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Professional Reviews
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Reviews Guidelines
Updated on
September 14, 2023 by Katy Willis

10 Best DNA Test Kits in 2023 (100% Safe & Accurate)

10 Best DNA Test Kits in 2023 (100% Safe & Accurate)

Getting the most accurate DNA test kit can be a daunting task. It’s like searching for a needle in a haystack when you have countless options available on the market. You might want one for various reasons, perhaps for your health, ancestry, or even personal interest. Nevertheless, the fear of inaccurate results or privacy concerns can be frustrating.

Having spent hours testing various DNA kits, I evaluated their accuracy, turnaround time, privacy measures, and user-friendliness. After careful analysis and stringent selection, I have shortlisted the top ten DNA test kits for you that stand out for their exceptional performance and reliability.

My top pick is AncestryDNA as it has a huge database of records, detailed reports, and even offers a free trial for its genealogy service. Besides, its easy-to-use nature is a significant plus, ensuring you a hassle-free experience.

Get The #1 DNA Test Kit Today!

Short on time? Here are the best DNA tests in 2023

  • AncestryDNA – Our #1 pick; has the largest database of DNA samples in the world, easily matching you with relatives, and even offers a free trial so you can browse through its records and build your family tree. 
  • MyHeritage – Affordable DNA kit with a great family tree builder that allows you to bring your family tree to life with photo albums.
  • Living DNA – The best health screening DNA kit; analyzes your biomarkers for possible health concerns, as well as how your DNA affects your health, behavior, and more.
  • FamilyTreeDNA – Good DNA test if you want to trace your maternal and paternal lineage, with a decent family tree builder. 
  • Nebula Genomics – Analyzes your DNA by using whole genome sequencing and gives you very comprehensive, deep insights into your health and ancestry. 

See 5 more top at-home DNA test kitsComparison of the best DNA tests 

Our Best DNA Test Kits Reviewed

1. AncestryDNA – In-depth Ancestry & Huge Genealogy Database

  • Full ancestry breakdown with accurate ethnicity percentages
  • Intuitive family tree builder and access to 20 billion historical records
  • Tracks down relative matches from the AncestryDNA database
  • Detailed results in 6-8 weeks
Price from$99.00

AncestryDNA provides you with an in-depth understanding of your ancestral heritage. By examining a small DNA sample, they trace your lineage back multiple generations. This extensive view allows you to discover connections to various ethnicities and regions, from African and Afro-Caribbean ancestry to European ancestry, and even specific groups like Ashkenazi Jewish, offering a rich and layered view of your genetic background.

A standout feature of AncestryDNA is its vast genealogy database, enabling you to find relatives and build an intricate family tree. With access to millions of DNA profiles and historical records, you have a unique opportunity to explore connections and trace familial links. While the database is large, user-friendly tools guide you through the process, making it manageable and engaging.

In addition to uncovering your ancestry, AncestryDNA offers an optional service to provide insights into your genetic health risks and wellness. While this doesn’t replace professional medical advice, it’s a valuable tool to give you a general understanding of certain inherited health traits. This add-on provides a broader perspective of your genetic makeup, connecting your past with your present health.

AncestryDNA’s user interface is designed to be user-friendly, making the exploration of your genetic history an enjoyable experience. Though the wealth of information may initially seem daunting, the intuitive design helps you navigate the information with ease. Privacy is also a priority for AncestryDNA, adhering to industry standards to ensure that your data is handled with care and confidentiality.

You can get started with building your family tree for free (it offers a 14-day free trial). This will allow you to browse some basic historical records as well. Its prices are generally some of the lowest on the market, starting at $99, but there are also frequent discounts, which makes the price even lower. 

Explore Your Heritage with AncestryDNA!

2. MyHeritage – Best for Bringing Your Family Tree to Life and Connecting With Relatives

  • Search through 19.4 billion of records
  • Bring your ancestors to life with photos, music videos, and more
  • Simple cheek swab and user-friendly, detailed reports
  • Results within 4 weeks
Price from$89.00

MyHeritage is a fantastic platform that can help you unlock the secrets of your family’s history. With its user-friendly interface and powerful features, it’s an excellent choice for anyone interested in genealogy. From building your family tree to discovering long-lost relatives, MyHeritage offers a comprehensive set of tools to assist you on your journey of self-discovery.

One of the standout features of MyHeritage is its vast collection of historical records. With billions of records from all over the world, you’ll have access to a treasure trove of information. Whether you’re searching for birth certificates, census data, or immigration records, MyHeritage can help you uncover valuable insights about your ancestors. The search function is intuitive and efficient, making it easy to navigate through the vast database.

Another highlight of MyHeritage is its DNA testing service. By submitting a simple cheek swab, you can gain fascinating insights into your ethnic origins and find relatives you never knew existed. The DNA matching feature connects you with potential relatives based on shared genetic markers, opening up a world of new connections and possibilities.

Furthermore, MyHeritage goes above and beyond in preserving and sharing your family’s history. You can create beautiful family photo albums, record and preserve family stories, and even create engaging animated videos of your ancestors. The platform offers a seamless experience, allowing you to share your findings with your loved ones and collaborate with other researchers.

Get Started With MyHeritage

3. Living DNA – Sub-Regional Ancestry Percentages

  • Traces your DNA to sub-regions in Europe, Africa, and the British Isles
  • Predicts your ancestry from the last 500 years to the present day
  • Screen for health and wellness, including vitamin needs and food metabolism, with the combined kit
  • Both reports ready in just 6-8 weeks
Price from$105.00

Living DNA offers unique insights into Africa, Europe, and the British Isles. It spans over 150 worldwide regions and an exclusive collection of sub-regions to give you more detail about your ancestry and pinpoint exactly where your heritage lies. It told our researcher precisely where in England their ancestors are from.

You can read more about the sub-regions that make up your ancestry, with historical facts, migration maps, and haplogroup information, which shows you where each side of your family comes from. We really liked the interactive maps with color-coded migration lines.

It can trace your ancestry through 80,000 years. You can read in detail about your history and explore your ancestors’ movements all over the world.

Living DNA’s matching tool finds individuals that share your DNA, so you can connect with your relatives, swap stories, and discover more about your heritage. Our researcher could see how much DNA they shared with each ancestor and their relationship status.

Living DNA also has a detailed health and wellness DNA test, which covers vitamin response, food metabolism rates, and even gives personalized exercise recommendations. This is coupled with the ancestry test, so you get tons of information for one great price.

You get free return shipping whichever test you choose, and it takes between 6-8 weeks to get your detailed report.

Get Ancestry & Health Insights with Living DNA!

4. FamilyTreeDNA – Detailed Maternal and Paternal Lines

  • Maps your ethnic origins with accurate percentages and geographical maps
  • Deeper ancestry insights that show which DNA you share with ancient European groups
  • Family finder finds your DNA paternal and maternal matches
  • Results in as little as 2 weeks
Price from$79.00

FamilyTreeDNA offers specific tests for Y-DNA and mtDNA that enable you to trace your male and female ancestors. Find out where your ancestors came from, discover your heritage all the way back to Africa, and learn about how and why your family migrated around the world. You can even unlock the history of your surname.

The ancestry tests give you your ethnicity percentages based on over 60 populations. During our tests, it identified regions that made up less than 1% of our researcher’s DNA, which is impressive.

We could explore each region using the interactive map. Every location comes with interesting historical facts, too, which is a nice touch.

FamilyTreeDNA also takes your ancestry that bit further with deeper insights that trace your DNA back to ancient times. Our researcher could see whether they carried the autosomal DNA for ancient European groups, including neolithic hunters or gatherers, early farmers, and bronze-age invaders.

The family finder searches through its database to find matches that share your DNA, then lets you manage and sort your family members by parental lines. We also liked the chromosome browser feature which lets you see exactly which (and how much) DNA you share.

If you’ve already taken a test with AncestryDNA or 23andMe, you can upload your raw data to FamilyTreeDNA. We tested it with AncestryDNA and it was really easy.

Results processing times vary between 2-8 weeks, depending on which test you choose.

Trace Your Ancestry with FamilyTreeDNA!

5. Nebula Genomics – Whole Genome Sequencing

  • Decodes more of your DNA than other companies
  • Report covers 27 health traits and behaviors
  • Genome explorer helps you learn more about your genetic variants
  • Bonus ancestry information including haplogroup mapping
Price from$299.00

Nebula Genomics offers 30 x whole-genome sequencing, which means it decodes all of your DNA to identify every genetic marker you carry. This does come at a price, though. The individual kits are quite expensive, and you also have to pay a regular subscription fee on top of that.

For that fee, you do get comprehensive health testing with some ancestry information thrown in, too. It screens for 27 health traits relating to various aspects of your wellness. We learned about factors like earwax type, freckling, snacking behavior, nicotine response, and muscle strength.

It takes a while to get your reports –we had to wait 13 weeks.

We liked that your health traits are categorized into four buckets: appearance and hormones, behavior and perception, body and athleticism, and nutrition and diet. It makes your report easy to navigate.

Nebula comes with a research library which is a feature we haven’t seen before. This allows you to explore your genetic variants yourself, analyze your genomes, and read articles relating to your DNA. Some of it is quite technical, though.

Alongside health, you get some ancestry information which includes mtDNA and Y-DNA mapping. This means you can see how both sides of your family moved around the globe and where your heritage comes from.

Decode Your DNA with Nebula Genomics!

6. SelfDecode – Upload Existing DNA For Instant Results

  • Tests over 83 million genetic variants
  • Subscription service with access to 350 reports 
  • Pro Connect model allows your health practitioner to order lab work, see your results, & more
  • Recommendations on supplements you can buy through the platform

SelfDecode lets you upload raw DNA data from AncestryDNA, FamilyTreeDNA, and Courtagen, which saves you the usual waiting time of 6-8 weeks. When we tested it, we got our chosen reports instantly. You will get over 350 reports, including health reports for all major categories, diet and nutrition reports, biohacker reports, and personality reports. 

You can also take a DNA test with SelfDecode and get an analysis of over 83 million genetic variants. SelfDecode also partnered with Lab Test Analyzer, so you can also order lab works through this platform and with its Pro Connect model, allow your doctor to order tests for you, analyze them, or see your results. 

We were impressed by the list of kits covering mental wellbeing, too. You can learn about stress, mood, anxiety, and cognitive function. Additionally, SelfDecode incorporates a Lifestyle questionnaire which gives them further insight and more information to deliver accurate results. 

We found our reports to be quite detailed, with plenty of actionable recommendations tailored to our researcher’s genes. It tells you which biomarkers were tested and the genetic variant you carry, which is useful if you plan on taking your results to your doctor. SelfDecode will also give you recommendations for supplements based on your results, and you can purchase them through the platform. And with SelfDecode’s app, you can build your own meal plan. 

Get Ongoing Health Reports with SelfDecode!

7. LetsGetChecked – Comprehensive Male & Female Health & Wellness Testing

  • Female and male-specific health and wellness tests, plus STD kits
  • Screens for fertility, vitamin needs, cancer risk, heart health, and more
  • Qualified nurses on-hand to talk you through your results and offer advice
  • Results in just 2-5 days

LetsGetChecked has many tests designed specifically for males and females. You can find tests for fertility, ovarian reserve, diabetes, vitamins, and even food allergies. You can also screen for your risk of colon cancer.

LetsGetChecked also has a huge range of budget-friendly, at-home STD tests, that allow you to screen your sexual health, privately, in the comfort of your own home. We like these especially for their discreet packaging and quick results!

It only takes a matter of days to get your results after a simple swab, urine, or finger-prick blood sample. When we tested it, the instructions were really clear and easy to follow for all sample collection methods.

When your results are ready, your report is published on your secure online account, which you can access via the online web portal or mobile app. We got an email to let us know.

Some tests (especially STD tests) even include a phone call with a nurse to discuss your results. They give you advice on what steps to take and in some cases, can give you a prescription.

Our researcher’s report was highly detailed, showing exactly what they were at risk of and where to make lifestyle changes. It even gives you easy-to-follow, actionable tips so you can start making changes right away.

LetsGetChecked’s health tests are speedy, too. From your sample arriving in the lab, it typically takes only 2-5 days to deliver your results.

Assess Your Health with LetsGetChecked!

8. My Toolbox Genomics – Get Meal and Exercise Plans

  • Valuable insights into your nutrition and health
  • Screens for intolerances and allergies
  • Meal and exercise plans
  • Results in 4 weeks

If you’re looking for a powerful tool to take control of your dietary habits, then the My Toolbox Geonomics’ DNA kit is exactly what you need. With this kit, you’ll receive valuable insights into your deficiencies, metabolism, taste preferences, and meal planning. The best part is that it’s all customized just for you, so you can make informed decisions about your nutrition.

Once you send in your sample to the testing lab, you can expect the process to take around four weeks. However, the wait is well worth it. By analyzing more than 50 genes and 26 traits, this kit provides you with a personalized nutrition plan aligned with your objectives. Whether you’re trying to lose weight, build muscle, or improve your overall health, this kit has got you covered.

Another great feature of the My Toolbox Geonomics’ DNA kit is the customized 7-day meal plan. This plan is tailored to your unique needs and preferences, including easy-to-follow recipes complete with calorific information. While it doesn’t provide macronutrient information, the meal plan includes actionable tips to help you optimize your diet, such as incorporating oily fish, using different cooking oils, or drinking fiber-rich smoothies for breakfast. You also have access to the genotype test results behind each recommendation.

In addition to identifying nutritional deficiencies and recommending supplements, the My Toolbox Geonomics’ DNA kit also screens for intolerances, particularly gluten. It even evaluates your sensitivity to caffeine and alcohol, providing guidance on consumption limits. With this information at your fingertips, you can make informed decisions about what to eat and drink, leading to better overall health.

The My Toolbox Geonomics’ DNA kit also offers tailored exercise information, including a fitness routine with comprehensive instructions for every exercise, workout frequency, and rest days. This personalized exercise plan will help you get on the right track towards achieving your fitness goals.

Reach Your Health Goals With My Toolbox Genomics

9. EverlyWell – Wellness Tests For Allergies, Sleep, & Stress

  • Tests your stress levels, sleep quality, food intolerances, and environmental allergies
  • Offers personalized advice on lifestyle changes to improve your health
  • At-home STD testing available with subscription options
  • Results take 5 days
Price from$49.00

Everlywell has a huge variety of at-home wellness tests that screen every aspect of your health. There are tests for sleep, stress, hormones, heart health, fertility, and allergies. In fact, you have over 35 tests to choose from.

You get a highly detailed report that shows every genetic marker screened for and your results. For example, when we took the sleep and stress test, we could see whether cortisol levels are high, low, or medium, with actionable advice on what to change.

Allergy screening can help you understand which intolerances you may have so you can alter your diet and food to improve your health.

And the metabolism test evaluates the three key hormones that your body needs to maintain a healthy metabolism, and how this might affect your energy and weight.

Our researcher found taking the test quick and easy, with just saliva or finger-prick blood samples. And you get free returns to the lab.

Your sample is reviewed by independently-certified physicians, then uploaded to your online dashboard. Usually, this is around 5 days after the lab receives your sample. But we got ours in two days.

You can buy various at-home STD tests, too. There’s the option to buy a subscription, so you can choose which STD tests you want, and they’re delivered to your door every month. It also means they’re cheaper.

Get Health Insights with Everlywell!

10. Inside Tracker – Diet & Exercise Plans Based on Your DNA

  • Actionable tips for improving your health
  • Meal and exercise plans
  • Check-in tool to help you stay on track
  • Results in 2-4 weeks

This service uses both your DNA and self-reported habits to provide you with actionable tips on how to improve your health. For example, if you’re looking to improve your glucose levels and manage blood sugar, you might be advised to move towards a more vegetable-based diet. Additionally, you’ll receive recommendations on supplements and vitamins that may be beneficial for you.

To help you monitor your progress toward your health goals, InsideTracker provides a personalized action plan. This plan outlines specific tasks to include in your routine on certain days, such as eating a vegetarian diet one day a week or drinking more water three days a week. You’ll also receive tips on fitness and exercise recommendations to help you achieve your goals.

To make it easy to stay on track, InsideTracker has a handy check-in tool. This tool allows you to tick off tasks each day and monitor your progress toward your goals. You can even set reminders for each action, ensuring that you never forget to take a step toward your healthiest self. And with recipes to try, the check-in tool helps put your personalized nutritional advice into action.

While waiting for your results, keep in mind that it can take 2-4 weeks to receive your personalized plan. But the wait is well worth it for the comprehensive advice you’ll receive. With InsideTracker, you’ll gain valuable insights into how to optimize your health and live your best life.

Try InsideTracker Now

Best DNA Kits: Comparison Table

  Tests Available Collection Methods Ships Outside of US Customer Support Starting Price
AncestryDNA Ancestry

Family Tree

Saliva sample $99.00
MyHeritage Ancestry

Family Tree

Cheek swab $89.00
Living DNA Ancestry

Health & Wellness

Diet & Fitness

Cheek swab $105.00
FamilyTreeDNA Ancestry

Family Tree

Cheek swab $79.00
Nebula Genomics Health & Wellness


Cheek swab $299.00
SelfDecode Health & Wellness

Diet & Fitness


Cheek swab $199.00
LetsGetChecked Health & Wellness


Finger-prick blood test

Urine sample

Saliva sample

Stool sample

Cheek/vaginal/rectal swabs

Everlywell Health & Wellness


Diet & Fitness

Finger-prick blood test

Urine sample

Saliva sample

Cheek/vaginal/rectal swabs

InsideTracker Health and Wellness

Diet & Fitness

Cheek swab $249.00

How We Tested the DNA Kits

In order to determine the DNA testing companies that offer the best service and most accurate information, we went through the experience of being customers ourselves. It’s important to note that we didn’t receive any “free tests” in exchange for positive reviews. Instead, we personally took the tests to provide an unbiased assessment.

Here’s exactly what we evaluated in each test:

  • Ease of Use: We examined the kits for their user-friendly design, fast shipping, clear instructions, and simple collection methods to ensure a hassle-free experience.
  • Result Accuracy: We ensured that the tests were conducted in accredited labs known for delivering reliable and precise results that you can trust.
  • Turnaround Time: We considered the speed at which the results were provided to avoid prolonged waiting periods.
  • Detailed Reports: We scrutinized the reports for their comprehensive and highly informative nature, ensuring they offered useful insights and all the necessary information you need.
  • Customer Support: We assessed the availability and quality of customer support channels to ensure that assistance is readily available when needed.

By thoroughly examining these factors, we aimed to provide an objective evaluation of the DNA testing companies, enabling you to make an informed decision based on reliable information.

When Did DNA Testing Start?

Home-based DNA testing started in the late 1990s when a company known as GeneTree (later acquired by AncestryDNA with one of the best ancestry tests available) started to offer genealogical ancestry tests to the general public. These tests were pretty basic, and didn’t go beyond single generations, but it opened up a new field that was rich with opportunities.

The first dedicated direct-to-consumer ancestry testing company was FamilyTreeDNA when in 2000, it partnered with the University of Arizona to offer Y-DNA and mtDNA tests to help people identify paternal lineages. Again, the tests at the time were nowhere near as detailed or accurate as they are now, testing for only a fraction of genetic markers. But at the time, being able to trace paternal and maternal genetic lineages across generations was revolutionary.

A few years later, in 2007, 23andMe further revolutionized the DNA industry by offering easy-to-access, at-home, saliva-based, ancestry tests. A particularly important distinction was that 23andMe used autosomal testing, which is now the standard test used across the entire genealogical DNA testing industry.

All three of these companies (AncestryDNA, FamilyTreeDNA, and 23andMe) are still going strong, offering widely available and highly accurate ancestry DNA tests to people around the world.

Since the initial success of these companies, and with the increasing technology of genome mapping, home-based DNA testing has become a major industry. There are now DNA tests for all different kinds of things – food allergies, emotional health, genetic disease risks, and even DNA testing for pets.

Get Started With Ancestry

What Will You Discover from Your DNA Test?

DNA tests can tell you many things based on a fundamental aspect of your human existence – your genetic code. By decoding your DNA, you can understand how your genetic markers influence your life in many ways.

The three main things you’ll discover from your DNA test are:

  • All the ethnicities in your genetic makeup
  • What physical and emotional traits your DNA has given you
  • How your DNA influences your health, lifestyle factors, and behaviors

Your DNA test will tell you a lot of things about yourself, your ancestry, and your body’s unique biology. From which foods to eat (or not), and which exercise routine you should follow, to ethnicity estimates and tracking down long-lost ancestors, there are hundreds (if not thousands) of things you can learn from your DNA test results.

How to Choose the Best DNA Test for You

With so many DNA tests out there, it can be overwhelming to find the one that’s right for you. Here’s our roundup of the best DNA tests in each category to help you decide.

1. Ancestry

Many ancestry DNA tests like Ancestry perform an autosomal test, meaning they look for genetic patterns across your chromosomes. This is great for everyone, regardless of biological sex, to identify overall ethnic percentages and even uncover some fun things about your DNA.

Some ancestry tests also analyze Y-DNA and mtDNA; if you’re interested, Living DNA is a great option. These look for patterns in your Y and X chromosomes, which help trace your paternal and maternal lineage. With these tests, you can see where in the world your family comes from and even discover migration maps.

If you’re studying your heritage because you want to find DNA matches and perform genealogical research, you should look for an ancestry testing service like AncestryDNA that allow you to contact genetic matches and build a family tree.

2. Family Tree Builders

AncestryDNA has the best family tree builder available. It performs genetic testing, allows you to contact genetic matches, has an extensive database of historical documents needed for advanced genealogical research, and allows you to easily build and share a family tree. They even send you hints and tips to help you find matches and records.

3. Health and Wellness

Health and wellness tests explore how your DNA impacts your predisposition for certain diseases, as well as whether you might carry the genes for specific health conditions.

Companies like EverlyWell and LetsGetChecked use finger-prick blood tests instead of saliva samples to more closely look at a person’s current health, testing for things like hormonal balance, food allergies, and vitamin levels.

4. Diet and Fitness

Diet and fitness DNA tests see how your body processes the nutrients it receives from food and exercise. A DNA test like Living DNA tells you which foods you should be eating for optimal nutrition, based on your body’s specific needs.

It actually gives you a list of over 100 foods. You can also learn which foods to avoid, whether you might have any intolerances, and, depending on which test you choose, get personalized meal plans.

DNA tests like Living DNA give you personalized workout recommendations so you can maximize your body’s performance based on your genetic type. It tells you which exercises to do and when, for how long, and even how your body builds muscle and recovers from exercise.

5. STD Tests

You can test for a number of STDs like HIV, syphilis, and chlamydia with at-home testing kits. Instead of going through the trouble and awkwardness of making a doctor’s appointment, you can screen your sexual health at home.

Both EverlyWell and LetsGetChecked are great choices, with a huge list of individual STD tests and bundle kits. They’re both delivered in discreet packaging to your door, with a simple swab, urine, or finger-prick blood sample. And they can give you your results in a matter of days.

6. Pet DNA

Your pets also have unique DNA that can be used to determine their breed type, the likelihood of shedding, coat length, and patterning.

Apart from satisfying your curiosity, knowing the ethnic heritage of your four-legged friend can help you to increase their overall health by giving them the right kind of food, activity, and medical treatment that their breed requires.

DNA tests like Embark and Wisdom Panel can tell you which breeds are in your dog’s genetic makeup over four generations, their breed characteristics and personality type, and even their risk of health conditions.

Are There Any Risks Associated with DNA Tests?

In general, no. There are no physical risks associated with taking a DNA test. That said, for precautionary measures, you should consult with your doctor before taking a DNA test while pregnant.

However, there are some dangers of DNA testing. For example, if you send off your unique genetic code to a fake DNA testing company, it is possible that it could steal your DNA information, your payment information, and maybe even your overall identity.

We’ve tested over 100 DNA kits and all the companies on this list are 100% safe and legitimate.

Please remember that consumer-based health and wellness DNA testing is not a substitute for medical advice. You still need to consult with a medical professional before starting or changing any kind of medical regimen.

Get Started With Ancestry

DNA Testing and Privacy Issues

All reputable DNA testing companies have a privacy policy in place that explains how your DNA can and can’t be used.

In general, when you hand over your DNA to a testing company, you give permission for it to use your DNA sample to further its research and testing capabilities. Your DNA is always anonymized before any kind of research or analysis takes place.

That said, some DNA testing companies also have policies in place that allow law enforcement to access your DNA sample if they have a legitimate and legal reason to do so.

In 2018, police were able to catch a wanted serial killer through DNA samples his distant family members had submitted through the open-source genealogy website GEDmatch. Some people view this kind of thing as an invasion of privacy, and this has sparked a large debate over whether or not consumer DNA testing is actually secure. And there is still no legal consensus on whether or not DNA taken from a DNA test company can legally be used in court to identify a suspect.

That said, almost 100% of the time, your DNA is safe, private, and anonymous. It only has the potential to be used against you if you buy through an untrustworthy company or if you do something illegal.

How to Order and Take a DNA Test

The first step is identifying which DNA test you need to take. After you’ve compared the best DNA tests and found the one you want, here’s how to order and take a DNA test:

  1. Place an order through the website

  2. Provide a physical address where the testing kit can be mailed

  3. Perform the test as instructed on the packaging of the testing kit

  4. Return the testing kit to the testing company (some companies include a pre-paid envelope while others require you to get your own postage)

  5. Wait for your test to be processed (usually, around 2-4 weeks, though some tests have a waiting period of up to 8 weeks)

  6. Receive and review your results, either via mail or an online system

Which At-Home DNA Tests Is the Best Value for Money?

Some companies might give out a lot of information for a cheap price, but if that information is not useful to you or is not accurate, it’s irrelevant how much the test costs.

  • For ancestry DNA tests, Ancestry is our top choice for its detailed ancestry analysis and family tree builder software.
  • Choose Living DNA for diet recommendations, because it tells you which foods to eat and avoid, tests for any intolerances, and gives you personalized vitamin ideas.
  • For health and wellness DNA tests, Everlywell is a great option, with its discreet medical tests that offer precise information about your physical health.
  • For pet DNA tests, Embark is our favorite as it identifies your dog’s ethnic makeup and maximizes its health based on its unique genetic factors.

Get Started With Ancestry


How does DNA testing work?

DNA testing works in a number of ways depending on which type of DNA test you’re taking.

In its simplest form, DNA testing works like this:

  • If you’re taking an ancestry test, the laboratory compares your DNA sample against another DNA sample that is known to have certain qualities (like belonging to a certain ethnicity).
  • If you’re taking a health and wellness test, the laboratory looks for certain genetic signatures that are medically known to produce a certain kind of effect (like predisposing you to a certain disease).

How accurate is DNA testing?

Most genetic testing companies advertise a 99% accuracy rate. Depending on the type of test you take, this could be even as high as 99.9%. Remember, it’s impossible to get a test that’s 100% accurate. We’ve thoroughly tested all of the companies on this list and found them to be very accurate.

How much does a DNA test cost?

The cost of a DNA test is dependent on a lot of different things, like what type of test it is, what information you’re getting, and whether or not the company is reputable.

In general, for a basic ancestry DNA test, you shouldn’t spend more than a couple of hundred dollars. For example, you can get an AncestryDNA test kit for $59 and MyHeritage for only $39‎ with its flash sale. Some companies bundle ancestry testing with health and wellness testing, and this can raise the price substantially.

Overall, for a detailed ancestry test coupled with a pretty detailed health and wellness test, you won’t need to pay more than $300.

Which DNA test has the largest database?

Right now, AncestryDNA has the largest ancestry DNA database in the world with over 18 million samples. It also has over 20 billion historical records.

What is an ethnicity estimate?

Your DNA contains unique genetic markers that, when compared with other DNA samples, can be used to identify common patterns in ethnic heritage.

The ethnicity estimates you receive from a DNA test are based on similarities with other DNA tests from a known geographic and ethnic lineage. This provides a controlled and correlated estimate of which part of the world and which ethnic group your DNA originated from.

Can I take my DNA health test results to a doctor?

Absolutely! Not only can you, but you should also take your DNA results to a doctor.

You and your doctor can review the DNA test results and come up with a proper treatment for you based on your specific genetic makeup. Any information you can provide about your body’s biological makeup will be extremely useful for a doctor when treating you, especially when it comes to your risk of health conditions.

How long does an ancestry DNA test take?

There are many different DNA tests available for ancestry, and their turnaround times vary widely. For instance, Ancestry is one of the fastest, typically giving you your results in 2-4 weeks. You can expect to wait as long as 8 weeks for some other ancestry tests, though.

What do my DNA ancestry results mean?

After you take an ancestry DNA test and send in your sample, the testing company analyzes and interprets your DNA, then sends you a report – either posted on its website, via a mobile app, or through a PDF or even a printed book.

At a minimum, an ancestry DNA test estimates what percentage of your ancestry comes from various ethnicities and where in the world those ancestors probably originated. It tells you that you’re 38% one ethnicity and 15% another ethnicity, for example.

Most ancestry tests go a little further by also giving you a list of your genetic matches, based on people’s DNA they hold in their database. Essentially, these people are your relatives, such as your 3rd cousin, great-uncle, 2nd aunt, or something else.

More comprehensive ancestry reports can cover additional things – like what maternal and paternal haplogroups you’re descended from, going back hundreds of thousands of years. 

What do ancestry DNA test results look like?

Ancestry tests always deliver some sort of report that summarizes and explains findings. Usually, this is a PDF report through an online dashboard, but it might be a combination. For example, you can get interactive maps to trace heritage and haplogroup lineage with a service like AncestryDNA. Some even have mobile apps.

Your report usually includes a breakdown of all the ethnicities in your DNA with percentages. These are typically reflected on a heat map so you can visualize your heritage around the world and learn more about each location.

Most ancestry DNA test reports also show you which biomarkers were tested and the exact genetic variant you carry.

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Rank Provider Overall Score Starting Price
1 Ancestry

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2 MyHeritageDNA

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3 Living DNA

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4 Family Tree DNA

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5 Nebula Genomics

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About Author
Katy Willis
Katy Willis
Expert DNA & Health Test Researcher

Katy has been researching and writing for more than 15 years. She has a deep understanding of DNA and at-home health testing for humans and pets. She believes in providing genuine, honest information that helps people achieve their goals.

Katy has been researching and writing for more than 15 years. She has a deep understanding of DNA and at-home health testing for humans and pets. She believes in providing genuine, honest information that helps people achieve their goals.