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Best Mold Test Kits of 2022

Updated
It’s time to sniff out that mold.

Mold is a naturally occurring fungus, but it can potentially cause harm when indoors. But how do you know if you have mold? Some people experience severe reactions to mold, while others don’t.

One thing that many homeowners choose to do is run a DIY mold test. These tests are used as a starting point to figure out whether or not mold is present in your home. Further inspection is needed to find the source and determine the genera if mold is detected.

If you want to try this method out, you need one of the best mold test kits. We’ve spent hours researching various products, expert advice, and real customer reviews to conclude our favorite seven.

We looked at how each test worked, how long it took, and whether it was lab certified. With these criteria in mind, we’ll walk you through the pros and cons of each test.

Our Top Picks

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Model
Product Comparison Table
Features

Product Image of the VOCs, Active Mold, & Formaldehyde Tests - Indoor Air Quality by Home Air Check
Best Professional Mold Detector
Home Air Check Active Mold Tests
  • 2000 square feet coverage
  • Accurate results from certified lab
  • Analysis cost is included
Product Image of the MIN Mold Test Kit, Mold Testing Kit (3 tests). Lab Analysis and Expert Consultation included
Best DIY Mold Test Kit
Mold Inspection Network DIY Test
  • Easy to use
  • Everything is included
  • Easy to read results
Product Image of the DIY Mold 3 Test Kit (Same Day Results) Expert Consultation and AIHA-LAP, LLC Accredited Lab Analysis Included
Easiest Mold Test Kit to Use
Seeml Labs DIY Mold Test Kit
  • Easy to use and good manual
  • All fees included
  • Free consultation
Product Image of the MOLDetect - 3 Sample Mold Test Kit W/ AIHA Accredited Lab Analysis
Best Three-Sample Mold Test Kit
MOLDetect 3 Sample Mold Test
  • Detects living and dead mold
  • Results within three business days
  • Detailed instructions are provided
Product Image of the Mold Armor FG500 Do It Yourself Mold Test Kit , Gray
Most Affordable Mold Test Kit
Mold Armor DIY Mold Test Kit
  • Has optional laboratory analysis
  • Easy to read results
  • Three testing methods
Product Image of the My Mold Detective MMD103 Mold Test Kit, 3-Room Kit
Best Mold Test for Airborne Mold
My Mold Detective 3-Room Kit
  • Quick to use and get results
  • Accurate results
  • Reusable pump
Product Image of the Healthful Home 5-Minute Mold Test
Best Instant Mold Test Kit
Healthful Home
  • Instant results
  • Easy to understand results
  • Affordable kit


Product Reviews

After examining various mold kit options, we have chosen the most effective tests on the market. We judged each kit on how easy it was to use, effectiveness, price, and affordability. Here are the best mold test kits.

1. Home Air Check Active Mold Tests

Best Professional Mold Detector

Home Air Check provides exact results on whether or not you have active mold growing in your house. It’s a small device that monitors the air quality and collects samples over a few days. The samples are then sent to a certified lab for analysis.

The test will show you a number of harmful substances that could be present in your home. These include volatile organic compounds, formaldehyde, chemicals, and mold.

What We Like

2000 Square Feet Coverage

Most home test kits will only do one room at a time. However, this air monitor will cover up to 2,000 square feet at a time. This means you can collect samples from an entire floor or a small house without having to move the device around.

Accurate Results From Certified Lab

Once you’ve collected enough samples, they’re sent to a certified lab for analysis. You’ll get to see exactly what’s lurking within your home. If you’ve been struggling with allergies or asthma, this will help you find the source of the trouble.

Analysis Cost Is Included

This device might seem expensive, but that’s because its cost includes lab fees. All you have to do is send the samples and the device to the lab. You’ll receive your results within five business days.

Measures Various Pollutants

This device checks for mold. But it also measures VOCs and formaldehyde. So if you’ve suspected that there are many nasties in your home, this test will reveal all.

Kit Provides Next Steps

Once you get your results, it’s confusing to know what to do next. But this company will give you advice on the next steps to take. You can contact the company via phone or email if you have any more questions.

What We Don't Like

One Time Use

This air monitor is not yours to keep. After running the test and collecting the required samples, you must return the device and everything that comes with it.

Pretty Expensive

Considering you can only use it once, this is pretty expensive. But keep in mind that includes the lab fees.

Product Specs

Detects Airborne Particles Yes
Results Waiting Time Five business days
Certified Lab Yes
Any Additional Fees None

2. DIY Mold Test by Mold Inspection Network

Best DIY Mold Test Kit

Do you suspect mold in your house? This DIY mold test kit will give you the answers you’ve been searching for.

The test is easy to do, thanks to the instructional booklet to guide you.

The price includes lab fees and report fees (unless you’re in Texas).

The Mold Inspection Network also offers expert consultation if needed.

What We Like

Easy to Use

Start by inspecting your home. When you find mold traces, wipe the sample’s open side across the area. Close the tape again and continue to collect samples from around your house.

Once you’ve collected enough, send the samples to the certified lab and wait for your results.

Everything Is Included

All fees are included in the price. This includes lab fees, a detailed report, and even an expert consultation. If you choose to get a consultation, you’ll be able to discuss your results with an expert. The lab will explain your results in detail, and you’ll be able to figure out the best approach to your mold issue.

Results are Easy to Read

To help you understand your lab results, you will receive them as an illustrated report. Your results are confidential, and only you and the lab will know the results.

Budget-Friendly Price

Compared to our first pick, this is about 1/5 of the price. And that also includes lab fees! Just keep in mind that this doesn’t include those who live in Texas.

Tests for All Mold Types

Some kits will only test for a few different types of mold, but this tests for them all. They also guide you on how best to inspect for mold in overlooked areas of the home.

What We Don't Like

Only for Visible Mold

This test kit won’t detect airborne mold spores. The test is meant to identify species of visible mold.

No Return Envelope Included

It’s not every day we post mold samples! It can be hard to know the best way to package them up. It would be great if this company included a return envelope and packaging.

Hard to Test in Corners

The sample testing strips do not bend, making it difficult to test for mold in corners. Plus, the adhesive on the strip isn’t best placed, which, again, doesn’t allow for the most accurate testing in corners.

Product Specs

Detects Airborne Particles No
Results Waiting Time Not specified
Certified Lab No
Any Additional Fees Yes — shipping to lab and lab fees for Texas residents

3. DIY Mold Test Kit by Seeml Labs

Easiest Mold Test Kit to Use

For an easy mold test, we recommend this simple kit. You get everything you need to collect samples successfully from around your home.

The kit also includes instructions on how to collect the samples.

The samples are sent to an AIHA accredited lab that specializes in mold detection and identification.

All fees are included in the initial price.

What We Like

Easy to Use and Good Manual

With this kit, there’s no need to put on a lab coat and read a 10-page manual. You get easy-to-read instructions on how to collect samples and where to look for mold. Simply press the sticky side down onto the moldy surface and close the tape back up.

All Fees Included

Professional mold testing is expensive, as are many other test kits. However, this test kit is affordable. It also helps that you don’t have to make additional lab results payments.

Free Consultation

Also included in the price is free expert consultation. Your results will be explained in detail during the consultation to help you understand which mold is growing. They’ll also let you know how to remove it.

Same Day Turn Around

With this kit, you will get your results the same day they receive your sample. So if you’re in a rush for answers, this product might be right for you.

What We Don't Like

Won’t Detect Airborne Mold

This test kit is only meant to determine which type of mold you already have growing in your house. It won’t detect airborne mold or spores.

The Results Aren’t Very Detailed

Customers were frustrated with the level of detail in their results. Some customers only got notified that they had mold. They were charged an extra fee to find out what mold they had.

Product Specs

Detects Airborne Particles No
Results Waiting Time Not specified
Certified Lab Yes
Any Additional Fees None

4. MOLDetect 3 Sample Mold Test

Best Three-Sample Mold Test Kit

Many homeowners favor the MOLDetect test kit because it’s fast and accurate. An AIHA-accredited lab does all tests, so you can be sure the results are correct.

You get enough test strips to check three locations in your home. Collecting samples is easy, as all you have to do is open up the tape and press down on the moldy surface. The test will detect both living and dead mold spores.

What We Like

Detects Living and Dead Mold

One mistake we often make is thinking only living mold is a health hazard. However, dead mold can actually do just as much harm, especially if you’re allergic. Therefore, detecting living and dead mold is important.

Results Within Three Business Days

Sitting around, tapping your foot while waiting for results is a drag. Luckily, with the MOLDetect test kit, you’ll receive your results within two to three business days. Quick results also mean you can get to a solution quicker.

Detailed Instructions Are Provided

You’ll receive a detailed instruction manual to help you collect the correct samples. Although this test kit is designed to confirm or deny visible mold, you can collect dust particles to see if spores are present.

More still, with the instructions, you’ll also receive a booklet with information about mold. You can learn about inspection, treatment, and how to prevent future mold.

Analyzed by AIHA-LAP LLC Lab

The AIHA laboratory is a third-party lab, so they aren’t biased toward the company you get the test from. They have incredibly high standards, with their main goal being to evaluate information that could impact people’s health.

What We Don't Like

Only Detects Visible Mold

This kit only determines whether or not what you suspect to be mold is mold. It’s not meant to capture airborne mold spores or particles.

Results Are Very General

While the results are quick and accurate, they’re quite general. You may need to do extra independent research with the information they provide you.

Product Specs

Detects Airborne Particles No
Results Waiting Time Two to three business days
Certified Lab Yes
Any Additional Fees None

5. Mold Armor Do It Yourself Mold Test Kit

Most Affordable Mold Test Kit

I heard you, mold determination can be a costly task but it should not hinder you from determining the presence of molds in your home. This kit from Mold Armor won’t break your bank.

It has three testing methods to check for mold presence- indoor air quality testing, HVAC air sampling, and surface sampling. The instructions for different testing methods are pretty straightforward. Just make sure not to contaminate the culture media prior to testing in order to provide accurate results.

You get everything you need to run a single test. After the device has collected enough samples and detected the presence of a particular mold that you suspect to be a pathogenic one, you have the option to send the petri dish for mold identification where the laboratory scientists will analyze them. Take note though that the optional lab testing would require another buck from you.

What We Like

Has Optional Laboratory Analysis

If you are adamant about finding out what particular mold is present in your household, there’s a choice for you to have the petri dish with the isolate sent to the testing laboratory for further workup. Experts will conduct further analysis to determine what type of mold is present and if the concentration of mold is alarming. This isn’t mandatory though unlike the other kits.

Easy to Read Results

Reading lab results can be somewhat confusing unless you’re a scientist or biologist. However, with Mold Armor DIY kit, the presence of growth on the media provides you with an idea that the mold is present as the culture media is selective for mold growth alone.

Quick Results

Waiting for results for weeks can be frustrating. Luckily, this kit will give you initial results within 48 hours. This can be extended up to 96 hours to identify slow-growing molds.

What We Don't Like

Longer Lab Analysis

Lab analysis fees aren’t included, so you’ll have to pay nearly $40 per sample. This might be worth it if you’re severely affected at home but don’t know the cause. Results also took almost three weeks, which is understandable because some molds might take a while to culture and obtain a pure isolate.

Product Specs

Detects Airborne Particles Only mold spores
Results Waiting Time 48 to 98 hours or longer depending if you opt to have it analyzed in the lab
Certified Lab Not specified
Any Additional Fees Yes — lab fees

6. My Mold Detective 3-Room Kit

Best Test Kit for Airborne Mold

For effective air sampling, this is one of our favorite kits.

This device is similar to the top product on our list, but this will only detect mold.

The set includes three cassettes for indoor sampling and one cassette for outdoors.

You get fast results, and the test only takes five minutes.

What We Like

Quick to Use and Get Results

Spending an entire afternoon running around the house to collect samples can be frustrating and time-consuming. However, with this kit, all you have to do is place each cassette in areas where you might suspect mold. After five minutes, the cassettes should’ve collected enough samples, and you can retrieve them.

Plus, you will get your results within three business days.

Accurate Results

Once the test is done, you’ll know exactly what is growing and floating around in your house. The cassettes attract mold spores so that everything will be tested. This is also an effective way to stop mold spores before they settle and become actively growing mold.

Reusable Pump

Unlike the top test kit on our list, this device is yours to keep. When you need to test for molds again, all you have to do is purchase additional cassettes. With this kit, there’s no need to rent any expensive devices.

Analyzes Mold Levels

Not only does this detect mold, but it will also tell you whether your mold concentration levels are normal, medium, or high.

What We Don't Like

Expensive With Extra Costs

Unfortunately, there are quite a lot of additional lab fees, which puts off a lot of potential customers. However, you do get high-quality results. Just be ready for any additional charges.

Product Specs

Detects Airborne Particles Yes
Results Waiting Time Not specified
Certified Lab Yes
Any Additional Fees Yes — lab fees

7. Healthful Home 5-Minute Mold Test

Best Instant Mold Test Kit

If you’re looking for a reliable and quick way to know whether or not you have mold, this kit is for you.

This test kit will give you instant results, so you can start looking for a solution even quicker.

You get a total of four test swabs (one testing swab and three applicator swabs) that you can wipe on any surface where mold is suspected. It’s a foolproof test meant to determine if what you suspect to be mold really is.

What We Like

Quick to Use With Instant Results

This is a quick solution if you suspect mold in your bathroom, attic, underneath your carpet, or anywhere else in your house. Simply swab the area and place the sample in the tube. You’ll get your results in an instant.

Easy to Understand Results

Testing for molds feels like testing for urine pregnancy, as its interpretation is like the latter. Two lines would mean a positive result, while a single line for control means a negative result.

Affordable Kit

This test kit is reasonably priced and won’t break your bank. In fact, it’s one of the cheapest on the list.

Validated by AIHA-Accredited Lab

While this may seem too good to be true, the test is validated in an EPA-licensed and AIHA-accredited lab. They have deemed it the market’s most sensitive and accurate fast test. Compared to other mold tests, it’s 100 times more sensitive.

What We Don't Like

Further Investigation Is Needed

This test kit will only tell you whether or not you have mold — it won’t tell you if it’s toxic. You have to do further testing and inspection to know which type of mold is present.

You Can’t Test for Airborne Particles

This only allows you to test surfaces. You can’t check if you have mold spores in the air.

Testing Strips Can Be Defective

Many customers noted that their testing strips were defective. They often got inconclusive results. This is a shame when there are only two testing strips included.

Product Specs

Detects Airborne Particles No
Results Waiting Time Five minutes
Certified Lab N/A
Any Additional Fees None

Product Comparison Chart

Product Best Detects Airborne Particles Results Waiting Time Certified Lab Additional Fees
Home Air Check Active Mold Tests Professional Mold Detector Yes Five business days Yes None
Mold Inspection Network DIY Mold Test DIY Mold Test Kit No N/A No Shipping and lab fees (Texas)
Seeml Labs DIY Mold Test Kit Easiest Mold Test Kit No N/A Yes None
MOLDetect 3 Sample Mold Test Three-Sample Mold Test Kit No 2 – 3 business days Yes None
Mold Armor DIY Most Affordable Only mold spores 48-98 hours Yes Lab fees
My Mold Detective 3-Room Kit Mold Test for Airborne Mold Yes N/A Yes Lab fees
Healthful Home Instant Mold Test Kit No Five mins N/A None

What to Look For (Buying Guide)

There are multiple choices available on the market, but you must find the right one for you. Here are a few points to keep in mind when searching for the best mold test kit:

Outdoors or Indoors

It’s important first to determine where you’ll be doing the testing. There are separate test kits for indoor and outdoor use.

Some kits can do both, so always double-check so you’re not disappointed.

Lab Analysis

After gathering the required samples, most test kits require you to send them to a lab. Now, it’s good to choose a brand that uses an independent lab. This will ensure that you get accurate and unbiased results.

Even better, you can find several brands that use AIHA-accredited labs.

Additional Fees

Some test kits might seem affordable, but it’s wise to consider additional charges. Only a few brands include lab fees in the initial price, whereas others require you to pay extra. It’s also generally the customer who has to pay for postage.

User-friendly

When looking at potential test kits, consider how easy it is to use. A detailed instruction manual is also a plus, so you’ll know how to do the test correctly.

We highly recommend checking customer reviews to see how they found the results. Some lab results tend to be confusing, so look for one that might use color-coded results or easy-to-read graphs.

Types of Test Kits

There are different types of test kits to choose between. However, it’s essential to consider what you need from the test kit before settling on one. For example, some kits are for visible mold only, while others detect mold spores and particles in the air. Let’s explain a little further.

Air Quality Testing

This type of test kit will attract particles from the air onto a small cassette or petri dish (depending on the brand). The dish is treated with a “microbial culture” that promotes mold growth. As the dish is left open, it will collect mold spores. You’ll then close the lid, and mold should form after 24 hours.

Other air testers will use a small pump to collect air and particles. Some require only a few minutes, while others need longer (refer to the manual). You can then collect a dish or cassette and send it to a lab for analysis.

These types of test kits tend to be more expensive but highly effective. You get to know whether or not mold is present in the air. This also makes it possible to eliminate mold spores before they become actively growing mold (1).

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Surface Tests

There are many things hiding in our homes that might look like mold. Mildew is one example of another fungus that’s often confused for mold. Dirt or mud can also resemble mold at times (2).

A surface test generally consists of one or more tape lift samples. To use this, lift the tape from one side of the sample, then press it gently against the moldy area. You can also use a cotton swab and gently roll it across the area and then on the sticky tape.

Afterward, send your samples to the provided lab. You can expect your results to arrive between two to five business days, depending on the lab and brand. Most brands will provide you with your results via email.

Other surface tests consist of one or more cotton swabs that you roll on the area and then slide into a tube. Inside the tube is a substance that will change color, indicating whether you have mold or not.

Importance of Testing for Mold

While mold can cause several health issues or none at all, it’s not something we want growing in our house. It’s important to test for mold not only to determine whether or not you have it but also to know what type.

There are many types of mold; some are toxic while others are harmless. Doing your own testing with a DIY kit is a good start. Then when your collected samples are analyzed, you’ll know exactly what species of mold you’re dealing with.

Different types of mold require different treatments. Some species are easily removed with vinegar, while others require something stronger such as bleach. Killing the source is crucial as the actively growing mold will otherwise spread throughout your home by creating spores.

Detecting Mold

Mold isn’t always visible, which makes it tricky to determine its presence. Here are a few things to help you detect mold:

1. Smell

One of the first signs of mold is a musty odor. If you have smelled mold in the past, you’ll probably never forget the scent. Mold outdoors and indoors tend to smell differently, possibly due to humidity levels and moisture.

Indoors, mold generally smells musty or damp, while it’s stale outdoors. It can become quite pungent and unpleasant. You can usually use your nose to sniff your way to the source.

Take Mold Smells Seriously

Smelling mold is a tell-tale sign that you have active growing molds in your house. This is not something you should take lightly. You must get further testing done to find proper treatment. Covering up with air fresheners isn’t an option.

2. Water Leaks

If you’ve recently had a water leak in your house, mold will likely form. In fact, mold will begin to grow within 24 to 48 hours if the conditions are optimal (3).

You must inspect the area around the leak closely. Do what you can to clean up as much water as possible. If the leak reaches a carpet, consider hiring a professional to dry it to avoid mold growth.

3. Health Symptoms

Even if you aren’t allergic to mold, you could still be dealing with a few health effects the fungus brings. The mold that can cause the most harm to humans is Stachybotrys chartarum, also known as black or toxic mold. This species produces mycotoxins, which can cause severe health effects (4).

Common symptoms of mold exposure include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Respiratory issues such as coughing and shortness of breath.
  • Irritated mucous membranes.
  • Fatigue.
  • Nausea or vomiting.
  • Skin inflammation or irritation.
  • Allergic reactions such as a runny nose, red eyes, and sneezing.

The Institute of Medicine found, in 2004, that mold and exposure to dampness can cause upper respiratory tract symptoms. The IOM also found that otherwise healthy people can experience coughing and wheezing.

4. Visible Mold

If you see mold growing somewhere in your house, there’ll be no doubt it’s present. But the real question is: how much is there? If you see small traces of mold, try to follow it to find the source. Regardless, though, the entire area will need treatment.


FAQs

How Can You Tell If You Have Mold Behind Drywall?

There are several ways to tell if you have mold behind drywall. You can use your nose, inspect the drywall for stains, or buy a mold test kit, like this Mold Air Test Kit by Home Air Check.

It detects mold in the atmosphere, has a 2,000-foot coverage, and the cost of the certified lab test result is included.

Are Home Mold Test Kits Reliable?

Home mold test kits are reliable, provided they are used correctly. You must follow the manufacturer’s guidelines and perform the test in a precise manner for the best results.

How Much Does It Cost to Test for Mold In Your House?

The cost of detecting mold in your house depends on your method. You can buy home test kits, like this MIN Mold Test Kit, for under $50. However, calling in the pros could cost between $450 and $800.

Does a Musty Smell Always Mean Mold?

Having a musty smell doesn’t always mean mold, but most of the time, mold is the culprit. It could be an old pair of sneakers creating that smell, but you should always investigate to be safer than sorry.

Is There a Blood Test for Mold Exposure?

There is a blood test to test your body’s reaction to different mold types and how well your immune system copes with allergens.


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Headshot of Matthew Sullivan

About the Author

Matthew Sullivan

Matthew is a freelance writer with several years of experience in DIY and HVAC. For as long as he can remember, Matthew has always found great pleasure in taking things apart and learning how to put them back together.