Best Cord Blood Banks

Cord Blood Registry is our pick for best cord blood bank

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A newborn baby’s umbilical cord blood contains potentially life-saving stem cells that can be used to treat diseases like leukemia, lymphoma, and sickle-cell anemia. And scientists believe they're just scratching the surface of the stem cells' abilities. For this reason, many new parents opt to preserve their infant's umbilical cord at specialized "cord banks" for possible future use.

The stem cells in your baby's umbilical cord can not only save your baby's life in the event of a serious blood cancer or immune disorder, but they could also be used to save another family member's life if their human leukocyte antigen—a protein found in most cells in their body—closely matches the stem cells or bone marrow from the umbilical cord.

Additionally, cord blood stem cell transplantation has the potential to fill the gap of a growing population of patients who do not have a fully matched donor but need allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation, a procedure in which a patient receives healthy blood-forming cells (stem cells) from a donor to treat blood cancers, such as leukemia and lymphoma, and certain types of blood or immune system disorders. So if you ultimately choose not to bank your newborn's umbilical cord blood, you can still donate the life-saving stem cells to a public bank, free of charge, to potentially save another life.

Choosing a private cord bank is a big investment that can continue for many years. That's why taking the time to research cord blood banks is essential to find the one you fully trust to store and protect your child's lifeline for many years to come. We have rounded up the top eight blood cord banks and the pros and cons associated with each one.

The 8 Best Cord Blood Banks of 2022

Best Overall : Cord Blood Registry (CBR)


Cord Blood Registry (CBR)

Cord Blood Registry (CBR)

Why We Chose It

Cord Blood Registry has a trusted reputation, longevity in the industry, and the highest recovery rate published.

Key Specs

  • Pricing: About $2,840 to $9,390 for lifetime storage
  • Accreditation: The American Association of Blood Banks (AABB), Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA)

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • Flexible payment plans

  • No hidden fees

  • Genetic counselor support

Cons
  • $150 administrative fee for cancellation

  • No refunds for cancellation

  • Annual fees for life of storage

Founded in 1992, Cord Blood Registry (CBR) is among the oldest cord blood banks in America, with one of the most trusted reputations. CBR operates out of an 80,000-square-foot laboratory in Tuscon, Arizona, and has stored more than 875,000 cord blood and tissue samples to date.

Most notable is CBR’s recovery rate—the correlation between storage time and cell recovery or post‐thaw cell viability of the umbilical cord blood. At 99 percent, it is the highest published rate of all cord banks. The recovery rate is important because you want to pick a bank that will not only securely store your child’s cord blood, but will do so with the highest safety and preservation standards. After all, you may not use your baby’s cord blood until many years down the road.

CBR is fully accredited by the AABB (American Association of Blood Banks), and is FDA and CLIA (Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments) registered. CRB has several flexible payment options, with plans starting at $49 per month.

Best Value : Americord


Americord

Americord

Why We Chose It

Americord offers cord, tissue, and placenta cell storage. The company has competitive rates without monthly fees, and there is no cancellation fee.

Key Specs

  • Pricing: $137 per month (one-time payment: $3,299) up to $237 per month (one-time payment: $5,699)
  • Accreditation: AABB and FDA

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • Placenta cell storage plus cord and tissue

  • $110,000 insurance

  • The least expensive compared to other cord blood banks

Cons
  • No 12-month payment plan

  • $175 annual fee

  • Storage limited to 20 years

Americord has been in operation since 2008. However, their experience goes back over 20 years: their laboratory has been working with cord bank companies since 1997 and has successfully stored over 35,000 units of cord blood.

With AABB (American Association of Blood Banks) accreditation and FDA-regulated lab headquarters in New Jersey, Americord has garnered a strong reputation in its first 12 years of operation. It's one of the only cord banks to offer placenta cell storage along with cord blood and tissue storage.

Perhaps the most stand-out feature of Americord is its insurance policy. Most cord banks will reimburse you if your sample fails to engraft, meaning the blood-forming cells received during the transplant fail to grow and make new healthy blood cells. Americord offers the highest payback rate if the sample fails to engraft at $110,000.

Americord offers generally competitive rates, no monthly storage fees, and no cancellation fees. While you can customize a plan based on your family's needs, a one-time payment of around $3,300 will get you 20 years of cord blood storage for a single child.

Best Customer Support : Cryo-Cell


Cryo-Cell

Cryo-Cell

Why We Chose It

Cryo-Cell will walk you through your decision with 24-hour phone support and online customer service chats. Plus, there’s no cancellation fee if you decide to cancel.

Key Specs

  • Pricing: Approximately $675 to $5,975
  • Accreditation: Accredited by FDA, AABB, and Foundation for the Accreditation of Cellular Therapy (FACT

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • $100,000 insurance

  • One year of free storage if you refer a family member

  • 24/7 phone support

Cons
  • Additional courier fee for Alaska, Hawaii and Puerto Rico

  • Additional annual Storage fee

Customer service is important when you are considering which cord bank to choose. With 24-hour phone support, online customer service chats, and excellent online reviews from customers, Cryo-Cell stands out in terms of customer care and accessibility. If that wasn’t enough, Cryo-Cell has a time-honored international reputation.

Established in 1989, Cryo-Cell was the first recognized cord bank in the world. It has since serviced over 500,000 clients in 87 countries worldwide. Cyro-Cell is accredited by the FDA, AABB (American Association of Blood Banks), and FACT NetCord.

Should you decide to choose Cryo-Cell as your baby’s cord bank, the company offers several built-in protections, including a no-cancellation fee if you change your mind, and a $100,000 guarantee if your baby’s cord is used for transplant but doesn’t successfully engraft. Pricing starts with an initial fee of $1,675 and an annual storage fee of $175, though there are tiered options available depending on your specific needs. Rates start at $3,123 for 18 years of storage.

Best Variety and Flexibility : StemCyte


StemCyte

StemCyte

Why We Chose It

StemCyte functions as both a private blood bank and a public blood bank. The company also has a variety of payment plans.

Key Specs

  • Pricing: Roughly $995 to $2,485 for lifetime storage when prepaid
  • Accreditations: FDA, AABC, and FACT 

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • $50,000 compensation plus one year in storage fees if sample fails

  • Tiered plans available

  • Access to free public sample if private fails

Cons
  • Public option is for donation, not preserved for your use

  • No guarantee of sample if you donate

  • Donations may be used for research purposes

StemCyte has been in business since 1997 and currently has the most racially diverse pool of cord blood inventory. The company offers the best of both worlds: they are both a private cord bank and a public cord bank. So they not only offer you opportunities to store your child’s blood for future use, you have the opportunity to donate cord and stem blood for research.

Both AABB (American Association of Blood Banks) and FACT NetCord accredited, StemCyte has shipped over 2,200 transplants to date and operates on a worldwide scale, with shipments to over 350 countries. The company has successfully contributed to clinical trials for cerebral palsy, autism, stroke, and spinal cord injury.

Because they are both a public and private bank, StemCyte will offer a public sample free of charge if your sample doesn't engraft, along with $50,000 in compensation and a full refund of all your fees. The company offers annual packages, 18-year storage programs or lifetime packages. There are a variety of payment plans but if paid in full at once, the price for one year of storage is $1,395.

Best for Families With Medical Conditions : Viacord


Viacord

Viacord

Why We Chose It

Viacord allows for multiple uses without compromising unused blood, so it’s best for families with medical conditions. We also love the company’s Sibling Connection program.

Key Specs

  • Pricing: Around $2,945 to $6,450
  • Accreditations: AABB, FDA, and CLIA

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • Lab open 24/7

  • Account can be managed online

  • 88% recovery rate

Cons
  • Additional shipping fee for samples taken in Puerto Rico

  • Extra courier fees, release fees, and shipment fees

As one of the oldest and most trusted cord banks in America, Viacord has been in business for 25 years, and has an excellent record of success and customer satisfaction. It has an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau, accreditation from the AABB (American Association of Blood Banks), and is FDA and CLIA (Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments) registered.

Viacord’s lab in Cincinnati, Ohio is equipped with the same quality freezers used by the CDC and the National Institutes of Health. It stands out for its record of successful release to over 450 families, and it's often the first company that doctors and other healthcare professionals recommend to interested parties.

In terms of cost, Viacord charges a processing fee of $1,725 which includes the shipping and processing of cord blood and the collection kit, and a storage fee of $175 per year.  

Another standout feature is its Sibling Connection program that offers ViaCord's high-quality cord blood collection, processing, and lifetime storage (78 years) at no cost to expecting parents who already have a child with an established diagnosis that can be treated via a sibling cord blood transplant.

Best for Placenta Banking : Lifebank USA


Lifebank USA

Lifebank USA

Why We Chose It

Lifebank USA offers placenta stem cell and placenta tissue banking as well as cord blood banking, so you’ll be given the option to store even more stem cells than other banks.

Key Specs

  • Pricing: Roughly $1,495 to $2,895
  • Accreditation: FDA and AABB

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • Variety of plan options

  • Discounts for multiple children

  • FDA Registered / AABB Accredited

Cons
  • $175 non-refundable deposit due at enrollment


    No insurance guarantee


    No cord tissue collection or storage

Lifebank USA was among the first banks to offer both cord blood banking and placenta banking. Placenta banking is important because placenta tissue is rich in mesenchymal-like stem cells and has the potential to be used for regenerative medicine therapy, such as organ and tissue replacement. Placenta stem cells are being explored for use in immune disorders, spinal cord injuries, blood cancers, and blood disorders.

Founded in 1998, Lifebank USA’s headquarters are located in Cedar Knolls, New Jersey. After your baby is born and their tissue samples are taken, Lifebank offers a courier service that will pick up your collection kit within one to two hours. Your baby’s stem cells are preserved in vapor-phase liquid-nitrogen storage tanks, with 24-hour monitoring.

Lifebank has multiple payment plans based on which type of banking you choose⁠. Options include cord blood, placental tissue, and placental stem cells/placental tissue. The company provides discounts if you register more than one child. For enrollment, collection and processing, and the first year of storage, pricing begins at $1,495. When paid ahead of time for 25 years, storage fees are priced at $125 a year. Lifebank is accredited by the FDA and AABB (American Association of Blood Banks).

Best Processing Time : MiracleCord


MiracleCord

MiracleCord

Why We Chose It

MiracleCord guarantees that your baby’s sample will be processed within 12 hours of collection to ensure more stem cells will be available in the future.

Key Specs

  • Pricing: About $1,395 to $8,195
  • Accreditation: AABB, FDA, and CLIA

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • Monthly and one-time payments available

  • 20-year and lifetime storage plans available

  • Savings for returning clients and multiple births

Cons
  • No placenta tissue banking

  • 60 days notice for cancellation

  • Does not process insurance claims

MiracleCord has been in business for over 20 years, and is AABB (American Association of Blood Banks) accredited and FDA registered. The company has a great reputation, with an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau.

Deposits for all services are only $200 and you can choose between a one-time payment or a monthly fee. In addition, MiracleCord has a $100,000 quality guarantee if your child’s stem cells fail to engraft—one of the highest guarantees among cord banks. 

But what stands out most is MiracleCord’s excellent processing time. Their “TimeCritical Processing” method guarantees that your baby’s sample will be processed within 12 hours of collection. This means that more viable stem cells will survive the transport and be available should your child need them in the future.

Best Affordability : Maze Cord Blood


Maze Cord Blood

Maze Cord Blood

Why We Chose It

Maze has some of the lowest storage rates available, starting at about $2,990 per year.

Key Specs

  • Pricing: Approximately $2,990 to $4,865
  • Accreditations: AABB, FDA, and CLIA

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • 12-, 24-, 36-, and 48-month plans

  • Opt for 20 years or 25 years of storage

  • FDA Approved

Cons
  • No lifetime storage option

  • Less than 20 years of storage not available

  • Cord Blood and Tissue: additional $625

Founded in 1994, Maze Cord Blood is accredited by AABB (American Association of Blood Banks), the FDA, CLIA (Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments), and the New York State Department of Health.

The company takes a personal approach to cord blood banking as Maze Cord Blood founder, Dr. Michael A. Werner was inspired to start the company after his son died of cancer. Dr. Werner believes cord blood might have saved his son and is on a mission to give back to others.

Maze Cord is among the most affordable cord banks out there today. It offers some of the lowest overall storage rates, making it almost half the price compared to its competitors. The company also offers flexibility in terms of services and payment plans. You can choose between a 12-month, 24-month, 36-month, or 48-month payment plan, for example. Plans for cord blood banking start at $2,990 a year.

Maze Cord blood’s personal touch has been praised by reviewers, along with the company’s wonderful customer service and ease of use.

Final Verdict

Most cord blood banks offer similar options, with prices and payment plans being the main difference among companies. Cord Blood Registry, however, is our best overall cord blood bank pick because it has the highest recovery rate of any blood bank. It’s a trusted cord blood storage facility that has been in operation for over 30 years. The registry offers flexible payment plans and there are no hidden fees.

If you are wanting to store placenta tissue in addition to cord blood stem cells, Lifebank USA may be a better choice for you, as it offers an additional service that collects stem cells trapped in the blood vessels of the placenta. Its also important to note that LifeBank USA is the first company to report a successful transplant from placenta-derived stem cells.

Compare Cord Blood Banks

Company Price Range Payment Options Storage Options
Cord Blood Registry Best Overall Approximately $2,840 per year.  $5,390 for 18-year storage. Around $9390 for lifetime storage One-time payment, 6-month payment, 12- month payment, or 48-month payment Cord blood, cord tissue, and genetic testing.
Americord Best Value $137 per month (one-time payment: $3,299) up to $237 per month (one-time payment: $5,699) One-time payment, annual payment, 24-, 36-, or 48-month payment Cord blood, cord tissue, placental tissue
Cryo-Cell Best Customer Support Approximately $675 to $5,975 Yearly and one-time payment Cord blood and cord Tissue
StemCyte Best Variety and Flexibility About $995 to $10,750 Monthly payment, 6-month payment, annual fee, or one-time payment Cord blood cord tissue
Viacord Best for Families with Medical Conditions Around $2,945 to $6,450 Monthly payment, 6-month payment plan, annual payment, or one-time payment Cord blood cord tissue
Lifebank USA Best for Placenta Banking Roughly $1,495 to $2,895 Monthly payment or one-time payment Cord blood, cord tissue, placenta stem cells
Miracle Cord Best Processing Time About $1,395 to $8,195 Monthly payment or one-time payment Cord blood, cord tissue
Maze Cord Blood Best Affordability Approximately $2,990 to $4,865 Monthly, 24-month, 36-month, and 48-month payment, as well as one-time payment Cord blood, cord tissue

What To Look For in a Cord Blood Bank

  • High Success Rates: Your child’s cord blood may be kept in a cord bank for decades and you want to be sure it will be well preserved should the need for it ever presents itself. Choosing a cord bank that has already successfully transferred and engrafted cord blood for its clients is something to look out for. The higher the success rates, the better.
  • Regulated and Credentialed Facilities: Most reputable cord banks are regulated by the FDA. But this is a bare minimum requirement. Accreditation with the American Association of Blood Banks (AABB) is considered the gold standard in cord blood banking. FACT NetCord accreditation and CLIA (Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments) registration are other trusted credentials to look for.
  • Value: Most private cord banks are going to charge you an up-front fee of $1,000 to $3,000 dollars for registering and collecting your sample. After that, there will be annual fees of several hundred dollars. When comparing costs, you want to not only look at affordability but also what guarantees and services are provided. For example, will you be compensated if your sample fails to engraft? What do the initial set-up fees include, and are payment plans available?

What Experts Say

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) recommends donating your baby’s cord blood to public banks in most cases because of the high costs associated with private banking and the lack of evidence for private banking. However, ACOG recommends private cord banking if you have a family member with a medical condition who might benefit from cord blood therapy. Because every family is different, cord blood banking is something you should discuss with your doctor.

“Assuming that the baby or family member does not have a disease for which cord blood stem cell transplant is a known treatment, the likelihood of using privately stored stem cells runs between a 1 in 400 to 1 in 200,000 chance. And what a lot of parents may not know is that less than 10 percent of collections would be large enough to successfully treat a person who weighs more than 160 lbs.” 

Dr. Anita Sadaty, MD, Redefining Health Medical

FAQs

What is Cord Blood Banking?

Cord blood banking is the process of collecting the blood left in a newborn's umbilical cord and placenta after birth and storing it for possible use in a stem cell transplant. The two main options for cord blood storage are to donate the baby’s cord blood to a public cord blood bank for anyone who needs it, or to pay a private cord blood bank to store it for your family’s use, should the need arise.  

What Is the Purpose of Cord Blood Banking?


Some parents choose to donate their baby’s cord blood so that it can be used by others, while some families choose to store it privately in case their child or another family member becomes ill and needs the stem cells to treat an unforeseen illness. For example, if a cancer patient receives chemotherapy, transplanted stem cells from cord blood can help regrow healthy blood cells after the treatment.

How Much Does It Cost to Bank Cord Blood?


Public cord blood banking facilities don’t charge to store blood. The cost for private cord blood varies greatly, with a range of payment options available. Most private banks charge an initial collection fee of around $1000 to $2400, as well as ongoing storage fees, typically ranging from $100 to $200 per year. If you pay all the fees upfront, some companies offer one-time payment options for long-term, such as 18 or 20 years, or lifetime storage. Those plans range from approximately $2,000 to $6,000.

Does Insurance Cover Cord Blood Banking?

In general, cord blood banking may be covered by medical insurance if it will be part of a medically proven treatment for an existing or extremely probable condition. For example, if you have a family history of leukemia, then you may be eligible for partial or full insurance coverage of the cost of cord blood banking.

Can I Use My HSA for Cord Blood Banking?

Similar to insurance coverage for cord blood banking, you may be able to use your HSA for cord blood banking if you can prove that it’s medically necessary and will be part of a medically proven treatment for an existing or probable condition. 

Methodology

The listings in this roundup were selected based on reliability, recovery rate, offerings, and prices. There are many private and public cord blood banks in operation, but we chose to include the banks in this list based on the options they offer their users. We considered a cord blood bank worth a spot on this list if it allowed clients plenty of flexible payment plans, as well as options for both cord blood and cord tissue, and in some cases, placenta tissue and placenta stem cells.

Additional reporting by Nicole Bonaccorso.

Baby and Father

 

Flavia Morlachetti/Getty Images

Article Sources
Verywell Family uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. U.S. Food & Drug Administration. Cord blood: What you need to know.

  2. National Cancer Institute Allogeneic stem cell transplant
  3. National Library of Medicine Concise review: umbilical cord blood transplantation: past, present, and future. Stem Cells Transl Med. Munoz J, Shah N, Rezvani K, et al. 2014;3(12):1435-1443.

  4. Cord Blood Registry. About.

  5. Better Business Bureau. Viacord.

  6. Biosci Rep. Human mesenchymal stem cells - current trends and future prospective

  7. Quentin’s Story. Lifebank Cord Blood Banking.

    https://www.lifebankusa.com/testimonials/quentins-story/

By Wendy Wisner
Wendy Wisner is a lactation consultant and writer covering maternal/child health, parenting, general health and wellness, and mental health. She has worked with breastfeeding parents for over a decade, and is a mom to two boys.

Updated by
April McCormick
April McCormick

April is the health editor for performance marketing at Verywell, where she oversees family health, wellness, and lifestyle content. Her work has appeared in Real Simple, Martha Stewart Living, Verywell Mind, VErywell Family, Verywell, Fit, Verywell Health, Time, Parents, Parents Magazine, The Straits Times, The Huffington Post, TripSavvy, Parenting, First Time Mom and Dad, Mama Mia, All4Women, the New York Times Bestseller, A Letter To My Mom, and more.

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Edited by
Ally Hirschlag
Allison "Ally" Hirschlag

Ally is an expert in health, science, sustainability, wellness, mental health, and parenting. She has written for publications including The Washington Post, The Guardian, BBC Future, and more.

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