Updated on
May 28, 2024 by Moss Stern

MyHeritage vs 23andMe 2024: What's the Biggest Difference?

MyHeritage vs 23andMe 2024: What's the Biggest Difference?

The at-home DNA testing market is competitive, featuring many companies vying for attention. Two major players are MyHeritage and 23andMe. Both provide valuable genetic insights, but each has its own advantages and pricing. This guide aims to thoroughly examine both services to help you make an informed choice that best fits your needs.

Now, let’s talk 23andMe. They’re known for giving you the scoop on both your ancestry and health. One thing that sets them apart is their health screening. It’s like a health report based on your genes. And don’t miss their trait reports – they spill the beans on fun stuff, like how your genes might make you prefer certain foods or affect your sleep patterns.

MyHeritage excels in family history research, offering an extensive array of genealogical data and tools to help you connect with potential relatives. They provide detailed analyses of your ethnic origins, breaking them down by region for a clearer understanding of your ancestry. Known for its affordability, MyHeritage is an attractive option for those interested in exploring their lineage. Additionally, you can try their family tree builder for free, allowing for a hands-on exploration of your family’s past without any financial commitment. If tracing your ancestral roots is your goal, MyHeritage is a wise choice.

Now, when you mix in features, how things feel when you use them, and the cost, MyHeritage comes out as the winner. In the next round of this comparison, we’ll dig into the details of why MyHeritage takes the lead. You’ll get a clear picture of what each service brings to the table and how they stack up against each other.

Want to read more about my experience with both DNA test kits? Read my in-depth MyHeritage review and 23andMe review to learn more.

Build an Extensive Family Tree with MyHeritage – At a Cost

If you are fascinated by building a family tree, and if you want to populate it with as many living and deceased relatives as you can, then MyHeritage DNA is the clear winner.

This is because MyHeritage DNA is part of the MyHeritage global genealogy company, which specializes in helping people build an online family tree from its database of 11 billion historical records. Here’s what the search engine looks like:

MyHeritage family tree builder tool

MyHeritage enhances your family tree building by suggesting potential relatives based on your submitted family details. These suggestions draw from a large database of historical documents and DNA comparisons with other MyHeritage users. You can collaborate with these matches upon their approval. Access to MyHeritage’s full services requires a monthly subscription, which is standard for genealogy platforms.

Additionally, 23andMe offers a beta version of its family tree builder that functions similarly to MyHeritage’s. Users can input details of known relatives, and the system identifies genetic connections within the 23andMe user base, facilitating contact with these matches with their consent.

However, it’s important to note that 23andMe does not offer as extensive genealogical resources as MyHeritage DNA, primarily because it does not provide access to historical records. While 23andMe is proficient in DNA matching, its genealogical features are somewhat narrower in scope. Despite this, 23andMe provides its service for free, which is a significant advantage.

See MyHeritage Deals

DNA Database Size Does Matter! And Both Vendors Have Something to Offer

Speaking of these companies’ databases, there are two key ways of seeing how they measure up:

  1. MyHeritage DNA boats an impressive 11 billion historical records, whereas 23andMe has none.
  2. 23andMe has more than ten million DNA-tested customers, whereas MyHeritage DNA only has around two million.

When it comes to genealogy, MyHeritage’s historical records may be more important, especially when it comes to finding relatives: MyHeritage DNA found 14,177 distant DNA matches for me, compared with 23andMe’s 1,239 DNA database matches.

However, to trace your ancient ancestors’ migrations, to assess your ancestry, and to compare your health-related genes with a wider population, 23andMe’s DNA database size could matter more.

See 23andMe Deals

Get More Ancestry Features and Detail with 23andMe

Like all companies that offer ancestry testing, MyHeritage DNA and 23andMe will both tell your ethnic composition and where your ancient ancestors lived. But there’s a big difference:

  • MyHeritage DNA only tests your autosomal DNA, which you inherit equally from both parents.
  • 23andMe also tests your mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA, which only comes from your mother, her mother, and so on) and your Y-chromosomal DNA (Y-DNA, which only comes from your father, his father, and so on).

This means that 23andMe can determine your maternal (mother’s side) and paternal (father’s side) haplogroups, which identify major populations of people who originated in – and migrated between – various parts of the world. One caveat is that only biological males can have their Y-DNA tested, so a female would have to ask her father or brother to take 23andMe’s test for the paternal haplogroup information.

Here’s a look at my maternal haplogroup results:

23andMe Haplogroup results

It’s not surprising that I found 23andMe’s ethnicity estimate to be more precise. 23andMe breaks the world into 1,500+ geographical regions compared to MyHeritage DNA’s breakdown of only 42 regions.

Looking further back, 23andMe’s report will tell you what percentage of your ancestry comes from Neanderthals (which were a separate hominid species that interbred with humans until about 40,000 years ago). MyHeritage DNA’s ancestry report doesn’t include this information.

Let’s cut to the chase. Although MyHeritage DNA has some plus points, 23andMe’s ancestry report is better value for the money since it includes more information at a greater level of detail.

Health

Shifting our focus from ancestry to health, let’s explore what 23andMe brings to the table. It’s worth noting that MyHeritage no longer offers health reports, which makes direct comparisons challenging. However, we can concentrate on the health-related features provided by 23andMe.

With 23andMe, you gain access to extensive health reports that unveil your genetic predispositions to specific conditions and evaluate the likelihood of passing on genetic diseases to your offspring if you carry unfavorable gene variants.

When it comes to genetic predispositions, 23andMe takes a comprehensive approach. They assess 13 health risks and provide polygenic reports for numerous conditions. This means they consider multiple genetic markers instead of solely examining individual genes, resulting in a more thorough analysis.

Regarding carrier status, 23andMe offers an impressive selection of 44 carrier status checks. If you have concerns about potentially transmitting genetic risks to your children, 23andMe may be your top choice.

But it doesn’t stop there. 23andMe also delves into fascinating aspects like physical traits, such as body hair, eye color, and even motion sickness. Additionally, they examine how your DNA influences your body’s responses to diet, exercise, and sleep. They provide a comprehensive Health Action Plan, making their offering more substantial and valuable.

In summary, 23andMe truly stands out when it comes to exploring your health. With their wide range of genetic predisposition tests, extensive carrier status checks, and insightful analysis of physical traits and DNA interactions, they offer a comprehensive package that you shouldn’t overlook.

Here’s a look at one of 23andMe’s Health Action Plan recommendations:

23andMe health report

Get More On-Sale Deals with MyHeritage

It’s not easy to directly compare the cost of MyHeritage DNA vs. 23andMe on a like-for-like basis, because the similar-sounding offerings are not identical.

Both companies’ ancestry-only tests are the cheapest options and are very similarly priced. But these are not like-for-like tests because the 23andMe report includes maternal and paternal haplogroups and Neanderthal ancestry. Therefore, 23andMe gives you more for your money.

You have to pay an extra annual subscription for the MyHeritage DNA genealogy service, but with 23andMe you don’t even have this option.

It All Comes Down to You

Although 23andMe is the clear winner in many respects, it doesn’t matter if you’re interested in taking a DNA test for other reasons. It all depends on what you want.

Yes, 23andMe better pinpoints your ethnic origins (including maternal and paternal lines) and tells you more about your carrier status for genetic diseases.

But MyHeritage DNA gives you the ability to build a better family tree. And its tests are cheaper when they’re on offer.

Only you can decide which one wins for what you want, but you can’t really go wrong with either of these top two DNA testing companies.

How does MyHeritage and 23andMe stack up against fellow DNA testing powerhouse, AncestryDNA? Read our triple comparison here.

See MyHeritage Deals

 

FAQ

Which test is more accurate, 23andMe or MyHeritage?

In order to make give you an ethnicity estimate, MyHeritage compares your DNA samples to 42 different global populations. This doesn’t allow your ethnicity results to be as precise and accurate as the ones you get from 23andMe, which compares your samples to more than 1,000 global populations.

Which provides more value, 23andMe or MyHeritage?

“Value” is subjective. But while MyHeritage DNA’s test kits are usually more affordable (starting at $89.00) than the ones from 23andMe (starting at $99.00), the reports you receive from MyHeritage DNA include considerably less information and are less accurate than the ones available from 23andMe. Also, 23andMe updates your DNA results to reflect the company’s ongoing refinements to its ancestry and health testing, whereas MyHeritage charges an annual fee to do this.

Which company provides better health reports, 23andMe or MyHeritage?

It’s not clear if there’s any difference in the accuracy of the two company’s health results. But 23andMe tests your risk for more diseases, and your carrier status for more congenital disorders, than MyHeritage DNA does. And while a MyHeritage health test only addresses your disease risk and carrier status, 23andMe’s health test also includes additional information such as how your DNA may affect wellness traits like diet, exercise, and sleep, and physical traits like eye color and finger length. 23andMe also gives you a customized health action plan.

Which company provides better ancestry reports, 23andMe or MyHeritage?

MyHeritage DNA’s ancestry reports are limited to providing you with an ethnicity estimate and identifying your likely DNA relatives around the world. 23andMe also tells you about your maternal and paternal haplogroups and how much of your DNA came from Neanderthals. 23andMe’s ancestry reports are more detailed and substantive, and its ethnicity estimates are more accurate, than the ones from MyHeritage DNA.

How do 23andMe and MyHeritage compare on price?

MyHeritage’s DNA tests are usually less expensive in their list price than 23andMe’s tests, and are more likely to be on sale at any given time.

Special DNA Sale!
Get 62% OFF + FREE shipping on 2+ kits + 30-day Complete free trial!
Uncover your family history with MyHeritage's DNA test! Save 62% on MyHeritage DNA Kit + 30-day Complete FREE trial + FREE shipping when you buy 2 or more kits during the Special DNA Sale! Act fast, this deal won't last long!
Special DNA Sale!
Get 55% OFF + FREE shipping on 2+ kits + 30-day Complete free trial!
Find new relatives you never knew existed with MyHeritage's DNA test! Save 55% on MyHeritage DNA Kit + 30-day Complete FREE trial + FREE shipping when you buy 2 or more kits during the Special DNA Sale! Act fast, this deal won't last long!
Special DNA Sale!
Get 63% OFF + FREE shipping on 2+ kits + 30-day Complete free trial!
Explore your heritage with MyHeritage's DNA test! Save 63% on MyHeritage DNA Kit + 30-day Complete FREE trial + FREE shipping when you buy 2 or more kits during the Special DNA Sale! Act fast, this deal won't last long!
Special DNA Sale!
Get 56% OFF + FREE shipping on 2+ kits + 30-day Complete free trial!
Find new relatives you never knew existed with MyHeritage's DNA test! Save 56% on MyHeritage DNA Kit + 30-day Complete FREE trial + FREE shipping when you buy 2 or more kits during the Special DNA Sale! Act fast, this deal won't last long!
Build your family tree for free and explore records for 14 days!
Build your family tree for free and explore records for 14 days!
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About Author
Moss Stern
Moss Stern
Writer

Moss Stern is a professional writer, amateur musician, voracious fiction reader, recreational bicyclist, cutthroat Scrabble player, and gleeful health and science nerd. He resides in the vicinity of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA.

Moss Stern is a professional writer, amateur musician, voracious fiction reader, recreational bicyclist, cutthroat Scrabble player, and gleeful health and science nerd. He resides in the vicinity of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA.