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First Response Early Result review: we put the MN-favourite pregnancy test under the spotlight

It's a brand of pregnancy test which is praised time and time again on the Mumsnet boards for its reliability, but as a premium test, how does the First Response Early Result (often just called 'FRER') compare with cheaper rivals? MNHQ reviewer Tina put it to the test.

By Tina Williams | Last updated Feb 29, 2024

First Response Early Result test

Price on writing: £15 for two | Buy now from Amazon

The verdict

A compact test with easy to understand instructions and a hefty price tag.

Our rating:
What we like
  • Instructions are well laid out and easy to understand

  • The actual test features a reminder that two lines means positive

  • Test is lightweight and small

What we don't like
  • Pricey

  • The box advertises an app which scans your test to give you a pregnancy/not pregnancy result, but when scanned, the code just takes you to the First Response website with no further instruction

  • Cheaper options work just as well

Key specs

Price on writing: £15 for two | Results time: 3 minutes | Display method: Line test | Number of tests: Two | Type of test: Stick test

Related: Discover more of the best pregnancy tests for fast, reliable results

How we tested

I tested six of the most popular pregnancy tests to see how they compared. From budget bulk buys to the premium tests on the market, I wanted to find out which tests explained the process most clearly, how easy it was to take the test, how much reassurance you get that you're doing it correctly and how much packaging would go to landfill when the test was complete.

I also timed how long it took to get a result and how easy (or not) the result was to read. But, at the time of testing I was in my second trimester of pregnancy, which probably impacted how quickly the test returned a result.

Ultimately I wanted to find out if there really was a benefit to shelling out £15 for a pregnancy test, when you could spend just 20p.

First Response Early Result test

I’d recommend the First Response Early Result (often just referred to as a FRER). It’s quite sensitive and so you can usually get a faint line a few days before your missed period.


First Response Early Result

£15 for two

Buy now from Amazon

Read next: Baby on the way? We've got you covered with our guides to the best pregnancy pillow, stretch mark cream, maternity clothes and TENS machines

How do you take a First Response Early Result pregnancy test?

There’s a small absorbent section of the test that you pee on or dip into a urine sample. And you either need to POAS [pee on a stick] or dip in a cup for five seconds. It’s nice and simple that’s it’s the same time for both methods. It’s very clear where you need to get the pee which is reassuring.

How easy are the instructions to follow?

The test comes with a folded A5 sheet of instructions. They’re well laid out and easy to digest. I like that on the actual test there’s a reminder that two lines means a positive result.

Related: Find more maternity essentials with our guides to the best pregnancy books, best birthing ball and top maternity leggings

How long did the test take to show a result?

The box says three minutes. My result showed faintly at 30 seconds and became clear by one minute.

How does the First Response Early Result pregnancy test compare to others?

I really like that the actual test is smaller than the Clearblue tests I tried. It makes it easier to hold and dispose of. The instructions were comparable with all the POAS brands I tested, the line on this test was quite faint for me, but others might have a different experience. But the test is expensive, if you're looking for an early result One Step strip tests can also return a positive result six days before your period at a fraction of the price.

Read next: On the hunt for a maternity wardrobe refresh? Check out our guides to the best maternity jeans, best compression socks for pregnancy, maternity bras and pyjamas.

Does this pregnancy test offer good value for money?

This First Response test is definitely one of the premium brands and the actual test isn’t that different to the Clear & Simple test which is almost a quarter of the price and can give a positive result four days before your period.

I preferred it to the similarly priced Clearblue tests which seemed excessively large to me, but the FRER test gives you two lines for a positive result and if one of them is very faint, it might be harder to decipher than the binary Pregnant/ Not Pregnant tests that Clearblue offer. 

First Response Early Result test

There’s a finger grip at one end of this test which I appreciated. And a cap to cover the urine sample once you’ve taken the test, which feels a lot more hygienic than the strip tests which were precariously balanced on a plastic cup.

MNHQ tester Tina

First Response Early Result

£15 for two

Buy now from Amazon

Overall verdict

Ease of use:
Value for money:

You can take this test six days before your expected period date, but like all other tests who make this claim, it’s less likely to be accurate and when every test costs over £7, I think I’d rather wait a few more days for a more accurate result.

If you’re certain you want to take a test earlier than the day of your missed period, it might be better to give the One Step strip tests a try, they can return a positive result up to six days before your missed period like the FRER, and only cost 11p per test. 

If you’re certain you want to take a test earlier than the day of your missed period, it might be better to give the One Step strip tests a try. 

About the author

Tina Williams is the Head of Editorial Content at Mumsnet where she leads a team of expert writers and editors to develop Mumsnet Swears By, the home for product reviews and buying advice, where parents test and recommend the products they love. She was previously Mumsnet’s Head of Reviews and developed a comprehensive testing system to rigorously test baby essentials and new product innovations. 

About Mumsnet Reviews

All Mumsnet product reviews are written by real parents after weeks of research and testing – this includes recommendations from the Mumsnet Talk boards. We work hard to provide honest and independent advice you can trust. Sometimes, we earn revenue through affiliate (click-to-buy) links in our articles. However, we never allow this to influence our coverage.

All prices correct at time of publicati