The field of DNA testing is fairly new, but there are definitely already some leading players in the market. We’re looking at three of the best today, Ancestry.com, MyHeritage, and 23andMe.
All three have a great reputation for providing accurate and interesting results about your history and health using DNA saliva tests which you can do from the comfort of your own home. But which is best for what you’re looking to learn, and why?
We’ve put these three big brands head-to-head and looked at the following criteria:
- Geographic Regions Covered
- Ease of Use
- Average Results Time
- Genetic Markers Checked
- Database Size
- Countries Available
|Brands||Pricing||Database Size||Results Time|
|MyHeritage DNA||$39 Instead of $79|
Limited Time Offer
|1,500,000||3-4 Weeks||Get Now|
|23andMe||$99||2,000,000||6-8 Weeks||Get Now|
|Ancestry.com||$99||7,000,000||6-8 Weeks||Get Now|
Geographic Regions Covered
When you take a DNA test to understand your heritage and background better, you want to know that the ethnicities being checked are looking far and wide. If the company only supports searching for a dozen ethnicities, then you may be missing out on a sizeable amount of your history, especially if you know that your family came from all over.
Choosing a company with a wide variety of ethnicities might be important to you for these reasons, but equally, if you’re looking for health information, this might not be a deciding factor.
Compares the number of regions they support directly with both companies, and boast 2x more regions than 23andMe, and an incredible 5x more than MyHeritage. With 350 regions, they are definitely the most in-depth when it comes to geography.
- MyHeritage DNA
Looks more at ethnicities than at geographical locations, with the understanding being that ethnicities often come from the same geographic regions. They support 42 ethnicities, which they say is the best in the industry.
Looks at geographic locations, and they support more than 150, which is really impressive.
With Ancestry.com, you will get the deepest geographical drill down.
Ease of Use
This category looks at the kind of sample that the companies take. While there is a misconception that blood tests are more accurate, saliva DNA tests are actually an equally good choice for studying DNA, and obviously a lot less invasive for the user.
All three options come with step by step instructions for taking your DNA swab at home using a saliva DNA kit, so for this marker, Ancestry, 23andMe, and MyHeritage are all pretty equal.
- MyHeritage DNA
MyHeritage DNA is slightly different. The kits are $79 plus another $12 for shipping fees. If you want to be part of the database and be able to search when you want for new family matches and other information, you will also need to pay MyHeritage subscription costs, which are $119.40 per year.
The Ancestry test is $99, and the Ancestry and Health test is $199. This is a very clear system, and there are no subscription costs.
Is the most expensive choice, and it also works on a subscription basis. 6 months of worldwide records are priced at $99 and 12 months is $209. The test is an additional cost of $99 as well.
With MyHeritage DNA, you will get the best bargain, but watch for the additional services costs.
Average Results Time
Are you in a hurry to get your results back? The truth is, none of these in-depth DNA tests are really quick, and you’ll always be looking at a wait time of at least a month if you want all the detail they can bring. Having said that, there is a difference between the slower companies and the fastest labs, and one of our DNA tests here is twice as fast as the others.
- MyHeritage DNA
Will give your results in 4. This is a really quick turnaround time considering the industry averages, and if speed matters to you, it’s a no-brainer.
- 23andMe and Ancestry.com
Take up to 8 weeks to provide your results.
With MyHeritage DNA, you will get your results in the shortest time.
Genetic Markers Checked
There is a difference in the kind of information that a DNA test can give you, depending on the sort of testing they do, and on which genes. For example, the X chromosome DNA can tell you about your Neanderthal ancestry, and is available for men and women, while the Y chromosome DNA testing is only available for men, and can tell them about their patrilineal line.
- MyHeritage DNA and Ancestry.com
Only check Autosomal. While this is the majority of your genome, it cannot tell you everything.
The most extensive by far, testing X chromosome, Y chromosome, Autosomal, and Mitochondrial DNA as well. 23andMe offer additional angel on you DNA – DNA testing for health. Those genetic markers are not covered on the DNA Ancestry DNA test. 23andMe health DNA test is one of the leading products in that niche. If you wish to read more about on that topic, we strongly advise you to read our comparison review of the two leading health DNA tests: 23andMe vs Futura Genetica.
With 23andMe, you will probably get the most comprehensive DNA analysis results.
Almost every DNA testing provider offers a simple DNA test, but some of the better ones offer extra features that let you check more than just your genetic ancestry.
Ancestry.com has an extensive Family Tree tool, complete with hints about your potential ancestors, and the ability to include as much information as you have.
MyHeritage DNA has an excellent Family Tree tool, the company started out doing family trees before they even moved to DNA tests for ancestry.
23andMe offers a Neanderthal report in their ancestry data. They also offer a Health and Ancestry package which looks at what you might be a carrier of, what genetic health risks you don’t know about, and other traits to do with health and wellness are hidden in your DNA. The company also offers a maternal and paternal haplogroup report, showing the breakdown of your DNA from both your mother and father’s genetic line.
23andMe easily wins this round, as they have lots of extra features to enjoy along with their standard DNA test.
Some DNA companies have huge databases which you can be a part of, to help you find your family. If you are adopted, or you don’t know a lot of about your existing family, this can be the most important element of choosing a DNA test. If you are looking to connect with members of your family that you don’t currently know, or you think your family might be looking for you, this is probably the most important factor to you.
Their DNA test has more than 7 million people in their database, which is obviously very extensive.
MyHeritage have recently disclosed that they have more than 1 million people in their database.
23andMe has a database of 2 million users.
With Ancestry.com you will benefit from the largest DNA samples database, which means a better chance of finding a genetic affinity and more accurate results.
Before you get too attached to any particular DNA test, make sure it’s offered in your country! For the most part, you can get these DNA tests completed anywhere in the world, but there are a few exceptions.
They have the fewest countries supported, although that is still 4 continents and 35 countries. Make sure to check the list before you start your free family tree, as MyHeritage may be a smarter choice for you.
- MyHeritage DNA
Does not support France, Poland, Israel, the state of Alaska, and a few French island territories (due to legal issues). Othrewise, all countries are supported.
23andMe supports 54 countries.
MyHeritage offers the most countries available to take their DNA test.
The Overall Winner
It’s clear that 23andMe offers the widest range of information, including specific DNA results for the maternal and paternal line, and health reports, too. MyHeritage DNA and Ancestry.com both offer a longer-term access to data on a subscription basis and give you the ability to build a comprehensive family tree to learn more about your relatives. While Ancestry.com has the largest database, MyHeritage DNA supports the most countries and will get your results back to you fastest. All three are fantastic and accurate options, but it’s all about the most important elements of a DNA test for you.