Which DNA test is right for me?


20 April 2021
Which DNA test should you choose? Find out which test is best for your family history needs with this comparison guide for ancestry DNA tests.

There's a choice of DNA tests and different things to consider. Autosomal DNA tests are the most useful for doing your family history and discovering unknown parentage.

Read on to find out top-five benefits of the most popular ancestry DNA tests. Each of the below companies offer autosomal DNA tests but each provides unique tools. Read on to compare and find out which test is best for you.

Content continues after advertisements

1. Ancestry DNA

  • Database size of 15M+, giving you lots of potential matches
  • A unique Thrulines feature that allows you to discover how you and a potential match might be related
  • Build an online Ancestry family tree or upload a Gedcom file
  • Message possible matches via Ancestry's messenger system
  • Regularly updated ethnicity estimates, including Genetic Communities ™, showing Ancestry DNA members who are connected via their DNA

Click here for a more in-depth guide to using Ancestry DNA.

2. MyHeritage DNA

  • Chromosome browser for comparing up to 7 matches at a time, plus triangulated segments
  • Simple cheek swab test method
  • 2000+ geographic regions
  • See how shared matches match with each other
  • Theory of Relativity Smart Match Autocluster tool to help you analyse your matches

Click here for a more in-depth guide to using MyHeritage DNA.

3. 23andMe

  • 10 million+ database
  • Ethnicity estimates include ancestry composition chromosome painting, a process that 'paints' your genome in different colours, to represent different ancestries
  • Link to your FamilySearch online family tree
  • Neandarthal DNA
  • 2,000+ global locations

Click here for an in-depth guide to using 23AndMe.

Love family history? Sign up for our free weekly email alerts for news, tips, record release round-ups and lots more!

4. Family Tree DNA

  • The world's most comprehensive DNA matching database
  • Simple cheek swab test method
  • Three different DNA tests available: Y-DNA (paternal ancestry), Family Finder (male and female) and mtDNA (maternal ancestry)
  • Explore 60+ world populations
  • Exclusive Family Matching system

Click here for a more in-depth guide to using Family Tree DNA.

(With thanks to DNA expert Michelle Leonard for comparison information, taken from her article here.)

More DNA advice and resources

Webinar Recording: DNA Absolute Beginners

Do you know very little about DNA but would like to change that? Get started on your DNA genealogy journey with this webinar recording presented by DNA expert Michelle Leonard, course tutor on our hugely popular DNA Bootcamps.

DNA Workbook

The DNA Bootcamp Workbook is a packed 52-page guide to help you learn more about DNA for family history and to put your new-found DNA knowledge into practice.

DNA Bootcamp

Equip yourself with the DNA know-how you need for family history. The DNA Bootcamp will help you gain a solid understanding of your DNA test results, DNA match lists and so much more.