7 Best DNA Test Kits for 2022
Find everything about yourself
Updated: October 07,2022
Are you looking for the best DNA test kit you can purchase on the web in 2022?
Then you’ve come to the right place. We reviewed the 7 top DNA testing services, covering ancestry, health screening, and even paternity. Our reviews homed in on:
- Testing process
- Range of results
- Online features
Whether you want to find out your genetic makeup, build a family tree, or learn how at-risk you are for certain diseases, we’ll help you find the best DNA test kit for you.
1. Living DNA
The DNA genealogy test kit from Living DNA is one of the most affordable options out there. At just $69 you get the full ancestry experience, covering over 150 regions of the world. When you come to build your family tree their machine learning tool will be able to populate a lot of it automatically. There’s also a wellbeing kit that gives advice on diet and exercise based on your genetics. Living DNA truly has it all!
at Living DNA
Additional health information
Living DNA is an affordable DNA testing kit that covers 150 regions of the world. It offers you a timeline of your genetic history, covering thousands of years thanks to population genetics. Although it’s not the oldest service of its kind, the company has unique partnerships with universities, scientists, and other experts. So, will provide detailed and accurate results about your ancestors and help you build your family tree. The only real downside is that it can take up to 12 weeks to get your results, which is much slower than other DNA ancestry testing kits we’ve reviewed.
A particular benefit of using Living DNA is that it takes some of the hard work out of building your family tree because it utilizes machine learning to point you in the right direction. As the service grows in popularity this becomes even more efficient.
As with other kits, you can opt into the database and then see who in your family network is open to connecting.
Price-wise, it is the most affordable home DNA test for the features it provides. The full ancestry kit costs just $69. There’s a well-being kit for $79. You can combine them both for just $99. Well-being results include insights into what’s a more natural diet to follow based on where your ancestors came from, as well as the best approach to exercise.
When you buy a test you will be prompted to sign up for an online account. You’ll be required to share your name, DOB, and sex, so mtDNA can be gathered for females and males can also get Y-DNA results.
Taking the test is very straightforward – swab your cheeks a couple of times and place the samples in the provided packaging to return to the lab. Once your results are in, you’ll be notified by email and you can then access your ethnic history and see your kinship and descent. Those who have also signed up populate the visual family tree networks and can be easily contacted by clicking through to their profile.
Overall, Living DNA does not have the same reach as Ancestry.com but their reports are detailed enough for most people and the extra wellbeing data is very useful and can be applied to your daily life.
2. Ancestry DNA
The oldest and most well-known commercial DNA ancestry tests, AncestryDNA provides one of the best DNA test kits 2022 has to offer. If you want to learn your genetic makeup, where your ancestors came from, and build your family tree, look no further. It even lets you contact genetic relatives via their online profile. Due to its massive database and positive reviews, it’s considered the most accurate DNA test for ancestry.
Billions of records
Historical Timeline and Ancestral Movements
Ease of Use
The first of our DNA heritage test reviews is AncestryDNA. The company provides one of the most well-known consumer DNA testing services dating back to the 80s! It continues to provide one of the best DNA test kits on the market, outliving competitors such as GeneTree. The process is ideal if you want to build your family tree DNA history, benefit from a huge community, and easy to use software. However, it’s not the best choice if you’re interested in health and genetic diseases – the Ancestry DNA kit does not provide such data.
Their massive 15 million active DNA members are one of Ancestry’s key benefits. The more people provide their DNA, the bigger the database gets, and the more likely you are to find connections. Ancestry simply provides the most thorough information about your genetic ethnicity and is considered the best ancestry service.
However, the catch is that there’s no Ancestry DNA free access. If you want to use the family history and connection features, you’ll have to pay for a subscription. The test by itself has limited use and does not give you the opportunity to reach out to distant family members who have also taken it.
Currently, the core DNA test kit is $99 plus shipping, and processing is free. It contains a simple saliva collection tube and easy to follow instructions. While the kit itself can give you some basic results, you can return your sample via the prepaid packaging. Within 6 to 8 weeks you will be notified about your full genetic makeup and lineage with online links.
Furthermore, the Ancestry test gives free family tree charting. To get full access to records and the wider community you must choose one of the subscription plans, which is where the real interesting information emerges.
For $24.99 a month you get access to all US Ancestry records. For the whole world, it’s $39.99. For extras like newspapers and military archives, it’s $49.99. This allows you to build a profile of your ancestry through published records, articles, etc, giving you a fascinating insight into your ancestors’ lives. Discounts are available if you pay for 6 months in advance. This also ensures you have enough time to really explore your family tree.
The website is very user-friendly, immediately showing you a heat map of where your ancestors likely came from. You can also browse the database of people who match your DNA, explore their family trees and records. if they’ve opted-in, you can even send them a message.
Overall, there’s no doubt that Ancestry provides one of the best DNA test kit services if you want to focus on your family tree. The majority of Ancestry DNA reviews also give a positive experience.
3. 23andMe Ancestry
23andMe was one of the first public DNA testing companies to offer a health screening kit. You can learn whether you are predisposed to certain genetic diseases or lighter health markers. On top of that, 23andMe has a great wealth of ancestry data. Their online tools are some of the best! The community is only second in size to AncestryDNA, making it the most accurate ancestry test to include health screening.
Additional Health Data
One of the best DNA testing kits if you want to learn about how your genetics may be impacting your health! 23andMe also provides thorough ancestry reports and lots of fun and interesting features through their website. If you’re wondering about the amount of information 23andMe vs Ancestry holds and the number of active users, it comes right after Ancestry. However, their ancestry records are more than adequate. They provide a trove of health-related data that the Ancestry brand does not. You can even find reports on potential Neanderthal genetics!
The Health screening services do make the price a bit more expensive, but it’s definitely worth the cost. Ancestry is just $99 while Health + Ancestry is $199.
Once you’ve completed the test you will be informed about your potential for developing five major health problems, including Parkinson’s disease. You’ll also know whether you have the genetic potential to pass on 40 other diseases down your genetic line. I.e. whether you’re a carrier. This can often be confusing and overwhelming, but 23andMe does a good job of educating you exactly what all the risk factors mean.
On a lighter note, there are many other interesting things you can learn, such as whether you are predisposed to like salty or sugary foods, if you’re likely to experience hair loss, or if you have a harder time losing weight.
One key benefit of 23 and Me vs Ancestry is that you do not need to pay a monthly subscription to access their full range of ancestry records or to make contact with people in your family tree (if they’ve opted for it).
The testing procedure is simple and comes with all the necessary guidelines. Essentially you pass your saliva into the tube and send it to their lab in the prepaid envelope. You’re prompted to set up an online account with some personal details. Once your results are back you can fully explore your Ancestry Composition, Maternal Line, Paternal Line, Neanderthal Ancestry, and Health.
Overall, this is the best genetic ancestry testing to include health screening.
4. MyHeritage DNA Test Kit
MyHeritage has a large online database and some of the best health screening available, allowing you to know whether you are predisposed to certain diseases or bad genes. It also has one of the best DNA ancestry kits. There are great online maps and visuals to help you learn about your ancestors, the regions they settled, and where your current genetic family members reside.
Additional Health Data
MyHeritage has been around since the early 2000s and has built up a network of over 90 million users across the world. It’s a great option for tracking down long-lost family members or meeting other descendants of your ancestors.
Where it stands out is with its added health kit. It will cost you $199 when bundled with the $79 ancestry kit. This covers all sorts of health risks, including cancer, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Ulcerative Colitis and Crohn’s disease, and many others. It should be noted that you are given a measure of risk, not a diagnose. You can also opt not to be told about any chronic condition that there is currently no cure for.
My Heritage DNA testing only takes a couple of minutes – a simple cheek swab, which you send to their lap in the prepaid packaging. Results are then delivered to you online, so be sure to set up the account using the enclosed instructions.
The online system is very easy to use. You get a visual representation of where your ancestors came from and where their descendants currently reside. The family tree tool also allows you to connect with others that share a close match to your DNA. To get even deeper into the data with additional visualizations you will need to pay for a monthly subscription.
If you’re looking for the best DNA test kit for access to public records, MyHeritage is up there. They have everything from school yearbooks, birth and death certificates, to immigration lists, allowing you to add extra context to your family tree.
The MyHeritage DNA test kit is an excellent choice. True, it can take several weeks to get your DNA test review and the service is more expensive compared to some DNA testing kits we’ve reviewed. But the detailed health screening and public records make it worth it. Just make sure you are well prepared for the information you might receive. Predisposition to genetic diseases is never easy news to get. If you just want to build your family tree, AncestryDNA is a better choice. 23andMe has a better range of ‘entertaining’ health information.
FamilyTreeDNA is the genealogy test of choice for professionals, thanks to its combination of Y-DNA, mtDNA, and Autosomal DNA testing. Get detailed and accurate results going back 5 generations! It has a responsive online system that allows you to view your results and dig into the data. Pricing starts at just $79. It’s the best heritage DNA test for combining a range of different testing methods.
Family Tree Builder
Range of testing methods
Backed strongly by professional genealogists, FamilyTreeDNA is an excellent service for comprehensive DNA testing. It does Y-DNA testing, mtDNA testing, and Autosomal DNA testing, giving you the full range of information that DNA can provide. It is also linked with National Geographic’s Genographic Project.
You’ll be able to trace ancestors back at least five generations and learn where they came from thousands of years ago. Family tree tools help you connect with living relatives or your haplogroup, i.e. those that share common ancestors. The only downside is that the service does not include any health-related information.
The testing process requires you to first activate your kit online when it arrives, with a code. Then all you need to do is send back your saliva and/or a cheek swab in the testing tubes. Your results then will be posted confidentially online within 6 weeks. You can then opt for any of the info to go public to other users.
Pricing is reasonable and you can choose from several packages depending on your requirements. The male-only Y-DNA test is $169, the more detailed mtDNA test is $199. There is also a cheaper ‘Family Finder’ option that costs $79 and only does Autosomal DNA testing.
Packages can be a little confusing but if you want the absolute most detailed sequencing you should combine Family Finder, mtDNA, and the added Y-67 test. When you compare the exact testing types, the price is comparable with others.
The exact reports you will receive will depend on which tests you took. The core Family Finder tool uses a map and percentages presentation to show your ethnic makeup, origins, and relative locations. We found the ethnic breakdown to be more detailed and easier to understand than some of the competition.
If you’re concerned about privacy, FamilyTreeDNA is one of the better DNA testing companies in terms of keeping your data anonymous while giving you control over how much of it is shared within the online community.
Ultimately, FamilyTreeDNA is one of the best DNA testing kits if you’re not interested in health screening. However, it has a slightly steeper learning curve and is aimed a bit more at professionals than AncestryDNA and some other providers.
HomeDNA is a great all-rounder when it comes to genetic genealogy testing, giving you detailed ancestry, as well as health markers. You can discover allergies, how well your skin fairs in the sun and how you can look after it, and the genetics associated with your weight. Kits are affordable, starting at $64 and the website is easy to use. Overall, this is currently the best genealogy test for health sensitivities and personal genomics.
Ancestry Migration Route
Additional Health Data
Launching to the general public in 2017 HomeDNA is one of the newer DNA genealogy test kits to hit the market. Most ancestry test reviews give it a good rating. The company provides data on your ancestry, food sensitivities, weight loss predispositions, health risk factors regarding your skin, and much more. You can purchase their kits online or at some drug stores like CVS and Walgreens. Pricing varies depending on what type of test you desire. The kits range from $69 to $124, while health and beauty tests start at $139 and reach $159.
If you want a detailed ancestry test you will want to opt for the $124 option – it’s the typical cheek swab that you send back to one of their labs. They analyze 80,000 markers and return results that show your main three ancestral gene pools as percentages. You’ll also get to learn how both your maternal and paternal lines migrated across the planet.
HomeDNA’s health tests were particularly interesting. You can learn which foods you are prone to be sensitive to, such as dairy, nuts, gluten, and lactose. You can also find out if there is a possibility of any animal-related allergies. It should be noted that those test results don’t count as a diagnosis.
Furthermore, you can have a metabolism check that looks at genes related to nutrition, body weight, and diet. You’ll get a list of “good” foods and exercise regime. The skin test looks for traits including collagen quality, skin elasticity, wrinkles, sun resistance, pigmentation, antioxidants, and sensitivities. It advises on the best climate for your skin and what precautions and treatments you can take to lower the risk of skin conditions.
Compared to other ancestry reports, HomeDNA’s is quite basic and does not have a large online community or many resources to explore further. You cannot directly connect with relatives or build family trees online. The upside of this is that your data is much more secure – they also pledge to not sell or pass on the info to third parties.
Where HomeDNA excels is with its health and beauty tests. For skin tests and other sensitives, it is currently the best choice. We’d recommend them for sure if you wish to build a better health and wellness regime.
7. STK Paternity Test Kit
The STK home paternity test kit is the ideal solution to confirm parenthood, without having to arrange a test at the doctor’s office. The kit arrives within a few days - all you have to do is perform cheek swabbing. Once sent back you’ll get the results within 5 days. The best option, if you’re looking for your biological father.
Ease of use
A different entry into our DNA test kit reviews, STK uses DNA testing to determine paternity rather than your ancestry or health markers. We included this because it’s the best DNA test kit on the web for paternity.
The standard kit costs $99 and is for one alleged father and one child, so you will need to purchase more to test multiple potential fathers. The testing process simply involves taking a cheek swab and mailing it back in the prepaid packaging. The results will be completed within 5 days and can be accessed securely online or you can get a hardcopy mailed to you. There is also an option for a phone conversation with a professional.
Each pack contains:
- consent forms
- 8 sterile swabs in case you need extras
- 4 tamper seals
- 4 swab envelopes
- one prepaid envelope to post both swabs in
STK has not had any scandals about false positives. If pre-arranged with the court and STK their results can be used in official paternity cases. They analyze 16 genetic markers, resulting in a 99.9% accuracy. Although other companies may use markers, this is a bit of a gimmick – 16 is still essentially 100% accurate. Furthermore, their labs are AABB-accredited which is the professional standard. Due to regulations, however, such tests are not permitted in New York.
If you have any questions and want a professional interpretation of the results, you are encouraged to contact the company.
STK currently handles all of their online orders via Amazon, which means your payment and purchase details are secure. They also have their own protocols for protecting your data. The staff involved with the test are sworn to confidentiality.
If you need a fast, accurate, and affordable paternity test, STK is the best. They save you the hassle of going to a doctor’s office and help you to keep the issue private. The only downside we see is that if there’s a legal case surrounding paternity and you need a witness, a home-administered test might not be enough.
The Best DNA Test Kits for 2022
- •Living DNA – Best ancestry test family tree builder
- •Ancestry DNA – Best DNA ancestry kit
- •23andMe Ancestry – Best DNA testing kit with health screening
- •MyHeritage DNA Test Kit – Best DNA test for selection of public records
- •FamilyTreeDNA – Best DNA kit for a variety of testing methods
- •HomeDNA – Best genetic testing kit for health sensitivities
- •STK Paternity Test Kit – Best DNA paternity test kit
Learn more about the best DNA test kits on the market with our detailed DNA kit reviews.
How DNA Kits Work
The science behind DNA testing and screening is now well established. Unless something happens to the sample itself, most tests are extremely accurate. DNA or deoxyribonucleic acid can be understood as the unique coding that allows all cells in the body to function. DNA is passed on from our parents and is the reason why we look like them. For the purposes of ancestry and health screening, scientists can match common parts of the DNA to tell the populations it came from, and for example, the diseases it’s associated with. Those that share genetic ancestry are in the same haplogroup and therefore share the same common ancestors.
Despite commonalities, because DNA is overall unique to an individualр it can also be used for genetic fingerprinting, i.e. distinguishing between two or more people. That’s what it’s used for in criminal cases and paternity testing.
Different types of tests track different time periods. For example, a Y-Chromosome or mitochondrial DNA test focusses on 10,000 to 50,000 years ago. An autosomal test traces your family history between a few hundred and a few thousand years. The best DNA testing kits will combine different methods to give you a good overview of your genome.
Because DNA is found in every cell, a simple cheek or saliva swab is the basis for the best DNA test kit products you can buy on the web. All you have to do is follow the simple instructions, send them to the lab with the prepaid envelope, and wait to receive the results via the associated online account. You’ll then get access to any number of tools and features to explore your ancestry, connect with genetic matches, research archives, and records, and build a family tree. You do not need to download any genealogy software as it is all web-based.
Obviously, sharing your genetic data comes with privacy concerns. Fortunately, like most health information it remains confidential. Those who work in DNA testing labs and might access your data are not permitted to share it. Access itself is heavily restricted.
Due to the nature of family tree building and mapping DNA, sharing your results and accessing other people’s information is part of the experience. However, you are not obligated to do this and can opt not to make anything public. Furthermore, having your DNA in a database does not necessarily mean it is personally identifiable to you, i.e. in the broader sets of data, there is no name or identifier. It is also up to you whether you allow people access to your profile.
If you allow your health information to be public, i.e. whether you are at risk of a genetic disease, it too will not include any personal identifiers. Researchers will know a person with this DNA is susceptible to x disease, but not that ‘Mark Jones’ is the person in question.
Typically, any personal information (such as your account details) are stored in a separate area, not directly linked with your DNA, and encrypted like any other secure online account.
Of course, there are public databases with identifiers that you can choose to engage with, but this is your choice.
Ultimately, before proceeding with a DNA test and using the associated online tools, you should read the terms and assess their privacy protocols which you can find on all provider websites. It may also be wise to use a throwaway email address that you usually don’t use for social purposes.
Below you’ll find the explanations of some of the terms we used throughout the article.
Ancestry testing is the process of using your DNA to learn where your ancestors came from and to help you identify relatives. Most tests can go back in detail for multiple generations while giving a broad overview of thousands of years. DNA ancestry tests allow you to find out details about your roots. The best DNA ancestry kits also give you access to a variety of public records and information archives.
Ethnicity is a broad term that refers to a group’s shared attributes, including race, religion, culture, and geographic region. In the context of ancestry DNA testing companies will often display your ethnicity as a broad percentage, such as 40% African, 30% European, 20% Asian, 10% unknown. It does not necessarily reflect how you currently define your ethnicity. Think of it as an insight into the migration process your ancestors went through.
Your family tree is a visual chart that starts with your immediate family and follows familiar relationships back through time and across living relationships. It can be as complex as the data you have access to. Our genetic ancestry test reviews show that the majority of direct-to-consumer genetic testing services provide you with family tree building tools. Some even let you interact with genetic family members who are also using the service.
Some genes have been isolated by scientists as contributors to disease and numerous health issues. Health screening is the process of identifying these genes from your DNA test. Many DNA services will provide you with information such as how at risk you are from developing or passing on a disease, how prone you are to allergies and sensitivities, and your optimum diet and exercise regime based on these genetics.
Human mitochondrial genetics
The Human mitochondrial genome refers to all of the hereditary information within the body’s cells. This DNA, known as mtDNA, is passed down from the mother. The mtDNA test is one method for tracing back human genetics tens of thousands of years across an ancestral line.
The Y-chromosome is one of the two sex chromosomes in humans and is passed on only from father to son. It is used to explore the patrilineal male line. Y-DNA testing is typically performed alongside mtDNA testing.
Single-nucleotide polymorphism testing analyses a large amount of single DNA variations within a person’s genome and compares them with other people in the DNA database. This helps ascertain specific percentages of ethnicity as opposed to Y-chromosome and mitochondrial DNA testing which focuses on single ancestral lines.
A haplogroup is a group of people whose DNA matches and can be traced to a common ancestor on either the male or female line. The people within haplogroups are not necessarily in the same ‘family’ or otherwise closely related but at one time their ancestors were. For example, the mtDNA haplogroup H is a haplogroup that came from Southwest Asia between 20,000 and 25,000 years ago. Descendants are now primarily in Europe.
The most recent common ancestor
In ancestry groups, the most recent common ancestor is the person from which everyone within a certain haplogroup descended from.
Genomics or genome research refers to the study of all a person’s genes (i.e. their genome), how they interact with each other, and the environment. Analyzing genes for a disease is a form of genomics.
The Human Genome Project is an international research project with the goal of identifying and mapping all of the genes of the human genome and their purpose.
If you want to learn about where your ancestors came from, build your family tree, or even connect with genetic relatives, home DNA testing can be a fun and rewarding experience. It can also provide you with practical information about your health and disease risk factors.
Our genealogy test reviews narrowed down 7 of the best DNA test kits. Each provides detailed results, great online tools, and active online communities, all at an affordable price.
Go on, now! Your family history awaits!
You may also be interested in:
Which DNA kit is the best?
For the most detailed ancestry reports and the largest database of users, AncestryDNA provides the best ancestry DNA test kit on the market. However, 23andMe has the best screening for genetic/ genealogical diseases, while HomeDNA is currently the best for food and pet sensitivities and other skin conditions. STK is the overall best home paternity test service. Therefore, the best DNA test kit for you will depend on the type of information you find the most important.
Which is better: AncestryDNA or 23andMe?
Your choice between Ancestry vs 23andMe will depend on what you want from your DNA testing kit. While they both provide similar results when it comes to finding your genetic makeup, ancestral roots, and building your family tree, AncestryDNA has a larger database and more active users, making it the best DNA test for finding relatives. The service also has a better range of resources, such as military records and newspaper archives to add context to your results. However, 23andMe provides a lot of extra health results, allowing you to check for genetic diseases and other predispositions. So, if you’re looking for the best DNA test kit for ancestry, go with AncestryDNA, but 23andMe provides the best human DNA tests for health. You can read about 23andMe or our Ancestry DNA review above.
How reliable are the DNA test kits?
All of the DNA testing companies we’ve reviewed carry out the highest standard tests from certified labs, using your saliva from a direct sample or cheek swab. Unless something goes physically wrong with the sample or it is somehow swapped with another person’s, they can successfully obtain your DNA with 100% accuracy. The next step is to compare your DNA with their reference populations to determine your ethnicity and ancestry. The quality of this result is dependent on the size of their database and the number of regions covered.
Fortunately, all of the companies we’ve reviewed cover hundreds of regions and have substantial databases. What’s more, the bigger their database gets the more accurate your results become, and you do not have to redo your testing. If you log in 20 years later, you’ll have a much more detailed picture of your genetics. Due to its database size, AncestryDNA is currently the best DNA test for ethnicity.
Other types of testing, such as the paternity one, are simpler - all they do is compare the DNA of two people. STK for example has a 99.9% accuracy rate.
How can you get a DNA test for free?
The kits we’ve reviewed all cost money and sometimes even charge extra for a subscription to their online tools. However, occasionally you might find promotions and get free DNA testing for ethnicity and ancestry. In some cases, you may get the ‘kit’ for free but then must pay for the lab work. Fortunately, even the best DNA ancestry kit won’t be more than $200. Some can be picked up for less than $100. Have another look at our DNA testing kits reviews to find the best DNA test kit for your needs.
Deyan has been fascinated by technology his whole life. From the first Tetris game all the way to Falcon Heavy. Working for TechJury is like a dream come true, combining both his passions – writing and technology. In his free time (which is pretty scarce, thanks to his three kids), Deyan enjoys traveling and exploring new places. Always with a few chargers and a couple of gadgets in the backpack. He makes mean dizzying Island Paradise cocktails too.
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