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Best mold test kit

mold test kit
(Image credit: DIY Mold Test)

A mold test kit is the first step in getting your home treated for dampness, plaster contamination, and spore growth. Mold kits will detect spores in any room of your home, and some even go inside your HVAC unit and will usually give you initial results within a couple of hours. These mold kits are our picks to help you get started in tackling any issues in your home.

Best overall

Pro-Lab Mold Test Kit

(Image credit: Pro-Lab)

ProLab mold test kit (opens in new tab)

Home, air, and surface testing

The Pro-Lab mold test kit gives you four different testing methods, including the plate method, visual sampling, and the HVAC method. It comes with all the instructions for collecting your samples, plus your results are more accurate than most other mold test kits. 

Pros:

  • Very accurate
  • Four mold tests
  • Results in as little as 5 days

Cons:

  • Extra fee for lab analyse results

The first and easiest is the settling plate method, which has you leave a prepared petri dish on a flat surface for an hour before sealing it up and letting the sample incubate for a minimum of two days. The second method is called visual sampling. This method has you use a swab to collect a mold sample and place it in a petri dish before sending both the swab and the dish off to the lab for analysis. Pro-Lab does charge an additional fee for laboratory analysis, but the results will be accurate. The HVAC method is the most difficult option, but is important. This requires that you attach a petri dish to the vent farthest from the AC or heater and close all the other vents in your home before turning on the system for ten minutes. Once that is done, you seal the dish and let the sample incubate for at least two days. This kit can detect black mold and yeast but cannot identify fungus or bacteria. 

Quick results

Healthful Home 5-Minute Home Mold Test

(Image credit: Healthful Home)

Healthful Home 5-minute mold test (opens in new tab)

Results in five minutes

The Healthful Home mold test is the perfect test for anyone who needs fast results. Using a swab, you collect samples of mold and place them into two collection trays. Then you release a special liquid onto the sample, and your results will show up shortly thereafter.

Pros:

  • 5 minutes to get results
  • Quickly identifies black mold

Cons:

  • Only one testing method

If you want more detailed results, you need to send your sample to the company's lab. This costs additional money but can give you peace of mind or help you determine what course of action to take. The lab's turnaround time is only five days so you won't have to wait that long for results. This kit only offers one testing method that detects black mold, so you'll have to purchase other tests if you need results for other tests, including HVAC testing. While this kit does cost more to use, it can also help you take action quicker. This company is AIHA certified.

Best value

Mold Armor

(Image credit: Mold Armor)

Mold Armor do it yourself mold test kit (opens in new tab)

A user-friendly test kit

The Mold Armor test kit requires very little setup and tests for mold in the air, HVAC systems, and surfaces. The tests take at least two days to incubate and mature, or you can send samples to a certified mycology laboratory for identification.

Pros:

  • Easy step-by-step instructions
  • Indoor and outdoor testing

Cons:

  • Extra fee for lab to analyse results
  • Mail-in lab results are slow

Laboratory tests cost extra, and it takes three weeks for you to receive a custom report, much longer than other mold test kits we reviewed. This kit comes with all the supplies for conducting the three available tests. You get a petri dish, a growth agar and a cotton swab. It comes with instructions for testing both indoor and outdoor air, but because the kit comes with only one dish and one growth agar, testing both indoor and outdoor air requires two kits. The Mold Armor kit doesn’t identify fungus, yeast or pollen, and you don’t have the option to send a carpet, fabric or wall sample to the lab for analysis.

Best air mold test

ImmunoLytics Value Test Kit

(Image credit: ImmunoLytics)

ImmunoLytics DIY mold test kit (opens in new tab)

Simple to use

With the ImmunoLytics kit, you can test indoor air. It’s easy to use; simply open the included, ready-to-use petri dish and leave it exposed to the air for an hour. There’s no need to add a growth medium. 

Pros:

  • Free mycology included
  • Very easy to use

Cons:

  • Not certified by the American Industrial Hygiene Association

If you want to get a more detailed report, you can submit your sample to the lab for testing. It is included at no extra cost along with a report that you can present to mold removal and remediation specialists. But keep in mind that ImmunoLytics is not certified by the American Industrial Hygiene Association.

How to choose the best mold test kit 

There are a few key things to consider when selecting a mold test kit, including the types of supplies and the available customer support. Here are the main factors to think about to make sure you choose the best mold test kit for your situation. 

Test supplies

It is important to find a mold test kit that includes all of the equipment necessary to collect complete samples. If a test kit can collect surface samples but does not include swabs or adhesive strips, you’ll have to look elsewhere to buy these items at an added cost. Usually, you can determine the types of tests the kit can perform by looking at the included supplies.

Help and support

Reputable mold test companies include their telephone numbers and email addresses on their websites. In addition to contact information, you might want to select a company that has strong support options, including FAQs and video tutorials. Aside from our top product, the Pro-Lab mold test kit, you can find full customer support with Healthful Home's 5-minute mold test.

It also is handy if either the kit itself or the website offers a guidebook to tell you how to test for mold and identify what you find.

If you suspect that your home is infested with some form of mold, it is important to identify and deal with the problem as quickly as possible. Home mold test kits give you an excellent tool in the battle against mold and other harmful invaders.

How we tested mold test kits

We've been evaulating mold test kits for over a decade along with other purification products like air purifiers. In our most recent evaluation, we compared a dozen products to determine which kits were the easiest to use, offered multiple testing methods and could also identify things like yeast and fungus.

While we didn't test these kits ourselves, we did compare their supplies, testing methods and support features to determine which were the easiest to use. Since mold can greatly impact you and your loved ones' health, we gave more points to kits that require shorter incubation times and have faster lab turnaround. We also checked to see what kinds of testing methods each kit offers. Typically, kits that offer more testing methods scored higher in our comparison since they give you more options to work with.

We gave more points to kits that could detect a larger number of growths, including yeast, mold, fungus and bacteria. Kits that let you take HVAC samples and outdoor tests and that allow you to submit physical samples scored higher since they were more inclusive. Scores were also higher for kits that provide professional supplies like petri dishes, swabs, sample bags and adhesive strips. Similarly, the amount of support offered by the company influenced our rankings. If there are multiple customer contact options and multiple ways to find answers to questions, including a FAQs page and video tutorials, companies scored higher.

While we didn't score testing kits based on their prices, we did determine whether or not a product's price was warranted. The total cost of a mold testing experience includes the initial price of the kit and the price of the lab analysis. Some products cost very little initially but are expensive if a lab test is needed. 

Why trust us

At Top Ten Reviews, we recommend the best products to enhance your life. As experts, we handpick products based on quality and usefulness to positively impact your life. We take our responsibility seriously — testing products, reading reviews, and sourcing knowledgeable outlets to ensure our selections are worthy of your time and money. Our detailed product overviews balance objective information with subjective opinions, so making the best choice for your home and lifestyle is easy.

Rebecca is a writer who has covered everything from photo books to graphic design and small kitchen appliances for Top Ten Reviews. Now a gaming writer for Future Labs, she's also contributed to big publications like TechRadar, Windows Central, Android Central, Reuters Legal Solutions Blog, iMore, and more. She no longer works for TTR.