There are so many options for genetic testing now! The Genomelink team has curated the best DNA tests for you to start your DNA journey. We have years of experience in the genomics industry and we know the products in the market very well. Feel free to choose one or more DNA testing services from the list below. But, if you’re not sure which one you want to buy, here’s what I would do if I was purchasing my first DNA kit today!
Even though all DNA testing companies use the same testing kits and DNA samples, your DNA results may be different. There are two reasons for this. First, the database size that each company uses as a reference for ethnicity estimates is different. A bigger database and more geographic regions covered means the test will be more accurate about your migration patterns and common ancestor estimates. Second, each ancestry test reads a different type of DNA. The most common one is autosomal DNA, which is used by all the companies. Some companies read YDNA (Y Chromosome) and mtDNA (Mitochondrial DNA). Y-DNA test can trace your paternal line (father's side), while mtDNA does the same for your mother's side maternal line. If you use YDNA and mtDNA in addition to the autosomal test, your DNA results are based on more data.
At No.1, the Ancestry DNA test has more than 15 million users. That’s what makes it the best for finding as many family members as possible and building your family tree and family history. Use it with Ancestry.com. But remember, it does not include YDNA and mtDNA test. It offers DNA matches and uses a saliva sample.Read a review by Genomelink team >>
We recommended this if you’re interested in the genetic health screening in addition to ancestry. 23andMe offers both YDNA (Y Chromosome) and mtDNA (Mitochondrial DNA) testing in addition to Autosomal DNA. With over 10 million users, the company offers DNA matches. If you are African, Asian American, or any ethnicity other than European, you may be eligible to join their Global Genetics Project and get the test for free! The company uses a saliva sample for genetic testing.Read a review by Genomelink team >>
This company is best for those who are serious about genealogy. Both YDNA and mtDNA are tested in addition to Autosomal DNA. They accept DNA data uploads for free. They offer DNA matches and use a cheek swab.Read a review by Genomelink team >>
This test is popular in European countries. They offer the biggest discounts during the holiday seasons. They accept DNA data uploads for free. The test does not include YDNA and mtDNA test, only Autosomal DNA. They offer DNA matches and use a cheek swab for sample collection.Read a review by Genomelink team >>
This is best for people with roots in the British Isles (Irish). Both YDNA and mtDNA are tested. They accept DNA data uploads for free. They offer DNA matches and use a cheek swab.Read a review by Genomelink team >>
This is the best value for money. It comes with Whole Exome data if you do it through Helix.Read a review by Genomelink team >>
Here is a list of companies that give you health risk information in a Direct-to-Consumer manner, which means that you can obtain this information without going to a physician. However, if I had a serious concern about my inherited genetic health, I would certainly talk to a genetic counselor before and after purchasing these tests. These tests are only an initial data point to help you learn about your genetic health risk. Make sure you talk to a genetic counselor or physician before making any healthcare decisions.
This is the only test that is FDA approved to screen genetic health risks, such as carrier status, cancer, type 2 diabetes, and Alzheimer's disease. You can contribute your DNA data to their health research with big-pharma like GSK and Pfizer. The BRCA test is designed for Ashkenazi Jews (Jewish). But there’s a warning! Learn more at "Don’t Count on 23andMe to Detect Most Breast Cancer Risks, Study Warns"
This is best in terms of price and coverage of diseases. It consists of a home DNA test kit like 23andMe, but the testing process requires physicians’ approvals. The focus is on inherited cancer and heart disease. The company has partnered with health research institutes such as Jefferson, Northshore, and UCSF.
This test is best for whole genome data analysis. It comes with a home DNA test kit like 23andMe, but physicians’ approvals are necessary during the testing process. The company was founded by George Church, a legendary genomics scientist from Harvard University.
This company offers a variety of DNA tests, including Fitness, Nutrition, Skincare, Medical Tests, and even a Cannabis DNA Test! Pathway Fit, the flagship product, gives you a comprehensive analysis of your nutritional needs and fitness traits.
Nutrisystem, a well-known diet meal company, now offers DNA testing! The report is analyzed by Genetic Direction. You can use the recommendations to personalize your diet program with Nutrisystem.
GNC, a major supplement company, now offers a DNA test! It comes with the Diet, Supplement, Fitness, and Ancestry reports at $89. The DNA test is provided by Vitagene. You can get personalized supplements as well.
We recommend this test for serious athletes. It is used by Olympic medalists and professional coaches. You can upload your raw DNA data file.
They have partnered with Gold’s Gym to offer a DNA-personalized training program.
This is another product from Pathway Genomics. It offers options called Skin IQ that includes 13 traits and SkinFit that includes 23 traits.
This is a reasonable option to get quick results about skincare traits.
These companies use the same DNA kit, but actually, sequence an entire DNA region called "Whole Genome". Major companies like AncestryDNA and 23andMe read SNPs (Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms) which cover approximately 0.03% of the DNA data region, while Whole Genome Sequencing covers 100%. (Find out more at "What's the Difference Between Genetic Testing Technologies?")
This is best for whole genome data analysis. It includes a home DNA test kit like 23andMe, but physicians’ approvals are involved in the testing process. The company was founded by George Church, a pathbreaking genomics scientist from Harvard.
This is another startup founded by George Church from Harvard University. It analyzes your “Whole Genome” with “Low-Pass Sequencing”, which means you get wider coverage of your DNA data (almost 100%) whereas major DNA tests cover only 0.03%. But, the quality of the data is not a clinical grade (not high). It comes with a basic traits analysis.
Like Veritas Genomics, Dante Labs offer clinical-grade Whole Genome sequencing at a very competitive price. In the United States though, you only get a data file without any analysis.
This is a DNA app store, which means you can purchase a variety of reports and DNA-powered products once your data has been sequenced. Helix uses Whole Exome+ which covers a 100x bigger region of your DNA data.