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HomeDNA DNA Test Kits Review (2024)

At-home DNA tests that provide information on your health, ancestry, paternity, and more
By Ryan SzeBy Ryan Sze -
Last Updated: Oct 31, 2023
5 reviews
by
logo-HOMEDNA
Visit Site
Price
From $79
Results in
4 to 8 weeks
Collection method
Cheek swab

Our Verdict

Is HomeDNA Worth It? 

With a wide number of ancestry, health, paternity, and pet DNA test kits, HomeDNA covers many bases. Its tests are affordable and especially well-suited if you’re looking for fine detail on your ancestors’ locations. Though it lacks a family tree builder, HomeDNA’s flagship GPS Origins® kits allows you to pinpoint their ancestral origins down to a specific city and to download their raw data for further analysis at no additional cost.

Price
From $79
Results in
4 to 8 weeks
Collection method
Cheek swab

HomeDNA at a Glance

9.0
Editorial Score

Services Offered

Wide number of ancestry, health, paternity, and pet DNA test kits, don't mention record searching or databases
9.0

Brand Reputation

Founded in 1995, has 32 employees, no awards
8.0

Speed of Results

Results within 6 weeks except for paternity test which returns in 2 days
10.0

Cost

Prices vary from $69 to $199, paternity tests can be purchased at drug stores and analyzed for $139 lab fee
9.0

Customer Support

Contact via an online form or email customersupport@homedna.com, or call 1-800-281-2916 from 8AM-5PM Eastern time, Monday-Friday
9.0

HomeDNA Pros & Cons

PROS

Large selection of test kits
Provides access to raw data
Detailed, very specific results

CONS

No family tree services
Cannot expedite results for most tests

Top HomeDNA Reviews

J.W Marie
HomeDNA is fraudulent
HomeDNA is fraudulent. I went to download my raw dna into my files and the "so called" raw dna file is completely empty. I've done this several times with other DNA labs and never had a problem. I sent an email and received a confirmation email and then nothing.
Peter Olsen
I do not know what scam you are…
I do not know what scam you are running, but either you refund my money or as I wrote many times, I will write extensively on Facebook and I will contact my Credit Card and register your scam. I talked with a Stefanie last Wednesday and she denied me help. I wrote Emails, I got one from a Sara, who wrote nothing but BS and threatened me, she would send a code for a new kit and if the missing kit was used, no test would be made. I do not appreciate such BS. Just now I called and had to wait over 30 minutes. Another dumb B said hello, I returned the hello and politely asked if a SARA was there. That B just hung up!
MM
Masimba Musodza
Disappointingly pointless
The only positive is that the results came a lot sooner than they said I was to expect them. I wish I had never purchased their HomeDNA™ Starter Ancestry Test. The results were way off- I am of Zimbabwean origin and my paternal line has been in that land for at least 400 years, while the maternal one goes back to at least 1200 years with documented Khoisan ancestry that would go back for millenia preceding the Bantu Migration. You'd think the test would reflect this, instead it cited me as having mostly DNA in common with people in Rwanda heritage (plausible because that is a main stopping point in our history) followed by Guinea-Bissau (unbelievable) Angola, South Africa, Kenya and Tanzania. Some of these are plausible as they do form part of the Bantu Migration. Logic tells me that HomeDNA does not have sufficient data to compare information, which explains results that omit places like Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Zambia etc otherwise they would have appeared in the results. If my body was found, perhaps burnt beyong recognition, the HomeDNA™ Starter Ancestry Test results would have had the authorities trying to find my next of kin in Rwanda or Guninea-Bissau! (I am from Zimbabwe) Just to be that extra-unhelpful, you can't import raw DNA data from your results to a platform such as Sequencing.com which can allow you to compare your genetic markers with a wider pool of information. If you are looking for detailed ancestry information based on an analysis of your DNA, HomeDNA will waste your time and money.
See all HomeDNA reviews

How do I know I can trust this HomeDNA review?

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HomeDNA HomeDNA Visit Site

Overview

HomeDNA at a Glance

Types of Tests and Kits You can Get from HomeDNA

HomeDNA offers a variety of at-home DNA tests. While all of them can provide information about your ancestry and genetic profile, certain tests provide very specific results, while others emphasize health-related genetic factors or paternity. There are even some for pets.

GPS Origins® Ancestry tests

HomeDNA’s GPS Origins® Ancestry Test allows individuals to learn more about their genetic backgrounds and family histories. These tests combine in-lab DNA analysis with HomeDNA’s proprietary algorithms to reveal specific, subtle details about your ancestral origins. This includes information about your ancestors’ migration patterns, cities of residence, and even the times and places where they may have crossed paths to create your genetic signature.

Region-specific tests

If you’re of African or Asian descent, HomeDNA has region-specific tests that can offer you even deeper insights about your heritage. These tests compare your genetic profile to gene pools and ancestry markers located exclusively in Asia or Africa, helping you to gain a better understanding of your ethnic background.

  • GPS Origins® Ancestry Test | African Edition
  • GPS Origins® Ancestry Test | Asian Edition

Paternal and maternal lineage tests

HomeDNA’s parental lineage tests help you trace your ancestry back via either your biological mother or father. Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) is used to determine your ancestry via your maternal line, while Y chromosomal DNA (Y-DNA) is used to trace your ancestry back using your paternal line.

  • DNA Origins® Maternal Lineage
  • DNA Origins® Paternal Lineage

General ancestry tests

If you’re just getting started with genetic genealogy and don’t want to spend a fortune, HomeDNA’s Starter and Advanced Ancestry tests can provide you with more general genetic information without breaking the bank. These test kits include information up to the continental or regional level, but do not pinpoint your exact ancestral origins. 

  • HomeDNA™ Starter Ancestry Test—The Starter Test uses 100 genetic markers and shows you percentages from your past for each of Europe, Indigenous America, East Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa. It also shows you the locations where more people have DNA like yours. 
  • HomeDNA™ Advanced Ancestry Test—The advanced test analyzes approximately 80,000 autosomal markers to provide a more detailed breakdown of your gene-pool percentages and a more precise geographical pinpoint of your origins. You’ll also get to see migration routes for both your maternal and paternal lineage.

Health tests

HomeDNA’s health tests shed light on your genetic profile and how it affects your health. For example, perhaps you may be sensitive to certain kinds of foods, or maybe some forms of exercise are more effective for you than others. 

  • HomeDNA™ Food & Pet Sensitivity
  • HomeDNA™ Skin Care
  • HomeDNA™ Healthy Weight

Paternity tests

The HomeDNA™ Paternity Test can help you meet court-ordered obligations, resolve family and child support disputes, or regain custody of your child. If this is a time-sensitive issue and you’re in urgent need of a test, HomeDNA can also expedite this test for you at an added cost.

Pet tests

HomeDNA’s collection of tests for pets allow you to test your four-legged, non-human companions. These DNA tests for both cats and dogs can provide owners with diet and health-related information about their furry friends.

  • Mixed-Breed Dog Identification DNA Test and Life Plan™
  • Cat DNA Health Screen and Life Plan™
  • Dog DNA Health Screen and Life Plan™

Other Features at HomeDNA

HomeDNA offers neither free nor paid family tree research services. However, HomeDNA does allow you to use other brands’ DNA test kits for precise insight into where their ancestors are from.

GPS Origins® Algorithm

Using test kit results from either Ancestry.com®, FamilyTreeDNA.com®, or 23andMe.com®, you can use HomeDNA’s GPS Origins® Algorithm service to pinpoint your ancestral origins to a high degree of accuracy. In some cases, the algorithm can determine your ancestry down to a specific town or city. If you had ancestors in multiple cities, the algorithm can also highlight the migration routes your ancestors took. Additionally, it can identify the time and location where your ancestors met to form your genetic line.

HomeDNA’s GPS Origins® Algorithm service costs $39.99, and requires DNA test kit data uploaded as a .ZIP or .GZ file.

Is HomeDNA Safe and Reliable?

HomeDNA handles confidential information securely, and will not sell or share your personal genetic information to third parties. However, the company may aggregate and anonymize your data and use it for product development and marketing purposes. Additionally, your private test results will be permanently stored online in a secure manner. You can find more information on HomeDNA’s privacy practices via their Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.

How HomeDNA Works

How to Get Started With HomeDNA / How to Sign Up for HomeDNA

The sign-up process

HomeDNA’s sign-up process is automatic. When checking out for the first time, you’ll be prompted to create an account. If customers don’t choose to create an account then, they will be asked to create an account when it comes time to register their kit. Customers will need to complete this step once their kit is delivered to their home.

What's in the box?

Each test kit contains:

  • An instruction manual
  • 4 cheek swabs for DNA collection
  • An envelope for securing DNA samples
  • A prepaid envelope for mailing samples to the lab (only for U.S. customers)

How to Collect your DNA Samples

DNA samples should be collected using the cheek swabs provided by the kit. First, remove the swabs, taking care not to contaminate the tip of the swab. Next, place the swab against the inside of your cheek and scrub vigorously, as if you were brushing your teeth.

Do this for 30 seconds, rotating the swab as you do so in order to collect as many cheek cells as possible. When this process is complete, deposit the swab into the DNA sample envelope.

Repeat this process for the remaining cheek swabs. When all swabs have been deposited into the sample envelope, seal it to prevent contamination. Place the sealed envelope into the prepaid envelope. Finally, seal the prepaid envelope and deposit it into the mailbox.

Getting The Results

Once you purchase and receive your test kit, you should register it by submitting the barcode number printed on the outside of the kit to HomeDNA’s website.

Once you collect DNA samples and mail them back to the lab, you should receive results within 6 weeks. If you’re using the HomeDNA™ Paternity Test kit, you’ll receive results within 2 business days, and can pay a fee for 1-day or same-day turnarounds.

Results will be available online and can be accessed by logging into your HomeDNA account, clicking on My Accounts, and then navigating to the Results tab.

Your results are interactive. Customers who have purchased a GPS Origins® kit will receive results that contain information about their ancestors’ geographical origins and their migration histories for as far back as 1,000 years. Moreover, these results are very detailed and can pinpoint your ancestral origins down to a particular city or locale. Additionally, you will receive information on your personal DNA signature, a group of genes that are unique to you.

Customers who have purchased a HomeDNA™ Starter Ancestry Test or HomeDNA™ Advanced Test kit will receive broader results that include ancestral data down to the continental or regional level.

The accuracy of your results will largely depend on you and your biological parents’ genetic profile. Results will be most accurate if both of your biological parents have Western European ancestry and neither are of mixed race. On the other hand, if your parents are of mixed race, or if certain genetic mutations are detected, your results may be less reliable.

For more information, scroll to the bottom of this page, click the “FAQs” tab, and select “How accurate is the test?”

HomeDNA Customer Support

How to contact HomeDNA

Customers can contact HomeDNA’s support team via an online form here or by emailing customersupport@homedna.com. You can also call 1 (800) 281-2916 from 8AMm to 5PM Eastern time between Monday and Friday.

Are FAQ pages available on HomeDNA?

HomeDNA’s website contains a large number of FAQs that thoroughly address both general questions and product-specific questions. The general FAQ can be accessed here , while product-related FAQs can be found by navigating to a specific product, scrolling towards the bottom, and clicking on the FAQ tab.

HomeDNA Pricing

How Much Does HomeDNA Cost?

HomeDNA’s range of DNA tests come at a variety of price points. Shipping is always free, and only one of their offerings includes extra fees—the HomeDNA™ Paternity Test. 

This test can be purchased from any nationwide retail pharmacy chain, and exact pricing will depend on the retailer. HomeDNA charges a $139 lab fee to analyze samples on top of the retailer’s price. For an additional unspecified fee, paternity kit results can be expedited if 1-day or same-day results are necessary.

Pricing for HomeDNA’s test kits

DNA Test Kit 
Price
GPS Origins® Ancestry Test
$199
GPS Origins® Ancestry Test | African Edition
$199
GPS Origins® Ancestry Test | Asian Edition
$199
HomeDNA™ Starter Ancestry Test
$69
DNA Origins® Maternal Lineage
$69
DNA Origins® Paternal Lineage
$69
HomeDNA™ Advanced Ancestry Test
$124
HomeDNA™ Food & Pet Sensitivity
$139
HomeDNA™ Skin Care
$139
HomeDNA™ Healthy Weight
$159
HomeDNA™ Paternity Test
Variable retail price + $139 lab fee + optional fee for expedited results


Overall, HomeDNA’s test kits range from $69 to $199. These prices are roughly comparable to competing offerings, which generally range from $59 to $299.

HomeDNA Alternatives

How Does HomeDNA Compare to Other DNA Tests?


HomeDNA
MyHeritage
LivingDNA
LetsGetChecked
Paternity




Ancestry


Health


Animal




Price Range

$69 to $199

$59

$49 to $99

$69+

Best For

Comprehensive DNA tests

Family tree building

Ancestry/health DNA testing

Health testing


HomeDNA vs. MyHeritage

HomeDNA offers a larger variety of DNA tests than MyHeritage, including health-related tests, paternity tests, and even DNA test kits for pets. Additionally, HomeDNA offers results that pinpoint your ancestral origins down to the city or town level.  

On the other hand, MyHeritage features a rich database of over 16.8 billion genealogical records enabling you to build a free and accurate family tree. The company also offers paid family tree subscription plans that unlock access to premium features, making MyHeritage a good choice for genetic genealogy hobbyists.

HomeDNA vs. LivingDNA

HomeDNA features a wide range of DNA test kits for a large variety of use cases. On the other hand, LivingDNA concentrates its offerings within the health and ancestry categories, and does not offer paternity tests or DNA test kits for animals.

HomeDNA vs. LetsGetChecked

While HomeDNA’s results are better for descriptive analytics (“what happened”), LetsGetChecked’s health-oriented test kits are more diagnostic (“why it happened”) in nature. 

Moreover, while HomeDNA’s offerings allow customers to learn more about their genetic histories and make changes to optimize their lifestyles, LetsGetChecked is for those who are worried they may have or be at risk for a certain disease, and want to take preventative measures to mitigate the risk or severity of their illness.

HomeDNA HomeDNA Visit Site

Bottom Line  

HomeDNA is a technology-enabled DNA test kit provider that offers a wide range of at-home test kits that are priced on par with the broader market. It’s one of the only DNA kit providers to offer kits for a wide number of use cases, and can be useful for a large number of people—ranging from those who need a quick paternity test, to others who want to find ways to better their lifestyles and improve their health.

Additionally, HomeDNA’s GPS Origins® Ancestry Test kits provide detailed results for tracing your ancestral origins down to a precise city or town, a feature that makes the company unique among at-home DNA test kit providers.

In summary, HomeDNA is a good option if you don’t mind going without family tree-building services and instead want the convenience of relying on a single provider for most of your DNA-testing needs.

Frequently Asked Questions
How accurate is HomeDNA?+-

HomeDNA is up to 96% accurate in determining the ancestral origin of 1 biological parent’s genetic lineage, if that parent is of Western European descent and not of mixed race. However, HomeDNA’s test kits may only be 60-80% accurate for individuals of mixed race with no European ancestry.

How much does the HomeDNA test cost?+-

HomeDNA kits range from $69 to $199. Its flagship test, the GPS Origins® Ancestry Test, is $199.

Where can you purchase a HomeDNA test kit?+-

You can purchase a HomeDNA test on the company’s official website. You can also buy some versions on Amazon, and you can find the HomeDNA™ Paternity Test kit from retail pharmacies.

Who should consider taking a HomeDNA test?+-

Anyone who has an interest in finding out more about their ancestry, their health, or even their pet’s genetic makeup can consider taking a HomeDNA test.

Ryan is a freelance personal finance and investments writer, with more than 3 years of experience trading and writing informative financial content. A chemical engineer by degree, Ryan's interest in finance grew out of a love of data science and computational statistics. His byline can be found on well-known sites such as The Motley Fool, Investing In The Web, and Top10.com.

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J.W Marie
4 months ago
HomeDNA is fraudulent
HomeDNA is fraudulent. I went to download my raw dna into my files and the "so called" raw dna file is completely empty. I've done this several times with other DNA labs and never had a problem. I sent an email and received a confirmation email and then nothing.
Peter Olsen
2 years ago
I do not know what scam you are…
I do not know what scam you are running, but either you refund my money or as I wrote many times, I will write extensively on Facebook and I will contact my Credit Card and register your scam. I talked with a Stefanie last Wednesday and she denied me help. I wrote Emails, I got one from a Sara, who wrote nothing but BS and threatened me, she would send a code for a new kit and if the missing kit was used, no test would be made. I do not appreciate such BS. Just now I called and had to wait over 30 minutes. Another dumb B said hello, I returned the hello and politely asked if a SARA was there. That B just hung up!
MM
Masimba Musodza
4 years ago
Disappointingly pointless
The only positive is that the results came a lot sooner than they said I was to expect them. I wish I had never purchased their HomeDNA™ Starter Ancestry Test. The results were way off- I am of Zimbabwean origin and my paternal line has been in that land for at least 400 years, while the maternal one goes back to at least 1200 years with documented Khoisan ancestry that would go back for millenia preceding the Bantu Migration. You'd think the test would reflect this, instead it cited me as having mostly DNA in common with people in Rwanda heritage (plausible because that is a main stopping point in our history) followed by Guinea-Bissau (unbelievable) Angola, South Africa, Kenya and Tanzania. Some of these are plausible as they do form part of the Bantu Migration. Logic tells me that HomeDNA does not have sufficient data to compare information, which explains results that omit places like Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Zambia etc otherwise they would have appeared in the results. If my body was found, perhaps burnt beyong recognition, the HomeDNA™ Starter Ancestry Test results would have had the authorities trying to find my next of kin in Rwanda or Guninea-Bissau! (I am from Zimbabwe) Just to be that extra-unhelpful, you can't import raw DNA data from your results to a platform such as Sequencing.com which can allow you to compare your genetic markers with a wider pool of information. If you are looking for detailed ancestry information based on an analysis of your DNA, HomeDNA will waste your time and money.
Sophie Sweatman
4 years ago
DNA test Company Exploiting Our Desire to Find our Roots
I received my results in 4 weeks - 2 weeks before confirmation email predicted - and found my results a little surprising. The provide top 3 gene pools and mine were the same, in the same order as PC World journalist Dieter Holger, a test subject who took all the tests for Nanalyzer.com, Emily Reviews, supposedly DNATestingChoice (who stated their test was genuine) and other samples on Top10.com and similar websites. They claim everyone is from same 3 origins Fennoscandia being the biggest, South France then the Orkney islands and the smaller pools are all the same places ranging from israel, India to Basques country. The do not give MtaDNA or Y-DNA haplogroups or subclades although I already know mine. This makes it look as if we all have one Scandinavian or North European lineage and one South france, spain and Basques lineage and all our ancestors passed through the tiny Orkney Islands. Their background info is generic about history for the locations on the map. I emailed and had no reply. i called and spoke to a rude man who didn't let me speak, made me wrong, criticised me personally for not knowing my "case reference number" and said I "should" find it easily. i asked where to look and he kept interupting and asked for different information but not where to find it. I got put through to '"Mike" who was exactly the same and wouldn't let me make my point and was very rude. This company are obviously dodgy and just exploiting people's interest in our origins. Apparently we are all the same and very closely related as all our parents passed through the same places at the same time. don't fall for review websites, they are probably all owned by HomeDNA to sell their sham products. No reply to emailing them through their website. Just suggestion to use their FAQs. International Biosciences seem similar and are defensive in their responses. "No one pushes back this much unless they are hiding something" . I've read all the major books on DNA research by its leading scientists and HomeDNA/GPS Origins have either contaminated all our samples or just fob people off with their algorithm.

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