An at-home microbiome test kit generally includes only a handful of items. They include a stool collection device, a tube (usually containing a solution) to put the collected stool sample into, a bag or some other container to put the tube with sample into, instructions, and a return shipping container that could be a box or envelope.
Most of the microbiome test kit companies include a fecal swab (cotton swab) or fecal scoop which is utilized to collect the stool sample. However there is now a company (Thorne) that utilizes a special wipe as the collection device. Some companies, especially if the sample collection requires a scoop, will include some sort of stool catching device, like a flushable fecal sling, that will need to be attached to the toilet bowl prior to your bowel movement in order to facilitate proper collection of the sample. Most gut health tests and stool tests will have similar components. That’s all there is to it.