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LivingDNA Test Kit Review (2024)

Ancient ancestry roots and subgroup details for certain geographic regions
By Nicky LowneyBy Nicky Lowney -
Last Updated: Nov 08, 2023
574 reviews
by
logo-LIVING DNA
Visit Site
Price
$79/kit
Results in
6-8 weeks
Collection method
Cheek swabs

Our Verdict

Is LivingDNA Worth It?

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.

Price
$79/kit
Results in
6-8 weeks
Collection method
Cheek swabs

Living DNA at a Glance

9.6
Editorial Score

Services Offered

3 types of mouth swab DNA kits, full ancestry reports, deep ancestry covering 80 regions, family matching and chromosome browser
10.0

Brand Reputation

Founded in September 2016, positive review from PCWorld, good reviews on Trustpilot
9.0

Speed of Results

6 to 8 weeks to deliver your results after your sample arrives at its lab
9.0

Cost

Full ancestry kit is $69, starter kit is $49, well-being kit is $79, and well-being and ancestry kit is $99, 30% off holiday sale
10.0

Customer Support

Call +44 (0) 203 823 6002 9am - 5pm Monday to Friday (BST), email help@livingdna.com or fill in the contact form
10.0

Living DNA Pros & Cons

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

Top Living DNA Reviews

Mariana A.
Great customer experience
They have helped me very quickly and solved my request without any issue. The customer representative was very pleasant and explained things to me thoroughly and with patience.
Svetlana Kipnis
Great personal Customer Service
I had an issue with original package (due to post, not the company) and my case was personally managed by Customer Service rep Clare. She promptly responded to all emails, helped getting new package, followed up until ALL my questions have been answered. A+ service
ER
Eileen Carol Roberts
Replacement kits. Having been gifted dna kits just prior…
Having been gifted dna kits just prior to covid hitting the world, we had unfortunately neglected to use them within the allotted time, not having spotted the expiry date, and assuming that testing would be a non starter due to labs being overrun with covid testing, then kind of forgot about them. Anyway, Clare was most helpful when i contacted the company wondering what to do, and she talked me through everything, and offered reduced cost replacement kits which arrived promptly. All now done and currently awaiting results.
See all Living DNA reviews

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Living DNA Living DNA Visit Site

Overview

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 LivingDNA Works

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

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.


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. 

LivingDNA Pricing

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.

LivingDNA Alternatives

How LivingDNA Compares to Other DNA Test Kits


LivingDNA
23andMe
AncestryDNA
Futura Genetics

Price per kit

$79+shipping

$79+shipping

$59+shipping

$375

Collection type

Cheek swab

Saliva

Saliva

Saliva

Results in

6-8 weeks

3-4 weeks

8 weeks

4 weeks

DNA Test Type

Autosomal, mtDNA, Y-DNA (males only)

Autosomal, mtDNA, Y-DNA (males only)

Autosomal

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.

Living DNA Living DNA Visit Site

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?+-

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 an accredited health communication expert and writer for Top10. Having worked extensively in the pharmaceutical industry, Nicky specializes in translating complex medical information into content that informs and helps people. Nicky has also written for Tufts University School of Dental Medicine, and Decision Resources Group, among others.

Living DNA reviews

Excellent • Reviews 574
on
Excellent
52%
Great
7%
Average
5%
Poor
8%
Bad
28%
We upload 100 to 400 Trustpilot reviews daily to our website, displaying them by default from "best to worst." You have the option to adjust the sorting criteria. If you wish to see all reviews you can go to the Trustpilot website, here.
Sort by
Mariana A.
2 days ago
Great customer experience
They have helped me very quickly and solved my request without any issue. The customer representative was very pleasant and explained things to me thoroughly and with patience.
Svetlana Kipnis
1 week ago
Great personal Customer Service
I had an issue with original package (due to post, not the company) and my case was personally managed by Customer Service rep Clare. She promptly responded to all emails, helped getting new package, followed up until ALL my questions have been answered. A+ service
ER
Eileen Carol Roberts
2 weeks ago
Replacement kits. Having been gifted dna kits just prior…
Having been gifted dna kits just prior to covid hitting the world, we had unfortunately neglected to use them within the allotted time, not having spotted the expiry date, and assuming that testing would be a non starter due to labs being overrun with covid testing, then kind of forgot about them. Anyway, Clare was most helpful when i contacted the company wondering what to do, and she talked me through everything, and offered reduced cost replacement kits which arrived promptly. All now done and currently awaiting results.
Kath O'Regan
1 month ago
Help is readily available. Email response time is very efficient.
I am not very IT literate. I found it hard tracing back emails and information. When Clare received my email after a delay of some months between my initial DNA results, she asked the pertinent questions to find my details and add on the service I required.

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