Modern DNA tests and their providers allow you to literally stay at home for the entire duration of the process, provided you don’t intend to use the results as proof in court proceedings or similar endeavors, of course. That’s why we compiled this “bullet-proof” guide on the best at home DNA tests of 2017.
The protocol is initiated by ordering your personal test kit and sending it back with a viable DNA sample (saliva or buccal cells); once the results are in, you can simply inspect them online and start connecting with relatives you didn’t even know existed.
After an extensive research, our highly-skilled team of professional assembled the following list of the best at home DNA tests of 2017:
- The company uses Family Tree DNA’s CLIA-certified laboratory
- Detailed exploration of your genetic lines in your own home
- Numerous genealogical apps to complement your DNA results
- AncestryDNA database contains 4 million+ registered users
- Possibility of raw DNA data download for further application
- The test checks 700,000 genetic markers within your genome
- Medical grade testing lab with ISO 17025 certification
- Medical grade testing lab with ISO 17025 certification
- An excellent portfolio of tests with short turnaround times
- The testing process is 100% anonymous with detailed results
- 80 world regions covered, including 21 in the British Isles
- The company offers unlimited updates of your DNA results
- 15-fold analysis of 650,000 genetic markers in your genome
- The widest array of different DNA tests on the market
- Free updates of your test results after the initial order
- Raw data transfer from AncestryDNA and 23andME
- Perfectly accurate DNA testing without ever leaving your home
- Proprietary certified processing lab and testing methods
- Ancestry DNA testing procedure from the comfort of your home
- 800k SNPs checked, 36 regions with 862 reference populations
- Proprietary hi-tech lab with robotic sequencing technology
- One of the broadest offers of DNA tests on the market
- Budget-friendly, price match guarantee, and free shipping
- International shipping available with some limitations
- Tests are ordered by licensed physicians according to the law
- Professional staff and modern CLIA-certified testing lab
- Financial assistance for people who can’t afford the test
- Health reports show potential for hereditary conditions
- 570,000 genetic markers checked within Ancestry Service
- Company Database contains 2 million+ registered users
Ranking Criteria Explained
In order to be featured on our top list, DNA testing companies needed to fully satisfy 6 strict criteria. These criteria correspond to the key qualities of at home DNA tests and test providers and include the quality and accuracy of the tests, as well as the likelihood of test errors and failures.
In addition to the previously mentioned criteria that point to the reliability and usefulness of test results, we employed 3 criteria related to customer experience and satisfaction. These include average turnaround time, quality of customer service, and value for money. After comparing DNA testing providers based on these criteria, making a list of the best at home DNA testing companies was easy. Taking into account all the information provided in this guide, you shouldn’t have a problem with choosing the absolute best company for your specific needs.
Let’s take a look at the best at home DNA tests currently on the market:
MyHeritage is one of the few companies that offers a combination of ancestry exploration using your unique DNA profile and genealogical sources like old documents, records, photos, diaries, and other relics of the past. The company was founded back in 2003 in Bnei Atarot, Israel, by Gilad Japhet, an avid family historian and successful entrepreneur. Apart from its official headquarters, the company also features branches in New York in Utah.
One of the biggest advantages of MyHeritage is that you can take its ancestry DNA test from the comfort of your home. 93 million users spread across 190+ countries can attest to the reliability and overall convenience of this testing model. Once your DNA test results are generated, you can inspect over 8.3 billion historical records and 2.7 billion people in family trees and connect with your unknown relatives.
You can use everything MyHeritage has to offer even without ordering the DNA test. The company works closely with Family Tree DNA, 23andMe, and AncestryDNA, allowing you to transfer your results if you already did the test with one of these companies.
MyHeritage is a subscription-based company that offers several plans to customers who already had their DNA sequenced. There’s an entirely free plan, which allows you to enter up to 250 people in your family tree and provides you with 500 MB of storage. The Premium subscription plan, which is billed annually, costs 9.17$ per month. It allows you to put up to 2,500 people in your family tree and gives you other benefits like priority support and access to Family Tree Builder Premium and Enhanced Smart Matching. The PremiumPlus subscription removes family tree limits and gives you full access to Instant Discoveries.
AncestryDNA is just one segment of the largest genealogical conglomerate in the world. Besides a dedicated DNA testing company, the also feature a magazine with more than 2 million paying subscribers and 16 billion uploaded documents historical records, photos, and stories.
Their Ancestry DNA test goes for 99$ and encompasses both autosomal and gender genes research, which means you’ll be able to get results on your entire genome without having to order 3 separate tests. On the other hand, though, separate results are no longer available, so if you want just your paternal or maternal line examined, AncestryDNA is not the top choice.
The test provides insights into your DNA matches within the biggest database in the industry, an ethnicity map, which offers an interactive way of locating your distant DNA relatives throughout ancient times, DNA circles, which allows living relatives to gather in clusters around one common historical ancestor, and the ‘Map and locations’ tool for subscribers to their Ancestry Magazine, which indicates birth locations of your direct DNA ancestors within 10 generations or less. AncestryDNA results will also address your potential Native American ancestry.
AncestryDNA allows for raw data download, so you can use your results with free genealogy websites and other DNA testing companies. What also may particularly interest you is that AncestryDNA checks 700,000 genetic markers, which results in higher test accuracy, provides excellent security of your personal information, and offers you a chance to be part of interesting and thought-provoking research projects. Their blog indicates they’ve expanded the shipping possibilities to 35 countries across the world.
New Life Genetics
New Life Genetics is a company dedicated to discovering genetic information that’ll allow everyone to live a better, healthier, and longer life. Our genetic code holds the answers to some of the biggest mysteries regarding our health and general well-being. The company was launched in 2014 with corporate headquarters in Silkeborg, Denmark. The driving force behind New Life Genetics is the desire to “unlock” all our genetic secrets and get a glimpse of the true “human condition.”
New Life Genetics features one of the most interdisciplinary teams of scientists we’ve ever seen, covering the fields of genetics, health, nutrigenetics, nutrigenomics, sport, nutrition, and dietetics. This symbiosis of genetics, biotechnology, and dietetics form a scientific foundation for everything New Life Genetics is or will ever be.
Like all other companies offering at-home DNA tests, New Life Genetics follows the established direct-to-customer testing model. After you’ve placed your order and registered your personal testing kit, all you have to do is wait for it for arrive at your home address. Once the kit is delivered, you’ll proceed to collect a small sample of your buccal cells using a provided mouth swab. When you return the kit and it reaches the company laboratory, it’ll take around 20 days to process the sample and generate your results. You’ll receive an email with a link to your final report, after which you can read it online or download it to your phone, tablet or computer.
Living DNA is by far the youngest company on our list of the best at home DNA test providers. They were founded in 2016 as a subsidiary of DNA Worldwide Group. Their parent company was founded in 2004, though. This fresh platform was a result of collaboration with Family Tree DNA, Scotland’s DNA, and over a hundred leading scientists, academic researchers and genetic experts.
Having said that, Living DNA has the widest regional coverage, examining 80 different world regions for your potential DNA ancestors. The British Isles alone are covered via 21 regions, offering the most detailed and precise results if you’re British. Their solitary Ancestry test can actually be perceived as 3 tests in a single package. This means it covers both the autosomal and gender chromosomes, providing results on your family tree in its entirety, as well as direct paternal/maternal lineages.
The test examines 650,000 genetic markers and includes results such as family ancestry, which determines the population with the highest DNA similarity among the 80 ones tested, uncovering your true genetic ancestors and the origins of your DNA, fatherline ancestry, which is exclusively available to males due to their Y chromosome and features results that will identify your direct paternal lineage tens of thousands of years in the past, alongside the highest point of impact for your particular haplogroup, and motherline ancestry, which follows the same principle and provides the same type of results, only from your mother’s side of the family tree. The software and methods used by the company are developed by more than 25 experts, aided by leading Oxford and Bristol academics.
Family Tree DNA
Family Tree has a towering corporate conglomerate behind it. We’re talking about Gene by Gene, which founded Family Tree DNA in 1999 as one of its divisions, specialized in genetic genealogy. By that time, Gene by Gene had already successfully performed more than 5 million DNA tests. Family Tree DNA offers 3 main groups of tests, with several subgroups and variations. They even feature different promotional bundles, so the possibility of choice is truly broadened to satisfy even the most delicate of requirements.
Besides their autosomal DNA ancestry test, called “Family Finder,” they also provide separate Y and mitochondrial tests, which is not a widely available separation. So, if you want to know exclusively about your fatherline or direct maternal lineage throughout centuries, Family Tree DNA may be the right choice for you.
Other factors going in this company’s favor include one of the biggest user databases, inspection of potential Jewish heritage, modern facilities and technologies, frequent webinars alongside an already rich knowledge base, worldwide shipping, free results updates, transfer of your results from AncestryDNA and 23andMe, personalized customer support, and more.
The most interesting endeavor by far, however, is their Family Finder test. For 89$, you’ll be able to determine and connect to potential relatives in their user database, trace your ancestors throughout history, as in their habitats and migration patterns. You can build your own family tree and explore solitary chromosomes with their “Chromosome Browser” app. The test checks 16 generations of your forebears, possibly locating the ancient relative that started your genetic line. Family Finder DNA test can be bundled with Y-tests and full sequence mitochondrial examination.
TeloYears is a genetic test developed by Telomere Diagnostics, Inc. One of the four scientists that founded the company back in 2010 was Dr. Elizabeth Blackburn, the winner of the 2009 Nobel Prize in Medicine for pioneering work in the field of telomere biology. The purpose of TeloYears test is to measure the cellular age encoded in your DNA and relate it to how well you’re aging. Apart from that role, the test results should inspire you to make improvements in all fields of personal wellness.
Before you are allowed to place your order, you’ll have to provide contact and payment information and answer a short questionnaire to ensure that TeloYears is the right test for you. Your information will be subject to the review of a highly-qualified physician, who will also be in charge of ordering your test for you. The at-home DNA testing kit should arrive within a week of the receipt of your order. TeloYears requires a blood sample. Don’t worry, the test only needs one drop since it contains over 50,000 cells and enough genetic material for proper processing. The final report will be sent to you via email 3-4 weeks after your blood sample reaches the lab.
The price of the test is 89$ and you also have the option of purchasing their “Now and Later” pack, which saves you 20$ on two bundled tests. Note that you can’t order TeloYears as a gift but only for yourself. Every test also comes with a bonus personal “Blueprint for Aging Well.”
GPS Origins is an ancestry DNA test created and sold by DDC (DNA Diagnostics Center). The acronym stands for “Geographic Population Structure,” denoting the overall accuracy of the test. Its main selling point is the ability to pinpoint the exact location of your DNA strain throughout history, going 1,000 years in the past.
Dr. Eran Elhaik, the multidisciplinary team leader at the University of Sheffield, is the creator of the GPS Origins test. DDC, on the other hand, was founded in 2005 with the idea of making scientific achievements available to the general public. The company is well-known for their hi-tech testing facilities and robotics technology utilized for DNA sequencing.
You can do the GPS Origins DNA test without even leaving your home. Before placing an order with DDC ancestry service, you must create your personal account on the official website. Once your DNA testing kit arrives, you can collect your sample by performing a simple buccal swab. After sending the specimen back, your final report should be generated within 4-6 weeks. You’ll receive an email notification about your results, which you can then inspect online.
GPS Origins ancestry test checks 800,000 genetic markers and covers 36 world regions with 862 reference populations. It reaches around 1,000 years in the past and is able to sometimes point to the exact town or village of your genetic origin. Furthermore, the unique composition of your genetic signature is explored and compared to over 10,000 DNA signatures located in the DDC database.
Live Well Testing
Live Well Testing is a corporate branch of Confirm BioSciences, Inc. The company is located in San Diego, California, and represents an e-commerce outreach tool for its father company. The official website offers a wide spectrum of different DNA testing solutions designed to improve the overall health and wellness of your body, pets, and environment. You can view Live Well Testing like Amazon or eBay for DNA tests.
Their father conglomerate was launched in 2008 and is currently ranked among the top 25 San Diego companies. They were also listed as #1136 on the Inc.com top 5000 rankings for 2016. So, it’s only natural that Live Well Testing follows in the footsteps of the people who created it by exercising the same level of corporate excellence.
All products offered by Live Well Testing have one thing in common, their direct-to-consumer approach. This means that, once you’ve placed your order, you’ll receive the corresponding home testing kit, allowing you to perform the sample collection process from your home and simply mail it back to the testing facility. Once the DNA processing is complete, you’ll receive your final report via email. We can’t get into the specifics regarding the average turnaround time since there are too many tests to count.
Note that Live Well Testing offers both legal and non-legal testing solutions, enabling you to obtain legal proof of a genetic relationship in case you ever need one. The company also has an A+ rating with Better Business Bureau, which further solidifies all the positive facts we’ve given so far.
JScreen is a nonprofit institution partnered with Emory University and committed to screening for the potential carriers of genetic diseases commonly present among the individuals with Jewish genetic heritage. JScreen was dubbed one of the most innovative American Jewish institutions in 2014.
JScreen was created by the family hardships of Randy and Caroline Gold, both long-time Jewish community activists. Their daughter was diagnosed with Mucolipidosis Type IV (ML4) in 2009 when she was just 18 months old. This is a very severe, yet completely preventable Jewish genetic condition. JScreen was basically formed the moment they found out that the carrier test they did covered only 8 of the 19 most frequent genetic diseases.
JScreen DNA testing kits are delivered to your home address for sample collection. The kit requires a vial of your saliva, which could take between 2 and 5 minutes to complete. Note that JScreen will not allow you to place an order before contacting your physician to obtain medical approval. Once your DNA specimen is collected, just drop the kit in the nearest FedEx box and wait for your results. The final report is usually generated 3-4 weeks after the laboratory receives your sample. You’ll get an email notification informing you that your results are ready and how to inspect them.
The price of the test is 149$ with private insurance. If you can’t afford it and still want to get tested, you can check if you’re eligible for their financial assistance program. The test screens for 200 genetic diseases and conditions, including 19 most commonly found in individuals with Jewish origins.
Backed up by impressive corporate giants like Google, Genentech, New Enterprise Associates and others, 23andMe met all the prerequisites for greatness very early on. They are among the rare DNA testing companies today offering health-related results alongside ancestry tests.
Their Ancestry Service test has a price tag of 99$ and the results include genetic relatives identification, with percentages of shared DNA for every single one, genetic heritage, which answers the question where your genes originated from (you will also be able to inspect your ancestry timeline, explaining even further the origins of your genes), haplogroups definition, which will pinpoint the origins of first humans ever to carry your DNA, and Neanderthal DNA, which shows the percentage of your DNA that is left from your Neanderthal ancestors.
The genetic heritage part of the test explores 31 world regions or sample populations, as the scientific nomenclature goes. They are working on expanding this number, which would make information on your DNA ancestors throughout history even more precise.
The health or medical portion of the service comes with a 100$ surcharge on top of the main test. The point of the test is locating carries genes with the capacity of causing outbreaks of hereditary conditions. If you have these genes, you’ll want to uncover them as soon as possible and take the steps necessary. 23andMe health results define potential exposure to 41 health conditions, 19 personal traits, and 7 wellness traits. Their database holds around a million of users so far. That translates to a million potential relatives.