Just to let you know, if you buy something featured here, Mashable might earn an affiliate commission.
Every holiday gifting list has that one person who just has everything. Just gotta make things hard, don’t they?
Or not: If you’re stumped, an at-home DNA testing kit is your answer — they’re basically the “everyone” gift. AncestryDNA, 23andMe, LivingDNA, MyHeritage DNA, Geno 2.0 Next Generation by National Geographic, and ORIG3N are all having massive Black Friday sales (like, their lowest prices of the year massive). These things have blown up in the past year — so it’s pretty likely that the person you’re gifting to has been wanting to try out this whole DNA testing thing for themselves. Plus, what’s a cooler gift than the gift of finding out you’re related to a former president or Queen?
Human DNA kits on sale
Possibly the most well-known DNA service, most use to get that cool pie chart that everyone wants, as well as to uncover distant cousins hiding in their family tree. This kit uses an autosomal (family finder) DNA test that surveys your entire genome at more than 700,000 locations, meaning it covers both the father’s and the mother’s lineage, though it doesn’t tell you what DNA came from which parent. Fill the tube with spit, send it back for testing, and results will be back in 6-8 weeks.
23andMe — Up to $99 off
Named as a nod to each person’s unique set of 23 chromosomes, this is the only kit in this lineup that offers health screenings on top of the common autosomal (family finder) testing — and that’s is a pretty big deal, especially if you’re concerned with hereditary illness (or if the person you’re gifting to is a major hypochondriac). Fill the tube with spit, send it back for testing, and results will be back in 6-8 weeks.
A bit of a newbie to the game: The National Geographic kit is unique in that it uses next-generation sequencing instead of genotyping technology which is a speedier process that looks at the protein-encoding parts of your genome instead of just piecing stuff together. picks up info that genotyping can’t, making Nat Geo’s kit able to give you your Hominin ancestry — AKA the percentage of DNA in common with a Neanderthal. The kit also tells you where your ancestors came from (with maternal and paternal lines separated), but won’t go into as much detail as other kits. Fill the tube with spit, send it back for testing, and get results back in 6-12 weeks.
If differentiating details from your mother’s side and father’s side is an absolute must, LivingDNA is the best bang for your buck. Another specific: If you know that a lot of your results will be in the UK or are most interested in the UK regions, Living DNA will be the kit for you . Do a cheek swab, send the tool back for testing, and results will be in around 10-12 weeks.
Impatient? MyHeritage is said to be the fastest and cheapest test, usually sending results back to participants in 3-4 weeks. MyHeritage also pulls from an impressive 42 graphic regions, which is the third highest number behind AncestryDNA and Living DNA. DNA can be linked online to create a family tree, and there is an option to upload raw data — so if you’ve gotten some sort of genealogy tests done before or have outside genetics information that you’d like to use, it can easily be included in results. The database is small, so the chance of connecting with live relatives is lower than other kits — but if you’re just interested in tracing rather than meeting someone, that won’t matter.
MyHeritage regularly go for a cheap $75, but you can save $26 and get it for $49 here.
ORIG3N — Save up to $94
If none of these kits are hitting home for you yet, ORIG3N just may be able to help. Instead of DNA related to finding the who and where of your ancestry, this ultra-unique line of kits uses your DNA to find specifics about your health. There’s a box for a DNA fitness test, a DNA nutrition test, a DNA behavior test, a DNA child test, a DNA alcohol tolerance test, and about 15 more — allowing you to pinpoint exactly what you’re looking for without paying for the other stuff. There’s no family finder stuff, but this detailed genetic info can provide insights into how a specific person’s body and mind works and can be used to help that person make proactive lifestyle choices.
ORIG3N kits usually range from $29 to $149, but you can save up to 50% today and get a kit for as low as $7.12 — the most expensive one is only $73.82.
Dog DNA kits on sale
Embark — Save $40
Mashable chose Embark as the best-of-the-best doggy DNA kits, and not just because its name is a fun pun (though that is a bonus). Embark offers insanely detailed health screenings, maternal and paternal tracing back to great grandparents, and tons of genetic markers, making this dog DNA test just as in depth as tests for humans — you’ll even find out if there’s any wolf or coyote blood. The health aspect tests for over 160 diseases and known medical issues for dogs, which could help extend the fur baby’s life if something is caught early enough. After a cheek swab, results will be back within three to seven weeks.
Wisdom Panel is a favorite for dog parents who have no idea what type of fur baby they’re dealing with: When the answer to “Aw, what kind of dog is he?” is “Eh, just a mutt,” this kit is begging to step in. Claiming to have the largest breed database in the dog DNA market, Wisdom Panel kicks the family finder up a notch by testing over 250 canine breeds (which is about 50 more than other tests and includes wolf and coyote). On top of the family tree, there’s also an option for a health screening. After the cheek swab, results should be back within a quick two to three weeks.
Wisdom Panel 3.0 regularly goes for $84.99, but you can save $35 and get it for $49.99 here.