The Cheapest DNA Tests for Ancestry & More (2024)
Updated on March 18, 2024
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The Cheapest DNA Tests for Ancestry & More (2024)
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Many affordable DNA tests can help you quickly discover your genetic makeup. Just because they don’t have a luxury price tag doesn’t mean they can’t get the job done—in fact, some of these cheaper options may suit your needs better than an expensive one.

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 specific purposes, like confirming biological connections or discovering your heritage.

Consumer brands like AncestryDNA, 23andMe, and other larger companies have the resources to provide worthwhile information for ancestry, health, and even establishing paternity. These tests are affordable and still deliver highly accurate results.

You don’t need to break the bank for actionable DNA insights at all.

Everything We Recommend

For Ancestry DNA Testing

For DNA Health Testing

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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 are 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.

Not only is it affordable, but its value for money is unmatched.

2. 23andMe Ancestry Service + Traits — Upgrade Pick

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  • Very detailed but still easy to understand and digest
  • 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—for good reason. Their platform is easier to navigate compared to others, 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 populations 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 includes a traits report. It checks how your DNA affects your appearance and other characteristics you may have.

At KnowYourDNA, we love 23andMe due to its ease of use and relevant information. Read our review of 23andMe, learn what to do with your health results, or check it out on 23andMe. The amount of data you get is well worth its price tag (which isn’t that hefty to begin with).

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 a 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 on 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 its 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 – Determines whether or not you have genetic health risks or health conditions you may be predisposed to
  • Carrier status – Determines 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 into 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, 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 the 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 that 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$119$39 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 out6 to 8 weeks4 to 6 weeks3 to 4 weeks

DNA Testing for Paternity

Comparison of DNA Paternity TestDNA DirectPaternity Depot
Type of sample usedBuccal swabSaliva swab
When will the results come outAround 2 business daysApproximately 7 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

Types of DNA Testing

Here are three of the most common DNA testing types for beginner-level DNA tests:

  • Autosomal – This is the most common type of DNA test for beginners, as it analyzes the 22 pairs of non-sex chromosomes for any abnormalities or mutations
  • mtDNA – This test looks at your mitochondria, opening up information about generations of women in your bloodline. This is because only biological women pass down their mitochondria. This is something both men and women can take.
  • Y-DNA – This is a test only biological males can take

Tips and Tricks to 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.

Watch our Podcast

The Cheapest DNA Tests for Ancestry & More
Know Your DNA Podcast

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 yield 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.

Remember that at-home DNA tests should not be done in place of a doctor’s visit. Always speak to a healthcare professional to learn more, especially if your test shows you may have some genetic predispositions.

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Source: 123rf

Are At-Home Tests More Reliable than Lab Tests?

Both are pretty reliable in general. It depends on your preference. If you prefer a more controlled environment, tests done in a lab may be the better option. If you prefer convenience, at-home tests are for you.

Is My Data Safe With DNA Testing Companies?

While DNA testing services do their best to keep your data private and safe, they acknowledge that not everything is foolproof. Some testing companies have suffered security breaches in the past, but they continue to beef up their privacy protocols to keep everything as airtight as possible.

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 provide our readers.

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Updated on March 18, 2024
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.