How We Rank Supplements

Scroll down to find out how & why we choose certain products!

The ultimate analyses and opinions on this site are our own. We instruct our editors and writers to maintain strict editorial integrity. The Top10Supps brand stands for accuracy and helpful information, strongly believing that our long-term success is contingent on taking the trust of our visitors seriously.

We know the supplement world can be scary and overwhelming, especially for beginners.

Top10Supps is a trusted medium, which helps people like you. Not only by allowing for quick discovery of the best supplements in a given category, but also by providing quality expertise on a given topic and as to what makes the products so highly rated.

Earning YOUR trust is critical to us, so we'd like to share our process for timely, factual, and informative content.

In a world of information overload, our small team of dedicated editors, and our network of nutrition experts prides itself on not just the quality, but the trustworthiness and objectivity of our content. Each review and recommendation is vetted for adherence to our philosophy and process before publishing

We're committed to serve as your most trustworthy dietary supplement source, on your health and wellness journey.

Here are some factors we consider before presenting you with an unbiased look at each product’s/company’s strengths and weaknesses; helping you make a well-informed decision. The end result is our extensive collection of supplement rankings.

What We Consider When Ranking Supplements


Overall Quality

We consider the overall quality and presentation of both the products and the companies behind them. A company should take pride in its products.

Brand Trust

Is this a trustworthy brand? What do they stand for? What are users saying about it? Does it have a recall history? Can you contact them easily? We take all this and more into consideration.

User Feedback

What are people saying about the product? We get into the trenches to find and weed out user reviews and feedback of products. We also welcome and consider feedback emailed to us.

Ingredient Profile

An expert take on the product's supplement facts. Any notable, science-backed ingredients? Where were they sourced from? Few of the many questions we ask when examining ingredient usage.

Label Analyzation

What's on the label? Does it follow industry standards? Is it misleading? Are there errors? Just a few of the many things we look for in a supplement label.

Standards

Does the company abide by industry standards? Do they send their products for lab testing and clinical trials? Are they created in FDA approved facilities?

Pricing & Value

Is this product worth the price? How does it compare to other products that offer similar ingredients? We try to find the best value for our visitors.

Availability

Where can you buy this product? Does it ship worldwide? Is it available from reputable vendors? We want to make it easy for you to buy seamlessly.

Other Factors

Does this company use questionable/spammy practices? Do they make unreasonable promises? Do they misrepresent being a "legal alternative"?

Frequently Asked Questions About How We Rank

How do you determine overall quality?

The overall quality of a product, service, or company is determined by combining all the other ranking criteria. For example, we'd spend a great deal of time evaluating the brand trust, analyze the user feedback, analyze the ingredients and labeling, review adherence to industry standards, do a price vs. value analysis and inventory management. Plus, whatever else comes into scope on top of the core criteria, such as collaborations with experts, success stories, etc.

We'd then compare and contrast this analysis to the industry average of other comparable products and companies in our database, to determine its overall quality.

How do you evaluate brand trustworthiness?

The ultimate factor, in our opinion. We've always been fascinated by the saying that it can take a whole life to build a reputation, and only a moment to ruin it. Once lost, trust is super difficult to regain. How seriously a company takes earning and upholding it, is usually indicative of the ethical principles of said company.

For evaluation we'll take a look at whether it's a new company or a seasoned brand, their overall online and offline presence, whether they've had any product recalls in the past, FDA warnings or issues, history of CEO and founders, how responsive they are to inquiries, what the verified customers are saying (how many positives, negatives, neutrals), how transparent are their formulas and/or proprietary blend info, company mission values, and goals; and other means, including some in the question below.

Where do you get your user feedback from?

No source is too big or too small when it comes to gathering valuable feedback in our research. Aside from our readers directly sending us valuable input on supplement brands and products, our editors and experts curate data from many platforms. We look at verified reviews on the manufacturer's website, as well as on retailers such as Amazon, AllStarHealth, Bodybuilding.com, iHerb, Vitamine Shoppe, Vitamin World, Suppz, Strong Supplement Shop, Costco, Tiger Fitness, Trader Joes, and others.

Additionally, we keep our ears open for any whistleblowing incidents in the industry. We also monitor and run companies and products through some of the many consumer protection sites such as Sitejabber, Quackwatch.org, Better Business Bureau, Federal Trade Commission, Crowd Reviews, Consumer Reports, and other comparably credible sources.

We also consult experts such as professional bodybuilders, nutritionists, dietitians, and other credible industry sources.

What's an "ingredient profile" and why is it important?

You deserve to know what's really going into your body, plain and simple.

Thus, it's super important to analyze the chemical composition of supplements, what science-backed biochemical role and function they serve and at what dosage, whether they're supported or contested by clinical trials, whether they have any adverse effects on health, or whether they're just well marketed placebo pills.

A products ingredient profile is a true look at what the product actually is, beneath all the marketing and design hype. The actual core constituents. Think of categories like enzymes and amino acids, herbals and botanicals, vitamins and minerals; plus omega fatty acid content, proteins, carbs, fats, sugars, and so on.

The nature of those ingredients, their quantity and purity, is critical when evaluating company claims.

To ensure integrity of our dietary supplement research we regularly reference the invaluable publications
of the U.S. National Institute of Health and the National Library of Medicine. Resources like PubMed and MEDLINE, ClinicalTrials.gov and similar databases which index medical research literature, such as the database of clinical research studies done at the National Institute of Health and other credible institutions worldwide.

In addition to the above we also reference resources such as WebMD, Google Scholar, FDA.gov's Ingredient Advisory List and Wikipedia.

As with anything else, scientific studies themselves come in different tiers, in terms of the evidence and quality they offer. When doing ingredient research and when available studies are present, we prefer the "Gold Standard." Which are RDBPC studies; these are studies conducted in a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled manner, conducted on humans. The more of these there are to support a given ingredient and company claims, the more evidence we have to reach a conclusion.

What are some things you analyze on supplement labels?

Any product labeled a dietary supplement must include a Supplement Facts panel which lists out its ingredient profile fully; meaning its core contents as well as all other added ingredients (things like binders, fillers, and artificial preservatives and/or flavors).

According to the FDA there are five required label statements:

  • the statement of identity,
  • the net quantity of contents statement,
  • the nutrition labeling,
  • the ingredient list, and
  • the name and place of business of the manufacturer, packer, or distributor.

For starters, we look to make sure the above requirements hold true before doing anything else!

Other things we look for are the directions for use, cautionary verbiage and disclosure statements, print size and easy of readability, where was it manufactured or formulated, any notable certificates such as the USDA, and most importantly we look for all nutrient content, antioxidant, high-potency, percentage, structure/function and health-related claims.

An invaluable resource we utilize is the Dietary Supplement Label Database (DSLD) tool offered by NIH.gov and the Dietary Supplement Labeling Guide provided by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration.

How do you know if a company is following industry standards?

Dietary supplements are regulated products. Their marketing, manufacturing, labeling, and advertising are all covered by regulations enforced by FDA and the Federal Trade Commission. The FDA does not review and approve dietary supplements, but they do however conduct usually unannounced inspections of manufacturing facilities.

Effective 2010, the U.S. FDA, itself an agency of the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), issued guidelines called Current Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMPs), that cover all supplement makers. These guidelines provide a system of processes, procedures and documentation to assure a product has the identity, strength, composition, quality and purity that appear on its label.

But it's important to note that even with these rules in place, not all manufacturers will follow them, intentionally or accidently.

If a company does not include such transparency of compliance on their official website or on their product labels, there are other ways to confirm; though it doesn't look good on the company to hide such things, as it is their responsibility to ensure that the products they make are standardized, quality products, that match the descriptions on their labels.

As mentioned above, tools such as the Dietary Supplement Label Database allow for full label derived information to be obtained on over 75,000 supplements thus far, so it's typically a good start. From there we can reach out to independent organizations such as the US Pharmacopeia (USP), ConsumerLab.com, and NSF International for confirmation of adherence to or deviance from public health standards. When all else fails we'll try calling them and requesting official proof of compliance or more clarification.

How do you calculate if a product is worth it's price tag?

There is no definitive formula out there. Each product is unique and its perceived value varies from customer to customer. But there are ways to draw conclusions on whether the product is worth its weight in gold, we can achieve this by using the marketplace and comparable supplements as valid benchmarks for comparison.

People work hard for their money and shouldn't have to pay a premium for a product that is equivalent or possibly inferior in its composition to other, lower priced ones.

For example, if the industry average is $X and the company is charging significantly above $X, we take a closer look at the proposed justifications behind such a move. We've been tracking average prices per supplement category since we started the site almost a decade ago and have a good amount of historical data to use when needed.

When evaluating a products value, we'd first calculate the overall price per ounce or gram, by dividing price by net weight. We'd also calculate the price per serving to better understand how much people pay for each bite or scoop.

For similar supplements with significantly different prices, we get more granular and compare the ingredient amounts, their sourcing, adherence to standards, clinical trials, and other factors that need to be checked to understand where the deviation in price is coming from and if it is just.

Why is availability an important factor and how do you evaluate this?

We want our readers to have the best possible experience when it comes to buying the products they come across on our site. Imagine for a second, we send you to a site, you spend an extra 5-10 minutes browsing it before deciding to check out. You reach the e-cart, fill in all your info, perhaps even create an account, and submit your order. Only to receive an out-of-stock, or item not available error. Not good!

To evaluate and estimate a company's availability metric, for starters, we check that a clear and conspicuous refunds & returns policy is present. How long is the return policy from date of purchase, who incurs the return shipping costs, etc. These are usually indicative of a brand that has their logistics at least minimally figured out.

How long will you have to wait until the unavailable product comes back in stock? Is it just a seasonal product? Do they ship to your country, if not do they plan to start? If I start using the product regularly, do I have to worry about having to switch because of unavailability. These are all things we aim to help with by including at least somewhat consistently readily available products. But ultimately, we can only go off of the historical precedent and the public information that the company shares.

Please note: Though we make every effort to evaluate availability, and avoid the scenario described above depending on the uniqueness of a product or brand, it can at times be difficult. We ask for your patience and feedback in helping us stay accurate.

What are some of the other factors you guys take into consideration?

Some other factors may include sample offers, whether the company is confident enough in their product that they'll give it to their consumer outright at no charge in hopes of proving their worth.

Legitimate success stories (testimonials, before/after photos, etc.) in support of product effectiveness. Ones that don't cut any corners or hide from you the true regiment they used, in addition to the product in question. Full transparency only.

Whether any collaboration with experts was done in the formulation and/or testing of the supplement in question. We're talking about medical doctors, dietitians, licensed nutritionists, and other experts with credible and valuable input. Another thing is, easy to discern potential side effects. We have our experts carefully examine the ingredients keeping this in mind.

Something that doesn't affect our ranking, but which we appreciate seeing, is charitable causes associated with brands, and corporate social responsibility assumed in the manufacturing of the products (e.g. usage of eco-friendly facilities & materials).

What do you mean by popular rankings?

If we're seeing data to support a surge in popularity for a given list, product, or service. We'll include it in our popular rankings list. Essentially, these lists are what fellow visitors flocked to the most. You'll find these lists around the website, and/or under headers such as Most Popular Rankings, etc.

Is the last product on your lists a bad choice?

On the contrary! Keep in mind, our experts are sifting through dozens, sometimes hundreds of products to put together a list of the top ones. Thus, all else being equal, a product that earns an inclusion in our lists, is a quality product, no matter what position/spot they occupy. It's often the case that it's hard to rank the items, as they're all quality, and often good ones get left off the list as well, which is always tough.

In short, the last spot is not bad, in fact it may be your preferred choice! Perhaps the other options are not in your price range, or maybe they don't have the flavor or some other feature you're looking for, maybe you just don't like the other brands. Whatever the case, by providing you with the top choices, you are presented with options to choose the right one for you, not necessarily the #1 spot.

Why or how are you different than the other sites that rank products?

No doubt you've been on some other websites where they bury the good stuff. They present you with thousands of words and dozens of products and leave you more confused than when you landed. But not only that, you look at your watch and you've just realized that you wasted almost an hour reading through their often-antiquated info.

Perhaps the product or brand you were after wasn't even on their list, etc. Some of them will even have a blatant conflict of interest by promoting their own product. Some potentially leave out the ACTUAL best product or service, in hopes of not offending their relations with certain brands. But we do things a bit differently.

  • Top10Supps is a trusted authority in the supplement industry. Our core team has been in this industry for quite some time now; with millions of people reading our content over the years. Our small team of dedicated editors have over a decade of industry experience when it comes to providing valuable supplement reviews and recommendations. But more importantly, this has given us the wisdom needed when it comes to hiring and on-boarding equally seasoned and highly qualified experts on things like nutrition, dietetics, bodybuilding, general fitness, overall wellness, etc.
  • Top10Supps is free, fast, and easy. We have declared and are currently waging an indefinite war on slow site speed. We are forever working on speed optimization so that you don't waste precious time waiting for our site to load. Our goal is for our site to be super easy to use! We've fallen victims to some very difficult sites ourselves, and do not want you to have the same experience here.
  • Top10Supps is precise. We identify and publish what we believe, based on user feedback and our expertise, you will need to make an informed purchasing decision. Nothing more, nothing less. Naturally, depending on the topic at hand, some will require more detail than others, but our aim is to be as factually informative as possible in as few words as possible. Like Einstein said, "If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well."
  • Top10Supps is universal. We aim to assist you in finding the best supplement for a variety of goals and needs. No relevant product, service, or category is excluded from this endeavor. It may take our team some time, as new products are being released every day, but as we grow, so will our database. Check back often for new lists and newest supplements.
  • Top10Supps is impartial and transparent. We set strict standards for our experts and publishers, and we're not influenced, or controlled by any brand or advertisers. Thus, when we put a product or service on our lists, we are under no pressure and can confidently say that in our opinion the lists represents the best choices. Throughout the site we disclose clearly and conspicuously any/all connections to the products listed.
  • Top10Supps is community focused. We believe everyone deserves to be heard and to be given an opportunity to express feedback. Which is why we have implemented our proprietary user ranking system you'll learn more about below.

Do you sell the services and products that you review?

Nope! We are a free public domain website that specializes in providing our visitors value in the form of informative articles and lists of the top products/services in virtually every notable supplement category.

We are not in the business of manufacturing any of the products you see on our site.

We're essentially an extension of you, the product end user. By tasking our experts to do research, and report back on the best options, we offer public feedback to the brands, but more importantly tremendous value to other end users. We do let you know where you can make your purchase, if available, and we may earn a small commission from those retailers in some instances if you choose to buy through a link on our site.


Have an unlisted question on our ranking process? Submit it here.

Our rankings are powered, in part, by real consumer reviews from people like you, which helps ensure that our rankings remain honest and unbiased. Unless otherwise stated, our rankings/reviews do not rely on our own tests or personal preferences of our writers and editors. While we obviously do not and could not personally use all of the thousands of products out there, we make sure to only include products that meet our standards outlined in the criteria above. The content we publish is a qualitative and quantitative aggregate of public information such as user feedback, user reviews, social media posts, promotional material, manufacturer websites, scientific claims and published research; as well as other data we deem important to research and/or receive from the dietary supplements’ community, whistleblowers, nutritionists, etc.

Our User Ranked Supplement Lists

While browing our supplement rankings you may notice two lists next to each other: user ranked and editor picks.

In an effort to paint a clearer picture of the supplement industry, Top10Supps has put together a proprietary user ranking system that gives you the ability to up-vote or down-vote a supplement in a list of products; and/or suggest an addition to the list.

How does it work? Quite simply actually. One of the very first things you'll see every time you visit one of our many supplement lists is the user ranking section. There you can upvote or downvote a supplement based on your personal experience.

Why do this? Well for starters because we love data driven conclusions.

But there's more to gain from allowing you, as a user, to voice your honest opinion based on your experience.

Here's some of the things we hope to accomplish with our user ranking system:

  • Push for better sports and dietary supplements, by presenting objective customer feedback.
  • Provide every individual in the community the ability to offer their valued opinion.
  • Provide our editors and experts with valuable consumer opinion data to take into consideration.
  • Help community members see how their supplement of choice stacks up to overall online sentiment.
  • Serve as an unbiased reference for media outlets looking to gauge customer sentiment in the supplement industry.

By giving our readers a tangible voice, Top10Supps adds another valuable tool to our toolbox, and continues to serve as the go-to source for the quickest, seamless, and most trustworthy way to find the best supplements in any given category.

Our Supplement Guides Process

Ranking products is only part of what we do here. Another point of pride is our supplement guide section dedicated to providing readers with info on the types of supplements that are helpful for specific needs.

From supplements for energy and endurance needed for bodybuilding, to anti-aging and skin health supplements, we try to cover a wide variety of needs that our readers might have. Our ultimate goal is to have a supplement list for every need!

Our supplement guides are researched and written by experts with titles such as:

  • Registered Dietitian Nutritionist
  • Health Focused PhDs
  • Clinical Nutritionist
  • Nutrition Marketing and Communications Consultant
  • Health Editor
  • NASM Certified Personal Trainer
  • Exercise & Nutrition Science
  • Amateur Bodybuilder
  • . . . and more.

Our experts and editors are instructed to cite and support claims with only authoritative sources. You'll see these often in-text citations in the form of hyperlinked numbers, and/or at the bottom of posts under "references or sources."

Some of our main sources are: Office of Dietary Supplements, PubMed, MedlinePlus, Examine.com, Google Scholar, WebMD, FDA.gov, Science.gov, Wikipedia, Better Business Bureau, and Federal Trade Commission.

This has resulted in a respectable reputation within the industry, and often in obtaining valuable information you won’t find elsewhere online.

Why the Need for Research and Rank?

The year 1990.

The year that changed the supplements industry.

What happened in 1990 you ask?

This is when the U.S. government passed The Nutrition Labeling and Education Act.

Prior to this act the supplements industry was tightly regulated by the FDA, and though even with the passage of the act the dietary supplements still require FDA pre-approval, supplements were significantly expanded.

Following this act was an even more profound act for supplements, which opened the doors to what we see today, that was the Dietary Supplement Health and Education act of 1994.

The passing of these acts had both positive and negative implications on the population.

The positive being that it increases supplement research and development like no other. On the negative side however, it opened Pandora’s Marketing Box, and quality was lost in quantity.

Human greed and potential financial profiteering came first in a lot of instances, and the research that was being conducted was not being presented accurately or being deliberately misleading.

Related update: FDA’s New Efforts to Strengthen Regulation of Dietary Supplements

The Purpose of Our Reviews

Because of the unfolding of the above scenario, what was supposed to be a scientifically stimulating field, was instead overtaken by supplement marketing and advertising, making it extremely difficult to sift through all the false promises and accurately choose quality.

Top10Supps.com was created out of the necessity to do just that, help consumers choose quality, accurately. By realizing the time constraints modern people have, we research and consolidate the hype down to (a more manageable number) ten most reputable dietary supplements.

This allows for relatively quick and more importantly smart decision making on your end.

Here are some things we aim to inform our readers about:

  • The thousands of products in existence and upcoming, formulated to help them achieve their health and wellness goals.
  • The ingredients and quality of said products, background of the company that makes them, if and how they test them, etc. Whether any experts endorse the product, how reasonable is the price, any adverse side effects, directions on usage, where to buy, and much more.
  • Supplements that are along the lines of the ones they're already interested in.
  • Supplements that are best suited for their particular health and wellness goals.
  • The science (or lack thereof) behind each ingredient and purported claims.
  • Potential scams, product recalls, lawsuits, fraudulent activity or regulatory actions.
  • What other verified buyers are saying about the products or services in question.
  • What our visitors are saying about, or how they're voting on, products and services.

With that in mind, go ahead and browse around some of the best supplements out there to propel you on your health and fitness voyage.

Note: While we try to feature as many products on our site as we can, we can’t always feature every product out there. If you think we’ve missed something, please let us know by getting in touch!

We thank you for your readership and trust.