One of the most popular options in this field of research and development is 23andMe. That’s because it offers a robust set of results in a wide range of areas—including health and ancestry—tests across the greatest number of regions globally, and stores and updates your results indefinitely for you. So, it’s understandable that 23andMe is such a big hit.
However, as the competition grows in this industry, 23andMe is starting to take a back seat as other players launch more advanced testing products, more involved reports, and better tools. Here are 5 DNA test kit alternatives to 23andMe that are starting to level the playing field.
Just for comparison's sake, let's see what 23andMe is all about. This DNA kit has all the right tests, including autosomal, mtDNA, and Y-DNA testing, so it covers all the bases. What’s more, 23andMe has the widest region database, covering more than 1,000 populations around the globe. The more regions covered, the greater the accuracy and the more in-depth the genealogy reports will be.
Additionally, 23andMe does health screening during its testing as well. This FDA-approved test kit gives you valuable information about your genetic disposition toward common diseases and health conditions, carrier status, and traits that are passed down through our genes.
What does 23andMe offer?
- DNA testing on all fronts
- Database of 1,000+ regions
- Affordable pricing
- Fun, interactive software
As you can see, 23andMe is a good service. But here are the top 5 alternatives and where they really shine:
1. MyHeritage DNA
MyHeritage is one of the 2 biggest names in ancestry research (the other is Ancestry.com, which we’ll cover next). It has the world’s largest historical entry archives that it uses to create tremendous and intricate family tree connections. Adding DNA results to the mix has only made MyHeritage more successful at connecting relatives and uncovering answers.
MyHeritage DNA tests don’t cover maternal or paternal testing, but the autosomal testing results you get are phenomenal. Pulling from 42 graphic regions, your DNA results will be connected to an online family tree software too. You’ll get a cool, animated video along with your test results to help you see clearly what your estimated ethnicities are. Reports also include a color-coded map showing you the regions where your ancestors were from. Oh, and MyHeritage DNA will store your results for 25 years for you.
In addition, MyHeritage recently launched a health DNA test, taking away one of the key advantages that 23andMe had on it.
How does MyHeritage compare to 23andMe?
- Gives DNA comparison to unknown relatives
- Access to interactive, detailed family tree feature
- Fastest test results
- Detailed and interactive reports and maps
2. Ancestry DNA
Ancestry and MyHeritage are tied for first place when it comes to heritage research and family tree building efforts, but how does Ancestry.com’s DNA test hold up against 23andMe? From our assessment, really well! Ancestry DNA has one of the most comprehensive reports available. It’s loaded with useful information about your heritage, and what’s more, it’s all organized in appealing, and understandable formats. The report has tons of pie charts, graphs, and explanations. So, you really get a complete understanding of your test results.
Ancestry DNA also has an excellent relative finder. This helps you discover family members you have who you didn’t even know existed. Ancestry DNA has roughly 5 million DNA sets and 700,000 locations across 350 ethnic regions to work with, so you get really thorough results. Recently, Ancestry DNA launched a new kit that can give you insights into heritable traits and attributes, providing a wellspring of fascinating information about yourself.
How does Ancestry DNA compare to 23andMe?
- Tremendous DNA database
- Good option for adopted children finding biological relatives
- Traits and attribute testing
- Fabulous, understandable, and thorough reports
If you’re looking to kill 2 birds with one stone, LivingDNA is a great option. That's because, with a single test, LivingDNA will give you valuable information about both parents’ lines and autosomal testing results. All this info in one test makes this brand one of the best values for money out there. LivingDNA is also known to be the best DNA testing kit for UK region lineage, so if your roots are or might be around the British Isles, this is a no-brainer.
LivingDNA uses 80 geographical regions with 650,000 genetic markers to test. What’s really amazing about this brand, though, is that it has markers reaching as far back as 80,000 years! You get an incredibly detailed and far-reaching heritage report from that. LivingDNA also just launched a relative matching tool to connect users with family members based on DNA.
How does LivingDNA compare to 23andMe?
- Detailed geographic reporting feature
- One of the most affordable tests
- Traces ancestry back thousands of years
- 3-in-1 DNA test kit
Orig3n is a great alternative to 23andMe for people who want a holistic view of themselves. That’s because this company provides a number of DNA tests that cover the spectrum from health and wellness to genetics, and even behavioral analysis. Orig3n tests are also very affordable. Each one only costs about $30, which is incredibly cheap. Plus, Orig3n uses the most advanced technology to glean deep insights about you from your DNA sample.
But what's really incredible about this brand is the reports that you get back with your test results. Orig3n gives users a detailed and personalized program based on your DNA. The report will tell you which foods to avoid for health and weight loss, how your body responds to external factors, and a full assessment of your metabolism and body muscle maintenance. Because of this, Orig3n is one of the most popular options for people trying to lose weight or get in shape.
How does Orig3n compare to 23andMe?
- Tests for fitness, health, beauty, and behavior
- Customized self-evaluation reports
- State-of-the-art technologies for in-depth results
- Constantly developing the products and testing process
5. GPS Origins
GPS Origins is a branch of the well-known HomeDNA, which has been around for more than 25 years. That speaks to the test’s reliability and quality. GPS Origins pulls from more than 800,000 genetic markers, 1,000 regional populations, 36 gene pools, and 862 populations to help deliver accurate results with a tremendous amount of detail about your heritage. Reports will include interesting information about your gene pool percentage, ethnicity, and even have a migration map to show your ancestors’ migratory paths.
GPS Origins has both genetic testing and health and beauty test kits. And by the way, if you’ve already taken a DNA test, you can send in the raw data to GPS Origins for analysis. This gives you the advantage of advanced technological testing and results without having to take another DNA test.
How does GPS Origins compare to 23andMe?
- 800,000 genetic markers
- You can send in previous DNA data
- Detailed and interactive reports
- Genetics, health, and beauty tests
Discover What’s Written in Your DNA
While 23andMe offers a comprehensive DNA product, those who might have been put off by the price or wait times to get results have plenty of worthy alternatives that can help them embark on a journey of discovery into their heritage.