There are a variety of reasons why people seek out DNA kits. You can use DNA testing to get a clear image of your health for early detection and prevention. With at-home DNA kits, you can also learn more about your genealogy and roots and see how your traits are affected by genes. DNA tests can be useful not only to discover your family tree, but also to confirm paternity.
As of 2019, over 26 million people have been swabbed to receive in-depth info on their genetic history. There is a great variety of testing companies available and each one provides different types of tests. To help make things easier, we’ve put together this list of the top 10 reliable, affordable and secure DNA testing kits.
As at-home DNA testing becomes more precise and affordable, the features offered by DNA companies also become more expansive and appealing. While that's amazing for anyone wanting to trace their ancestry from home, it can also quickly become confusing.
In order to narrow down the list and make your decision easier, we compiled this handpicked list of the best DNA testing kits for 2022. Now is an ideal time to check out special deals offered by the best DNA testing companies and even get a kit as a gift for your family members.
MyHeritage DNA has become one of the most popular DNA kits and it’s easy to see why. MyHeritage’s DNA test kit is affordable, highly-informative, and can be combined with one of the most extensive family tree builders out there. Simply put, it’s an all-in-one platform for learning about the ethnic makeup of your DNA and the twists and turns of your family history.
With MyHeritage you get an easy to use DNA testing kit that will trace your ethnicity across 42+ regions across the world. You can also pay to access billions of historical records kept on file by MyHeritage, allowing you to really go deep on your genealogy research.
Part of what makes MyHeritage work so well is the sheer size of its user database. This database of tens of millions of users powers the company’s “DNA Matching” tool, which allows you to plug in your DNA sample and see if it matches anyone in the MyHeritage database. It’s a great way to learn more about yourself, and maybe even reach out and connect with a relative.
How to do the test: When your MyHeritage kit arrives you’ll receive a number you will use to activate the DNA kit online so that you can receive the results when they’re ready. Inside you’ll find 2 cotton swabs. Rub one on the inside of your cheeks for 30-60 seconds and then place it inside the enclosed vial, seal it, and do the same with the second swab and vial. Ship it back inside the enclosed envelope and a few weeks later you should be able to see your results online.
Reading your results: You will receive an ethnicity estimate, a comprehensive breakdown of your DNA compositions analyzed by percentage across 42 ethnicities across the world. The results are superimposed across a map of the world for easy viewing. You will also receive a series of DNA matches, in the event that there are other users online that you are related to.
AncestryDNA is the DNA testing service of genealogical juggernaut Ancestry.com, and since its opening in 2012 it has already become one of the biggest names in DNA testing.
A big plus with AncestryDNA is its massive database of more than 10 million users, meaning that with AncestryDNA you have a better chance of finding a long lost relative that you match with genetically.
The DNA reports cover more than 500 regions around the world, giving you your ethnic makeup estimate, a look at your family’s migration routes from the ancient world to the modern era, and can even tell you how much Neanderthal DNA you have.
With AncestryDNA you can also make use of the resources of the world’s most popular genealogy website. By purchasing a membership for the archival records, you can potentially access billions of records form across the world.
How to do the test: AncestryDNA will send you a package that includes a vial that you fill with your saliva, and then add a blue stabilizing liquid. Place it in the collection bag and ship it back to the company. Make sure not to eat, drink, smoke or chew gum for 30 minutes before providing your sample. Make sure to activate your account online beforehand.
Reading your results: You can view your DNA matches online as well as receive an ethnicity estimate broken down across all types of ethnicity regions. On the “map and locations” map you'll see different colored pins that may show the locations of where your ancestors came from.
LivingDNA is a great choice if you’d like to explore a deep level of detail of your geographic ancestry, especially if you originate from the British Isles, Europe, or Africa. The LivingDNA test uses a cheek swab sample to provide recent ancestry, DNA matching to find relatives, and extended ancestry to gain insight into ancient migration patterns.
The separate Wellbeing test kit provides insight into aspects of your health that are influenced by your specific genetic makeup, including vitamin response, food metabolism, nutrition advice, and exercise tips. The Wellbeing test does not measure your risk of developing hereditary diseases.
LetsGetChecked doesn’t do DNA testing. Instead, the company offers at-home health screening kits for those who prefer not to visit a doctor to obtain a test order. There are dozens of health tests to choose from, including kidney and liver tests, cholesterol tests, hormone and fertility tests, and STD screenings.
The fact that customers can be tested for everything from thyroid conditions to hepatitis, HPV, and vitamin D deficiencies without going to a doctor makes it an attractive option for those without insurance or who are dealing with sensitive or confidential topics. Their team of medical professionals approve every diagnosis and can even prescribe medications.
Futura Genetics harnesses the latest in cutting-edge DNA science to give you detailed insights into your health. The company’s team of scientists perform advanced DNA tests to determine your relative genetic risk of developing 28 of the most commonly occurring diseases.
Based on studies of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), scientists zero in on genetic markers for diseases such as Alzheimer’s, lung cancer, type 1 and 2 diabetes, and provide individualized reports that detail your level of risk and the steps you can take improve your chances of staying healthy.
GPS Origins touts its tests’ ability to map your DNA and family history over more than 900 unique geographic regions across the globe. This is more than most companies promise, though with GPS Origins the price is also somewhat higher.
The DNA test doesn’t offer you health or fitness suggestions, though through GPS Origins you can also order skin and healthy weight tests that are geared toward fitness. The DNA origins test checks your DNA to find the specific migration paths of your gene pool, by looking at hundreds of thousands of autosomal markers.
In addition, the test results are very easy to read across a series of color-coded maps, as well as reading material that is included with your results.
How to do the test: GPS Origins uses 4 cheek swabs which you wipe inside your mouth and then include in a package that you send back to the company, after registering the kit online.
Reading your results: When you receive your reports, you can read them online by way of a series of handy, easy-to-read maps that trace your family’s migration path over the many, many generations. The report will be posted on your profile page on the GPS Origins website, where you’ll see the percentages of your makeup that comes from dozens of gene pools.
The 23andMe user experience is smooth and easy to follow, with excellent customer service options. There are various options throughout the process, giving you control of the reports you receive and the level of sharing you’ll allow. The baseline “Ancestry+Traits Service” gives you a breakdown of your global ancestry—including fun information on Neanderthal and haplogroups. If you upgrade to Health + Ancestry Service, you’ll also receive useful information about your genetic risk of certain hereditary diseases. You can choose to keep your information completely private, or you can opt into the DNA Relatives tool, which enables you to connect with other users and to find any distant or close relatives on the platform.
It’s important to note that 23andMe does not provide genealogy research services offered by the other leading test companies like MyHeritage and Ancestry. But if you’re looking for insight into ancient roots and/or health information, 23andMe is a great option.
Over the past 45 years, Nutrisystem has helped millions of people lose weight with its nutritional meal plans and personal coaching. Now, they’re taking weight-loss to a more molecular level.
The idea behind Nutrisystem’s DNA Body Blueprint Kit is to give people a closer look into how their bodies work. The process is similar to other DNA tests, except instead of learning about ancestors or possible relatives, customers will gain key insights into how their bodies process food and how their genetics influence their eating behaviors.
The results map out a unique portrait of your metabolism that can explain how your body absorbs specifics foods, vitamins, and minerals, why you have certain cravings, and how you can use the information to adopt a diet that better suits your own metabolism. With an updated package you can use this information in tandem with Nutrisystem’s dieting plans and turn your results into actionable steps toward slimming down.
How to do the test: The test can be taken at home and requires easy cheek swabs, which you then send back to the lab for analysis.
Reading your results: Results will outline genetic information about your metabolism as well as how it affects your body’s ability to process foods and lose weight. Depending on which kit you buy, your results will either include actionable steps to help you make use of your genetic information or a personalized nutrition plan with a grocery guide tailored to your unique DNA profile. Nutrisystem customers can also use their results in tandem with their 4-week dieting plan.
HomeDNA is an at-home DNA test kit provider that offers a large variety of test kit products. The company’s GPS Origins® series are comprehensive tests that provide detailed results that can determine your ancestral origin down to a single city, town, or region. Other, more affordable test kits provide broader results, emphasize specific health-related genetic factors, or are designed for pets.
Regardless of the DNA test kit you use, HomeDNA allows you to download your raw data free of charge. You will receive your results after 6 weeks (within 2 days for paternity tests), and all your data will be permanently stored online in a secure fashion. With affordable pricing, a thorough FAQ, and multiple support channels, HomeDNA’s tests are easy to purchase, use, and interpret.