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Living DNA test kit review

The Living DNA test kit boasts excellent regional breakdowns, especially for those with British or African ancestry, but is it the right DNA test for you?

Our rating 
3.0 out of 5 star rating 3.0
From £99

Our review

The Living DNA test kit has long been the market leader in offering a detailed regional breakdown of your British roots, but other DNA tests are now catching up. Can Living DNA stay ahead of the pack and what else does it offer those wishing to find out more about their family origins?
Pros: Good biogeographical analysis, especially for Britain and Africa.
Looks at Y-DNA and mtDNA so includes a report of your ancient ancestry.
Offers add-on products e.g. wellbeing and Viking DNA.
Cons: Small user database so less likely to find matches with other users.
Full price more expensive than competitors, but look for discounts.

Read our review of the best DNA test kits

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Skip to view product specifications

The Living DNA test offers a great biogeographical ancestry analysis for people with British ancestry with regional breakdowns at the county level. With the inclusion of Y-DNA and mtDNA deep ancestry information, this is a good all-round DNA test for someone who wants an overview of their genetic ancestry. As well as an excellent breakdown of British regions, it has 150 world regions including 72 in Africa. Although competitor Ancestry DNA now offers a good breakdown of British regions, Living DNA is still the winner here.

Living DNA only began offering relative matching in February 2019. Few tools are currently available for working with matches and the database is small in comparison to the other companies (they claim over 300,000). However, the test is likely to be of interest to people in the UK, especially those who feel safer keeping their DNA data in Europe, and matches will be found here who have not tested elsewhere.

The additional Wellbeing add-on gives you 14 wellbeing reports on your genetic response to fitness and nutrition. There’s also a Viking ancestry add-on that you can pay an extra £20 for that will give you a breakdown of any Viking inheritance you may have.

You can upload your DNA test results from other companies to their database to see if you have any matches in their database, however, there is an additional fee of £29 if you want their biogeographical ancestry reports.

If you buy a Findmypast DNA test kit, it is supplied and processed by Living DNA. The price is £20 less but only analyses your autosomal DNA. This means you won’t get a report on your ancient ancestry (your Haplogroups) but focuses on the most useful results for family historians. You can pay extra at a later date to add the Y-DNA and mtDNA results if you wish.

Buy now from LivingDNA

Visit our special offers page for the latest Black Friday deals and discounts on DNA test kits.

Living DNA test product specifications

  • Types of DNA test kits available: Single test covering autosomal DNA, Y-DNA and mtDNA. Available as an ancestry-only test or a combined ancestry and wellbeing test.
  • Cost of test: Ancestry test £99; Ancestry and Wellbeing test £179. Findmypast sells an autosomal-only test as part of a deal with Living DNA for £79 with the option to add on Y-DNA and mtDNA reports for £19.90. Visit our special offers page for latest deals and discounts.
  • Shipping: £9.95. Includes return postage.
  • Database: Over 300,000.
  • Biogeographical ancestry regions: 150 world regions including 72 regions in Africa. The only company to provide percentage breakdowns for British counties and regions.
  • Number of UK and Ireland regions: 19 regions in Britain and two for Ireland.
  • DNA analysis tools: Ability to view shared matches. Country flags for matches based on place of birth. Otherwise limited functionality and no family trees.
  • Traits and wellbeing: 14 wellbeing reports on your genetic response to fitness and nutrition.
  • Ancient/deep ancestry: Detailed Y-DNA and mtDNA deep ancestry reports including migration and distribution maps. A Viking ancestry test is available as an add-on for £20.
  • Subscription required to access additional features: No.
  • Can you upload DNA test results from other companies to the database? Yes. Matches are free. There is a fee of £29 to access the biogeographical ancestry reports. Y-DNA and mtDNA reports are not included.

Living DNA test kit: The best features

Regional ancestry reports

See how much of your DNA is matched with different regions around the world. Living DNA offers fine-scale regional breakdowns in Britain.

Shared matches

The shared-match list allows you to see the other matches you have in common. Testing parents and known cousins will narrow the search pool.

Y-DNA map

Males receive a haplogroup map showing the distribution of their lineage and the percentage of people in each country with their haplogroup.

Y-DNA description

A narrative report describes the history, migration and distribution of your Y-chromosome DNA haplogroup (men only), although it’s somewhat speculative.

Mitochondrial DNA map

The mtDNA coverage map shows where in the world your haplogroup is found, together with the percentage breakdowns by country.

Mitochondrial DNA description

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This report describes the history, migration and distribution of your mtDNA haplogroup, although the information is again somewhat speculative.