Are Keto Urine Strips Accurate

Anyone who’s been on the Keto diet for a while has probably come across mention of Keto urine strips. These inexpensive little strips are supposed to help you determine how many carbs you can eat before your body is kicked out of ketosis. The question is, are they accurate? Do Keto urine strips work as well as people claim they do? The short answer is, yes; however, there are a few things that you should keep in mind if you’re going to use keto urine strips to monitor your ketone levels.

What are Keto urine strips?

Keto urine strips are little strips of paper that change color after you pee on them. Similar to pregnancy tests, you hold the ketone test strip under your urine stream for a few seconds and then you watch to see what color it changes. These tests are often in shades of red, pink and purple. There will be a gauge on the side of the box that tells you what the different colors mean. Generally, the darker the color the more ketones are present in your body. If there is no color change or only a very light color then your body is probably not in ketosis anymore.

In order for Keto urine strips to be accurate, you need to make sure that you’re properly hydrated. If you’re dehydrated your urine test strip might come out a lot darker than if you were hydrated. This doesn’t mean that you have a higher level of ketones, it just means that the concentration is higher. You have fewer liquids so any ketones that are present are going to be more concentrated and less diluted. This can really skew the results to make it appear as if your ketone levels are higher so it’s important that if you want an accurate reading that you stay hydrated.

Who are Keto strips designed for?

If you’re brand new to the Keto diet or you’ve only been on it for a while then keto test strips are a great option for you. The newer you are to Keto, the more acetoacetate is produced in your body. Acetoacetate is a type of ketone that your body produces in ketosis that you don’t actually use. The longer you’re on the Keto diet, the better your body gets at producing ketones and the lower the levels of unusable ketones become. This means that your acetoacetate levels will drop because your body has become more efficient at producing the right ketones.

The simplicity and ease of use of Keto urine test strips make them perfect for anyone new to Keto or anyone who wants a simple answer to the question of whether or not they’re in Keto. Anyone who is on a budget will also benefit from using Keto urine strips as they are inexpensive and can be easily found. If you don’t have the money to pay for meters and expensive blood test strips then urine strips are definitely the right option for you.

Are Keto urine strips accurate?

To a certain extent, Keto urine strips are accurate. They can accurately tell you whether or not your body is in a state of ketosis, which is all most people require. Using keto urine strips can help you experiment with your individual carb tolerance levels. If you stop seeing color on the test strips as you increase your carb levels you know you need to reduce your carbs. The newer you are to Keto, the better the strips will work as well. If you’ve been in ketosis for a long time you might start getting false positives because there’s not enough acetoacetate levels to be measured, even though your body is still producing usable ketones.

Keto urine test strips have a limit as to how much information they can give you. When you pee on them they show you using colors how many ketones are present in your body. What they can’t tell you are the exact numbers of ketones present and there are no numerical measurements. It’s more of a yes or no response. Are you still in ketosis, yes or no? If you need to know anything more detailed than this, then keto urine strips aren’t for you and you’d be better off trying one of the alternatives.

Alternatives to Keto urine strips

Keto urine strips aren’t your only option for testing your ketone levels. You also have the option of testing the number of ketones present in your breath, and in your blood. Both of these options are more accurate and detailed than Keto urine strips.


Breath tests are fairly accurate in testing the levels of ketones present. They’re also very simple to use and not very invasive. To test your ketones using a breath meter you plug the meter into your computer using a USB cable and then you blow into the device. It’s simple, and the reading that you get on the computer will be more accurate and more detailed than what you would get using Keto urine strips.

However, there are still some variables that can affect the results that you get. Because you’re testing for acetoacetate levels again, the longer you’re in ketosis, the more effective your body becomes and the fewer measurable ketones will be produced. Your levels can also vary based on your hydration levels. Being dehydrated will skew the results and they won’t be as accurate.

Ketone breath monitors aren’t as cheap as urine tests because the device itself costs around $200 to purchase. Now that cost will eventually pay for itself because you can use the meter as many times as you want without additional purchases. This means that in the long run, the breath meter will be less expensive than buying urine strips; however, if you’re a beginner it’s still best for you to stick with urine strips.

Blood Tests

The most accurate results for measuring your ketone levels come from blood tests. When you use a ketone blood meter to measure your ketone levels you’ll be getting an accurate result in real-time as to how many ketones are present in your blood.

There are some drawbacks to this system; although it’s the most accurate. The first is the cost. The meter itself is often pretty cheap; however, the strips that you use along with the meter are often as high as $1/strip. That adds up quickly if you’re testing often and a lot of insurance companies won’t cover this cost which means you’re going to have to dig into your own pocket to come up with the cash. You can also get a “failed” reading when using blood test strips. This means that you’ve wasted a strip and the money you spent on it.

They’re also invasive. You have to prick your finger and draw blood with each and every test. For a lot of people, the pain, cost and inconvenience aren’t worth it in order to get a super accurate reading.

Benefits of using Keto urine strips over blood and breath tests

So if there’s more detailed ways of testing for ketones why would you want to use urine test strips? The simple answer is, for the average person doing Keto, urine test strips are going to be enough. Very few of us actually need the detailed results that you can get through breath and blood ketone tests.

When you’re beginning Keto you really only need to know, am I in Keto or not? Keto urine test strips can provide you with this answer relatively quickly. They’re easy to find. You can get urine test strips at your local pharmacy or online through retailers such as Amazon. Not only are they easy to find, they’re relatively inexpensive which is important when you’re beginning Keto.

You might want to test your ketone levels daily, or possibly even multiple times a day and you don’t want to pay a lot for an expensive test in order to do this. In addition, you might be trying to figure out your individual carb tolerance to see if you can get away with eating more than 20-25g of net carbs a day while staying in ketosis. This means that you’re going to be testing frequently, and you’re not going to want to fork over a fortune in order to do this.

Keto urine tests are not invasive at all and you can do them anywhere there’s a bathroom. This means that you can do them at work, home, a friend’s house or a gas station bathroom. You don’t have to have computer access, you don’t need to lug around a meter and you don’t have to draw blood or feel any pain.


If you’re new to Keto or you just need a simple answer to the question of whether or not you’re in Keto then urine test strips will be more than enough for you. They’re accurate, inexpensive and fast. However, if you’re looking for a more detailed reading or if you’ve been in ketosis for a long time then you might want to consider investing in a Keto breath meter or a Keto blood meter in order to get numerical results.

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