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At-home DNA testing is one of the hottest trends on the planet. Millions are doing it, and a ton of people are using online databases to find long-lost and far-flung relatives all over the world. But there are so many available. Which DNA kit is right for you? We went through them all (we hope) and chose the popular 23andMe as our Best Overall At-home DNA Test Kit.
Why? With so many great DNA tests on the market, it wasn’t easy. But we went with 23andMe because it combines one of the largest databases of DNA profiles available with specific geographic results that reviewers say are more accurate than others. AncestryDNA was a contender as well, as were European DNA labs TellmeGen and MyHeritage. All things being relatively equal—most of the DNA tests listed below provide accurate results, friendly UX interfaces, and a large database of respondents—to us, 23andMe seemed to be the most complete package.
What Can an At-home DNA Kit Do For you?
DNA kits are great because not only can they hook you up with long-lost relatives you didn’t know existed, the right test can also help you improve your health. At-home DNA kits these days can do far more than trace lineage. They can predict genetic predilection toward diseases, like Alzheimer’s and diabetes. They can help you avoid foods you shouldn’t eat, and point you toward exercises you should do more of. If you’re lactose or glucose intolerant, for example, they can tell you that. They can even tell you the likelihood your offspring will be afflicted with the same physical or mental ailments that afflicted your grandparents. DNA kits can be a valuable health tool as you age.
That said, if you’re just looking to see if you have any relatives you didn’t know about, be sure and purchase the right at-home DNA kit. There’s no need to spend a ton of money on information you won’t use.
And if you’re a dog lover, at-home DNA kits are now available for your pet. You can find out our pup’s exact breed, and some even allow you to discover doggie relatives you didn’t know Fido had. (We realize that might sound ridiculous to the average person, but dog lovers understand.) Dog DNA kits are fantastic if you’ve got a rescue dog or family mutt. Interestingly, they’re more costly than human DNA kits!
What Other DNA Kits Did We Love?
- Vitagene DNA Test Kit—This test is great for athletes and fitness buffs because its results are geared toward how your genetic makeup will respond to physical activity like Blood Pressure Response to Exercise, Muscle Cramping, and Muscle Strength;
- TellmeGen—We liked this European lab because this technology changes so rapidly, it updates its database monthly—which you can access at no extra charge, for life;
- National Geographic Geno 2.0—Powered by Helix DNA, NatGeo uses its vast knowledge of human history and anthropology to provide the kind of in-depth insight many of these other DNA labs lack;
- Embark—With a simple cheek swab, Embark tests for over 250 dog breeds, even wolf and coyote. It will trace your dog’s family tree all the way back to its great-grandparents; the Doggy DNA Finder tool is awesome.
If you are planning to purchase a DNA kit on Amazon, be sure you’re buying it directly from the manufacturer, and not a third party. Most at-home DNA kits are made by laboratories, or commissioned by companies contracted to specific genetic labs. Any DNA kit is worthless without verified testing and confirmed results by the exact lab that makes the test.
The best at-home DNA kit will depend on precisely what information you’re hoping to uncover. Here are a few of our favorites.