Choosing the best DNA test for your specific needs is challenging enough, even without trying to calculate the optimal price-to-benefit ratio between countless companies on the market. We have taken it upon ourselves to conduct a survey of the most budget-friendly testing options available, bringing you our guide to the best cheap DNA tests of 2018 as a result. Here are the companies that made it to our list.
- AncestryDNA database contains over 4 million registered users
- Possibility of raw DNA data download for further application
- The test checks 700,000 genetic markers within your genome
- An interdisciplinary team made of renowned professionals
- Modern DNA processing facility with ISO 17025 certification
- A wide range of testing solutions with guaranteed anonymity
- The widest array of different DNA tests on the market
- Free updates of your test results after the initial order
- Free transfer of raw data from AncestryDNA & 23andME
- High-quality pet tests, constantly updated and improved
- Breeder's test covers more than 250 popular dog breeds
- Budget-friendly, free shipping, user satisfaction guarantee
- Owned state-of-the-art laboratory with CLIA certification
- “Now and Later” packs available, allowing you to save money
- Exclusive testing methods with no room for potential errors
- Ultra-modern laboratory with ISO 17025 accreditation status
- Extensive list of DNA tests available for worldwide shipping
- Extraordinary accuracy with express turnaround time available
- One of the most accurate tests with 800,000+ SNP checked
- The test covers 36 regions and 862 reference populations
- Family Tree DNA, 23andMe, and AncestryDNA raw data transfer
- Family Tree DNA laboratory used for processing DNA samples
- Numerous features and subscription plans available to users
- 40 million family trees, 2.6 million profiles, 8 billion records
- Cutting-edge testing facilities with ISO 17025 certification
- The most affordable relationship DNA testing you can find
- Numerous testing solutions with flexible payment/order plans
- Modern sequencing facility with ISO 9001/17025 certifications
- Interdisciplinary team of scientists covering numerous fields
Ranking Criteria Explained
The number one criterion for this guide was obviously the price tag, compared to the benefits you can get from opting for a certain company. Apart from examining the prices, we employed a range of strict criteria that allowed us to determine which tests offer the best value for your money.
We analyzed the diversity, quality, and accuracy of the tests available. Further, we focused on the number of examined DNA markers, as well as the genetic populations and world regions covered. We looked into certifications and accreditation levels and determined the quality of the final reports. In order to make sure that the companies are able to provide satisfactory customer experience, we examined the average turnaround time, the availability of consumer satisfaction guarantee, the level of privacy provided, and the quality of user support. Before you are the companies that satisfied all of our strict criteria and even surpassed our expectations in certain respects.
Ancestry.com LLC is the largest genealogical conglomerate in the world. They feature a multitude of brands under their roof, one of which focuses on genetic ancestry exploration. The father company was founded back in 1983, which gives it decades of experience and high-quality, budget-friendly service. Apart from AncestryDNA, the company also hold brands like AncestryHealth, Ancestry Online Magazine, Family Tree Maker, Archives.com, and many others.
AncestryDNA complements its DNA testing service with a rich archive of documents from the past, something no other ancestry company provides. Just in the last 3 years, their online magazine has accrued over 16 billion historical records and more than 200 million scanned written stories, documents, and photographs. The magazine currently has more than 2 million paying subscribers.
Ancestry DNA Test is their main product for exploring your genetic origins and ancestry. The test costs 99$ and it checks your entire genome, meaning all 23 pairs of chromosomes. This also means that it serves as both an autosomal and gender-chromosome test, all in one for a reasonable price tag. You will be able to trace your entire ancestry throughout history and if you so choose, separate your maternal and paternal ancestry line.
The AncestryDNA test examines 700,000 genetic markers, which ensures a high level of accuracy and low probability of test failure or inconclusive results. The company covers 26 genetic populations around the world, which is a very decent number, considering all the other benefits provided. The DNA test kit can be shipped to 35 different countries.
The results usually take 6-8 weeks. Once they’re finalized, you’ll be able to find your DNA relatives within the largest database on the market (4 million people so far).
New Life Genetics
New Life Genetics is a DNA testing company dedicated to improving the overall health and wellness of its users. It complements its excellent service and variety of tests with pretty budget-friendly price tags, considering the value offered in return.
The company was founded in 2014, with headquarters in Silkeborg, Denmark. Our genetic code holds all the secrets modern medicine is trying to decipher. This is exactly why New Life Genetics was launched in the first place. The “human condition” is an often-repeated term on their site and the entirety of their professional aspirations is geared toward deciphering our genetic code and learning more about what it is to be human.
New Life Genetics boasts an interdisciplinary team of scientists, covering everything from genetics and biotechnology to fitness, health, and nutrition. We can characterize New Life Genetics as an opportune symbiosis of genetics, biotechnology, and dietetics. The prices of the tests START as low as 119EUR. New Life Genetics offers 8 different tests dedicated to weight loss, sport & fitness, skin & acne, genetic talents, stress, allergies, and kids and babies.
After you decide on a certain test, you can simply purchase it on the New Life Genetics website. Note that the company will identify you by the kit code instead of your personal information. After kit registration, you can perform a buccal swab and simply send your DNA sample back to the lab for further processing. Your results will be available around 20 days after the sample reaches the processing facility.
Family Tree DNA
Family Tree DNA is our top budget-friendly ancestry DNA testing service. They’ve performed over 5 million tests for individuals and organizations. They are one of the pioneers of introducing genetic science into genealogy research and exploration.
They offer the highest number of different ancestry DNA tests on the market, allowing convenient bundle options along the way. The factor that ranked them on our list of the best cheap DNA tests of 2017 was the fact that they feature a testing option for any kind of budget. You can order one of their 6 different ancestry tests separately or explore some of the bundle choices. Family Tree DNA definitely trumps all other ancestry services when it comes to the volume of products, as well as their prices.
Their basic ancestry DNA test is named Family Finder. For 89$, you get your personal Family Tree DNA profile with extensive options for connecting with your potential relatives, the MyOrigins tool for mapping you ethnic and geographic origins, the AncientOrigins map, which establishes the migration patterns and the percentage of mutual genetic material with ancient European civilizations, the Family Matching tool, which helps you segregate your maternal and paternal lineage, and Chromosome Browser, which is a feature that allows you to compare your DNA with that of your newly-found relatives, one chromosome at a time.
Apart from the main ancestry DNA test, Family Tree DNA also offers Y-chromosome (37, 67 and 111 DNA markers) and mitochondrial testing (HRV1 + HRV2, Full Sequence). They also allow data transfer from 23andMe, AncestryDNA, and National Geographic’s Genographic Project.
Wisdom Panel is a business unit of Mars Incorporated, which was declared the 6th largest privately held company in the US by Forbes. It’s a little-known fact that Mars incorporates a pet care division with famous brands like Pedigree, Whiskas, Royal Canin, and more. People are rarely familiar with the Mars Veterinary division even though it exists since 2005. At that time, their Breed Determination Patent was licensed by the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.
The testing procedure is very simple and it starts with you placing an order on the company website. Activate your testing kit online, write down the code, and perform a buccal swab on your pet. Then, mail the DNA sample back to the laboratory in a pre-paid envelope. Depending on the test you choose, you’ll have to wait 3 weeks for the results. If the testing kit gets damaged during transport, the company will replace it free of charge. The price tags at Wisdom Panel start at 84.99$.
The company has a decade of experience in the field; two, if we count their involvement in the Canine Genomics Project. The tests are conducted in a highly modern processing facility by a team of experts. The tests check for more than 250 dog breeds and the company database already holds more than 12,000 samples. Wisdom Panel has executed more than 800,000 tests so far and is a frequent participant in various research projects dedicated to better understanding our four-legged friends.
TeloYears is a unique DNA testing company. It focuses on determining your genetic age by inspecting the length of your telomeres, the small protective caps on the ends of our chromosomes. They shorten in time and that process has been widely connected with aging. Measuring your genetic maturity and comparing it to your “real” age in human years can provide you with invaluable information regarding your overall wellness and genetic health.
After winning the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 2009, Dr. Elizabeth Blackburn founded TeloYears in 2010, basing its business model on her award-winning premise. She postulated that telomeres perform a key role in the protection of our genetic signature and that we should do everything in our power to delay their shortening process as long as possible. TeloYears has taken part in numerous research projects, testing specific stimuli and their effects on our telomeres. For example, coffee affects them positively, stress and computer screens, on the other hand, not so much.
The TeloYears DNA Test has a price tag of 89$. Since the company recommends repeating the test every 6 to 12 months, they also offer a “Now and Later Pack,“ which contains two testing kits, one for immediate processing, one for later monitoring. The pack saves 20$ on buying two separate kits. The test uses a blood sample, as it’s much richer in DNA than saliva or buccal cells.
The results will inform you of your ATL (average telomere length) and compare it to those of other people your age. With every test, you will also receive a “Blueprint for Aging Well,” the perfect self-assessment tool designed to help you keep your telomeres as healthy as possible, with an appropriate action plan.
Apart from being one of the most affordable relationship DNA testing companies currently available, EasyDNA is by far the most international one. Their sheer presence and amount of orders allow them to offer the most competitive prices in the relationship-testing sphere.
Just to put things into perspective, they have over 25 offices all around the world. Apart from keeping them highly competitive, this fact also allows them to cover most of the globe. As an added benefit, they’re also there to provide quick assistance whenever you need it. Having a local office of your DNA testing provider is a whole different experience.
The company offers a grand total of 40 different relationship DNA tests (including genetic reconstruction), with more than 300,000 tests performed so far. The tests are 99.9999% accurate, they inspect 21 genetic markers, and come in both “curiosity” and legal iterations. Payment plans are also available for the tests with higher prices. Besides human relationship DNA testing, EasyDNA also offers humane ancestry testing and animal genetic exploration, specifically, canine, feline, avian, and equine DNA tests.
Their portfolio is truly extensive, so we’ll just mention that they feature home and legal paternity tests, immigration, prenatal, and discreet paternity DNA testing, sibling, twin, grandparentage, avuncular, maternity, Y/X chromosome, mitochondrial, and genetic reconstruction test, etc. The offer of EasyDNA is truly massive and it includes much more than we are able to list here. This is truly the kind of company that makes you wonder what was so difficult in finding budget-friendly DNA testing services in the first place.
Developed and sold by DDC, GPS Origins is a state-of-the-art ancestry DNA test dedicated to providing users with the most precise picture of their ancestral composition and genetic origins. The results usually pinpoint the exact town or village where your DNA line began.
DDC is a renowned provider of genetic tests known for its modern cutting-edge technology and robotics used for genetic sequencing. The company was founded back in 1995, which means there’s a long enough tradition to substantiate any claim of the high-quality service DDC provides. The constant driving force behind the company has made hi-tech scientific breakthroughs available to general public in the form of budget-friendly DNA testing.
GPS Origins test was created by Dr. Eran Elhaik, the multidisciplinary team leader at the University of Sheffield. A research associate at the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, Dr. Elhaik has a doctorate in the field and two post-doctoral research fellowships.
Before you place an order with DDC, you’ll have to register and create your personal account on their site. You’ll also be given a questionnaire to fill out, which will help refine your final results. Once your DNA testing kit arrives, you’ll be able to perform a buccal swab and collect your DNA sample. A comprehensive instruction manual comes with the kit, so you don’t have to worry about getting anything wrong. After your sample is collected, simply put it in the pre-paid envelope and drop it in the mailbox. 4-6 weeks after receiving your testing kit, DDC will generate your results, which you can download or read online.
MyHeritage is a DNA testing provider founded in 2003 in Bnei Atarot, Israel. The founder and current CEO of the enterprise is Gilad Japhet, an entrepreneur and family historian. Besides the already mentioned headquarters, the company operates from two additional offices in California and Utah.
The idea behind the company is to combine genetic science with genealogical data in order to provide the most accurate and documented results for every user who decides to give MyHeritage a chance. They already have a database with more than 2.6 million profiles and 8 billion historical records. The user count stands at around 91 million across 196 countries. The users have built more than 40 million family trees up to this point.
If you decide to go with MyHeritage ancestry test, you can start by creating a personal account on their website. You’ll be asked to provide some personal info and your payment method of choice. Once your personal testing kit arrives, you can activate it on the site since your results will be connected to your activation code rather than personal information. The kit requires a buccal swab, so you won’t have to draw blood or fill an entire vial with saliva. After you’ve collected your DNA sample, just mail it back to the laboratory and you can expect your results in 3-4 weeks. You’ll receive an email notification about your report and you’ll be able to view it on the site. MyHeritage ancestry DNA test costs 99$. Their site is subscription based, so you’ll receive additional features for a fee of 13.27$ per year. The prices of MyHeritage Premium and PremiumPlus are not listed on the site.
Paternity Depot is the clear-cut winner when it comes to affordable DNA testing. They’ve also paired their budget-friendly business model with some of the quickest turnaround times on the market.
The name sometimes confuses people, so they’re under the impression that Paternity Depot offers solely paternity DNA testing. However, they perform all the most common relationship tests. Paternity Depot also accepts “discreet” DNA samples for processing, like blood stains, used toothbrushes, chewing gums, Kleenexes, hair, and so on. If you opt for this type of sample, however, the overall turnaround time will definitely go up, depending on the type of sample.
They have performed over 300,000 DNA tests so far in their own testing laboratory, which holds an ISO 17025 certification. The accuracy of the tests is 99.9999% and they can all be upgraded to the legal versions for an extra 50$. The average turnaround time for all tests is around 3-7 business days. Paternity Depot allows for home-made testing kits as well. They provide detailed instructions, alongside a 20% discount if you choose to take this route. For any questions and doubts, you can always contact their user support. Their Basic Paternity Test costs 59$ and is designed for one father and one child. Every additional sample is charged an extra 50$. Discreet sample processing also costs an additional 50$.
Apart from paternity testing, they also offer a Sibling DNA test (199$), Avuncular (199$), Grandparent (199$), and a Maternity Test (59$). Note that shipping is not free, so you’ll have to calculate in an additional 8$ or 20$, depending on whether you’re going with regular mail or express.
Karmagenes is dedicated to examining portions of your DNA, trying to isolate genetic prerequisites for certain behavioral patterns. The company philosophy states that every single behavior has a genetic root and can be further molded by your environment and other factors.
Kyriakos Kokkoris, the #1 man behind Karmagenes, claims that you can always cheat a personality test by fudging the answers but never your DNA. The company team includes Ph.D.s in molecular biology, genetics, psychology, and neuroscience, engineers in communications, data security, and network coding, and so on. The entire team is adamant in translating hard science into widely available and budget-friendly products.
Karmagenes follows the usual direct-to-customer model, which starts by you placing an order through their official website. You can expect your personal testing kit to arrive at your address in around 3-5 days. When you receive the kit, you can perform a cheek swab and secure your DNA sample. Again, it’ll take between 3 and 5 days for the company to get your sample once you’ve mailed it back. The sample sequencing takes between 8 and 12 days and you’ll receive a notification as soon as the process is initiated. Once your DNA sequences are ready, you’ll have to fill out a simple psychological assessment. The final step of the process is to “meet yourself,” as your genetic code represents you. You’ll receive a detailed report on more than 20 pages and finally get a chance to unlock your full genetic potential.