Then you’ve come to the right place.
In this in-depth buying guide, we review & compare the 8 best sibling DNA tests you can buy online.
We also explain what sibling DNA tests are, how they differ from other DNA tests and how they work.
Note: a sibling DNA test is different than an ancestry DNA test. You can use an ancestry test to confirm siblingship, but they are designed to provide more general information regarding your family and ancestors.
Pure sibling DNA tests, on the other hand, only focus on accurate verification of 1-to-1 DNA relationships.
If you are looking for an ancestry DNA test, read our 23andMe vs. AncestryDNA vs. Family Tree DNA comparison.
Most ancestry DNA testing companies will ask you to provide both siblings’ DNA samples plus that of the parent to ensure high degree of accuracy in a sibling match.
When you have the parent’s DNA, regular ancestry DNA tests are quite effective for determining sibling matches.
Of course, the parent’s DNA is not always available for testing. In adoption and post-mortem situations this is usually the case.
When the parent’s DNA is not available, then a sibling DNA test is the best option because it will tell you whether that person is a full sibling, a half sibling or has no relation with you at all – based solely on the potential siblings’ DNA.
You can also get a sibling DNA test for legal purposes, for example a paternity case. But keep in mind that a court-admissible DNA test is different from a normal test – the science is the same but the DNA analytical process is more rigorous to ensure the reliability of the test.
That’s why a legal/court-ordered sibling DNA test is often more expensive.
These are the best 8 sibling DNA test kits sold online, in my opinion.
We note whether a legal/court-admissible test is available.
Below the table, we review the best use of and the pros / cons of each test in detail.
|Sibling DNA Test||DNA Markers||Legal Use?||Price|
|23||They sell court-admissible legal DNA tests starting at $100||$|
|24||Results are admissible in court.||$$|
|16||They sell court-admissible legal DNA tests starting at $255 for 2 siblings.||$$|
|46||This is not a legal test. Legal test is way more expensive.||$|
|46||This is not a legal test. But the company sells a legal sibling DNA test that is admissible in court or any legal matters.||$$|
|37||This is not a legal test.||$|
LiveWell sends you two swab kits after you complete an order online. After both siblings collect their samples, they secure them and mail them back in the prepaid envelope.
The samples are tested at an AABB, A2LA and CAP certified lab.
LiveWell compares 23 genetic markers in each person to confirm a sibling match. Testing more markers increases accuracy and reduces the chances of inconclusive results.
Specifically, LiveWell tests three things:
From the time the lab receives your samples, your results will be ready in 3-5 days. You’ll receive them by email but you can also request a hard copy at an extra fee.
Note that the report is not admissible in court. If you want a test you can use in legal proceedings, they sell one for $100 more than the normal sibling test.
The BioGene sibling test works the same as other online sibling DNA tests.
You order the test online and receive a swab kit in your mail. You take a cheek swab and send it to the lab for testing.
When ordering, you can instruct the lab to check whether you are full siblings vs. half siblings or half siblings vs. unrelated.
The BioGene test is quite fast, too: results are often ready in one business day.
If you do not want to take a cheek swab or you want to test someone’s DNA without their knowledge, the company also accepts alternative DNA samples such as fingernails, hairbrush, a toothbrush and so on. This can be very helpful in the case of a post-mortem test or in a missing persons situation.
NOTE: The accuracy of a sibling test using alternative DNA samples heavily depends on how much DNA the lab is able to extract from the sample, something you will not know until after the test has been completed.
Something we love about BioGene’s versatility is that you can opt not to receive the kit in your mail. This is great if you have privacy concerns.
They will also let you create your own kit and provide you with a case number.
And that’s not all.
While most DNA testing companies accept samples from only two individuals, BioGene gives you the option of adding a sample from the mother for the same price. This greatly increases the accuracy of the test.
Once the samples get to the lab, they test and compare 24 markers. That’s more than most other sibling DNA tests.
Gentrace also offers a basic 2-sibling test for $150.
If you share a known mother, you can have her tested for additional accuracy. This will cost you $245 in total.
Beyond that, the price goes up slightly for each sibling you add.
Gentrace also sells court-admissible legal DNA tests starting at $255 for 2 siblings. As with the basic test, you can test up to 7 siblings.
Don’t worry if your siblings are in different cities or states – GenTrace lets you input multiple addresses for kit delivery. They can even deliver to different countries.
All kits are barcoded and will be tested together.
The results are ready in 3-5 days after the lab receives all the sample kits. You’ll receive an email with a link to where you can download your report.
The report provides a siblingship index. The higher the index is the higher the likelihood that you are related.
There is also a separate index to indicate whether you are likely to be half or full siblings.
Like GenTrace, Genovate also offers the convenience of split shipping.
Just provide the two addresses the kits will be shipped to when checking out. The kits are given a matching barcode to make sure they are tested together.
On the downside, they test fewer genetic markers than other companies. But their test is still reliable most of the time.
The report, which is ready in 1-3 business days after lab receipt, tells you whether you are siblings or not or whether you are half or full siblings.
Note that this is not a legal test. For a test that you can submit to a court or use in a legal proceeding, you’ll have to go physically to Genovate’s offices. The legal test is also more expensive.
But if all that you need to do is to confirm whether someone is your sibling or not, Genovate is a great choice and an affordable one as well.
Unlike other companies that test 15-25 markets, My Forever DNA tests more than 40 markers.
Testing more markers significantly increases the accuracy of a DNA test.
The test is easy to take, too. Just order online and you’ll receive the sampling kit in your mail. Then take a cheek swab and send it to the lab.
The company allows split shipping meaning you can have the kits delivered wherever your sibling is living.
After the lab receives the samples, test results take 2-3 business days.
The report will be sent to your email address. You can also have a physical copy sent to your mailing address though that will take longer.
The report tells you the likelihood of being full siblings, half siblings or no relation to someone.
While the results are very accurate most of the time, you still cannot use the results in court.
But the company sells a different legal sibling DNA test that is admissible in court or any legal matters.
Family Tree DNA does not explicitly sell a sibling DNA test, they sell an ancestry DNA test. But it’s still one of the best ways to determine if you are siblings with someone.
FTDNA helps people find DNA matches to whom they might be related.
So if you and your potential sibling take the FTDNA test, you can determine your siblingship by checking whether you are close DNA matches.
FTDNA sells several types of tests including Y-DNA, mtDNA and Family Finder. That last one is the one you need.
Once you send in your sample, it will take 6-8 weeks before your results are out. It takes much longer than typical sibling DNA tests because FTDNA tests for far more than just siblingship.
Your results will contain estimates of ethnic percentages, insights into your ancient ancestry and dozens or hundreds of matches that could be your relatives.
To determine whether someone is your sibling, check whether they show up on your matches list. If you are siblings, they should be high up on the list because they are close relatives.
You should also share between 2,000 and 2,500 centiMorgans. If you are half siblings, the figure can go as low as 1,800.
If you have both taken the test, have received your results but you don’t see them in your list of matches (and they don’t see you either), then it is likely that you are not related.
Perhaps you want to confirm whether you are siblings and at the same time find out whether there are any genetic health risks you both face.
23andMe provides a comprehensive health and ancestry test that can do both.
As with FTDNA, this is not a dedicated sibling DNA test. 23andMe will not send you a report telling you whether you are siblings with someone.
Rather, it’s up to you to check the list of DNA matches 23andMe spits out and see if your potential sibling appears.
You’ll also have to do a bit more sleuthing (checking cM count, looking up shared matches, chromosome painting etc.) to determine whether they are full or half siblings.
That means that you both have to take the 23andMe test but separately. Once both your results are out, check which matches you have.
In addition to DNA matches, the 23andMe test also includes a health report. It tells you which diseases you are at risk of because of your genetics.
If you and your sibling are worried that a certain condition got passed down from one of your parents, this test can help you confirm it.
If you are doing a deep genealogical search that goes beyond your siblings, AncestryDNA is the best test.
We recommend it because they have the largest DNA database with over 10 million people. That means you are likely to find many more DNA matches than with any of the other tests.
As with 23andMe and FTDNA, you both have to take the test separately to find out if you are siblings.
If you appear in each other’s list of matches, you are related. AncestryDNA will provide more details to help you determine whether you are full or half siblings.
Your matches might also contain cousins and relatives you never knew you heard.
By studying these matches and looking up which other matches you share with them, you can find out a lot about your family.
If you want to go even further, pay for an Ancestry.com subscription.
This will give you access to billions of genealogical records that might help you trace some missing members of the family or make connections between different relatives.
For serious family researchers, AncestryDNA is a goldmine of information.
Here are the factors we consider most important when selecting the best sibling DNA tests.
Generally, the higher the number of markers tested the more accurate the results will be.
Most companies test between 15 and 30 genetic markers. We consider anything below 20 to be too low for reliability.
Testing 20-30 markers or more ensures you don’t get any inconclusive results or false positives/negatives.
The credibility of the company itself matters a great deal as well.
We avoid picking tests with numerous complaints from customers regarding reliability and customer service.
Established and well-known tests like 23andMe, Genovate and AncestryDNA are the best.
If you are getting a simple sibling DNA test, you shouldn’t have to wait for weeks to get results. The best tests take at most 3 business days to send the results.
Note that the turnaround period begins when the lab begins processing your sample. In total, it may take a week or two from when you ordered the test to get your results.
This is because of the extra time it takes for the company to send the sampling kit to you, for you to take a sample and send it back and for the lab to begin processing.
If you order from companies like 23andMe and FTDNA, the turnaround time is much longer; around 6-8 weeks.
But that’s because they test for many more things other than siblingship.
A good company should answer all your questions and help you understand your results.
We rate highly companies that provide excellent customer support through email and phone.
Your DNA information should remain confidential and secure. If a company says they retain the right to share or sell it with third parties, that’s a red flag.
We pick tests that provide a high level of privacy and confidentiality to customers.
The final major factor we consider when rating different tests is price.
Sibling DNA tests are typically more expensive than paternity tests. Most go for $200-$270. But there are also cheaper ones that cost less than $200.
We don’t automatically give the highest rating to the cheapest test. Rather, we compare price vs. value.
We prefer tests that give you a bigger bang for your buck. For instance, some tests allow you to also test a known shared mother, others provide split shipping and others are more accurate (they test more markers) without being too expensive.
Most websites will ask you to specify which kind of test you want.
There are two types: full sibling and half sibling DNA tests.
For any of these two types of tests, you can opt for basic peace of mind test or a more rigorous (and expensive) legal test.
Full Sibling Test
Wondering whether you share both parents with someone? This is the best type of test.
A full sibling test determines if both of you have inherited roughly the same DNA from both your parents.
Since you each get 50% from your mother and father, you should share about 50% of your DNA.
By comparing your genetic markers, the test can determine if you are full siblings, half siblings or completely unrelated.
Half Sibling Test
If you want to confirm that you share at least one parent with someone, this is the best type of test.
By comparing your genetic markers, the lab will check whether you share roughly 25% of your DNA. If you do, that means you are half siblings.
The test can also confirm if there is no relation between the two of you.
Where possible, companies encourage test-takers to also have the known parent tested. This increases the accuracy of the test.
’Peace of Mind’ vs. ‘Legal’ Test
If you are involved in a court case where you need to prove you are siblings with someone, you can’t just get any sibling DNA test. It has to be a court-admissible test.
The science behind a basic test done for peace of mind and a legal test is exactly the same. But with a legal test, there is a specific process that needs to be followed for the results to be admissible in court.
Specifically, the lab has to maintain a chain of custody.
A neutral third party has to confirm the identity of the persons taking the test, make sure the sampling kit and sample have not been tampered with and ensures the testing is done in a certified lab.
That’s why some companies will insist on in-office physical testing for legal tests.
But if you just need to know whether someone is your sibling, a basic at-home test will do.
Sibling DNA tests are tricky compared to paternity tests because siblings are more closely related to their parents than they are to each other.
That’s why many sibling DNA tests compare more locations or markers in the DNA to improve testing accuracy.
Whether you are getting a sibling test for peace of mind or a court case, here are a few tips for improving the accuracy and reliability of the results.
How does a sibling DNA test prove who a sibling is?
By comparing genetic markers between two supposed siblings.
If they share roughly 50% of their DNA, they are full siblings. If they share about 25% of their DNA, they are half siblings. If they share very little of their DNA, they are not related (or might be cousins).
How accurate is a sibling DNA test?
Paternity tests are generally more accurate because it is much easier to compare a child to their parent.
The accuracy of a sibling DNA test will depend on how many locations the lab compares. The minimum is usually 15 or 16. The ideal range is 20-30.
For extra accuracy, look for a company that tests at least 40 markers.
But no matter how many markers a lab tests, no DNA test is 100% accurate. In fact, your sibling DNA result will be a probability.
In most cases, a high probability is almost a guarantee that they are your sibling. But there is always a small chance that they might not.
Can full siblings have different DNA?
Yes, it’s possible.
While each sibling gets roughly 50% of their DNA from each parent, the share from each parent is not exactly the same.
The parents themselves have a mixture of different genes passed down from earlier generations.
Because of a process called gene recombination (a shuffling of genes during fertilization of the egg), your mother can pass on different genes to you from those she passes on to your sibling.
The same with the father, resulting in slightly different DNA in siblings.
In fact, full siblings share only about 50% of their DNA because of the recombination process.
The more multi-racial your parents are, the more the genes get mixed up.
If you take an ancestry test from 23andMe, FTDNA or AncestryDNA, you might find that your ethnicity make up is also different from that of your sibling.
Even identical siblings, who theoretically share 100% of their DNA, have different DNA because of changes in how their individual genes express themselves.
That’s the complexity of DNA.
Can a sibling DNA test be wrong?
Yes, that’s always a possibility though it is rare.
It can happen if the lab tested too few markers and got a false positive/negative or the sample was not good enough.
If you have doubts about your results, test with another lab.
Can a DNA test ‘prove’ half siblings?
Yes, it can. The lab will check both your genetic markers to see if you share roughly 25% of your DNA.
If you do, then you are likely half siblings. If it’s more, around 50%, you are full siblings.
What percentage of DNA do half siblings share?
What percentage of DNA do full siblings share?
Identical siblings share roughly 100% of DNA.
Do you inherit more DNA from mother or father?
You inherit roughly the same amount of DNA from each parent. But it’s not always a clean 50/50 split.
Sometimes you can have slightly more DNA from one parent than the other.
Do brothers and sisters have the same blood type?
Not necessarily. It will depend on the alleles inherited from the parents.
Only in a few cases is it a guarantee that both siblings will have the same blood type. E.g. When both parents have an O blood type.
But in many cases, blood type is by chance. It depends on which allele you get from each parent.
You can happen to have the same blood type as your sibling or it can be different.