A mold test kit can help you to know if you’ve got mold in your home or not. This can help to stop and even prevent many illnesses that often result from mold buildup in homes.
There are, however, as many mold test kits as there are micro-organisms. So, it’s easy to get overwhelmed when you’re shopping for a kit.
But this mold test kits review throws light on the issue and makes it easier for you to choose by taking a look at the market’s top offers below.
Best Mold Test Kits Buying Guide
1. Types of Molds
There are many types of molds, from black molds to penicillin and so many others.
So, it’s practically impossible to test for them all, but a good test kit should test for as many of the most common molds as possible.
If you don’t know what you’re looking for, then go for a kit that tests for the widest range of spores.
2. Types of Tests
There are different types of tests and they come with their pros and cons. The most popular are air testing and surface testing.
Most kits are either designed for one style or the other, although some kits come with tools for more than one testing style. Here’s a closer look at each type.
– Air Testing
This simply means trapping the ambient air and the spores it contains onto a mold growth medium.
This can involve leaving a petri dish open in the room for some time or using other methods of air extraction, such as the more expensive MyMoldDetective MMD105 air pump kit.
– Surface Testing
Surface testing is best used when you can visually identify the source of the mold spores. It generally involves rubbing the surface area with a swab to pick up fragments of the suspected mold, or pressing a piece of adhesive tape over the area, so it can pick up samples.
– Bulk Testing
With bulk testing, you have to physically pick up a piece of the sampled area and bag it safely for sending it to a lab.
3. Test Precision
All mold test kits offer varying levels of precision and reliability, so it’s often difficult to know which manufacturer to trust.
A good strategy is to go with the tried and tested: products that have received plenty of good reviews.
On the other hand, testing laboratories that are accredited by institutions such as the AIHA should provide more credible services.
If you follow the manufacturer’s instructions properly, then using mold test kits is safe and there should be nothing to worry about.
In the case of keeping a petri dish for a few days to check for mold growth, try and keep it away from children’s reach.
5. User Friendliness
Another factor to consider is user-friendliness, which can take many features into account.
They include simple operating instructions, an easy-to-understand user manual, and an overall simplicity that makes it usable by a wide range of people without getting too technical.
6. Test Duration
Because all the tests work differently, they also have different durations to get a result. Instant tests such as the Healthful Home HH2003 to confirm the sheer presence of molds can take just minutes, while you’ll need up to five days to see if you’ll get some growths in a petri dish.
When it comes to samples sent to labs, this will depend on the individual lab, but they can range from just one day up to two weeks to get you a report.
9 Best Mold Test Kits of 2021 Reviewed
1. Mold Inspection Network DT-28356 (Best Overall)
2. Mold Armor FG500 (Best Budget)
3. First Alert MT1 (Best Premium)
4. Healthful Home HH2003 (Best Instant)
5. Seeml Labs (Best Extensive Service)
6. Home Health Science Inc MC010 (Best Mold Locater)
7. MyMoldDetective MMD105 (Air Sampling Kit)
8. ProLab MO109 (Simple & Cheap)
9. A-1 Basement (Compact & Fast)
1. Best Overall: Mold Inspection Network DT-28356
Photo: Mold Inspection Network
- Types of Test: Surface
- No. of Tests: 3
- Result Duration: Some days
This Mold Inspection Network test kit is a very simple and easy-to-use system. It includes three tape lift samples, tests a wide range of molds, and its price includes lab fees (except in Texas), to make it the best overall mold test kit on this list.
What this means is simply open the kit, peel off the tape, stick it on the mold, write the date, seal it, and ship it off to the lab. If you like, you can also send up to three samples.
The lab here has processed over 50,000 tests, so there’s nothing to worry about. They will send the results via email, and you are additionally free to contact them for expert consultation on your results.
One little thing here is that you’ll still have to pay postage for the samples. But that’s a very minimal cost compared to the savings you’ll get with this package.
- Simple and easy mold testing method
- The price includes lab fees
- Each package contains three tests
- Includes expert consultation during and after testing
- The price doesn’t include shipping to the lab
2. Best Budget: Mold Armor FG500
Photo: Mold Armor
- Types of Test: Air and surface
- No. of Tests: 1 test
- Result Duration: 48 hours
Here’s one of the best mold detection kits for those on a budget, who need an affordable kit that still produces great results. The goal here is simple: use a petri dish to test for the presence of molds in your home within 48 hours.
For this, the package comes with a petri dish, a small bottle of the mold growth medium, and swabs for surface testing. You can either leave the petri dish open for a while to pick up spores from the air or you use the swab if you’ve got visible mold.
If there’s growth on the medium after the 48-hour incubation, then you’ve got mold, else, there’s nothing to worry about. You can also send in the sample for a detailed report if you want.
No doubt, this mold test kit comes with a lot of work on your part. But if you want it at such a cheap price, then it’s okay to do some work.
- Very cheap DIY mold testing kit
- Doesn’t require sending in the sample by mail
- Includes a swab, petri dish, and growth medium
- Offers air and surface testing methods
- It needs extra work on your part
3. Best Premium: First Alert MT1
Photo: First Alert
- Types of Test: Air
- No. of Tests: 6 tests
- Result Duration: 5-7 days
Here, you get the opportunity to run detailed and wide-ranging tests by a NIOSH-certified lab. You will then receive specific reports for each mold type after about 5 to 7 days.
This mold test kit comes with everything you need, including a manual to lead you through the process. You can do either air, surface, or bulk testing with this kit.
You can also take up to nine samples with this kit and mail them to the lab. The materials include six test tapes and three cards, allowing you the freedom to choose.
One issue with this test kit, however, is there’s a $10 processing fee per sample, to provide the detailed lab report.
- Lets you send in up to nine samples
- Testing done by a NIOSH certified lab
- Includes air and surface testing materials
- Backed by a 5-year warranty
- It comes with additional costs
4. Best Instant: Healthful Home HH2003
Photo: Healthful Home
- Types of Test: Surface
- No. of Tests: 1 test
- Result Duration: 5 minutes
How about faster results? Healthful Home provides one of the best instant mold test kits for those who need a fast result.
The package includes a single test and produces results in just 5 minutes, providing instant clarity that’s very valuable in situations where you can’t wait for days to get a report.
You can detect up to 32 of the worst Asp/Pen and mold types that are responsible for illnesses and discomfort. If you want more information, you can use the included swabs and free-post envelope to mail-in samples for more detailed lab analysis.
Its major issue is being a little costly for a single test, but its instant 5-minute result makes it worth it.
- Very fast results in just minutes
- No need to mail the samples in
- Easy to understand and use system
- Test for a wide range of harmful molds
- It’s a relatively costly test kit
5. Best Extensive Service: Seeml Labs
Photo: Seeml Labs
- Types of Test: Surface
- No. of Tests: 3 or more samples
- Result Duration: Same day
If you are the type that places lots of emphasis on customer service, this might be the best mold test kit, because it offers a high-level customer-focused service.
While many labs provide a result after many days or even weeks, this lab will process your sample the same day it comes in and then, provide a detailed and free lab report. You’ll also get free expert consultation, as everything is included in its price.
It lets you send-in up to three samples and their testing is thorough as they check for all mold types. Furthermore, the lab is a professional AIHA-LAP accredited lab, so you have nothing to worry about.
It could have been great if there was a way to test for mold presence first with this test, before sending in the sample. But their response time is still great.
- Test kit offered by a professional lab
- Can take three or more samples for mailing-in
- Tests are carried out same day the lab receives samples
- Includes detailed lab report and expert consultation
- You need to send the sample in first
6. Best Mold Locater: Home Health Science Inc MC010
Photo: Home Health Science Inc
- Types of Test: Air
- No. of Tests: 10 tests
- Result Duration: 5 days
If you’re sure you’ve got mold in your home or office, but just can’t tell the source, then here’s probably the best mold test kit for you.
It comes with 10 tests per kit and the idea is to continue testing each location and focusing on higher concentrations until you find the source.
So, you could test all the rooms in your house and then, analyze the mold count from each room after five days incubation to find out where you have the highest concentration, which will also be the source.
That five-day wait might be a drawback for some but it’s worth it. You can also take extra samples after you’ve found the source, and mail them to the lab for a detailed report.
- Designed to help you locate the mold source
- Contains 10 tests per kit, making it cheap
- No need to mail in the samples & no extra costs
- Easy to follow instructions
- It takes time to work
7. Professional Air Sampling: MyMoldDetective MMD105
- Types of Test: Air, surface
- No. of Tests: 7 tests
- Result Duration: Mail-in samples
Professionals use air pumps to collect as much pores as possible for testing and this MyMoldDetective MMD105 package offers you that same ability.
The kit comes with an air pump and sample cassettes, as well as one tape life for surface samples, and an envelope to mail the samples back to the lab.
Such a system guarantees better results than petri dishes, which can fail to trap mold spores, especially in rooms with a low concentration.
The system also costs way more than petri dishes and is, in fact, the costliest offer on this list. But consider the pros: more accuracy and a pump you can reuse and reuse.
- Produces professional results
- The package includes a mold-testing pump
- It also comes with air sample cassettes
- You can reuse the pump for as long as you like
- It’s the most expensive system here
8. Simple & Cheap: ProLab MO109
- Types of Test: Air & surface
- No. of Tests: 2 tests
- Result Duration: 72 hours
With this ProLab MO109 offer, you get an entirely different but simple and cheap approach to mold test kits. It comes with a petri dish, swabs for surface testing, and a plastic bag for bulk material testing.
You can easily test the air using the petri dish. Leave it open for about an hour and then close and incubate it for 72 hours.
If you find mold growth on it, then you can mail it in with the included pre-paid return envelope. Reports come through email or with ProLab’s smartphone app if you choose. The only issue is that the detailed analysis costs $40 per sample.
- Low priced and easy to use test kit
- Lets you check for mold by yourself
- Also lets you mail-in the results
- Offers detailed lab report, an app, and expert consultation
- It costs an extra $40 to get lab results
9. Compact & Fast: A-1 Basements
Photo: A-1 Basements
- Types of Test: Surface
- No. of Tests: 2 tests
- Result Duration: 1 minute
This A1 Basement Solutions takes a different approach here by offering a very modern and sleek test kit that also produces very fast results in just one minute.
This best home mold test kit contains two tests and they are so small and compact, you can take them anywhere. You can use it to test for molds, germs, allergens, and bacteria and fungi that cause diseases.
Just follow the simple instructions and you’ll get a result in a minute, confirming or negating the presence of molds. You can also send in the samples for a detailed lab report, but that will cost an additional $50.
- Very fast surface test results in just one minute
- Compact mold test stick design
- Also lets you send-in the results for a lab report
- The package comes with two tests
- Its detailed lab report costs $50
How To Use Mold Test Kits?
Step 1 – Start with Hygiene
Hygiene is very important here because you’re dealing with micro-organisms. So, make sure to wash your hands properly with soap before opening the test kit and touching the tests.
Try to maintain as high a level of hygiene as possible, so you don’t contaminate your samples and corrupt your result.
Step 2 – Prepare the Room
When possible, try and close all doors and windows in the room that you intend to test 24 hours prior.
This is necessary to increase the concentration of potential spores and improve your test accuracy.
Step 3 – Prepare the Test
The different tests have different preparations. So, you’ll need to read the manufacturer’s instructions here.
Regardless of the type of test you’re using, try to maintain a high level of hygiene when handling the test kit.
Step 4 – Follow the Instructions
Some kits need you to open a petri dish and leave it in the room for an hour.
Others come with a sterile swab or tape to physically pick up surface samples, while even more professional systems use an air pump to pick up as many spores as possible for testing. Just follow the manufacturer’s instructions here.
Step 5 – Check Results & Mail-ins
After the test period, you’ll either get an instant result or you may have to mail in the sample to the designated laboratory for confirmation and a detailed report.
Test sticks take a few minutes, while Petri dishes need 5 days to confirm if there’s a growth or not.
We’ve come to the end of this mold test kits review and you’ve seen the best the market has to offer. Now it is your turn to make a choice.
For an easy decision, we recommend our best overall offer, the Mold Inspection DT-28356 test kit, with its simple method, reliable lab services, and prepaid report fees.
Those who want to save some money will appreciate the Mold Armor FG500 test kit, with its simplicity, no need for mailing, and very low cost.
And if you prefer good customer service above all else, then you should try the Seeml Labs mold test kit, with their exceptional and customer-focused approach.
In this post:
- Best Mold Test Kits Buying Guide
- 9 Best Mold Test Kits of 2021 Reviewed
- 1. Best Overall: Mold Inspection Network DT-28356
- 2. Best Budget: Mold Armor FG500
- 3. Best Premium: First Alert MT1
- 4. Best Instant: Healthful Home HH2003
- 5. Best Extensive Service: Seeml Labs
- 6. Best Mold Locater: Home Health Science Inc MC010
- 7. Professional Air Sampling: MyMoldDetective MMD105
- 8. Simple & Cheap: ProLab MO109
- 9. Compact & Fast: A-1 Basements
- How To Use Mold Test Kits?