Popular Vitamin Subscriptions, Compared
Rital vs Persona vs Care/of– Plus Gummies, Probiotics, and More
I started researching various dietary vitamin subscriptions to answer a few questions for myself: how are all these brands different? What makes them stand out? Which ones are the most affordable and will supply me with everything I'm looking for in a supplement regimen?
We looked at the Ritual, Care/of, Persona, and VitaFive Gummies, plus comparisons to Rootine, Seed, PillPack, and Honest Company and Grove Collaborative's products. Here's the low-down on the pros and cons of each dietary supplement service (with a handy reference chart at the end, too).
Updated January 2020 with the latest pricing and details, plus some new brands.
I’m not a healthcare expert or a doctor or a nutritionist, so I can’t speak to the health benefits of various vitamins and herbal remedies… but I can show you the difference in how these products are priced, what types of products each vitamin subscription service, and other things to note. Remember, you should always talk to your doctor before taking any kind of vitamin supplement.
For women who want a high-quality, one-and-done multivitamin
Price: $30 - $35 for a 30 day supply; free shipping. Sign up here!
- Multivitamin, Ages 18+: $30/month
- Multivitamin, Ages 50+: $35/month
- Prenatal Vitamin: $35/month
Ritual is kind of the grown-up, Instagram-friendly version of the Flintstones vitamins that any children of the 80s remember. Their core product, the Multivitamin for Ages 18+, focuses on bioavailable versions of the 9 most essential nutrients for women’s health, editing out many of the nutrients in your typical multivitamin that most American women don’t need– The product includes Folate, Omega-3, Vitamin B12, Vitamin D3, Iron, Vitamin K2, Boron, Vitamin E, and Magnesium.
For post-menopausal women, Ritual's Essential for Women 50+ formula is similar to the above, but skips the Iron. For women who are trying to get pregnant or who are currently pregnant, the Prenatal includes recommended Choline, Iodine, and Biotin in addition to the 9 vitamins and minerals listed above.
Ritual is also certified vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, nut-free, GMO-free, and manufactured in the USA. The vitamins use "beadlet-in-oil" technology that allows them to keep nutrients in their original forms and closer to what’s found in food.
Ritual also has a 30-day guarantee, and offers easy online cancellation.
Do Ritual vitamins work? We found that this personalized nutrition service is ideal for people with sensitive stomachs, as they use a unique form of iron that is formulated to prevent the nausea that some people experience when taking a multivitamin– and our review found that claim to be true for our tester, Liz. Their latest formulation includes a peppermint tab in the bottle to overpower the typical “fishy” vitamin taste and smell and make their nutritional supplements more pleasant and palatable.
For those who want style, convenience, & personalization
Price: Each personalized vitamin pack is priced individually; they range from $5/month for basic vitamins to $25/month for the prenatal. Most selections are around $8/month. Shipping is free on orders over $20. Sign up here!
COUPON: Use code MSA50 to save 25% off your first month!
Care/of packages your vitamins together in daily packs so you don't need to open a bunch of bottles every morning. What makes Care/of unique is that in addition to the usual multivitamins and individual supplements and minerals, they also offer some herbal & Ayurvedic supplements, probiotics, and some specialty products, too.
If you take their quiz, Care/of will make recommendations for you– but you can manually update your pack to add and remove anything you like from their product selection, making this one a bit easier to update your preferences over time. They also provide a lot of background information on each supplement, including citations for actual medical studies, and information about where they source their raw ingredients.
Even though the pills themselves aren't as pretty as Ritual's, Care/of's packaging is really cute. Having your vitamins out in plain sight is half the battle for most of us in remembering to take them, and Care/of's box definitely looks cooler than any of the others we've seen– perfect to leave out on the kitchen counter, where you're more likely to take them every day.
Ritual also has introduced some specialty formulations, like a vegetarian Omega-3 supplement and a Glow Trio designed to support skin, hair, and nail health. Trying a new workout plan and trying to get more protein into your diet? They also offer Plant-based Protein and a variety of products you can mix in with smoothies and other beverages for a boost.
For nutritionist-guided advice to meet your specific needs, no matter who you are
Price: Persona does not publish a price list, but we found their individual supplements to range from under $2/month for Vitamin D, to almost $70/month for a CBD Hemp Extract. Shipping is free on orders over $20.
While it’s similar to Care/of on the surface, Persona Nutrition offers a much more individualized vitamin nutrition service for men and women of all ages. Their quiz is more complex and asks about any current medication and a wider range of health concerns, including your diet (paleo, vegan, and even ketogenic diets are supported), level of exercise, and sensitivity to 12 common allergens. You can even input answers based on 23andme DNA tests about your risks for certain conditions. Why? Persona takes into account exactly what you need in a vitamin subscription box. They look out for any possible interactions between your prescription medications when they make their suggestions, which is something other services don't offer. They make recommendations based on all of the details you provide to them, and they have nutritionists available free of charge via chat and phone to answer any questions you have.
Persona Nutrition also puts together single-serve packets for you, but they take it one step further: if your supplement routine is more complex, they give you separate packets for AM, PM, and bedtime. This is great for people who take a bigger variety of vitamins, including some that need to be taken with food and others that are suggested before bed to aid with sleep issues.
For some supplements (but not all), they may also be more affordable as well– this will depend a lot on your specific needs, since so many different combinations are available. After taking the quiz, I admittedly had a bit of sticker shock as I was recommended a somewhat overwhelming combination of 8 supplements! After doing the math though, if I decided to purchase all of them, I'd be paying just $2.45/day.
Similar to Care/of, after you get your recommendations, you can edit your packet and add/remove supplements as you wish– and Persona will make sure that you're not going over your daily limits or taking something that could interfere with your medication. We counted 65 total vitamins and herbal supplements available through their service, ranging from basics like Vitamin B-12 to probiotics to things like adaptogenic mushrooms and CBD.
Check out Marne's Persona Review to learn more.
For those who prefer their daily dose with a side of fun
VitaFive is the only daily vitamin pack that focuses on gummy vitamins! Whether you're a kid at heart or simply loathe taking regular supplements, these daily packs make it easier and maybe just a bit more fun. They also recently added the ability to buy vitamins in pouches instead of daily packets, making it easier to reduce your plastic consumption if that is something you're looking for.
Their product selection is more limited than Care/of and Persona, but VitaFive still covers the basic needs for most of people: they currently offer a multivitamin, vitamin D3, vitamin C, biotin, melatonin, Omega-3, a probiotic, and elderberry.
Check out our VitaFive Reviews to learn more.
Other Options to Consider
Here are a few other supplement options to consider if you're revamping your wellness routine:
Rootine ($60/month) has a unique approach to personalization: Their recommendations are based on a lifestyle quiz, blood test (from your doctor), plus a DNA test (purchase from Rootine for $50, or sync your 23andMe or Ancestry DNA data). Rather than delivering a packet of pills to swallow every day, Rootine's daily packets contain microbeads, so they can exactly tailor your dosage and formula to your needs. They can be swallowed with water or mixed into smoothies and food. Interested readers should note that Rootine requires a minimum 3 month commitment.
Seed Probiotics ($49.99/month) is an interesting brand if you're looking for a well-researched probiotic for gut health. Our Seed review walks you through all the details, including their 30-day guarantee and the incredibly eco-friendly packaging (compostable, recyclable and dissolves-in-water!).
PillPack by Amazon Pharmacy (prices vary) also came up in my search as a brand that focuses on prescription medication refills through the mail. You can also add vitamins– so all of your medication and supplements can be packaged together. I like the added convenience factor if you also take a daily medication, but I think it's best if you work with your doctor first because the selections were a little more technical: sometimes there were many versions of a supplement available as well as different strengths to select from, so it was more difficult than the customizable vitamin subscriptions without specific doctor's orders. Pricing appeared to start around the $5/month mark for basic supplements like Vitamin D3 and Iron.
If you already subscribe to home and personal care products via Grove Collaborative, they have a wide variety of wellness products that you can easily add on to your existing recurring orders. If you're not familiar with Grove, they are a Certified B Corp and source environmentally-friendly products, and purchase a carbon offset for all orders. The supplement product selection includes a few different multivitamins as well as herbal supplements, prenatals, probiotics, and some individual vitamins like D3 and B12. Prices on supplements range from about $7 to $120.
A previous version of this list included Honest Company's Health + Wellness bundle as a good option if you're looking for a subscription for the whole family. While Honest Company still offers a handful of vitamins starting at $19.95/month, they no longer offer them via a bundled subscription (though you can subscribe to individual products). They also no longer offer men's and children's varieties, and instead appear to be focusing on prenatal and postnatal health only with their supplement products. If you're already subscribing to Honest Diapers, they may be worth checking out, but they're no longer a good option for the whole family as we previously wrote.
Which vitamin subscription is the best?
Finding the right vitamin subscription for you will depend on exactly what you're looking for. Here's a quick outline to help you compare all of the services we've outlined above (you can scroll to the right to see all the brands):
|Ritual||Care/of||Persona||VitaFive||Seed||PillPack||Honest Co||Rootine||Grove Collaborative|
|Description||1 daily multivitamin||Personalized daily packs||Personalized daily packs||Customizable daily gummy packs||Probiotics||Rx meds plus vitamins in daily packs||Pre- and Post-natal||DNA personalized daily packs||Variety of bottled supplements|
|Intended For||Women, with 18+ and 50+ formulas available||Women/Men||Women/Men||Women/Men||Women/Men||Women/Men||Women||Women/Men||Women/Men|
|Price/Month||$30 - $35||$5+ per supplement||$2+ per supplement||$12.99+ per supplement||$49.99||$5+ per supplement||$19.95+||$60 per month, plus tests||Varies|
|Shipping||Free||Free over $20||Free over $20||Free||Free||Free||Free over $50||Free||$2.99, or Free with VIP Membership|
|Recomendations via Quiz||No||Yes||Yes||No||No||No||No||Quiz, DNA Test, & Bloodwork||No|
|Packaging||Bottle||Single Daily Packs||AM and PM Packs||Packs or Pouches||Sustainable Bottles||Packs or Bottles||Bottles||Single Daily Packs||Bottles|
|Offers Multivitamins||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||No||Yes||Yes||Customized Blend Only||Yes|
|Offers Individual Vitamins||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||No||Yes||No||No||Yes|
|Offers Herbal Supplements||No||Yes||Yes||Elderberry||No||Some||No||No||Yes|
|Offers Prenatal||Yes||Yes||Yes||No||No||Yes||Yes||Customized Blend Only||Yes|
|Diet & Allergies||Vegan, Non-GMO, Gluten-free, soy-free, nut-free, dairy-free||Has some vegan, non-gmo, and gluten-free options||Customized recommendations for vegan, vegetarian, keto, and paleo diets plus 12 common allergens||Most vitamins are vegan, all are gluten-, soy-, nut-, and dairy-free.||Vegan, non-GMO, gluten-free, soy-free, and dairy-free||PillPack does not display this information.||Non-GMO, Gluten-free, and Soy-free||Vegetarian||Check individual products for details|
There's really something for everyone available on the market today, and many of these options are more affordable than I suspected at first, too.
Personally: I find that daily packs make it easier for me to stick to a routine (especially since I can leave a few in my work bag for the mornings when I'm in a rush and forget to take my vitamins at home). I'm waiting for my next doctor's appointment to revisit which supplements my body currently needs, but I find Persona appealing based on price point and total available options alone. (It may be worth noting that Persona isn't always the cheaper option, although it worked out that way for the Vitamin D and Iron supplements my doctor previously recommended to me.)
Having nutritionists available to answer my questions is a plus, too, because I do sometimes find myself curious about things like CBD and turmeric. I'd feel much better talking to a professional about those types of supplements first, since I can't make a doctor's appointment anytime I have a random question about something I've seen trending on social media.
Which vitamin subscription would you choose? Tell us in the comments!