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LivingDNA Test Kit Review (2023)

Ancient ancestry roots and subgroup details for certain geographic regions

8.7
very good
Nicky Lowney

In a Nutshell

LivingDNA is a relative newcomer to the DNA testing market. You may want to check out their unique offerings, like subregional analyses for certain regions like Europe, Africa, and the British Isles. You’ll get less detailed information for other regions. Their wellness report provides interesting tips on lifestyle improvements but does not give risk assessments for hereditary diseases.

pros

  • Detailed subregional data for British Isles and other regions
  • Extended ancestry through haplogroup reports
  • Wellbeing test gives DNA-related lifestyle tips

cons

  • No family tree research options
  • Health report does not provide disease risk information

Living DNA Living DNA Visit Site

Types of Tests and Kits You can Get from LivingDNA

The LivingDNA test uses a cheek swab sample to provide two kinds of reports.

The Full Ancestry report includes the following information:

  • Specialist Ancestry: The report breaks your ancestry down to more than 150 world regions. For certain regions, such as Africa, Britain, and Europe, they provide more detail in sub-regional breakdowns.

  • DNA Matching: The genetic matching tool lets you see a list of relatives. If you opt into Family Networks, you can connect with other users to see how much DNA you share.

  • Extended Ancestry: Based on an analysis of maternal DNA (mtDNA) and paternal Y-DNA (for males only), you will be able to trace your ancestry through migrations from tens of thousands of years ago.

The separate Wellbeing test kit provides insight into aspects of your health that are influenced by your genetic makeup:

  • Vitamin Response. How your body responds to key vitamins, like Vitamin D.

  • Food Metabolism. How your body processes different foods.

  • Nutrition advice. Tips for the best foods to get the nutrients you need.

  • Exercise. Advice for the best types of exercise to support your genetic makeup

  • Recovery. Recommendations on the best ways to recover after exercise.

The Wellbeing test does not measure your risk of developing hereditary diseases.

The LivingDNA website also offers a free service if you’ve already been tested through another company. You can upload your genetic information into their system and get free reports including:

  • Ancestry regions. A report of your DNA breakdown from the last five to six generations from eight major regions of the world.

  • DNA matching. Access to a list of your genetic relatives through their DNA database.

LivingDNA does not provide a family tree builder. Their family tree feature is based on genetic matches with users within their database.

How much does LivingDNA cost?

The LivingDNA ancestry test kit has a list price of $99 and is currently on sale for $79. Standard shipping costs $9.95. 

Product

Regular Price

Sale Price

Promotions

Ancestry

$99 + $9.95 shipping

$79 + $9.95 shipping

Frequent sales

Wellbeing

$129 + $9.95 shipping

$99 + $9.95 shipping

Frequent sales

Ancestry+Wellbeing

$179 kit + $9.95 shipping

$149 + $9.95 shipping

Frequent sales

The sale price of the Ancestry kit from LivingDNA is higher than kits from MyHeritage and Ancestry, and similar to the price of 23andMe. However, like 23andMe, LivingDNA offers haplogroup reports based on mtDNA and Y-DNA, which the competitors don’t have.

LivingDNA coupons and promo codes 

LivingDNA runs several sales throughout the year.

How to Get Started with LivingDNA? 

After you order your kit online, it should arrive within five to ten business days with standard shipping. 

The DNA collection kit includes:

  • Instruction booklet

  • Sterile envelope with cotton swabs

  • Rapid-dry pouch

  • Plastic specimen bag

  • Postage-paid return mailer

Living DNA DNA Testing Review - Getting Started

To get started, you’ll need to register your kit online using the barcode on your specimen bag. Don’t put anything in your mouth for one hour prior to taking your sample. Then, follow these steps:

  • Rub and rotate the swab along the inside of your cheeks for 30-45 seconds, ensuring that the entire swab has made contact with the cheek.

  • Place the swab in the rapid-dry pouch and seal with the test ID sticker. 

  • Place the pouch inside the postage bag and drop it in the mail.

Getting The Results 

You should receive your results within six to eight weeks of your sample arriving at the laboratory. You’ll  get an email with a link to view your reports. You will have to sign in, then select from the following results in your portal:

  • Recent Ancestry Results. This is a list of your ethnicities and regions with your corresponding DNA percentages and a shaded map. You can click on each region or subregion for more information.

  • Maternal Results. This shows your maternal haplogroup (found through mitochondrial DNA analysis) and a map of the migration patterns over tens of thousands of years. You can also view a map of where in the world your maternal DNA is found today.

  • Paternal Results. If you are a male, you will be able to view haplogroup information found through Y-DNA analysis. 

  • Family Networks. If you opt into this feature, you can click on “relatives” in your portal to view your matches, read their profiles, and message them.

  • Wellbeing Results. If you have purchased a Wellbeing test, you can click on “wellness” in your portal to view a list of traits, and then click on individual traits to get more information.

Living DNA DNA Testing Review - Getting Results

How LivingDNA Protects your Privacy

The LivingDNA website has a comprehensive Privacy section on their website. They include these key points:

  • They aim to be transparent in how they handle all user information

  • They don’t sell your data to third parties

  • You can choose to opt in to research

  • They use secure databases and anonymize data wherever possible

Help and Support

The LivingDNA website has a helpful support center, but you’ll have to dig for it at the bottom of the page, in the sitemap. The support center has useful articles to help you through the process, including ordering your kit, taking a sample, and interpreting your results. Many of the articles have illustrations to walk you through the process.

The “Contact Us” page is also located in the sitemap. Here, you can find out how to contact a company representative. Support personnel are available at 0203 424 3482, Monday through Friday 9am-5pm GMT. They are based in the UK, so US customers may not always be able to reach them at convenient times. You can also email them by using their “Contact Us” form or sending a message to help@livingdna.com. Customers report that the support at LivingDNA is prompt and friendly. 

How LivingDNA Compares to Other DNA Test Kits

LivingDNA

23andMe

AncestryDNA

Futura Genetics

Price per kit

$79+shipping

Price per kit

$79+shipping

Price per kit

$59+shipping

Price per kit

$375

Collection type

Cheek swab

Collection type

Saliva

Collection type

Saliva

Collection type

Saliva

Results in

6-8 weeks

Results in

3-4 weeks

Results in

8 weeks

Results in

4 weeks

DNA Test Type

Autosomal, mtDNA, Y-DNA (males only)

DNA Test Type

Autosomal, mtDNA, Y-DNA (males only)

DNA Test Type

Autosomal

DNA Test Type

SNP genetic disease markers

LivingDNA Vs. 23andMe

A choice between LivingDNA and 23andMe comes down to what you’re looking for in your results. If you’d like to drill down to specific subgroups in certain regions—like the British Isles, Europe, or Africa—LivingDNA is a great choice. Both companies have haplogroup reporting for deep ancestry insights. 23andMe has a larger database of users and also provides disease-specific information in their health report.

LivingDNA Vs. AncestryDNA

If you are focused on building and fleshing out a detailed family tree, AncestryDNA is the better choice in DNA testing, with a much larger database of users and access to billions of historical records. If your interest is in ancient ancestry or particular geographical areas, like the British Isles, LivingDNA may be a better choice for you.

LivingDNA Vs. Futura Genetics 

LivingDNA and Futura Genetics offer two entirely different services. While LivingDNA is a great option for exploring ethnicities from certain regions and getting personalized wellness tips, Futura Genetics is focused solely on determining your individual risk of contracting 28 of the most common diseases.

Bottom Line

The UK-based company LivingDNA provides a unique level of detail, particularly for ethnicities from Europe, the British Isles, and Africa. The Wellness report gives tips on improving lifestyle choices based on your genetic makeup but does not provide any risk reports for hereditary diseases. If you are looking for great subregional information and ancient ancestry, LivingDNA is worth the money.

Frequently Asked Questions
Is LivingDNA secure?
-
+
LivingDNA has a strict privacy policy and excellent security systems in place to protect your data. They will not use your data without your permission.
How accurate is LivingDNA’s test?
-
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LivingDNA’s results are variably accurate. The results depend partly on your heritage. Because it is a UK-based company, many of its users are based in the UK and Europe. This allows for a high level of accuracy and detail for those portions of customers’ ethnicity estimates. Users with ethnicities that are not as well represented—like Ashkenazi (European) Jews, have reported inaccurate ethnicity results.
How much does LivingDNA cost?
-
+
The Ancestry test costs $79 plus shipping. For the wellness report, you’ll pay $99 plus shipping, and both tests together cost $149 plus shipping.
Nicky Lowney is a health communication expert with a master’s degree in the field. Having worked extensively in the pharmaceutical industry, Nicky specializes in translating complex medical information into content that informs and helps people. Nicky has written for Top10.com, Tufts University School of Dental Medicine, and Decision Resources Group, among others.

Living DNA customer reviews

Based on 50 reviews

Ease of use

Brand satisfaction

Value for money

Service quality

Top Reviews

Ease of use

Brand satisfaction

Value for money

Service quality

1 years ago

Quality , assured and wide range to create a full database that is guaranteed to be correct and right

1 years ago

The web site is easy to use and explains the DNA segments which helps find out where your family was from.

1 years ago

It's easy to use and so worth the money. It is also 100% accurate. You will be happy.

1 years ago

it's very easy to use, i didn't think much of it. it's really interesting how you can know ur dna from one simple thing

1 years ago

It was very easy to obtain and then give your samples and mail back. Results were fast and the whole time if you had ANY questions they were a phone call away

2 years ago

Because I think it's a great product especially when it can test your DNA and you can get any information you wanted

2 years ago

Very simple and easy to understand how it works with my blood results and dna

2 years ago

It showed relatives, where my ancestors came from, And interesting data about my dna

2 years ago

They were so accurate and gave me quick results. The customer service was amazing they are so friendly and answer any questions you have.

2 years ago

They were great, they gave me all of the information I was looking for plus more.. going through them was a great decision

3 years ago

Love the way they link everything up and I didn't have to do any of the work. They were also on time

3 years ago

The test wants cheek cells so sometime that's difficult to collect. The customer service is TOP NOTCH.

3 years ago

They gave me the need to locate my relatives and it cost a lot of money. I'm am really worried about the results.

3 years ago

Great overall features and very accurate results . It also gives you very knowledgeable information

3 years ago

Easy to use and results were very extensive. Loved using this service. Would recommend it to friends.

2 years ago

It was recommended to me by my doctor. I think it was very easy to use and I like the results. The result come in pretty fast too.

3 years ago

Good service and detailed information about results of sample. I would have liked further studies.

3 years ago

It is just expensive and some disabled people with genetic diseases can can't afford to restring

3 years ago

Had my DNA checked and it was fairly fast and affordable. I learnt that my ancestors came from Scotland, Ireland, and Norway. I'm three percent Indian.

3 years ago

Easy to handle and quick service. Great customer service and clear to understand results. Also fast turn around time.

50 reviews