The 6 Best DNA Testing Kits of 2021

See how knowing more about your genes can help shape your future

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If you’ve ever looked at your family and wondered why your body composition, metabolism or reaction to certain foods is so different from theirs—you’re not alone. 

Remarkably, these are just a few of the questions that at-home DNA kits can help you answer. While different versions of the tests can focus more heavily on different areas (like, say, ancestry as opposed to genetic background), there is most likely a test out there that will be perfectly suited to your specific needs. It’s worth noting that these tests shouldn’t be viewed as substitutes for clinical evaluations, but they are great places to start, especially if you’re just generally curious about your background. 

Because there are so many tests, we stepped in to give you the rundown on which ones can answer which questions. From heritage-specific results that will allow you to connect with relatives, to details about your potential predisposition to diseases, there is definitely a test that will meet your needs.

Our Top Picks
A single test that covers a lot of ground, providing you with a bounty of quality information.
Accurate testing results paired with more opportunities to discover and connect with potential family members.
Best for General Health:
TellmeGen DNA Test Kit at Amazon
Provides an accurate baseline of important general health data so you can determine if further medical testing is worth your time and money.
For those who want to dig a bit deeper into where they come from and who their long lost relatives are.
Utilizes a huge global database to match you with potential relatives at an affordable price.
The results include a comprehensive breakdown of which foods could be creating unwanted physical reactions in your body.
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Best Overall: 23andMe Ancestry + Traits Service: Personal Genetic DNA Test

23andMe Ancestry + Traits Service

As one of the more popular options, the depth of information provided by this little test is truly astonishing—so much so that no matter what your inspiration is behind wanting to take a test, there’s probably something in their detailed results that will be of interest to you. 

First off, it maps out your ancestral composition from over 2,000 regions, and it can tell you more about where each side of your family is from and when they migrated there. It also allows you to opt-in to find DNA relatives to further build out your family tree—a feature that can actually help you meet relatives. The detailed information that it will provide you about your traits is perhaps one of the most interesting parts. It can tell you everything from why you have a particular taste aversion to any genetic predispositions. It can also tell you about your carrier status for more than 40 conditions—a tool that will definitely prove helpful if you’re considering having children in the future.

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Best for Ancestry: Ancestry AncestryDNA

AncestryDNA test kit

With more than 18 million people in its online database, it’s no surprise that Ancestry, which is also the oldest ancestry-tracing company, is the best in this category. This test will show you a breakdown of your ethnicity in percentage form from over 1,000 regions.

The ancestry package uses an autosomal DNA test, which allows them to see the ancestral histories of both sides of your family as opposed to just your female ancestors' side, which is most common. The test will also provide you with an ethnicity estimate, which very specifically breaks down your ethnic background based on DNA markers. 

Finally, this test can also help with genetic sequencing based on your ancestral history. They also allow you to clue in board-certified physicians and genetic counselors that help you better understand your results, as well as any health risks that they may pose. The results are broken down into a chart that you can send to your personal healthcare providers in case you want to follow up with questions or additional testing.

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Best for General Health: TellmeGen DNA Test Kit

TellmeGen DNA Test Kit

This is the test for those that are far less concerned with their ancestral history and more worried about their own health and how it could be impacted by their genetics. You will learn about your predispositions to obesity, alcoholism, baldness, and your ability to gain muscle. The test is also able to detect the BRCA1 & BRCA2 genes, which are genes that indicate your likelihood of developing breast or ovarian cancer. This test can also help you understand how your DNA influences your memory and sensitivity to pain, so you can develop a better understanding of your body and mind. Ultimately, this test provides an accurate baseline of important general health data so you can determine if further medical testing is worth your time and money.

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Best for Serious Genealogy: FamilyTreeDNA Family Finder DNA Test

FamilyTreeDNA Family Finder DNA Test

This could be the perfect gift for any serious family tree aficionado in your inner circle. For starters, this test just requires a simple cheek swab rather than an entire vial of saliva. In addition to being super easy to use, there are some other serious upsides to this test.

FamilyTreeDNA tells you all about the autosomal DNA that you still carry from the ancient European groups: neolithic hunter-gatherers, early farmers, and the bronze-age metal invaders. Additional results include family matches and detailed migration maps that will help you get the full picture of your family’s history. The test also provides a chromosome browser, as well as information on potential hereditary mutations

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Best Affordable: MyHeritage DNA Test Kit: Genetic Testing for Ancestry & Ethnicity Covering

MyHeritage DNA Test Kit

While this is definitely a budget-friendly option, it’s still super effective if your goals are to identify your ethnic origins. This test also has lots of privacy-controls that will allow you to better protect your information. 

Not only does it tell you about your ethnic origins, it provides you with an animated map that’s interactive so that you can gain a better understanding of the regions. This company also includes free updates to the software that are included in the purchase price.

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Best for Food Sensitivities: Check My Body Health Complete Sensitivity Test

Check My Body Health Test

If you want to take a DNA test to better understand your food sensitivities, this is definitely the test for you. It tests your sensitivities to around 970 items, most of which are detailed on their site

In addition to looking into gut health, digestive issues, reactions to minerals, food and drinks, the site also looks into environmental sensitivities. Basically, it’s a great alternative to one of those pesky allergy tests wherein you have to get stuck with lots of needles. It will tell you which foods you’re most likely to develop sensitivities to, and how you can change your habits to counteract those reactions. The results also give you tangible data to take into your doctor’s office so that you’re prepared to further investigate how you can work around food or environmental sensitivities. These are also great results to take to a dietician or an allergist.

Final Verdict

Understanding exactly what information you hope to uncover in taking a DNA test can help you find the test that will leave you the most satisfied with the results. If you care more about ancestry than health data, AncestryDNA is a great place to start. If you're looking for a test that can help you figure out exactly why you're feeling sensitive to certain foods, try the Check My Body Health test to get a better understanding of any allergies or sensitivities you may have.

What to Look for in a DNA Testing Kit

The information that you’re hoping to get out of a DNA test can dictate which test you should choose. We’ve rounded up the categories that are the most popular considerations below.

Ancestral tracking: There are tests that focus more heavily on ancestral and ethnic tracking, so if you're interested in your family history and how it impacts your health, look for a test that prioritizes ancestry.

Genetic testing and projections: DNA tests that focus on genetic testing can tell you more about your own genetics, as well as the diseases or health concerns that you might be predisposed to. This can be a good option for those who are child planning.

Allergy, nutrition, and environmental information: If you’re interested in finding the root cause of your allergies, it’s best to focus on DNA tests that prioritize the identification of potential allergens. While a lot of tests will do this to varying degrees, there are certain tests that cover more allergen possibilities. 

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An experienced health writer, Brittany Loggins understands how important it is to have a comprehensive understanding of the products she's recommending. All of the products found in her pieces have either been tested by her first hand, or have been recommended by trusted medical professionals.

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