The Best DNA Testing Kits in Canada

If you’ve ever been curious about your ancestry, family tree, or even possible health markers, a DNA testing kit can be a great starting point to being your search and satiate your curiosity. They’re fun to get results from and when multiple members of your family join in, you can compare results and see how things stack up to better correct the system and your own results. 

From Ancestry to 23andMe, there’s a sea of DNA testing kids out there, which makes it quite hard to choose the ideal DNA test for you. That’s why we’ve decided to create a full guide on the best DNA tests in Canada, whether you’re looking for health, family tree or ancestry reports.

Our top picks

How to choose a DNA testing kit

When you’re looking for a DNA testing kit, be sure to keep these things in mind: 

Purpose – Are you looking for more health-related genetic markers? Just strictly ancestry and relatives? There are multiple DNA testing kits out there that cover everything, and some are more focused on one thing or the other, so be sure to choose what works best for your most wanted topics. 

Accuracy – Some DNA testing kits are higher rated than others in terms of accuracy and what they search for and return to you for numbers. Choose one that focuses on what you’re most interested in and see what their numbers are like. 

Cost – Most testing kits are rather expensive, starting from $100 and up. There are less expensive tests, especially if it’s for your pet and not yourself, but you do run the risk of not getting all of the results and continuing updates that you’d like.

Why trust us

With a lot of DNA testing kits available online, it can be difficult to narrow down what specific traits or histories you’d like to uncover, and to choose one that is worth the investment. Our team spent over 10 hours of reviewing and research from top-rated DNA testing kit brands to create this easy list for you to choose what works best for you. 

23andMe

Known for their colourful layout and comprehensive information, 23andMe has made its mark for being one of the top-rated DNA testing kits available on the market and for good reason. 

The all-encompassing kit includes health features, ancestry, and trait exploration. The health features include learning how your genetics can increase your chances of certain detrimental health issues and can tell you if you’re a carrier for certain inherited conditions as well. You can find out about your well-being and how your DNA can influence your current behaviour and habits as well. 

Ancestry features with 23andMe include where your DNA is from across 2000+ regions in the world. You can opt into their DNA Relatives tool that will find, connect, and message those who share your DNA, and automatically start your family tree. As more relatives are added, especially close ones such as your parents, grandparents, siblings, and cousins, more information is available that you can compare. 

With the Traits Exploration features you can find out what makes you, yourself, unique and where it comes from. Reports such as freckles, hair photobleaching and more. DNA can predict your ability to match a musical pitch, roll your tongue, hate the sound of chewing, and even things such as whether you prefer sweet over salty as far as tastebuds go. 

All data from 23andMe is protected, encrypted, and entirely under your control. You choose what you want to learn about and what you want to share. When you opt into their research, you help your results and millions of others become more accurate as time goes on. 

23andMe is the pricier of the bunch when it comes to DNA testing kits, however for the amount you get that always gets updated and added to, it’s a steal of a deal when most other kits only include a portion of what this whole gamut runs. 

Pros
  • Covers health, ancestry, and traits.
  • Well researched.
  • Always updated.
Cons
  • A touch pricier than the rest. 

Best DNA testing kit for ethnicity/family History

AncestryDNA

One of the first top-selling DNA testing kits that everyone has heard of, AncestryDNA is the most well-known and has great ratings for a reason. 

With easy-to-follow instructions and a decent price tag, the AncestryDNA kit is great for a starting point if you want to look into your family tree and ethnicity. Activate your DNA testing kit online and then return your saliva sample to their labs. Six to eight weeks is their usual estimated delivery time for results, which is a bit longer than other testing kits, but the results are well worth it according to top-rated reviews. 

From 1000+ regions, AncestryDNA connects you to the most connections with distant relatives than any other DNA testing kit. A more precise ethnicity estimate with greater geographic details and in-depth historical insights that connect you to relatives and places in the world where your distant relatives all eventually came together to start your story – all the way from unique regions and distant past relatives to current, present-day relations. 

Combining what you learn from your DNA with their kit and the Ancestry subscription, you have access to millions of family trees and genealogy origins. Privacy is protected and encrypted, and you can choose how much control you have over your information, whether you want to share anything or not. 

Controls are easy and the website is simple to use when searching and finding relatives. You can even add in your own information that you know, and relatives that you know as well. It’s an average cost for a DNA testing kit, at a little over $100, but if you want to find out your ancestry and ethnicity this is the one to go for. 

Pros
  • Largest DNA database.
  • Precise ethnicity and relatives. 
  • Backed by the Ancestry brand.
Cons
  • Can take longer to receive results. 

Best DNA testing kit for health

TellmeGen

If health is your main wonder about your DNA, then TellmeGen has you set. 

TellmeGen is the health and ancestry DNA testing kit that can provide the most information on the market, whether you have a predisposition for obesity, baldness, diabetes, gaining muscle, or even your tolerance to alcohol. They’re a multicultural team composed of talent that are leading in the industry. 

They update your files and information as advances and new discoveries are made within the system at no extra charge and keep it accessible to everyone. Their support team is always available at any time if you ever have questions about your results or if you’re just generally curious about their kit before purchasing. 

It also covers health factors such as if you have a genetic variant that can be passed down to children, your own traits such as if you’re more susceptible to allergies, whether you have freckles, whether you prefer bitter or sour flavours, etc. Wellness such as possible deficiencies that might be more common with your DNA makeup, and more in that area. 

It is a bit pricier than other DNA testing kits at $200, but If you’re curious about your health it can be well worth the price tag, especially for the free updates and always increasing information as times goes on. 

Pros
  • Updates automatically at no charge.
  • Large database. 
Cons
  • Pricier.

Best DNA testing kit for overall wellbeing

PNK DNA

If you’re looking for an overall health, wellness, and ancestry DNA kit, PNK DNA is a tough one to beat. They’re also a Canadian-made and developed brand, so if you’re wanting to support a more local business this is right up your alley. 

Their DNA testing kit includes ethnicity and ancestry testing, fitness and nutrition, sleep, and even stress. The fitness and nutrition sections can show you what vitamins, minerals, and nutrients you may be lacking or prone to lacking and what workouts work best for your body makeup. Plans and regimens you should be following for your DNA makeup are suggested. 

Sleep and stress are as important as ever, and since the majority of people are getting far less sleep and much more stressed, it’s important to see how your body responds to it and work on balancing your daily routines. Reach REM sleep easier, get more rest, and deal with less stress by understanding your DNA and what you might respond to best. 

The ancestry portion of course covers your ethnicity mix and from what areas of the world your DNA is from. From there, learn what health and wellness traits you may have that you didn’t even think of previously. With every DNA testing kit purchase, you receive a 1-on-1 session with their health professionals to go over the reports with you and answer any questions you may have. 

The PNK DNA team is comprised of a multicultural profession setting, with nutritionists, doctors, kinesiologists, and health professionals. 

Pros
  • Complimentary 1-on-1 session with health professional. 
  • Canadian made brand. 
Cons
  • A bit pricier. 
  • Delivery can take some time.

Best DNA testing kit for dogs

Embark

If you’ve ever been curious about your furry friends DNA, Embark has you covered. 

With 350+ breeds and 190+ health results showing in their DNA testing kits, you can be sure that your best friend will show their breed mix and health dispositions. They screen for over 350 breeds, types, and varieties using a research-grade genotyping platform that was developed in partnership with Cornell Universities College of Veterinary Medicine, Embark offers the most accurate breed breakdown on the market that’s available today. 

Health screening tests for 200 or more genetic diseases including MDR1 drug sensitivity, glaucoma, degenerative myelopathy, adult-onset diseases in adult dogs, and more. You can keep your dog happier and healthier for longer. 

Most testing kits arrive within 2-4 weeks after being sent out, however, the shipping to Canada may take up to 5 or more weeks depending on the state of the post and customs. Embark is the highest rated and well-liked dog DNA testing kit available, and according to top-rated Amazon reviews it lives up to that merit. 

Pros
  • Highest rated.
  • Quick results. 
Cons
  • Can take longer to mail to Canada. 

How we picked the best DNA testing kits

For this particular buying guide, we chose the top-rated and well-known DNA testing kits available within Canada, and that have top-rated reviews on Amazon as well as on other peer-sourced review websites to ensure that all of the kits are legitimate and worth the costs for what you’re looking for. 

Frequently asked questions about DNA testing kits

What is a DNA testing kit? 

A DNA testing kit is a kit that is generally sent to your door that you can do yourself and send into a lab that will provide you with DNA results and ancestry details. 

How does a DNA testing kit work?  

DNA testing kits work by collecting DNA from your saliva, such as spit or a cheek swab, then it’s sent off to a lab where your cells will be isolated, and your results will be analyzed. 

What DNA can tell us about a person?  

Hair colour, eye colour, ancestral genealogical relationships to estimate the ethnicity of an individual. It can also estimate and guess whether you may be more or less pre-dispositioned to like sweet or salty foods for example, or whether you may or may not be afraid of heights. 

Should I be concerned about privacy? 

Privacy is top priority for all DNA testing kit companies. Most of them will enable you to choose what you want to share and what they can do with your DNA samples. 

How accurate are DNA testing kits?  

DNA testing kits are very accurate, technology has become incredibly advanced to read the hundreds of thousands of markers that make up your DNA. 

How long does it take for Ancestry DNA results? 

Most DNA testing kits can take 3-8 weeks to return back to you once you’ve sent your sample back and they’ve done their testing. However, these wait times may change depending on what’s going on in the world. In late 2020 to early 2021, for example, many users on Reddit mentioned that they have waited more than eight weeks for their AncestryDNA results due to delays cause by the COVID-19 global pandemic. 

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About the author

Nikki Lyka

Nikki Lyka is a reviewer and writer at Rank-It.ca that’s written about a variety of subjects from the best fantasy novels to travel guides and blogs. When she isn’t researching and typing up a storm, she’s generally found winding down with tea, video games, practicing aerial hoop, photography, and reading good horror novels.
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