How long does it take to get a DNA test back?

Since at-home DNA tests first came out, they have exploded in popularity. And because of this, there are many companies to choose from that offer at-home DNA test kits, so it can be challenging to decide which one is right for you. Some offer different types of DNA testing, and they also vary in how long you can expect to wait before your results come back. Let’s take a closer look at what the different companies offer.

What are the different types of DNA tests?

There are various types of DNA tests that you can take which can tell you all sorts of fascinating and important information about yourself. Regarding how long the tests will take to come back, there isn’t a massive amount of difference between the different types because they will all go through an identical process when you send your sample off to the lab.

The only type of test that differs in this regard is paternity testing that is being done as part of the court process where a transparent chain of custody will be necessary. For “peace of mind” paternity testing where the results won’t be used in a court setting, the process is identical to all other types of testing.

Ancestry DNA

This type of DNA testing is one of the most popular. It allows people interested in their family history and genealogy to dive deeper into exactly where they came from. In addition, particular patterns of DNA variations tend to be shared by people from different backgrounds. So companies use these statistics to estimate what percentage of your genes you share with people from specific areas.

Many companies will also offer you the option to connect with long-lost family members that share your DNA. For example, if a second cousin has also uploaded their DNA to the company, you will be able to find them based on the genetic overlap you share.

DNA health testing

Every company doesn’t offer DNA health testing, and those that do offer it need to have the testing approved by the FDA. However, this type of testing can tell you various important information about your health. For example, you can find out how your genes influence your risk of developing certain diseases, whether you are a carrier for specific genetic disorders, how your genes could be impacting your well-being, and much more.


Everyone’s body reacts differently to different nutrients depending on their individual genetics. Nutrigenomics testing can help you to understand the best type of nutrients to consume based on your genetic profile. For example, you can learn about what proportion of your diet should make up each major food group (proteins, carbohydrates, fats), what micronutrients your body needs most, and the best weight-loss diet for you.


Fitness DNA tests can give you valuable insight into how your body is likely to respond to exercise, and they can be enlightening to both amateur and elite athletes. For example, they can tell you whether you have a genetic predisposition towards endurance sports, high-intensity aerobics, or strength fitness. They can also tell you how your body is likely to deal with repair and recovery and whether you are at a higher risk of specific injuries.

Paternity testing

With paternity testing, you compare the child’s DNA profile to the potential father’s to determine the likelihood that they are the biological father of that child. Some paternity testing is “peace of mind” where the results will only be seen by the family members themselves. However, the paternity testing process that will hold up in court is very different because it needs to have a clear chain of custody that can prove who the original samples came from.

How long does it take to get a DNA test back?

While it is true that the different types of DNA testing don’t differ from each other in terms of the testing process, this process can vary wildly between the different major DNA testing companies, so you can expect to get your results back within a range of timeframes.

Ancestry DNA

Once you send your sample off to the lab, you can expect to wait 6-8 weeks for your results to come back.


You can expect to wait 3-5 weeks for your results to arrive. 23andMe is a massive company and its process is very well organized.

Nebula genomics review

Nebula Genomics

This company has the longest wait time of the major DNA testing companies, with an average weight of 12-14 weeks to receive your results. However, during our test review, we received our results in just four weeks, so we assume that the company shows the worst-case scenario but may get your results in just a few weeks. 

Family Tree

The wait time for your results from Family Tree will depend on the type of testing you have done. For example, if you are using the family finder option, it will take 2-4 weeks, and if you are using the mtDNA option, you can expect to wait 6-8 weeks for your results to come back.

Living DNA

You can usually expect to wait 6-8 weeks for your test results to arrive, although the company does say that you could be waiting up to 14 weeks.

Home DNA

You can expect to receive your confidential paternity test results in only 3-5 days.

My Heritage

Your DNA test results should come back within 3-4 weeks.


Your test results will usually come back after a wait of 4-6 weeks.


The company doesn’t give an average wait time, but they state that they post your test results online, resulting in a shorter wait than if they were posted to you.

Let’s Get Checked

You should receive your test results quickly, within 2-5 business days.


You should receive your test results after five business days, although they can sometimes take longer.

Circle DNA

The company gives an average turnaround time of 18 days, although many people receive their results much sooner than this.

To wrap up

There are many different reasons to get a home DNA testing kit nowadays. They can give you information about everything from your family tree and ancestry, your genetic risk for certain health conditions, how your body deals with nutrients, and the best types of exercise for you.

Whichever type of testing you are hoping to do, there is a range of different companies to choose from, and they all have differing wait times for your test results to come back. If turnaround time is important to you, it can be worth considering how long you can expect to wait for each company.

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