The best ketone test strip
Maintaining a keto diet takes a lot of work and vigilance. When your body goes into ketosis from this low-carb high-fat diet your liver releases ketones which, in turn, give you energy. One simple way to monitor your ketone levels is using colorimetric urinalysis test strips. At a low cost and in less than one minute, you can determine if your body is responding to your diet correctly.
We've created this helpful shopping guide on these must-have products for keto dieters, including our top recommendations like Perfect Keto Ketone Testing Strips, which can be used by anyone on a low-carb diet.
Considerations when choosing ketone test strips
What are ketone test strips?
Ketone test strips check the presence and levels of ketones in your urine, typically the ketone acetoacetic acid, which is produced by a breakdown of fat in the liver. Once the strip is saturated with urine, the color pad located at its tip will change color according to the level of ketones present. It is then compared to the color chart on the bottle or packaging for analysis.
The majority of keto test strips will give you a measure of your body's ketone levels and nothing else. However, some more advanced ones may give you a reading of pH levels, glucose levels, and other basic health indicators.
Methods of testing
Some keto test strips require you to urinate directly on them, while others require you to pee into a cup, and then dip the strip in that sample. If you prefer the latter method, you'll often need to supply your own cups. Disposable Dixie cups will do the trick.
All keto test strips come with a color chart somewhere on its packaging. Most give numerical measurements ranging from zero to 16 millimoles per liter (mmol/L) or zero to 160 mg/dL as well as the following categories per color swatch: negative, trace, small, moderate, large, and larger. Be aware that some brands don't give numerical measurements.
Keto test strips come in packs or containers of 50 to 200 test strips. Multi-packs are also offered by some manufacturers. If you plan on testing your levels every day, opt for a larger quantity. Keep in mind that keto test strips expire within 90 days to six months after opening, so be sure to check the label, and consider your testing schedule.
More advanced urine test strips will test a whole host of health concerns in just one strip. In addition to ketone levels, you can test for urinary tract infections, kidney and liver issues, and other markers of imbalances that can appear in urine, such as blood or specific proteins. These are marketed as comprehensive "10-in-1" or "14-in-1" urine test strips.
For test strips that require dipping, look for kits that include disposable sanitary cups. Other kits may include strips packaged in vials for cleaner more hygienic collection of samples.
Expect to pay between $5 and $10 for a pack of 50 strips. For 100 to 200 strips, expect to pay between $10 to $15. Strips in these higher quantities that cost upward of $15 often come with more detailed analysis.
Q. If I'm trying to lose weight, what ketone level should I aim for?
A. Aim for 1.5 to 3 mmol/L (or 15 to 300 mg/dL) to reach dietary ketosis.
Q. When should I test my urine for ketosis?
A. The most important factor in testing for ketosis is to test at the same time every day (or every week or month) for the most accurate results.
Ketone test strips we recommend
Best of the best: Perfect Keto's Ketone Testing Strips
Our take: Top-rated ketone test strips that give accurate results in as little as 20 seconds.
What we like: Receives high marks not only from keto dieters but also from followers of Paleo and Atkins diets. Compact travel-friendly bottle comes with 100 strips.
What we dislike: Shelf life of only six months, even if unopened.
Best bang for your buck: Nurse Hatty's Ketone Strips
Our take: You receive both quality and quantity with these affordable ketone test strips.
What we like: Good value at 150 strips per container. Strips pick up secondary ketones better than other brands. Easy-to-read color indicators.
What we dislike: Only 90-day shelf life once the container is opened.
Choice 3: PREGMATE's Ketone Test Strips
Our take: User-friendly, highly-reliable ketone test strips.
What we like: Includes 100 test strips that are viable for three months after opening. Includes a guide. Can be also used by diabetics to monitor their health.
What we dislike: Strips must be dipped, but kit doesn't include sample cups.
Ana Sanchez is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money. BestReviews never accepts free products from manufacturers and purchases every product it reviews with its own funds.
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