These Are The Most Reliable Home Pregnancy Tests

Photographed by Ashley Armitage.
Roaming the aisles of a drugstore to buy a pregnancy test can be overwhelming. They're not exactly cheap, and all the boxes seem pretty much identical. Not to mention, you're extremely anxious because you're about to determine whether or not you're pregnant. It's a big deal!
Understanding what an OTC pregnancy test actually does might make using them seem less daunting. Pregnancy tests are designed to pick up a hormone called human chorionic gonadotropin, or hCG, Caitlin McAllister, MD, chief Ob/Gyn resident at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital told Refinery29. When a person is pregnant, hCG is secreted in their blood and, later on, their urine — and that's why you pee on the test sticks.
Most pregnancy tests claim to be 99% accurate. But no test is perfect, because there's always a chance that people won't use it 100% correctly. In theory, peeing on a stick is pretty straightforward, but in a 2008 study, 1 in 4 women misread a line on a pregnancy test. Another study from 2009 found that most pregnancy-test instructions are too difficult to read and understand. So it's not always foolproof.
Given that there's room for error, we found the most accurate, easy-to-use pregnancy tests that you can buy at the drug store. And if you still don't trust a fancy stick to tell you whether or not you're pregnant, give your doctor a call — they'll administer a test in the office, and help you figure out what's next.
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First Response Early Result Pregnancy Test

Why it's great: In a 2011 study, this particular test detected 97% of pregnancies on the first day of a missed period. The other two brands tested, EPT and ClearBlue, only picked up on 54% and 64% of pregnancies, respectively. Plus, the stick is curved, which makes holding it while you pee a lot less acrobatic.

Price: $19.99 for two
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First Response Gold Digital Pregnancy Test

Why it's great: This digital pregnancy test reads "yes" or "no," when you pee on it. So even if you're harried and nervous about taking the test, it's pretty impossible to misinterpret your result.

Price: $20.99 for two
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Clearblue Digital Test With Smart Countdown

Why it's great: There's a timer bar on the stick of this pregnancy test, so you can see how much longer you need to wait for it to display your results. It's also very easy to read, and will say, "pregnant" or "not pregnant." But if you're in a state of disbelief, you can try four more times; there are five tests in the box, which means these are the most affordable on the list, too.

Price: $24.99 for five
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EPT Digital Early Pregnancy Test

Why it's great: If you prefer digital tests, this is another smart option. It uses an hourglass icon to indicate that it's working, and also clearly reads, "pregnant" or "not pregnant," so there's really no interpretation required.

Price: $23.49 for two