23andMe vs Helix

Kaitlyn Short
Kaitlyn Short | Contributor

Before selecting a DNA testing company, you first need to determine what you want to learn. Some DNA testing companies offer a variety of tests while others specialize in health or ancestry. Customers evaluating 23andMe vs. Helix will find testing options related to ancestry and genetic health. However, these full-service DNA testing companies have some notable differences that will influence which company you end up choosing. 

23andMe offers a comprehensive ancestry test that rivals AncestryDNA. The company analyzes your autosomal DNA, Y-DNA, and mtDNA. This provides you with a detailed report outlining maternal and paternal haplogroup. The 23andMe Ancestry Report details your ancestry composition based on 1,500 regions. 23andMe also offers an FDA-approved health test that evaluates carrier status, personal traits, genetic predisposition, and wellness traits. 

Helix offers a basic DNA test with an option to purchase additional reports through third-party partners. However, unlike other major DNA testing companies, Helix focuses more on genetic research to increase genetic knowledge and improve healthcare outcomes. Helix partners with multiple organizations to offer free DNA testing by asking participants to opt into their research study. Participants receive DNA reports in exchange for their participation. As of 2021, Helix is the first Whole Exome Sequencing Platform to receive FDA authorization. 

The comparison below analyzes important factors related to the sampling process, ancestry testing, health testing, relative finder, customer privacy, raw DNA download, processing time, and price. While Helix provides some unique DNA testing options, we recommend 23andme as a DTC genetic testing company because of its quick processing time, in-depth health analysis, and proven reputation. 

23andMe logo
#2 23andMe
8.2 Overall Score
4.3
star star star star star_half
(74)
Helix logo
#53 Helix Insufficient Reviews
0.0
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(0)

Overview

23andMe

# DNA Kit/Package Options

3

Test Purpose

Ancestry, Genetic Traits, Health Screening

Test Cost

$99–$199

Type of DNA Tested

Autosomal, Y-DNA, mtDNA

Sample Type

Saliva/Spit Kit Tube Sample

Raw DNA Upload

Not Available

Processing/Wait Time

3–5 Weeks, VIP Health Orders Get Priority

Results Format

Digital Results

Time in Business

15 Years

Helix

10+

Ancestry, Health and Wellness, Carrier Screening

$144.99–$299.99

Autosomal

Saliva Sample — Spit Kit

Not Available

4–8 Weeks

Digital Results

6 Years

Ratings

23andMe

Overall Score
8.2 of 10
Review Score
4.3
star star star star star_half
Value for Money
4.4
star star star star star_half
Quality of Product or Service
4.6
star star star star star_half
Company Trustworthiness
4.4
star star star star star_half
Likely to Recommend
8.7 of 10

Helix

4.0 of 10
0.0
star_border star_border star_border star_border star_border
0.0
star_border star_border star_border star_border star_border
0.0
star_border star_border star_border star_border star_border
0.0
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0.0 of 10

Reviews

23andMe

Number of Reviews
74
Review Breakdown
4.3
star star star star star_half
5 star
55%
4 star
31%
3 star
7%
2 star
0%
1 star
7%

Helix

0
0.0
star_border star_border star_border star_border star_border

Reviews for 23andMe

Helpful Favorable Review

star star star star star

Sydney Charleston South Jordan, UT

They use DNA to trace you back to where you ancestors come from this is very interesting. They will even till you how much you have Neanderthal blood you have! It was so much fun to see my ancestors and find out who and what i really am!

1 month ago

Helpful Critical Review

check_circle

Review Source

star star_border star_border star_border star_border

Tom M Holmdel, NJ

I was considering having our family send in a sample to see where our family's ancestry origins. I also thought that getting some feed back on possible medical problems we might face later in life. After I did more research I on the security of our personal information we decided not to do it. It was disturbing to find out that we are the product that is being sold and that security of my data is not adequately being protected.

1 year ago

Reviews for Helix

Helpful Favorable Review

None Available

Helpful Critical Review

None Available

The Final Word

Sample Process (Winner: Tie) 

23andMe and Helix use a spit kit to collect your DNA sample. The DNA testing kit can then be sent back in the prepaid mailing envelope. This spit saliva sample test is usually more difficult to perform compared to the cheek swab method. 

Both DNA testing companies use the same collection method. 

Ancestry Testing (Winner: 23andMe) 

23andMe offers one of the best ancestry tests on the market. The company has more than 12 million customers, and the genetic database continues to improve in accuracy with each new DNA sample. 23andMe is one of the only companies to analyze sex chromosomes and autosomal DNA. This gives customers a more detailed report on their maternal and paternal lineage with a free family tree generator. The 23andMe ancestry test looks at more than 1,500 different regions to determine your ancestry composition. 23andMe also offers an ancestry test focused on individuals of African descent

The Helix ancestry test is available to those who have purchased a sequencing kit through Helix. The ancestry test looks at 26 regions in your ancestry breakdown. You will also receive some unique genetic information on specific traits that could have been passed down from your ancestors. This includes altitude adaptation, cold adaptation, high-fat diet adaptation, lactose intolerance, and malaria adaptation that helps people avoid the disease. 

Because of the large customer base and in-depth report, 23andMe is the better choice for ancestry testing. 

Relative Finder (Winner: 23andMe)

Some individuals purchase a DNA test in hopes of discovering biological family members. When you take a 23andMe ancestry test, you gain access to the 23andMe relative finder feature. This tool allows users to connect with relatives who have taken a 23andMe test and opted-in to the relative finder feature. Once you start connecting with relatives, you can work on building your family tree. 

Helix does not offer a relative finder feature. You will need to use a third-party site to connect with relatives or choose a different DNA testing company. 

If you want to use the relative finder feature, you should choose the 23andMe ancestry test. 

Health and Wellness Testing (Winner: Tie) 

23andMe offers one of the best options for health DNA testing. The health test delivers a carrier status report on more than 40 genetic disorders. The health test also includes a trait report with data on more than 30 genes, a health predisposition report, and a wellness report. Customers can also decide to exclude certain health risks from their report if they would rather not know. 

Helix’s main focus is on genetic health testing. The company partners with multiple organizations to study population genomics. Current studies include the Healthy Nevada Project with Renown IHI, Tapestry with Mayo Clinic, Wholeme with AdventHealth, and Genobank Project with University of Arizona Health Sciences Biorepository. Individuals who join one of these studies receive free genetic information. Other health tests offered by Helix focus on carrier status, healthy eating, weight, and overall wellness. Some may be more detailed than the 23andMe health test depending on what you choose. 

Both DNA genetic testing companies provide quality health test options. The final decision on which to choose will depend on what information you are seeking. 

Data Interpretation (Winner: Helix) 

23andMe does its data interpretation with its own labs and resources. Helix does some of its own sequencings and also contracts out some of its genetic analysis to partners. Helix expands its analysis capabilities by partnering with genome sequencing companies and offering additional tests. 

Helix is also the only genomics company to have FDA authorization for a Whole Exome Sequencing Platform that produces highly detailed reports. 23andMe is limited in how much information it can offer and its sequencing technology.  

Helix has more resources to analyze your genetic information and provide a robust report. 

Customer Privacy (Winner: Tie) 

You should always study the privacy policy before choosing a DNA testing company. 23andMe informs customers that their DNA data could be shared for research purposes if they choose to opt-in. 

Helix has a similar customer privacy policy that allows customers to opt-in. Helix shares consumer DNA information with its partners to interpret the data. Each Helix partner must follow a strict security protocol. Helix never sells customer data and allows the customer to delete their DNA information at any time. 

In the case of 23andme vs. Helix, both companies seem to offer sufficient privacy protection for your sensitive information. 

Raw DNA Download Cost (Winner: 23andMe) 

23andMe allows all users to view and download their raw DNA data for no extra cost. You can download this information to upload on third-party sites. 

Helix gives you access to your raw DNA data if you pay an additional cost. You will need to pay $499 for access to your DNA data. This is one of the most expensive companies for downloading raw DNA. Neither company allows you to upload a raw DNA file to receive a report of their sites. 

23andMe is the better choice for those wishing to download their raw DNA file. 

Processing/Wait Time for Results (Winner: 23andMe) 

23andMe offers a quick testing process for its customers. 23andMe customers can expect to wait for about three to five weeks to receive their results. VIP health customers’ orders get priority if you decide to upgrade to the VIP package. Helix follows a typical industry standard of returning test results within four to eight weeks.

If you are looking for quick test results, 23andMe is the test to choose.

DNA Test Prices (Winner: 23andMe) 

Helix offers DNA test options called the Diet GENius for $144.99. This is the cheapest genetic test you can buy through Helix. However, once you purchase a Helix DNA kit, you gain free access to Helix’s reports including an ancestry, wellness, and women’s wellness report. You can search the Helix marketplace to find all the available testing options and find the cost per additional report. 

The best way to save on Helix genetic testing is to get involved in one of its research projects. You can apply online to see if you qualify for any of the studies. Participation in a Helix study gives you free access to your ancestry and health reports.

23andMe offers two major types of tests: ancestry and health. The ancestry test is $99 and the health test is $199. Individuals can also upgrade to the VIP Health + Ancestry test that includes two full kits, priority processing, and one year of access to premium customer support. 23andMe also offers additional discounts for students and educators.  

23andMe offers a lower-priced DNA testing option compared to Helix. 

The Bottom Line 

Although 23andMe and Helix are both DTC genetic testing companies, the two companies have separate goals and offer different DNA tests. 23andMe focuses more on DTC testing with its trusted ancestry and health tests. Helix still offers DNA testing, but the company has a broader goal of improving medical outcomes by conducting genetic research. 

For people looking to learn more about their health and ancestry, 23andMe is the clear option. 23andMe has a large database for accurate ancestry results and one of the only FDA-approved health tests. Helix is best for those who are searching for a specific health test only Helix offers. Helix might also be a good option for people living in Nevada or Florida who can join one of its research projects to receive free genetic results. 

Top Choice

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23andMe

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