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The Cheapest DNA Tests for Ancestry & More (2023)
Updated on March 10, 2023
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DNA Testing
The Cheapest DNA Tests for Ancestry & More (2023)
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Plenty of cheap DNA tests can help you quickly discover your genetic makeup. 

While it’s true that some bargain test kits can give you limited information, other inexpensive DNA test kits are actually pretty trustworthy and reliable. Most companies design these kits for a single purpose, like confirming biological connections or discovering your heritage

Consumer brands like AncestryDNA, 23andMe, and other larger companies have the resources to provide worthwhile information.

Everything We Recommend

For Ancestry DNA Testing

For DNA Health Testing

The Cheapest DNA Tests for Ancestry & More (2023) 9

Why Trust Us

KnowYourDNA is committed to making healthcare more accessible to the public. We’d like to participate in your health goals by featuring products that meet industry standards.

The test kits we picked out have reliable testing methods and science-backed reports aimed at improving your overall wellness.

We pick products based on:

  • Brand reputation
  • Product quality
  • Safety for use
  • Customer reviews

Our in-house medical experts review each piece of content before publication. They help ensure the accuracy of the information we give to our readers.

Best At-Home DNA Test for Ancestry

1. AncestryDNA  —  Our Top Pick

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  • Has the most extensive database
  • Kit has easy-to-follow instructions
  • Offers DNA matching in over 1,800 global ethnic regions
  • Option to use historical records in building your family tree


  • Some features, like historical records, are available at an extra charge
  • Health features no longer available

Why We Recommend It

AncestryDNA is one of the first companies to computerize family history. It has established the most extensive database, leading them to provide more accurate test results.1  

The company continually updates your results as they add more profiles or users to its database. It lets you discover something new about your heritage now and then. 

You’ll receive complete results about your ethnicity and other DNA matches. The AncestryDNA platform also allows connection between matches through the public family tree feature.

2. 23andMe Ancestry Service + Traits — Upgrade Pick

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  • Shows lots of details but is easy to comprehend
  • Non-members can enjoy most of their basic features
  • Your information is fully protected with their security and privacy measures
  • Includes fun elements like Traits and Neanderthal ancestry


  • No option to upload raw DNA data from other sources

Why We Recommend It

23andme is one of the leaders in the DNA testing industry—and for good reason. Their platform is easier to navigate, as well as their test results.

23andMe offers three types of DNA testing—autosomal, mitochondrial (mtDNA), and Y-DNA. From these, they can help trace your maternal and paternal haplogroups. 

Haplogroups are population of people sharing a common ancestor on either their paternal or maternal line. It’s based on similar mtDNA or Y-DNA passed on for many generations.

A female passes the same mtDNA to all her children, while a male passes the same Y-DNA only to his sons.

The kit also include a traits reports. It checks how your DNA affects your appearance and other characteristics you may have.

At KnowYourDNA, we love 23andMe due to its ease and relevant information. Read our review of 23andMe, learn what to do with your health results, or check it out on 23andMe.

3. MyHeritage — Budget Option

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  • Cheaper than other DNA test kits
  • One of the largest databases that cater to specific European populations 
  • Lets you upload raw DNA data from other companies to find matches in their database


  • No mtDNA and Y-DNA testing
  • Smaller database overall compared to other genetic testing companies
  • Significant features like family lineage and historical records need subscription

Why We Recommend It

MyHeritage offers one of the cheapest DNA self-test kits for determining your ancestry, possible family connections, and ethnicity. It uses cheek swabs for DNA collection.

The company, though, has a smaller DNA database (5.5 million) than more established companies like Ancestry and 23andMe.

Despite that, it still does have an impressive array of 15.7 billion historical records, which you can use to build your family tree.

Unfortunately, MyHeritage DNA only offers autosomal DNA testing. It doesn’t test for mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) and Y chromosomes (Y-DNA.) It can’t provide information about your maternal and paternal lines.

You may read our comprehensive MyHeritage DNA review here

Know Your DNA Reviews

Best DNA Kit

Don't miss out on the opportunity to learn more about yourself. Read our best DNA test page to find the best one for you.

Best At-Home DNA Kits For Health

1. 23andMe Health + Ancestry Service — Best Overall

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  • Some health reports are available only in 23andMe
  • Includes testing for carrier status 
  • Offers valuable and well-designed test results


  • DNA health screening doesn’t test for all genetic conditions
  • Smaller database than the leading company

Why We Recommend It

The 23andMe Health + Ancestry Service offers all the features of 23andMe Ancestry on top of DNA test for health. It's the best in terms of health screening among human DNA tests.

You can quickly get insights into your health and ancestry using a simple spit tube. 23andme is also the only FDA-approved DNA testing company.

The test results have several categories, including 

  • Health predispositions – Tells whether you have genetic health risks or health conditions you may be predisposed to
  • Carrier Status – Tells if you carry a gene variant that may lead to health conditions
  • Wellness – Looks into how your DNA may play a role in your well-being and lifestyle factors, like muscle composition, genetic weight, and so on

It can also check the link between your DNA and how your body may process different medications. It falls under the Pharmacogenetics reports.

2. Living DNA Wellbeing Kit — Budget Option

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  • Affordable
  • Offers health insight to your metabolic, dietary and fitness-related information
  • Allows uploading of raw DNA data from other platforms


  • Smaller database than the leading companies
  • Results may take up to 10 to 12 weeks

Why We Recommend It

Living DNA may be a newcomer in the DNA testing scene, having only been founded in 2016. But as an off-shoot of DNA Worldwide—a leading forensic testing company—it has much to offer. 

Its features include recent ancestry, migration maps, and patterns, etc.

Living DNA Wellbeing test kit costs $129 plus shipping. They’re one of the cheapest DNA kits on the market. You may read our full review of Living DNA here.

Best At-Home DNA Kits For Paternity Tests

1. DNA Direct Solutions — Best Overall 

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  • Affordable cost and already includes shipping fee
  • Offers other DNA relationship tests like sibling tests
  • Comes with clear and easy instructions
  • Widely available in all 50 states


  • Subpar packaging
  • Customer service is not available 24/7 

Why We Recommend It

This paternity test is touted for its accuracy. While competitors test for 16 genetic markers, DNA Direct looks for 22 markers.

Genetic markers are specific DNA sequences in a known location in the chromosome. A child and his biological father share genetic markers in every sequence of DNA. 

Many U.S. states require AABB accreditation for labs performing DNA and relationship testing. Aside from being AABB-accredited, DNA Direct is also ISO 17025-accredited.

It means they can generate competent and valid results per industry standards.

2. Paternity Depot — Budget Option

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  • Cheaper than competitors
  • Kit includes a legal form for the results to be court-admissible
  • Secure transactions


  • Doesn’t offer other biological DNA testing services
  • You’ll pay for the handling and shipping fee separately ($20)

Why We Recommend It

If you’re looking to determine your paternity (or of someone you know), Paternity Depot’s Paternity Test Kit is all you need.

It’s sold directly from a certified laboratory, making this an incredibly reliable paternity testing kit.

Their results are guaranteed and will be delivered in a week or less. This is a great way to determine paternity.

Best Products at a Glance

Cheap DNA Testing Kits for Ancestry

Comparison of DNA Ancestry Test KitsAncestryDNA23andMeMyHeritage DNA
Cost $99$99$49 for the first year then $79 per year
Type of DNA sample usedSaliva or cheek swabSaliva spitSaliva or cheek swab
Types of DNA TestingAutosomal DNAAutosomal DNA
Mitochondrial DNA
Autosomal DNA
Does it feature DNA matchingYesYesYes
How many regions are coveredOver 1,800 regionsOver 2,000 regions2,114 regions
Does it have family tree builderYesYesYes
Does it have health upgradeNoYes, but for an added costYes, but for an added cost
Does it offer traits reportNoYesNo
When will the results come outSix to eight weeksFour to six weeksThree to four weeks

DNA Testing for Paternity

Comparison of DNA Paternity TestDNA DirectPaternity Depot
Type of sample usedBuccal swabSaliva swab
When will the results come outAround two business daysApproximately seven to 10 business days

DNA Testing for Health

Comparison of DNA Tests for Health23andMe Health + Ancestry ServiceLiving DNA Wellbeing Kit
Type of sample usedSalivaMouth/cheek swab
When will the results come out3 to 5 weeks10 to 12 weeks

Tips and Tricks in Choosing a Reliable DNA Testing Company

You may find it challenging to find a cheap DNA kit with reliable results.  Here are a few tips on choosing the best DNA kit:

  • Check the type of DNA testing procedure — Go to a brand’s website and check what kind of DNA testing they’ll use to analyze your DNA sample. 
  • Read customer reviews — Read what people say about the company and their product. You’ll know whether it’s worth buying from them. 
  • Know their privacy policy — Your DNA data is sensitive information, so you should know how it’s being handled.

How We Picked The Best 

Our team made a list of criteria for picking the most affordable DNA tests.

  1. Price — We picked the products within the low to mid-price range. Besides, you can purchase most DNA test kits on our list with a one-time payment. 
  2. Test results — The companies in our list provide valuable and reliable test results. They also have considerable processing time. 
  3. Type of DNA testing — We chose brands that can give you comprehensive information about your DNA sample.
  4. Customer service — We looked for brands with more positive user reviews. We also consider the availability of their customer support.

Are At-Home DNA Tests Accurate? 

Yes. Most at-home DNA tests can give accurate results.

Regarding ancestry testing, the accuracy of your results depends on the size of the database. You will likely get more information about your heritage from companies with many users.

Meanwhile, most DNA paternity tests provide conclusive results. Paternity testing compares a child’s DNA profile with the alleged biological father’s.3

Whether taking an ancestry or relationship DNA test, you must consider the company’s reputation. It’ll help you achieve more precise outcomes.

Key Takeaways

It’s not difficult to understand why at-home genetic testing is huge nowadays. Ordering a kit is fast and convenient—you can do it in seconds. 

How much information a simple cheek swab can tell you is also fascinating. For instance, DNA Direct can confirm paternal relationships for an affordable price.

On the other hand, companies like AncestryDNA and 23andMe can track your ancestry and help you build a family tree.

Your raw DNA data goes into these companies’ databases. Even though most of them have tight security, taking your own privacy measures is still recommended.

After taking a DNA test, you can download a copy of your raw DNA data. Once done, you can delete your DNA data from their database. Most companies like AncestryDNA and 23andMe allow it.

Another thing to remember is the results from at-home DNA test kits should not replace a doctor’s visit. 

23andMe has added health tests to your DNA ancestry test. If the results show you are predisposed to a genetic condition, you should talk to a healthcare expert. 

They’ll guide you on how to diagnose and manage your health concerns.

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Updated on March 10, 2023
Cristine Santander
Cristine Santander
Content Contributor
Cristine Santander is a content writer for KnowYourDNA. She has a B.S. in Psychology and enjoys writing about health and wellness.
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