Is a urine ketone monitor worth it?

(Kimberly Hunter) #1

I’ve heard many people getting ketone monitors to measure their ketones in their urine when they begin keto. Is it worth it? I heard it only works for a few months while your body is adapting.

(Michael - When reality fails to meet expectations, the problem is not reality.) #2

Not actually a monitor. Just paper strips coated with a ketone sensitive chemical. They detect unused ketones excreted in you urine. Tells you if you’re excreting unused ketones but not much else.


If they cost $1, they still wouldn’t be worth it! Neither would the blood testing with few exceptions.

(Joey) #4

@Kimberly_Hunter Welcome to the forum! … and congratulations on stepping into this “keto thing.”

As @amwassil notes above, there’s little value in the urine strips, although they’re probably the cheapest and least intrusive way to get some “data” - but the data is pretty much useless in the scheme of things.

There are a lot of threads about this, and breath testing, and blood testing (like the Keto Mojo)… there’s no point retelling all of those tales here again since you can use the search and learn a lot.

The short answer is: many of us have gotten benefits of some sort in gathering such data about ourselves, but in reality it makes little meaningful difference, costs a lot, and makes some of us crazy (the compulsive/obsessive types, at least :wink: )

There’s nothing wrong with going down these paths. There’s just not great benefit to be had in the long run. YMMV.

Again, congrats on trying to improve your health. It’s a great start to cruise these forums for (mostly) reliable info and friendly support from folks who have first hand experience with many of the topics that might interest you. :vulcan_salute:

(Vic) #5

Its fun, buy a bottle with 50 strips. Dont buy 2 thou. By the time the batch is done youll be confident in what you’rr doing without stuff like that.

(UsedToBeT2D) #6


(Carnivore for the win) #7

Not worth it.

After I was in ketosis for a couple of years, I bought a ketone breath tester, but it was just for fun.

(Joey) #8

Frankly, I’ve never used urine strips, but I’d imagine the fun part is peeing on them. :crazy_face:

(Cathy) #9

Welcome and I agree that the urine test strips are of little value but I did use them in the beginning. I switched to a blood ketone meter which is pretty costly and also one of the early breath meters.

I like data and these things provide that. If you share the same desire for data, go for it but be sure you understand that urine test strips only tell you you have been in ketosis at some time in the near past but do not tell you you were not. The absence of ketones in urine is not necessarily a sign that ketosis is absent. It can be tricky.


I used the pee strips when I first started, but I found them frustrating. Even if I did everything perfectly, they wouldn’t necessarily give me a satisfaction of the “reward” of showing me that I was in Ketosis. I then purchased a Keto breathalyzer, but it was the same issue. The reality is the nothing really measures the amount of Ketones that you are shedding very well AND however many you are shedding really has nothing to do with whether you are in Ketosis or not. I did not buy a second set of strips and I sent the breath monitor back.

The best measure of if you are doing things right is how you feel. I use a free app called “Carb Manager”, and it was a really great tool for me when I started. I still use it, just not as religiously as I did when I started last June. Using CM keeps me on track and helps me to make sure I’m not slipping. If I keep my carb intake under 20 g per day (most of the time I’m under 15), I know I’m in ketosis. It’s as simple as that. The way that I really know, is that I feel better and have lost 32 pounds.

So, get the pee strips if you want to. They’re only about $7 on Amazon. Just remember that they really aren’t telling you anything and they aren’t very reliable.

(Joey) #11

Regarding how you feel: well put.

And tracking your food intake is the single most important data you can gather. I also used Carb Manager for about a year and gained priceless insights into my eating patterns/habits and the nutritional composition of my evolving diet.

Gathering data, however, is only a means to an end - it’s not the end itself.

As the saying goes: at some point, you learn to eat to live, not live to eat. So today I simply enjoy feeling wonderful on keto and “fly without a net.”


I’m getting more and more that way, but I still have to track as I can easily get off on my ratios (such as getting too much protein and not enough fat). Fairly regularly, I eat more, overall, than is laid out for me in CM, and that’s fine. It just means that my weight loss is slower, and that’s fine as well. I’m not in a hurry. I’m about 1/2 way to my goal weight. I figure once I’m there and am holding, I’ll probably be able to let go of routinely tracking everything.


The I’m going to buck the trend here and say I quite like them.
Before I restarted keto 3-4 weeks ago, i got some and did a tester as a control to see. And yep, came out pale and matched up with not in ketosis. A few days in, colour started getting darker on the chart, and now hovers between moderate to high ketosis.
So i think they deffo work, but just don’t rely on for real accuracy - i just find nice to remind myself as a little boost to show on right track.
The real deal for me is which belt buckle i’m on though…

(Cathy) #14

I agree with you 100%! The urine test strips are a cheap and effective motivator particularly in the beginning stages.