DNA testing became a widely available commercial phenomenon in the past decade. Scientists and genetics experts brought the concept closer to the general population and DNA testing caught on metaphorical fire, with millions of new users every year.
Our ultimate guide to the best DNA testing kits of 2017 can keep you up-to-date at all times by relaying the latest innovations and breakthroughs in the field. Our skilled team is constantly looking for new DNA testing options, making sure you don’t miss a single new test, a promising new company or available coupons.
While comprising a list of the best DNA testing kits is pretty difficult due to the abundance of excellent providers on the market, we’ve managed to single out those tests we think are the best of the best.
- Saliva-based DNA testing kit is more comfortable for new users
- 700,000 genetic markers checked during the testing procedure
- One of the largest databases in the world with 3+ million users
- Medical grade testing facilities with ISO17025 certification
- Ample choice of DNA tests with quick turnaround times
- An interdisciplinary team of highly-skilled scientists
- Partnership with leading scientists & academic researchers
- The most region-specific depiction of genetic ancestral roots
- The highest number of ancestry-based DNA tests on the market
- Constant updates to your test results after one order, free of charge
- Free raw data transfer available from AncestryDNA and 23andMe
- Proprietary, highly-certified DNA processing laboratory
- Proprietary testing methods and Blueprint for Aging Well
- Affordable price and a high level of information security
- Comprehensive at-home testing kit with detailed instructions
- 800,000 SNPs, 36 world regions, 862 reference populations
- Hi-tech processing facilities with numerous accreditations
- The biggest portfolio of DNA and other tests on the market
- Better Business Bureau awarded the company with A+ rating
- Fast turnaround times and legal/non-legal test iterations
- State-of-the-art processing facility with CLIA certification
- All tests are supervised by the scientific advisory board
- The test screens carriers for 200 different genetic diseases
- Health-related reports available with the autosomal test
- Ancestry Service DNA Test checks 500,000 genetic markers
- Company database reached 2 million samples collected
- Decent variety of DNA tests with comprehensive testing kits
- Split at-home testing kits can be sent to different states
- 99% accuracy and proprietary ISO17025 certified testing lab
Ranking Criteria Explained
We always outline numerous ranking factors that companies need to excel at. Here are some of the most important ones:
- Variety of products offered
- Competency and skill of the staff
- Partnerships and co-operations
- Accreditation level
- Test accuracy and quality
- Number of genetic markers checked
- Possibility of test errors and failures
- Average turnaround time
- Quality of the final report and whether it includes health-related information
- Satisfaction guarantee and refund policy
- Payment and shipping options
- Existence of coupons and discounts
- Results transfer possibility
- Raw data download
- The quality and professionality of user support
Our final factor is how much of an effort does a certain company put in when it comes to scientific research and charity work. Every DNA testing provider on our list is involved with numerous projects with the aim of pushing the boundaries of genetic science to the next level. They also contribute to many charity organizations and funds.
AncestryDNA is an integral part of the largest company in the world dedicated to genealogical research. We are, of course, talking about Ancestry.com LLC, a privately held conglomerate located in Lehi, Utah, and founded back in 1983. The company complements ancestry DNA testing with genealogical records, stories, and documents. Apart from AncestryDNA, they also own AncestryHealth, Archives.com, Find a Grave, Family Tree Maker, Rootsweb, and other brands.
In the last three years, the company provided their users with more than 16 billion historical records. The Ancestry Magazine had more than 2 million subscribers. The users generated more than 70 million family trees using 200+ million scanned photographs, written stories, and documents.
AncestryDNA follows a pretty straightforward direct-to-customer procedure when it comes to testing their users. After an order is placed, the customers will receive their DNA testing kit and collect their DNA sample for further processing. AncestryDNA uses a saliva-based kit. Once the sample is secured, it should be sent back to the company lab for sequencing.
AncestryDNA provides their users with a single test named “Ancestry DNA Test.” The test, however, covers your entire genome, which means that both autosomal and gender chromosomes will be tested. 700,000+ genetic markers are checked during the procedure, ensuring 100% accurate final reports. The results usually take around 6-8 weeks, depending on the demand at any given moment. Once your report is generated, a link to the results will be sent to your email.
New Life Genetics Review
New Life Genetics is dedicated to discovering genetic information that’ll allow every individual on the planet to live a better, healthier, and longer life. The company was founded in 2014 with corporate headquarters in Silkeborg, Denmark. Human genetic coding holds potential answers to all the medical mysteries of today and it has always been the ultimate vision of New Life Genetics to decipher our genetic signatures and provide the ultimate insight into the “human condition.”
New Life Genetics features one of the most interdisciplinary teams we’ve ever seen. The scientists involved with the project specialize in genetics, nutrigenomics, nutrigenetics, health, fitness, dietetics, and nutrition. The ultimate co-operation between genetics, biotechnology, and dietetics opened the doors for New Life Genetics and made it what it is today.
If you want to see what New Life Genetics has to offer, you can place your order directly on their official website. Once your order is received, the appropriate testing kit will be sent to your address within the next 24 hours. When your testing kit arrives, you’ll have to register it on the site by using your unique code, which is located on the box and the sample collection tubes. The company opted for buccal swabs instead of saliva or blood, which means the procedure is completely painless, taking just a couple of minutes.
Once the laboratory receives your sample, you can expect the results within the next 20 business days. You’ll receive an email with a link to your report, which you can download or read online.
Living DNA Review
Founded in 2016, Living DNA operates under the maxim “Find out where you really came from.” The company was launched by DNA Worldwide Group once they realized they needed to focus on their genetic ancestry testing service. The parent company was founded in 2004 and has collaborated with Family Tree DNA, Scotland’s DNA, and the team behind “The British Isle Study” of 2015. It is also partnered with hundreds of genetic experts, academic researchers, and scientists.
The company employs a comprehensive direct-to-customer approach when it comes to DNA sample collection. They opted for a mouth swab-based DNA testing kit delivered straight to your address. Once you’ve collected the sample of your buccal cells, you can mail it back to the laboratory for further processing.
With 650,000 genetic markers checked, Living DNA provides one of the most accurate ancestry testing solutions on the market. Additionally, every marker is tested 15 times to eliminate any possibility of error or test failure. Living DNA ancestry test is autosomal, which means it explores 22 pairs of your chromosomes, omitting the gender-related 23rd pair. This also means that you won’t receive specific results regarding your maternal and paternal ancestral line. However, your autosomal chromosomes are the richest depositories of information regarding your ancestral origins. The final report is generated within 10-12 weeks of receiving your DNA sample.
Living DNA test results cover 80 different world regions with 21 located in the British Isles, making it an ideal option for individuals expecting heavy British descend. The company also allows for raw data download, which you can use with other DNA testing companies and various online services.
Family Tree DNA Review
Family Tree DNA was founded in 1999, when the widely-known conglomerate Gene by Gene decided to create a separate instance for genetic and genealogy research. By that time, their father company already had ample experience in the field with over 5 million people tested.
The company offers a multitude of DNA tests, also available within convenient bundles with discounts. Some of their other highlights include exploration of Jewish heritage, a rich knowledge base, frequent webinars, worldwide shipping, free results updates, personalized customer support, and data transfers from AncestryDNA and 23andMe.
Family Tree DNA offers a signature autosomal DNA test called “Family Finder,” alongside Y-chromosome and mitochondrial tests. That makes them one of the rare companies that separated lineage tests from the main autosomal ancestry exploration. They also provide separate results for the said tests, which is not often seen on the market.
Family Finder DNA Test comes with the price tag of 89$ and the results include DNA relatives identification (their database comprises of around 500,000 people so far), the opportunity to connect with your newly-found relatives and add them to your personalized family tree, traces of your genetic ancestry throughout history, the geographic point of impact regarding your DNA signature, individual chromosome comparison through Chromosome Browser, migration patterns of up to 16 generations of your forebears, and the possibility of bundling the test with Y-chromosome testing and full sequence mitochondrial examination. The average turnaround time for the Family Finder test is between 4 and 6 weeks.
TeloYears is a genetic test designed to calculate your cellular age by determining your genetic age. The secret to a longer and healthier life is locked deep in your DNA and the test reaches that encoded area, relating it to how well you’re aging. Apart from telling you your exact genetic age, TeloYears should also motivate you to grow and make changes in all fields of personal wellness.
TeloYears was launched by Telomere Diagnostics Inc, which was founded in 2010. The company’s core team is comprised of four scientists, including Dr. Elizabeth Blackburn, the winner of the 2009 Nobel Prize in Medicine for her pioneering work in the field of telomere biology.
Before you are allowed to place your order, you’ll have to provide contact and payment information. You’ll also have to answer a couple of quick and easy questions in order to determine whether TeloYears test is a good fit for you. The given information will be reviewed by a licensed physician, who will also be placing your order for you.
Once the testing kit arrives at your address, all you’ll have to do is collect your DNA sample and mail it back to the testing facility. Note that TeloYears test uses blood as a testing specimen, unlike all other at-home DNA tests we’ve encountered so far. It just requires one drop, though, since it holds more than enough cells for successful testing. The results are usually generated 3-4 weeks after the laboratory receives your DNA sample.
GPS Origins Review
GPS Origins is a modern ancestry DNA test created by Dr. Eran Elhaik and developed by DDC. Dr. Elhaik is the multidisciplinary team leader at the University of Sheffield and research associate at the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health. DDC, on the other hand, is a world-renowned company known for its hi-tech processing facilities with incorporated robotic sequencing technology. The conglomerate was founded in 1995, which gives it a long tradition of turning scientific marvels into widely available services.
The main advantage of the GPS Origins test is its ability to take you back up to 1,000 years in the past and pinpoint to the exact town or village where your DNA signature originated. GPS Origins testing kit is pretty straightforward and easy to use. After you’ve registered and created your personal account on the official site, you can place an order and have the DNA testing kit delivered straight to your home address. The kit comes with detailed instructions on how to perform a buccal swab and collect your DNA sample for testing. 4-6 weeks after the laboratory receives your specimen, the final results will be generated. You’ll get an email notification informing you that you can inspect your report on your personal account.
The test checks 800k genetic markers, providing extraordinary accuracy. Furthermore, it covers 36 world regions and takes 862 reference populations into account. The price of the test is 189$. DDC also allows you to transfer your raw data from other companies (Family Tree DNA, 23andMe, and AncestryDNA) for 74$.
Live Well Testing Review
Live Well Testing is an e-commerce branch of Confirm BioSciences, stationed in San Diego. It offers a plethora of testing solutions for improving the overall wellness of your body, pets, and environment. Their website is pretty self-explanatory; after a quick registration, you can start perusing the vast offer of wellness testing solutions.
As we already mentioned, their tests can be segmented into 3 categories. The section concerning your body includes testing options for examining DNA, weight management, hormone levels, heart health, fertility, vitamin levels, neurotransmitters testing, allergies, substance abuse, disease detection, and home inspection. The group of products for pets offers reagent test strips, tests for urinary tract infections and fecal worms, general wellness testing packs, glucose monitors for both cats and dogs, feline leukemia test kits, detectors for equine fecal worms, and tests for blood heartworm, Ehrlichia or Lyme disease for dogs. Environment tests coincide with the “home inspection” bracket we mentioned, except for the soil inspections tests, identifying levels of dangerous compounds in your immediate vicinity.
Live Well Testing ships internationally, excluding DNA tests that require lab analysis. Orders placed before 12:00 PM PST on business days will ship the same day. Orders received during weekends or after 12:00 PM will ship the next business day. The prices are pretty budget-friendly, with frequent discounts and coupons available. Live Well Testing also holds a price match policy, which means they’ll match any lower price for the same product as theirs.
JScreen is a nonprofit organization partnered with Emory University and focused on screening for carriers of Jewish genetic diseases and conditions. It also tries to educate individuals with Jewish genetics heritage about the potential risks locked in their DNA. In 2014, JScreen was named one of the most innovative American Jewish organizations.
The founders of JScreen are long-term Jewish community activists Randy and Caroline Gold. They decided to educate and test people for genetic diseases after their daughter Eden was diagnosed with Mucolipidosis Type IV (ML4), a very dangerous but preventable disease. Today, the couple also runs the ML4 Foundation, looking for a cure for their daughter.
JScreen will not allow you to place an order before contacting your physician and obtaining the necessary approval. After that, you can order your JScreen testing kit and have it sent to your home address. The kit is used to collect a vial of your saliva for further processing. The procedure can be a bit tedious but it’s completely painless and usually done in 2-5 minutes. After the lab receives the sample, you can expect your results in 3-4 weeks. Emory University will contact you and you’ll also receive an email notification informing you how to proceed.
JScreen tests for 200 genetic diseases, 19 of which most commonly affect individuals with Jewish genetic heritage. Testing is also available to non-Jewish individuals.
The company got its name for 23 chromosome pairs in the human genome. They made quite the splash in the industry from the very beginning, having big-name investors such as Google, Genentech, New Enterprise Associates, and others. Unlike other DNA testing companies, 23andMe offers health-related results alongside their Ancestry Service DNA test. The medical report does add 100$ to the overall price of the test, but it’s well worth it.
For the price of 99$, 23andMe ancestry DNA test brings benefits such as genetic relatives identification, achieved by matching your DNA signature with those of known genetic populations throughout history, genetic heritage segment, which locates the region where your DNA originated, ancestry timelines, which allow you to further explore the origins of your genetic material, Neanderthal DNA, and halpogroup identification, which should reveal the first ever human to bear your DNA – you first prehistoric relative, if you will, and the originator of your genetic line.
The test explores 31 sample populations and matches your DNA against them. This simply means that 23andMe covers 31 regions of the world in their final test report. The health report, if you opt for one, will include 41 health conditions, 19 personal traits, and 7 wellness traits. The main goal of this testing instance is establishing whether your genes carry potential for hereditary diseases or not. 23andMe recently disclosed reaching 2 million collected samples in their database.
Paternity Depot Review
Paternity Depot is one of the budget-friendliest DNA testing providers on the market. They’ve paired their low prices with quick turnaround times and created a unique business model in the sphere of relationship DNA testing.
Paternity Depot was founded 10 years ago, which means that their low-price, quick service approach managed to withstand the test of time. Paternity DNA testing is not the only service offered by Paternity Depot despite the name. They offer 5 different relationship tests, including legal paternity testing.
The testing kit is sent to your address after you place an order through their website or over the phone. If testing subjects live in different states, Paternity Depot will send additional testing kits free of charge. The kit provides buccal swabs for your DNA sample collection. The process is painless and takes just a couple of minutes. After receiving your sample, the company will send it for further processing and generate the final report within 7 business days. Your results can be delivered to you via phone, email or fax.
In case you cannot perform a buccal swab on one (or more) of the desired test subjects, Paternity Depot also offers DNA testing through alternative specimens like blood, dental floss, toothbrush, semen, hair, bones or teeth, urine, razors, cigarette butts, clothing, etc. Paternity Depot has already conducted over 300k tests and guarantees 99.99% accuracy. If you so choose, the company also allows you to create your own DNA testing kit, which saves you around 20% off the original price.
Choosing The Best DNA Testing Kit For Your Needs
Our best DNA testing kits review provides the ultimate “lay of the land” for top companies offering ancestry, health, and relationship DNA testing. Whatever your inquiry may be, you will find the optimal answer among them.
The best way to approach this guide is to start by figuring out the practical purpose a DNA test needs to fulfill and our review will point you in the right direction. The criteria we used while developing this list include the scope of DNA tests offered by the company, test processing times, privacy and security, value for money, and overall experience. The scope of the DNA test or tests is important because you want to receive as much information as possible about your ancestry, health or relationships. Test processing times are also significant because you do not want to wait for your results for too long, especially when it comes to relationship or health DNA tests.
Privacy and security are among our criteria because you are giving your sensitive information to the DNA company of your choice and you do not want that data to fall into the wrong hands. Value for money matters because you do not want to pay a lot of money for a test that will not satisfy all your needs.
Finally, overall experience focuses on all aspects of service, from the moment you order the test to the moment you receive your report.