Updated November 20, 2019
What are Urine LH Test Strips?
You may know the basics of ovulation luteinizing hormone (LH) urine test kits: You pee in a cup, dip the test strip in the urine for a few seconds, and wait to see one line vs two lines. One line means you are not currently ovulating soon so hold your horses; two lines means your body has released a surge of LH and you are about to ovulate- saddle up!
Best Budget: Pregmate Ovulation Test Strips
- Simple, accurate, predicts up to a 2-day fertility window
- Best overall value, nearly cheapest on the market.
- Great customer reviews and responsive customer service
Best Premium: Clear Blue Fertility Monitor
- Predicts the longest fertility window of any urine test kit
- Monitor tells you when to test your urine
- Most expensive urine ovulation prediction product sold.
Who are they for?
LH test kits are best for healthy women with regular menstrual cycles between 21-42 days. Women with PCOS would be best to avoid using any ovulation prediction method that involves peeing on a stick (try an ovulation wearable instead like ovusense) because the test can be easily confused into thinking you are always about to ovulate, or confused and think you don’t ovulate at all due to higher baseline levels of LH than women without PCOS. There is also a select few medical conditions and medications that will give incorrect readings so get in touch with your doctor if that is you before you rely on LH test kits as your method to time intercrouse.
Are they Accurate?
All the test kits I reviewed (even the budget ones) have a 99%+ accuracy of doing what they are supposed to do, measure LH to 25 ml/ML, which research has shown to be the range you want your ovulation kits to detect 1 . However, that does not mean they will work perfectly for everyone, every time; one study of women found 7% of all cycles to show a false positive interpretation of the LH surge 2. They are good, but not perfect.
(pro tip: these are the cheapest urine pee cups I could find. If you get pregnant before you use all the urine cups, congratulations to you, and now you can use the non-used urine cups to make jello shots! Non-alcoholic for the pregnant lady of course).
Difference Between Budget and Premium Test Kits
There are only two kinds of urine ovulation test kits:
1-Budget urine test kits. These measure ONLY the LH surge and give you a “peak” fertility window of a 1-2 days.
2-Premium urine test kits. These measure both LH and estrogen, which give you a fertility window of 4-6 days. Clear Blue is the only manufacturer of these premium kits.
There are two other major differences between the budget and premium test kits. First, premium test kits are all digital, so no interpreting of the two lines is needed. Second, the budget test strips have a much more flexible schedule on what time of day you can test, whereas some of Clear Blue products are much more rigid and have small windows during the day when you must test.
What To Buy, Budget Or Premium?
I would suggest the budget test strips over the premium test strip option for most people. They are cheap, accurate, have much better user reviews than premium test strips, and are much more flexible when you can test your urine. It is true, budget test strips predict fewer fertile days than premium ones, but the data is not clear on how much that will affect your chances of getting pregnant, regardless of what the marketers may tell you.
I would suggest the Clear Blue Fertiliy Monitor for individuals that are having sex ONLY a few days a month when trying to get pregnant, are fine following a much more rigid testing schedule, and can afford it.
Budget Test Kits, How To!
The manufacturer directions listed on the budget test kits are generally easy to follow such as how long to dip the strip in the urine and how long to wait before you read the results. There are a few exceptions, though. Many test kits state to start testing your urine on day 10 or 11 of your cycle (note: the first day of your period is cycle day 1). However, research has shown that your best chance of catching your fertility window is to start testing your urine on cycle day 71 .
There is also some debate about what time of day to test your urine. One recent study found that testing your urine in the evenings was slightly better at identifying your peak fertility when compared to testing in the morning because morning testing is more prone to giving a false peak reading 3 . With the cost of the budget test strips being so low, you can test both morning and evening, heck even 3 times a day and you are still not approaching the cost of even the cheapest Clear Blue products.
Pregmate gets my nod as best budget because of slightly better user ratings, nearly the lowest per strip cost, and decent customer service. However, there were no glaring differences between these 3 budget strips below. They all are very well reviewed on Amazon, and the reviews passed the fakespot/reviewmeta test to see if the reviews were authentic. I looked at other budget test strips from the following brands as well : Easy @ home, mommed, medimama, and first response. I excluded them from the table below for a variety of reasons such as cost, user reviews, or customer service.
|Cost per strip||20-80 cents||19-23 cents||30-40 cents|
|Reviews||Best amazon reviews (4.5 out of 5 stars) based on over 2000 user reviews||Well reviewed product (4.2 out of 5 stars) with over 500 user reviews||Well reviewed (4.1 out of 5 stars).|
|Customer service||Timely response via email (no phone number).||I assume can contact via amazon, no direct way to contact company via email or phone||No response to multiple emails. Phone operator was friendly but could not answer my questions and referred me to email (which never got answered)|
|Fun fact!||Pregmate had an instagram giveaway where they gave away Clear Blue ovulation test strips, and not their own. It would seem odd if Coke gave away Pepsi during a promotion, but maybe Pregmate thought the Clear Blue strips were not worth keeping for themselves!||Besides ovulation kits, Clinic guard also sells an electronic lice comb, which sounds sort of scary and something you need to be 21 years old to buy. Does the lice comb actually zap the lice?||I literally could not find anything fun or interesting about this company. They are a large, boring, global Chinese bio tech company that likely makes a quality product.|
Premium Urine test kits
Clear Blue is the only premium brand of home ovulation urine tests on the market, and makes the only digital ovulation tests currently sold (they have 4). First Response, a company very popular for making home pregnancy tests, used to sell a digital ovulation test, but it was poorly reviewed, complicated and expensive. My guess it was pulled from shelves and it is getting a reboot. All that to say, producing an accurate, user friendly, digital ovulation test is likely not easy. Judging by the size of Clear bBlue’s research facility alone, the ovulation pee stick business has been very good to them over the last 20 years and they have the resources to put together a polished product.
Clear Blue may have polished products, but they are also the clear leader in confusing names with many products that kind of do the same thing. Are you ready? There is the Clear Blue ovulation test, the Clear Blue fertility monitor with touch screen, the Clear Blue digital ovulation test, the Clear Blue connected ovulation test System, and the Clear Blue advanced digital ovulation test.
Yikes! Let me simplify it for you: Clear Blue sells 3 ovulation test kits that measure your LH and Estrogen and give you a 4-6 day fertility window, and two budget kits that measure only LH and give you 1-2 day fertility window.
Because there is so much overlap in the Clear Blue line of products, only two of their products really make sense from a pricing point of view. For example, the clear blue digital ovulation test, which only gives you a fertility window of 2 days and measures LH only, costs MORE per strip than the Clear Blue connected ovulation test system that measures LH AND estrogen and gives you a 4 day fertility window. I don’t get it!
I’m sort of critical of Clear Blue in some ways, but I did find their customer service to be truly exceptional. For starters, they have a phone answered by a real live person who is very knowledgeable about the products they sell and a woman's cycle in general. If you do end up calling them, request to speak with Amnah. She was very knowledgeable about the Clear Blue product line and ovulation in general, and very patient with me and my never ending list of questions.
There are many nice features of the clear blue fertility monitor with touch screen. The monitor literally tells you on what days and time to test your urine, and it tracks your cycle for you. However, it earned my best premium for basically one reason: It gives you more chances to have intercourse around the time you are most fertile, up to 6 days a month, then any other urine test kit on the market. It is able to do this because the monitor is more sensitive than even the other Clear Blue products. .
You need to purchase the monitor and strips (comes in a pack of 30 strips) separately which should last you about 3 months. The monitor itself is a serious financial investment but the nice thing is once you have purchased it, you only need to buy more replacement strips and not another monitor.
It’s not all roses though. Compared with the simplicity of using the budget strips, the monitor can seem overly complicated at times (the instruction booklet is 48 pages long!). I suggest watching the videos which are very well done, and do not hesitate to call clear blue when you get stuck. See page 5 of this for full limitations on use.
This is Clear Blue’s second best option, and is actually their cheapest per strip option at $1.50 per strip (this price includes the monitor). Like the Clear Blue fertility monitor, the Clear Blue connected ovulation test system measures both LH and Estrogen, and it aims to give you a 4 day ovulation window. I suggest this option for individuals who would like a little bit longer of a fertility window than that budget test strips, but don’t want to shell out legitimate money for the fertility monitor. I also suggest it for people that really dislike having to interpret the two lines on the budget test strips and want a digital reading.
The other main selling point of this ovulation predictor, is that it connects to a cell phone app via bluetooth. Like the fertility monitor, once connected to your cell phone the app tells you on what days and when to test your urine. Once tested, your test results are automatically uploaded to the app and it tracks your monthly cycle. However, you don’t need to use the app at all if you don’t want to, because you can still see your low, high, and peak fertility days on the holder you insert the test strip into. Of note, this test system only has a 3.1/ 5 amazon rating with a common complaint that people often get an error message and sometimes have to use 2-3 strips in a single day. The cost of multiple strips every day can add up quickly with the premium strips.