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Which DNA Test Is The Most Accurate?
Updated on May 15, 2023
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DNA Testing
Which DNA Test Is The Most Accurate?

Our Verdict: There's no one-size-fits-all DNA test that can accurately reveal every detail about your genetic makeup. It really depends on what information you're looking for.

With plenty of genetic tests in the market, we've listed the most accurate DNA tests based on the insights you may need.

When it comes to unraveling your ethnic and ancestral roots, AncestryDNA is the best DNA test kit for the job.

However, if you want to explore your genetic risk factors and family history, 23andMe Health + Ancestry is your go-to choice.

Other DNA tests that earned a spot on our list of most accurate DNA test kits are LivingDNA and MyHeritage. They both offer unique insights into your genetics.

Why Trust Us

Speaking from experience, I’ve been testing DNA kits for the last seven years. I've been trying out every DNA test on the market, comparing results, and monitoring the changes over time. 

As an organization, we at KnowYourDNA are committed to helping you get the most accurate information about your ancestry, health risks, and other genetic traits.

We only choose at-home kits that meet the DNA testing industry's standards and provide reliable testing methods.

Our in-house medical experts meticulously review our articles before publication to ensure their accuracy.

Which DNA Test Is The Most Accurate? 7

Everything We Recommend

Best DNA Tests of 2023

Best DNA Test KitsAncestry DNA23andMeLiving DNAMy Heritage
Size of DNA Database22 million12 millionUnknown6.6 million
Number of Tested Regions1,800+2,000+150+2,100+
DNA Testing MethodAutosomal testY-DNA, mtDNA, and autosomal testY-DNA, mtDNA, and autosomal testAutosomal test
Ancestry ReportYesYesYesYes
Health Risks ReportNoYesYesNo
Carrier Status ReportNoYesNoNo
Health Traits ReportNoYesYesNo
Cost of Genetic Testing$99 to $199$99 to $228$99 to $179$89

Below, we take a closer look at the best DNA tests for ancestry, health, genealogy, and your budget:

AncestryDNA — Best DNA Test for Ancestry

Which DNA Test Is The Most Accurate? 8

Ancestry is the largest DNA testing company with over 22 million users. It matches your DNA with people from 1,800+ regions.

What I Like About Ancestry DNA

  • Gives you the best chances of tracing ancestors and finding possible relatives
  • Reveals how your genes influence your nutrition and physical performance
  • Lets you download and delete your raw DNA data, addressing privacy concerns

What I Don’t Like About Ancestry DNA

  • Most features are hidden behind a pricey paywall, costing $49.99 per month
  • Doesn't assess genetic health risks inherited from your family
  • Lacks the option to upload raw DNA data from other testing services

Why We Recommend It

AncestryDNA provides comprehensive reports on your ancestry and ethnicity estimates from your maternal and paternal lines.

For instance, I learned that I share 27% of my DNA with Norwegians and that my most recent ancestors may have come from Norway and five other communities.

Ancestry also provides access to billions of historical records and digital copies of old newspapers—so you can look into your family history.

You can read more in my AncestryDNA review.

Cost of Ancestry DNA

Price: Starts at $99 for the kit; $21.99 per month for a subscription.

Ancestry DNA TestAncestryDNA + Family Tree PackageAncestryDNA Traits + All Access Package
Ethnicity Reports
Ancestral Origins
DNA Matches
Traits Report
World Explorer Membership
Fold3 Records Publisher Extra

By signing up for their packages, you’ll get three-month subscriptions to services that will help with your research. Here’s what you’ll be able to access: 

  • World Explorer Membership – Ancestry’s U.S. and international records
  • Fold3 – Millions of global military records
  • Subscription – Over 8 billion global articles 

When your initial membership expires, you can continue with your subscriptions by choosing from one of three packages:

SubscriptionU.S. DiscoveryWorld ExplorerAll Access
Cost Per Month$21.99 to $24.99$32.99 to $39.99$49.99 to $59.99
U.S. Records
International Records Subscription
Fold3 Records


AncestryDNA provides you with incredibly detailed ancestry reports informed by test results from 1,800 regions. It has the biggest database, making it a precise way to learn more about your genealogy and background.

It does have a pricey subscription model, and many features are hidden behind a $49 paywall. It also doesn't give you the option to upload raw DNA data from other services.

Still, it's the best one for us as it provides the most detail and bang for your buck.

23andMe — Best DNA Test For Health

Which DNA Test Is The Most Accurate? 9

23andMe is the second largest DNA testing service, with over 12 million users. It compares your DNA with people from 2,000+ regions.

What I Like About 23andMe

  • Easy-to-understand reports with vibrant graphics like maps and graphs
  • Affordable annual membership offers access to the latest reports and features
  • Allows you to download and delete your raw data for privacy concerns

What I Don’t Like About 23andMe

  • Has a smaller DNA database, which may limit your chances of finding DNA matches
  • Only tests for specific genes instead of all the genetic variants found in your DNA
  • Doesn't allow the uploading of genetic data from other DNA testing companies

Why We Recommend It

23andMe delivers 50+ reports on genes associated with health and wellness, including your genetic predisposition or risk for certain health conditions.

You'll uncover various genetic traits that affect your well-being and how your body processes specific medications.

The 23andMe Health + Ancestry test also evaluates your carrier status for diseases you could potentially pass on to future offspring.

For those looking to find relatives and learn about their ancestry and other traits, 23andMe offers an array of DNA kits to choose from.

Here is my 23andMe review.

Cost of 23andMe

Price: Starts at $99 for the kit; $29 for a one-year paid membership.

23andMe Ancestry23andMe Health + Ancestry23andMe+ Membership
Total Reports80+150+180+
Ancestry Report
Traits Report
Health Report
Carrier Status Report
Wellness Report
Family Health History Report
Pharmacogenetics Report

You automatically get a one-year membership if you get 23andMe Plus. Once your membership expires, you can renew it for $29 per year.


23andme has the second-largest database on this list, making it a comprehensive DNA test as well. It provides you with over 50 different reports ranging from health and genetic predispositions to even how your body responds to some common medications.

It doesn't allow you to upload raw DNA data from other services either, however.

Still, its easy-to-understand reports are more than worth the $99 starting price tag.

LivingDNA — Best Budget DNA Test

Which DNA Test Is The Most Accurate? 10

Living DNA is a UK-based genetic testing company that offers unique ancestry tests and well-being kits.

What I Like About Living DNA

  • Detailed ancestry results for those with ancestors from Africa, Europe, Ireland, and the British Isles
  • Analyzes genes crucial to your health, such as digestion and nutrient absorption
  • Allows downloading and deleting your raw data and supports uploading data from other DNA services

What I Don’t Like About Living DNA

  • Lacks transparency regarding the size of its user database
  • May not be as precise if your ancestors are from outside the 150 tested regions
  • Tests for only two health risks: lactose intolerance and celiac disease

Why We Recommend It

LivingDNA presents separate ancestry reports for your maternal and paternal lines, including maps of their migration routes.

Besides testing for traits important to your current health, LivingDNA offers health advice and access to personalized vitamins tailored to your needs.

For example, my report indicates that I have genetic markers affecting my vitamin D absorption and enhancing my recovery and oxygen flow.

According to LivingDNA, I might benefit from engaging in intense physical activities and consuming a custom blend of vitamins.

You can read more in my LivingDNA review.

Cost of LivingDNA

Price: Starts at $99 for the kit; No subscription fees.

LivingDNA Ancestry KitLivingDNA Wellness KitLivingDNA Wellbeing and Ancestry Kit
Full Ancestry Reports
Deep Ancestry Reports
Full Wellbeing ReportsUpgradable

LivingDNA doesn’t charge for a subscription. Customers who purchase their ancestry kits will receive ongoing updates on ancestry.

However, you do have to pay for shipping costs which are not included.


LivingDNA specializes in reports for those with ancestors in the UK, Africa, and Europe. It may not be as precise for anyone outside of those regions, however, and it also has been criticized for not being fully transparent about the size of its database.

Still, its unique reports and recommendations around personalized vitamins may make it a solid choice for anyone in the aforementioned regions.

MyHeritage — Best DNA Test for Genealogy

Which DNA Test Is The Most Accurate? 11

MyHeritage is one of the biggest DNA companies with about 6.6 million users in its database. It matches your DNA with people from 2,100+ regions.

What I Like About My Heritage

  • Delivers accurate ancestry DNA test results if you're predominantly of European descent
  • Offers more affordable access to historical records compared to AncestryDNA
  • Allows downloading and deleting your genetic data or uploading DNA data from other testing services

What I Don’t Like About My Heritage

  • The saliva sample collection process can be confusing—requires removing plastic arms from the swabs
  • Lacks in-depth reports about the specific regions your family originates from
  • May not provide accurate results for some people

Why We Recommend It

A majority of MyHeritage's users and historical records are from Europe. So if your family history traces back to this continent, MyHeritage is an excellent choice.

But it’s even better for genealogy—which includes building your family tree and finding lost relatives. Here is our My Heritage review if you want to learn more.

By uploading raw DNA data from services like Ancestry or 23andMe, MyHeritage can help you discover even more potential relatives.

Your DNA test results will display the percentage of DNA you share with a possible relative, giving you an idea of the type of relationship you may have, such as being cousins.

Cost of MyHeritage

Price: Starts at $89 for the kit; $94 for the first year subscription.

MyHeritage DNA KitMyHeritage DNA Kit + 30 Day Trial
Ancestry Report
Find Relatives
Family History
Family Tree Builder
Historical Records

MyHeritage only offers one test for $89. But if you opt for the free trial, you’d be able to access all of its services for 30 days at no additional cost.

When your free trial expires, you’ll be charged $94 for the first year. A membership with MyHeritage typically costs $189 per year.

Which DNA Test Is The Most Accurate? 12


MyHeritage specializes in providing reports for people of European descent. It can still give you a lot of information even if you don't have any European ancestry, but it may not be as accurate. It does, however, give you access to historical records at an affordable price.

Accuracy of At-Home DNA Tests

At-home DNA tests are not as accurate as medical genetic tests. The accuracy of these tests also depends on the information they provide.

However, they can still offer valuable insights into your ancestry and health.

Accuracy of Ancestry Tests

Ancestry tests are accurate for finding close relatives, such as parents or siblings. But they aren't as precise when it comes to distant relatives.

You can improve their accuracy by having more family members take the same test from the same genetic testing company.

When determining your ancestral origins, they can’t really tell you where your ancestors came from. They only estimate where you likely came from based on how much DNA you share with a certain group of people.

At most, ancestry reports can lead you in the right direction if you’re researching your family history or trying to find relatives—so you’ll know where to look.

Accuracy of DNA Health Tests

At-home genetic health tests can lead to false positives. So you shouldn’t rely on them to diagnose health conditions or identify genetic risks and carrier status. 

But you can take your health reports to a doctor or genetic counselor. They can use your results to determine if you (or your family) need medical genetic testing.

These health professionals can explain your test results and tell you:

  • What they mean about your health
  • How they affect the health of your child and/or family
  • What you can do about these genetic risks


Tests carried out in labs and facilities will almost always be more accurate than at-home DNA tests. At-home tests, while limited, can still be useful at tracing genealogy and providing you with a starting point if you're trying to pinpoint any genetic health information.

Always seek further guidance and interpretation from a medical professional before taking action based on an at-home DNA test.

How We Picked The Most Accurate DNA Tests

We evaluated DNA testing companies based on these criteria:

  • DNA database — number of DNA profiles stored by the company
  • Regions tested — number of places it compares your DNA results with
  • Testing method — if it performs autosomal, Y-DNA, or mtDNA tests

These criteria helped our team narrow down the most accurate DNA tests.

Size of DNA Database

Companies with more DNA test takers have larger databases to compare your DNA with. A larger pool of test takers increases your odds of finding a genetic match.

Genetic matches are people you share DNA with. They’re genetically related to or have common ancestors with you.

A large database improves the accuracy and reach of people trying to investigate their ancestry or find distant relatives and lost family members.

Regions Tested

To explore your family’s origins, companies must also compare your DNA sample with the genetic makeup of people from different ethnic backgrounds.

Native inhabitants of a region tend to have similar phenotypes or observable traits, like height and blood type.1

Having similar DNA with a group of people means you share common ancestors. 

We looked for DNA testing kits that test you against more populations and geographic regions because they tend to provide better results.

Companies like AncestryDNA cover many places worldwide—which is great if you have no idea where your family originated.

But if you know your family background, you can settle for companies that focus on populations from specific geographic regions.

For instance, MyHeritage and LivingDNA are both good options for people who have ancestors from Europe and nearby regions.

Testing Methods Used

Most at-home DNA tests perform DNA analysis in three ways:

  • Y-chromosome (Y-DNA) test tracks the paternal line in men
  • Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) test traces the maternal line
  • An autosomal DNA test traces maternal and paternal lines

Y-DNA and mtDNA testing are useful for genetic genealogy. This includes tracing your ancestors, finding missing relatives, and building family trees.

Unlike autosomal tests, mtDNA tests give you more in-depth information on your mother’s side of the family (matrilineal ancestry).

When combined with autosomal DNA testing, an mtDNA test can accurately determine if someone is related to you through your matriline.

Y-DNA tests provide deeper insight into your father’s side (patrilineal ancestry)—but only if you’re a man. So they aren’t much use for women.

The best DNA testing kits perform autosomal DNA tests because they check for genes that you inherited from both parents—regardless of your gender.2

By testing for certain genetic markers, an autosomal test can:

  • Match you with people you may be related to
  • Provide ethnicity estimates of your ancestors’ origins
  • Assess your genetic predisposition to certain diseases
  • Identify genetic disorders your children might inherit

Autosomal tests also tell you how your unique genetic makeup influences your physical appearance, personality, behavior, and health.

More Things To Consider When Choosing DNA Tests

Accuracy is not the only measure of a reliable DNA testing company. Before deciding, you should consider other things, such as:

1. What Information You Want From A DNA Test

Companies usually offer at-home DNA testing kits for health, ethnicity, ancestry, and traits. You should order a test that gives you the specific results you’re looking for.

If you're more interested in uncovering your family roots and heritage, you should get a test that looks into your ancestral and ethnic origins. 

But if you want to learn more about your health, a DNA health test is your best choice. Most available kits can assess your health risks and carrier status.

However, some kits test for genetic traits that affect your health, like metabolism, nutrition, and sensitivity to certain foods.

Keep in mind that your genes only partly influence your health. External factors like diet and lifestyle can still affect your overall health and wellness.

2. Access to Raw Data

Go for companies that let you download your raw data. This allows you to better protect the privacy of your genetic information.

You can also upload this data to other DNA testing services. It can help you find more DNA matches and expand your family tree.

3. Testing Cost & Additional Fees

Before buying a test, consider the cost of genetic testing and if you’re willing to pay for them. This includes any fees you have to get more services.

Features that may require extra fees include health reports, creating or building larger family trees, and gaining access to public historical records.

4. Connecting with Potential Family

It’s useless if you can’t connect with your DNA matches. A testing company should offer ways to contact potential relatives and family members.

A good company must also protect your privacy. You must have the choice to opt out of genetic matching services and hide personal information like your name.

5. Actionable Health Report

Discovering how genes affect your health is crucial to DNA health testing. But so is knowing what you can do about these results.

Pick a test that offers actionable insights, such as tips for reducing your genetic health risks and improving your overall health.

6. Privacy of Your DNA Information

It's important that you read the privacy policy before buying a DNA testing kit, especially when considering potential law enforcement implications.

Ideally, you should pick a company that stores your genetic data, personal information, and DNA samples in ways you're comfortable with, including their policies regarding sharing data with law enforcement.

Some DNA companies may hold on to samples unless you ask them to be destroyed. Others destroy them as soon as they're done analyzing your DNA. 

It’s essential that you figure out which company’s policies work best for you.

Why Accurate DNA Testing Is Important

Genetic tests reveal information that can affect your next steps. An accurate DNA test ensures you’re headed in the right direction.

Let’s say you underwent ancestry DNA testing.

With the right results, you’ll be able to look into the historical records of places where your ancestors likely came from—and successfully build a family tree. 

But if your reports are inaccurate, they can throw off your research. This can prevent you from uncovering your true genetic ancestry.

Another example is if you took a DNA test to see which diseases you’re at risk for. You need accurate results to be able to do something about them.

If your results are inaccurate, you might not make the right dietary changes or lifestyle choices needed to lower your health risks and improve your health.

Updated on May 15, 2023
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2 sources cited
Updated on May 15, 2023
  1. "Race: A genetic melting-pot." Nature.

  2. "Genetic Ancestry Testing What Is It and Why Is It Important?" National Center for Biotechnology Information.

Dr. Dhingra
Dr. Harshi Dhingra
Medical Reviewer
Dr Harshi Dhingra is a licensed medical doctor with a specialization in Pathology. Dr. Dhingra has of over a decade in diagnostic, clinical, research and teaching work, including managing all sections of Pathology laboratory including histopathology, cytology, hematology and clinical Pathology.
Joel Hirsch
Joel Hirsch
Content Contributor
Joel Hirsch is a health enthusiast and gym rat with a degree in Health Sciences. He spends his time writing about products that help people reach their health goals.
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