23andMe vs. Ancestry DNA

Both 23andMe and AncestryDNA are well-known at-home DNA tests that can provide information about a person’s ancestry and ethnic composition. 

23andMe was one of the first companies to offer DNA testing to individual customers individually. The autosomal DNA is primarily what the test focuses on. 

In addition to providing details about your health, characteristics, and ancestors, it can also reveal information about your ethnic background. 

AncestryDNA is a relatively new company that presented its first consumer DNA test in 2012. Their test also looks at the DNA from mitochondria and your Y chromosome. 

Let’s look at the differences between these two to determine which one is more suitable for you.

What is 23andMe

23andMe is a DNA testing service that offers customers access to genetic makeup and family tree information. The company’s goal is to educate people about their own genetic code and how it interacts with their health in a meaningful way. 

Customers can place an order for a kit on the 23andMe website and then send in a saliva sample to be analyzed in the company’s labs. 

After that, the customer receives an email with the test results, which they can also view online. 

In addition, 23andMe can provide information about ancestry and data related to health, such as reports on whether or not a person is a carrier of certain diseases. 

People interested in making educated decisions about their health and ancestry can find this information to be of great assistance.

What is Ancestry DNA

Ancestry DNA is a website that helps you learn about your family’s history and ethnic background. 

The website provides users with information about their ancestors and the regions from which they originated by having them complete a straightforward DNA test. 

It also makes it possible for users to communicate with other members of their family who have also taken the test, which makes it much simpler to track down and get in touch with relatives. 

Discovering your family’s past and the ethnic makeup of your ancestors can be a lot of fun when you use AncestryDNA.com. 

Because of its straightforward design and user-friendly features, it is an excellent resource for anyone interested in learning more about their family history.

How do the two services compare

Pricing and other considerations

If you are interested in learning more about your family’s history, you may wonder which DNA testing service is the best option. 

Both 23andMe and AncestryDNA are extremely popular options; however, how do they stack up against one another? Naturally, the cost should be one of the primary considerations. 

Both 23andMe and AncestryDNA currently price their ancestry tests at $99 each. 23andMe’s test can be purchased for $99. 

An additional health screening test can be purchased from 23andMe for $199, whereas AncestryDNA does not offer such a test. 

It is essential to keep in mind that 23andMe is one of the only direct-to-consumer DNA tests that offer this service. 

Although the price of the health screening test offered by 23andMe may be prohibitive for some individuals, it is essential to keep in mind that the company is one of the only such tests.

Which service is more accurate

The testing procedure used by 23andMe is known for being extremely thorough. SNP chips, which stand for single nucleotide polymorphism chips, are what the company employs to test for more than 600,000 different genetic markers. 

This indicates that their tests can produce precise and comprehensive results. However, some professionals believe that this also suggests that the results provided by 23andMe are not as reliable as those offered by other companies. 

AncestryDNA uses a testing method known as Y-chromosome DNA testing (which is passed down from father to son). 

The family tree you provide for one of these tests can be traced back to your great-grandparents. 

Because of this, the tests offered by AncestryDNA are not as comprehensive as those provided by 23andMe; however, they are more trustworthy.

Which service has more features

Both services provide their users with a wide variety of options, but they are important distinctions. For example, AncestryDNA emphasizes ethnicity and genealogy, whereas 23andMe is more concerned with health and wellness. 

An additional benefit of using 23andMe includes genetic trait reports, carrier status reports, and chromosomal browsers, which are absent from AncestryDNA. 

AncestryDNA provides access to a more extensive DNA database, which can assist individuals who are researching their family tree or looking for distant relatives. 

Your particular requirements and pursuits will determine the DNA testing service that is most suitable for you. 

23andMe is an excellent option to consider if you are more interested in learning about your health and genetics. AncestryDNA is an option to consider; however, researching your family tree is more of a priority for you.

What you can learn from your DNA test results

Your complete ancestry down to the smallest detail

You can find things like the regions your ancestors lived in, what they did for a living, and what their DNA says about your health. You can also learn about your ancient ancestors and how they migrated worldwide.

Your risk for specific diseases

Some DNA tests can tell you if you have an increased risk for certain diseases. For example, the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes are linked to an increased risk for breast cancer. If you have these genes, you may want to talk to your doctor about ways to reduce your risk.

Your carrier status for certain diseases

A carrier is someone who has one copy of a mutated gene that can cause disease. If you’re a disease carrier, it doesn’t mean you will get the disease. But it does mean you could pass the mutated gene to your children.

How much DNA do you have in common with distant relatives?

You might be surprised to find out how many distant cousins you have. DNA tests can also help you find out if you’re related to anyone famous. This feature is only available on some DNA tests, so check before buying.

Your genetic ethnicity

Your DNA test results can tell you what percentage of your DNA comes from different world regions. This information can be helpful if you’re trying to trace your ancestry. You can also learn more about your family’s history and culture.

Your risk for certain traits

Some DNA tests can tell you if you have an increased risk for specific traits, such as baldness or blue eyes. Many of these traits are determined by multiple genes, so your DNA test results may not be definitive. But they can give you a good idea of what to expect.

What the results mean for your health

Your DNA test results can provide valuable information about your health. For example, they can tell you if you’re at increased risk for certain diseases. They can also help you make informed decisions about your health, such as taking a particular medication.

What the results mean for your family

Your DNA test results can tell you about your ancestors and their origins. They can also help you find distant relatives who share your DNA. This information can be helpful if you’re trying to trace your family tree or learn more about your family’s history.

How to choose the right DNA test kit

When selecting a DNA test kit, it is essential to keep a few things in mind. First, think about what you hope to gain from the test. 

Next, look for a kit that provides all the different types of DNA testing if you are interested in your health and your family’s history. 

Find a kit that has a large database of people who have taken the test and done family history research if your primary interest is in tracing your ancestry. 

Second, you should consider how much cash you are willing to invest in the examination. The cost of a DNA test can vary significantly from lab to lab. 

Third, give some thought to the amount of time you are willing to invest in the procedure. 

For specific DNA tests, you will be required to provide a sample of your saliva, while for others, you will be required to provide a sample of your blood. 

Why DNA testing is becoming more popular

DNA testing is becoming more popular for a variety of reasons. First, the price of DNA tests has dropped significantly in recent years, making them more affordable for a broader range of people.

Second, the accuracy of DNA tests has also increased, thanks to advances in technology. 

Finally, people are becoming more aware of the potential benefits of DNA testing, such as learning about one’s ancestry or identifying potential health risks. 

As a result, it’s no surprise that DNA testing companies like 23andMe and AncestryDNA have seen a surge in popularity in recent years. 

DNA testing can provide valuable information about your health, ancestry, and family history. However, if you’re considering a DNA test, choosing a suitable kit and reading the fine print is essential.

Frequently Asked Questions

How does genetic genealogy work?

DNA is like a blueprint for your body. It’s made up of long strands of molecules called genes, containing instructions for how your body should look and function. 

Your parents each pass down half of their DNA to you, so you inherit genes from both sides of your family. As a result, geneticists can determine which parts of your DNA are most similar to other people by looking at your DNA. 

This can be used to trace your ancestry and Identify relatives you didn’t know you had. It’s also possible to use your DNA to learn about your risk for certain diseases and traits.

Which company should I choose for my DNA test?

If you’re mainly interested in learning about your family history, then Ancestry DNA is the better option. Ancestry DNA also offers more detailed reports, including information on specific regions of the world your ancestors came from. 

On the other hand, if you’re concerned about health, 23andMe is better. The company offers comprehensive genetic health screening and how to reduce your risks. 

23andMe also tests for a broader range of conditions than Ancestry DNA. So, if you’re looking for a comprehensive DNA testing service, 23andMe is the better option.

What are the benefits of genetic genealogy?

There are many benefits of genetic genealogy. It can help you find long-lost relatives, learn about your family history, and even determine your ethnic identity. 

If you’re adopted or don’t know much about your family history, DNA testing can be valuable to learn more about your roots. 

Additionally, genetic genealogy can be used to verify family stories and traditions. For example, if you’ve always been told that you have Native American ancestry, a DNA test can confirm whether or not this is true. 


Now that you know more about 23andMe vs. Ancestry DNA, it’s time to decide which company is right for you. If you’re mainly interested in family history, then Ancestry DNA is the better option. 

However, if you’re concerned about your health risks, 23andMe is better. Whichever company you choose, read the fine print before you buy. 

And remember, DNA testing is just one tool to learn about your family history. There’s no substitute for good old-fashioned research!

bryan rucker
Written by Brian Jackson

Brian is an expert in genealogy and family history tracing. He has traced his own family history for several generations and continues to trace as far back as he can. He writes guides to share his experience. Read more of Brian's articles.