The 7 Best Vitamin D Supplements to Buy in 2018

Help maintain strong bones with this "sunshine" in a bottle formula

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When it comes to vitamins, D is an important one. Without enough vitamin D, our bones aren’t able to absorb calcium. A lack of calcium can result in a lack of bone growth and soft bones, which can be dangerous, particularly for children and older adults. Not only that, but a lack of vitamin D has been linked to a host of health conditions, including cancer, depression, and heart disease.

While vitamin D occurs naturally in some foods and is produced in our skin when we spend time in the sun, the fact is we often don’t get enough of it. Whether that’s due to the weather in our area where the sun doesn’t shine year-round, or the fact that there are few foods it occurs in naturally (though many are fortified with it), many people turn to vitamin D supplements to make sure they’re getting enough of it. The recommended daily amount, according to the National Institutes of Health, is 400 international units (IU) for babies up to 12 months, 600 IU for people ages 1-70 and 800 IU for those age 70 and older.

As with any supplements, you should talk to your healthcare provider before adding them to your diet. If you decide one is right for you, here are eight popular ones to consider.

Our Top Picks

Best Overall: Nordic Naturals Vitamin D3

These soft gels from Nordic Naturals get high marks all around. One capsule contains 1000 IU of vitamin D (250 percent of the recommended daily amount for adults) to cover the bases if you’re not getting enough from the sun and other sources. With a natural orange flavor, they’re made from a neutral form of vitamin D called cholecalciferol, which the company says is ideal for optimal absorption.

Customers say they’re a great quality vitamin for a fair price.

Best With Calcium: Caltrate 600+D3 Calcium and Vitamin D Supplement Tablet

Calcium and vitamin D go hand-in-hand when it comes to supporting healthy bones, as vitamin D helps your body absorb calcium, which is vital for healthy bones. So, the fact that the two are combined into one tablet only makes sense. Beyond bones, this combo may also help promote healthy nerves, hormones, and teeth.

Just one tablet per day gets you 200 percent of the recommended daily value of vitamin D3 (800 IU) and 60 percent of your calcium (600 mg). Studies show that more than half of American women don’t get enough calcium, and this is a convenient way to make sure you do. Customers say they trust the Caltrate brand, and many note that their doctors recommend it.

Best High Concentration: NatureWise Vitamin D3, 5,000 IU

Though there are some concerns that too much vitamin D can be bad for your health, some believe that more is better. And if more is what you’re looking for, there are these soft gels from NatureWise. Each one contains 1,250 percent of the recommended daily dose of Vitamin D3 (5,000 IU).

The pills contain organic olive oil, and they’re 100 percent natural and non-GMO. The recommended dose is one soft gel per day or as recommended by your healthcare provider.

These vitamins have a strong fan base, with 90 percent of the 8,100-plus reviewers on Amazon giving them five stars. Customers say they like the small size of the capsules, report that they feel better mentally, and have seen their vitamin D levels rise significantly with use.

Best Vegetarian: DailyD Vegan Vitamin D3 Formula With Vitashine

Many vitamin D supplements, particularly those that come in capsule form, contain gelatin, which is not vegetarian-friendly. These drops from Do Vitamins, however, are 100 percent free of any animal products. One bottle contains 365 drops—enough for a year. Each drop contains 2500 IU of plant-derived vitamin D3 (625 percent of the daily recommended value) made from lichen extract. Other ingredients include medium chain triglycerides (from coconut oil) and d-alpha tocopherol (from sunflower).

Bonus: The company has partnered with Vitamin Angels, and for each bottle you purchase, a child in need will receive a year’s supply of vitamins. Customers say they work well, and they like the clean formula. Some, however, report problems with the dropper.

Best Gummies: Vitafusion Vitamin D3 Gummy Vitamins

For some people, it’s easier to remember to take their vitamins when they taste good. These vitamin D3 gummies from Vitafusion won the ChefsBest award for best taste, and customers love them.

A serving is two gummy vitamins per day, which contain 500 percent of the recommended daily dose of vitamin D (2000 IU). While they’re made with natural colors and flavors, a serving does contain 3 grams of sugar, which some people don’t like. They are, however, free from wheat, gluten, milk, peanuts, eggs, and soy. Customers say they notice a marked improvement in their mood and energy level with use.

Best for Children: Carlson Labs - Kid's Super Daily D3 Liquid Vitamin D

Carlson Kid's Super Daily D3 Drops, 0.35 Fl Oz
Courtesy of Walmart

For kids who can’t take pills or fuss about taking medicine in general, these vitamin D drops from Carlson are a great way to get them a dose. You can simply add them to their favorite foods or drinks. They’re unflavored and there’s no aftertaste, so even the pickiest eaters won’t be able to tell they’re in there.

Each dose (one drop) contains 400 IU of vitamin D3 (the recommended daily amount for children), and this bottle contains enough drops for an entire year. The drops are gluten-free, preservative-free and soy-free. Besides the vitamin D, the only other ingredient listed is medium chain triglyceride oil.

Parents say they're simple to use, and they feel good knowing their kids are getting enough of this healthy vitamin that promotes their growth and development.

Best for Infants: Ddrops Baby 400 IU, Vitamin D

Breastfed babies in particular often need an extra dose of vitamin D, and these Baby Ddrops make it easy to give it to them. The drops contain just two ingredients—vitamin D2 (400 IU per drop, which is the amount the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends for infants who are breastfed or partially breastfed) and fractionated coconut oil. There’s no taste either, so you can put the drops directly in their mouth or mix it with a food or liquid. There are no artificial flavors, preservatives, or coloring, so you don’t have to worry about putting things like that in your little one’s system. Just one drop a day is all they need.

Parents say they love that these drops don’t contain sugar and other unnecessary ingredients, and say their babies don’t even notice they’re taking them.

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