23andMe vs AncestryDNA

by Mars

We had some money left over from a wedding anniversary activity that was called off as a result of bad weather so we took advantage of the festive season offers and purchased the 23andMe and AncestryDNA kits.

You may be wondering why we’re reviewing these kits on this site. Well, one of the key areas other than our DIY and sustainability adventures, is a healthy lifestyle. The kits are quite intriguing because they test you for genetic, hereditary illnesses and conditions.

For added context, we seldom eat out. Our diet is healthy, consisting of vast amounts of vegetables and grains, limited red meat and chicken, and which is also low in fat and no sugar.

That said, it will be interesting to find out what we’re susceptible to from a health perspective and the potential countermeasures we can take. These kits should help us paint a better picture about ourselves from a scientific perspective and will allow us to introduce new elements to our diet if required.

We ordered both kits on the same day, and 23andMe was first to arrive. These are our first impressions.


The kit is very slick from a marketing and design perspective.

When you open the package there’s a leaflet that walks you through registering online or via the app, and how to take your sample.

You get a plastic tube, that you need to fill with saliva, and it takes a few minutes to do this. They also advise you not to eat and drink for 30 minutes before taking the sample.

You then fill the sample with a chemical that’s provided and seal the tube. It goes into a pre-addressed box that you need to post. Simple enough.


A few days later we received the AncestryDNA kit. Opening the box, we had an instructional leaflet along with the sample tube.

Saliva collection amounts were very similar in volume, and as with the 23andMe kit you need to add a chemical to your tube to make it more stable before sealing it.

It also had an addressed return box which you pop in the post.

From a first impressions perspective there’s very little to chose between the two companies. 23andMe seem to be a bit quicker in terms of processing, but that’s about it at this early stage.

From an app and website user perspective, there’s also nothing to separate the two products at this point.


The real verdict will be in the results. 23andMe in particular should be very interesting because we purchased the health and ancestry service.

We will provide more information in future posts when we receive results and updates.

Updated on January 21, 2020
The results are in. Click here for the 23andMe review and here for the AncestryDNA review.

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