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The small, butterfly-shaped gland is located near the throat. Your body uses energy by using hormones. It plays a role in regulating your weight, body temperature, muscle strength, and mood.

Thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) is produced by the pituitary gland, situated at the base of the brain. When the pituitary gland releases TSH, it stimulates thyroid hormone production.

TSH tests are often performed to detect thyroid disorders, which affect about 20 million people in the United States.

If your TSH levels are too low or too high, this could be an under active thyroid.

A TSH test is a blood test used to see if the thyroid gland is functioning properly. It’s part of thyroid function testing to detect hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism, or other thyroid disorders.

The pituitary and thyroid are in a negative feedback loop.

The pituitary and the thyroid glands release more TSH when the thyroid is too small. The pituitary is trying to make more hormones in the thyroid. The pituitary gland releases less TSH when the thyroid is producing too much of it.

THe hormone is more stable than other hormones. Its levels are lowest in the afternoon and highest at night. The TSH test is a reliable tool for detecting hyperthyroidism because it is sensitive to small increases and decreases in free T4 hormone before it can be detected.

At-home thyroid tests are available as a convenient, cost-effective alternative to traditional in-office testing. At-home testing options usually require a blood sample collected via a finger prick.

What are free T4 and T3? Plus, other abbreviations to know

  • FT4: free thyroxine, a hormone that the thyroid produces; “free” refers to the fact that its particles do not attach to other particles
  • FT3: free triiodothyronine, a hormone that the thyroid produces and that doesn’t attach itself to other particles in the bloodstream
  • TSH: thyroid-stimulating hormone
  • TPO antibodies (TPOab): thyroid peroxidase antibodies. Thyroid peroxidase is an enzyme that the thyroid gland makes; high levels of antibodies for this enzyme can reflect a thyroid or autoimmune issue.
  • Tgbn: thyroglobulin, a protein made in the thyroid gland

If you are experiencing symptoms of hyperthyroidism, your doctor may recommend a TSH test. A TSH test can be used to detect a condition in people who are not experiencing symptoms.

Hypothyroidism symptoms

  • weight gain
  • fatigue
  • It is a problem of the colon.
  • Depression.
  • hair loss
  • Slow heart rate.
  • The hand or tingling pain is on the surface of the hand.
  • Period that is irregular.
  • muscle ache
  • Is it possible that you have impaired memory?
  • It was cold.
  • Dry skin.

Hyperthyroidism symptoms

  • weight loss
  • fatigue
  • rapid heart rate
  • anxiety
  • Goiter is a large thyroid.
  • There are tremors.
  • Period that is irregular.
  • bowel movements frequently
  • It is heat intolerance.
  • excessive sweating.
  • Difficult sleeping
  • Sex drive is low.

A blood test is usually required for a TSH test. A healthcare professional will draw blood from your arm.

The home TSH tests are different. There are no needles involved in the small blood sample. You can self-administered the tests at home.

“There are no special things to do for a test. You don’t have to fast or avoid beverages.”

“Traditional blood tests for TSH levels don’t require much preparation. If you are getting other bloodwork done in addition to a TSH test, your doctor may require you to fast.”

The results of the test can be interfered with by some medications. If you take any medications, you should check with your doctor to see if you should stop taking them before the test. Unless your doctor tells you to stop, take your medication.

The normal range of TSH levels is between 0.4 and 4.0. The range may be narrowed to less than 3.0 units per liter for people who are already being treated for a thyroid disorder.

The results of the TSH show whether the thyroid is active or not.

  • overactive: lower than 0.4 milli-international units per liter
  • normal: 0.4 to 4.0 milli-international units per liter
  • underactive: greater than 4.0 milli-international units per liter

If the test results are outside the normal range, medication may be needed.

At-home testing tends to be more convenient and affordable than a visit to the laboratory. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) acknowledges the benefits of at-home tests, though it doesn’t recommend replacing periodic doctor visits with them.

We looked at pricing, insurance coverage, and online reviews to find the best at- home TSH tests. We made sure the companies listed offer discreet packaging, patient confidentiality, and medical support.

A note on price

We worked hard to choose the best at-home TSH tests that will fit your budget. Some of these tests you may be able to pay for with a flexible savings account (FSA) or health savings account (HSA).

  • $ = under $100
  • $$ = $100 – $175
  • $$$ = $175 and over

Best medical support


  • Price: $
  • Insurance coverage: doesn’t accept health insurance, but you can pay with a flexible savings account (FSA) or health savings account (HSA)
  • Results: within 2–5 days

The medical support of traditional in-office visits is what LetsGetChecked offers, but with a team of nurses available 24/7. The company offers two different at- home testing options for the thyroid. Both check for the TSH.

You will provide a small blood sample after you receive a box. To collect the sample, follow the instructions to safely pierce your finger. You can send your sample to the lab and get your online results in 2 to 5 days.

LetsGetChecked thyroid test pros

  • T4 and T3 are free for the test.
  • The test also measures the thyroglobulin and peroxidase antibodies.
  • Medical professionals are licensed to review results.
  • CAP accredited US laboratories are certified by the CLIA.
  • Can purchase a test or a subscription.

LetsGetChecked thyroid test cons

  • It is slightly more expensive than other options.
  • Blood sample collection can be messy.
  • Testing does not include health assessment services.

LetsGetChecked is a program that you can learn more about.

Most comprehensive


  • Price: $99 for nonmembers or $24.99 for members
  • Insurance coverage: doesn’t accept health insurance, but you can pay with an HSA or FSA
  • Results: within 5 days

The Everlywell test checks for the three main hormones, including TSH levels and thyroid antibodies. You can collect a blood sample, return it, and view your results online within days.

Everlywell works with CLIA certified labs for quality laboratory testing and independent board certified doctors to ensure that ordered tests are relevant to your health and wellness. A doctor will also review the results of your tests.

Everlywell thyroid test pros

  • Measures free T3 and T4 as well as the TPO.
  • The labs are certified by the CLIA.
  • The test results are The review was done by a board certified physician..

Everlywell thyroid test cons

  • The website may have discounts available.
  • The test results may take longer than they should.
  • Reviewers say they would like more information about their results.
  • Reviewers say it was difficult to get the 10 spots.

You can learn more about Everlywell here.

Best for specialized care

Paloma Health

  • Price: $99
  • Insurance coverage: doesn’t accept insurance for services and testing; but you may receive reimbursement for consultations, and your prescriptions may be covered by insurance
  • Results: within 5 days

Paloma Health has a specialty in thyroid disorders. The company offers a variety of services for people with a condition called hypothalmia. The at- home test covers the four main types of TPO. You can add testing for T3 levels at checkout.

The finger test can be done at home in a few minutes. Your results are analyzed by a certified laboratory and reviewed by a doctor.

You can expect your results to arrive in 5 days. You will receive guidance on what to do next.

Paloma Health thyroid test pros

  • Measures free T3 and T4.
  • Adding a reverse T3 test to your existing vitamins D and T3 test is an option.
  • The labs are certified by the CLIA.
  • The review was done by a board certified physician.
  • Guidance on what to do next is provided through personalized explanations.

Paloma Health thyroid test cons

  • Some reviewers say that the results took longer than 5 days to get back.
  • There are many sales pop-ups on the website.
  • Some reviewers complain about the customer service.

Most detailed results

ZRT Laboratory

  • Price: $175–$349
  • Insurance coverage: bills select health insurance companies as an out-of-network provider
  • Results: within 5–7 days

The ZRT Laboratory has the most expensive test we have seen, but it is comprehensive and the results are detailed.

There are three tests that can be used to check the TSH levels, two blood test kit options and one dried urine test kit. It can be difficult to know which test to take.

The two blood test kits use a finger to collect a sample. Your results should be returned within 7 days of your sample arriving at the lab. The results include graphs showing your hormones levels and an evaluation of your hormones.

ZRT Laboratory thyroid test pros

  • The essential Thyroid option measures the following: TPO, T3 and T4
  • The elite option measures the following: T4 and T3 free.
  • Detailed results from clinical consultants are included.
  • The method of extract does not require you to stop taking hormones.
  • works with some insurance companies

ZRT Laboratory thyroid test cons

  • The most expensive test on this list.
  • It can be difficult to choose test options.
  • Reviewers report longer wait times for results.

Price Insurance coverage What the test measures
LetsGetChecked $99–$119 doesn’t accept health insurance, but you can pay with an HSA or FSA TSG, T4, and T3
Everlywell $99 for nonmembers or $24.99 for members doesn’t accept health insurance, but you can pay with an HSA or FSA TSH, T3, T4, and thyroid peroxidase antibodies (TPO)
Paloma Health $99 health insurance isn’t accepted for services and tests, but you may receive reimbursement for consultations, and your prescriptions may be covered by insurance; HSA or FSA is also accepted TSH, T3, T4, and TPO with options to add vitamin D and reverse T3
ZRT Laboratory $175–$349 bills select health insurance companies as out-of-network providers TSH, T3, T4, and TPO with options to add free T3, free T4, thyroglobulin (Tgbn), iodine, bromine, selenium, arsenic, cadmium, mercury, and creatinine

Health insurance coverage for at- home TSH tests is very similar to how they are performed.

“If you don’t like taking your blood, you can do an at- home TSH test, which requires a simple finger tip.”

Most at- home test kits accept payment for health insurance and other benefits. Some health insurance providers may be billed as out-of-network providers, which may help reduce the cost.

The prices and time it takes to receive your results are what tend to differ between at- home tests.

Depending on the type of test and membership status to certain companies, most can be as low as $24.99 or as high as $349.

You can expect to get your results within 5 days, but some take as little as 2 days or as long as 7 days.

You can send your test results to your doctor.

If you have a history of a thyroid disorder or are currently being treated for one, you should see your doctor if your results are out of the range of 0.5 to 3.0 units per liter.

If you have never been treated for a thyroid disorder, you should see a doctor if your results are higher than the normal range.

What should your TSH levels be?

Normal TSH ranges vary by age and sex. The typical range for TSH levels is between 0.45 and 4.5 milliunits per liter (mU/L).

High levels of TSH may indicate an under active thyroid.

When should TSH levels be checked?

If you have symptoms or a history of thyroid disorders, your doctor may recommend a TSH test.

If the test shows an imbalance, you will likely be prescribed medication to get your levels back to normal.

“If you don’t have a history of thyroid disorders, your doctor may only recommend a test if you are experiencing symptoms. Older adults are recommended for testing.”

Are TSH tests accurate?

The accuracy of the tests varies. Some factors may affect your results, such as an illness, medications, supplements, and pregnant.

The recommendation of the endocrinologists is to test the TSH twice to confirm hyperthyroidism. T4 and T3 levels can vary more than one day, while the hormone TSH is more stable.

An at- home test should be followed by a conversation with a health professional and a lab test to confirm the results.

If you have symptoms or a history of thyroid disorders in your family, consider testing your TSH levels. This usually requires a blood test done in person at a doctor’s office or laboratory.

Most at- home tests require a small blood sample to be collected. Doctors review at- home tests.

Lacey Bourassa is a health, wellness, and beauty writer based in Southern California. She holds a BA in English. Her work has appeared in digital publications like Livestrong, Verywell, Business Insider, Eat This Not That, and others. When she’s not writing, Lacey is likely pursuing her other interests: skin care, plant-based cooking, pilates, and traveling. You can keep up with her by visiting her website or her blog.

Johanna Sorrentino is a writer, editor, and wayfarer. Her appetite for empowering information and great storytelling is matched only by her appetite for cheese and chocolate. Learn more about her at johannasorrentino.com.