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The Best Multivitamins for Women at Every Stage of Life, According to Nutritionists

lifestyle, the best multivitamins for women at every stage of life, according to nutritionists

We updated this guide in November 2022 to ensure our dietitian-vetted picks for the best women’s multivitamins assessed by the experts in the Good Housekeeping Institute Nutrition Lab were in stock and correctly priced.

Getting your nutrients through food is always ideal, but a multivitamin can act as an insurance policy to ensure you’re filling in any potential nutrient gaps in your diet. A women’s body needs a variety of crucial nutrients throughout her lifespan. As she transitions through different life stages such as pregnancy, postpartum, perimenopause and menopause, her nutrition needs continue to evolve.

Even a nutritious diet packed with lots of delicious vegetables and fruits may require supplementation of certain vitamins and minerals. Factors such as allergies, dietary restrictions and medical conditions can further impact how and what you eat, making multivitamins crucial for women who are chronically deficient in key nutrients. In fact, recent research found that multivitamins may improve cognition in older adults.

But the multivitamin aisle can be overwhelming with the sheer volume of choices and lofty claims. What’s more, the supplement industry itself is poorly regulated, and it’s hard to know which brands and formulations will meet your needs. That’s why our team of registered dietitians within the Good Housekeeping Institute Nutrition Lab pored over hundreds of vitamin supplements to find the best options for a multitude of women. Here are the best multivitamins for women at every age, according to experts.

Our top picks:

You can learn more about how we evaluate multivitamins and supplements — including tips for choosing the best multivitamin for you — at the end of this guide. Please note that price per dosage is based on price at time of publication.

Take note: Our nutrition pros stress that a multivitamin is a supplement and should do just that: supplement the diet, not replace high quality healthy food. Check with your healthcare provider before starting any dietary supplements.

lifestyle, the best multivitamins for women at every stage of life, according to nutritionists

Organic Women’s Multi Whole Food Multivitamin

$54.94

A top pick with our team of registered dietitians, this multivitamin from mykind is organic and made from whole foods including a variety of fruits and vegetables. A serving of these certified vegan tablets provides 50% of your daily value (DV) for iron, as well as at least 100% of your daily value for vitamins A, C, D, E and K, plus a slew of B vitamins including B12.

In addition to being certified organic and vegan, this product is Certified NSF gluten-free, Non-GMO Project verified and free of any fillers and synthetic binders. Tests previously conducted by Consumer Lab indicated this brand was free of heavy metals and any disintegration, and that it contains the amount of nutrients claimed on its ingredients label.

Our experts found it to be easy on the stomach and although a serving is two tablets, they are also available in a convenient once-daily formula and gummy form. One thing to note on this pick is that it does not contain calcium, likely since including calcium may make it too physically large to swallow. That being said, be sure to include plenty of calcium-rich foods in your diet, such as yogurt, milk and kefir.

lifestyle, the best multivitamins for women at every stage of life, according to nutritionists

Multivitamin Tablets With Vitamin D and Iron

$11.99

Upwards of 23 different nutrients designed to make up for any nutrition shortfalls are contained in this budget-friendly formula. Even though this choice comes at a far lower price than any others on our list, it doesn’t sacrifice quality. Our experts highlight that this Nature Made multivitamin is USP verified, meaning that the ingredients, potency and manufacturing process have all been tested and verified. You can rest assured knowing that what is on the label is actually in the bottle.

You’ll find rich levels of essential nutrients including vitamins C and E that both function as antioxidants and can help support immunity and combat free radicals. This multi also includes vitamin D, vitamin A, iron, magnesium, zinc, selenium and more.

Housed within a gluten-free capsule, Nature Made’s vitamins are artificial color- and flavoring-free. We also like that a serving size is only one tablet. It is important to note that if you are vegan or vegetarian, these tablets do contain gelatin and are therefore not suited for a plant-based diet.

lifestyle, the best multivitamins for women at every stage of life, according to nutritionists

Essential for Women Multivitamin 18+

$30.00

This multi from subscription-based service Ritual is USP verified, meaning that it is manufactured in accordance with high quality standards. As important, it contains critical nutrients for overall health including folate, omega-3s, B12, D3, iron, K2, boron and magnesium.

Ritual’s approach is designed to be unique in that the capsules are formulated to delay release of the nutrients and ensure greater absorption. They also focus on avoiding unnecessary filler ingredients. The clinical university-led study, which was funded by the company, indicated that nutrient levels rose within 12 weeks.

What sets Ritual apart from others on this list is their commitment to traceability and quality sourcing, which stood out to our registered dietitians. You can learn about each ingredient in the multi as well as where it is sourced from and why on their website. Their Essential protein is a vegan protein powder and another favorite of our experts.

lifestyle, the best multivitamins for women at every stage of life, according to nutritionists

Eve Superior Women’s Multi

$18.94

The family-owned brand has been a leader in the health and wellness industry for over 50 years thanks to their extensive testing methods and superior quality that ensure you are getting exactly what it says on the supplement bottle. The brand is geared toward creating natural products and high quality supplements across the board.

This special multivitamin designed for women includes all of the standard vitamins and minerals you’d expect, but adds in a few other key ingredients like cranberry, alpha lipoic acid, CoQ10, pomegranate, acai and mangosteen for additional benefits. This option has iron, making it ideal for premenopausal women, as well as folate to support women of childbearing years.

You can also find it in softgel form and tablet form, though we preferred the capsule option. Our experts were very impressed by the level of testing and quality control that Now conducts.

lifestyle, the best multivitamins for women at every stage of life, according to nutritionists

Women’s Multi 40+

$56.44

Designed for women 40 and over, this sister to our mykind Organics top pick multivitamin is iron-free for perimenopausal women and adds in a blend of over 30 different fruits, vegetables and herbs to support hormonal changes during this stage of life.

This certified organic pick is vegan and free from synthetic binders and fillers. You’ll find hefty doses of vitamin B12 in its highly absorbable methylcobalamin form, as well as vegan D3 from lichen.

Our experts find the two serving option perfectly sized and easy to swallow, which also may play a role in why mykind Organics Women’s Multi disintegrated properly in Consumer Lab tests which indicates that the nutrients are likely to be fully absorbed in the gut. However, this pick does not have calcium so getting enough through diet or incorporating an additional calcium supplement can be beneficial. If tablets aren’t your thing, mykind offers a gummy form of this 40+ multivitamin as well.

lifestyle, the best multivitamins for women at every stage of life, according to nutritionists

Women’s Multi 50+

$45.00

Thorne — a company that works with professional athletes — claims to do thorough research and testing on all of its products, “methodically testing every raw ingredient and every finished good for identity and purity,” per its website.

This multi is loaded with calcium and magnesium and comes in a highly absorbable chelated form, part of the brand’s mission to create supplements that can be absorbed as seamlessly as possible. It contains 240mg of calcium (18% of your DV) plus a significant amount of magnesium — both nutrients could help your muscle and nerve function in the long run.

Since iron supplementation is typically not recommended for postmenopausal women, this multi curated for women over 50 does not include iron. Our experts love the quality but do point out that a serving is six capsules, though Thorne recommends about three to six capsules per day and checking with your healthcare provider.

lifestyle, the best multivitamins for women at every stage of life, according to nutritionists

Women’s Formula Gummy Vitamins

$25.73

Gummies are a nice alternative to pills for women who have trouble swallowing capsules daily, but according to Consumer Lab tests, the amount of a given nutrient a gummy contains may not be as indicated on the label. Thankfully, Smarty Pants’ product has been verified by multiple third parties, so that’s not a concern here.

This women’s formula gummy contains numerous omega-3 fatty acids, including DHA and EPA in healthy amounts. Biotin is also present to help maintain healthy hair, skin and nails, and folate is included as well in the form of methylfolate to support women of child-bearing age.

Our experts point out that there are no synthetic colors, preservatives or flavorings, and this gummy is produced in a cGMP-compliant facility (learn more about this FDA-approved practice). What’s more, Smarty Pants sources high quality ingredients and is certified by the Clean Label Project which means that it meets strict standards to be free from contaminants, chemicals and other unwanted additives.

lifestyle, the best multivitamins for women at every stage of life, according to nutritionists

Vegan & Veggie Multivitamin

$33.00

A purely vegan supplement, Seedwell’s daily multivitamin helps to bridge possible nutritional deficiency gaps common in vegan or vegetarian diets. The brand packs in nine different essential nutrients into its supplement, touting the only vegetable source of vitamin D, shiitake mushrooms, and includes crucial iron, zinc and vitamin B12 to help supplement a meat-free diet.

The 50 mcg of vitamin B12 plays a role in regulating red blood cell health, says Amy Fischer, MS, RD, CDN, a registered dietitian with the Good Housekeeping Institute. This is key to avoiding issues like anemia, which is known to lead to chills and fatigue and is a risk for people on vegan and vegetarian diets.

The Good Housekeeping Institute’s chemists and registered dietitians assessed the potency of key nutrients in this product by analyzing Seedwell’s test data which was performed at an independent laboratory, as well as testing for purity to ensure the absence of common heavy metals and microbial contaminants.

lifestyle, the best multivitamins for women at every stage of life, according to nutritionists

Baby & Me 2 Prenatal Multi (30 Servings)

$29.99

The nutrition needs of pregnancy can be difficult to meet through diet alone, especially if you are battling nausea and other intense side effects during this time. That’s why a prenatal vitamin is essential for most pregnant women and widely recommended by registered dietitians, obstetricians and other healthcare practitioners.

Folic acid is an ingredient you’ll see in prenatal vitamins as it plays an important role in helping form the neural tube and preventing major birth defects of the baby’s developing brain and spine. This doctor formulated prenatal from MegaFood contains methylated folate which is the active form of folic acid.

Choline is another important nutrient that supports healthy fetal brain development throughout pregnancy, but our experts note that unfortunately many prenatal vitamins do not contain choline and most pregnant women in the US don’t consume enough of it. But this option from MegaFood does contain choline, about 300mg or 55% of a pregnant woman’s daily needs. You can even pair this prenatal with the brand’s prenatal DHA and choline supplement if directed by your healthcare provider. Our experts love that this multivitamin has been designed to be taken on an empty stomach in case you’ve got morning sickness (or more like all day sickness).

lifestyle, the best multivitamins for women at every stage of life, according to nutritionists

Best Postnatal Multivitamin (30 Servings)

$29.99

A woman’s nutritional needs change after having a baby. Our registered dietitians appreciate that MegaFood keeps the entire prenatal and postnatal continuum in mind, specially supporting the increased nutrition demands of nursing mothers.

This pick also includes choline to continue supporting baby’s brain development, as well as organic moringa which may lead to improved milk production. You also have the option to pair this prenatal with the brand’s prenatal DHA and choline supplement if directed by your healthcare provider. This, too, can be taken on an empty stomach and we found them to be easily digestible.

In addition to being Non-GMO Project verified, this postnatal is certified Glyphosate Residue Free and MegaFood tests for 125+ herbicides and pesticides.

lifestyle, the best multivitamins for women at every stage of life, according to nutritionists

How we test sunscreens

Nutrition experts within the Good Housekeeping Institute evaluated marketing claims and ingredient lists associated with dozens of the best-selling women’s vitamins to pinpoint the best supplements overall. Special consideration was paid to determine products better suited for women of different age ranges, especially for those over the age of 50 and for soon-to-be mothers since nutrient intake criteria shifts based on guidelines set by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.

Our evaluations are based on the supplement’s nutrient content, sourcing methods and manufacturing process, as well as considerations like consumer pricing and availability. We consulted the FDA’s Good Manufacturing Practices for supplements and considered only multivitamins that have been tested by a credible third party such as USP, NSF and Consumer Lab, or met our rigorous standards to ensure that what is on the bottle is what is on the label. Please remember to check with your healthcare provider before starting any dietary supplements.

lifestyle, the best multivitamins for women at every stage of life, according to nutritionists

How we test sunscreens

Ultimately, supplements are just that: meant to supplement a healthy diet and fill in any nutrition gaps that may be present. But it’s important to note that additional nutrition from a multivitamin — even the best multivitamins — won’t replace the need for a balanced, healthy intake. Try to keep these considerations in mind:

  • Percentages: Try to source a multivitamin that doesn’t exceed 100% of the daily value (DV) for essential vitamins and minerals, especially fat soluble vitamins, including A, E and K, because these may reach toxic levels quickly. Water soluble vitamins are less of a concern since any excess will get flushed out when you go to the bathroom.
  • Age range: Choosing a multivitamin designed for women exclusively can be a great idea, especially if you’re selecting a product marketed to your age group as well, as manufacturers are likely addressing specific needs women in your age group may have. Multis are often good because they aim to include appropriate amounts as well as the complimentary nutrients that aid in absorption.
  • Pill type and size: There are a variety of pill styles available, including tablets, capsules, softgels, gummies and more. If you don’t like swallowing large pills, there are plenty of other options to choose from and even our top pick from mykind Organics has a gummy version. Pay attention to serving size as well, as some multivitamins require upwards of three to four pills to meet the appropriate dosage.
  • Certifications: Multivitamins aren’t evaluated for safety or efficacy by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, but that doesn’t mean you can’t look for other signs of quality when you’re in the supplement aisle. Try to identify brands that are verified by USP and carry the USP seal, granted by an independent, third party organization that asserts quality control on multivitamins via purity tests and ingredient fact-checking. Supplements carrying the USP seal have had their ingredient list verified, and have cleared tests for manufacturing contaminants like lead or other heavy metals. Other consumer advocacy organizations like NSF International and ConsumerLab.com also provide testing and verification on some multivitamin products. Shoppers can also turn to the FDA’s Good Manufacturing Practices to weigh their current multivitamin against these standards.

lifestyle, the best multivitamins for women at every stage of life, according to nutritionists

How we test sunscreens

Before you try adopting a daily multivitamin, be sure to continue to optimize your diet to include more nutrient-rich items naturally — a daily vitamin works best when it’s not intended to be a sole source for any given nutrient. Consider maximizing your intake of fiber-rich foods, antioxidants, minerals and omega-3 fatty acids by loading up on veggies, lean proteins and plant-based proteins as much as possible. Add in fresh fruit, whole grains, nuts, seeds and legumes as well as unsweetened dairy products into your meals when possible before starting a daily multivitamin regimen for best results.

Unlike probiotics, you shouldn’t concern yourself over which time of day to take a multivitamin. When taking multivitamins every day, it is ideal to take them with food or during a meal to minimize any potential stomach discomfort and naturally enhance absorption.

lifestyle, the best multivitamins for women at every stage of life, according to nutritionists

How we test sunscreens

For those over 50, calcium and vitamin D sourced through diet is often insufficient, and there are other lifestyle factors in play. The combo functions in tandem: Calcium, stored in your bones, is key for cellular function in muscles, nerves and glands, whereas vitamin D helps to maintain bone density itself and draws calcium within your GI tract and from kidneys. They also tend to contain less iron, because your need for dietary iron goes down after menopause.

One caveat: Since vitamin D is difficult to get from sunshine alone, you and your doctor may decide that in addition to a multivitamin which contains D, you may need a separate vitamin D supplement as well.

lifestyle, the best multivitamins for women at every stage of life, according to nutritionists

How we test sunscreens

You’ll need to discuss your supplement routine with your doctor before your pregnancy gets too far along. Per recommendations made by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, you should source four nutrients in particular: Folic acid (600mcg), choline (450mg), iodine (220mcg) and iron (27 mg).

Obstetricians have historically stressed the importance of folic acid — which reduces the risk of fetal brain defects during the first trimester — as well as choline, an often overlooked vitamin that supports brain development and lowers the risk of birth defects. Both of these nutrients are found in protein-rich eggs and staples like whole grains, but can still be tricky to get through food alone. Working with your OB/GYN to determine any nutrient holes in your current diet as your pregnancy gets underway can ensure you’re pulling the best supplement for healthy development.

lifestyle, the best multivitamins for women at every stage of life, according to nutritionists

How we test sunscreens

As Deputy Director of the Good Housekeeping Institute Nutrition Lab, Stefani Sassos, MS, RDN, CSO, CDN, NASM-CPT, handles all nutrition content, product testing and evaluation. She stays up-to-date on the latest research to provide evidence-based reporting on all things diet and nutrition, and she also runs large-scale tests and analyses for products ranging from protein bars to supplements. Stefani became passionate about evaluating multivitamins when she was searching for a prenatal when pregnant with her daughter. She has a master’s degree in clinical nutrition from New York University and has been a registered dietitian for six years, working in the clinical setting prior to joining Good Housekeeping and obtaining advanced credentials and board certifications in the nutrition field.

In his role as Health Editor, Zee Krstic works hand in hand with nutrition authorities in the Good Housekeeping Institute to evaluate consumer products in the diet and nutrition industry. He fostered a strong background in holistic nutrition early in his career through previous work with a team of registered dietitians at Cooking Light.

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