The Best Multivitamins for Women of 2022

Garden of Life mykind Organics Women's Once Daily Multi is our top pick

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Best Multivitamins for Women

Verywell / Sabrina Jiang

In general, women eating a balanced diet can meet their vitamin and mineral needs from food alone. However, supplementation may be indicated during certain life stages, like pregnancy or post-menopause, and to treat a diagnosed deficiency. Multivitamins may also benefit those following restrictive diets that limit certain food groups or those with medical conditions causing decreased absorption.

Women's multivitamins typically target the specific RDAs (Recommended Daily Allowance) for women, which sometimes differ from those of men. They may also be higher in certain nutrients of particular importance for women, including iron, calcium, and vitamin D, and in the case of prenatal vitamins, folate, choline, iodine, and DHA. Whether you're looking to treat a deficiency, support a healthy pregnancy, or fill a gap in your diet, there are many women-specific multivitamin options to choose from, based on everything from your age and activity level to specific nutrients and budget.

Verywell Fit Approved Multivitamins

Always speak with a healthcare professional before adding a supplement to your routine to ensure that the supplement is appropriate for your individual needs and dosage requirements.

Is a Women's Multivitamin Beneficial?

Studies evaluating the efficacy of multivitamins are limited, largely due to the fact that there are many contributing factors to health outcomes that are difficult to control for in studies, such as diet and other lifestyle factors. However, research has shown that multivitamins can be effective at reducing vitamin and mineral deficiency in certain populations.

In general, the following populations may benefit from a women's multivitamin:

Those on a restrictive diet: If you follow a diet that limits certain food groups, you may benefit from a multivitamin. For example, vegan and vegetarian diets tend to be low in calcium, vitamin D, B12, zinc, iron, and iodine.

Those who are trying to conceive: The CDC recommends that anyone who might become pregnant take 400 micrograms of folic acid each day to prevent neural birth defects in the baby.

Those that are pregnant: Pregnancy is a time of increased nutrient needs. According to USDA data, many pregnant and lactating people are not meeting recommendations for certain food groups and specific nutrients. So it is generally recommended for these populations to take a daily prenatal vitamin. The CDC and American College of Obstretricians and Gynecologists recommend taking a daily prenatal vitamin with 400 micrograms of folic acid during pregnancy.

Older adults: As we age, it can become more difficult to absorb certain nutrients, such as B12 and vitamin D. Additionally, those over the age of 70 require more calcium and vitamin D to support bone health. While you can get these nutrients from food, in some cases, supplementation may be warranted.

People with poor absorption: Some medical conditions can cause decreased ability to absorb nutrients, so supplementation may be indicated. These include:

  • Digestive conditions
  • Conditions that cause vomiting or diarrhea
  • Surgeries that alter the digestive tract (including bariatric surgery)
  • Alcoholism
  • Certain medications

Who May Not Benefit from a Women's Multivitamin

There is no regulated definition of what a Women's Multivitamin is and what it must contain. Therefore, different women's multivitamins contain different combinations and doses of nutrients, which should be reviewed with a healthcare provider before beginning that supplement.

People who may not benefit from a multivitamin include:

Those who eat a well-balanced diet: If you eat a well-balanced, varied diet, you likely don’t need a multivitamin, especially if you are not pregnant or trying to conceive and do not have any health conditions.

Those taking individual supplements: If you take individual supplements in addition to a multivitamin, you are at higher risk of exceeding the Upper Tolerable Intake Levels (UL), which can lead to adverse health outcomes. If a healthcare provider has diagnosed you with a deficiency based on your blood work, individual supplementation of specific nutrients may be indicated. Taking multiple supplements should be done under the supervision of a physician to reduce the risk of over supplementation.

Those taking certain medications: Multivitamins can interact with certain medications, so be sure to check with a healthcare provider before taking any supplements to ensure they are safe.

Best Overall : Garden of Life mykind Organics Women's Once Daily Multi

mykind Organics Women's Once Daily Multi
Pros
  • NSF-Certified and ConsumerLab tested and approved

  • USDA Organic, certified gluten-free, vegan, and kosher

  • Derived from whole foods

Cons
  • Low in iron and does not contain calcium

Who else recommends it? CNET and Byrdie both picked the Garden of Life mykind Organics Women's Once Daily Multi.

What do buyers say? 85% of 12,400+ Amazon reviewers rated this product 5 stars.

Garden Of Life mykind Organics Women's Once Daily Multi is an NSF-certified and ConsumerLab approved multivitamin with a wide variety of nutrients derived from organic whole foods. It contains both vitamins and minerals, including folate, zinc, and vitamins A, C, D3, E, and B-complex, which support women’s specific nutritional needs.

It does not contain calcium and contains just 14% of the daily value of iron, so it is important to take that into consideration if a healthcare provider recommends supplementing with these nutrients. Be sure to read all of the ingredients in the organic food blend to be sure they are all ingredients you tolerate.

ConsumerLab has tested and approved this supplement to verify that it contains what it says it contains in the appropriate quantities and that it is free from harmful contaminants. The supplement is USDA Organic, certified gluten-free, vegan, and kosher if those certifications are important to your ethical and dietary considerations.

You can feel good about this purchase too. Garden of Life is a Certified B Corporation and is committed to sustainability, certified by the Carbonfund, and awarded LEED Gold by the U.S. Green Building Council.

Key nutrients: Folate, iron, zinc, vitamin D3, B-complex | Vegan: Yes | Vegetarian: Yes | Gluten-free: Yes

Best Subscription: Ritual Essential for Women

ritual
Pros
  • Vegan sources of omega-3 oils

  • USP-Certified

  • Non-GMO

Cons
  • Does not include vitamin C

A subscription-based multivitamin is perfect if you take multivitamins consistently and prefer the convenience of home delivery. Ritual offers a multivitamin formulated for women ages 18 to 49 that is conveniently delivered every month, so you never miss a day.

Each two-capsule serving contains key nutrients that women typically lack in their diet, including vitamins D, E, B12, folate, iron, and DHA. Like all Ritual products, each ingredient is traceable, so you know exactly where each nutrient came from.

The delayed-release capsule design and mint flavoring help to reduce nausea associated with taking supplements. The multivitamin is also Non-GMO Project Verified, USP-Verified, and free of major allergens, artificial colors, and synthetic fillers.

Key nutrients: Vitamin D, E, B12, folate, iron, DHA | Vegan: Yes | Vegetarian: Yes | Gluten-free: Yes

Best Budget: Nature Made Women's Multivitamin Tablets

Nature Made Women's Multivitamin Tablets
Pros
  • USP Verified

  • Great value

  • 23 vitamins and minerals

Cons
  • May cause nausea for some

With 300 once-daily tablets per bottle, the Nature Made Multi for Her is a great budget-friendly option. They're packed with 23 vitamins and minerals, including vitamin D3 for muscle, bone, and immune health.

These vitamins also contain iron and calcium, which are essential for women's blood and bone health. Take note that studies have shown that calcium taken at the same time as iron may decrease iron absorption, though this may just be a short-term effect, and the body may adapt in time. Since this multi only has 19% of the daily value of calcium, it might be even less of an issue.

USP is a rigorous third-party certification that shows that this multi contains what it says it contains without harmful contaminants. They're also gluten-free and void of added colors and artificial flavors.

Key nutrients: Vitamin D3, iron, calcium | Vegan: No | Vegetarian: Yes | Gluten-free: Yes

Best Gummies: SmartyPants Women's Formula

Pros
  • NSF-Certified

  • Contains EPA and DHA omega-3 fatty acids

  • Good taste

Cons
  • 8 grams of added sugar

  • Not vegan or vegetarian-friendly

SmartyPants Women's Formula is NSF certified, ensuring purity and potency and making it a trusted option for women looking to supplement using a tasty gummy. In addition to over fifteen vitamins and minerals, it also contains omega-3 fish oil from sustainable fisheries and uses only small fish to lower the risk of mercury exposure. These gummies are made from non-GMO ingredients and are free of the top allergens. They use only natural colors like organic turmeric and organic black carrot juice.

SmartyPants does use gelatin, making it not suitable for vegans and vegetarians. The serving size is a bit larger at 6 gummies with 8g of added sugar, though this allows the company to fit in more nutrients, including higher doses of omega 3s and Vitamin D, compared to some other brands. Additionally, this supplement does not contain iron or calcium.

Key nutrients: Vitamin D3 and Omega-3s | Vegan: No | Vegetarian: No | Gluten-free: Yes

Best without Iron (Ages 55+): New Chapter Multivitamin for Women 50 plus

New Chapter Multivitamin for Women 50 plus

Courtesy of Amazon

Pros
  • NSF-Certified

  • Formulated for women post menopause

  • Non-GMO and contains organic ingredients

Cons
  • Expensive

  • Large pills that may be broken when supplement arrives

Nutrition needs for women change as they age. Iron supplementation is not typically recommended for postmenopausal women, as their need for iron goes down with the cessation of menstruation. New Chapter's Every Woman's One Daily Multi 55+ is free of iron but is specifically formulated with vitamin D and calcium to help support strong bones and a blend of B vitamins to promote optimal energy.

The fermented, whole food, once-daily multivitamin is easy on digestion and may promote optimal absorption. This multi also provides additional holistic support through herbs and spices such as turmeric, which may reduce inflammation and be helpful for those with arthritis.

Key nutrients: Vitamin D, B vitamins, turmeric, selenium | Vegan: No | Vegetarian: Yes | Gluten-free: Yes

Best Prenatal: Thorne Research Basic Prenatal

Thorne Basic Prenatal
Pros
  • Formulated to reduce nausea

  • Free of major allergens

  • No additives or artificial flavors and colors

Cons
  • Not third-party tested

When looking for a prenatal vitamin, it's important to select a product with adequate folic acid in a form you can absorb. The CDC recommends that anyone who might become pregnant take 400 micrograms of folic acid—the synthetic version of folate—to protect against neural tube defects.

Folic acid is the form of folate that has been recommended by the CDC for supplementation for women of reproductive ages and who are pregnant. However, folic acid is the inactive form of folate as it must be converted to the active form for your body to be able to use it. We now know that many people have a genetic mutation that makes this conversion less effective. For this reason, some supplement brands are now producing prenatal supplements that include the active form, L-5-methyltetrahydrofolate, rather than folic acid.

Thorne Research's Basic Prenatal is an excellent option for women trying to conceive, are pregnant, or breastfeeding. Each serving of three capsules provides over 100 percent of the daily value of the active form of folate as well as iron and vitamin D. The supplement is specifically formulated to reduce nausea and is free of additives and the top eight allergens. While this product is not third-party certified, Thorne is a trusted supplement brand with rigorous procedures for sourcing and ensuring the quality of its products.

Key nutrients: Folic acid, iron, vitamin D | Vegan: No | Gluten-free: Yes | Non-GMO: No | Organic: No

Final Verdict

Our top pick is Garden of Life's mykind Organic Women's Once Daily Multivitamin, a whole-food-based, ConsumerLab approved multivitamin that's specially formulated for women. We also love Ritual Essential for Women. It's a USP verified supplement that contains vegan omega 3s as well as other nutrients women typically lack in their diets.

How We Select Supplements

Our team works hard to be transparent about why we recommend certain supplements; you can read more about our dietary supplement methodology here

We support supplements that are evidence-based and rooted in science. We value certain product attributes that we find to be associated with the highest quality products. We prioritize products that are third-party tested and certified by one of three independent, third-party certifiers: USP, NSF, or ConsumerLab. 

It's important to note that the FDA does not review dietary supplements for safety and effectiveness before they go to market. Our team of experts has created a detailed, science-backed methodology to choose the supplements we recommend.

What To Look For in a Women's Multivitamin

Third-Party Testing

Supplements that are third-party tested are sent to a lab where they are tested to ensure they contain what they say they contain and are not contaminated with specific high-risk, common contaminants. However, it’s important to note:

  1. Third-party testing does not test to see if a product is effective or safe for everyone, and it does not ensure the supplement will not interact with other supplements or medications.
  2. Not all third-party testing is created equal. It is not uncommon for supplement companies to pay labs for certificates after conducting minimal to no testing. 
  3. The third-party certifications we can trust: ConsumerLab, NSF, and USP. However, these certifications are difficult to obtain and/or expensive for manufacturers, so many companies choose not to get their products tested by one of these three organizations. 
  4. Sometimes products tested by these three companies are more expensive to try to offset the cost they pay for certification.
  5. Just because a supplement is not tested by one of these three companies does not mean it’s a bad product. We recommend doing some research on the reputability of the manufacturer and calling up the manufacturer and their testing lab to determine their protocols and decide if you feel comfortable consuming the supplement.

Form

Consider the physical form of a vitamin, meaning capsule, gummy, or chewable, when choosing a multivitamin. Note that gummies often include lower doses of each nutrient, typically don’t contain iron, and often contain added sugars. However, they are also tastier and easier to eat and to remember to take. Consider which form you will tolerate best and can easily incorporate into your daily routine. For example, some of them come in very large capsules or pills that are difficult to swallow, which may make it less likely for you to take them.

Ingredients & Potential Interactions

It is essential to carefully read the ingredient list and nutrition facts panel of a supplement to know which ingredients and how much of each ingredient is included, relative to the recommended daily value of that ingredient. Please bring the supplement label to a healthcare provider to review the different ingredients contained in the supplement and any potential interactions between these ingredients and other supplements and medications you are taking.

Medication Interactions: Women's Multivitamins contain a variety of vitamins and minerals, some of which may interact with other medications or supplements. For example, vitamin K, which is found in most multivitamins, interacts with warfarin (Coumadin), a blood thinner. If you take a blood thinner, work with your doctor or registered dietitian to determine if a multivitamin is safe for you—and if so, at what dose. If you take other medications or supplements, be sure to review potential interactions with your healthcare provider.

Additional Ingredients: Many multivitamins also contain herbs, enzymes, as well as probiotics. Because the research on efficacy and safety varies significantly for each different additional ingredient, it’s best to review the potential benefits of additional supplements with a healthcare provider. Be extra cautious with herbal ingredients, as they may also interact with certain medications you may be taking.

Women's Multivitamin Dosage

There is no specific regulatory definition or standard of what nutrients a women's multivitamin must contain and at what levels. Therefore, there are no RDA (Recommended Dietary Allowance) guidelines established for multivitamins. However, there are RDAs and ULs (Tolerable Upper Intake Level) for the individual vitamins and minerals they contain, outlined by the National Institutes of Health.

You may notice that some supplements have vitamin and mineral contents that exceed the RDAs, but it's important to remember that many factors influence nutrient bioavailability, meaning your body's ability to absorb and utilize the nutrient, so your body might not actually be absorbing the amount listed on the bottle. For that reason, supplement companies often add more than the RDA.

How Much is Too Much?

It’s important to ensure that no nutrients in your multivitamin exceed the upper limit established by the National Institute of Health Office of Dietary SupplementsAdelaide Hearst McClintock, MD of Women's Health Care Center at UWMC-Roosevelt says, "Do be mindful that there can be 'too much of a good thing' when it comes to supplements. Taking much more than the recommended doses can lead to toxicities and is not recommended."

Your body can filter out excess consumption of water-soluble vitamins (B and C), but fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E, K) can be stored in your body. Be sure not to exceed the UL (Tolerable Upper Intake Level) for vitamins and minerals, particularly for supplemental fat-soluble vitamins.

You can help ensure that you are not exceeding micronutrient upper limits by running your multivitamin pick by a healthcare provider before you start taking it, sticking to reputable multivitamins that do not have unnecessary additives, and getting annual blood work to make sure your micronutrient levels are within the normal range.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Do multivitamins work?

    It depends. Multivitamins can be effective in filling in the nutritional gaps in your diet, meaning they can help you meet the recommended intake of vitamins and minerals when you cannot meet these needs from food alone.

    Nutritional needs vary from person to person and are dependent on many factors, including age, gender, lifestyle, and overall health status. For the average healthy individual who has a varied diet, multivitamin supplementation may not be necessary. However, for women of reproductive age, older individuals, or vegans and vegetarians, taking a multivitamin daily may be best to help meet specific, daily nutrient needs. Whether or not a multivitamin will work for you depends on the product and how regularly you take it. Remember that multivitamin supplementation is not a replacement for a healthy, balanced diet.

  • What is the best time to take a multivitamin?

    There is not enough research to give a definitive answer to the best time of day, but many individuals have success when taking a multivitamin in the morning with breakfast. Taking your multivitamin with a meal may also enhance the absorption of some vitamins. For example, fat-soluble vitamins—A, D, E, and K—are best absorbed with a meal incorporating dietary fat.

  • Do I need to take a multivitamin everyday for it to be effective?

    In general, if you are taking a multivitamin, you want to be consistent with your regimen. However, whether or not you need to take a multivitamin daily depends on your individual nutrient needs, goals, and diet. If you have a diagnosed deficiency, you may require increased dosage and daily maintenance of certain vitamins and minerals to build your levels to within normal range, so it's important to discuss your specific needs with a healthcare provider. It's important to note that you should not rely on a multivitamin for disease prevention or use it as a substitute for a balanced diet and other healthful lifestyle choices.

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Verywell Fit 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.
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