Two cortisol tests on orange background.

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Stressed? You’re not alone. A 2021 report from the American Psychological Association found that 84 percent of U.S. adults reported feeling emotions associated with prolonged stress since the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Stress can be attributed, in part, to cortisol, which is known as the stress hormone. Cortisol is produced by the adrenal glands, which sit on top of your kidneys, and is one of the hormones responsible for the fight-or-flight response.

Your body releases cortisol when it’s stressed. High stress levels over long periods of time can result in high cortisol levels, which can have a negative impact on your health, according to a 2018 study. Excessive or deficient amounts of cortisol may also be linked with adrenal or pituitary gland disorders.

The American Heart Association released a scientific statement that highlighted how psychological health, such as stress, affects heart and brain health. The statement cited studies that found that work-related stress, for example, resulted in a 40 percent increased risk of heart disease.

One way to manage stress is to test your cortisol production levels through an at-home cortisol test. While you shouldn’t self-diagnose a medical or mental health condition, taking these types of tests may provide key information you can discuss further with your doctor.

Cortisol is a stress hormone. Cortisol helps maintain blood pressure and blood sugar. It breaks down the various substances. Cortisol can help fight infections.

The two small glands that sit above your kidneys make cortisol.

If your cortisol levels are too high, you may experience symptoms such as fatigue, There are headaches., and insomnia. If left unaddressed, a disorder in your adrenal glands can be serious.

If your cortisol production levels are too high or too low, you can take a home cortisol test.

A sign of an adrenal glands disorder is too much or little cortisol. These disorders are related.

If you want to check your cortisol levels before going to your doctor, you can use at- home cortisol tests.

Cortisol levels can be high or low throughout the day. They are the highest when you wake up in the morning, and then decrease as the day goes on.

Most at- home cortisol tests require you to collect a sample in the morning. Others may ask if you collect a sample at a few points.

“Depending on the doctor’s opinion, you may be told to take the test at a certain point in the day.”

The collection methods for at- home cortisol tests are different. Some require a blood sample, while others use saliva or urine. The instructions for the test should be followed.

After you send your sample, you can expect to get the cortisol test results in a few days or a couple of weeks.

“Depending on the symptoms you are experiencing, you may want to take an at- home cortisol test. If you have too much cortisol you may experience symptoms of Cushing’s syndrome, and if you have too little cortisol you may experience symptoms of Addison’s disease.”

Low or high cortisol?

Symptoms that may indicate low or high cortisol levels include:

  • fatigue
  • There are headaches.
  • Difficult concentrating
  • Weight loss or gain.
  • Weakness in the muscles.
  • “Is it possible that I’m Irrisponsible?”
  • high blood pressure..
  • low blood sugar.

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, you should consider testing your cortisol levels.

An at- home cortisol test can be used to understand how your body responds to stress.

If you have been diagnosed with a disease, your doctor may recommend testing your cortisol levels.

“Common symptoms of Cushing’s syndrome include:”

  • high blood pressure..
  • high blood sugar.
  • Weakness in the muscles.
  • “It’s obese.”

Common symptoms of the disease include:

  • fatigue
  • weight loss
  • There is a lot of diarrhea.
  • nausea
  • low blood pressure.

You should keep in mind that when choosing an at- home cortisol test.

  • The method you are using.
  • The collection process is easy.
  • How informative the results are.

We made a lot of considerations when choosing the best cortisol tests.

We read a lot of research studies and read lots of reviews.

Pricing guide

Some insurance plans will cover the cost of at- home cortisol tests. The prices listed reflect out-of-pocket costs.

  • $ = under $100
  • $$ = $100–$150
  • $$$ = over $150

Best overall


  • Price: $
  • Collection method: blood
  • Results: 5 days

LetsGetChecked can help you test your cortisol levels in the comfort of your own home. The company requires a finger-prick to collect a blood sample for its cortisol test.

You need to link your test to you when it goes through the testing process after you have ordered and received it.

The sample must be collected in a certain time period. On the same day, Monday through Thursday, it was back. It is important to follow instructions to ensure accuracy of the test.

The day before you collect your sample, participating in intense physical activity can increase your cortisol levels.

A team of nurses is available to help with the collection process and review your results with a team of physicians. Customer reviews say the process went smoothly because of the clinical support.

LetsGetChecked is a program that you can learn more about.


  • There is support available to understand results.
  • Only tests for cortisol hormone are targeted.


  • If you are not comfortable with blood, it is not suitable.

Use code HEALTHLINE25 for 25% off.

Best for sleep and stress management


  • Price: $$$
  • Collection method: urine
  • Results: within days

“Those who may be experiencing difficulties with their sleep cycle and stress management can use Everlywell’s at- home cortisol test.”

The test measures cortisol, melatonin, and creatinine. The hormones contribute to your sleep cycle.

The urine sample measures hormones at four different times in the day. This will give you more information about how your body works throughout the day. If your cortisol shows an elevation in the afternoon, that could be a sign of stress in your day.

“The process of taking the at- home cortisol test was easy to do, according to reviews on Everlywell’s website. Some customers appreciate that they could use the results to communicate with their doctor.”

You can learn more about Everlywell.


  • If you are unsure which hormone is causing your symptoms, you can take a test for multiple hormones.
  • saliva may be better for some users.
  • Fast turn around for results.


  • It requires several samples to get results.

Best for budget


  • Price: $
  • Collection method: saliva
  • Results: 3 weeks

“Verisana makes it easy to check your cortisol levels. The at- home cortisol test is great for people who don’t want to spend a lot of money.”

You will receive your test in 5 to 7 days. Verisana has a test that analyzes the morning values of cortisol. You will get results to your email in 3 weeks.

The tests listed in this article are held to a certain degree of quality standards and regulations, which means they are used in this article.

“Verisana doesn’t work with insurance companies. The company claims that their prices are usually lower than the out-of-pocket costs if you are tested in person.”


  • saliva is tested, which may be easier than a blood sample.
  • One of the cheapest picks on the list.


  • The time it takes to turn around is longer than other top picks.
  • “Doesn’t use certified labs.”

At-home test Price Collection method Results
LetsGetChecked under $100 blood 5 days
Everlywell over $150 urine within days
Verisana under $100 saliva 3 weeks

A cortisol value in a blood sample is between 5 and 25 mcg/dL.

The time of the test and the clinical context are some of the factors that may affect results.

A healthcare professional can explain your results to you.

It is important to consider the following factors when choosing an at- home cortisol test.

  • You prefer the collection method (blood, urine, or saliva).
  • The estimated time to get results and whether you want them quickly.
  • Your budget.
  • Flexible savings account or health savings account are available.
  • “The company’s legitimacy and reputation are important.”
  • The company uses certified labs.
  • Customer reviews and feedback.

While home testing is a convenient method for checking your cortisol, it may be best to see a doctor first if you’re experiencing severe symptoms of possible low or high cortisol. These may include sudden, unexplained weight changes, darkened areas of your skin, or significant changes in mood.

If you take an at- home cortisol test and get abnormal results, you should see a doctor. They can order follow-up tests and determine an appropriate treatment plan. If you are currently being treated for a disease, it is important to communicate your test results to your doctor.

If you get normal cortisol results at home but still feel unwell, you should make an appointment with your doctor to determine what is causing your symptoms.

Are the tests accurate?

The cortisol test results are processed in the same labs that the doctor uses, so they are generally accurate.

The type of test and collection method can affect the accuracy. If you receive your results and are unsure if they are accurate, most test providers will review them with you.

If you need more guidance or insight after taking the test, it is a good idea to talk with a doctor.

Are at-home cortisol tests better or worse than in-person tests?

“A blood sample is used to test cortisol in a doctor’s office. Most cortisol tests are collected through saliva, but some may use urine or blood.”

“Getting tested at a doctor’s office or hospital is more accurate than a self-collected test. An at- home cortisol test is an efficient way to gather information before visiting a doctor.”

Are the tests covered by insurance?

“Most at- home test providers don’t work with insurance companies. Some providers, like Everlywell, accept payments through the health savings account.”

If you want to find out if your health insurance will cover an at- home cortisol test, you should reach out to them directly.

Are there any risks to taking an at-home cortisol test?

cortisol testing at home comes with few risks. There is a chance of bleeding or bruised if the test uses a blood sample. The tests are generally accurate, but there is a chance that you may get incorrect results due to sample collection or shipping.

This type of testing is not a substitute for a visit with your doctor.

How often should you test your cortisol?

“If you have a diagnosis of either Cushing syndrome or Addison disease, you don’t need to test your cortisol levels.”

A doctor will give you instructions on how to take a test, when to take it, and how often you need to be tested.

They recommend testing multiple times over a few days since cortisol levels vary.

How do you prepare for a cortisol test?

It depends on the test you are taking and what your doctor tells you to do.

“If you are getting a salivary test, don’t eat, drink or brush your teeth. It is important to be well hydrated when you are getting a blood test.”

Try to relax and get some rest. Your doctor may ask you to avoid physical activity the day before the test.

If you are experiencing stress, checking your cortisol levels can be helpful.

cortisol tests are a convenient way to monitor your stress and adjust accordingly If you are experiencing symptoms, it is best to talk with a doctor.