How Much do DNA Tests Cost?

In the neverending quest of self discovery there is one element of ourselves that is very unique and can tell us a whole lot about who we are. This element is the very DNA that makes us who we are and it can tell us a surprising amount.

In this post we are going to take a look at all the types of consumer DNA testing, what they can teach us and how much we can expect to pay.

History of DNA Testing

It was in the early 1900s that scientists first discovered the concept of blood typing. They realized that there were 4 different blood types: A, AB, B, and O. We all have our own blood type and we know today that it can be important to know what type that is.

A couple of decades later in the 1920s scientists eventually realized that we inherited our blood types from our parents. This meant that blood typing could on occasion be used to determine parentage to at least a limited degree of accuracy.

There were other advancements in the understanding of our genetic uniqueness over the following decades such as serological testing and HLA testing. It wasn’t until the mid 1980s however that a reliable form of DNA testing was developed.

With a newfound ability to read our complicated DNA came the added bonus of being able to determine things such as parentage if there was an issue of doubt. In the four decades since DNA testing was created the science has come a long way and today we have a whole host of consumer DNA testing options.

DNA Testing for Genealogy Purposes

The first and to date only DNA test I have taken was in search of my family history. Way back in 2012 I became fascinated to understand my family history but had a few issues not least of which was the fact I had no contact with my paternal family.

So I decided to take an AncestryDNA test several years ago to help me better understand who I am and the people I came from. At the time if I recall correctly it cost around $99 but I felt it was worth the money so I went ahead.

Weeks later after receiving the test kit and sending it back I got my results including the ethnicity report. I don’t know what I was expecting as a Shropshire lad born and raised near the Welsh borders but it indicated I am pretty much British.

The thing that really interested me was the DNA matches which at the time I had about 200 fourth cousins or closer. I could see a list of names, I could see some of their trees and was even able to determine how I might be related to some of them.

Taking the test has helped me so much in understanding my family history on both my paternal and maternal sides. I do not regret my decision in the least bit and have on occasion considered testing with other sites to see if I can find other new cousins.

How Much Do Genealogy Based DNA Tests Cost?

There are a range of DNA testing companies that offer various different products with some testing specific types of DNA. In the table below I will list the top companies, what they offer and the current price as of June 2022.

Company Available Tests and Costs
AncestryDNA Basic Autosomal DNA test $99 + shipping
MyHeritage Basic Autosomal DNA test $89 + shipping
LivingDNA Basic Autosomal DNA Test $99 + shippingWellbeing Kit for Health $129 + shippingWellbeing and Ancestry $149 + shipping
23andMe Ancestry and Traits test $99 + shippingHealth and Ancestry $199 + shippingHealth & Ancestry $228 + shippingW 1 year membership
FamilyTreeDNA Ancestry test $79 +shippingAncestry and Health $119 + shippingmtDNA (maternal) test $159 + shippingY-37 (paternal) test $119 + shippingY-111 (paternal) test $249 + shippingBig Y-700 (paternal) test $449 + shipping

It should be noted that these are the full prices for each product but these sites will often have seasonal discount deals.

There are a wide range of tests available; some test different types of DNA, for example FamilyTreeDNA who now offer autosomal DNA tests like the others but have offered Y-DNA and mitochondrial DNA for a long time.

DNA Testing for Health

There are specific tests which are used to look for potential health risk factors based on our DNA. They can show things such as genetic muscle composition, risk factors for diabetes and a whole health of other health estimates.

As the table in the section above shows, companies such as 23andMe, LivingDNA and FamilyTreeDNA all offer DNA health tests. The price ranges from between $119 - $199 and sometimes might include the genealogy analysis as well.

There are other companies out there who specialize in just the health aspect of the DNA, some who are a little cheaper while others cost more. It is best to do your research as to which may be best for you and also to make sure the company is reputable.

DNA Tests for Paternity

This is a test that can be life changing in many ways but if you find yourself in a situation where you need to answer a paternity issue there are tests you can buy. You might imagine these tests would be insanely expensive but actually this is not the case.

Essentially speaking two test kits from AncestryDNA would answer the question of paternity as if you are someone’s parent you should match them as such if you both took the test. This obviously could take weeks or even months to get the results so it’s probably not the best option.

There are however a wide range of consumer tests that you can buy ranging between $100 - $200. As with all DNA tests it’s a good idea to do your research to find good value and a reputable company. This kind of testing can be emotionally stressful so you need to find a quality test and company to ease the stress as much as possible.

Conclusion

There are a whole host of consumer DNA tests on the market for a wide range of purposes. Depending on what aspects of DNA you are looking into the prices can vary. As with all things in life we have options so shop around to find the best fit for your budget and needs.

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