MyHeritage vs. Ancestry DNA

Can’t decide between MyHeritage and Ancestry DNA for DNA testing? Here’s how to decide:If you want to learn about your genetic ancestry in depth and connect with potential relatives through the largest DNA database then you should order a DNA testing kit from DNA Ancestry.

If you want genetic test results fast (within 3-4 weeks) and/or the most extensive DNA health screening test on the market, you should order a DNA testing kit from MyHeritage. If you want genetic test results fast (within 3-4 weeks) and/or the most extensive DNA health screening test on the market, you should order a DNA testing kit from MyHeritage.

Below, we will go over the key differences worth considering for the DNA testing offered by these two companies.

Key FeatureMyHeritageDNA Ancestry
Size of Database2.5 million15 million
Tests OfferedMyHeritage Autosomal DNA test, MyHeritage DNA Health+Ancestry testAncestryDNA Autosomal DNA Test, AncestryHealth
Price$79 - $199 (Sometimes up to 50% off)$99 - $149
Finding RelativesReveals DNA matches with potential relativesL database of 2.5 million - paid subscription requiredWorld’s largest online resource for connecting with potential relatives; database of 15 million - no paid subscription required
Health ScreeningOffers health screening that includes 27 personalized health reports for genetic risks and carrier status along with physician oversight and genetic counselingRecently launched brand new AncestryHealth DNA kit with genetic health and wellness reports, guidance and resources, and family health history tool

Check out our guide on the Best DNA Test.

MyHeritage vs. Ancestry DNA: Size of Database Review

When it comes to DNA testing, the bigger the database of the company you order a DNA testing kit from, the better. Having a larger database of people’s DNA is helpful because once you send in a sample of your DNA, genetic testing companies compare your DNA to all of the other DNA samples stored in their database using extensive software algorithms.

If there is more DNA in the database for the software to “match up” to yours, there are two main benefits you’d receive:

More accurate ethnicity estimates

DNA testing software creates ethnicity estimates by comparing your DNA to the DNA of people who are living in and have families who have lived in certain regions for a long time. The closer your DNA matches the DNA of these individuals, the higher the percentage you have ancestors from this region and thus you are estimated to be a certain percentage of that particular ethnicity.

You will find more potential relatives

We discuss this in further detail below. In short, if a database has more DNA in it then you will by default connect with more potential relatives, since there is more DNA for genetic software to match to yours.

MyHeritage Database

MyHeritage has a database size of 2.5 million people and breaks the world into 42 ethnic regions. While they use up to date technology and are continually upgrading their software to deliver the most accurate results possible, the size of the database is significantly smaller than other DNA testing companies and thus your ethnicity estimate will be less accurate and the number of relatives you can find will be less than it can be.

Ancestry DNA Database

AncestryDNA has the world’s largest DNA database, recently reaching 15 million samples. With over 150 ethnic regions to test for, you can expect a detailed and accurate overview of exactly where your ancestors came from and what percentage of each ethnicity you are. In terms of finding relatives, this is the best DNA test to go with due to the size of the database.

Size of Database Winner: Ancestry DNA

MyHeritage vs. Ancestry DNA: Tests Offered Review

When trying to decide which DNA testing kit to order, a big factor to consider is what tests each company offers. Depending on exactly what kind of information you are trying to learn about from your DNA, you might need to consider ordering a kit that has a certain kind of test.

As MyHeritage and AncestryDNA are two of the largest DNA testing companies in the world, both of them offer tests that come with several extensive reports that tell you all you need to know about your genetic ancestry and even personal health if you opt for the upgraded health kit.

Tests Offered by MyHeritage

MyHeritage offers two DNA tests, both of which we will go over below.

MyHeritage Autosomal DNA Test for Ancestry

The MyHeritage Autosomal DNA Test for Ancestry is the standard test offered by MyHeritage which is an autosomal DNA test that uses software algorithms to test your DNA and compares it to other DNA samples in their database. This allows them to provide you with a percentage-based ethnicity breakdown, which shows exactly what percentage of each ethnicity from 42 ethnic regions around the world you are. This will tell you where your ancestors came from and what percentage of your DNA originated from each of these different regions.

Unfortunately, beyond this raw data, MyHeritage does not provide you with extensive details about what might have caused your ancestors to migrate to or from a particular region.

In addition to this, you will be shown potential relatives whose genetic sequences match yours. While this does come with a free family tree building software that you and your family can use to build a family tree with details and photos of each family member, this feature does fall short compared to other DNA testing services due to the fact that there are simply not as many potential matches to be found on MyHeritage as their database has far fewer samples of DNA.

For example, if you were to find 200 matches of potential relatives on MyHeritage, you would find 3000+ matches on AncestryDNA.

If you opt to pay the monthly subscription of $11.87/month you will receive several upgrades, including:

  • View not only your family tree but also the family trees and pedigree charts of your matches
  • View not only the relatives that matched your DNA but also the relatives that you and one of your matches share in common
  • View which regions you and one of your DNA matches have common ancestors
  • View the places where the most ancestral events occurred for both sides of your DNA match

MyHeritage Health

While for quite some time 23andMe was the only DNA testing service that offered health screening, MyHeritage Health is MyHeritage’s take on health screening and they have even gone above and beyond what 23andMe offers.

MyHeritage Health includes everything that comes with MyHeritage DNA for Ancestry along with:

  • Personalized, detailed health reports
  • Genetic risk reports for the development of conditions such as cancer and heart disease
  • Carrier report on which genetic diseases you are a carrier of and might pass on to your children
  • Genetic counseling and physician oversight

Keep in mind that this test is meant to determine your genetic risk and is not a conclusive summary of the entirety of your health. We discuss this health screening in more detail below.

Tests Offered by Ancestry DNA

AncestryDNA currently offers two tests: the AncestryDNA test that comes with an optional traits upgrade and the newly released AncestryHealth test. Since AncestryHealth has just recently been released there is still a limited amount of information and reviews available, however, it does seem extremely promising and might easily become one of the best DNA health screening options available.

AncestryDNA Test

The classic AncestryDNA test by Ancestry DNA includes:

  • Details and facts about your origins and ethnicity
  • Connects you with DNA matches (potential relatives) with an elaborate family tree feature
  • Geographical and historical insights about your family’s history
  • You can also upgrade to receive a personal traits report for $20. This report will break down details regarding 26 common trait characteristics and compare these traits with your DNA matches.

With the largest DNA database available on the market, Ancestry DNA is by far the best test to use if your goal is to learn extensive knowledge about your ethnicity and family origins, connecting with relatives, and learning geographical insights about your ancestors. This is because since Ancestry DNA has access to more DNA in their database than any other company, they can match your DNA to more people and more accurately predict what geographic regions your ancestors originated from.

The AncestryDNA test also will break down your ethnicity into percentages for over 500 possible regions (all the way down to individual cities) in an interactive color-coded map. If you click a region it will tell you that particular region’s DNA ethnicity range (the percent of times your DNA matched other samples from that region).

Another cool feature of testing with AncestryDNA is the fact that unlike MyHeritage, AncestryDNA will provide you with information regarding historical changes and events curated by experts on some of the regions that your DNA might have originated from. This will allow you to learn and gain deeper insight into the historical movement of your ancestors and potentially why they chose to move to and from wherever they did.

Lastly, one of the best parts of submitting a DNA sample to AncestryDNA is for DNA matching. Since AncestryDNA has the largest DNA database with an interactive family tree feature that links to millions of other family trees, you can match with more potential relatives than you could with any other DNA testing company. As long as your matches have the right privacy settings, you can contact any one of them and open up a dialogue. Additionally, if you upgrade to the Ancestry + Traits test for an extra $20 you can compare your 26 traits to your matches.

AncestryHealth Test

The AncestryHealth test by Ancestry DNA comes with everything that is included in the AncestryDNA test as well as:

  • Personalized health reports with insights into actions you should take to optimize your health
  • Tool for tracking your family’s health history
  • Genetic counseling resources

AncestryHealth takes information about your genetics from your DNA and produces easy-to-understand detailed health reports that tell you everything you need to know about your results and what some of the best next steps are that you can take, such as reaching out to a healthcare provider.

You will receive detailed reports for health conditions in the following areas:

  • Cancer Risk (breast & ovarian, lynch syndrome)
  • Heart and Blood Health (hereditary thrombophilia, cardiomyopathy, hereditary hemochromatosis, familial hypercholesterolemia)
  • Carrier Status and Wellness (cystic fibrosis, Tay-Sachs disease, sickle cell anemia)

Also, AncestryHealth features wellness report which will give details such as:

  • How your DNA affects your levels of omega 3 and vitamin C/D/E/B12
  • Your genetic likelihood of developing lifestyle conditions such as lactose intolerance, the effects of caffeine consumption, etc.
  • Tips for staying healthy and adopting healthier habits such as dieting and exercise

While these health and wellness reports will tell you about potential health risks and other helpful information, you will also gain access to guidance and resources that can help you get in contact with a healthcare provider and access genetic counseling resources.

Another great tool that is included with AncestryHealth is the family history health tool. This tool will allow you to compare your health risk reports to others in your family tree.

You can learn more about this new AncestryHealth feature on their website at https://www.ancestry.com/health.

Tests Offered Winner: Ancestry DNA

MyHeritage vs. Ancestry DNA: Price Review

Both MyHeritage and AncestryDNA are priced competitively compared to other DNA testing companies and offer great value for the price.

Tier 1:

MyHeritage DNA Test for Ancestry – $79 – Currently on Sale for $49 on their website

Ancestry DNA AncestryDNA Test – $99 (add traits for extra $20)

Tier 2:

MyHeritage Health DNA Test – $199 – Currently on Sale for $99 on their website

Ancestry DNA AncestryHealth – $149

Subscription packages:

MyHeritage – $9.17-10.95/month

Ancestry DNA – $19-$45/month

So MyHeritage is less expensive for the standard DNA testing kit but does not include as much in it as Ancestry DNA. Similarly, Ancestry DNA is less expensive for the DNA + Health testing kit but does not include as much as MyHeritage.

Due to the fact that MyHeritage comes out to slightly less overall and offers up to 50% sales off in addition to this, they are definitely the less expensive option.

Price Winner: MyHeritage

** If you have Amazon Prime you can save on shipping. **

MyHeritage vs. Ancestry DNA: Finding Relatives Review

One of the biggest reasons people like to get their DNA tested is to connect with new relatives that they didn’t know they have. While both MyHeritage and AncestryDNA include DNA matching with their standard DNA testing kits, there are some differences to consider that ultimately make AncestryDNA the superior option for this feature.

With both platforms, you can contact any one of your matches as long as they have allowed it in their privacy settings. Also, you can view an online family tree that is built using your DNA results.

MyHeritage DNA Matching

When it comes to finding relatives, MyHeritage will not only show you a list of individuals who have DNA that matches yours but also offers a service that allows you to find lost relatives using their MyHeritage Research feature. By combining information from over 1,400 genealogy databases, this function allows you to:

  • Find missing relatives
  • Find living relatives
  • Find deceased relatives
  • Find adopted relatives

And the best part? MyHeritage Research is 100% free to use. All you need is a person’s name, year of birth, place of birth or residence, and some keywords. Keep in mind, however, that their DNA would need to be in MyHeritage’s database for them to provide you with data.

So, how does MyHeritage go about matching you up with relatives?

MyHeritage uses an algorithm that scans other family trees, comparing your autosomal DNA test results to members of these trees to find potential family relationships you might have with them. For every match, there will be three genetic parameters:

  1. Shared DNA: This indicates the percentage of your DNA that overlaps with someone else who submitted their DNA sample
  2. Length of the shared DNA: This is expressed in centiMorgans (cM).
  3. The length of the largest segment of shared DNA that you have with a match. This is what MyHeritage uses to identify the likelihood of a genetic relationship. The larger this shared segment is, the higher the possibility that you are related.

It’s always good to see that a company makes improvements when needed, and MyHeritage did exactly this to improve their DNA Matching in January 2018. After a series of improvements, users received about 10x more genetic matches, matches became more accurate and more specific, the match navigation became easier and more efficient, and users were given the option to increase how many matches are displayed on each page and go to a specific page if they want to.

You can read more about this major update here.

Chromosome Browser

Another tool that MyHeritage offers that is helpful for those interested in finding relatives is called a “chromosome browser.” This browser allows you to compare your DNA signature to your genetic matches manually and see shared DNA segments. Also, instead of only being able to compare your DNA to one match at a time like most companies, with MyHeritage you are able to compare your DNA with up to 7 DNA matches all at once.

Similarly to how they passed an update to improve their DNA matching, MyHeritage passed an update at the end of March 2018 which added three significant improvements to the chromosome browser as well. These updates included:

  1. Made it easier for the user to reference a set of matches that they were comparing their DNA to by docking the match card of each match at the top of the page as you scroll down.
  2. Added functionality that allows you to review or contact your DNA matches straight from within the chromosome browser.
  3. Added triangulated DNA segments that show DNA segments you share with two other people which makes it very likely that they were inherited from a common ancestor.

Learn more about how to use Chromosome Browsers for Genealogy here

More recently in February 2019, MyHeritage introduced the Theory of Family Relativity feature which gives users reliable theories about their genetic lineage and different paths established between ancestors. This software uses information from family trees, historical records, and individual DNA from the MyHeritage database to generate these reliable theories.

Ancestry DNA DNA Matching

Even though MyHeritage has many cool features and tools to work with for connecting with relatives, Ancestry DNA is going to be the best DNA testing company to use for this purpose due to the fact that they have the most DNA samples in their database: 15 million compared to only 2.5 million from MyHeritage. Put simply, the more DNA samples a company has, the more matches you will end up receiving.

Also, since many DNA Ancestry users use the platform specifically to find relatives, you’ll have a better chance of getting in contact with potential matches through the platform.

Ancestry DNA Family Tree Feature

One of the best parts of finding relatives on Ancestry DNA is using their elaborate family tree feature which makes it easy to build a family tree and connect with relatives. These trees are made up of DNA matches and DNA circles.

DNA matches are people with whom you share the same DNA. Ancestry DNA will list out these matches along with your relationship level with each match. With every match, you can click to see their relatives or send them a message.

A DNA circle is formed between you and two or more of your matches when all of you share a similar ancestor. This gives you a broader view of your family’s history and allows you to trace your family history back hundreds of years.

Ancestry DNA also makes it very easy to navigate up and down family trees: simply click left to go down or click right to go up.

One downside to the Ancestry DNA family tree feature is that it does require a $19.99/month subscription charge to use the entirety of the available features.

So although MyHeritage has several great tools for connecting with relatives for no additional charge, Ancestry DNA is the better option for this simply due to them having a much larger database of DNA samples for you to match with.

Finding Relatives Winner: Ancestry DNA

MyHeritage vs. Ancestry DNA: Health Screening Review

Health screening from DNA tests has recently grown in popularity, and both MyHeritage and Ancestry DNA have decided to jump on the bandwagon and offer their own version of health screening.

MyHeritage Health Screening: MyHeritage Health

MyHeritage Health includes everything from their standard DNA testing kit along with:

  • 14 Genetic Risk Reports (see the full list of conditions that are tested for here)
  • 11 monogenic risk reports
  • 3 polygenic risk reports
  • 13 Carrier Status Reports
  • Physician oversight and genetic counseling
  • An independent physician from PWNHealth will review and evaluate your health reports before you receive them. Based on your reports, the physician will recommend genetic counseling if needed and offer a free phone or video consultation with a genetic counselor.

So what makes MyHeritage Health one of the best DNA testing health screening options available?

Unlike companies such as AncestryDNA and 23andMe, MyHeritage:

  • Provides polygenic risk reports
  • Covers more BRCA variants
  • Provides built-in physician oversight/genetic counseling (Ancestry DNA does as well)
  • Has an international reach
  • Integration with family trees and historical records
  • 24/7 support
  • Guaranteed privacy protection

Ancestry DNA’s Health Screening: AncestryHealth

Since AncestryHealth is a brand new service being offered by Ancestry DNA, there is not enough information and reviews available to determine exactly how it stacks up compared to other companies, but it does show serious potential.

If you purchase the AncestryHealth kit, you will receive everything in the AncestryDNA kit as well as:

  • Personalized health reports: These reports state your risk for specific heart, cancer, and blood-related illnesses
  • Access to genetic counseling resources: By partnering with PWNHealth, Ancestry DNA is able to provide users access to genetic counselors who can give you advice based on the results of your health reports and offer educational resources.
  • Family health history tool: This tool allows you to create, save, and share information about health conditions that pass down from generation to generation within your family and share this information with your healthcare provider.

Health Screening Winner: MyHeritage

MyHeritage vs. Ancestry DNA: The Overall Winner

Both of these companies have a lot to offer when it comes to DNA testing, but overall Ancestry DNA comes out on top based on this review.

If you want extensive information about your family history and to connect with as many relatives as possible, then Ancestry DNA is the clear winner.

However, if you want DNA results fast (within 3-4 weeks), want to save money, or want one of the most comprehensive DNA testing health screenings available on the market, then MyHeritage might be the way to go.

LEARN MORE:

https://www.myheritage.com/

https://www.ancestry.com/