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best vitamin d supplements

12 of the best vitamin D supplements

28 Sep 2022 • 6 min read

Most people know by now that vitamin D is important for all sorts, including supporting our natural immunity, bones, muscles, heart, and more.

Sometimes we can’t get enough just from sunlight or our diet, so we might wish to find some other sources.

Here are 12 of the best vitamin D supplements for babies, children, and adults:

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Capsules, tablets, or liquid - which vitamin D is for me?

Not everyone will get on with the same type of vitamin D supplement. But luckily, there are plenty of options to choose from!

You’ll most commonly find vitamin D in the form of:

What is the best type of vitamin D to take?

There are two main forms of vitamin D:

  • Vitamin D2: ergocalciferol, aka vitamin D2, is made by plants like wild mushrooms grown under UV lights.
  • Vitamin D3: cholecalciferol, aka vitamin D3, is made by our own bodies when we’re exposed to adequate sunlight. Animal products like meat, fish, eggs, and dairy, as well as a vegan fungus called lichen, also naturally contain vitamin D3.

What’s better - vitamin D2 or vitamin D3?

Research suggests that vitamin D3 is more important for our overall health than vitamin D2.¹

Choose a supplement that contains optimal levels of both types, or stick with pure vitamin D3 supplements - vitamin D2 is not enough on its own.

Is my vitamin D level normal?

The NHS says that all adults and all children over 1 year need 10µg (micrograms) of vitamin D per day.2

This includes if you’re pregnant, breastfeeding, or at risk of vitamin D deficiency.

Babies up to 1 year old need a slightly smaller dose - 8.5 - 10µg per day.

Most people will have a normal vitamin D level from sunlight exposure during the brighter months. However, it’s recommended that everyone takes a 10µg vitamin D supplement from October to March.2

It’s also recommended to take a vitamin D supplement all year round if you:

  • Don’t go outdoors much
  • Are in a care home or similar institution
  • Usually wear clothes that cover most of your skin while outside
  • Are over 653

What is the best vitamin D3 supplement for adults?

Diet and sunlight are our only vitamin D sources outside of supplements.

Adults who don’t get much vitamin D through their diets (like vegetarians and vegans) as well as those who don’t get outside much may consider taking a vitamin D supplement all year round.

Everyone else should consider a vitamin D supplement in at least the autumn and winter months as it’s much harder to get any from sunlight.

Handpicked content:  Vitamin D deficiency - How to identify and treat

The 12 best vitamin D supplements

Vegan or veggie, young or old - there’s a vitamin D supplement to suit everyone.

Here are 12 of the best, hand-picked by us:

  1. Vitamin D3 tablets

It’s recommended you choose vitamin D3 (or a combination of vitamins D2 and D3) where possible, as it’s more effective than D2 alone.1

Vitamin D tablets can be taken with water. They’re absorbed into your bloodstream, where they travel to your liver, and then to the “target” area of your body.

Tablets are a long-lasting, affordable option and can provide a higher dose than some other forms (like vitamin D capsules).

However, some might find them difficult to swallow.

  • Provides the NHS daily recommended dose for most people (10µg)2
  • Also available in a higher strength (25µg) Holland & Barrett Vitamin D3 – 10µg
  • Suitable for vegetarians
  • Easy to swallow

What our customers think

ToriiaLouise – Such an essential product – 5/5 stars

“Been taking these for just over a week now and I'm really happy with them. They contain the RDA for vitamin D3 and they're suitable for vegetarians as well which is fantastic. I will continue to take this supplement.”

Diddles – Good product – 5/5 stars

“Have been taking this product for years as I don’t get enough sunlight with being unable to get out much. I wouldn’t take any other brand.”

  1. Strong vitamin D tablets

If you're deficient in vitamin D, you may need a high strength supplement to replenish your levels.

You can find high-strength vitamin D tablets, capsules, liquids, and gummies.

  • A stronger dose of vitamin D3 (50µg)
  • Easy to swallow
  • Suitable for vegetarians

What our customers think

FCFC – High strength – 5/5 stars

“Highest strength I can find over the counter, makes a difference to energy levels on dark winter days.”

Tinkerbell – Great vit D – 5/5 stars

“I bought this a while ago. Good price for a high strength d vit. Happy with it”

  1. Vitamin D capsules

You might find Vitamin D capsules in dry, plastic-coated forms or softer, oil-filled ones.

They have a higher bioavailability than tablets - this means that more of it gets absorbed into the bloodstream. This could mean that it delivers slightly more vitamin D to you.

However, they have a shorter shelf life than tablets and they may not do as well in extreme heat and humidity. They may also provide lower doses than vitamin D tablets.

  • Contains the NHS daily recommended dose for most people (10µg)2
  • Gelatine-free and suitable for vegetarians
  • Can be easier to swallow than tablets

What our customers think

TrishF – Vegetarian Vitamin D3 Capsules – 5/5 stars

“Capsule size makes this very easy to take. Only one a day required to meet adult normal daily requirement.”

Franam – Great supplement – 5/5 stars

“I bought these for my husband. Who finds them great. They are easy to take with no aftertaste."

  1. Vitamin D gummies for adults

Vitamin D gummies are particularly appealing to children - but there's no reason adults can’t enjoy them!

Chewable and often fruit-flavoured, they’re a great option for anyone who struggles to swallow tablets (or who wants a sweeter alternative).

However, gummies may have a shorter shelf life and become less potent over time - so they’ll need to be used quickly to retain their full strength.

  • Vitamin D chewable tablets with tasty strawberry flavour
  • Contains 25µg of vitamin D3 per gummy
  • Vitamin D3 gummies suitable for vegetarians – gelatine-free

What our customers think

Anonymous – Clever way to get grownups taking their vitamins! – 5/5 stars

“These are so nice, I have to stop myself eating more than one a day!”

Hearty and Healthy – Yummy Gummies – 5/5 stars

“I bought these as my husband did not like the minty flavoured Vitamin D sprays. He is very happy to munch one of these gummies every day. I know that it is important to take vitamin D especially in the winter months when we don't have much sunshine and I am hopeful that these will keep us healthy.”

Handpicked content: 6 of the best vitamin D gummies

  1. Vitamin D liquid

Vitamin D liquids are another great choice for those who can’t swallow tablets or struggle to chew. They can be mixed into food and drinks, and some come unflavoured - perfect for a discreet extra vitamin D source.

  • Contains 10µg of vitamin D per 4 drops of orange-flavour liquid
  • You can alter the dose daily to suit your needs (do not exceed maximum dose)
  • Easy to take vitamin D drops for adults & children
  • Vegetarian-friendly

What our customers think

Chris McCulloch – Good vitamin D Supplement – 5/5 stars

“With all of the information about the health benefits of taking a vitamin D supplement. I would strongly recommend this one. I have felt more alert and more energetic since taking this product.”

Ollykins – Brilliant – 5/5 stars

“Brilliant for anyone who dislikes taking tablets and easy to get correct dosage with pipet. Pleasant mild orange flavour.”

  1. Vitamin D spray

Vitamin D sprays are great to take on the go and are another easy-to-take alternative to tablets. They’re also just as effective.5

  • Maximum strength 4000IU (100mcg) vitamin D spray
  • Scientifically formulated to deliver vitamin D directly into the bloodstream (instead of via the gut)
  • Natural peppermint flavour: fresh breath + vitamin D!

What our customers think

Moloney 2 – Excellent! – 5/5 stars

“This is an excellent way to increase your vitamin D level - it’s easy to use, has a pleasant minty taste and gets vitamin D into you! Perfect for those of us who aren’t that keen on taking tablets but need to raise our vitamin D levels.”

Trishb63 – Easy to use support for my immune system – 5/5 stars

“Happy with my Vit D. Love the ease of use. Even tastes good.”

  1. Fish oil vitamin D

Oily fish is rich in vitamin D, so you can get it through a fish oil like cod liver oil.

Just a teaspoon supplies all your recommended daily vitamin D and a little more, at 450 IU per serving.6

It’s also rich in omega 3, the fatty acids that play a significant role in our eye, brain, and heart health.

If a spoon of cod liver oil isn’t your thing, try a soft fish oil gel capsule instead:

  • Enjoy the benefits of omega 3 and vitamin D3 with this fish oil
  • Has 25µg of vitamin D3 per serving + 1200mg of omega 3
  • Supports normal cardiac function (this benefit is achieved with a daily dose of 250mg of DHA & EPA)

What our customers think

ATL Studio – Great product and a bonus with the added omega 3! – 5/5 stars

“Originally looking for a Vit D tablet to see me through lockdown and found these. Great to have the added benefit of Omega 3, couldn't have asked for more.”

Jam1975 – Great product – 5/5 stars

"Great product have been using it for years. My GP on a recent test said I had very healthy levels of vitamin D so to keep doing what I was doing.”

  1. Calcium + vitamin D tablets

If you want to take vitamin D to support healthy and functioning bones and muscles, a calcium and vitamin D supplement could be for you.

  • A combination of calcium and vitamin D for bone and muscle health
  • Contains 600mg of calcium + 3µg of vitamin D per caplet
  • Suitable for vegetarians

What our customers think

Nelly wizz – Calcium plus vitamin D – 5/5 stars

“Only been taking for a short while and already feeling the benefits.”

Jenny 47 – Best calcium and vitamin D tablets – 5/5 stars

“I have had trouble with some calcium tablets causing stomach problems due to other ingredients in them, but these are perfect for me.”

What is the best vegan vitamin D supplement?

There are a few different vegan-friendly vitamin D supplements you can take, including vegan vitamin D3. Choose from vegan vitamin D capsules, or a spray like the one below:

  1. Vegan vitamin D3 spray

  • A simple and pure vegan formulation to maintain vitamin D levels
  • Contains 25µg of vegan vitamin D3 per daily serving
  • Flavour-free with packaging made from ocean waste plastic

What our customers think

Liily – Best vegan vitamin D supplement – 5/5 stars

“This is the only vegan vitamin D supplement I've been able to find which uses the more useful form of vitamin d3 rather than d2. The spray bottle is easy to use and the supplement is almost tasteless although it does leave an odd oily feeling in the mouth for a few seconds after use. Nothing bad enough to prevent me using it though. Overall, would definitely recommend  to vegans looking for a quick and easy daily vitamin D supplement.”

Shelbs – Very good, would recommend – 5/5 stars

“Really pleased with this product. Easy to use and doesn't really taste of anything which suits me.”

  1. Newborn baby vitamin D drops

What is the best vitamin D supplement for babies?

It’s recommended that breastfed babies are given a vitamin D supplement containing 8.5-10µg of vitamin D every day, even if the breastfeeding mother is taking a vitamin D supplement.2

Babies being fed infant formula milk will not need to supplement, as these contain vitamin D already.

Handpicked content: Guide to vitamin D for children & babies

  • Vitamin D drops containing vitamin D3 for newborn babies up to 5-year-olds
  • Has 5µg per 1ml, so 1-2 drops per day is enough
  • Odourless and flavourless; drop it directly into their mouth or mix with juice / food

What our customers think

Del5 – Good quality drops – 5/5 stars

“Good quality drops. My daughter quite likes them and is always looking forward to taking them.”

JoLu – Easy, no hassle – 5/5 stars

“So easy to give my 1 yr old granddaughter. She doesn't know it's in her drink or porridge, but I know she's getting what she needs.”

  1. Vitamin D drops for kids

What is the best vitamin D supplement for kids?

Children need vitamin D throughout their childhood to grow and stay healthy. Here are some supplements they may actually enjoy taking!

  • Provides 170% of vitamin D3 recommended for children 1-5 years old
  • Unflavoured vitamin D3 drops, so you can easily mix with water, milk, or juice
  • Great for children who can’t swallow tablets

What our customers think

Carlzed – Fab – 5/5 stars

“Love these drops, I pop them.in my daughter’s milk in a morning she doesn't even know as there's no flavour, nice and simple :).”

Sarah2790 – Great product and price – 5/5 stars

“I add to my daughter’s milk she doesn't seem to notice. Easy to dispense from the bottle. Great price.”

  1. Vitamin D gummies for kids

  • Supplies the perfect amount of vitamin D3 for 3–7-year-olds
  • Fun, appealing Peppa Pig design
  • Delicious natural strawberry flavour soft jellies
  • Suitable for vegetarians and vegans

What our customers think

Louise P19 – Love these! – 5/5 stars

“Fab for kids! My daughter asked for one every morning!”

Harriets Mummy – Loves the strawberry flavour – 5/5 stars

“Our 3-year-old looks forward to her daily Peppa jelly. She loves the strawberry flavour.”

The final say

Whether you’re looking for vitamin D tablets, sprays, or liquid drops, we hope this guide has helped you determine which vitamin D supplement is best for you and your family.

If you’re concerned you don’t have a “normal” vitamin D level, consult your GP or take a vitamin D test at home.

Then, it’s easy - you’ll already have your favourite supplement picked out.

The advice in this article is for information only and should not replace medical care. Please check with your GP or healthcare professional before trying any supplements, treatments or remedies. Food supplements must not be used as a substitute for a varied and balanced diet and a healthy lifestyle.

Last updated: 28 September 2022

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