Finder is committed to editorial independence. While we receive compensation when you click links to partners, they do not influence our opinions or reviews. Learn how we make money.

23andMe review

A DNA testing kit that helps you understand your ethnicity, pinpoint medical risks and find distant relatives.

Posted

Fact checked

23andMe boasts one of the most comprehensive health screening and genetic testing packages on the market. This DNA testing service can be helpful for people in pinpointing their risk for diseases like cancer and Alzheimer’s — particularly if you’re unclear about your family history.

But extensive analysis can lead to a lot of misinterpreted results — and the more info you want the more expensive it is — so check out various providers to help you decide on the best service and package for you.

23andMe 23andMe

23andMe

Get a breakdown of your global ancestry starting at $99

Last verified

What is 23andMe?

Launched in 2006, 23andMe is a US-based genetic testing company that was one of the earliest to offer DNA testing services online. Today, 23andMe ships its testing kits to more than 50 countries worldwide.

How does 23andMe work?

Similar to other DNA-tests, you can order a testing kit online directly from 23andMe for delivery to your home. Simply follow the instructions provided — you’ll need to either spit into a test tube or swab the inside of your cheek.

Once complete, ship your sample back to 23andMe in the same prepaid package. You can retrieve your results online within two to five weeks.

How much does 23andMe cost?

23andMe offers three different services at different prices:

  • Ancestry + Traits Service: $99. The lowest-tier DNA kit that offers a detailed ancestry breakdown with 80+ personalized reports that can identify origin from 2000+ geographic areas.
  • Health + Ancestry Service: $199. This kit includes an ancestry and traits service plus a health analysis to help you understand where to make lifestyle improvements that optimize your wellbeing. It includes 150+ FDA-authorized personal reports.
  • VIP Health + Ancestry Service: $499. An all-inclusive DNA testing kit that offers priority lab processing for quicker results, and one year of support with a trained expert who will personally review and interpret your test results with you.

Shipping costs can range from $9.95 to $24.95 depending on the type of shipping and delivery you choose. Transaction fees may also apply.

What features come with 23andMe?

Here’s what you can expect with a 23andMe kit:

  • Detailed testing and analysis. 23andMe meets the US Government’s Food and Drug Administration (FDA) criteria for scientific and clinical validity. Plus, it also claims to provide ancestry estimates that are accurate to the nearest 0.1%. To get such comprehensive results, 23andMe uses genotyping — a process of examining specific regions of your DNA for variations.
    The $99 test uses this data to pinpoint your ethnic makeup and estimate your predisposition to specific traits — like whether you like cilantro, for example. The $199 kit offers additional information related to your medical history. 23andMe further offers health reports to warn you of genetic risks for select diseases like cancer and if you carry other genetic conditions like cystic fibrosis.
  • Online reports. Your medical test reports and ancestry results will be available online on your 23andMe account. The best thing about these reports is that they’re accessible any time you want them.
  • Security and privacy. 23andMe doesn’t share your genetic information with law enforcement, employers or health insurance companies without your explicit permission.
  • Opportunities to reach out to distant relatives. Use 23andMe’s DNA Relatives tool to reach out and connect to other 23andMe members who could be related to you.
  • Paid VIP service. VIP members get access to two DNA testing kits, a priority results service and one-to-one walkthrough of your ancestry results.

Pros and cons

A few key benefits and drawbacks that could help you make a decision for using 23andMe are:

  • Simple process. The test is unintrusive. Only a cheek swab or small saliva sample is required to retrieve your ancestry and health information.
  • Wide reach. The company draws results from an extensive database of over 10 million people across 2,000 regions.
  • Detailed ancestry reports. They include a far-reaching breakdown of your ethnic makeup, possibly as far back as Neanderthal roots — 40,000 years ago or more.
  • Service complaints. Reviews state customer support can be lacking.
  • Results can be tricky to interpret. Such extensive analyses often requires genetic counseling, which only comes from the highest-tier package.
  • Cost. The highest-tier service is pricey, especially when you factor in extra shipping costs.

Compare 23andMe to other DNA test kits

DNA kitBest for …BrandEstimated priceWhere to buy
23andMe Health + Ancestry
A comprehensive review of your ancestry and health information
23andMe
$199
Tracing family heritage and connecting with unknown family members
AncestryDNA
$99
Helix DNA Discovery kit
A budget-friendly option that connects to an informative mobile app
Helix
$80
National Geographic Geno 2.0 DNA kit
A more complete review of your ancestral and regional DNA
Powered by Helix
$99
National Geographic Helix Amazon
ORIG3N Fitness + Nutrition bundle
Discovering health and fitness traits to help you make better lifestyle choices
ORIG3N
$298
Silverberry Genomix Comprehensive Wellness Report
Examining specific health, wellness and fitness markers
Silverberry
$199
Silverberry Amazon
DNA Fingerprint Plus
An in-depth analysis of the 18 ethnic markers and which you fit into
DNA Consultants
$279
A cost-effective service that offers detailed ancestry and well-being reports.
Living DNA
$49
  • Living DNA

Bottom Line

23andMe boasts one of the most complete ancestry test systems on the market. It could be a viable option for those whose family lineage is unclear, and for those looking for answers on how to improve their health. But packages get pricier with the more information you seek, and results can be difficult to interpret.

When it comes to learning about your ancestry, shop around for different providers to see which one offers the best DNA analysis for you.

More guides on finder

Ask an Expert

You are about to post a question on finder.com:

  • Do not enter personal information (eg. surname, phone number, bank details) as your question will be made public
  • finder.com is a financial comparison and information service, not a bank or product provider
  • We cannot provide you with personal advice or recommendations
  • Your answer might already be waiting – check previous questions below to see if yours has already been asked

Finder.com provides guides and information on a range of products and services. Because our content is not financial advice, we suggest talking with a professional before you make any decision.

By submitting your comment or question, you agree to our Privacy and Cookies Policy and finder.com Terms of Use.

Questions and responses on finder.com are not provided, paid for or otherwise endorsed by any bank or brand. These banks and brands are not responsible for ensuring that comments are answered or accurate.
Go to site