BinaxNOW: What You Need to Know

A step-by-step video guide to conducting a BinaxNOW Self Test in the comfort of your own home.

BinaxNOW: What You Need to Know
Diagnostics Testing | Mar. 11, 2022

Are you in need of a BinaxNOW Self Test? You can find our tests at your local retail stores here.

Now that you’re home with your BinaxNOW Self Test, here’s a quick video that includes a step-by-step guide, start to finish, on how to conduct a BinaxNOW COVID-19 Self Test.

BinaxNOW home test

Now that you have the BinaxNOW Self Test under control, here are answers to some of the questions you might have:

1. Why use COVID Self Tests?
Our BinaxNOW Self Tests can provide the confidence needed to continue engaging in your communities as other COVID-19 safety measures begin to dissipate. Testing before and after events, school, work or social engagements gives you and your loved ones confidence, especially if you have loved ones who are at a higher risk. 

2. How do I test myself or someone else?
Using the BinaxNOW Self Test is simple, even if you have never tested yourself before. You simply will perform a lower nostril nasal swab (not the deeper nasopharyngeal swab) and everything you need (swab, test card and reagent solution) is included in the box. Each test kit comes with an illustrated quick reference guide to walk you through the process step by step.

3. Who should use this test?
The test is indicated for all people aged 15 years or older and for children as young as 2 years old when samples are collected by an adult. The test can be used for people with and without symptoms.

4. Should people who were vaccinated use this test?
Testing will remain an essential part of our short- and long-term COVID-19 recovery strategy. The BinaxNOW Self Test will be a key tool alongside vaccination as we get back to life. We don't yet know how long vaccines confer immunity and how variants will evolve.

5. How will people report their test results?
People can now self-report test results through our NAVICA app. In addition, people are encouraged to follow the latest CDC guidelines, which is to communicate your results to your healthcare provider, who is responsible for reporting your test results to the state health department.

6. How many tests come in a package?
There are two tests (as well as two swabs and reagents) in each box.

7. How long should people wait between taking BinaxNOW Self Tests?
The tests should be administered twice over three days with at least 24 hours (and no more than 48 hours) between tests.

8. Can the BinaxNOW Self Test be thrown into the garbage after use?
You can recycle the box, but should dispose of the test card, nasal swab and test solution in common household waste, in line with the test's instructions for use.

9. How do I know if I have a positive or negative test?
To check for a positive result, look at the result window for two pink or purple lines. Even a faint line next to the word "sample" on the test card is a positive result. A negative result will have only one pink or purple line on the top half of the results window where it says "control."

10. What if my test result is invalid?
If your results window has any of the following, the test result may be invalid:

  • No lines appear by control or sample
  • The control line is blue and not pink/purple
  • There is a pink/purple line by sample, but no line by control
  • The control line is blue, but the sample is pink/purple

If you see an invalid result, contact our technical support on this number: +1 833-637-1594.

11. Can the tests still work after sitting in cold or hot temperatures?
Yes. A storage temperature range is very common in OTC health products. For BinaxNOW, it’s between 35.6 and 86° F and the test should be kept within this range. But if the test is stored outside the temperature range for a relatively short period of time – for a couple of hours up to a day or two – it will be fine to use, and it’s important is that test and its components be used at room temperature.

12. How do I know what day my BinaxNOW Self Test expires?
For the BinaxNOW COVID-19 Self Test, please reference the expiration date printed on the back of the box, next to the hourglass symbol, as the expiration date for your tests.

13. Are these at-home tests covered by insurance?
BinaxNOW is FSA and HSA eligible, but be sure to contact your health insurance provider to determine reimbursement eligibility. Beginning January 15, most people with a health plan are able to purchase an at-home test at no cost either through reimbursement or free of charge through their insurance. To learn more about this program, visit here or contact your insurance provider.  

Anything you're still unsure of?
For more about the BinaxNOW Self Test and to contact our technical support team, click here.

This story was originally published on March 11, 2022 and updated on May 31, 2022. It was again updated on June 10, 2022.


The BinaxNOW™ COVID-19 Antigen Self Test has not been FDA cleared or approved. It has been authorized by the FDA under an emergency use authorization. It has been authorized only for the detection of proteins from SARS-CoV-2, not for any other viruses or pathogens, and is only authorized for the duration of the declaration that circumstances exist justifying the authorization of emergency use of in vitro diagnostics for detection and/or diagnosis of COVID-19 under Section 564(b)(1) of the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act, 21 U.S.C. § 360bbb-3(b)(1), unless the declaration is terminated or authorization is revoked sooner. For serial testing, the BinaxNOW COVID-19 Antigen Self Test should be performed twice over 3 days, at least 24 hours (and no more than 48 hours) apart. For symptomatic use, a single test can be used.

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