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.
LivingDNAEvery DNA testing company makes use of sophisticated modern technology and scientific know-how, but LivingDNA takes it to another level.
The company goes beyond the industry standard family-line ancestry, known as autosomal DNA, and also provides you results of your maternal line. If you are male the test can also check your paternal family line. This is a more extensive sort of testing that is not provided by most competitors, and can provide you with an extra layer of insight. That said, this does make the test more expensive than the industry norm, and the results can take longer to arrive—up to around 12 weeks.
LivingDNA test results go back 10 generations and cover 80 different regions around the world, so you can get very accurate and specific results about your family history. In addition, the results come with a map called, “Your Ancestry Through History,” which is a sort of timeline that you can use to trace your family's migration over thousands of years.
How to do the test: Your LivingDNA kit will come in a box that includes instructions for activating it online. You then use the cotton swab to scrape inside your cheek, and put the swab back into the enclosed bag to ship back to the company. Within 12 weeks the test results will be ready to view online.
Reading your results: Your DNA report will be posted on your account with an easy-to-read, interactive and color-coded map that breaks down your ancestry across different ethnicities worldwide. It will also show your ancestors’ ancient origins and the results can also be printed if
LetsGetChecked doesn’t do DNA testing. Instead, the company offers at-home health screening kits for those who either can’t make it to a doctor or wish to be discreet. There are dozens of health tests to choose from, including kidney and liver tests, cholesterol tests, hormone and fertility tests, and STD screenings.
Tests are divided into 4 categories: men’s tests, women’s tests, sexual health, and wellness. Within these categories are test kits that touch on many of the same areas that would be analyzed in a typical lab from a doctor’s office. 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.
LetsGetChecked has a boutique feel to it. Kits come in discrete, smart packaging and are delivered next-day. You set up a personal health record online or through the app, which is reviewed in real time by a physician. Once you send your samples in, they are analyzed in CLIA-approved and CAP-accredited laboratories.
How to do the test: It’s important to note that unlike DNA tests, LetsGetChecked’s kits require more extensive collection methods. These might include:
While collecting your sample is safe to do at home, it’s certainly more involved than a cheek swab, and should be understood before purchasing. Tests requiring a blood sample include cleaning swabs and lancets that you use to prick your finger. Once you’ve drawn blood, you fill the included blood tube to the top, and mail it back in an included biohazard bag and box. Urine and stool sample kits likewise come with all the collection materials needed and easy-to-follow instructions.
Reading your results: A team of physicians reviews your results when they’re released, and a nurse will call you to tell you the results, answer questions, and offer follow-up guidance if needed. Users will have access to their full test results through their personalized dashboard on LetsGetChecked’s platforms.
Futura Genetics harnesses the latest in cutting-edge DNA science to provide empowerment and awareness of our own health. The company, which is based out of Vancouver, runs advanced DNA profiling tests out of its EU lab to determine each person’s predisposition to 28 of the most commonly occurring diseases.
Those looking to take a proactive approach to their health can utilize Futura Genetics’ state-of-the-art testing for knowledge about their health risks. Based on studies of Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms (SNPs), scientists zero in on genetic markers for diseases such as alzeheimers, lung cancer, type 1 and 2 diabetes, and more than 20 other common diseases, and reveal each person’s risk level for developing those diseases later in life.
How to do the test: Samples can be collected at home easily and quickly through a saliva test. You just collect your saliva in a tube through an included funnel, check for bubbles, and then remove the funnel, shake the sample for 5 seconds, and send it to the lab. The test kit includes all the necessary materials as well as instructions.
Reading your results: Futura’s reports are some of the more straightforward and easy to read reports on the market. They list every one of the 28 diseases tested, with 2 charts beside them depicting the average risk, and your risk beside it. Each disease also includes graphic icons, such as a cigarette, sunglasses, or a stethoscope, which depict the particular activities you should do, or avoid, in order to minimize your risk of developing that disease. The report also includes a detailed summary of each disease and a glossary of terms used in the report.
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.
With 23andMe you can get a look back at where you come from, and also learn about your health and possibly what to expect down the road.
23andMe is one of the few DNA testing companies that also provides you with a wealth of information about your health, if you opt for the Ancestry + Health test. The health report gives you information such as an assessment of your chances of acquiring Parkinson’s or Alzheimer's, in addition to other genetic conditions. It also gives you “trait reports,” which can determine some pretty specific things, such as if you’re more likely to enjoy sweet or salty foods.
If you opt for just the ancestry test, you get a break down of your family history, including your ethnic mix and what percentage of your genes match certain global populations. In addition, the DNA relatives tool can find you people you genetically match and help you build a family tree.
How to do the test: Your 23andMe test will come in a small kit that includes a sheet of instructions, a plastic bag, and the sample collection tube with funnel cap. First create an account online and register your kit with the company. Then fill the tube with your saliva, after making sure you didn’t eat, smoke, drink, chew gum or brush your teeth 30 minutes before giving your sample. Then put the buffer liquid in, seal the tube, shake it, and ship it back to the company in the enclosed box.
Reading your results: Your online genealogical report will show your family history on a helpful map as well as your ethnic mix and what percentage of your genes match certain global populations. You will also get a report of what percentage of your DNA you share with Neanderthals, in addition to some assessments of your health, if you opted for the ancestral + health test.
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.
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