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Definitive guide to how much a DNA kit should cost in 2022
Updated on September 15, 2022
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Definitive guide to how much a DNA kit should cost in 2022
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How Much is a DNA Kit?

Nowadays, you can get a DNA testing kit that offers DNA analysis for less than $200.

Times have changed. Only a few decades ago the costs of DNA testing were astronomical. But this is no longer the case. 

Nowadays, DNA test kits are affordable for most people. Whether you want to use a DNA testing kit to explore your health risks or learn more about your family tree, the process of DNA analysis is affordable and convenient. 

Keep in mind, a modern DNA testing service won’t sequence your genome. But these DNA test kits do provide a great deal of useful information.

New data and insights are being added every day. But we’ll likely never get the detailed information available from our at-home DNA testing services.

Despite the basic information provided by a modern DNA testing kit, we’re still further along than we were. DNA analysis is more accessible than ever before. DNA testing kits are available no matter your budget. 

Definitive guide to how much a DNA kit should cost in 2022 2

Expensive History of DNA Testing

DNA test kits have an expensive history. There was a time when at-home DNA testing was unimaginable. 

The Human Genome Project (HGP) was launched in 1990. This was a publicly-funded effort to sequence the entire human genome for the first time ever. 

The process took over a decade and cost more than 3 billion dollars. The ongoing results were provided to the public and built the foundation of modern genomics.

In 1998, Celera Corporation, began a similar project but spent only $300 million. Celera made good use of the publicly-available HGP data to accelerate the process and diminish costs.

Ten years later, the 1000 Genomes Project (1GP) explored human variation. They did this using the methods and expertise gained through the first incursions into the genome. 

Over the course of four years, from 2008 to 2012, the project sequenced the genomes of 1092 people from every corner of the globe.

These original ‘reference genomes’ are part of what allows the existence of new at-home DNA tests. The first DNA tests provided information about and access to our bodies that was one time deemed unimaginable. 

DNA Testing Brand Illumina Reduces the Cost

The first DNA testing service to offer affordable access to testing was Illumina Inc. 

In 2016, they developed a fast and easy DNA test kit to assess over 700,000 points in the human genome in one simple test. 

23andMe was one of Illumina’s earliest customers.

Before Illumina, the cost of a DNA test was mainly up to the processing lab. Now, with Illumina’s technology, labs can process DNA samples for around $100. 

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What is the Cheapest DNA Test for Learning about Your Family Tree?

Most people familiar with DNA analysis will tell you that Ancestry.com offers the cheapest DNA testing kit.

Most at-home DNA tests range from $60 to $200. You simply collect a saliva sample and submit your DNA test kit for genetic testing. The best DNA testing kits make genetic testing easy, affordable, and convenient. 

If the cost of Ancestry testing services is still prohibitive, submitting your DNA samples through your doctor reduces the cost. If you have reason to believe you have a genetic risk that warrants DNA testing, your doctor can collect your saliva sample and help you explore various DNA testing options.

Most commercial DNA test kits focus on ancestry and heritage (your family tree). Fewer have a testing process that consider health implications. 

Three of the most popular DNA testing kits that help you explore your family tree include:

DNA testing that evaluates health risks related to your family tree tend to be pricier. 

The two most widely used DNA testing services that offer information about genetic health risks are 23andMe and MyHeritage. Both Of these DNA tests cost around $200, but occasionally run sales.

If you’re looking for the cheapest DNA test or you want only basic DNA analysis information, Ancestry is a great option at only $60.  However, to get the most out of this DNA test kit, you’ll either need to subscribe to a costly, monthly fee or get creative.

Exploring Your Family History with a DNA Test

A cheap DNA test kit also helps you explore family history. 

You can start with a cheap DNA test and see what information it provides. These DNA test kits provide an initial string of information. If you think you want to learn or the test doesn’t confirm what you thought to be the case, there are other options for evaluating DNA samples.

If you’ve been curious about ancestors or you want to learn what about you relates to your family tree, a DNA test is a great way to learn more. 

This doesn’t mean a DNA test will reveal anything shocking or surprising. Your DNA sample might just confirm what you already suspected about your family tree. A DNA testing kit can confirm many things about you and your family.

However, a DNA test can provide information about distant relatives. If you’d like to dig into your family tree and explore your maternal and paternal lines, a DNA test is a great place to begin.

No matter what you do or do not know about your family, a DNA test can provide useful information.

Health Risks from a DNA Test

A DNA test kit can help you explore information about your health.

The information you get from DNA testing companies about your health risks gives you a reason to learn more about certain diseases that might concern you. You can make changes based on the results from your DNA testing.

Even cheap DNA testing kits offer a valuable gift: time to learn more about the issues that you face related to your health. Instead of being blind-sided once you’ve developed a health issue, you can be proactive about issues that are health risks for you. 

Keep in mind, you don’t want to overwhelm yourself with the information you learn about your health risks from your DNA sample and DNA testing. DNA testing kits reveal a lot, but this isn’t always a good thing.

Learning about genes, traits, and risks from DNA testing can be dangerous if you obsess over these issues. This is one of the reasons why it’s so important to work with a doctor. This is especially true if you are using one of the cheaper DNA testing companies for your test. 

Genetic health risks learned from DNA testing should not rule your life, but they can be a tool for making better decisions.

Can a Cheap DNA Test Still Provide Useful Information?

Yes, a cheap DNA test offers a lot of useful information. 

If you are on a budget and only able to afford a less expensive DNA test, there’s still plenty of information available. The cost of DNA testing isn’t always directly tied to the information you’ll receive.

Cheap DNA testing serves as a starting point. It gives you a foundation for investing more and exploring beyond what the initial test shows.

For example, if you are concerned you have a genetic predisposition for a specific disease, you can invest in a less-expensive DNA test to better understand your risk. This type of DNA test is a great starting point that provides genetic data you can discuss with your doctor.

It should not be your stopping point. If your genetic data reveals a risk, you can then explore that risk in detail with your doctor and better-quality testing. 

The information provided by cheap tests from DNA testing services offers a starting point for examining things like cancer risk or other health issues that have genetic markers, but these tests should not be your endpoint regarding health risks.

How to Get the Most Out of the Cheapest DNA Test

Nearly all the at-home DNA services test roughly the same amount of genetic information. This is due to the prevalence of Illumina-based DNA testing. The foundation of nearly all DNA testing is the same, but your results from a DNA test can vary. You’ll get approximately the same DNA analysis from all of the best DNA testing kits.

What each DNA testing company chooses to analyze varies and provides insight on your ancestry or health.

For example, the Ancestry DNA test kit ($60) provides you access to the raw DNA data to compile your heritage and ancestry report. The raw data from DNA samples includes many details found in the raw DNA data from 23andMe.

Your Raw Genetic Data from a DNA Test Provides Insight into a Variety of Things

Today, we can learn about family history, health risks and more, all from an affordable at-home DNA test kit. A DNA test provides insight into a lot of things you wouldn’t otherwise know about yourself.

A cheap DNA test is a tool to help you create a plan. 

And nowadays, DNA test kits are more affordable and available than ever. However, they shouldn’t be the only thing anyone should use to deal with your DNA samples. A DNA test is the foundation for exploration.  

DNA tests give you a starting point for exploring your genetic heritage in deeper detail. From your maternal and paternal lines to DNA test results that tell you something about your health, a DNA analysis reveals a lot.

If you want to stop your exploration after the initial information you receive from DNA testing companies, that’s fine. But if you learn something from your DNA test that raises a red flag or catches your interest, you can discuss the issue with your doctor. Testing kits, especially the best DNA testing kits, are a tool you can use to enhance your life. 

Whether you’re a person taking a DNA test to learn more about family trees or ancestries or you want to explore health risks and find ways to live a healthier life, DNA tests are a great place to begin.

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Cristine Santander
Cristine Santander
Content Contributor
Cristine Santander is a content writer for KnowYourDNA. She studied B.S. Psychology and enjoys writing about health and wellness.
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