MyHeritage DNA Review: Was It Worth It?
Updated on April 16, 2024
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DNA Testing
MyHeritage DNA Review: Was It Worth It?

Our verdict: MyHeritage DNA, a genetic testing service, provides quick ancestry and ethnicity results for an affordable price.

If you’re looking to see where your ancestors came from, there’s a wide selection of DNA testing services. Each one promises highly accurate results, exciting new features, and in-depth looks into your ancestral background.

I recently tried MyHeritage to see how it compared to other popular DNA testing services like 23andMe and Ancestry.com. Here’s what I discovered.

It’s a great way to see where your ancestors came from. It also provides software to help you build your family tree and gives you access to other helpful tools for finding new relatives.

Sale: $39, down from $89

MyHeritage DNA Review: Was It Worth It? 9

MyHeritage Review Ratings

MyHeritage DNA Review: Was It Worth It? 10

Rating by Adam Andrewjeski

Reputation and Trustworthiness
Availability
Additional Resources
Accuracy
Privacy
Convenience
Cost

4.1
MyHeritage DNA Review: Was It Worth It? 11

Pros

  • Free Family Tree Builder desktop program
  • Great value for the price
  • Results come quickly–within three to four weeks

Cons

  • The accuracy of their Ethnicity Estimates is questionable
  • Gives too many DNA Matches for relatives

Where Can I Buy The Product? 

You can purchase a test kit from the MyHeritage website.

The site often has sales–sometimes more than 50% off–so you can get your MyHeritage test at a fraction of the cost with a bit of patience. 

MyHeritage DNA offers two options: a one-time purchase of the DNA test kit with basic features and a subscription package with additional premium features.

How Much Does The Product Cost?

MyHeritage DNA Kit Basic 

Cost: One-time payment of $89 + shipping

This includes basic ancestry data and ethnicity estimates, as well as access to the family tree builder, DNA matches, and DNA tools that can help you discover relatives and fill out your family tree. 

However, the Basic membership only allows you to build your family tree to up to 250 people. You’ll need to purchase a subscription to build your family tree larger than this, as well as access other advanced features.

Note that MyHeritage has a lot of sales, so be vigilant and you may be able to get it much cheaper.

MyHeritage DNA Kit + 30-Day Complete Subscription

Cost: One-time payment of $89 + shipping for the kit; the subscription costs $94/month for the first year and $189/month after that.

The subscription includes everything in the basic free package but also includes additional features and content, including:

  • Unlimited family tree size
  • Priority customer support
  • Full access to 19.4 billion historical records and family tree profiles, including birth, marriage, and death records from 48 countries
  • Tree Consistency Checker that checks for potential mistakes in your family tree and offers corrections

There are also four other subscription plans that offer varying access to the features above. These include: 

  • Premium – $79/year
  • PremiumPlus – $129/year
  • Data – $129/year 
  • Complete – $189/year

MyHeritage DNA Health 

Cost: One-time payment of $60 to upgrade once you’ve purchased a regular DNA test kit.

This unlocks the health testing service provided by MyHeritage. It offers personalized, easy-to-understand health reports alongside existing features of the Basic MyHeritage DNA membership.

With the Health test, users can discover how their genes may impact their health, including reports on single-gene and multiple-variant conditions, as well as carrier status reports for genetic diseases that can be inherited. 

The test covers a range of health conditions, from hereditary breast cancer and Alzheimer’s disease to heart disease and cystic fibrosis.

Fortunately, they’ll use your previous DNA sample to create your health reports, so you don’t have to send in a new one.

Sale: $39, down from $89

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How My Heritage DNA Works

MyHeritage DNA Review: Was It Worth It? 12

The whole process, from ordering to receiving your results, is fairly straightforward.

  1. Order your test kit – During the ordering process, you’ll create your personal account, where you can later view your results and explore the MyHeritage platform. 
  2. Collect a DNA sample – After placing your order, you should receive your test kit within four to seven business days. Once you receive your test kit, you can activate it online. Follow the directions in the kit to collect your DNA using the cheek swabs provided.
  3. Send your sample to the lab – Place it in the return envelope provided and make sure it’s properly sealed. You will need to pay for return postage. Depending on your post office’s rules and regulations, you might need to send it in a small package.
  4. Wait – It should take three to four weeks from when they receive your sample to get your results (I got mine nearly four weeks after I sent it out).
  5. View your results – When your results are ready, you’ll receive an email with a link to your account to see your Ethnicity Estimates and DNA matches and start building your family tree.

Inside MyHeritage Results

MyHeritage DNA Review: Was It Worth It? 13

Ethnicity Estimates 

Upon clicking the link in the email that says your results are ready, you’re taken to a landing page with a globe on it.

The page then begins listing your ethnicities from largest percentage to smallest. The percentage corresponds to the proportion of your DNA from each of these ethnicities.

As the page lists each ethnicity, the geographical region associated with the ethnicity is highlighted. Traditional music from that region/ethnicity also plays in the background. This was a nice touch and an interesting way to present your results. 

After the presentation, you can navigate to the home page to see your ethnicity estimates in more detail alongside an interactive map. I was eager to see how my ethnicity results would compare to my 23andMe results. 

MyHeritage DNA Review: Was It Worth It? 14

Source: 123rf

Interestingly, I received significantly different ethnicity estimates.

According to 23andMe, I’m 50% British, Irish, and 20% Scandinavian. According to MyHeritage DNA, on the other hand, I’m 66% Scandinavian and 20% British.

Another difference: MyHeritage DNA reported 7% Eastern European ancestry, while 23andMe did not report any ancestry results from that region. 

The MyHeritage website states, “although the result of sophisticated algorithms based on large amounts of data, is still an estimate.”

They also say that due to some ethnicities being genetically very similar, they are hard to tell apart, and “mistakes do happen.” Also, false positives can occur, especially if your Ethnicity Estimate is very low. 

Genetic Groups

MyHeritage DNA also tells you where your ancestors lived and where they moved. To do so, MyHeritage compares your DNA to over 2100 distinct genetic groups. Sometimes, it can even determine in what province, district, or region your ancestors are from.

For example, I come from a genetic group that lived in England, Scotland, and Ireland and eventually spread to Canada, Australia, the United States, and New Zealand. On the map, I could scroll along a timeline at the bottom to see where this group lived at different periods in time.

In addition to location and migration patterns, MyHeritage can also tell you the most common given names, surnames, and common ethnicities of your group and related groups that share similar parts of their DNA.

DNA Matching

Below your ethnicity estimates, you’ll find the DNA Matching section. Find DNA matches if any relatives–even distant relatives–have also had their DNA tested or analyzed with the MyHeritage platform.

When you use MyHeritage DNA, you can find people who are related to you due to the similarity in their DNA. This includes people who have also used MyHeritage DNA and those who have used other DNA testing kits. MyHeritage DNA allows people to upload their results from other DNA testing services to find even more relatives.

I chose to remain private and opted out of DNA Matching, so I didn’t get to see how many relatives their matching algorithm picked up. Some users have reported matching with fourth and fifth cousins, yielding hundreds or thousands of DNA matches.

You can choose to opt out of DNA Matching in your privacy settings.

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There were many aspects of MyHeritage that I liked and that differentiated itself from its competitors. However, there were a few key drawbacks that I hope MyHeritage addresses in the future.

Things I Like About My Heritage

1. The Family Tree software is a great feature–and it’s free

Using the Family Tree feature on the website, you can construct your family tree to up to 250 people.

You can invite other MyHeritage DNA members to collaborate and help you fill out the tree. You can even upload photos of family members; they have tools to add color and enhance the photos.

You can also download a free desktop version called the Family Tree Builder that provides more advanced features and allows you to add unlimited numbers of people to your tree.

2. You can import data from other DNA testing sites and export your results

If you’ve already taken a DNA test from another company, you can simply upload your results and start matching with relatives–for free. This is great as it expands the number of people you could potentially match with on MyHeritage.

You can also export your results from MyHeritage DNA if you want to upload them to another platform. 

3. It has a large user database

With over 100 million users, MyHeritage makes it more likely you’ll connect with relatives. It also makes it easier for you to build your family tree, as the site can compare your tree to other users’ trees and search for similarities.

3. They use a quick, simple cheek swab test

Other popular DNA testing services require you to fill a vial with saliva, which takes a surprisingly long time. With MyHeritage DNA, you just need to swab your cheek a couple of times for a few minutes, and you’re done. There’s no need to bite your tongue or think about sour foods to build up enough saliva.

Things I Don’t Like About My Heritage

1. The accuracy of the ethnicity estimates is questionable

Some parts of my Ethnicity Estimates seemed to contradict a previous DNA test I had done. Other users have reported similar discrepancies and puzzling results in their Ethnicity Estimates that do not match their family history.

Although they are only estimates, the variation in results does make me a little skeptical. 

2. They don’t include return postage

This was more than just a slight inconvenience. Instead of just dropping it off at the mailbox, I had to walk into the post office, have them weigh the postage to determine the shipping cost, and then pay for the postage. 

Most at-home DNA testing services pay for return postage, saving you time and money.

3. They provide too many DNA matches

While the DNA Matches feature is a cool way to discover relatives, it gives you way too many results. Users commonly report getting thousands of matches, some with people who share only 0.1% of their DNA. 

This seems excessive. It can also open you up to unwanted communications from distant relatives looking to fill out their family tree, as MyHeritage will share your email with your matches.

4. The Genetic Groups didn’t give me specific location data

With 23andMe, I was able to see the exact city and county my ancestors lived in. 

Although MyHeritage DNA states that they provide a similar level of detail in their Genetic Groups, I did not get this for any of my ethnicities. Instead, it only told me which country my ancestors came from.

Sale: $39, down from $89

MyHeritage vs. Top DNA Tests

MyHeritage DNAAncestry DNA23andMe
Size of DNA Database6.6 million22 million12 million
Export Raw DNA DataYesYesYes
Upload Raw DNA DataYesNoNo
Number of Regions Tested2100+1800+2000+
Access to Historical RecordsYesYesNo
Family Tree BuilderYesNoYes
DNA-Based Health ReportYesNoYes
Assess for Health RisksYesNoYes
Cost of DNA Testing$89$99 to $199$99 to $228
Privacy of DNA DataYesYesYes
Accuracy of Results>99%>99%>99%

MyHeritage vs. Ancestry DNA

Ancestry and MyHeritage both specialize in tracing your ethnic origins.

The two companies provide services so you can learn more about your family history and how your ancestors migrated across regions.

While Ancestry DNA has a larger database and can test your DNA against more regions, My Heritage has some good qualities, too.

For instance, My Heritage is great for people with a strong European heritage. Unlike Ancestry, it also lets you upload raw data from competitors.

You can read more in our AncestryDNA review.

MyHeritage vs. 23andMe

MyHeritage has a smaller database than 23andMe, with only 6.6 million users. But it has a few advantages, including:

  • Accurate ancestry results for people of European and Jewish descent
  • Access to resources–like historical and census records, family trees, and newspapers–so you can look up lost relatives and known ancestors
  • The ability to upload your raw data and find more potential relatives

However, MyHeritage DNA isn’t accurate for everyone. It also can’t provide you with in-depth results like 23andMe.

While it can test for your risks and carrier status for some genetic diseases, you have to purchase the service as an add-on to the ancestry test.

This service also doesn’t have clearance from the FDA to give you these health reports, unlike 23andMe’s offering.

You can find out more by reading our 23andMe review.

Is MyHeritage DNA Worth It?

MyHeritage DNA is great for people who want to learn more about their family history and ethnicity. Like other popular DNA testing services, it can also help you see how your unique genetic makeup affects your health.

MyHeritage DNA Review: Was It Worth It? 15

MyHeritage DNA is especially helpful for those looking to discover new relatives or create their family tree. Their Family Tree Builder software is exceptional for accomplishing the latter.

Overall, MyHeritage DNA is an affordable at-home DNA test that offers quick results and awesome tools to reveal your unique lineage.

You can order your own MyHeritage DNA test and begin unlocking your family history here

Sale: $39, down from $89

How We Evaluated MyHeritage DNA

We evaluate at-home DNA tests like MyHeritage based on seven criteria:

  1. Reputation and trustworthiness
  2. Available tests and reports
  3. Additional resources
  4. Accuracy of the DNA test
  5. How it protects your privacy
  6. Convenience of testing
  7. Cost and additional fees

1. Reputation & Trustworthiness

Our MyHeritage DNA Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

A reputable DNA testing company is transparent about the services it offers. Some important details that should be publicly available are:

  • The size of a company’s user database
  • The type of samples it collects
  • The type of tests it performs
  • What kind of results you’re getting

A reliable company also lives up to its claims. For example, if they say that your results will arrive in five weeks, it shouldn’t take longer.

We looked up DNA testing companies and what customers say about them to get a better feel of whether or not people trusted them.

The company is transparent about its testing process, the tests it offers, and the reports you will get with each test. The most common complaints are customers being charged for the subscription without being notified beforehand and customer support taking too long to respond. 

Despite these negatives, MyHeritage DNA remains one of the most trusted DNA testing companies.

2. Tests & Usefulness of Results

Our MyHeritage DNA Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Most DNA companies have a range of genetic tests. The type and depth of information they provide depend on the test and the provider.

Finding a useful test is subjective and entirely up to you. In general, you should buy a kit that gives you the results you’re looking for.

MyHeritage DNA is a good option if you want to learn more about your ancestry and build out your family tree. It can also help identify certain genetic health risks and traits.
While it gives you valuable insights into your genetic health risks, it doesn’t tell you what to do about them. You’ll have to take these results to a doctor or a genetic counselor who can offer professional advice and guidance on the next steps.

3. Support

Our MyHeritage DNA Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Apart from your test results, companies may provide access to features that will help you learn more about your ancestry, expand your family tree, and so on.

We took tests from different DNA testing services to see what features they offered and compared them with others.

MyHeritage DNA offers free Family Tree Builder software with many helpful features to build your family tree. They also give you tools to discover relatives. The company also lets you download your raw DNA. 

They also allow you to upload raw data from other testing services and provide access to historical records to help build your family tree. 

4. DNA Test Accuracy

Our MyHeritage DNA Rating: ⭐⭐⭐

Several factors affect the accuracy of DNA tests. Some of them include the: 

  • Testing method used
  • Laboratory where samples are analyzed
  • Size of a company’s database
  • Variety of reference panels
  • Number of regions tested

We found that the most accurate DNA tests have large databases, a greater variety of reference populations, and more regions to compare your results with.

MyHeritage has a much smaller DNA database than other popular DNA testing services, which could affect the accuracy of their results. 

Their lab is certified by the College of American Pathologists (CAP), the highest level of certification. They also use the industry standard in molecular testing to ensure the accuracy and reproducibility of their results. 

5. Privacy of Your Data

Our MyHeritage DNA Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Most private DNA tests comply with the latest data privacy standards. If there are changes in their privacy policies, they will let you know.

They’ll also give you full control over your data and always ask for your consent for its use.

MyHeritage takes the privacy of your data very seriously. They allow you to download or delete your data and account anytime. They also allow you to opt out of the DNA Matching program to ensure you stay private, decline consent for research, and manage your cookies.

MyHeritage routinely reviews and improves its security and privacy practices.

6. Convenience of the Testing Process

Our MyHeritage DNA Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

At-home tests are meant to be convenient. From the moment you buy a kit up until the moment you send your samples–the process should be easy.

The MyHeritage testing process is very convenient. You can order tests on the website using a wide range of payment methods.

The sample collection involves a quick cheek swab that only takes a couple of minutes to complete. 
The only inconvenience is that you have to pay for return postage. 

7. Cost & Additional Fees

Our MyHeritage DNA Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

The best DNA tests give you your money’s worth. They should be priced reasonably, depending on the reports they offer.

While features are sometimes hidden behind a paywall, they should still be affordable. 

You might also want to consider buying a test covered by your Health Savings Account (HSA) or Flexible Spendings Account (FSA).

MyHeritage has the most affordable test on the market, and it’s frequently on sale. You may be able to use your HSA, FSA, or HRA to pay for your MyHeritage test. 

Check MyHeritage Price

About The Company

MyHeritage DNA is an at-home genetic and ethnic background test that’s sent straight to your doorstep. 

It’s a part of MyHeritage, a large genealogy service that helps people find out about their family history and current relatives. Since 2003, over 100 million people have used MyHeritage DNA to learn more about their family history.

Using cutting-edge DNA analysis, the company can provide you with information about your ancestors and ethnicity composition. They can also perform DNA matches with relatives that share your DNA.

MyHeritage DNA also offers genetic health testing, which can give you insight into how your genes affect your health. It also has a feature that lets you know if you’re a carrier for certain inherited diseases.

You don’t have to worry about your data being stolen or leaked, as MyHeritage DNA uses multiple layers of encryption to protect it. Their DNA analysis lab is CAP-accredited, the highest credential level for labs in the United States.

MyHeritage DNA Review: Was It Worth It? 16

Why Trust Us

KnowYourDNA is dedicated to providing readers with reliable information on products that help them achieve their health goals.

We pick products based on:

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

Our in-house medical experts ensure the accuracy of our information.

Sale: $39, down from $89

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Updated on April 16, 2024
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Updated on April 16, 2024
Dr. Rizza Mira
Dr. Rizza Mira
Medical Reviewer
Dr. Rizza Mira is a medical doctor and a general practitioner who specializes in pediatrics, nutrition, dietetics, and public health.

As a pediatrician, she is dedicated to the general health and well-being of children and expecting parents. She believes that good nutrition, a healthy lifestyle, and prevention of illness are key to ensuring the health of children and their families.

When she’s not in the hospital, Rizza advocates and mobilizes causes like breastfeeding, vaccination drives, and initiatives to prevent illness in the community.
Will Hunter
Will Hunter
Content Contributor
Will is a content writer for KnowYourDNA. He received his B.A. in Psychology from the University of California, Los Angeles. Will has 7 years of experience writing health-related content, with an emphasis on nutrition, alternative medicine, and longevity.