What is a1c Test?
Hemoglobin A1c, also called A1c or glycated hemoglobin, is hemoglobin with glucose attached. The A1c test evaluates the average amount of glucose in the blood over the last 2 to 3 months by measuring the percentage of glycated (glycosylated) hemoglobin – a protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen — is coated with sugar (glycated).
The higher your A1C level, the poorer your blood sugar control and the higher your risk of diabetes complications.
What’s a Normal Hemoglobin A1c Test?
For people without diabetes, the normal range for the hemoglobin A1c level is between 4% and 5.6%.
Hemoglobin A1c levels between 5.7% and 6.4% mean you have a higher chance of getting diabetes.
Levels of 6.5% or higher mean you have diabetes.
A1c Test Fasting
The good news is A1c test doesn’t require fasting. The test can be given at any time as part of an overall blood screening. Therefore, you can eat and drink normally before the test.
How to use A1c Test Kit at Home
The A1C at home kit needs four drops of blood which is easier than the amount they draw from your arm at the hospital.
However, if you don’t get an adequate amount of blood on the test strip, the meter will read an error on your result and you will have to use the second test strip.
Make sure you have pricked your finger well enough to have a good amount of blood on the strip so you don’t waste any of the test.
Be sure to keep the test kit at room temperature after buying and not leave it in a hot place. Drastic changes in temperature can affect your kit and make it unusable.
Best 4 A1c Home Test Kit
1. CVS A1C At Home Test Kit
- Easy operation for at home A1C monitoring.
- Kit Includes: 1 A1C monitor, 2 cartridge pouches, 2 shaker pouches, 1 quick reference guide, 1 overview and helpful hints guide.
- Results in 5 minutes.
- Easy to use
CVS pharmacy carries their own brand of A1C test kits like Walgreens which run for about $29.99 for two tests. The results have been very good for customers as they are pleased that the readings have been close to or exactly what the doctor’s labs read.
2. Walgreens A1C Test Kit
- Results as fast as 4 seconds
- 2 Test Kit
- Audible fill detection
- Diabetes Friendly
- Monitors Glycemic Control in Patients with Diabetes
- Accurate & Easy to Use
Walgreens carries their own A1C test kit and it costs about $40 and comes with two tests. There is a very high accuracy rate for the Walgreens test. Most customers are very pleased with their results and 72% of customers said they will continue to buy Walgreens brand.
3. ReliOn FastA1C At-Home Diabetes Test A1C System
- Easily obtain your A1c results at home
- Kit includes everything you need to obtain results
- 2 test kit.
- Portable Results in 5 minutes
Relion is another A1C brand you can try which can be purchased at any pharmacy and is typically only $32 to $40 dollars for two tests.
4. Bayer A1C Now Self Check Test Kit
- Made in USA
- Results in 5 minutes
- Small (5μL) blood sample
- Easy to use and No maintainence
- Lab accurate National Glycohemoglobin Standardization Program certified
Bayer also makes an A1C at home test kit which is around $19.99 to $25 dollars for one test, so it is the cheapest of the test kits.
However, the reviews for this product have not been as good as they have been for Walgreens or the Relion brand with only a 42% customer review for satisfaction.
It seems these results are the farthest form the doctor’s office or customers have the hardest time getting results and the customer service is not as helpful as they could be.
How often should I check my a1c?
The ADA recommends an A1C test at least 2 times a year for those who are in good control. For those who have changed their therapy or who are not in good control and not meeting glycemic goals, an A1C test is recommended quarterly.
- CVS pharmacy and Walgreens are the best a1c home test kit available on the market right now, based on reviews we get from patients and users.
- The A1c test kits above can be prove to be a very helpful tool for both you and your doctor in monitoring your A1C levels.
- The A1C test kits are easy and very convenient to use. They are also reasonably priced. Additionally, they are small and compact which makes them easy to take and use anywhere.
So. If you’re regularly tracking your A1C levels, a1c test kit might be a must have you to have in your diabetes toolbox.