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Vitamin Subscriptions Compared: Persona vs Care/of vs Ritual and 5 More

Popular Vitamin Subscriptions, Compared

Ritual vs Persona vs Care/of– Plus Gummies, Probiotics, and More

I started researching various 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 GEM, Rootine, Seed, PillPack, and Honest Company and Grove Collaborative‘s products. Here’s the low-down on the pros and cons of each service (with a handy reference chart at the end, too).

Updated March 16, 2020 with the latest pricing and details, plus some new brands.

by Lacey Volk, Health-Conscious Reviewer, Loves Food & Spreadsheets
March 16, 2020| 16 comments

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 they offer, and other things to note. Remember, you should always talk to your doctor before taking any kind of supplement.

1. Ritual

For women who want a high-quality, one-and-done multivitamin

Ritual Essential Daily Vitamins for Women

Image via Ritual.

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 will 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.

The 9 vitamins and minerals in Ritual.

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, non-GMO, 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 they’re 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 formulation more pleasant and palatable.

 

2. Care/of Personalized Daily Vitamin Packs

For those who want style, convenience, & personalization

Image via our review.

Price: Each vitamin 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 50% 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.

Image via our review.

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.

Check out Anna’s Care/of Vitamin Review and Care/of Protein and Boosts Review to learn more.

 

3. Persona

For nutritionist-guided advice to meet your specific needs, no matter who you are

Persona Vitamin Review

Image via our review.

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. Sign up here!

COUPON: Get 50% off your first month! No coupon needed - just use this link.

While it’s similar to Care/of on the surface, Persona Nutrition offers a much more individualized 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. 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.

Image via our review.

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.

 

4. vitafive

For those who prefer their daily dose with a side of fun

Image via vitafive.com

Price: Most vitafive vitamins are $12.99 for a four-week supply, with the exception of the Probiotic which is $17.99. Sign up here!

COUPON: Use code msa30 to save 30% off your first month.

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:

GEM

GEM ($39/month) supplements are more akin to a protein-bite than a pill: their 100% plant-based and vegan bites are made from whole foods plus essential vitamins and minerals, and come in three flavors: Cacao, Peppermint, and Lemon. We like the attractive re-fillable tin and think it’s an intriguing option for those who hate swallowing pills and don’t like sugary gummies.

COUPON: Use code MSA20 to save 20% off your first order.

Rootine

Rootine ($60/month) has a unique approach to personalization: Their recommendations are based on a lifestyle quiz, a 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

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!).

COUPON: Use code MSA15 to save 15% off your first month.

PillPack

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.

Grove Collaborative

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.

Honest Company

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 GEM
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 Nutrient-dense bites
Intended For Women, with 18+ and 50+ formulas available Women/Men Women/Men Women/Men Women/Men Women/Men Women Women/Men Women/Men Women
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 $39 per month
Shipping Free Free over $20 Free over $20 Free Free Free Free over $50 Free $2.99, or Free with VIP Membership Free
Recommendations via Quiz No Yes Yes No No No No Quiz, DNA Test, & Bloodwork No No
Packaging Bottle Single Daily Packs AM and PM Packs Packs or Pouches Sustainable Bottles Packs or Bottles Bottles Single Daily Packs Bottles Refillable Tin
Offers Multivitamins Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes Customized Blend Only Yes Yes
Offers Individual Vitamins No Yes Yes Yes No Yes No No Yes No
Offers Probiotics No Yes Yes Yes Yes No No No Yes No
Offers Herbal Supplements No Yes Yes Elderberry No Some No No Yes Contains Some
Offers Prenatal Yes Yes Yes No No Yes Yes Customized Blend Only Yes No
Offers Postnatal No No No No No No Yes No No No
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 Vegan, soy-free, corn-free, gluten-free, and dairy-free

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!

Written by Lacey Volk

Lacey Volk

Lacey’s introduction to the world of subscription boxes was Julep Maven, but she quickly moved on once she discovered there were subscriptions for cooking, coffee, and art supplies. Current favorites include Crate Chef and Ecocentric Mom, and she’s looking forward to trying more.

16 Comments

  1. The code did not work for the vitafive gummies, and I tried it at checkout with a custom 4 week supply in my cart.. not sure why it won’t work. Help!

  2. I’ve used Ritual for nearly two years, and it is the one subscription that I would keep, even if I have to cancel everything else, no exception. My energy level is great, I seldom get sick anymore and when I do — it goes away much faster than before. Also, there are only two pills to take, versus a handful. If you have a dislike of pills or have a sensitive gag reflex, you’d appreciate this.

  3. This is an appropriate time to subscribe. At this moment we need to nourish our bodies more than we need beauty products. I am thinking of subbing to one of these.

  4. I’ve used Seed for about 8 months now and love it. You take 2 pills on an empty stomach everyday and there’s no scent to them. I found out that a probiotic is recommended for women over 40. The only thing I hate is their price, 50 a month.

  5. I want to cancel my order and there’s no place to do it. Help me find it so i can cancel the Ritual

  6. I recently ordered Seed and Rootine. Rootine looks great bc they personalize to your DNA and bloodwork. I’m going to do bloodwork again in three months once I start. They shipped the swab test quickly.

  7. Really interesting post! I would love to see someone at MSA so a review of Rootine! It sounds really interesting and potentially with less plastic waste than a lot of these. I’m most drawn to ritual (which I’ve taken before) because of their transparent sourcing and one container.

    I realized that I am not getting responses even when I click the little box (I am not even getting a little box now), any ideas on how I can fix that? I just realized Marne had left a thoughtful reply to my sourcing and plastic question on her August vitamin post!

    • Hi BG! Thanks for pointing this out. Looks like some page types in WordPress don’t support comment notifications, so while you’ll see that checkbox on most posts, it will be missing from a lot of our lists and comparison type articles. When you DO check the box to get notifications, you’ll receive an email asking you to verify your subscription before you’ll actually get anything, too– so you may want to check spam to make sure you’ve been getting those emails. Hope that helps! PS: You can sign up for notifications for Rootine here, so you’ll get an email if we review it in the future: https://boxes.mysubscriptionaddiction.com/box/rootine

      • Thanks. I will look in my junk next time bc I don’t recall seeing any emails to verify.

  8. Humans only need 13 essential vitamins, and we only need them in small doses I.E. millagrams not grams. Anything outside these 13 essential list is really just a “diet supplement”, and there really isn’t much science suggesting they do much of anything. Also, the FDA has been hamstringed and are unable to require standardization for vitamins and diet supplements. I guess I’m a cynic so these boxes aren’t for me, but really please do your research about what your body needs and how much, and maybe then just eat an orange instead 🙂

    • Yay, science! Thank you for saying this.

    • TLDR: you may benefit from vitamins even if you feel you have a good diet.

      Just FYI – I’m a recently retired biomedical researcher. Sorry in advance for this soapbox in response to some comments:

      The idea that if you eat a good diet then you don’t need vitamin/mineral supplements may be true for some, but certainly not for all, individuals.

      As per CDC reports, at least 10% off the Amer. population is vitamin deficient. Plus, even if you do have a good diet, you still can have nutritional problems.

      For example, are your foods high quality and not compromised by the way they are bred, raised/farmed, harvested, processed, and sold? not to mention the the length of time and type of storage in our homes.

      Also, is your digestive system able to adequately process, metabolize, and use the nutrients in the food? For example, although I have a good diet, I have metabolic issues that limit my ability to break-down, assimilate, and use certain forms of nutrients. thus I require certain formulations of the nutrients, and higher levels of them than other individuals may, in order for me to assimilate the proper amounts of what my body needs. Interestingly, all of that was actually unknown to me until I did DNA testing, which lead to blood test, and that’s when I found I had vitamin deficits!

      In addition, aging starts from the time you are born. Many of the degenerative diseases that target elders (eg Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s) actually begin the disease process much earlier in life, building at a sub-clinical (undetectable) level in the body until we are no longer able to naturally compensate for the changes taking place. that’s when the disease symptoms show. To say that I must be getting enough vitamins, because I feel healthy now, is ignoring all of that.

      Lastly, my perception (and those of many expert physicians) is that the FDA is way behind the science. They are a bureaucratic government agency straightjacketed by lobbyists from the meat, dairy, and other industries.

      Yes, I agree this isn’t a sub for everyone, but I think many more will benefit from this than just those who think they don’t have great diets.

  9. I reviewed some of these and what I found is that (1) gummy calories add up, (2) if you actually take all the recommended pills every day for some of these, it really just gets to be too many pills, which made me want them less and less each day (not to mention the cost), and (3) some of them start recommending herbs for which the science just isn’t there, or that can have interactions with prescription medications.

    What’s nice is that there are some vegan and vegetarian options because multivitamins from the drugstore often have gelatin. (There are vegetarian vitamins at Whole Foods, their store brand, but they also include weird herbs that I don’t feel I need.)

    • Thanks Ragan, I’m glad you chimed in too since you have more firsthand experience with these. 🙂 Persona asks for which prescription drugs you take and they say it’s to “lessen the chance of interaction issues”, did you encounter issues when you tried them? Looks like PillPack also has licensed pharmacists on call 24/7, so you can ask them questions the same way you would with a physical pharmacy.

  10. Thank you so much for your informative post! I looked into Persona previously when Marne posted about it, but I ultimately did not subscribe to it (yet) because all of the recommendations they had for me came to around $75/month. Of course, you can opt not to get *all* the recommendations. It has still been on my wishlist. Then I started seeing constant ads for Ritual and have been wondering about it as well and was planning to do a comparison, but you did the work for me! On the one hand, I think the more personalized the better, which makes me want to choose Persona, but my wallet says I have to be reasonable, so I might end up going with Ritual instead. I read someone else’s review of Ritual, and she said that she truly did notice a difference in her energy level after taking it for a while, so I might start there

    I love MSA for all the information on the boxes that I subscribe to or want to subscribe to, but this type of informational post makes me love MSA all the more as I believe that this is valuable information. Thanks again!

    • I’m so glad it was helpful! I agree with the sticker shock on Persona, but if you have a list of things your doctor has recommended you take, I’d definitely price them out vs other brands and see how it shakes out since some of their individual supplements were very affordable. Ritual does have a 30-day guarantee and makes a point to talk about how easy it is to cancel online (though I have not tested that), so it seems to be low risk if you want to give them a shot.

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