How Does a Home DNA Test Work?

Have you been wondering whether home DNA testing is right for you? If so, knowing what to expect can be helpful. Home DNA tests (otherwise known as direct to consumer or direct to home DNA tests) allow you to trace your lineage back to its roots. With these tests, you’ll be able to find out who your ancestors are, discover your hidden genetic traits, and much more.

Home DNA tests are often extremely accurate and allow you to unearth a treasure trove of information about yourself and your ancestral family line.

Direct to home DNA testing kits are very easy to use. The testing process involves choosing a test kit, taking a DNA sample (usually a saliva swab), and allowing a professional lab to examine your sample and assess your DNA results. Below, we will go over the entire process step-by-step. Here are the best DNA test kits: 23andMe, MyHeritage, AncestryDNA, and FamilyTreeDNA.

Step 1: Select and Order a DNA Test

Choosing the right DNA testing kit for your needs might just be the hardest step in the DNA testing process. This is because there are so many impressive direct to consumer home DNA testing options on the market today and they all yield slightly different information. Most direct to home DNA testing companies offer different test kit packages.

Before you order a test, you’ll want to think about which test is best for your specific intentions. It’s wise to review all of the information provided from these companies to help you determine which DNA testing services are best for you.

After you choose the company you like best, just set up an account and order the test kit you like the most. Some top DNA test services include 23andMe, AncestryDNA, and MyHeritage.

Step 2: Collect and Mail Your DNA Sample

Once you’ve ordered your home DNA kit, it will likely arrive in the mail within a week or two. Then, you will simply open up your test kit and follow the included set of DNA sample collection instructions.

All direct to home DNA test kits have simple to follow instructions, so getting a DNA sample isn’t all that hard. With essentially every home DNA test, you’ll gather a spit sample in one way or another.

Some testing kits only need you to take a quick cheek swab. Other tests will require you to spit into a vial for about half an hour until it’s full of saliva. No matter which type of test you’ve chosen, follow the instructions and everything should be fine. After you’re done, you’ll just mail your sample back in a pre-paid postage box.

Step 3: Receive and Review Your DNA Test Results

After you’ve mailed back your DNA sample, you will just have to wait for your results to come back. Your DNA sample will be reviewed in a laboratory by experts who will compare your unique genetic markers against an extensive DNA database.

You’ll then be able to read your results online from the company you tested with. Different companies use different DNA databases, so the larger the database is, the more information you can find.

Testing results can reveal many different things. Most DNA test companies have you create an account that will have information on how you can read your results. You’ll get search tools, genetic maps, and other helpful DNA resources. With your genetic results, you can then find potential relatives, trace your family history, and much more.

Wrapping Things Up

After setting up an account and ordering a test with the company of your choice, you just have to collect your spit sample. Then, you’ll simply mail it back and wait for your results. It’s really that simple!

Let’s review:

  • Select the DNA testing service you like best.
  • Create an online account.
  • Pick out the home testing kit that works best for your needs.
  • Order your test kit and wait for it to get mailed out to you.
  • Open your kit and follow the instructions to collect a saliva sample.
  • Mail back your pre-paid postage DNA sample kit.
  • Wait for your results to show up in your account online.
  • Read your results and learn about your genetics.
  • Bonus: use the wealth of available online resources and tools to discover even more about yourself and your family!

Finding the Best DNA Test: What’s the best DNA testing kit for you?

When it comes down to choosing the right DNA test for your needs, there are a ton of great DNA testing kits out there. There are two industry leaders, AncestryDNA vs 23andMe, they have the most in-depth DNA testing kit options.

Both testing kits let you uncover an extensive amount of information about yourself and your genetics. They’re both great choices, depending on what you want to uncover. Essentially, the test you pick out will hinge on what you’re looking to learn about.

Ancestry DNA testing kits offer you an incredibly in-depth look at your heritage, family tree, lineage, and even the migration path of your ancestors. Ancestry DNA also gives you a look at some of your genetic traits.

Alternatively, 23andMe home DNA tests let you get an in-depth look at your genetic makeup, identify certain genetic markers, find out which health risks you are most prone to, and a whole lot more. Like AncestryDNA, 23andMe also offers an ancestry test that lets you trace your lineage and find potential relative matches.

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