Taking a pregnancy test is sometimes not planned. When you realise that you are late and feel that you have the early symptoms of being pregnant, you need to find out. Often this will mean a quick dash into town so that you can pick up a pregnancy test from a high street store…. welcome to our review of high street pregnancy tests!
High Street Pregnancy Tests
There are plenty of home pregnancy tests to select from in the shops. They all work the same way though – they test for levels of human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG). This is the hormone that the body produces when a pregnancy starts. As the pregnancy continues, the levels of hCG increase. It is this surge that is detected by pregnancy tests.
But how easy are high street pregnancy tests to use? How long after testing do you get a result and will it tell you how many weeks gone you are? Are they 100% accurate? We put the best to the test …
Asda Pregnancy Test
These Asda pregnancy tests are advertised as early pregnancy tests, meaning that they can be used up to 4 days before your expected period. The are manufactured by a company called Ciga Healthcare and you will receive two test in a box, costing £3.50 in most store or from Asda online. These are midstream pregnancy tests. Simply pee, replace the cap and wait for results.
How much do they cost? This pack of two pregnancy tests cost £3.50.
How quickly do results appear? You only need to wait 3 minutes for the result.
How quickly can you use it? This test can be used up to four days your period is due.
These test do not have a great reputation. On the Asda website the reviews are generally quite negative. The biggest problem seems to be that the tests have been giving false positive results, which has led to a great deal of stress for many ladies that have used them. Another problem seems to be faint lines, which make the tests hard to interpret. They are certainly cheap. But is that enough for you, if you cannot be sure of the reliability of the results? For these reasons alone we cannot recommend these tests. 1/5
Boots Pregnancy Test
The Boots Pregnancy Test is a popular choice as many people feel comfortable in trusting the Boots brand. Their pregnancy tests are a bit more expensive than competing products on the high street. We found that a box containing two pregnancy tests costs £4.99, both in-store and online.
To use, just hold the absorbent tip of the test in your urine stream for a few seconds. The cap should then be put back on the test. Lay it down and wait … results should appear in minutes. Wit this test you will find two red lines appearing if you are pregnant. The appearance of only one red line means that the test is negative.
How much do they cost? A pack of two pregnancy tests costs £4.99.
How quickly do results appear? You only need to wait 5 minutes for the result.
How quickly can you use it? This test can be used from the first day your period is due.
For a standard pregnancy test, these Boots ones are just a tad too expensive for us to recommend. We could understand it if these were early pregnancy tests but they aren’t – you will need to use them from the first day of your missed period onwards. According to some reports on the web, these tests have a cut-off of 50m IU. This means that they are not the most sensitive tests on the market. (In general, pregnancy tests that are rated to detect the lowest hCG levels should be able to pick up pregnancy sooner than those that are rated for a higher level.) 1/5
Clear&Simple Pregnancy Test
This Clear&Simple pregnancy test falls into the bracket of a budget pregnancy test. You can buy this test at most savers stores for the princely sum of just 99p. How can a pregnancy test be so cheap, and be reliable at the same time? It’s a good question. Read on to find out more
How much do they cost? A pack containing one pregnancy test will cost you 99p.
How quickly the results appear? Normally within three minutes.
How quickly can use it? This is an early response pregnancy test, meaning that you can use it up to 4 days before your expected period.
These Clear & Simple pregnancy tests are cheap, like really cheap. Are they a bargain? Maybe, maybe not? In 2018 the manufacturers of these tests had to recall nearly 60,000 of their digital pregnancy tests as they were faulty. No doubt whatever caused this problem has been fixed. However this does not help give us confidence that these early pregnancy tests are also reliable in the long run. (we must point out, these are not the same test as the ones recalled, but are marketed under the same brand name) If you want to trust your pregnancy decisions on a 99p pregnancy test, then go for it. We would suggest that you invest a bit more on a proven product. 1/5
Lloyds Pharmacy Pregnancy Test
The Lloyds Pharmacy Pregnancy Test is relatively expensive when we compare it to other “own brand” products. Certainly, we were surprised to see that a pack of two tests costs £6.19 in store and online. They are, however, early pregnancy tests, which means you can use them up to four days before your expected period. For some customers, this convenience of being able to test early might make the tests worth paying extra for.
Like all of the tests in this review, these are midstream ones. That means, you either pee on the end of the wand or you dip it into a container of urine. Either way, you will then need to wait for three minutes or so to get the results. Two pink lines indicate that you are pregnant, only one lines means that you are not.
How much do they cost? £6.19 for two early pregnancy tests.
How quickly do results appear? Results can be detected after only three minutes.
How quickly can you use it? These early tests can be used up to four days before your expected period. However, the closer you can take the test to the date of your expected period, the more reliable the results will be. This is because the presence of the pregnancy hormone (hCG) in urine doubles every 48 hours when you are pregnant.
If you are looking for an early pregnancy test, you may want to consider these ones. For an own-brand pregnancy test, these Lloyds Chemist ones are not cheap. Also you should be aware that the tests are only 53% accurate when you test on day minus four. You will need to wait for the day of your expected period for 99% accuracy., At this point, you might ask yourself, was it worth paying extra for an early home pregnancy test in the first place? Certainly, the issue of false positives with this test is one that has been discussed on online forums and should be taken into account before buying and using. 2/5
Sainsbury’s Pregnancy Test
The Sainsbury’s Pregnancy Test is popular choice of home pregnancy test due to the low cost and easy availability in most of the company’s supermarkets. The tests themselves are manufactured in China, which is one of the reasons why they are so cheap. They are packed in Poland. A box of two tests costs £3.60, both in-store and online.
The tests are simple enough to use. Holding the tip of the wand in your wee stream for a minimum of three seconds is sufficient. Or you can dip the test into a sample of urine in a container. Results will appear after a few minutes. A blue positive symbol in the window shows that you are pregnant. A negative symbol means that you are not.
How much do they cost? £3.60 for a pack of two tests.
How quickly do results appear? Results can be read after just three minutes.
How quickly can you use it? This test can be taken on the first day when your period is due. Results should be 99% reliable at this time. As hCG doubles every 48 hours when you are pregnant, the later you test, the more reliable the test results will be.
We like the simplicity of these tests. Results are easy to read and interpret. We are often asked if cheap pregnancy tests are reliable as expensive ones. Sometimes they are, but in some cases they are not. The jury seems to be out on these ones, and you might want to trawl the internet for more reviews.
We would always suggest that you can use these cheaper tests but, if you do get a positive, check again with a pregnancy test from Clearblue or First Response. for a precise confirmation of results. 3/5
Superdrug Pregnancy Test
Superdrug is the 4th largest Chemist chain in the UK with over 90o stores. They sell a lot of pregnancy tests every year, including their own Superdrug Pregnancy Tests which currently sell in a packet of two tests for £4.99. A single pregnancy test can can also be bought for £3.99.
These midstream pregnancy tests work like any other – simply place the wand in your urine stream for just a few seconds and then put aside and wait. A negative or positive result is indicated by one or two pink lines. Easy!
How much do they cost? A box of two tests costs £4.99.
How quickly do results appear? A 60 second wait is all that is required before results can be read.
How quickly can you use it? These early pregnancy tests can be used up to 4 days before your period is expected.
We tried these tests out in the lab and they worked fine for us, giving correct results. However they don’t have a good reputation with customers. When we first reviewed the Superdrug Pregnancy Test there were 85 reviews on the store’s website, with an average score of just 1.6 out of 5. For this reason, as well as the relatively high cost for a supermarket pregnancy test, we would suggest that there are better options out there than these tests. 2/5
Tesco Pregnancy Test
Each box of Tesco Pregnancy Tests contains two individual tests in a box with printed instructions on it. To use, simply place the absorbent tip of the test into your urine stream for just a few seconds. Then, you just need to place the cap back on the test. Hold the test downwards and wait for the required time of one minute. The results should appear – if you see two blue lines, you are pregnant. One line only indicates a negative result.
How much do they cost? A box of two tests costs £3.50.
How quickly do results appear? You only need to wait 60 seconds for the result.
How quickly can you use it? You can use this test from the first day your period is due.
The Tesco test is simple to use – you just pee and wait! Interpreting the results is sometimes as not straight forward as it could be. Some ladies have struggled to interpret if they have a blue line or not. Also, because the instructions are on the box and not the leaflet, you might need to take all the packaging in the loo with you. Finally, because these are not early pregnancy tests, you can only test on the day of your period onwards. 2/5
Wilko Pregnancy Test
We believe that you can always find a bargain in Wilko and their range of pregnancy tests are certainly well priced. The Wilko Pregnancy Tests come in a pack of two for the modest price of just £1,00. This means that each test costs just 50p! With this test you will be looking for two red lines to indicate a positive pregnancy test.
How much do they cost? A box of two tests costs £1.00.
How quickly do results appear? You only need to wait a few minutes for the result.
How quickly can you use it? You can take this test from the first day your period is due.
When a pregnancy test costs just 50p, you do wonder if it is any good (We are often asked just this: Are cheap pregnancy tests reliable?). We believe that you are investing such a small sum in a test, you need to be prepared if the results are not 100% perfect. These tests seem to have mixed reviews posted online by users. Some women love them, others not. Maybe you might want to buy some of these for regular testing before confirming any positive result with a branded test from First Response or Clearblue. 3/5
While home pregnancy tests are generally accurate, it is still recommended to confirm the result with a healthcare provider. They can perform a blood test to measure hCG levels and provide additional information about the pregnancy.
It is also important to remember that a negative result on a pregnancy test does not necessarily mean that you are not pregnant. If you are experiencing symptoms or have missed a period, it is best to consult with your healthcare provider to rule out any potential underlying health issues.
Taking a home pregnancy test at the right time is also important. The accuracy of the test will vary depending on when it is taken. For the most accurate results, wait until after you’ve missed your period to take a test. Take the test too soon and the amount of hCG in your body may not be high enough to be identified. This might lead to a false negative. We always advise women to wait a few more days and retest or seek advice from a healthcare provider if they get a negative result, but think that you might still be pregnant. The accuracy of the test can be affected by certain factors due to the unique characteristics of every woman’s body. Researchers estimate that up to 5% of home pregnancy tests give a false negative result.
Overall, home pregnancy tests provide a convenient and confidential way to determine if you are pregnant. With proper use and follow-up care, they can help you make important decisions about your health and wellbeing.
Photo by Zoom Baby
This was last updated in July 2023.