When deciding which DNA kit to use, consider what you hope to achieve from testing. You will want to choose your test kits based on whether you want to discover information about your ancestry, verify paternity, or screen for diseases and allergies. Other factors, such as how long it takes for results to be processed and whether a test kit provider is FDA-approved, may impact your decision. Take a look at some of the best DNA test kits available online:
23andME uses an at-home saliva collection kit to analyze your DNA across 2000+ ancestry regions. After your kit arrives, you need to register your saliva collection tube online, collect a saliva sample, and mail it back to the 23andMe lab. Results are delivered within three to four weeks and include a genetic health risk report.
Ancestry DNA’s at-home test kit offers a comprehensive DNA report that includes information about 1000 ancestry regions. You’ll collect a saliva sample and return it by mail to the lab for processing. It takes approximately six to eight weeks to receive your test results, which are delivered online.
Living DNA offers at-home ancestry and well-being DNA kits. A cheek swab is used to collect a saliva sample, and your test results are delivered online within six to eight weeks. Subregional breakdowns and family DNA matching are included in the ancestry kit.
HomeDNA uses a cheek swab to test 80,000 genetic markers and determine your ancestry in four regions: Europe, America (Indigenous ancestry), East-Asia, and Sub-Saharan Africa. After your DNA is analyzed, you’ll receive a personalized report delivered by email within six weeks. The starter ancestry test uses 100 DNA markers to determine your ancestry and match your DNA to specific worldwide locations.
Using the MyHeritage DNA kit, you can get ancestry data from over 2,100 geographic regions. This test uses a cheek swab and can be completed in less than two minutes. All samples are analyzed in MyHeritage CLIA-certified labs, and test results are delivered within three to four weeks.
Vitagene health and ancestry kits deliver DNA test results that have been evaluated in a CLIA-certified lab. A swab is used to collect your DNA sample, and results are delivered online within four to six weeks. Vitagene reports include ancestry estimates for DNA matches as close as 0.1%.
Family Tree DNA uses a saliva sample to deliver separate ancestry results for your maternal and paternal line. If you take the family ancestry test, your sample is reviewed for both parents’ autosomal DNA. Advanced DNA tests are available, providing a geographic breakdown of your ancestry for 90+ population groups.
DNA testing continues to grow as people wish to uncover detailed information about their ethnic heritage while utilizing health data to prevent and plan for genetic diseases.
Why should you get tested
DNA testing can be valuable if you want to learn more about your family history or health. These tests can also provide deep insight into your genetics and ethnicity.
Who should get tested
You should consider taking a DNA test if you want to learn more about where you come from, or you want to try to use health data to prevent future illness. DNA test kits can be helpful if you are trying to prove the paternity of a child. Minors need consent to use DNA kits.
When to get tested
DNA tests can be taken whenever you see fit. Ancestral lineage is traced through a saliva collection, and there is minimal preparation needed to prepare for the test. If you want to do a DNA paternity test, you should consult with your doctor about the best time to take the test.
If you’re planning to take a DNA test, you need clean saliva for the collection. You should not eat or drink anything for at least thirty minutes before taking your sample.
DNA results are often delivered confidentially by email or phone. It can take an average of four to six weeks to receive your test results. DNA reports come with an easy-to-understand breakdown of your ancestral line and health information. After you’ve received your results, you can consult with your primary care physician about any preventative health measures that should be taken.
It’s a good idea to learn about how DNA tests work and the insight you’ll gain from using one. Learn more about DNA testing by visiting the sources included in this guide.