Home DNA testing kits give you information about your genetic makeup. You can use your test results to locate relatives, discover health information, or learn more about your family history.

With plenty of choices available, it’s important to select a company that offers exactly what you want, whether your goal is to determine food sensitivities or find family members.

Genetic testing services such as 23andMe and Color are popular options for people who want to learn more about how their genetics influence various aspects of health.

Read on to learn more about genetic testing, how 23andMe and Color compare, and alternative options.

A genetic or DNA test is a type of test that provides details related to your DNA sequence. Doctor-administered DNA testing is for medical purposes while home DNA tests provide health data in addition to genetic traits and ancestry information.

Doctors use medical genetic testing to determine changes in genes, chromosomes, or proteins, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The test may indicate your likelihood of having, developing, or passing on certain health conditions. In some cases, they can help determine the best way to treat a health condition.

Home DNA testing kits can provide health-related information, offer insights into your ancestry, and give you the option to connect with people who share your DNA makeup. Each company provides slightly different data, and inaccuracies are possible.

For most at-home genetic tests, you order a testing kit from the company’s website.

The company will send you a package that contains all the information, instructions, and materials you need for the test. You will collect a sample of saliva or a swab from the inside of your cheek and mail your sample to the company.

The company will extract the DNA from your sample and provide you with the results. Usually, it takes a few weeks to receive them. Some companies provide access to genealogists or genetic counselors so that you can better interpret your data.

A physician must order all Color tests. You can use your primary care physician or opt for an independent physician from an outside network to order your test. The physician will contact you if they have any questions, and they will receive a copy of your results.


23andMeColor
Company overview Founded in 2006, 23andMe is a personal genomics and biotechnology company. The company offers genetic testing and data analysis that helps people learn about their ancestry, DNA makeup, and health. Founded in 2015, Color is a health technology company that provides genetic testing through employers and healthcare professionals. The data reveals how your body processes medications and your risk for hereditary cancer and heart conditions.
Tests offered Ancestry + Traits
With this kit, you’ll receive more than 80 reports detailing your ancestry percentages in more than 2,000 geographic areas. The test also reveals data about your traits and physical features. You have the option to connect with people who share a DNA match.

Health + Ancestry
This package includes all of the features of the Ancestry + Traits option, plus data related to your traits, wellness, and predisposition for certain health conditions. You can also learn whether are a carrier for specific health conditions.
Standard
This test is available only through employers and healthcare professionals. It tests for the 10 most actionable genes that are essential for public health and genes connected to how your body processes medications.

Extended
The extended test analyzes 74 genes to determine your risk for common hereditary cancers, hereditary heart conditions, and medication response. This test is for people who want to learn about their genes and health or have a personal or family history of the included health conditions.

Hereditary Cancer
This test strictly provides information related to your risk of hereditary cancer. It analyzes 30 genes linked to 8 common hereditary cancers.
Prices Ancestry + Traits: $99
Health + Ancestry: $199
Extended: $249
Hereditary Cancer: $234
How to read the resultsYou can use any device to view your online results, which include web-based interactive tools. After you receive your results, you make free calls to a genetic counselor. These consultations can help you to gain a deeper understanding of your results.

If neither 23andMe nor Color matches your needs, you have several other options.

In general, it’s best to select a large company, since they will have the biggest database. This may provide more in-depth results and connect you to more people.

You may also wish to test with several companies, since the results may vary. It’s important to note that sample size impacts accuracy and availability of results, so information may be less accurate for some groups.

Most companies charge around $60 to $200 for basic DNA testing and offer options for upgrades. Here are a few companies to consider.

AncestryDNA

Featuring the largest database of any DNA testing company, AncestryDNA provides ethnicity data linked to regions and helps you to find relatives. Since the company doesn’t provide health data, it is ideal for people with an interest in genealogy.

Helix

This company analyzes your genes to provide ethnicity and geographic origin information. You can also find relatives, create a family tree, and research records. Helix also allows you to see how your genes affect everything from the way you shop to potential food sensitivities.

EverlyWell

EverlyWell offers genetic insights related to allergies, hormone levels, and food sensitivities. You may use this information to influence diet and exercise choices.

Living DNA

Living DNA provides DNA analysis related to your ethnicity and heritage, especially in the British Isles. The company does not provide medical information.

FamilyTreeDNA

FamilyTreeDNA offers a basic test and more in-depth tests, and it can help you to find relatives. This testing service is ideal for genealogists, since the company provides the most comprehensive genetic information.

Home DNA testing kits are an easy way to find out more about your genetic makeup related to your ancestry and regional heritage.

Genetic test results can reveal how likely you are to develop certain health conditions, types of cancer, or heart diseases. You can also discover how your body processes certain medications and reacts to different foods.

Color and 23andMe are two options for home DNA tests. Both companies provide health insights, and 23andMe also offers ancestry and traits data. Decide which area of DNA testing is most important or interesting to you and select a company that matches your needs.

Talk with your doctor before you use a DNA test for health purposes, especially if you have any serious concerns.