It can be confusing and complicated for those new to DNA testing to try to determine which DNA testing services are the best. To make the choice more difficult, there are a number of new services on the market that offer very specific types of reports that go beyond the ancestry and genealogy aspects to specialized health, diet, and fitness reports.
The two biggest and most widely used DNA testing services are 23andMe and My Heritage. These services provide comprehensive testing of over 600,000 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), which are the areas of difference between individuals. Both are also designed to allow you to find family members in their database and to provide ethnicity estimates as part of the report.
The Report Differences
While there are a lot of similarities in the information provided by 23andMe and MyHeritage, the differences are an important consideration. Individuals can choose to add a full genetic health report with 23andMe, while MyHeritage provides the option to use the data to develop a family tree.
MyHeritage offers a larger database, which increases the accuracy of the results (statistical probability) with a greater sample size. At the same time, hea has been in business longer as a DNA testing service, so they tend to have more resources around health information and specific data on genetics.
Sample Collection Considerations
Finally, there is a difference in how you submit samples for the two tests. MyHeritage uses a cheek swab collection method, which is easy and convenient. 23andMe required individuals to spit into a vial and submit the sample, which may be more difficult for some people.