The Best Way to Test for Ketone Levels: Ketone Test Strips

6 minutes

The Best Way to Test for Ketone Levels: Ketone Test Strips

When your body is forced to rely on fat as an energy source instead of glucose, the liver breaks fat down into acidic compounds known as ketones. But wait. Why would anyone force their bodies to switch its energy source? Well, there are instances where you might want to switch your energy source, such as if you’re on the ketogenic diet

But sometimes, this switch in energy sources is unintentional or occurs when something isn’t functioning normally in the body, such as if you have uncontrolled diabetes or if there is an uncontrolled accumulation of ketones in the body. While ketones are important “reserve” energy sources, having an excessive amount of ketones in your body isn’t desirable. 

You might be wondering how you can tell when you should be worried about your ketone levels. Well, there is a simple answer to that: ketone urine test strips. Read on below to learn everything you need about ketone test strips, including what they are, how to check ketones, and a step-by-step guide to using them. 

What are ketone test strips? 

ketone strips

Ketone test strips measure your body’s ketone levels through your urine. You would use them in the same way that you would use at-home urine pregnancy tests, by urinating on a strip. But instead of measuring the human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) hormone that is activated with pregnancy, the keto pee test measure the presence of acetoacetate, a specific type of ketone, in your urine.

How do ketone test strips work?

To use a ketone test strip, you would urinate directly on it for a set amount of time. Just so you know, these strips aren't made using ordinary paper, but rather a special kind of paper that turns into a different color when it reacts to ketones. When the test strip turns into a different color after coming into contact with your urine, you match the color you see on your stick to a color chart that accompanies the keto test kit. This color chart enables you to estimate your urinary ketone levels, with each color corresponding to a different amount of ketones detected in your urine.

What is a ketone test?

A ketone test is a test that measures your ketone levels. And here's where things get interesting. Contrary to popular belief, you can't use the term "ketone test" (or "keto test," for short) interchangeably with "keto urine test strip." That’s because there are other ways to measure your body’s ketone levels besides your urine.

What other types of ketone tests exist? 

There are two other types of ketone tests: blood ketone testing (measures a different kind of ketone known as beta-hydroxybutyrate) and breath ketone testing (1) (measures acetones). So why might you choose to use ketone test strips over the other two options? Well, there are two straightforward reasons for this:  

Low cost 

At-home blood ketone test kits are expensive. Each blood ketone test kit comes with an assembly of tools that add up the cost, including a meter that “reads” your test strips, blood ketone strips, and disposable lancets that ensure that each time you test, you finger-prick yourself in a sterile way. The same goes for ketone breath analyzers, which are typically even more costly compared to blood ketone meters. Ketone urine test strips, on the other hand, are generally more available at a low cost.

Scare factor

The biggest downside to blood ketone tests is that you need to prick your finger every time you test. If you’re not a big fan of blood or are afraid of pain, then it’s certainly not a good fit for you, especially since ketone level monitoring isn't something you do once and get over with, but is something you do on a regular basis. Compare that to urine ketone test strips, where all you need to do is go to the bathroom to pee, which you already do every day. Instead of peeing directly in the toilet, as you normally would, you simply pee on the test strip. It's less scary and much more convenient. A win-win situation!


Ready to try ketone strips?

If you're ready to try ketone test strips yourself, don't simply rush off and buy the first one you lay your eyes on. You might want to consider getting a "multi-purpose" urine test strip that measures your ketone levels and other factors relevant to your wellness. Is there such a thing on the market? 

Guess what? There is! Meet Vivoo. Vivoo is an at-home urine test that gives you real-time data on your body’s wellness based on 9 parameters, including your body’s ketones, calcium, magnesium, oxidative stress, salinity, and more. Better yet? You never have to second-guess if the color on your test strip corresponds to "negative" or "optimal" ketone levels for ketosis. Instead, all you need to do is take a picture of your strip with the Vivoo App to interpret your results. 

And that's not all. Vivoo translates your urine information into personalized nutritional and lifestyle advice that you can easily incorporate into your daily life to improve your wellness. All of Vivoo’s advice has been prepared by registered dietitians, nutritionists, and doctors. Start your wellness journey now and check your ketone levels right away!

How to use keto urine strips

Are you interested in using Vivoo test strips or ketone urine test strips, but are still unsure how to use them? Don't worry. Here’s a step-by-step guide that’ll turn you into a pro at testing your ketone levels in no time.

  • Completely saturate the testing end of your strip with urine: You can do this in two ways. You can either hold the ketone test strip under your urine stream until fully saturated, or you can collect a “clean-catch” sample, where you fill a collection cup with 1-2 ounces of your urine and dip the test strip into the cup.
  • Shake off excess urine drops and wait: The amount of time you need to wait before interpreting your results varies depending on the specific brand of ketone strips you use. That's why you should read the product insert in detail before use, as it will tell you the exact amount of time you should wait before analyzing your results.
  • If you’re using a general ketone urine test strip, compare the color of the strip with the color chart that comes with the keto test kit: Once you’ve waited long enough, compare the color of your test strip with the color chart that comes with the test kit. In general, the darker the color of your test strip, the higher your ketone levels.
  • If you’re using Vivoo test strips: Once you’re done, start the timer on the App. When the time is up, scan the strip with the Vivoo App, then wait for your results! You’ll get your results within a second!

Related: 4 Keto Lunch Recipes


  1. Pubmed (May 2014), “Breath Ketone Testing: A New Biomarker for Diagnosis and Therapeutic Monitoring of Diabetic Ketosis”
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