With the government introduction of the nose-only COVID test swabs, you may be wondering if you can use your Nose and Throat COVID tests as a Nose Only COVID test?  No one appreciates it when their gag-reflex kicks in!

While there are only subtle differences between the two test kits, these differences are important.

With the nose-only test kit, you will notice that the swab is a lot thicker and more absorbent than the nose and throat test kit swab.  This is primarily to ensure that the swab still picks up enough respiratory secretions and infected cells to ensure an accurate reading.

As the size of the swab is larger, it only makes sense that the amount of buffer solution to gain the test result is also larger – and this is the case.  The instructions on a nose-only swab test instruct the user to add four drops of buffer solution, whereas the nose and throat test is only two drops.

Key Takeaway: It is highly recommended that you do not use your Nose and Throat (for example, the Xiamen Biotime Biotechnology Co., Ltd) test kits as a Nose Only test kit, based on the fact that these kits are produced differently to suit the different circumstances but still result in an accurate reading.

We recommend using up your Nose and Throat test kits, before looking to purchase the nose-only test kit should you prefer these instead.  Or, there’s no reason why you can’t save your Nose and Throat kits for emergencies and purchase the nose-only COVID test kit for day-to-day use.

Nose-only lateral flow tests for sale online

Did you know?

Lateral flow test kits for SARS-CoV-2 are also known as rapid antigen tests and Covid-19 self-tests.

The fabric tip of this swab must not touch anything apart from the inside of your nose.  This is to ensure that there is no cross-contamination from other surfaces.

You can still book PCR COVID tests even if you don’t have symptoms – it is better to be safe than sorry!  For example, you may want to have a COVID test if you have been in contact with someone who has since caught COVID-19.


Further information:

  • Wanting to use the nose-only swab, but worried about the accuracy of the results?  We understand.  This blog post by WebMD shows the science behind the practice.
  • How long do I wait before reading my COVID-19 test result?  This is a question asked by many people, and we’ve found the answer from gov.uk:

“Waiting for the full 30-minute development time before you read your result is very important. A positive result can appear at any time after 20 minutes, however, you must wait for the full 30 minutes to record a negative result as the test line (T) may take this long to appear. If a positive signal appears after 30 minutes, it should not be reported as positive.”

UK Government Website