Which Pregnancy Tests Work the Best and the Earliest?

Updated on June 9, 2016
A Positive Digital Error Proof Test (EPT).
A Positive Digital Error Proof Test (EPT). | Source

Should You Use a Pink or Blue Dye Pregnancy Test?

A negative result on a pink-handled Wondfo Dip, one of the cheapest early result pregnancy tests.
A negative result on a pink-handled Wondfo Dip, one of the cheapest early result pregnancy tests.

As if there is not enough to worry about already, you need to make the decision whether you want to purchase a pink or a blue dye pregnancy test. What is the difference?

Most experienced pregnancy test users will tell you to avoid the blue dye tests if possible. The reason for this is that blue dye tests give a "false positive" or an "evaporation line" more often than pink dye tests do.

Evaporation Line: An evaporation line on a pregnancy test is due to the evaporation of urine in the test window where the antibody strip is located. This will result in a colourless line that may be mistaken for a positive result. Usually the evaporation line is more grey than pink or blue. It may appear like a shadow.

In order to prevent evaporation lines, follow the test instructions. Most pregnancy tests need to be read in five minutes or less. If the pregnancy test is interpreted later than five minutes, the second line may actually be an evaporation line rather than a positive result.

People also find blue dye pregnancy tests harder to read, especially with early testing. Testing before one's period is due can result in a very faint positive result. You may need to squint to see it and question whether it is actually there or not. Most people find that there is less guesswork when using the pink dye tests.

Common Types of Pregnancy Tests


  • Clear Blue Digital
  • Clear Blue Digital with Conception Indicator
  • CVS Digital
  • E.P.T Digital
  • First Response Gold Digital
  • Walgreens Digital

Pink Dye:

  • All First Response Tests (Early Result, Rapid Result)
  • Answer
  • Babyrapid
  • Boots
  • Confirm 1-Step
  • CVS
  • Wondfo

Blue Dye:

  • Clear Blue
  • E.P.T
  • Equate

Pregnancy Test Sensitivity Levels

Human Chorionic Gonadotrophin (hCG) Detected
Human Chorionic Gonadotrophin (hCG) Detected
Aim Step
20 hCG
First Response Early Result
15-25 hCG
50 hCG
First Response Gold Digital
25 hCG
Answer (100)
100 hCG
First Signal
25 hCG
Answer Early Result
25 hCG
hCg One Step
25 hCG
Dollar Store
20 hCG
hCG One Step Ultra
10 hCG
Clear Blue Easy Early Result
25 hCG
Internet Cheapies
25 hCG
Clear Blue Easy Digital
50 hCG
25 hCG
Confirm 1-Step
25 hCG
25 hCg
Crystal Clear
25 hCG
New Choice/Dollar Store
20-25 hCG
25 hCG
50 hCG
25 hCG
25 hCG
E.P.T. Digital
50 hCG
Simplicity No Step
20 hCG
25 hCG
25-50 hCG
Fact Plus Pro
40 hCG
25-50 hCG
First Response 6 Days Sooner (rectangular window)
25 hCG
The lower the hCG number, the more sensitive the test. This means that the tests with the lower numbers are the ones that will detect pregnancy the earliest.

Which Work Best and Earliest?

  • Internet cheapies such as Wondfo are best for those who want to do a lot of testing and early testing. These tests are just as sensitive as the name brand tests however they will not break the bank.
  • Digital pregnancy tests should not be used for early testing, however, they will take the guess-work out of reading the results. They are great for "confirming" a positive result or for using after a missed period.
  • Pink dye pregnancy tests are better than blue dye pregnancy tests. Pink dye tests are usually easy to read and are less likely to give you a false positive result or evaporation line.
  • For the most accurate results wait until you have missed a period before you test. However, this does not mean that you won't get a positive result before your missed period.
  • A faint line is a still a positive line.
  • The lower the sensitivity (example: 20 hCG compared to 50 hCG), the earlier the test will detect a pregnancy.


• Follow the tests instructions. Waiting too long to interpret the results may give you an evaporation line.

• A blood test is the most accurate pregnancy test as it tests the level of hCG whether you are pregnant or not.

Are Digital Tests Less Sensitive?

A positive result on a First Response test.
A positive result on a First Response test. | Source

Pregnancy Tests

Which Brand Worked the Best for You?

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The short answer is, yes. Digital tests are also quite often a little more expensive. Are they worth the extra money?

Digital pregnancy tests can be great because they take the guess work out of things. There is no stressing about whether you see a second line or whether that second line is dark enough. They simply state "pregnant" or "not pregnant" and that's that.

However, digital pregnancy tests are not the greatest for those who like to test early (before your period is due) or for those who test often, as this can be quite expensive. It is not uncommon to see the question, "I have a faint positive line and a negative digital test. Am I pregnant or not!?"

Of course not all digital tests are less sensitive, but on average they will only pick up hCG levels of 50 or higher while line tests (on average) pick up an hCG level of 25 or higher.

Early Pregnancy Testing

A positive result on an Answer pregnancy test.
A positive result on an Answer pregnancy test. | Source

Using an early pregnancy testing is not only a bit of a gamble with your emotions, it can strain your wallet. The chances of getting a false negative are much higher when testing before your expected period than after you have missed a period.

For the best results, wait at least until the day of your missed period before you test. This does not mean that you cannot get a positive result earlier than that. On average, after ovulation it takes the fertilized egg approximately 6-12 days to implant into the uterus. It then takes a couple more days for it to start producing hCG at high enough levels to be detected by pregnancy tests. Remember, hCG usually doubles every 2-3 days, so if the test is not positive today that does not mean it won't be in two days.

Likely the earliest you will get a positive pregnancy result is approximately nine days past ovulation, but it depends on the test's sensitivity level. At this point there is approximately a 50% chance that, if you are pregnant, your test will read positive (likely very faint). Most women receive positive pregnancy results between ten and sixteen days past ovulation, however, this does not mean that you can't get an accurate positive result earlier or later. It all depends on implantation and the sensitivity of the pregnancy test.

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