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The best pregnancy tests for clear, trustworthy results

We've rounded up the best pregnancy tests according to mums, from early detection tests to those which deliver results in less than a minute and even pregnancy tests which tell you how far along you are.

By Jenny Wonnacott | Last updated Sep 7, 2023

Best pregnancy test hero image

Whether you're trying to conceive or not, if you think you might be pregnant the last thing you need to worry about is whether or not you can trust your pregnancy test results. We've consulted maternity health experts as well as Mumsnet users - the largest online network of mums in the UK - to help narrow down a shortlist of the best pregnancy tests currently available, from those you can use up to six days before a missed period to others which give you your answer in just 45 seconds.

In theory, taking a pregnancy test should be relatively simple – you just need to POAS (pee on a stick), right? Well no, not necessarily. Pregnancy tests work by measuring the amount of pregnancy hormone hCG (Human Chorionic Gonadoropin) in your urine - so it's important you wait until enough hCG has built up to show on a test.

There are two main types of urine pregnancy tests - those which work by being held midstream as you wee and others which are designed to be dipped into a collected sample for a specific amount of time. On top of that, there are a huge number of pregnancy tests available which offer a variety of features, from budget-friendly test strips you can use to track a line's progression, to user-friendly digital tests which simple state 'Pregnant' or 'Not Pregnant'.

The best pregnancy tests UK: at a glance

Best Pregnancy Test for Assurance

First Response
Triple Check

Buy now
Best Pregnancy Test on a Budget

Clear & Simple
Pregnancy Test Stick

Buy now
Best Pregnancy Tests to Bulk Buy

One Step
Pregnancy Test Strips

Buy now

As with our guides to the best pregnancy pillow and the most effective stretch mark cream, we've consulted our Mumsnet users as well as medical experts in obstetrics to help narrow down the best pregnancy test to give you fast, reliable results. In this case, we consulted experienced midwife Marie Louise, a.k.a. The Modern Midwife, on what makes the best pregnancy test, when the best time is to take a pregnancy test, and what to do if you get a positive result.

1. Best pregnancy test for accuracy: First Response Triple Check Pregnancy Tests

Price on writing: £20.71 for three | Buy now from Amazon

Key specs

Results time: 3 minutes (and 60 seconds for the third test) | Display method: 2x line test and 1x digital test | Number of tests: Three | Type of test: Stick test

What we love

  • Pack of three tests to enable testing at various stages in your cycle

  • Great for reassurance

  • Combination of digital and dye tests

What to know

  • Costly

What Mumsnet users say

“FRERs are the only ones I’d buy.” (Brand rated by Mumsnet user BuffaloCauliflower)

Our verdict

Our rating: 5/5

Many Mumsnetters said that First Response are the only pregnancy test brand they would buy, however, sometimes they want to test multiple times, either for reassurance, or to test both before and after their period is due.

This combination pack of three tests includes both dye-based and digital tests, allowing an early result test (up to six days before your period is due), a double-check digital test a few days later and then a triple check rapid result pregnancy test once your period is officially late.

Read next: Looking to stock up on more pregnancy items for further down the line? Don't miss our guide to the best TENS machines for labour.

2. Best budget pregnancy test: Clear & Simple Pregnancy Test

Price on writing: £1.83 | Buy now from Amazon

Key specs

Results time: 5 minutes | Display method: Line test | Number of tests: One | Type of test: Stick test

What we love

  • Budget choice

  • Easy-to-read results

What to know

  • Longer wait for results

  • Some users reported false positives

What Mumsnet users say

I've taken two types of Clear & Simple tests, the strips and the plastic ones and both tests are great.” (Brand recommended by Mumsnetter EllieJai44)

Clear & Simple was my go-to for trying to conceive. I got the plastic cases rather than the strips, as the strips could sometimes give an evaporation line. I got a big fat positive (BFP) at 10 days post-ovulation.”  (Vetted by Mumsnet user MsChatterbox)

Our verdict

Rating: 4/5

When it comes to finding a budget-friendly test, they don’t come much cheaper than the Clear & Simple Pregnancy Test, which costs just £1 for a single midstream urine test. Which may be particularly welcome if you are positive as, as all the best parenting books will warn you, babies don't come cheap!

Don’t be fooled into thinking you can only trust bigger brand names; the Clear & Simple test may come at a low cost, but it still offers 99% accuracy and has an easy-to-read double line when detecting pregnancy, making it a great choice if you're looking for budget-friendly test options.

You do have to wait a little longer for the results, however, as this test response takes five minutes to show after use. If your nerves can handle the extra wait and you’re comfortable with a no bells and whistles test, you can certainly save yourself the additional cost.

3. Best budget bulk buy pregnancy test: One Step Ultra Early Pregnancy Strips

Price on writing: £2.95 for 15 | Buy now from Amazon

Key specs

Results time: 1 minute | Display method: Line test | Number of tests: 15 | Type of test: Strip test

What we love

  • Multipack ideal for regular testers

  • Quick results

  • Less plastic than other tests

  • Good value

What to know

  • Not recommended for early detection

  • Some reviewers found they gave false positives and negatives

What Mumsnet users say

If I was more patient and could wait I'd just use First Response on the day of my missed period… but I'm not. I go a little crazy so tend to buy the cheap Amazon One Step Ultra Early ones that come in multipacks to satisfy my urge to test twice a day.” (Reviewed by Mumsnet user Cammie4)

Our verdict

Our rating: 3/5

A great money-saving option and handy for those who may want to do repeat or regular tests, this One Step bulk buy pack offers 15 no-frills pregnancy strips for an incredible price, working out at just 20p a test! Known as one of the more popular 'internet cheapie' pregnancy test options on the Mumsnet boards, many Mumsnet users recommend buying these, particularly if you like the reassurance of testing multiple times.

The manufacturer claims that this test has mIU sensitivity of 10mIU and can pick up early results, but some independent reviewers have reported inaccuracies with the tests, so you may want to confirm your results with a more expensive test.

As the strips aren’t encased by plastic, it’s less messy and more hygienic to dip them into a sample of urine rather than attempt to wee on the stick itself. The lack of plastic also makes the One Step Pregnancy Strip a brilliant eco-friendly and more sustainable pregnancy test choice.

With results showing within a minute, they’re a great option for impatient types too.

Read next: Find out which pregnancy books Mumsnet users found the most useful for every stage of the journey.

4. Best digital pregnancy test: Clearblue Digital Ultra Early Pregnancy Test

Price on writing: £14 for two | Buy now from Amazon

Key specs

Results time: 1 to 5 minutes | Display method: Digital test | Number of tests: Two | Type of test: Stick test

What we love

  • Digital test (no interpreting of dyes)

  • Unmistakable written result

  • Extra-wide tip

What to know

  • Costly

  • Some users report errors

What Mumsnet users say

Clearblue Digital (the early one) is the only thing that picked up my positive.” (Rated by Mumsnet user TokenGinger)

"Clearblue tests are much more sensitive than regular ones. I got a BFP [big fat positive] on a Clearblue and BFN [big fat negative] on others, and then about a week later, I got BFP on the others."  (Tried and tested by Mumsnet user expectinglittlebear)

Our verdict

Our rating: 4/5

If you’re keen to test early, but don’t want to leave yourself squinting into the sunlight or editing photos of your pregnancy tests to see if that line is solely in your imagination, the Clearblue Digital Early Detection Pregnancy test can make the testing experience a whole lot simpler. Unlike dye-based tests that require looking out for a line or cross in the results window, these tests use digital technology instead.

With over 99% accuracy when taken on the day your period is due, this test offers an unmistakable result in between one to five minutes, simply displaying written words ‘Pregnant’ or ‘Not Pregnant’ - so no second-guessing a barely-there line. There is even a reassuring countdown to guide you through the wait time from start to finish. Best of all, Clearblue tests are readily available in most larger supermarkets and chemists so you can pick them up at the same time as stocking up on the best prenatal vitamins.

The Clearblue Digital Early Detection test can be used dipped in urine or under a urine stream and comes with an extra-wide tip (which, to put it bluntly, can help avoid any mess if you have a questionable aim!)

However, some users have reported that the tests show book errors, something you may want to bear in mind, but helpfully there are two in the pack in case the first one doesn't work.

A lot of Mumsnetters swear by Clearblue to track ovulation as well, which is why the brand also features heavily on our best ovulation test guide.

5. Best pregnancy test strips: Boots Pregnancy Test Strips

Price on writing: £5 for five | Buy now from Boots

Key specs

Results time: 5 minutes | Display method: Line test | Number of tests: Five | Type of test: Strip test

What we love

  • Can pick up with the rest of your toiletries

  • Affordable

What to know

  • Longer wait time for your result

What Mumsnet users say

I got a clear positive at 10 DPO [days past ovulation] with my Boots test strips, which was four days before my period was due.” (Tried and tested by Mumsnet user Scott2609)

Our verdict

Our rating: 4/5

For pregnancy tests you can pick up at the same time as your shampoo, make-up and skincare for pregnancy products, the Boots own brand Pregnancy Test Strips are well-regarded by the Mumsnet community and come in packs of five, working out at an affordable £1 a test.

With over 99% accuracy and an easy-to-read second line in pink dye to display a positive result, it's a good budget option. This is another choice that takes a little longer to show your results though, with the outcome of your test determined in a nerve-racking five-minute wait.

Related: If your pregnancy has come with some less-than-pleasant side-effects, don't miss our guide to the best haemorrhoid cream according to Mumsnet users.

6. Best pregnancy test for showing how many weeks: Clearblue Pregnancy Test With Weeks Indicator

Price on writing: £12 for two | Buy now from Amazon

Key specs

Results time: 3 minutes | Display method: Digital test | Number of tests: One | Type of test: Stick test

What we love

  • 99% accuracy if used on day period is due

  • The only test on the market to show not only positive results but also the number of weeks pregnant

What to know

  • Costly

  • Only 65% accuracy when used early

What Mumsnet users say

"I did use CB digital to show 1-2 then tested again the following week to get 2-3 and then bang on the following week for 3+." (Tried and tested by Mumsnet user Peony2021)

I went with Clearblue Digital - no farting about with lines, just 'Pregnant' or 'Not Pregnant'.” (Brand tried and tested by Mumsnet user Jackstini)

Our verdict

Our rating: 4/5

If the thought of working out your results from a line or cross isn’t clear enough for you, the Clearblue Digital Pregnancy Test With Weeks might offer the solution.

It’s the only pregnancy test currently on the market to not only spell out ‘Pregnant’ or ‘Not Pregnant’ in the large window, but to also tell you how many weeks pregnant you are (one to two weeks, two to three weeks or three plus weeks), which can be extra helpful if your periods are irregular or inconsistent.

You can test up to four days before your period is due, but it’s worth knowing that it only offers 65% accuracy at that point, so it’s best to wait until the day your period is due when it’s 99% accurate. The Clearblue Digital Pregnancy Test With Weeks is one of the more expensive tests on our list but, given the extra feature it offers, we can understand why.

7. Best pregnancy test for rapid results: Clearblue Rapid Detection

Price on writing: £7.85 for two | Buy now from Amazon

Key specs

Results time: One minute | Display method: Lines | Number of tests: 2 | Type of test: Stick test

What we love

  • Great value for money

  • Delivers a rapid response

  • Extra wide tip for convenience

What to know

  • Mumsnetters don't rate blue dye tests as highly as red dye

What Mumsnet users say

"Mine always showed up immediately with these tests, they’re just super quick at showing a positive I think! Literally as soon as the pee hit the line it was there, I couldn’t believe it either!" (Tried and tested by Mumsnet user ChloeN)

Our verdict

Our rating: 3/5

The subject of Clearblue pregnancy tests can be a bit divisive on the Mumsnet forums - with some users loving them and others preferring a 'red dye' option like the FRER for accuracy. However, at just £7 for a pack of two and results showing as early as one minute, we couldn't ignore the Clearblue Rapid Detection pregnancy test.

Claiming to be over 99% accurate when used on day one of a missed period - which is, after all, in accordance with NHS pregnancy testing guidelines - the Clearblue test features an ergonomic handle for ease of use and also features Floodguard Technology to protect against urine flooding (which is, according to Clearblue, the most likely cause of user error). It may not feature the bells and whistles of Clearblue's digital options, but if you're looking for a fast test result which you can double check with the second test in the kit, this could be a great option for under a tenner.

Related: Pregnant and in need of a maternity wardrobe overhaul? Find out what Mumsnet users rated as the best maternity bras and most comfortable maternity jeans.

Related: If your positive pregnancy test (and pre-pregnancy size) is already feeling like a distant memory, don't miss our guides to the best maternity clothes, comfiest maternity leggings and guide to the best maternity pyjamas has you covered, including breastfeeding-friendly options for post-birth.

8. Best ovulation and pregnancy combination tests: Wondfo Ovulation Kit

Price on writing: £13 | Buy now from Amazon

Key specs

Results time: 3 - 5 minutes | Display method: Lines | Number of tests: 50 ovulation strips, 20 pregnancy tests | Type of test: Strip test

What we love

  • Great value for money

  • Helps you monitor fertility and so better predict when best to try

What to know

  • Some reviewers reported false positives on the pregnancy tests

What Mumsnet users say

"I am 11dpo and got my first clear positive on a wondfo yesterday. These are supposedly 20/25mlu sensitivity (I buy from Amazon) let me tell you these bad boys are far more sensitive than that. They’re darker than my first response early response, and I can turn positives on my first, second, or gazillionth wee of the day." (Recommended by Mumsnet user TTC5yearsx)

"Got some Wondfos from Amazon and they were fab. I'd never buy another FRER now - Wondfos all the way!" (Tried and tested by Mumsnet user RedPandaFluff)

Our verdict

Our rating: 3/5

If you'd like to up your TTC game with an ovulation test - which helps you work out your most fertile days to try for a baby - then you can't go far wrong with the Wondfo Kit. Containing 50 ovulation strips and 20 pregnancy tests, this kit is great for those who like to cover all bases with one purchase.

Wondfo isn’t exactly a household name, like Clearblue, but, as many Mumsnetters testify on our forums, brand isn’t always the most important factor to consider, so long as the reliability of the test can be trusted – and these are said to be 99% accurate.

Read next: If back pain and swollen ankles are plaguing you during pregnancy, we've got you covered with our guides to the best pregnancy support belt and top-ranking compression socks for pregnancy.

When is the best time to take a pregnancy test?

'This really depends on your cycle and of course when you conceived,' experienced midwife Marie Louise, author of The Modern Midwife's Guide to Pregnancy, Birth and Beyond tells Mumsnet. 'Not everyone has regular periods so going by your menstrual cycle may not be possible. HCG is the hormone detected in home pregnancy tests, it rises as pregnancy progresses.'

'Some tests will accurately detect a pregnancy as early as 10 days post conception. If you’ve had unprotected sex and think you may be pregnant you should take a test 14 days after and again at 21 days if you had a negative result but feel you may be pregnant. You could also wait the full 21 days before taking a test if you’re able to. For those who have regular periods NHS online recommends you take a pregnancy test on the first day of your missed period.'

How do home pregnancy tests work?

Pregnancy tests detect the pregnancy hormone, human chorionic gonadotropin hormone (hCG), in your urine. This hormone starts to be produced around six days after fertilisation.

During the first trimester, the pregnancy hormone increases from less than 5mIU/ml to over 100,000mIU/ml, and the further into your pregnancy you are, the more present this hormone will be in your urine.

How accurate are home pregnancy tests?

According to midwife Marie Louise, 'Very accurate when taken at the best time. Always do ensure you read the test instructions and result properly. I’ve looked after a few mums who have misread results or taken a test too early, got a false negative and not repeated the test.'

Are cheap pregnancy tests accurate?

Known as 'internet cheapies' by regular posters on the Mumsnet Conception boards, cheaper pregnancy tests have the benefit of coming in larger, bulk-buy packs - such as the One Step Ultra Early Test Strips featured in this guide - which is a great option if you want the reassurance of testing over several days (or multiple times a day in some cases!) They aren't always as accurate when it comes to early detection, so if you're testing before your period is due, you might be better off with a First Response Early Result.

Are expensive pregnancy tests better?

'If a pregnancy test is sold by a reputable, registered company it doesn’t matter if you opt for the cheaper option or buy in bulk,' explains Marie Louise. 'This maybe a good idea if you are trying or know you have potential difficulty conceiving. Pregnancy tests can be expensive!'

What should I do after testing positive?

'First and foremost give yourself a minute,' says Marie Louise. 'This may seem obvious but regardless of whether this is a planned pregnancy or not, you need to take a breath and process your news. It’s okay to feel a very wide range of emotions and flitter between them.

'Depending on your plans for your pregnancy you will need to take different routes. If a positive test is good news you need to book an appointment with a midwife between 8-10 weeks going by your LMP (last menstrual period). If you’re not sure you can simply self refer to your local midwifery services or call your GP for further information.

'If you are not sure whether you would like to continue with the pregnancy you can explore your options with your GP or NHS online and if you know you will be terminating the pregnancy you can self refer to The British Pregnancy Advisory Service, Marie Stopes U.K. or a local GUM clinic.'

How should you take a pregnancy test?

Generally speaking, as the levels of the pregnancy hCG hormone rise every two or three days during pregnancy, a pregnancy test will be more accurate the later you leave it after having unprotected sex.

The most sensitive pregnancy tests can detect 10mIU/ml and some of these can be used before your period is due. However, the NHS generally advises that you take a pregnancy test from the first day of a missed period.

If you’re not sure when your next period is due, aim to test at least 21 days after you last had unprotected sex.

What other kinds of pregnancy tests are there?

Home pregnancy tests work by detecting the hCG hormone in your urine, however, in some circumstances, such as when you are having fertility treatment or have medical conditions, you may be asked to head for a blood test with your doctor.

In most cases, the home pregnancy tests will be very similar to the urine-based pregnancy tests used at your local doctors, hospitals and family planning clinics.

What to look for in a pregnancy test

  • Ease of use - Most pregnancy tests involve measuring the level of hormone present in your urine, but some are easier to use than others. Most home pregnancy tests tend to have a plastic casing around them, but you can also buy cheaper pregnancy strips, such as One Step, which have no casing but can be just as effective at detecting hCG. When testing, you would need to dip an uncased pregnancy strip into a pot of urine rather than attempt to wee on it.

  • How early can you use it? - The most sensitive pregnancy tests such as First Response Early Result Pregnancy Test can detect 10mIU/ml and some of these can be used before your period is due. It's worth noting, however, that the NHS recommends taking a pregnancy test from the first day of a missed period or at least 21 days after having unprotected sex.

  • Digital or line results? - Most home pregnancy tests will display a second line (either a cross or a line in the test area) if hCG is detected. Some more expensive pregnancy tests have a digital display to indicate whether you are pregnant or not. The Clearblue Pregnancy Test With Weeks Indicator even estimates how many weeks along you are.

  • Interpreting results - How easy is it to interpret your results? Some Mumsnetters have found themselves doubting the visibility of lines on dye-based pregnancy tests, with pink dye often being easier to view than blue. If you’re after a simple yes or no, then the digital tests may be the safest option. It’s also important you follow the instructions with dye-based tests, as reading them outside of the measurement window can lead to evaporation lines.

  • Number of tests - If you’re after some reassurance, you may want to consider buying a pack of more than one test. If you want to test regularly, a test you can buy in bulk at a relatively low cost, such as One Step Pregnancy Strips, might work for you. Other tests tend to come in packs of two or three too.

What is the most accurate pregnancy test to take?

Many Mumsnetters swear by the First Response Early Result Pregnancy Test as the most accurate pregnancy test. While out of stock at the moment, the First Response Triple Check tests are well-regarded for accurate results you can trust up to three times.

This test has been found to be the most sensitive pregnancy test on the market – with the ability to identify all four forms of hCG in your urine. It promises a 99% accurate reading if you test on the day of your expected period, but if patience isn’t your strong point, you can even use it up to six days before your period is due, making it the best early result pregnancy test we’ve found. We also liked that it came in a pack of two for extra reassurance or for using at a later date.

Which week in my cycle should I take a pregnancy test?

It is recommended you take a pregnancy test on the first day after your period would have been due. If you have irregular periods, you may prefer to instead test around three weeks after you had unprotected sex.

Many women refer to the ‘two-week wait’ - the period between ovulation and (ideally) a missed period, after which the hormone is likely to be present if you are expecting.

Is a blue or pink dye pregnancy test better?

All home pregnancy tests work the same way - by measuring the hCG levels in your urine- but when it comes to dye-based tests, which are the ones which give line results, there is some debate as to whether pink dye based tests or blue dye tests are better. Whilst this is a frequent topic of discussion on the Mumsnet Conception boards, the general consensus is usually that pink dye tests - such as First Response Early Result tests - are more trustworthy than blue dye tests, which can be more likely to show evaporation lines and even false positives.

What are the best pregnancy tests UK?

For early and reliable pregnancy detection, the First Response Triple Check tests offer three-in-one ways to check for pregnancy: an early result test you can take up to six days before your period is due, a digital yes/no result test and a rapid result test which delivers results in less than one minute.

Can I get a pregnancy test on the NHS?

In most cases, you can pick up pregnancy tests online, from pharmacies or supermarkets at a relatively low cost, and this is a discreet and private way to test at home.

If you prefer, however, you can also ask for a pregnancy test free of charge with your GP or at your local sexual health clinic. If you are under the age of 25, you may also get a pregnancy test from your local Brook centre.

How we chose our recommendations

Products tried and tested by real parents

Mumsnetters love nothing more than supporting others who are TTC (trying to conceive), so our forums are jam-packed full of real-life experiences from mums and mums-to-be, many of whom have been sharing photos of their tests and asking for reassurance from the Mumsnet community.

First, we gathered Mumsnet users’ feedback on the best pregnancy test brands and the products that they personally have used and would recommend to friends and family. We vetted their experiences to learn more about the tests they found easy to use, easy to interpret and, most importantly, believed to be a reliable and accurate measure of pregnancy.

Expert guidance

We know just how important it is to be able to trust the brands you are using for such a key moment in your life. For that reason, we thoroughly researched and vetted the brands and pregnancy tests included in this round up to ensure they were well-regarded by medical professionals, with many of these tests being recommended and rated by doctors and family planning clinics. In most cases, medics agree that whilst they may vary in sensitivity levels, home pregnancy tests are generally an accurate way to detect pregnancy, so long as they are used correctly.

We also consulted maternity medical expert Marie Louise, an experienced midwife and hypnobirthing specialist, to review the facts about pregnancy tests and how to choose the right one for you, as well as when to take it and what to do next.

Honest consumer reviews

Finally, we trawled through a significant number of authentic online reviews on retailer sites such as Boots, Superdrug and Amazon to research wider consumer experiences of pregnancy tests on our shortlist, looking out for any consistent frustrations, weaknesses or factors you might want to consider when selecting which pregnancy test to buy.

It’s worth remembering, that whilst all home pregnancy tests vary in terms of sensitivity and method of use, they are generally accurate so long as they are used correctly. You may also find some reviewers stating they have experienced false positives or negatives. This could be due to a variety of reasons, but it's important to read the instructions before you take the test to ensure you're using it properly and at the right time.

Why you should trust us

Mumsnet has been helping parents make their lives easier since 2000 and, in those years, we’ve seen, tried and reviewed thousands of products.

We work hard to provide honest and independent advice you can trust and we spend hours scouring the Mumsnet forums and online bestseller lists to find products that real parents rate.

Transparency is really important to us and that's why we're always upfront about where we find our recommendations. We write about products that we feel offer the best value to most parents – the ones that our users would recommend to their own friends and family.

About the author

Mum-of-three Jenny Wonnacott is a Content Editor for Mumsnet, specialising in writing, editing and optimising pregnancy care and child play content.

Before joining the content team at Mumsnet, Jenny worked as a journalist for newspapers, radio, TV and b2b trades magazines for over a decade. She is also a bestselling sci-fi author (writing as J M Briscoe) and parenting blogger.

As a parent of three primary school-aged children, Jenny is passionate about making Mumsetters' lives easier through rigorous research of all items recommended in buyers' guides such as these, as well as product reviews and expert advice on all things pregnancy and child play related.