This review is written with the intent to be as unbiased as possible. However, it represents the opinion of an individual reviewer and is therefore subjective. Furthermore, at Nebula Genomics we seek to educate the public about the benefits of Whole Genome Sequencing. Information about our Whole Genome Sequencing DNA test is therefore incorporated into the review.
October 5, 2020
Table of Contents
- 7 Facts from our Everlywell Review
- Everlywell Introduction
- Review of Everlywell’s Science
- Taking an Everlywell Test
- Overview of Everlywell Tests and Cost (Updated March 2021)
- Review of Everlywell Tests
- Review of Everlywell in the News
- Other Everlywell Test Reviews (Updated March 2021)
- Everlywell Pros and Cons
- Nebula Genomics
7 Facts from our Everlywell Review
- Location: Austin, Texas
- Products: 30 at-home testing kits for a variety of health conditions
- Ordering: you can order online at everlywell.com or amazon.com; also available at some retail stores like Target
- How it works: you send in a sample (blood, urine, saliva, or vaginal swab). Everlywell describe levels of specific biomarkers that are measured in the sample and their relation to various health characteristics
- Reports: provide insights into biomarker levels associated with health conditions, may be used for health-related purposes in consultation with medical professionals
- Everlywell Cost: $49-$259
- Complementary products: Nebula Genomics Whole Genome Sequencing, Women’s Health Test, and Men’s Health Test
This is a review of Everlywell (Everly Well), a Texas-based at-home lab testing company founded in 2015 by CEO Julia Cheek. The company became famous after it was featured on ABC’s Shark Tank. The Shark Tank episode provided the company with a investment from Lori Greiner. Cheek says she was inspired to start the company when she encountered high costs and long waiting times for routine lab tests.
The company offers 30 at-home testing kits that use blood, saliva, urine, or a vaginal swab to test for certain health conditions. Some of their most popular products include tests for thyroid function, metabolism factors, and chronic inflammation, and vitamin D deficiency. Cheek reports that the direct-to-consumer success of 23andMe has had a big influence on her business. Like the DNA site, Cheek wants to expand her product to be widely available in retail stores. The company claims to serve hundreds of thousands of customers and to have delivered tens of millions in sales two years after launch.
Each test includes instructions and sample collection tools. The samples are processed in a CLIA-certified lab and reviewed by a board-certified physician is included in the price. Everlywell states that results are typically available within 5 business days from the lab receiving the sample and can be accessed through a secure platform from any device.
For regulatory reasons, these tests are not available in NJ, NY, or RI.
Review of Everlywell’s Science
The company uses biomarkers to analyze health conditions. Biomarkers are organic substances, such as metabolites or hormones that can inform a patient’s health. While DNA can be classified as a biomarker, the company does not use genetic biomarkers in its tests. The 30 different testing kits analyze different biomarkers related to the health characteristic being tested.
However, in 2017, Everlywell did enter the genetic testing space by partnering with the personal genomics company Helix. Together with Helix they offered 3 new products that analyze both biomarkers and DNA:
- Food Sensitivity+
- Breast Milk DHA+
The goal was to provide customers with a comprehensive view of their health.
When a customer purchased one of these products, they would receive two kits. The first was a DNA testing kit from Helix and the second a small blood sample collecting kit from Everlywell.
However, as of May 2020, the collaboration with Helix appears to have ended. This means that customers looking for personalized health information from Everlywell will have to rely on biomarker results only.
Taking an Everlywell Test
Before reviewing Everlywell tests, let’s take a look at how to get started.
Customers can purchase an Everlywell testing kit online at everylywell.com. Before ordering, customers are given the opportunity to educate themselves about symptoms associated with various conditions (e.g. bloating and joint pain) to be able to choose the most appropriate test. Some tests also require the customer to take a medication history questionnaire.
A testing kit that includes collection materials and instructions is mailed to their home. Customers go to everywell.com, register their kit using the provided barcode, and then collect the required sample following the instructions (blood test, saliva, urine, or a vaginal swab). Finally, the sample is returned to Everlywell using with the provided prepaid shipping label.
Detailed instructions on how to collect samples for different kinds of tests are provided with each kit. Additionally, video tutorials are publicly available on YouTube. Tests results are produced in a CLIA-certified lab (many Everlywell labs are also CAP-accredited).
Test results are reviewed by an independent physician within the customer’s state. The company provides a personalized report of each tested biomarker within days through its secure platform.
Overview of Everlywell Tests and Cost (Updated March 2021)
The company offers at-home tests to assess various health characteristics based on biomarkers. There are 30 tests in total.
|Food Sensitivity||IgG response to 96 common foods||Finger prick blood||$159|
|Food Sensitivity Comprehensive||IgG reactivity to 203 foods||Finger prick blood||$259|
|HbA1c||Hemoglobin sugar levels||Finger prick blood||$49|
|Heart Health||Total cholesterol, HDL, Calculated LDL, Triglycerides, hs-CRP, and HbA1c||Finger prick blood||$99|
|Cholesterol and Lipids||Total cholesterol, HDL, Calculated LDL, and Triglycerides||Finger prick blood||$49|
|Folic Acid||Folate (Vitamin B9/Folic acid)||Finger prick blood||$49|
|Lyme Disease||IgG and IgM reactivity to Borrelia garinii, Borrelia afzelii, and Borrelia burgdorferi||Finger prick blood||$109|
|Sleep and Stress||Critical sleep and stress hormones||Urine||$199|
|Indoor & Outdoor Allergy tests||14 trees, 9 weeds, 4 molds, 2 dust mites, 2 pet allergens, 2 pests||Finger prick blood||$199|
|B Vitamins||Vitamin B6, B9, and B12 levels||Finger prick blood||$89|
|Heavy Metals||Levels of several environmental heavy metals and minerals||Urine||$199|
|Testosterone||Levels of free testosterone||Saliva sample||$49|
|Men’s health||Levels of key male hormones||Finger prick blood, saliva||$199|
|Women’s Fertility test||Hormones regulating ovarian function||Finger prick blood, saliva||$149|
|Postmenopause||Estradiol and progesterone||Finger prick blood||$99|
|Perimenopause||Hormones that change with perimenopause||Finger prick blood||$99|
|Ovarian Reserve||Day 3 FSH level||Finger prick blood||$49|
|HPV – Female||14 high-risk human papillomavirus (HPV) genotypes||Vaginal swab||$49|
|Women’s Health||Levels of key female hormones||Finger prick blood, saliva||$199|
Energy + Weight
|Vitamin D and Inflammation||25-OH D and hsCRP||Finger prick blood||$99|
|Metabolism||Hormones that can influence your metabolism||Finger prick blood, saliva||$49|
|Vitamin D||25-OH D||Finger prick blood||$99|
|Thyroid||Thyroid levels||Finger prick blood||$99|
|Chlamydia and gonorrhea||Presence of chlamydia or gonorrhea infection||Urine||$49|
|Hepatitis C||Exposure to hepatitis C virus||Finger prick blood||$49|
|HIV||Exposure to HIV virus||Finger prick blood||$49|
|Syphilis||Exposure to syphilis bacteria||Finger prick blood||$49|
|Trichomoniasis||Presence of trichomoniasis||Urine||$49|
|Everlywell STD test – female||Chlamydia, gonorrhea, hepatitis C, herpes type 2, HIV, syphilis & trichomoniasis||Finger prick blood, vaginal swab||$149|
|Everlywell STD test – male||Chlamydia, gonorrhea, hepatitis C, herpes type 2, HIV, syphilis & trichomoniasis||Finger prick blood, urine||$149|
Payments and Insurance
Tests cost between $49 and $259. It’s important to note that the tests are usually not covered by insurance. The company claims that their at-home lab tests are comparable or lower in price than in-person lab tests.
However, due to the nature of some of their tests, there is a chance that some insurance policies may cover selected tests. The company recommends its customers to contact their insurance providers if they purchase one of these tests:
- Cholesterol & Lipids test
- Inflammation & Vitamin D
- Comprehensive Thyroid tests
Since tests are authorized by physicians, customers can submit their purchase receipts for reimbursement through health savings account and flexible spending account (HSA/FSA) benefits.
Customer paying out of pocket may be able to save money by using Everlywell coupons or Everlywell promo codes on popular discount sites like RetailMeKnot.
Review of Everlywell Tests
The Everlywell reports describe levels of specific biomarkers that were measured in the customer’s sample and are related to the various health characteristic. The reports include information on how the test results may affect the customer’s health. They also provide insights on how to improve or maintain healthy biomarker levels and provide links to related medical research.
Everlywell Food Sensitivity Test Reviews
The Everlywell home test for food sensitivity test is a comprehensive test that measures the body’s Immunoglobulin G (called immunoglobulins – IgG) immune response. The 96 different types of foods tested are common parts of western diets. Foods include 5 dairy products, 2 egg products, 16 fruits, 10 grains, 5 legumes, 5 meats, 11 seafoods, 7 seeds and nuts, 20 vegetables, and 15 spices. Sensitivity to each food (food intolerance) is categorized as follows:
- High Reactivity level (Class 3)
- Moderate Reactivity level (Class 2)
- Mild Reactivity level (Class 1)
- Low Reactivity level (Class 0; normal)
The higher the reactivity, the more sensitive the company claims the body reacts to that food. They recommend that customers may want to eliminate high sensitivity foods from their diet, which may help to maximize health and minimize weight gain. Breath tests can also be useful for detecting some forms of food intolerance.
It should be noted that the Everlywell food sensitivity test cannot detect lactose intolerance. This can be determined with a DNA test, such as the Whole Genome Sequencing that we offer at Nebula Genomics.
Additionally, customers should be aware of the differences between food allergies and food sensitivities. Everlywell tests for sensitivity to a particular food, they are not food allergy tests. Food sensitivities are normally characterized by a slow onset of symptoms that are generally mild, like stomach pain and low energy levels. In contrast, symptoms of allergic reactions usually occur immediately after exposure and can very severe and sometimes even life-threatening. The reactions are also mediated by different antibodies: IgG for food sensitivities and IgE for food allergies.
Everlywell Heart Health Test Reviews
Another popular test is the Heart Health test. This test analyzes blood biomarkers for total cholesterol, HDL, calculated LDL, triglycerides, hs-CRP, and HbA1c. Customers interested in heart health and preventing heart disease are the target population for this product. This includes individuals who take cholesterol medication, have a family history of high cholesterol or heart disease, have a personal or family history of type 2 diabetes.
Results include the numerical result for each biomarker measured and rates each result on various risk scales.
- Total Cholesterol (lipids associated with heart health): Normal or elevated
- Calculated LDL (lipids associated with heart health): Normal or elevated
- HDL (lipids associated with heart health): Low, normal, or elevated
- Triglycerides (lipids associated with heart health): Normal or elevated
- hs-CRP (a marker that may indicate chronic low-grade inflammatory response): Normal or elevated
- HbA1c (a measure of glucose levels): Optimal, acceptable, or elevated
Everlywell STD Test Review
The company sells two STD tests, one tailored for males and the other for females. It is recommended that all sexually active adults get tested for sexually transmitted diseases and sexually transmitted infections annually.
What is the STD testing process like? The at-home testing process for the female test is through a finger prick sample and a vaginal swab sample while the male test requires a finger prick and a urine sample.
Both the female and male tests check for 6 sexually transmitted infections (Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, Hepatitis C, HIV, Syphilis, and Trichomoniasis). For women, early testing for these conditions help detect problems before causing significant health issues like infertility and cervical cancer.
All STD test kits are shipped in discreet packaging and results are ready within a few days of the lab receiving the samples.
Everlywell COVID-19 Test Review
In May 2020, the company announced to have received an Emergency Use Authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. This authorization was for an Everlywell COVID test kit for the collection of samples at home, currently available for $109 (March 2021). This price covers products and services such as overnight shipping, lab processing fees, physician review and diagnosis, and kit components. Everlywell claims to not making any profits from selling COVID-19 tests.
To take the test, a customer completes an online screening, collects their sample via a nasal swab, and receives a digital health report within 24-48 hours. A telehealth consultation is available free of charge once the results are received. The test analyzes the presence or absence of RNA from the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus.
Note the Everlywell tests are not a substitute for seeking professional medical advice. With the exception of certain diagnostic test panels, Everlywell tests are not intended to diagnose or to treat disease but to only provide guidance when you speak with your physician. Once the report is produced, the company recommends that customers consult their physician for diagnosis or treatment concerning personal health care.
You can learn more about at-home coronavirus tests in our review!
For instance, an independent network of physicians will access customer results for the purpose of reviewing them. Data is collected and shared only on HIPAA-compliant servers. Customer records are stored permanently unless the customer requests to delete them.
Some states legally require companies to report certain diagnoses to state health departments. These mandatory reporting guidelines apply to positive results from HIV and other sexually transmitted tests. The data is collected and used for public health purposes such as tracking of new infections, but generally remains private. That is, family members and employers do not have access to it.
Review of Everlywell in the News
Founder Julia Cheek pitched Everlywell to ABC’s Shark Tank in 2017. Lori Greiner provided $1 million as a line of credit.
Multiple outlets such as Us Weekly and Forbes praise the company for making consumer lab testing simple and accessible. However, other Everlywell reviews are mixed. Some Everlywell reviews tests like vitamin and heart health highly. Other tests from Everlywell, especially the very popular food sensitivity test, are ranked poorly.
Is Everlywell legit? In 2018, STAT reported that experts have called the Everlywell food sensitivity test “medically dubious”. The company measures blood IgG antibody levels to determine whether a person’s immune system reacts to specific foods. Often, the company recommends that the customer remove that food from their diet if it reacts highly.
However, the allergy expert interviewed by STAT claims that the test results only indicate which foods have been consumed recently rather than real sensitivities. The article claims that people may actually cause harm to themselves by removing healthy foods from their diet, believing themselves to have a false sensitivity. Physicians typically recommend elimination diets to determine food sensitivities.
The article also reports that health professionals do not recognize the validity of IgG tests for diagnosing food sensitivity. Many believe the IgG presence is the body’s normal reaction to the intake of food.
Other Everlywell Test Reviews (Updated March 2021)
Does Everlywell work? Most reviews of Everlywell products from online retailers like Amazon are mixed, especially for the food sensitivity test. Some users who purchased the products from pharmacies tended to have more positive reviews.
Everlywell Food Sensitivity reviews
Everlywell reviews for food sensitivity are available on:
Other testimonials can be found online: Everlywell reviews (Reddit)
Everlywell STD Test reviews
Everlywell reviews for STD tests are available on:
Everlywell Metabolism Test review
Everlywell metabolism test reviews are available on:
Everlywell Thyroid Test reviews
Everlywell thyroid test reviews are available on:
Everlywell Women’s Health Test review
- Everlywell Fertility Test reviews on Amazon: 4.2/5 stars
- Woman’s Ovarian Reserve on Amazon: 4.2/5 stars
- Postmenopause Test on Amazon: 3.4/5 stars
Everlywell Allergy Test review
- Amazon: 4.1/5 stars
Everlywell Lyme Test reviews
- Reviews on Everlywell’s website: 5/5 stars
Everlywell Vitamin D Test reviews
Everlywell Chlamydia Test reviews
- Amazon: 3.2/5 stars
Everlywell Pros and Cons
- 30 accurate home health test kits available without requiring a doctor’s visit
- Quick return on results (3-5 business days)
- Easy to access reports on all devices
- Results that guide patients to seeking professional medical advice
- Everlywell tests are not available to residents in NJ, NY, and RI
- Small drops of blood sample needed via finger prick for 24/30 tests
- Some tests require fasting including Cholesterol & Lipids and Heart Health
- Science to support the Food Sensitivities test is not recognized by many health professionals
We finish our Everlywell review with a comparison to Nebula Genomics.
Nebula Genomics offers the most affordable 30x Whole Genome Sequencing service that sequences 100% of your DNA. In contrast, Everlywell analyzes biomarkers, not DNA. Biomarker tests and DNA tests should be seen as complementary to each other rather than alternatives.
Similar to Everlywell, the Nebula Genomics test does not provide diagnostic tests. Our Whole Genome Sequencing data is of the highest quality and can be used by physicians and genetic counselors. Individuals who believe they are at risk for a genetic disorder consult a healthcare provider before taking DNA sequencing tests.
|Testing method||Biomarkers||DNA; Whole Genome Sequencing (all 20,000 genes and regulatory regions)|
|Reporting||Symptomatic conditions||Genetic predispositions|
|Data access||No data that can be accessed||Yes (FASTQ, BAM, and VCF files)|
|Cost||$49-$259||$0 – $299|
|Aid for making medical decisions||No, but CLIA-certified lab data can be used in consultation with physicians.||No, but data is of the highest quality and can be used by physicians and genetic counselors.|
Other companies that offer at home lab tests are:
- BlueChew (at home diagnosis and prescriptions for erectile dysfunction)
- imaware (at home blood tests for wide range of health conditions)
- InsideTracker (biomarker health tests and optional DNA test)
- LetsGetChecked (wide range of health and wellness tests)
- LifeDNA (nine reports based on SNP analysis)
- MyLab Box (at-home STD testing)
- Paloma Health (at-home thyroid testing and consultations)
- Personalabs (over 400 lab tests taken at local labs)
- Rightangled (UK based DNA and biomarker testing)
- STDcheck.com (on-site STD testing and consultation)
If interested in gut health, you may want to look at:
- Biohm (gut health, including bacteria and fungi)
- Ixcela (blood test for gut health and personalized recommendations)
- Sun Genomics (gut microbiome testing and personalized probiotics for adults, children, and infants)
- Thryve (personalized probiotics)
- Viome (gut health and microbiome testing)
Other reviews include Curology (personalized skincare), Plexaderm (skin anti-aging), Yoga Burn (weight loss) and Medishare, which may be able to help with emergency health bills through cost sharing ministry. You may also be interested in virtual health care such as that offered by Teladoc and Lemonaid Health!
Did you like our Everlywell review? You can read more reviews on our blog and check out our complete guide to the best DNA test kit and other home tests.