The popularity of DNA testing kits is on the rise, and a major impetus for that is the affordability of the kits. They’re simple, painless, can answer many of your history-related questions, and nowadays they’re well-priced. What kinds of tests are out there, and how do you choose the right one for your needs and budget?
Range of DNA Tests
There are many different kinds of home DNA testing kits available, with one of the main differentiators being their prices.
Two companies known to offer affordable kits are MyHeritage and Ancestry. These kits promise to reveal a ton about yourself and your history, and answer the questions you never knew the answers to. MyHeritage is one of the most popular services out there, and offers both DNA testing kits as well as historical family record tracking. Its pricing is incredibly competitive, its kits are straightforward and user-friendly, and you get a lot for your money. Ancestry has similar selling points. It has an industry-leading reputation, and its kits are accurate and reliable. Ancestry also has a large and diverse database that can help you find and connect with long-lost relatives. Aside from its comprehensive solution, the company also has a helpful customer support line.
Even better? Both MyHeritage and Ancestry offer frequent promotions and discounts around holidays and peak times, making them attractive home DNA testing kit solutions.
What's the Right Kit for Your Budget?
The best way to find the right DNA kit for your budget is to look at your questions and needs. What are you looking to find out? What information is most important to you?
Keep in mind that there are 3 different kinds of tests—Autosomal, Mitochondrial, and Y-Chromosome—all with different benefits. Autosomal testing looks at 22 of the 23 pairs of chromosomes that make up your DNA and tells you your genetic makeup from both sides of your family, while mitochondrial and Y-chromosome testing only looks at the 23rd pair of chromosomes. Both men and women can do mitochondrial testing, but it only produces results having to do with your mother’s ancestral line, while only men are able to do Y-chromosome testing, as it examines genetic markers on the Y-chromosome.
Once you know what you’re looking for and know which type of test is right for you, you can look at the different companies offering DNA testing services and choose the right kit for your budget.
- DNA testing kits - $99/kit, often discounted to as low as $59
- Shipping and handling - $12
- Family tree premium - $110
- Family tree premium plus - $175
- Family tree complete - $250.80
Founded in 2003, MyHeritage is a top choice for those looking to learn about their past. The company approaches your history from 2 angle—DNA testing and family tree building. It offers a DNA testing kit that works off of a painless cheek swab, and also has a massive database with over 8 billion historical records that’s key to building your family tree and connecting the dots. MyHeritage’s home DNA testing kit is extremely easy to use, and results are ready within only 4-6 weeks. Its family tree building service is straightforward, not overwhelming like many others, and reliable. Go with MyHeritage if you want an affordable kit and a straightforward results report.
- DNA testing kit - $99
Founded in 2006, 23andMe has an all-encompassing DNA solution that’s simple, affordable, and trusted by consumers. With only a small saliva sample, you can see how your DNA breaks down across 150+ regions worldwide, and discover relatives from around the world. Not only can you find long-lost relatives, but you can connect with them and send them a message through the database. 23andMe’s home DNA kit can tell you where your ancestors lived more than 500 years ago, and show how they got there. If you find something interesting that you want to ask a family member or friend, you can easily share your results and get feedback. 23andMe’s DNA test results are ready within 6-8 weeks, and the company offers a 10% discount on every additional kit.
- Ancestry DNA kit - $99, often discounted to as low as $79
- US discovery [genealogy] - $99
- World explorer [genealogy] - $149
- All access [genealogy] - $199
With over 17 billion searchable records and 2 million new records added every day, Ancestry has a reputable name within the DNA testing space. The company has a strong genealogy focus and emphasizes the importance of building your family tree to create a complete picture of your past. The DNA kit requires a small saliva sample, and from that produces all-encompassing and easy-to-understand results that are viewable online. Included in your results is an interactive ethnicity map, as well as a “Predicted Relationships” section that includes a confidence range.
You can choose from 3 plans, all ranging in price. US Discovery gives you access to all US records on Ancestry, World Explorer gives you access to all US and international records on Ancestry, and All Access gives you a full membership to Ancestry’s records as well as the records of Newspapers.com and Fold3.com. Ancestry provides DNA services that are some of the least expensive on the market, and results that are specific and detailed.
- DNA testing kit - $159, sometimes discounted
LivingDNA aims to “show humanity that we are all made up of all of us, dissolving the concept of race,” and does so with its 3-in-1 ancestry test. Its DNA collection uses a cheek swab, and LivingDNA advertises that it offers twice the detail of other tests out there. Its 3-in-1 test traces not only your family line ancestry, but your motherline and fatherline (if you are male), too. Your results will show insights dating back 10 generations, and tell you where your ancestors were located at different points in history. LivingDNA frequently offers discounted rates, like its DNA kit that’s usually $159 and often sold for only $99.
- DNA-based health report - $49
- Health + ancestry report - $79
Vitagene has a unique offering that uses your DNA to create personalized health plans. By using your specific DNA, the company is able to help you improve your health and avoid illnesses you may be prone to. Its personalized plans start with a cheek swab, which tells the lab everything they need to know about your health and genetic diseases, if any. Once the results are completed, you will be informed about vitamins you’re lacking, allergies you have, and food you should avoid. Vitagene offers 2 plans: one that’s a basic health report, and another that combines health and ancestry findings. The company often offers limited time discounts on its products.
Discover Your Past With the Right Test
While some kits focus on testing certain parts of your DNA to give you information on your health, others look at your ancestral history and can trace your family back up to 10 generations or more. When choosing a DNA kit, it’s important to keep your questions as well as budget in mind, as each company has different offerings and price points.