Best DNA Ancestry Test Kits

Updated June 2023
Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
Bottom line
Best of the Best
AncestryDNA Genetic Ethnicity Test
Genetic Ethnicity Test
Check Price
Well-Respected Database
Bottom Line

We liked how well this powerful search tool and social networking service worked for discovering potential familial relationships and long-lost lore.


The entire site is intuitive and easy to understand even for less tech-savvy people. Covers more than 1,800 geographic locations. We really love how you can contact long-lost living relatives with similar DNA traits. Their database includes 22 million customers, so there's a greater chance of finding unknown relatives.


We found the data can be a bit too general making it difficult to search for niche information.

Best Bang for the Buck
MyHeritage DNA Test Kit: Ancestry and Ethnicity Genetic Testing
DNA Test Kit: Ancestry and Ethnicity Genetic Testing
Check Price
Secure & User-Friendly
Bottom Line

This company uses cutting-edge technology that is able to pinpoint where ancestors came from across 2,100+ geographic regions.


Simple cheek swab test takes 2 minutes and results come back in 4 weeks or less. Offers exceptional information security with multiple layers of encryption. Touts the highest resolution ethnicity analysis on the market.


You're limited to what you can do with results unless you also sign up for a year of membership.

Vitagene DNA Test: Health + Ancestry Genetic Service
DNA Test: Health + Ancestry Genetic Service
Check Price
Bottom Line

This kit concentrates on health issues with a genetic component. Very useful for dieters, athletes, and others exploring healthier lifestyles.


Kit includes extensive educational material. A detailed list of dietary supplements based on DNA results. Extensive health questionnaire. Has a quick turnaround of about 4-6 weeks after a single saliva swab. A great option for finding future health concerns.


Ancestry information can be a bit too vague.

23andMe DNA Test Kit
DNA Test Kit
Check Price
Trusted Brand
Bottom Line

A DNA kit that builds a family tree and can be used to locate relatives and discover potential health-related details.


Delivers over 80 customized reports and details ancestry. Considers over 2,000 areas around the world. Discusses traits based on ancestry. Easy to use with a saliva sample and prepaid mailer. All information is secure and private.


Many functions are only available as paid extras.

TellmeGen Advanced DNA Kit
Advanced DNA Kit
Check Price
Most Comprehensive
Bottom Line

A versatile DNA test that assesses health risks and ancestry details in an incredibly easy-to-understand fashion.


Delivers ancestry, trait, and health information based on genetic material. Shows how over 150 medications may affect the user and susceptibility to over 180 medical conditions. Information is protected. Available in 8 languages. Assists with finding relatives.


Results may not be accurate.


After going through an intensive research process to narrow down our short list of top products in this space, we tested to be sure that it’s worthy of our recommendation. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter and test to verify manufacturer claims.

Category cover

Buying guide for best DNA ancestry test kits

Photo albums and stories from family members can provide you with some understanding of your ancestors, but what about those who lived hundreds or even thousands of years ago? A DNA ancestry test kit uses your genetic data to hypothesize the geographic origins of your ancestors. Some can also give you useful health information. 

When shopping for an ancestry DNA kit, look for instructions that are easy to follow, special packaging for sending off your test sample and an online portal for reviewing your test results. Also, you’ll want to consider whether the company has a large database that can provide detailed insights about your family history. Depending on which DNA ancestry test kit you purchase, you’ll have access to additional features on the company’s online portal so you can dive deeper into your genealogy. 

After researching numerous kits, we checked out the AncestryDNA Test Kit in the BestReviews Testing Lab and found it to be our absolute favorite for its impressive features and detailed analysis. 

Best DNA ancestry kits

AncestryDNA Test Kit

We put this DNA kit to the test and found the process to be simple and easy, with straightforward instructions on how to activate your kit online. Once you send back your saliva sample, your DNA test results are ready within six to eight weeks. The company covers more than 1,800 geographic locations, and the website displays a helpful map to show you where your ancestors came from. The kit contains SideView technology, which shows which parent passed down which ethnicities. Another great feature is the subscription service, which gives you access to millions of family trees and billions of family records to help you assemble your own family tree. All the data collected is encrypted for your protection.

MyHeritage DNA Test Kit

This feature-packed kit is a bit more affordable than our top pick. It covers more than 2,114 geographic areas and 42 ethnicities for detailed results in locating ancestors. You just submit a simple cheek swab and get your test results in three to four weeks. The company has a large international database to make sure you can match as many relatives as possible. MyHeritage prioritizes your privacy, and you are the owner of your encrypted data. Paying for an additional annual subscription opens up access to billions of historical records and other features.

Vitagene DNA Test Kit

As with other DNA test kits, Vitagene derives results from a simple saliva test you send to the lab. Results are ready in six to eight weeks. While this kit does give you ancestry information, it is geared more toward health and nutrition, providing data on more than 30 nutritional traits. Once your test results are ready, you’ll have access to a personalized dashboard with detailed health reports that can help you make more informed diet, exercise and supplementation decisions. For an additional cost, Vitagene has other kits that test for specific things, such as thyroid levels, inflammation, blood sugar, food sensitivity or stress.

23andMe Ancestry Service DNA Test Kit 

As with the other kits, this one requires a saliva sample and provides results in five to six weeks. This company offers three tiers of plans. The least expensive plan gives you ancestry information covering more than 2,000 geographic regions, a family tree builder and more than 80 personalized reports, including over 30 trait reports. You can also opt into a feature to find relatives. The Health+Ancestry plan adds more than 150 health, medical and lifestyle reports to the ancestry information. The annual membership gives you all the data in the other two plans, plus updated reports and features throughout the year. The company outlines all of its privacy and security protocols on its website.

TellmeGen Advanced DNA Kit

This seven-in-one DNA test gives you ancestry information plus access to over 400 personalized reports on your health, wellness, ancestry, fitness and traits, including compatibility to medicines and your genetic predisposition to more than 200 health conditions, to help guide you through adopting healthier habits based on your DNA results. You can expect results from a saliva sample in four to six weeks. This company regularly updates your DNA reports at no additional charge. All your information is encrypted for privacy.

FamilyTreeDNA Family Finder Test Kit

Enjoy an interactive journey to finding your ancestors with this DNA test kit, including Family Matching and Chromosome Browser features that connect you with relatives globally. The myOrigins Chromosome Painter tool uses colors to represent the populations in your results, and the ancientOrigins tool helps you discover ancient ancestors. This company has four different kits. The least expensive provides ancestry information on the paternal line (Y-DNA), and you can build a family tree and trace your surname and male ancestral migration. Other kits provide detailed information on health or the maternal line (mtDNA). Like the other kits, the information is available four to eight weeks after you submit a saliva sample.

Living DNA Ancestry DNA Kit

This test kit gives you access to advanced DNA reports dating back 80,000 years. With this test kit, you’ll follow easy-to-understand test results that can be completed in the comfort of your home. You’ll send your mouth swab to the company’s lab before they’re returned within six to eight weeks. The company offers specialist ancestry, allowing you to explore specific ancestries, like African, British and European ancestry, in more than 150 regions. The test kit includes a DNA Constellations method, which helps you learn more about your ancestry on a deeper level. Other features included in this kit are DNA matching, extended ancestry and sub-regional breakdowns.

How we tested

After reviewing a range of DNA ancestry test kits, we tested the AncestryDNA Genetic Ethnicity Test to see how it worked. 

Ease of use 

  • Testing process: We examined the online ordering process and the materials included to complete an at-home swab test. We also noted the time needed to gather the swab sample for testing.
  • Interface: We reviewed the online portal where the DNA results are viewed. We evaluated the accessibility of the portal and whether the DNA results were thorough and easy to understand. 


  • Test results: We considered the length of time after sending off the sample before DNA test results were available. 
  • Privacy: We analyzed the online dashboard to see what data security measures were put in place to protect personal information. We reviewed the privacy practices and policies to see how they handled personal data.

Advanced features 

  • DNA mapping: We checked the mapping feature to determine if it provided a solid visualization of the DNA ancestry test results. 

What to know before you buy a DNA ancestry kit

Types of DNA tests

Y chromosome: This DNA test determines genetic information on a male’s paternal side (women lack a Y chromosome).

Mitochondrial: The mtDNA test traces your line on your mother’s side. Everyone has mitochondria, so both men and women can take this type of DNA test.

Autosomal: This DNA test is the most thorough option, tracing your ancestry on both sides of the family. Men and women can take this type of DNA test.

Single nucleotide polymorphism: This test analyzes several individual variations of your entire genome. For people of certain ethnicities, this test may provide inaccurate or unspecified results.

Sample process

Most companies require you to provide a DNA sample to run an ancestry or genetic test. Some test kits use a cheek swab (rubbing a cotton swab along the inside of the cheek) while others call for a saliva sample (spitting into a small tube). All the kits provide the necessary materials and instructions for sampling.

Most DNA test kits take six to eight weeks to provide results, but some companies take less time.

DNA database

Each DNA ancestry testing kit company has its own proprietary database. When choosing a kit, it’s important to consider the size of the company’s database. The bigger the database, the more useful information the testing can provide about your ancestry, health and other genetic topics.

Ethnicity regions

To learn about your ethnic origins, you’ll want a testing kit that provides the most comprehensive genetic ethnicity estimates. Most brands disclose what ethnic backgrounds their test can detect. Choose a kit that covers the greatest number of ethnic regions to learn as much about your origins as possible.

Family tree and relative matching

Many DNA ancestry test kits can also help you build a family tree. The company might alert you that you share DNA with another user, revealing relatives you may not know about. If the company has a family tree feature, the service will start constructing one based on genetic matches through your profile on its website, giving you an even better understanding of your origins.

Genetic health information

Some DNA test kits provide valuable information about genetic health issues. For example, they can help you discover potential health risks, an overview of wellness issues related to your health, carrier status for certain conditions, such as sickle cell anemia, and DNA influence on certain traits, such as sense of smell. Remember that you’ll usually pay more for a test kit that provides health information.

Privacy policy

Providing DNA samples to testing companies can be unsettling for many people due to privacy issues. Ensure that any test kit you choose has a clear privacy policy regarding who can see your test results, what results are shared with other users and what would happen to your data if the company were to be sold. It’s very important to read the fine print when you sign up with a DNA ancestry testing company to protect your results.

How to get the best results from your DNA ancestry test kit

  • Don’t drink, eat, smoke or chew gum for at least 30 minutes before giving your cheek swab or saliva sample.
  • For a kit that requires a cheek swab, rub the tip of the swab firmly against the inside of your cheek. You want to collect as many cells as possible.
  • Rub your cheeks just behind your back teeth to stimulate saliva production if you have trouble spitting enough saliva to meet the fill line in the collection tube.


Q. How much do DNA ancestry kits cost? 

A. DNA ancestry test kits vary in price based on the information they provide, but you can typically expect to spend between $70 and $130. You’ll pay between $70 and $90 for a kit that only provides results regarding your ancestral and ethnic origins. You’ll pay between $90 and $130 for a kit that also includes your genetic health information.

Q. What type of DNA test works best for an ancestry test kit?

A. Autosomal DNA testing typically provides the best results. It analyzes the gender-defining X or Y chromosomes and the other 22 pairs in your DNA that aren’t related to gender. That means it can provide ancestry results from your family's paternal and maternal sides. This test is available for both men and women.

Q. How accurate are the results from DNA ancestry test kits?

A. The accuracy of the results depends on the type of DNA test the kit uses and the size of the company’s database. Kits that use autosomal DNA testing tend to be the most accurate because they analyze your entire genome, and the larger the company’s DNA database, the more accurate the results it can provide. Some DNA ancestry testing companies claim an accuracy of up to 98%. Check the companies you’re considering to see if they provide an accuracy rate for comparison.

Q. Does a DNA ancestry kit tell you which side of the family your ethnicity results originate from?

A. It depends on what type of DNA testing the kit uses. Test kits that use autosomal DNA can’t distinguish between the maternal and paternal lines. However, kits that use Y-chromosome DNA testing can trace your ethnicity results to your paternal line. Others using mitochondrial DNA testing can trace your results to your maternal line.

Our Top Picks