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What's behind our radon test kit Ratings?

Experts at our National Testing and Research Center tested 11 models in radon test kits to see which ones perform best.
We look for:
  • Overall score
    Overall score is based on the accuracy and the reliability of the radon kits. The displayed score is out of a total of 100 points.
  • Reliability
    Reliability indicates how similar the readings were for several samples exposed under identical conditions. Those rated fair varied by more than 10 percent and up to 15 percent; those rated very good, by less than 8 percent.


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Recommended radon test kits

Recommended radon test kits are standout choices with high scores. They include CR Best Buys, which offer exceptional value. When narrowing your choices, weigh features, price, and attributes that matter to you.
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After smoking, radon is the top cause of lung cancer in this country. Overexposure is symptom-free, and once you're exposed, there's no treatment. If you're looking for information about radon test kits, Consumer Reports is your best resource. Consumer Reports' radon test kit reviews will give you honest buying advice that you can trust. Use our radon test kit buying guide to discover which features are most important to consider. We also provide unbiased ratings and radon test kit reviews to help you choose the best radon test kit for your needs.

Radon test kit buying guide

After smoking, radon is the top cause of lung cancer in this country--it's responsible for about 21,000 deaths a year, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. Overexposure is symptom free, and once you're exposed, there's no treatment. Detecting radon and fixing the problem are far easier and less expensive than dealing with lead.

Radon is measured in picoCuries per liter (pCi/L); 1.3 is considered the national average indoor level. Although 4 pCi/L is the recommended EPA action level, the agency also suggests that you consider remediation at a level between 2 and 4 pCi/L.

We tested seven short-term (2- to 7-day) radon kits, three long-term (90-day) kits, and a digital-readout meter using experts at two labs. Here's what we found.

Long-term radon kits are more accurate. The radon level can vary significantly from day to day. Sampling the level for 90 days or more gives you a more accurate idea of the average radon level in your home. If you need fast results, only one short-term radon kit was accurate enough for us to recommend. But you should still confirm its results with a long-term test. The digital meter we tested can be used for short- or long-term testing.

Some radon kits underreported. Two of the short-term radon kits we tested underreported radon levels by almost 40 percent.

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