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Best at-home syphilis tests of 2024, according to health experts

Worried about a possible exposure to syphilis? These syphilis tests can give you the answers you need in the privacy of your home.

Best at-home syphilis tests of 2024, according to health experts

The syphilis epidemic in the United States is at an all-time high, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Data collected by the CDC shows that cases of syphilis and congenital syphilis increased by nearly 80% between 2018 and 2022. One possible explanation for the increase is that syphilis can often go unnoticed, says registered nurse Lauren Thayer, who adds that “some symptoms are mild or even nonexistent, which is why it’s important to get tested if you suspect you may have an infection.”

Quick overview

While the highest number of cases were reported in people between the ages of 20 and 34, Dr. Alyssa Dweck, chief medical officer at Bonafide Health, tells us another concerning factor driving the surge in cases she’s seen in her practice is among perimenopausal and menopausal women. “Many women are engaging with new partners due to divorce or being widowed,” she says, noting that since pregnancy is no longer a concern, they may forgo the use of condoms.

If going to your doctor or a clinic to discuss concerns about possible exposure to a sexually transmitted disease (STD) or sexually transmitted infection (STI) is uncomfortable and keeping you from testing, at-home and in-lab syphilis tests and full-panel at-home STD tests are available to discreetly provide you with answers and treatment options without setting foot in a doctor’s office or clinic. “Remote testing is great,” says Dr. Barbara Van Der Pol, director of the UAB STD Diagnostics Laboratory, but it’s important to do your research. “There are some bad actors preying on consumers.”

To help you find the best at-home syphilis test for your needs, our team consulted with a panel of sexual health doctors and medical experts to better understand what to look for in the best syphilis tests and what to avoid. We considered 15 tests from reputable companies and rated each based on ease of use, accuracy, whether the test was fully in-home or required a trip to the lab, cost and if medical consultations with treatment plans were available. Keep reading to learn which four made the cut.

Cost: $69 | Tests for: Syphilis | Time until results: 3-5 days | Test collection method: Finger prick | Doctor consultation available: Yes, for positive results | Accepts insurance: No | FSA/HSA eligible: Yes

Everlywell — featured on Shark Tank in 2017 — has become a dominant force in the at-home test market. The company offers affordable and accessible laboratory testing for various areas of health and wellness, including cardiovascular, endocrine, immune and sexual health. When it comes to sexual health, there are eight STI and STD tests available, ranging from a full-panel STD test ($169) that screens for a combination of chlamydia, gonorrhea, hepatitis C, HIV and trichomoniasis to at-home tests designed to screen for only one STD or STI, such as syphilis, HIV or hepatitis C. 

Everlywell’s syphilis test is a treponemal test, which means it detects antibodies to Treponema pallidum, the bacterium that causes syphilis. Since these antibodies are produced only in response to a syphilis infection, this type of test — also known as a confirmatory test — is extremely reliable. It’s also incredibly convenient. Everlywell tests come with clear instructions — both written and video tutorials — and extra lancets in case you need them. Once the test arrives, you’ll collect a small sample of blood with the enclosed lancet and vial and then mail the sample to the lab using the prepaid shipping materials included with the test kit. The sample is analyzed at a CLIA-certified lab, and within three to five days of lab receipt, your test results will be delivered electronically via a private portal. If your results are positive, there’s a free physician consultation option included with the purchase of the test to discuss next steps.

  • Free physician consultation for positive results
  • FSA/HSA payments accepted
  • Easy-to-understand directions and results
  • More expensive than other options
$69 at Everlywell

Cost: $44.50 with insurance; $150 out of pocket | Tests for: Syphilis, HIV, chlamydia and gonorrhea | Time until results: 7 days after lab receipt | Test collection method: Finger prick and urine sample | Doctor consultation available: Yes | Accepts insurance: Yes | FSA/HSA eligible: Yes

In general, the majority of at-home test companies do not accept insurance: Nurx is the exception. While the sign-up process is easy, as is using your insurance to cover the test, prior to ordering the test you must have a medical consultation with a Nurx provider, which costs $30 out of pocket — the fee for the initial consultation also includes unlimited messaging with a medical team for a year about your test or results. After you order the test, the kit will arrive in a discreet package with everything you need for the sample collection and prepaid postage to mail your sample for processing by Nurx’s CLIA-certified lab. A medical provider will contact you within seven days after lab receipt to review your results and prescribe medication if needed. It’s really that simple!

There are three STD tests available that screen for syphilis in addition to other STIs, all of which cost as little as $44.50 with insurance:

Basics Covered Kit — $44.50 with insurance; $150 without insurance — screens for syphilis, HIV, chlamydia and gonorrhea. 

Healthy V Kit — $44.50 with insurance; $190 out of pocket — screens for syphilis, throat chlamydia, throat gonorrhea and trichomoniasis. 

Full Control Kit — $44.50 with insurance; $220 out of pocket — screens for syphilis, HIV, genital, throat and rectal chlamydia, genital, throat and rectal gonorrhea and hepatitis C.

  • Insurance is accepted
  • Unlimited follow-up care for one year
  • Tests for four common STIs
  • Requires initial medical consult for additional $30 fee
  • Only available in 36 states
$44.50 or less with insurance at Nurx

Cost: $49 | Tests for: Syphilis | Time until results: 1-2 days | Test collection method: Blood sample | Doctor consultation available: Yes, for positive result | Accepts insurance: No | FSA/HSA eligible: Yes

Unlike the other options on our list, with STDCheck, sample collection isn’t done at home but rather in person at an affiliated local lab. After ordering your test online, you’ll immediately schedule an appointment to visit one of the 4,500 testing centers available nationwide, where a professional will collect the sample for you. While that’s not quite as convenient as the home-collection test kits, it may be beneficial for those who are uncomfortable drawing the blood sample or are concerned about making an error during sample collection.

But the real benefit comes with the turnaround time: Results are ready in just one to two days since you do not have to tack on the usual two- to four-day wait time due to mailing the sample to the lab. Better yet, if you can find a lab in your area offering same-day appointments, you may be able to get your results in 24 hours. 

If the test results are positive, you can schedule a free virtual doctor consultation to discuss the results and treatment options.

STDCheck offers both an individual syphilis test ($49) and a 10-panel test that screens for syphilis along with HIV (type 1 and 2), herpes (type 1 and 2), hepatitis A, hepatitis B, hepatitis C, chlamydia and gonorrhea ($139).

  • Results ready in just 1-2 days
  • Free doctor consult for positive results
  • 10-panel STD test available
  • Requires in-person blood draw
  • Lab may not be available in your area
$49 at STD Check

Cost: $49 (or less with price match guarantee) | Tests for: Syphilis | Time until results: 1-3 days | Test collection method: Blood sample | Doctor consultation available: Yes, for $95 fee | Accepts insurance: No | FSA/HSA eligible: Yes offers an extensive list of at-home and in-lab tests, with the majority being budget-friendly with fast, accurate options — all the things you want in an STI test for syphilis. The syphilis test is a rapid plasma reagin (RPR) test that searches for antibodies found in the cells damaged by the syphilis infection. You’ll start by ordering your test online, and then you’ll make an appointment at one of the affiliated labs for a day and time convenient for you — you may even be able to make a same-day appointment. If your test is positive, you can pay an additional $95 for a virtual doctor consultation to discuss and obtain treatment options.

Something we really like about, and ensures it maintains its title for being the most budget-friendly at-home and in-lab testing company, is that it offers a 110% price guarantee, so if you find a test from another company at a lower price, HealthLabs will match it and give you an additional 10% discount. You can also use your FSA or HSA funds to pay for the test.

  • Offers price match guarantee
  • Results ready within 1-3 days
  • Same-day appointments available
  • Doctor consultation costs an additional $95
  • Requires trip to lab for sample collection
$49 at

What to consider when buying an at-home syphilis test

When buying an at-home syphilis test, there are several important factors to take into account.

Lab validation: Make sure that the test is analyzed by a reputable lab — meaning one that’s CLIA-certified and/or CAP-accredited. These external sources ensure that labs follow the proper protocols and safety standards for testing.

STI tests offered: Some companies offer individual syphilis tests, while others only offer STD panels that test for multiple STDs and STIs in addition to syphilis. If you are unsure whether you were exposed to more than just syphilis, it will likely be in your best interest to spring for a full-panel test to ensure you know exactly what is going on and what to treat.

Collection method: Some test kits allow you to collect a sample at home, while others require an in-person visit to a testing center. Make sure you choose the option you are most comfortable with.

Time for results: Test results will take anywhere from one day to a full week. If you plan to get tested regularly, you might not mind waiting a little longer, but in some cases, you might want to know as soon as possible. Make sure you fully understand the way the results will be delivered — email, phone call, private portal, app — and in what time frame.

Cost: Depending on the company and STIs being tested, at-home tests can cost between $50 and $300. It’s also important to note that some companies offer subscription options, accept insurance or allow FSA/HSA payments, all of which can lower the price.

Follow-up care: Many at-home testing companies offer doctor consultations for positive results along with options for obtaining treatment and prescriptions. These services are sometimes free with the test, but there may be an additional fee, so make sure you are aware of any extra fees associated with medical consultations and treatment plans.

How we chose the best at-home syphilis test

To find the best at-home syphilis tests on the market, our team first consulted with four sexual health doctors and experts to learn what to look for in an STD test. We then looked at more than a dozen testing companies and compared each based on a variety of factors: whether a test that screened only for syphilis was available or grouped in with an STD and STI panel, if CLIA-certified or CAP-accredited labs processed the results, accuracy, ease of ordering, collection method, time to results, follow-up support and cost.

How do at-home syphilis tests work?

At-home syphilis tests include a sample blood draw that is either done by you in the privacy of your home using materials included with your test that you will mail to a lab for processing using prepaid materials in your test kit, or done by scheduling an appointment with an affiliated lab that works directly with the company you purchased the test from.

It’s actually very simple and follows the same testing practices used in a doctor’s office. In fact, if you opt for an in-person local lab sample draw, it’s possible that it will be the same lab your doctor uses, as many of the labs affiliated with at-home testing companies are with the two largest lab companies in the United States: Quest Diagnostics and Labcorp. The only real variation is the type of test, whether that be a confirmatory test, an RPR test or a Venereal Disease Research Laboratory (VDRL) test, all of which deliver highly accurate results.

Frequently asked questions

What are the symptoms of syphilis?

According to Thayer, syphilis can often go unnoticed. Some symptoms are mild or even nonexistent, which is why it’s important to get tested if you suspect you may have an infection.

The most common initial symptom, though, is a small sore, called a chancre, on the genitals, rectum or mouth. Chancres are usually firm, round and painless.

“Because it’s painless, people may not notice it or think it’s a problem,” says Dr. Yudara Kularathne, consultant physician. However, he stresses that if it’s not treated, it will progress and lead to more serious health problems. Some symptoms that may develop after the initial stage (after the chancre) include a rash on the palms and soles of the feet, fever, swollen lymph nodes, fatigue, weight loss and patchy hair loss.

How is syphilis treated?

While medical intervention is needed, syphilis is easy to treat as long as it’s caught early. The antibiotic penicillin is the most common form of treatment for early intervention. When not caught early, there can be additional complications caused by the syphilis infection that will require a more intensive treatment plan. “Late-stage symptoms can also cause tumors, blindness and/or paralysis,” says Thayer. “It can damage your brain, nervous system and other organs.”

Can having syphilis affect my pregnancy?

Yes, syphilis can have a serious impact on women who are pregnant. “Untreated syphilis can be passed to the baby in the womb, leading to a condition called congenital syphilis,” says Kularathne. Congenital syphilis can cause a host of health issues for the baby — including developmental delays, deformities, seizures, blindness, deafness and jaundice — and there is also an increased risk of stillbirth or miscarriage.

How long does it take for syphilis to show up on tests?

Although it can be detected sooner, syphilis can take up to 12 weeks to show up on a blood test, says Thayer. However, after a chancre appears, the bacteria can be detected in one to two weeks.

Are at-home syphilis tests accurate?

Syphilis tests that use reliable, accredited labs for analysis are generally very accurate. The biggest factor is how the sample is collected, so if you use a self-collected test kit, it’s important to make sure you follow the directions carefully.

False positives and false negatives do occur, though, says Dweck, so she recommends confirmatory testing, particularly before treatment.

Meet our expert panel

Dr. Alyssa Dweck, MS, MD, FACOG, chief medical officer at Bonafide Health

Dr. Barbara Van Der Pol, PhD, MPH, professor of medicine and public health at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, director of UAB STD Diagnostics Laboratory

Lauren Thayer, registered nurse and health care writer at HealthCanal

Dr. Yudara Kularathne, consultant physician and co-founder of HeHealth