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8 best pregnancy tests for 2022

Wondering if you might be pregnant? Here’s how to choose the right test to find out.

By Mumsnet HQ | Last updated Dec 10, 2021

Woman holding pregnancy test

In theory, a pregnancy test should be simple – you just need to POAS (pee on a stick), right? But when a moment has the potential to be life-changing, it can be emotionally fraught. The last thing you want is confusion worsening your nerves. Also, there are so many pregnancy tests on the market that it can feel a little daunting, especially if it’s your first time taking a test or you don’t really understand how pregnancy tests work.

In short, when an egg is fertilised, your body starts producing the pregnancy hormone, human chorionic gonadotropin hormone (hCG), which pregnancy tests can detect in your urine, measured in milli-international units per milliliter (mIU/mL).

The pregnancy hormone increases dramatically every two to three days, rising from less than 5mIU/ml to over 100,000mIU/ml in the first three months of pregnancy. The most sensitive pregnancy tests can detect 10mIU/ml and some of these can be used before your period is due.

With all this in mind, we’ve trawled the Mumsnet forums for recommendations on the best home pregnancy tests from women, as well as checking what health experts advise when it comes to taking pregnancy tests.

Here are the best pregnancy tests to buy in the UK in 2021.

1. Best overall pregnancy test: First Response Early Result Pregnancy Test

First Response early result test

“First Response Early Result tests have always been accurate for me.”

Fast, simple and accurate, the First Response Early Result Pregnancy Test is highly trusted by Mumsnetters. As one Mumsnetter says: “FRERs are the only ones I’d buy.”

This test has been found to be the most sensitive pregnancy test on the market – it can identify all four forms of hCG in your urine. It promises 99% accurate reading if you test on the day of your expected period and 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.

There should be no confusion with this early pregnancy test – if there’s a second pink line, it’s positive, and you should get the result within three minutes too.

2. Best budget pregnancy test: One Step Pregnancy Strip

One Step pregnancy test

“I buy them in bulk on Amazon.”

A great money-saving option, this bulk buy pack offers 30 no-frills pregnancy strips for an incredible price. If you’ll want to test regularly, this is a wise option. The manufacturer claims that this test has mIU sensitivity of 10mIU, but independent reviewers say that it’s best used the day after your period is due.

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 makes the One Step Pregnancy Strip a brilliant eco-friendly pregnancy test. Also, as it should show your result within a minute, it’s great for impatient types.

3. Best digital pregnancy test: Clearblue Ultra-Early Triple-Check Pregnancy Test

Clearblue triple check pregnancy test

“I have found that digital ones work best on period due or late.”

Easy and hassle-free, the Clearblue Ultra-Early Triple-Check Pregnancy Test has wide tips to make sampling easier. There’s also a small screen with a smart countdown indicating how long you have to wait for the results.

It takes about one to three minutes for results to show and the easy-to-read digital display literally spells out the results for you (‘pregnant’ or ‘not pregnant’) to prevent confusion.

It offers 79% accuracy for tests taken six days before your period is due and Clearblue claims to be the number one test brand recommended by doctors in the UK.

4. Best easy-to-use pregnancy test: Dragoskandia Pregnancy Test Strips Early Detection PT200 Rapid Detection Kit

Dragoskandia pregnancy test

Designed to be highly sensitive to hCG, this test can detect a small quantity of the hormone in your urine so you can test before your period is due. If you’re pregnant, you should see two easy-to-read lines, so there shouldn’t be any confusion – ideal if you’re feeling nervous.

Another benefit of the Dragoskandia Pregnancy Test is that the result should show within three minutes. Available in packs of two, reviewers say that the only issue with this pregnancy test is the small thumb grip, which can make testing slightly trickier.

5. Best quick results pregnancy test: Answer Pregnancy Test

Answer pregnancy test

“They are the same as First Response, but they give a positive slightly sooner. The line is usually never as dark as a FR though.”

The manufacturer claims that you can use this early detection pregnancy test four days before your period is due and some Mumsnetters who have tried the Answer Pregnancy Test rate it as being as effective as the First Response Early Result Pregnancy Test.

This at-home test can show accurate results after just 60 seconds – ideal if you really can’t bear to hang around waiting for an answer. The process is simple – two lines will show that you’re pregnant while a single line will indicate that you’re not.

Encased in plastic, there’s no need for a separate urine cup with this pregnancy test and reviewers say that it’s easy and comfortable to hold.

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

Clearblue pregnancy test

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 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).

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 the most expensive test on our list but, given the extra feature it offers, we can understand why.

7. Best mess-free pregnancy test: AFAC Pregnancy Test Sticks with HCG Test Strips

AFAC Pregnancy Test Sticks

Easy-to-operate to prevent mess and spills, these early detection tests have wide strips and easy-grip handles allowing urine to be absorbed quickly and easily.

Large splash-proof windows display your results clearly and simply, and each AFAC Pregnancy Test Stick is packaged individually in waterproof aluminium bags to prevent moisture damage before use.

You can use this test by either dipping in urine or by testing in your urine stream and it offers 99% accuracy if you use it on the day your period is due.

8. Best for speedy results: First Response Rapid Results

First Response rapid test

Indisputably the quickest pregnancy test on the market, the First Response Rapid Results Pregnancy Test can give you a result in 45 seconds. That said, you should wait the day after your expected period is due because this is a test for fast results, not early ones – your result will show up in less than a minute and with over 99% accuracy.

As with other First Response tests, the result shows in pink dye, with two lines for pregnant and one line for not pregnant so it’s simple to use and read.

How does a pregnancy test work?

Pregnancy tests detect the pregnancy hormone, human chorionic gonadotropin hormone (hCG), in your urine. During the first trimester, the pregnancy hormone increases from less than 5mIU/ml to over 100,000mIU/ml.

How do you do a pregnancy test?

Testing is simple and you can do it in two ways:

  • Wash your hands and wee on the test strip or stick for five seconds or dip the tip of the test into a sample pot of your urine for 20 seconds.
  • Wait for your result to appear. Most tests reveal results within three minutes.

When should you take a pregnancy test?

Generally speaking, as the levels of the pregnancy hormone rise with every two or three days of 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's the best time of day to do a pregnancy test?

As the pregnancy hormone level tends to be more concentrated in your urine first thing in the morning, some health sites say that it's best to take a test first thing in the morning rather than later on during the day.

However, the NHS advises that you can take a test at any time of day.

What should I look for in a home pregnancy test?

  • Plastic casing: 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.
  • Digital or not: Most home pregnancy tests will display a second line 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.
  • Bulk buy or smaller packs: If you want to test regularly, a test you can buy in bulk at relatively low cost such as One Step Pregnancy Strips might work for you. Other tests such as Rapid Response Rapid Results tend to come in packs of two or three.
  • How early you can test: 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.

How much does a pregnancy test cost?

Pregnancy tests can cost from around £3 (for five tests) for cheaper models to over £11 for a digital test such as the Clearblue Pregnancy Test With Weeks Indicator.

Which is the best and most accurate pregnancy test?

The best budget pregnancy test is the One Step Pregnancy Strip – a great money-saving option if you want to bulk buy and test regularly.

The best digital pregnancy test is the Clearblue Ultra-Early Triple-Check Pregnancy Test. Easy and hassle-free it offers a digital screen with a smart countdown to the results.

The First Response Early Result Pregnancy Test is our best overall pregnancy test. Trusted by Mumsnetters, it scores highly for speed and accuracy.

How we chose our recommendations

Our pregnancy test suggestion came from recommendations on the Mumsnet forums and from consumer reviews on the web. We consulted independent review and health sites, as well as checking NHS guidelines about pregnancy testing to ensure we were bringing you an honest summary of pregnancy tests in 2021.

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

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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.

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