Ranking Criteria Explained
The number one criterion we used while developing this guide was obviously the price tag of DNA tests combined with 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.
Our Top Picks
When looking for the best DNA tests to fit your budget, your personal goals, and the overall scope of your genetic exploration, researching all the available options is of paramount importance. Whether you are just interested in satisfying your curiosity or embarking on a serious DNA-related quest, the following mini-reviews will familiarize you with the top at-home testing solutions currently on the market.
Despite its name, Paternity Depot does not offer only paternity DNA tests. The DNA testing provider features a myriad of relationship DNA tests in its portfolio, from sibling to chain of custody.
In addition to offering some of the most affordable testing solutions on the market, the company claims it provides the fastest turnaround times possible. Its Basic Paternity Test costs 59$ and is designed for one father and one child. Every additional sample is charged an extra 50$. As for the prices of the other tests, Sibling, Avuncular, and Grandparent DNA tests cost 199$ whereas its Maternity Test is just 59$.
Unlike many other relationship DNA testing providers, Paternity Depot allows you to send discreet DNA samples for processing, including blood stains, used toothbrushes, chewing gums, hair, and other personal items. Keep in mind, however, that the company does not state that the tested individual needs to know that their DNA is used for relationship DNA testing. Discreet testing is also more expensive than other options offered by Paternity Depot and it comes with longer turnaround times.
If you need to perform a DNA test for legal purposes, you can upgrade any test in the company’s portfolio to include the necessary chain of custody for a mere 50$.
Paternity Depot provides its customers with the opportunity to make their own DNA testing kits and get a 20% discount. If you choose to take this routine, you can find detailed instructions on how to make a DIY test on the company’s website.
The DNA testing provider has performed over 300,000 DNA tests in its own testing laboratory, which holds an ISO 17025 certification. The accuracy of the tests is 99.9999%. The average turnaround time for all tests is around 3-7 business days. Shipping costs either 8$ or 20$, depending on whether you opt for regular or express mail.
MyHeritage is a DNA testing provider founded in 2003 in Bnei Atarot, Israel. The founder and current CEO of the enterprise is Gilad Japhet, an entrepreneur and family historian. Besides the already mentioned headquarters, the company operates two additional offices in California and Utah.
The idea behind MyHeritage is to combine genetic science with genealogical data in order to provide the most accurate and documented results for every user who decides to explore their ancestral origins.
The company has a database with more than 2.6 million profiles and 9 billion historical records. The user count stands at around 91 million across 196 countries with more than 40 million family trees generated so far.
MyHeritage follows the direct-to-customer model and tries to save your money every step of the way. The price of the test is 79$ and you are eligible for a full refund if you contact user support 30 days after your purchase. Note that your order will not be refunded if the sample processing was already initiated.
Once your final report has been generated (3-4 weeks), you will receive your ethnicity estimate and DNA matches within the company’s database. At this point, you can choose to subscribe to one of the available genealogy plans in order to maximize your exploration. The subscription plans are developed to fit everyone’s personal needs as well as budget. If you are not satisfied with your subscription, you can also receive a full refund up 30 days after your purchase.
Family Tree DNA
One of the pioneers of introducing genetic science into genealogy research and exploration, Family Tree DNA has performed over 5 million tests for individuals and organizations.
It offers the highest number of different ancestry DNA tests on the market, with testing solutions available for any kind of budget. You can order one of its numerous ancestry tests separately or explore its various bundles designed to save you money.
The basic FTDNA autosomal ancestry DNA test is named Family Finder. It costs 79$ and allows you to find genetic relatives in the company’s database and connect with them in a number of ways. The MyOrigins tool will help you map your ethnic and geographic origins and the AncientOrigins map will establish the migration patterns of your European ancestry. Family Matching is a tool that helps you segregate your maternal and paternal lineage and Chromosome Browser 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, 111, and 500 DNA markers) and mitochondrial testing (HRV1 + HRV2, Full Sequence). It also allows 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.
The DNA testing provider currently offers two testing solutions – its signature test Wisdom Panel 4.0 and Wisdom Panel Health. The prices are 84.99$ and 149.99$, respectively.
Wisdom Panel 4.0 is a canine breed identification test that compares your dog’s DNA to more than 250 breeds, types, and varieties. It also analyzes its genetic traits and drug & exercise sensitivity (EIC and MDR1). Wisdom Panel Health screens canine DNA for more than 150 genetic conditions. The test also features breed identification and trait analysis.
The company has a decade of experience in the field; two, if we count its involvement in the Canine Genomics Project. The tests are conducted in a highly modern processing facility by a team of experts. The tests check for more than 250 dog breeds and the company database already holds more than 12,000 samples. Wisdom Panel has executed more than 800,000 tests so far and is a frequent participant in various research projects dedicated to better understanding our four-legged friends.
Wisdom Panel gives its users two windows to ask for a refund if they so choose. The first one is after you place an order but before your kit is shipped. The other one is after you receive your kit but before you use it. If you return your kit in its original condition (unopened), you will be eligible for a full refund.
Ancestry.com LLC is the largest genealogical conglomerate in the world featuring a multitude of brands under its roof, including AncestryDNA, AncestryHealth, Ancestry Online Magazine, Family Tree Maker, Archives.com, and many others.
AncestryDNA complements its DNA testing service with a rich archive of documents from the past, something no other ancestry DNA testing company provides. Just in the last 3 years, its online magazine has accrued over 20 billion historical records and more than 200 million scanned written stories, documents, and photographs. The magazine currently has more than 2 million paying subscribers.
Ancestry DNA Test is its main product for exploring your genetic origins and ancestry. The test costs 99$ and 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, but keep in mind that you cannot separately inspect your maternal and paternal ancestry lines.
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 gene pools and 350 regions around the world.
The results usually take 6-8 weeks. Once they are finalized, you will be able to find your DNA relatives within the largest database on the market (7 million people so far).
TeloYears is a unique DNA tes developed by Telomere Diagnostic Inc. It focuses on determining your genetic age by inspecting the length of your telomeres, the small protective caps on the ends of chromosomes that shorten with time. Telomere shortening 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 the company 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.
The TeloYears DNA Test has a price tag of 99$. Since the company recommends repeating the test every 6 to 12 months, it also offers its “Now and Later Pack,” which contains two testing kits, one that should be immediately used and the other that should be used in around half a year.
The results will inform you of your average telomere length and compare it to the average results of other people your age so that you could determine how well you are aging. With every test, you will also receive a “Blueprint for Aging Well,” which is a perfect self-assessment tool designed to help you keep your telomeres as healthy as possible.
Apart from being one of the most affordable relationship DNA testing companies currently available, EasyDNA is by far the most international one. Its sheer presence on the world map and number of orders each year allow it to offer the most competitive prices in the relationship-testing sphere.
Just to put things into perspective, the company has over 35 offices all around the world, allowing it to stay highly competitive. As an added benefit, it can provide quick assistance to its users whenever they may need it, offering user support in several world languages.
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 legal and non-legal iterations. Payment plans are also available for the tests with higher prices. Besides human relationship DNA testing,
Its portfolio is truly extensive and includes home and legal paternity tests, immigration, prenatal, and discreet paternity DNA testing, sibling, twin, grandparentage, avuncular, maternity, Y/X chromosome, mitochondrial, and other testing options. EasyDNA also offers humane ancestry testing and animal genetic exploration, specifically, canine, feline, avian, and equine DNA tests.
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, especially considering the value offered in return.
As science believes, our genetic code holds all the secrets modern medicine is trying to decipher. New Life Genetics was launched to unravel those secrets, decipher our genetic code, and learn more about what it is to be human.
It boasts an interdisciplinary team of scientists, covering everything from genetics and biotechnology to fitness, health, and nutrition. The company can, therefore, be described as a perfect symbiosis of genetics, biotechnology, and dietetics.
The prices of the tests START as low as 113EUR. New Life Genetics offers 8 different tests dedicated to weight loss, sport & fitness, skin & acne, genetic talents, stress, allergies, and kids and babies.
The company accepts numerous payment options and also offers a generous 30-day money-back guarantee. Note that the 30-day period starts the moment you receive your personal New Life Genetics testing kit. Once the processing of your sample starts, you are no longer eligible for a refund.
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 may even pinpoint the exact town or village where your DNA line began.
DDC is a renowned provider of genetic tests known for its cutting-edge robotics technology used for genetic sequencing. The constant driving force behind the company has made hi-tech scientific breakthroughs available to the 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.
The test checks over 800,000 genetic markers in your genome, covers 41 regions of the world, and takes more than 1,000 reference populations into account. The results will present you with a comprehensive picture of your ancestry 1,000+ years in the past, including ethnic data, the geographic location where your DNA chain began, the migration patterns of your maternal and paternal ancestors, the point in time when your DNA underwent its final alteration on a population level, and a summary page with a number of links useful for further research.
The price of the test is 199$, but you can get a 10$ discount by using a promo code. The company issues refunds if you’re not satisfied with the service provided. Note that you can cancel your order only before the lab receives your sample and starts processing it.
Karmagenes is dedicated to examining portions of your DNA in an effort 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 other top professionals. The entire team is dedicated to translating hard science into widely available and budget-friendly products.
Karmagenes offers four different products with the prices starting at 29.95$ (psychometric analysis) and going up to 484.00$ for a complete behavioral analysis with 4 online sessions.
Karmagenes combines genetic and psychometric analyses to bridge the chasm between your innate genetic potential and acquired skills. Your results, combined with professional personality coach consultations, can help you understand the reasoning behind your decisions, build stronger relationships with people, improve your general well-being, understand yourself on a deeper level, and enjoy a happier life.
When it comes to refunds, the company allows you to submit a full refund request up to 7 days after receiving your personal Karmagenes testing kit. The request must be submitted in a written form, which also includes emails. Refunds for one-on-one online sessions can be issued before the session start date.
Choosing The Best Cheap DNA Test For Your Needs
As we just demonstrated, choosing the best cheap DNA test for you doesn’t have to be such a daunting task at all – as long as you know what to look for, that is. Our guide provided you with a healthy mix of options, no matter what kind of genetic examination you might need.
When you begin your search for the best cheap DNA test for your needs, there are a few things to keep in mind. Firstly, you should explore the scope of the DNA test that caught your attention, focusing on whether the final report can give you the answers you are looking for. The time it will take to process the test is the second most important criterion, as you definitely want the lab to process your DNA sample and send you the results as soon as possible. This is particularly important when it comes to health or relationship DNA tests. Next, you should pay close attention to the privacy and security the company of your choice provides. You should always opt for a DNA testing provider that promises to keep your private data private, without handing it over to third-parties. The following step is to determine whether the test offers good value for money, that is, whether its price directly reflects its quality. Finally, you should go with a DNA testing company that provides an easy and straightforward overall experience, making sure that you receive the best possible service at all times.
We had a limited budget and still found high-quality options for ancestry, relationship, animal, and genetic age testing. DNA tests might have been a pricey, futuristic attraction back in the day, but modern times facilitated the whole procedure, making it much cheaper as well. All you have to do now is take your pick and embark on this exciting journey.