You go to take a pregnancy test, and you see “negative.” Before you break the news to everyone, it’s a good idea to make sure you’re using the right test on the market.
There are dozens of pregnancy tests available, but which is the best pregnancy test? Most tests will use a similar pregnancy detection method (more on that soon), so they are all fairly accurate. The main difference is how sensitive a test is (yes, accuracy ratings are important).
Table of Contents
- How Pregnancy Tests Work?
- 6 Most Sensitive, Accurate Pregnancy Tests on the Market
- 1. First Response Early Result (Our Winner!)
- 2. Clearblue Easy Earliest Results (Another Sensitive Product)
- 3. Wondfo Pregnancy Test (Best Medical Pregnancy Test Strips)
- 4. One Step Pregnancy Test Strips (Best Early Pregnancy Test Product)
- 5. New Choice Pregnancy Test (Cheap Pregnancy Test But Effective!)
- 6. ClinicalGuard Pregnancy Tests (Just Another Alternative)
- Final verdicts
- How Sensitivity Is Rated
How Pregnancy Tests Work?
Before reviewing any product, it’s important to know how these tests work. It’s a scientific method that is used in virtually every over-the-count test. Using a woman’s urine, pregnancy tests are able to determine if a woman is pregnant or not.
A special hormone, called hCG, is found in the urine of a woman that is pregnant, and is produced by the placenta.
All of the tests, aside from blood tests, will use a woman’s urine to find a sufficient amount of the pregnancy hormone hCG. This hormone takes a few weeks to build up to a sufficient level for detection.
Most tests will have a sensitivity of 20 – 25 miU/ml. The lower this measurement is, the earlier the pregnancy can be detected. The best early pregnancy test will have a low miU/ml. The absolute minimum amount of hCG that can be detected is 5 miU/ml, but no current over-the-counter tests go quite this low.
Sensitive tests will produce accurate results faster than non-sensitive tests. Some tests are able to accurately find the hCG hormone 6 days earlier than others.
6 Most Sensitive, Accurate Pregnancy Tests on the Market
1. First Response Early Result (Our Winner!)
One of the best today. First Response offers this test with a sensitivity of 6.3miU/ml. The manufacturer states that the test is able to accurately predict pregnancy up to 6 days earlier than the competition.
The #1 best seller category across the U.S. First Response is the premiere choice for one reason: it offers this test with a sensitivity of 6.3miU/ml. Due to the lower miU, this test can accurately predict pregnancy up to 6 days before a woman’s missed period.
Furthermore, the test also has a 99% accuracy rate when used the day after a missed period.
- Extremely accurate – the most accurate pregnancy test on the market!
- Low level of sensitivity
- Detects pregnancy up to 6 days before a missed period
- Lines can be faint
Usage is simple and easy. A woman simply urinates on the front of the test and waits for the test to display one or two lines.
- One line means not
- Two lines means pregnant.
Simple to read and use, the test will display the result in just 3 minutes. It’s recommended that the test be used in the morning and 6 days before a missed period for best results
There are a few technical and statistical specifications that First Response provides:
- It’s the only test that can work 6 days before a missed period.
- Tests show that 76% of woman used First Response 5 days before their missed period with 100% accuracy.
- Women that use this test 4 days before a missed period can expect an accuracy level of 96%.
- A 99% detection rate is seen when the test is taken 3 days before a missed period, or after the missed period.
As far as miU/ml is concerned, the manufacturer has not listed the exact detection level. While many users state the test indicated pregnancy early on, one study conducted by CBS shows that First Response can predict pregnancy with as little as 6.5 miU/ml. This is such a low amount that it is close to the amount of hCG doctors would expect near the date of implantation.
2. Clearblue Easy Earliest Results (Another Sensitive Product)
- Easy-to-read digital display.
- Detection up to 5 days before a missed period.
- Comes in a pack of 3.
- Includes week estimator.
- The week estimator is not highly accurate.
The week estimator is not highly accurate, with many women stating that the test indicated “1-2” weeks in the morning, and during a same-day retest, the results were “2-3” weeks. The biggest issue is urine dilution, which may lead to the wrong week estimator results. The estimator measures the amount of hCG in the body, so there is a certain level of error involved.
Not as sensitive as our last choice, Clearblue actually has a sensitivity level of 25 miU/ml, but this does not mean it’s not as sensitive as the competition. Oddly, this test was able to predict 80% of pregnancies on the first day after a missed period with 100% confidence when the test was positive.
Negative tests had an accuracy rate of 67%.
Usage is as simple as First Response, but a little easier to actually read. The way to use this is simple:
- Urinate on the stick.
- Wait until the LED display illuminates.
It’s really that simple. The display will say “pregnant” followed by how many weeks pregnant a woman is according to the estimator. This is indicated in the following manner:
- 1-2 for 1 to 2 weeks into pregnancy.
- 2-3 for 2 to 3 weeks into pregnancy.
- 3+ indicates that you’re 3 or more weeks into pregnancy.
One of the major benefits to this test is that it does not have hard-to-read lines, and the wait time is very minimal. Ultimately, this is the easiest test on the market to reads, and you won’t have to worry about test strips drying out, which does occur on occasion.
3. Wondfo Pregnancy Test (Best Medical Pregnancy Test Strips)
The Wondfo pregnancy test strips are medical-grade and highly accurate. Unlike other tests on our list, these tests are strips, and they come in a pack of 25, although a pack of 50 can be purchased.
Despite the large number of strips, these tests are around the same price range as other tests – so you can keep testing minus the cost.
- 25 strips are included.
- The test takes 5 minutes to display results.
- Detects pregnancy early on.
- No accuracy statistics available.
In terms of accuracy, there aren’t statistics listed by the manufacturer. However, tens of thousands of consumers have used these test strips with a high level of accuracy. It’s safe to assume the medical-grade strips come with as much accuracy as the two previous tests on our list, but remember, this is a 25 miU/ml test, which doesn’t come with a 6 or 5 day early prediction statement.
Usage is also a little different with test strips than with other tests. This is what you’ll need to do:
- Urinate into a cup.
- Place the test strip in the cup.
- Let the strip sit in the urine for 3 seconds.
- Take the strip out and place it flat on a table.
Once this is all done, you’ll have to wait about 5 minutes before the results are seen. Results are a little more difficult to read with this model than other tests. This is done in the following manner:
- Positive: Indicated by two solid lines.
- Negative: Indicated by a top solid line.
- Invalid: Indicated by no lines or by only a bottom line.
The top line is a control line that will display regardless of the level of hCG in the urine. If the line is not displayed, this means the test is invalid and you will need to redo the test.
One Step has a very low sensitivity level of 10miU/ml. Using strips, these tests are very accurate and are great at early pregnancy detection. Many users have been able to predict their pregnancy well before their missed period thanks to One Step
Users state that they’ve successfully tested positive 6 days before their missed period.
The one note of caution with this test is that they’re often very hard to read due to the strip’s color change.
5. New Choice Pregnancy Test (Cheap Pregnancy Test But Effective!)
If you’ve been to Dollar General or Family Dollar, you have passed the New Choice brand in the aisle. Don’t let the low price fool you – these tests work great – and they’re much cheaper than the competition
This is the 3rd most sensitive test on the market, however.
FDA approved, these tests have a 99% accuracy rate, according to the manufacturer, and have a sensitivity level of 25 miU/ml. These tests are just as good as the competition (except the first two above) and they cost a fraction of the price.
Offered in packs of 20, these are actually test strips and not the normal “+” or “-“ models that you may be used to seeing. Using bands of color, these tests also test hCG and have a sensitivity of 25 miU.
The best part is that one package comes with a lot of tests, so you can retake the test without having to buy another one any time soon.
The vast majority of tests on the market today have a sensitivity level of 25miU/ml, which means that they will be most accurate 12 – 15 days after implantation. This is often a day or two after a missed period. For women that have been trying to get pregnant and are eager to find out if they’re positive, it’s best to use one of the highly sensitive tests above.
Please note that even the most sensitive pregnancy tests should be verified by a medical professional.
Using a test at the optimal time, as close to a missed period as possible, will ensure that you have the most accurate results possible. If a test is negative but you believe you are pregnant, doctors recommend waiting at least a week before taking another test so that the hCG levels in the urine can accumulate to detectable levels.
Further readings: Other Pregnancy Test Methods
- Homemade DIY Pregnancy Tests
- Free Online Pregnancy Test
- Pregnancy Blood Test
- Negative Pregnancy Test, but No Period
How Sensitivity Is Rated
When implantation occurs, the body will start to produce the HCG hormone, also known as the pregnancy hormone. This hormone is produced only when a woman is pregnant and is produced by the placenta.
It’s a highly accurate way to test for pregnancy, but it has its flaws.
Sensitive tests will need to pick up at least 5 miU/ml of the hormone in the urine before displaying positive results. However, most tests require a much higher level of hormone in the range of 20 – 25 miU/ml. The lower this unit of measurement is, the more sensitive the test will be.
In terms of time, 5 miU/ml of hCG will take 6 days to reach 20 miU/ml at the very minimum. It takes approximately 3 days for the amount of hCG in the body to double. This means it can take well over a week to learn that you’re pregnant from the time of implantation.