron levels plus vitamin D, folic acid, vitamin B1, vitamin B6, and 20+ heavy metals.
There’s also an essential health check which assesses thyroid function and blood sugar alongside iron, so it’s good for combining everything into one.
You can buy individual kits for iron, TIBC, ferritin, and transferrin, which is perfect for keeping costs low and only testing what you really need. I was expecting to see a bundle kit that includes all four together, though.
We were able to get tested on the same day with any of the kits we bought, but it’s in-lab only. The lab process is really straightforward, though, and we were in and out in 15 minutes after a quick blood sample.
Reports are ready quickly in a couple of days, which you can access from your online account. You also get an email to let you know.
The reports are mostly quite basic, with a quick overview of your levels, but the heavy metals one was a bit more detailed. In this report, it showed my colleague’s levels of iron and heavy metals on a color-coded scale, with details on what is considered normal.
One thing we were hoping for is follow-up support. Health Testing Centers does offer free consultations, but only for ‘concerning’ results. If your iron levels are nothing to be about, you don’t get any extra advice.
- Iron screening available with male and female blood health kits
- Individual iron tests plus a comprehensive bundle option
- Physician support available for an extra cost
- Results take 2-10 business days
Personalabs includes iron analysis as part of comprehensive male and female health screening kits. These assess your hormone levels, blood sugar, lipid panel, and other aspects of your metabolic profile to give you a well-rounded view of your health.
You can also buy iron kits individually for each biomarker. We like the iron blood profile test that screens iron, ferritin, and TIBC in one. We were a bit disappointed that transferrin isn’t included in this bundle, though, so you’ll need a separate test for that.
It does have a lot of other kits available that look at your iron levels. We were surprised to see a vegan and vegetarian profile blood test on the list. It actually assesses for iron and TIBC as well as key vitamins.
We had to provide our sample in a lab for iron testing, but it does offer some other at-home kits. The process is easy and doesn’t take long, although results times are quite slow.
The website says results take between 2 and 10 business days, and ours took around 6. The report is also very thin when it comes to detail – you don’t get any actionable advice.
We accessed the healthcare service, which was great. The nurse walked my colleague through her report and offered some advice on what to do next, but there’s a charge for this.
- Choice of iron kits and three anemia tests
- Test designed to detect sickle cell anemia
- In-lab, same-day testing with no appointment
- Results in a couple of days
HealthLabs has a few different kits to choose from, including an iron test, iron and TIBC, and a ferritin kit. There’s also a comprehensive health panel that assesses iron levels with your complete blood count, cholesterol, and thyroid function.
We liked the anemia kits. You can buy a basic panel or a more in-depth kit that analyzes platelets, vitamin B12, and folates alongside ferritin.
Or, there’s a specific sickle cell anemia kit that we haven’t seen before. This assesses a defective form of hemoglobin to see if it’s present in your blood. While the report doesn’t diagnose if you have the condition, it shows you whether you might be at risk.
We were able to get tested without an appointment – all kits are in-lab only. Remember to bring your lab requisition form with you otherwise, you can’t be seen. Our researcher had to come back another day.
Reports only take 2 days, so it’s quite quick, but the report isn’t great. As with most in-lab options, you only get an overview of your levels but no help interpreting them.
- Individual kits for iron, TIBC, ferritin, and transferrin
- Free nurse support to discuss your results
- Results in a couple of days
- In-lab testing on the same day
Labwork365 screens for all four important iron biomarkers with individual kits for iron, TIBC, ferritin, and transferrin. There isn’t a bundle option, though, so you have to buy them all separately.
What makes Labwork365 stand out is that you get free support with all tests. Although we weren’t that impressed with the quality of the report, the fact you can speak with a nurse to get advice is a huge plus. They were really helpful each time we used this service, and it’s free.
Results are also really quick. Our report was ready in 2 days, which comes as a PDF download from your online account.
All tests are in-lab only, but that does have an advantage. You can get tested within a couple of hours of buying your kit. We walked in with no appointment and provided our sample.
- Choice of three iron kits, including heavy metals screening
- Screens for TIBC, iron, and ferritin
- Results available in one day
- Testing in-lab on the same day
FindLabTesting offers heavy metals screening alongside an assessment of your iron levels. Our heavy metals report included 10 heavy metals, such as magnesium, zinc, and iodine to give you a complete overview of your metabolic panel.
There are also two other iron bundle kits available, but it doesn’t sell any kits individually. For example, we weren’t able to buy a test for ferritin only. The best value is the iron, TIBC, and ferritin panel, as it tested for more biomarkers than the other kit we used. Unfortunately, transferrin isn’t included.
Testing is really simple, but it’s only available in the lab, so you have to go in to provide your blood sample. Results only take 1 day though, so it’s speedy.
We didn’t have to do any preparation before taking the test either, but it does say you have to do them in the morning so be aware of that before booking your lab appointment.
- Two iron kits available screening for total iron, ferritin, and TIBC
- Reports take 2 days
- Up to 90 days to take your test
- Take your test in the lab with no appointment
YourLabWork has two in-lab iron tests that screen for ferritin, total iron count, and TIBC. They give you a basic overview of your levels, but nothing more. What it is good for, though, is quick and cheap iron screening.
Taking your test is easy as it only requires a quick blood draw in the lab, but we had to wait 24 hours before visiting so it’s not like other in-lab options where you can get tested on the same day. We didn’t have to make an appointment to get tested.
You have 90 days in which to take your test, too, so if you’re not in a rush or want to wait it’s a good option.
My colleague had to fast overnight before taking his test. It turns out you actually have to do this for all of YourLabWork’s tests anyway.
Our colleague’s report took a couple of days and came as a PDF download. We were able to understand his levels easily, but it doesn’t give you any context or further advice. And there’s no follow-up support, either.
What’s in the Fine Print?
With at-home tests, it’s not uncommon to get extra fees along the way, whether that’s shipping, subscriptions, or physician consultations.
When reviewing all of the tests on this list, I looked closely at their terms and conditions to see if there are any added costs you should know about.
The only other option that offers physician consultations is Personalabs, but it charges $90, so it actually makes your test very expensive.
Of all the kits available for home testing, they each offer free shipping. That also includes the cost of returning your sample to the lab.
There are no extra fees for any processing or for the tests you have to take in the lab.
If you want to sign up for a subscription service for regular testing, you can with LetsGetChecked. It cuts up to 30% off your test price, but remember you’re charged a set fee every 3, 6, or 12 months.
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.
Remember, too, that there are steps you can take to improve the reliability of your test. Making sure you read all preparation instructions first is important. A lot of these kits require you to fast for 8-12 hours beforehand and you need to take them in the morning for best 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
How Do Our Top Picks Compete on Price?
Screening your iron level at home doesn’t have to be expensive. LetsGetChecked’s iron test costs $99 and screens for the four most important biomarkers in one test. Or, it costs you $69 if you sign up for a delivery every 3 months. With that price, you also get free physician support no matter what your results.
By comparison, Personalabs charges $61 for the comprehensive iron test but that doesn’t include transferrin. You have to order that separately and pay an extra $51.
You can also get follow-up support with Personalabs, but you have to pay a further $90 fee, so it works out quite expensive in the long run.
Walk-In Lab offers the cheapest kits on this list, starting at $25 for individual iron tests. Though if you bought individual tests for all four biomarkers, it would still be more expensive than LetsGetChecked.
You can also get cheap testing from Health Testing Centers, which charges around $35 for an individual iron test. You don’t get any more info than you get with Walk-In Lab, though, despite the extra $10 cost.
You can get a phone call with a nurse to discuss your results, but only if your report highlights something concerning, so it’s not guaranteed.
What’s the Best At-Home Iron Test?
My top choice overall is LetsGetChecked. I was impressed with the detail in the report and the fact you get a free phone call with a nurse to get more advice. Plus you have the choice to sign up for subscriptions and regular iron testing.
You might go for myLAB Box if you want to get more insights about your health because it analyzes your entire metabolic profile.
Or choose Health Testing Centers if you want really low-cost quick testing. You can get screened on the same day you buy your test. Plus it has a huge choice of iron kits, including bundle and individual options.
|Tests For||Physician Consultations||Time to Results||Starting Price|
|LetsGetChecked||Total iron, TIBC, ferritin, and transferrin||✔||2-5 days||$49.00|
|Walk-In Lab||Total iron, TIBC, ferritin, transferrin, and metabolic panel||✖||2 days||$45.00|
|Health Testing Centers||Total iron, TIBC, ferritin, transferrin, and heavy metals||✔||1-2 days||$49.00|
|Personalabs||Total iron, TIBC, ferritin, vitamins, blood sugar, and hormones||✔||2-10 days||$46.00|
|HealthLabs||Total iron, TIBC, ferritin, anemia, and vitamins||✖||1-3 days||$65.00|
|Labwork365||Total iron, TIBC, ferritin, and transferrin||✔||1-2 days||$59.00|
|FindLabTesting||Total iron, TIBC, ferritin, and heavy metals||✖||2-3 days||$39.00|
|YourLabWork||Total iron, TIBC, and ferritin||✖||2 days||$149.00|
An Easy Option to Assess Iron
At-home or in-lab iron tests not only save you the annoying trip to the doctors, but can cut down the cost you pay and get your results to you more quickly.
My top choice is LetsGetChecked. I was impressed with the results turnaround and the quality of the report, plus it’s really budget-friendly.
An at-home blood test can reveal more about your health than just your iron levels. Why not test your thyroid function? We’ve rounded up the best at-home thyroid tests to get you answers.
Best At-Home Iron Tests in 2021
How do you test your 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.