The Best Places to Buy Rapid-Result COVID Tests Online

published Feb 2, 2022
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
Covid-19 over the counter rapid tests on countertop: BinaxNOW, on/go, and iHelath brands
Credit: Thao Thai

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Parents and caregivers are no strangers to the COVID-19 classroom exposure notifications. Last week alone my son’s classroom had them four out of the five days. We have at-risk family members we like to spend time with, so having a few kits on hand can be helpful even when my son has remained asymptomatic. 

Why Home Tests Are Essential to Making Good Decisions

“Home tests are good for making immediate decisions,” says Mark Sawyer, MD, FAAP, and infectious disease specialist at Rady Children’s Hospital. “If someone has symptoms, regardless of their home test results, they should stay away from others (e.g. not go to school or family gatherings).” 

But even if you don’t have symptoms, home tests can be helpful to have on hand. “If your home test is positive, you know you have COVID and can take the necessary precautions to protect the rest of the family and the community,” Dr. Sawyer explains, 

With mitigation strategies in place, such as wearing masks and social distancing, our household was able to avoid COVID-19 — until we weren’t. After the third week in a row of near-constant exposure notifications, my son showed mild symptoms (fever and runny nose). Our school required either a 10-day quarantine period or a negative test result before returning to school. Our school provided each student with a BinaxNow box (with two tests) but that was not enough. 

When to Use an At-Home COVID-19 Test

According to Dr. Gwen Murphy, Ph.D., MPH, and Executive Director of Epidemiology for LetsGetChecked, there’s an optimum time to test after exposure. “It takes an average of two to five days for people to develop the infection after exposure, so testing too soon is likely to not pick up the infection,” Dr. Murphy explains. “If you know you have been exposed, the best thing to do is to isolate and monitor your symptoms. If you have access to [at-home] antigen tests you could test repeatedly over a few days while isolating.”

And if you’re wondering when it’s best to use an at-home test vs a PCR test, she advises parents that the best test to use is the one that is most available to you. 

While at-home tests can help determine if you are positive if you have symptoms, they are not always as accurate for asymptomatic people. “Antigen tests are great, but they do not work as well as PCR tests in people with no symptoms, so if you are using antigen tests it is better to use them repeatedly over the course of a few days,” advises Dr. Murphy. 

Where to Buy At-Home COVID Tests

When shopping for at-home tests, there is no way to tell for certain if you have a faulty test. This is one reason it is a good idea to buy from a reputable online retailer. And, as Dr. Sawyer cautions us, “It is important that the test have FDA Emergency Use Authorization (EUA). This is usually indicated on the box but parents can also go to the FDA website to find a list of EUA home tests.” 

Currently, every household can receive four free at-home COVID-19 test kits from the government. You can order them here

If you want to have a few on hand for the inevitable exposure, here are five places you can buy COVID-19 at-home test kits online. Keep in mind that stock can fluctuate so check back frequently to see if stock is available and try to only order what you need to make sure there are enough for other families, too! Many retailers will limit how many you can purchase at once.

Our Recommendations for Online Retailers for Rapid-Result COVID-19 Tests

CVS Pharmacy

CVS Pharmacy currently carries several different over-the-counter at-home test kits. Including: 

QuickVue At Home OTC COVID-19 ($38.99, two tests per box); FlowFlex COVID-19 Antigen Test ($9.99); the Ellume COVID-19 Home Test ($38.99); BD Veritor At-Home COVID-19 Test Kit ($37.49, two tests per box) and the BinaxNow COVID-19 Antigen Rapid Self-Test ($23.99, two tests per box). At the time of this writing, the BinaxNow tests were completely out of stock online but may be available in-store. 

CVS also stocks a number of PCR tests, such as the Pixel by Labcorp COVID-19 PCR Test Home Collection Kit ($124.99). The at-home PCR tests are more expensive, usually, around $100 to $150, and require being sent away to a lab for results. 

A note about the Ellume: All of the at-home tests require either a nasal swab or saliva test. The Ellume also requires a smartphone app to get your results, so if you buy this test, be sure you download the app in advance. 


Walmart also stocks a number of at-home COVID-19 test kits for online purchase. They carry Abbott’s BinaxNow COVID-19 Antigen Rapid Self-Test ($19.88, two tests per box); On/Go COVID-19 Antigen Self-Test ($23.98, two tests per box);  Ellume COVID-19 Home Test ($34.99); iHealth COVID-19 Antigen Rapid Test ($17.98, two tests per box); and the QuickVue At Home OTC COVID-19 ($23.99, two tests per box). At the time of this writing, QuickVue was out of stock online. 

Like CVS, Walmart offers several at-home PCR testing kits that require you to ship the sample to a lab for results. 


You can order several of the main brands of at-home COVID-19 test kits via Instacart. The availability near you will be based on your location, as Instacart sources from stores near you. The next time you’re doing some grocery shopping, try adding a test kit to your order or shop Instacart for masks, cleaning supplies, and test kits delivered to your door from a nearby pharmacy. 

Look for the Ellume, BinaxNow, and QuickVue tests. 


While the availability of at-home rapid tests at Target can fluctuate quite a bit, if you cannot find them online we recommend you keep checking as stock constantly changes and even consider checking in-store, if you are able. At Target you will find the Ellume COVID-19 Home Test ($26.10); FlowFlex COVID-19 Antigen Test ($7.99); and Access Bio COVID Rapid Test ($21.99, two tests per box).

You can also find at-home PCR tests such as the EverlyWell COVID-19 Home Test Collection Kit ($102) which requires you to send it to a lab for results. 


Walgreens is a good resource for at-home rapid tests, although, like all online retailers, the stock can fluctuate depending on location. You can get the BinaxNow COVID-19 Antigen Rapid Self-Test ($23.99, two tests per box); FlowFlex COVID-19 Antigen Test ($9.99); and the QuickVue At Home OTC COVID-19 ($23.99, two tests per box). 

Walgreens also carries the InteliSwab COVID-19 Rapid Antigen Home Test Kit ($23.99, two tests per box); and On/Go COVID-19 Antigen Self-Test ($23.98, two tests per box), but both were out of stock at the time of this writing. 

Note: Because of high demand Covid-19 at-home test kits are not available for same-day pickup or delivery. 


You can purchase the On/Go COVID-19 Antigen Self-Test directly from their website, where you can purchase anywhere from one box ($24, two tests per box) to 80 boxes ($1,920 for 160 tests). Shop here.