The 6 Best DNA Testing Kits of 2020

Your genes have a lot to say

Our editors independently research, test, and recommend the best products; you can learn more about our review process here. We may receive commissions on purchases made from our chosen links.

Our Top Picks

Best Overall: 23andMe at Amazon

"A single test that covers a lot of ground, providing you with a bounty of quality information."

Best for Ancestry: AncestryDNA at ancestry.com

"Accurate testing results paired with more opportunities to discover and connect with potential family members."

Best for General Health: TellMeGen 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."

Best for Serious Genealogy: Family Tree DNA at Amazon

"For those who want to dig a bit deeper into where they come from and who their long lost relatives are."

Best Affordable: MyHeritage at Amazon

"Utilizes a huge global database to match you with potential relatives at an affordable price."

Best for Food Sensitivities: Check My Body Health Test

"The results include a comprehensive breakdown of which foods could be creating unwanted physical reactions in your body."

Have you ever wondered why you seem much more caffeine-sensitive than your friends? Or why your body composition is so dramatically different from that of your parents? You’re not alone.

Today, at-home DNA testing kits can answer all of those questions and more. A good kit can help you learn an impressive amount about your family tree, as well as the intricacies of your own body. While health-related tests are not considered direct substitutes for clinical assessments, they are an affordable first step for folks who are curious to begin learning more about themselves. And tests focused on ancestry and genealogy can give you a much clearer understanding of both your physical and familial roots. 

Since a wide array of testing options exists today, we stepped in to review the best at-home DNA testing kits so you can feel confident in the one (or two) you ultimately decide to try. From your heritage to your microbiome, there are a lot of fun facts that your body is waiting to share with you.

Our Top Picks

1

Best Overall: 23andMe

23-and-me-ancestry

Courtesy of Amazon

If you’re looking to try a single test that covers a lot of ground, it’s hard to beat the Health+Ancestry Service from 23andMe. The health component of this test shares details regarding your physical traits, general wellness, health predisposition for more than a dozen issues, and carrier status for more than 40 conditions.

It’s important to note that you cannot use this test to accurately diagnose a health condition because it does not test for every single variant that indicates health issues. However, it can give you some insights into trends you’ve started observing in yourself or encourage you to ask your doctor about a complete genetic test to address any concerns you may have.

The ancestry component of this test offers a robust amount of information in an easily digestible layout. You can explore which populations you are likely connected to around the world, sorted by both country and continent. You can also see how many other 23andMe users are likely connected to you at some point in your lineage.

The report even offers neanderthal ancestry so you can get a glimpse of your ancient family tree. For the price, you receive a bounty of quality information with 23andMe, as it uses all three types of genetic testing to collect your results.

2

Best for Ancestry: AncestryDNA

AncestryDNA test kit

 Courtesy of Ancestry

It’s not surprising that one of the oldest ancestry-tracing companies offers an at-home DNA testing kit that does an excellent job at just that. It has more than 1.4 million people in its online database, so it not only produces more accurate testing results, but also provides users with more opportunities to discover and connect with potential family members.

The autosomal test is able to review five generations’ worth of your genetics and chart across 500 regions worldwide to give you a true sense of where you come from. For instance, the test wouldn’t just say you’re from Ireland. Rather, it could specify that you’re from Munster, Ireland, and even more specifically, the Cork Headlands.

Many users also appreciate AncestryDNA’s privacy policy. It stores your DNA sample and test results without your name or other identifying information, and you maintain ownership of your data. You can download a copy of your data at any time and then delete your results from the online database and even have AncestryDNA destroy your DNA sample.

3

Best for General Health: TellMeGen

Some folks are less interested in identifying new family members and more focused on what their DNA can say about their individual health. As mentioned previously, these tests do not replace genetic testing completed in a medical setting, but TellMeGen’s DNA Test does a solid job of providing you with an accurate baseline of important general health data so you can determine if further (and more specific) testing is worth your time and money.

It provides genetic screening for more than 125 diseases, as well as insight into how your body might react to certain medications used to help treat those diseases. We also appreciate that the company doesn’t claim to be able to “do it all.” Instead, it offers a premium level service that connects users with genetic counselors, physicians, and nutritionists to gain more information about their bodies, health predispositions, and how they can take charge of their personal wellness journey.

TellMeGen provides basic ancestry details as well, and the company updates your DNA results at no additional cost as new science and medical advances emerge.

4

Best for Serious Genealogy: Family Tree DNA

If you’re not a newcomer to heritage research and want to dig a bit deeper into where you come from and who your long lost relatives are, consider FamilyTreeDNA. With the credible claim of “the world’s most comprehensive DNA matching database” under its belt, the company provides a robust suite of reports and tools that can help you analyze your results to the point of literally constructing a family tree.

It gathers an extensive list of information from your DNA by using all three test types in its privately-owned, exclusively-used testing facility. The Family Finder test specifically is an autosomal test, and the results include potential family matches, a chromosome browser, migration maps, haplogroups, and information about potential hereditary mutations.

FamilyTreeDNA is also unique in that it allows you to upload the raw DNA data files you may have from another testing service to make one comprehensive set of results within your FamilyTreeDNA profile and expand your potential number of familial matches.

5

Best Affordable: MyHeritage

If you want to dive into the world of ancestry research without spending an arm and a leg, consider this option from MyHeritage. The price of the test covers full access to all of your results—no subscriptions or upgrade costs required. (You do need a subscription to build your family tree with your data, though.)

The test provides an ethnicity breakdown from 42 regions around the world, and it uses a huge global database to match you with potential relatives based on your DNA sample. As with most tests, the more folks use it, the larger the ancestry database grows and the more helpful it can become. Luckily, current MyHeritage users will not have to pay again to tap into this database as it expands over the years.

The company also lets you choose from a variety of DNA Matching privacy settings. Only you maintain access to your raw DNA data, and you can request that the company delete it at any time. It’s available in 42 different languages, and users who have tried both this test and the AncestryDNA test found very minimal differences in the reported results, speaking to its overall accuracy.

6

Best for Food Sensitivities: Check My Body Health Platinum Test

Check My Body Health Platinum Test

 Courtesy of Check My Body

Nutrition and microbiome health are challenging issues for many people, and this test from Check My Body Health can provide a boon of helpful information. After analyzing your DNA from a hair sample, the company sends you an extensive digital report cataloging potential food sensitivities, environmental sensitivities, metal sensitivities, additive sensitivities, vitamin and mineral levels, and key good bacteria that may be lacking in your gut. 

Sensitivities, which the report takes time to explain are different from both intolerances and allergies, are listed as likely high, moderate, or none, so you can reflect on how certain foods, drinks, plants, animals, and insects tend to make you feel as you navigate your results. The report doesn’t suggest the ways in which you might react, but rather refers to all reactions as “physical symptoms” that a medical professional could help you explore further.

From there, if you’re interested in exploring an elimination diet, you can share your results with a registered dietitian, and if you think a full panel of allergy testing might be helpful, you can share these findings with an allergy specialist.

What to Look for in a DNA Testing Kit

Test Type

Most of the DNA testing kits that you can complete at home are autosomal tests, meaning that they can be used by both men and women, and will trace the lineages of both sexes in the user’s heritage. However, some tests are Y-DNA tests, which can only be administered to men and trace male lineage, and others are mtDNA tests, which can only be administered to women and trace female lineage. So keep an eye out for this detail when shopping around.

Reference Data

Different DNA testing companies rely on different banks of data to provide users with their panels of results. The more people they have tested, the more accurate the test can be because it can account for a much wider variance in results. The companies also employ varying degrees of research in their DNA assessments, so read up on how exactly they analyze your sample before handing over your credit card. 

Privacy and Security

Many of these DNA testing companies, especially those that aim to share ancestry information with you, hold on to your personal information after you complete your test. Their privacy settings and security policies can vary, so if you don’t want your results to be used for things like research and even marketing in the future, make sure the test you choose gives you the option to delete your personal information from their database following your assessment.

Why Trust Verywell Health

As a seasoned health writer and wellness enthusiast, Alena Hall is perpetually curious about the human body and all the data it stores for us. She has personally tried several kits on this list, including the 23andMe Health + Ancestry Service and the Check My Body Health Platinum Test, to learn about her heritage, health predispositions, microbiome, and more. More importantly, Alena carefully considers the quality and various features that make such products worth trying.

Was this page helpful?