9 of the best pregnancy tests

We pick out the easiest, most accurate pregnancy tests in a range of different prices, as recommended by real women

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Taking a pregnancy test can be a hugely exciting, nerve-wracking and emotional time – and that positive or negative result means a lot!

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There are so many pregnancy tests out there, so how do you know which one will be the most accurate?

And do you really have to spend a lot of money, or are the ones from the discount retailers just as good?

How do pregnancy tests work?

Pregnancy tests detect the pregnancy hormone hCG (human chorionic gonadotrophin) in your urine. As your pregnancy develops, the levels of this hormone increase.

The concentration of hCG in a non-pregnant woman is usually 5mIU. At the time of the missed period the concentration rises to about 100mIU.

So if a test says it has a sensitivity of 20mIU, that means it can detect pregnancy earlier than one with a sensitivity of 100mIU.

Although there are many early pregnancy test out there, which claim to give you an answer up to 5 days before your period is due, the advice from most doctors, midwives and fertility experts is to wait until the day after your period is due if you possibly can, for the best chance of getting an accurate result.

How soon can I take a pregnancy test?

Our MFM mums haven’t held back in their opinions on which pregnancy tests are the best, and have shared their top tips and recommendations in our forum.

These are 9 of the best pregnancy tests and where to buy them…

first vue

1. Poundland Firstvue Pregnancy Test Strips 2-pack, £1

mIU sensitivity: 20mIU

Time it takes to show result: 5 minutes

With two strips in the box, this is a cheap and cheerful test that doesn’t break the bank if you want to buy in bulk and test regularly.

Completely different to the easy-to-grip Clearblue Pregnancy Test, these are thin, wand-less strips, so work best when held in a wee sample. The strips are capable of detecting hCG hormone levels of 20mIU and if you use them on the day after your period is due, they’re 99% accurate.

Our MFM home tester says: “I used the Poundland strips when trying to conceive and the results were always very accurate.” There’s a 5-minute wait time for the lines to clearly show, so they’re not quite as speedy as the Lloyds Pharmacy Early Pregnancy Test. Considering the low price though, they offer a reliable result.

Available from: Poundland and Amazon

clear-and-simple

2. Healthpoint Clear & Simple Pregnancy Test Sticks 2pk, £1

mIU sensitivity: 20mIU

Time it takes to show result: 5 minutes

Similar to the Poundland Firstvue Pregnancy Strips, this test is a purse-friendly twin-pack with 20mIU sensitivity and a 5-minute show time.

The Clear & Simple Pregnancy Test Sticks do have a plastic wand, meaning they’re easier to handle than strip cheapies and can be used in your wee stream. Testing on the day of your missed period – one day after your period is due, gives 99% accuracy.

Our MFM home tester says: “I had a negative result with the Clear & Simple Pregnancy Test when I used it two days before my period was due. I tested again though two days later and got a very strong positive.”

Available from: Wilko, Amazon and Chemist

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3. Cassanovum Early Detection Pregnancy Test 5-pack, £4.49

mIU sensitivity: 10mIU

Time it takes to show result: Up to 10 minutes

The Cassanovum Early Detection Pregnancy Test is an ultra-sensitive stick that can potentially detect a positive result in the 6 days before you miss your period.

To see a very clear second line, it is advised to wait until the day of your missed period, like with the SureSign Pregnancy Test. These tests can be used mid stream, or you dip the stick into a wee sample. With a possible wait of up to 10 minutes, it’s a much slower result time than others, but the lines are clear to see when they appear.

As this is a bumper box of 5 tests, you get more in a pack than similar early pregnancy sticks such as the First Response test, making it good value for money when you want to re-test.

Available from: Amazon

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4. SureSign Pregnancy Test 2-pack, £4.99

mIU sensitivity: 15mIU

Time it takes to show result: 3 minutes

Like the Cassanovum Early Detection Pregnancy Test, you can use the SureSign Pregnancy Test by either dipping the wand into a sample or holding the tip in your wee stream for at least 3 seconds.

It has a 15mIU sensitivity level, but only a 64% accuracy if used in the 5 days before your period is due. This rises to 99% accuracy the day after your missed period, making it a similar choice to the Lloyds Pharmacy Early Pregnancy Test, but slightly cheaper.

Our home tester says: “With the SureSign tests, the positive control line was really faint at first but gradually got stronger when I tested again over the next few days.”

Available from: SureSign, Amazon and ChemistDirect

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5. Lloyds Pharmacy Early Pregnancy Test 2-pack, £6.19

mIU sensitivity: 25mIU

Time it takes to show result: 3 minutes

You can test up to four days before your period is due with the Lloyds Pharmacy Early Pregnancy Test, but it’s worth noting that the earlier you test, the accuracy decreases – to 53% on day minus four.

Our home tester says: “This is a mid-priced test that gave me a positive result on the day my period was due. If I’d tested negative any earlier though, I would have checked again to be sure of the accuracy – good job that there are two in the pack!”

Compared to the Clear & Simple Pregnancy Test Sticks with almost the same sensitivity, this test does give a slightly speedier result. The line/lines appear in one-3 minutes.

Available from: Lloyds Pharmacy

first-response

6. First Response Early Result Twin Pregnancy Test, £10.49

mIU sensitivity: 6.3mlU

Time it takes to show result: 3 minutes

Despite being more expensive than the similarly sensitive Cassanovum Early Detection Pregnancy Test, and the One Step strips, the First Response Early Result Twin Pregnancy Test is a favourite for it’s reliable early detection of the hCG hormone.

These can be used six days sooner than a missed period with 99% accuracy even 3 days before your expected period.

Our home tester says: “I swear by the First Response Early Response test. I would say they’re not reliable quite as early as they say (that’s 5 days before your period is due), but definitely a few days before, and they’re very accurate.” The big oval window makes this test easy to read too.

Available from: Boots, Superdrug, Amazon

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7. Clearblue Pregnancy Test With Weeks Indicator, Kit Of 2 Digital Tests, £13.99

mIU sensitivity: 25mIU

Time it takes to show result: 1-3 minutes

There’s no doubting the Clearblue Digital Pregnancy Test as it clearly spells out ‘pregnant’, or ‘not pregnant’. Unlike any strip test, it also tells you how many weeks along you are if you’re unsure when you conceived.

You can test up to 5 days before your missed period, but if you do, it’s recommended that you use your first morning wee. From the day after your period is due it has 99% accuracy at any time. Despite having two tests in the box it is considerably more expensive than control line tests, but appeals for its quick, clear result in under 3 minutes.

Our home tester says that: “the digital Clear Blue test is the way forward. I looked at the ones that have lines but got confused just thinking about it!”

Available from: Boots, Tesco, Amazon

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8. One Step 20 x Highly Sensitive Pregnancy Test Strip, £2.95

mIU sensitivity: 10mIU

Time it takes to show result: 5 minutes

A simple, fuss-free strip test that’s similar to the Poundland Firstvue Pregnancy Test Strips, but with higher sensitivity levels.

The 10mIU strips can be vertically dipped in a wee sample up to six days before your period, and show one coloured line for a negative result and two lines for a positive on the narrow strip.

They’re flimsy and can be fiddly to handle without a wand but the lack of plastic casing does make them a planet-friendly option. They’re also cheaper than the Cassanovum Early Detection Pregnancy Test with the same mIU.

Our home tester says: “I was a compulsive tester when trying to conceive so I found the jumbo 20-pack of One Step strips a very cost-effective way to keeping checking!”

Available from: Amazon, HomehealthUK

clearblue

9. Clearblue Rapid Detection Pregnancy Test 2 Pack, £10.99

mIU sensitivity: 25mIU

Time it takes to show result: 1-3 minutes

The sturdy plastic case and sleek design of the Clearblue Pregnancy Test, means they’re easy to hold mid stream.

There’s also a big spongy tip that changes colour as it absorbs – count to 5 when you see this happening. The results window of this test is very different from the First Response and SureSign tests. There are two windows where lines appear, and it’s only positive when a third line crosses the line in the larger window.

Our home tester says: “I did have to go back and look at the instructions because I’m so used to two lines meaning pregnancy!”

As the test claims, the result is almost immediate with a 3-minute wait time being the maximum. Use from the day of your period for 99% accuracy.

Available from: Boots, Amazon, Superdrug

Why not head over to our MFM chat forum to share your experiences and get advice from other women on pregnancy tests, TTC, and ovulation?

We’ve got loads of friendly posts on:

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MadeForMums product articles are independent, honest and provide advice you can have confidence in. Sometimes, we earn revenue through affiliate (click-to-buy) links. However we never allow this to influence our coverage. Our reviews and articles are written by parents who are professional journalists, and we also include feedback from our parent community and industry experts.

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