The 8 Best Cord Blood Banks of 2020

Find the best option for you.

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First Look

Best Overall: Cord Blood Registry (CBR)

"With a recovery rate of 99%, CBR is one of the oldest, most trusted, and affordable banks operating today."

Best Value: Americord

"Americord will pay you back $110,000 if your sample fails to engraft."

Best Customer Support: Cryo-Cell

"There's 24-hour phone support, online customer service chat, and stellar online reviews from happy customers."

Best Variety and Flexibility: StemCyte

"Both a private cord bank and a public cord bank, StemCyte offers opportunities to store your child’s blood for future use, or donate to research."

Best For Families With Medical Conditions: Viacord

"The Sibling Connection program gifts siblings of eligible children-in-need five years of free storage."

Best for Placenta Banking: Lifebank USA

"Among the first banks to offer both umbilical cord blood banking and placenta blood and tissue banking."

Best Processing Time: MiracleCord

"The ‘TimeCritical Processing’ method guarantees your baby’s sample will be processed within 12 hours."

Best Affordability: Maze Cord Blood

"Maze Cord is among the most affordable cord banks out there today."

Scientists are just scratching the surface of what cord blood may be used for, so many parents are opting to preserve it for future use. Your baby’s umbilical cord blood is rich in stem cells that can potentially be used to treat diseases like leukemia, lymphoma, sickle-cell anemia, immune system disorders, metabolic disorders, genetic disorders, neurological disorders, and more.

Banking your baby’s cord blood is done soon after birth, and must be collected and delivered to a cord bank. You have a few choices when it comes to cord banking. You can donate the blood to a public bank, which is a free service. Though many parents choose private cord blood banking so they will have access to their own child’s cord blood, should the need arise.

But choosing a private cord bank is a big investment. That's why comparing cord blood banks is essential, so you can find one you completely trust. Check out what our experts have to say about the top private blood banks.

Our Top Picks

Best Overall: Cord Blood Registry (CBR)

Cord Blood Registry (CBR)

Cord Blood Registry (CBR)

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 of 99%, which is the highest published rate of all cord banks. Recovery rates are 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 $47 per month.

Best Value: Americord

Americord

Americord

One of the newer cord banks, 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. Americord is 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, but Americord offers the highest payback rate, at $110,000. Not only that, but the company 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 $5,998 will get you 20 years of storage for a single child.

Best Customer Support: Cryo-Cell

Cryo-Cell

Cryo-Cell

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. 

Best Variety and Flexibility: StemCyte

StemCyte

StemCyte

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. Thus they not only offer you opportunities to store your child’s blood for future use, but also the chance 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

As one of the other 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. Viacord 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. Viacord stands out with for its record of successful release to over 450 families, and it's are often the first company that doctors and other healthcare professionals recommend to interested families.

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

Viacord’s Siblings Connection program will appeal to any family who has a child with a diagnosed medical condition that is treatable with sibling cord blood. With this program, your child-in-need’s eligible sibling can receive five years of free cord blood storage.

Best for Placenta Banking: Lifebank USA

Lifebank USA

Lifebank USA

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 offers multiple payment plans based on which type of banking you choose⁠—options include cord blood, placental tissue, and placental stem cells/placental tissue ⁠— and provides discounts if you register more than one child. For enrollment, collection and processing, and the first year of storage, pricing begins at $1,750. 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

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 for 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

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 them almost half the price as 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.

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 banned 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% of collections would be large enough to successfully treat a person who weighs more than 160 lbs.” 

Dr. Anita Sadaty, MD, Redefining Health Medical

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Article Sources
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