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9 Best Melatonin Supplements for Sleep (2024)

Disclaimer – Nothing on this website is intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment… Read More Here.

Melatonin is a natural hormone produced by the pineal gland1, a small pea-sized organ located in the brain. This hormone’s main purpose is to manage the body’s sleep-wake cycle,  also known as the circadian rhythm. Melatonin production begins in the evening hours when exposure to natural daylight starts to decrease. The levels peak in the middle of the night and gradually start declining as the sun comes up. This occurs because specific receptors in the eye’s retina communicate with the brain to regulate melatonin production based on exposure to light. 

Melatonin supplements are designed to provide the body with extra melatonin in the hopes of helping people fall asleep easier. These dietary supplements are typically made synthetically2 and are available in various forms including pills, capsules, gummies, and liquids. If you frequently find yourself unable to sleep, you may want to consider melatonin supplementation.

In this guide, we’ll share the best melatonin supplements for you to consider when pursing the best night’s sleep.

The Best Melatonin Supplement for Sleep is…

Ritual Melatonin earned our top spot due to its extended-release formula and ability to cater to numerous dietary preferences and restrictions.

Best Melatonin Supplements

How We Chose the Best Melatonin for Sleep

To come up with our list, we consulted the expertise of our writer, Lindsay Boyers, a functional nutritionist, along with any additional feedback from our expert reviewer, Peter Nastasi, who is a NASM Certified Sports Nutrition Coach & Personal Trainer.

Julia Forbes, our lead product tester at Sleep Advisor, also tested melatonin supplements in order to truly evaluate the user-experience with these products.

Learn more: Our Sleep Supplements Methodology

Julia Forbes testing Ritual Melatonin
Julia Forbes, our lead product tester, testing melatonin supplements.

Best Melatonin Supplements for 2024

Ritual Melatonin – Editor’s Pick

Ritual Sleep BioSeries Melatonin

Ritual Sleep BioSeries Melatonin

Ritual Sleep BioSeries Melatonin is a sleep supplement made with high-quality ingredients.

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Why Ritual Earned Editor’s Pick

We think Ritual’s BioSeries Melatonin has everything going for it, which is why it earned the spot of Editor’s Pick. It contains an effective dose of melatonin3 — 5 milligrams in one capsule — and combines both quick and extended-release forms. This ensures that the melatonin is slowly released throughout the night (over the course of six hours) so it can help you stay asleep, instead of just making you fall asleep quickly. It’s not just a gimmick either; this formulation has been tested according to USP best practices.

This supplement also works well for a variety of dietary preferences and restrictions. It’s gluten-free, vegan, non-GMO, and free of all major allergens. Ritual also gets all of their supplements third-party tested and is transparent about the entire manufacturing process. The company lists where their melatonin comes from (Italy) and who supplies it to them, so you can dig into the process as deeply as you’d like.

This is the most expensive melatonin supplement we recommend, 25 dollars for 20 servings, but Ritual offers a 30-day money-back guarantee if the product doesn’t work for you. 

What Is Ritual Made Of?

Melatonin is the only active ingredient in this supplement. It does have a handful of inactive ingredients, including cellulose, hypromellose, vegetable-based tablet coating, ascorbyl palmitate, oat fiber, psyllium seed husk, silica, and spirulina extract (for color). These ingredients help preserve the supplement and prevent caking, so it has a longer shelf-life. There are no artificial additives, flavorings, or colors, so this is a good pick for those who want a completely natural option. It comes in a capsule form.

Our Take: “I can consider myself a fan the brand –– especially the ingredient transparency and high standards for production.” Julia Forbes, Sleep Advisor’s lead product tester 

What We Liked

  • Combines quick and extended-release melatonin – This combination of melatonin increases the likelihood that you’ll fall asleep more quickly and actually stay asleep. The melatonin is released over the course of six hours.
  • Lots of transparency – Ritual gets their supplements third-party tested and is very transparent about where the raw materials come from. The company sources only from cGMP-certified manufacturers, which means it complies with regulations from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). 

Potential Drawbacks

  • Most expensive on our list – Melatonin supplements generally range from five dollars to 15 dollars per bottle, but this one costs 25 dollars for less than a month’s supply. It is backed by a 30-day guarantee, though.
  • Only 20 servings per bottle – Most melatonin supplements have at least a month’s supply, but this one only has 20 servings per bottle. This increases the monthly cost. 

Customer Reviews of Ritual Melatonin

Ritual Melatonin is rated 4.1 out of 5 stars on Amazon. Customers appreciate the added value of Ritual Melatonin, citing its inclusion of beneficial ingredients like magnesium for enhanced sleep support, although some find the cost relatively higher compared to other melatonin supplements as a potential drawback.

Be sure to check out our in-depth Ritual Melatonin review.

Thorne Melaton-3™ – Best Melatonin Capsule

Thorne Melaton-3™

Thorne Melaton-3™

Thorne Melaton-3™ is rigorously tested by a third-party and is available in two dosages for customization.

Sleep Advisor Score
4.50 / 5 starstarstarstarstar

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Why Thorne Melaton-3™ Earned Best Melatonin Capsule

Thorne Research supplements are highly recommended by healthcare professionals, and we like them too. We named the Thorne Research Melaton the best capsule because it has a highly effective dose of melatonin in just one capsule. Reviewers say it’s a small capsule that’s easy to take, and it’s offered at a reasonable price.

This capsule contains 3 milligrams of melatonin and is manufactured in the brand’s U.S.-based facility in South Carolina. Thorne’s facilities comply with cGMP practices and the melatonin is NSF Certified for Sport, which means it’s been tested for (and found free of) substances that are banned in professional competitive sports. 

Thorne also goes a step further and carries a TGA (Therapeutic Good Association) certification, which is one of the strictest regulating agencies in Australia. In short, these supplements are manufactured under lots of scrutiny and rigorously tested.

What Is Thorne Melaton-3™ Made Of?

These capsules are made only with melatonin and a limited number of inactive ingredients — calcium laurate, hypromellose capsule, microcrystalline cellulose, and silicon dioxide — that are added to help preserve the capsule. 

We recommend the 3-milligram version for most people, but Thorne also makes a 5-milligram capsule with the same ingredient list. The only difference is the extra 2 milligrams of melatonin. 

Our Take: We like that the Thorne Research Melaton is rigorously tested and comes in two effective dosage options.

What We Liked

  • Rigorously tested – Thorne’s supplements are tested by multiple third-party agencies, and the company also keeps a close eye on manufacturing in its U.S.-based facilities. Thorne opted to obtain a strict Australian-based certification that most American supplement companies don’t have. 
  • Comes in two doses – We recommend the 3-milligram capsule for most people, but this supplement is also available in a 5-milligram version if you want a higher dose. This version doesn’t cost much more, either.

Potential Drawbacks

  • Some say it gave them a headache – Some reviewers on Amazon say this melatonin gave them a headache, but it could be because of the dosage. There are no ingredients that are inherently headache-causing.
  • May take longer to take effect – Because it’s in capsule form, it may take longer to kick in than other forms of melatonin, like a spray or liquid. Some reviewers recommend taking it at least 30 to 45 minutes before bedtime to give yourself some extra time.

Customer Reviews of Thorne Melaton-3™

Thorne Melaton-3™ is rated 4.5 out of 5 on Thorne’s website. Customers praise Thorne Melatonin for its high quality and purity standards, but some express reservations about its slightly higher price compared to other melatonin supplements on the market.

Life Extension Melatonin 6-Hour Timed Release – Best Timed-Release Melatonin

Life Extension Melatonin 6-Hour Timed Release

Life Extension Melatonin 6-Hour Timed Release

Life Extension is one of the most reputable melatonin manufacturers. This supplement is third-party tested and budget-friendly.

Sleep Advisor Score
4.70 / 5 starstarstarstarstar

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Why Life Extension Earned Best Timed-Release Melatonin

Timed-release melatonin supplements have a dual benefit. They raise melatonin levels within 15 minutes4 of taking them and keep these levels elevated for about six hours throughout the night. This means there’s an increased likelihood that they’ll help you stay asleep longer, not just fall asleep faster. We chose the Life Extension melatonin supplement as our Best Timed-Release pick because it has an effective dose with minimal ingredients and it’s made by a reputable brand.

Life Extension has been making supplements since the 1980s and was one of the first supplement companies to offer melatonin supplements to the general public. This particular supplement contains 3 milligrams of melatonin in a tablet form that slowly releases the melatonin over a six-hour period. Life Extension uses third-party labs for testing and follows cGMP practices. The company is also regularly evaluated by NSF International — a company that has similar standards as the USP.

What Is Life Extension Made Of?

This supplement is available in tablet form and because it is timed-release, it does have more ingredients than some of the others. That being said, it is vegetarian-friendly and there are no unnecessary fillers or artificial ingredients. 

Melatonin is the only active ingredient, but inactive ingredients include microcrystalline cellulose, hydroxypropyl methylcellulose, hydroxypropyl cellulose, aqueous film coating (purified water, hydroxypropyl methylcellulose, glycerin), stearic acid, vegetable stearate, croscarmellose sodium, and silica.

Our Take: Life Extension was one of the first companies to introduce melatonin to the general public, and they remain one of the most reputable manufacturers. This supplement is third-party tested and budget-friendly.

What We Liked

  • Third-party tested and NSF-approved – Despite being a low-cost option, the Life Extension melatonin supplement is tested by third-party agencies. This ensures quality and potency, just like higher-priced options.
  • Budget-friendly – This supplement is another budget-friendly option, with a retail price that’s only slightly higher than our Best Budget pick. A lower cost doesn’t mean low quality in this case, though.

Potential Drawbacks

  • Only six-hour release – Like this Life Extension version, most timed-release melatonin supplements are for a six-hour span, but it’s recommended that adults get at least seven to nine hours of sleep. Because of this, it might start wearing off before you’re ready to wake up.
  • Has more ingredients than some others – Life Extension uses some additional ingredients to make the capsule timed-release. This isn’t inherently bad but might be something to consider for those who are trying to avoid fillers and preservatives.

Customer Reviews of Life Extension Melatonin

Life Extension Melatonin 6-Hour Timed Release is rated a 4.7 out of 5 on their website. Customers appreciate the prolonged sleep support provided by Life Extension Melatonin 6-Hour Timed Release, yet some note that its extended-release feature may not suit everyone’s preferences.

Olly Sleep – Best Gummy Melatonin

Olly Sleep

Olly Sleep

Many gummy supplements are sub-par, but Olly Sleep has high-quality ingredients and an effective dose of melatonin without too much added sugar.

Sleep Advisor Score
4.10 / 5 starstarstarstarstar

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Why Olly Sleep Earned Best Gummy Melatonin

In our opinion, gummy supplements are a great alternative for those who don’t like taking capsules. However, many gummies are full of artificial ingredients, like colors and flavors, and sub-par forms of sugar. The Olly Sleep gummy melatonin does have some sugar for palatability, but it’s sweetened with a blend of glucose syrup and beet sugar — natural forms that are better alternatives to high-fructose corn syrup5 and artificial sweeteners. We also chose it because it’s colored and flavored only with natural ingredients, like carrot and blueberry juices.

Even though it’s easier to take, and reviewers say it tastes delicious, it still has an effective dose of melatonin — 3 milligrams per two-gummy serving. Olly products are also made in FDA-audited facilities and are NSF and cGMP-certified. To prove potency and purity, Olly has a certificate of analysis (COA) for every supplement they make.

What Is Olly Sleep Made Of?

Olly Sleep combines melatonin with a handful of other active ingredients, including L-theanine, chamomile extract, passionflower extract, and lemon balm extract. These ingredients have similar sedative effects to melatonin and may help reduce stress and anxiety6. This makes this supplement a good option for those who may have trouble sleeping due to increased stress levels.

There are also some inactive ingredients, like natural colors, flavors, and gelatin, that are responsible for the supplement’s flavor and texture.

Our Take: Many gummy supplements are sub-par, but Olly Sleep has high-quality ingredients and an effective dose of melatonin without too much added sugar.

What We Liked

  • No artificial ingredients – All of the ingredients in this supplement are natural, including the colors and flavors. This makes it a good fit for those who are trying to avoid artificial ingredients.
  • Third-party tested – Olly volunteers for third-party testing and many of their products are NSF-certified. This ensures you’re getting what you think you are.

Potential Drawbacks

  • Has some sugar – Because they have some sugar, these gummies also have 3 grams of carbohydrates and 2 grams of sugar per serving. This may not be a huge deal, but it’s something to note since melatonin capsules don’t have any sugar.
  • Not vegan – Olly Sleep melatonin gummies are made with animal-based gelatin, so these supplements aren’t suitable for a vegan diet. This isn’t a dealbreaker, but many gummy vitamins use vegan gelatin.

Customer Reviews of Olly Sleep

Olly Sleep is rated 4.1 out of 5 stars on Olly’s website. Customers enjoy the tasty and convenient aspect of Olly Sleep gummies; however, some express concern over the added sugars and artificial ingredients.

Pure Encapsulations Melatonin Liquid – Best Liquid Melatonin

Pure Encapsulations Melatonin Liquid

Pure Encapsulations Melatonin Liquid

This liquid supplement is easy to take and backed by extensive third-party testing.

Sleep Advisor Score
4.60 / 5 starstarstarstarstar

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Why Pure Encapsulations Earned Best Liquid Melatonin

Liquid supplements are another option for those who can’t (or don’t want to) take capsules. Some research7 shows that liquid melatonin may be better, and more quickly, absorbed than capsules, too. Pure Encapsulations is our choice for Best Liquid Melatonin because it’s easy to take, it tastes good, and it doesn’t contain any artificial ingredients. It’s also vegetarian, non-GMO, and gluten-free.

One serving, which is one full dropper, contains 2.5 milligrams of melatonin and each bottle has 30 servings, so you’ll get a full month’s supply. Pure Encapsulations also has a rigorous third-party testing process. All raw materials are tested for potency and contaminants and finished products are tested by cGMP-certified labs. The company manufactures their products at their own facility in Massachusetts, and they have an open-door policy that allows anyone to visit and tour the facility at any time, without notice.

What Are Pure Encapsulations Supplements Made Of?

This Pure Encapsulations supplement is 99.5 percent melatonin and has no other active ingredients. It’s flavored with apple juice and black currant concentrate and sweetened with stevia leaf extract. It also contains some natural preservatives and emulsifiers, like xanthan gum, potassium sorbate, and citric acid.

Our Take: This liquid supplement is easy to take and backed by extensive third-party testing. It’s priced on the higher side, but we think it’s worth it for what you get.

What We Liked

  • Easy to take – This is a concentrated liquid, so you only need a dropperful. You can just drop it right in your mouth, instead of having to mix it with anything. 
  • Products are made at the brand’s own facility – Pure Encapsulations makes all their supplements in Massachusetts and has a rigorous third-party testing process. All products are tested for purity and potency.

Potential Drawbacks

  • Dose is on the lower side – This isn’t necessarily a problem for everyone, but this melatonin contains only 2.5 milligrams while most other full-dose options we recommend have 3-5 milligrams. This is still within an effective dose range, so it may still be plenty for you.
  • It’s expensive – This is one of the most expensive melatonin supplements that we recommend. In part, you’re paying for the convenience of liquid, but Pure Encapsulations also uses high-quality ingredients.

Customer Reviews of Pure Encapsulation Melatonin

Pure Encapsulations Melatonin is rated 4.6 out of 5 on Amazon. Customers appreciate the high purity and quality of Pure Encapsulations melatonin, but some find the higher price point compared to other options to be a potential drawback.

Utzy Naturals Micro Melatonin – Best Low-Dose Melatonin

Utzy Naturals Micro Melatonin

Utzy Naturals Micro Melatonin

These chewable tablets make it easier to slowly increase your melatonin dose without going overboard.

Sleep Advisor Score
5.00 / 5 starstarstarstarstar

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Why Utzy Naturals Earned Best Low-Dose Melatonin

Sometimes, low-dose melatonin8 is recommended to give the smallest effective amount possible. If a supplement has 3, 5, or even 10 milligrams per capsule, you can’t start small and titrate up. Utzy Naturals solves this issue with their Micro Melatonin, which has just 250 micrograms (or 0.25 milligrams) per tablet. This gives you more control over your dosage and allows you to find your “sweet spot” — the amount of melatonin that will help balance your circadian rhythm while reducing your risk of side effects.

We chose this supplement as the Best Low-Dose Melatonin for other reasons too. The company has an on-staff doctor who helps put together formulations, and they manufacture in the U.S. according to cGMP standards. Their facilities are also regularly audited by a third party, and the products undergo third-party testing.

What Are Utzy Naturals Supplements Made Of?

Utzy Naturals Micro Melatonin is a chewable tablet. It has tart cherry powder added to it for flavor, but tart cherry has also been shown to improve sleep in other ways9, including increasing sleep duration and sleep efficiency (the ratio of time spent asleep to total time in bed). This supplement also contains a handful of other ingredients, including cane sugar (to make it taste better), xylitol, citric acid, potassium bicarbonate, and sodium-based preservatives.

Our Take: These chewable tablets make it easier to slowly increase your melatonin dose without going overboard. They’re best for people who are new to melatonin or those who want to scale back.

What We Liked

  • Combined with tart cherry – Tart cherry has been shown to complement the effects of melatonin, so this supplement may have added benefit.9 Plus, it makes the chewable tablet taste better.
  • Manufactured in the U.S. – Utzy Naturals products are made in the U.S. and manufactured according to cGMP standards. They’re also third-party tested.

Potential Drawbacks

  • Low doses may not be the best for everyone – This supplement gives you the option to build up your melatonin intake. If you find you need 3 milligrams or more for effectiveness, you may want to consider using a two-tablet serving size. 
  • Everyone may not like the flavor – These do have a sour cherry flavor, so that can be off-putting for some. There are some health benefits to this, though, so it could be worth the trade-off.

Customer Reviews of Utzy Naturals Micro Melatonin

Utzy Naturals Micro Melatonin is rated 5 out of 5 stars on the Utzy Naturals website. Customers value the fast-acting nature of Utzy Naturals Micro Melatonin, yet some may consider the lower dosage per capsule compared to other options as a trade-off.

Onnit Instant Melatonin Spray – Best Melatonin for Travel

Onnit Melatonin Spray

Onnit Melatonin Spray

The Onnit Instant Melatonin Spray is convenient for plane travel and road trips.

Sleep Advisor Score
4.70 / 5 starstarstarstarstar

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Free shipping

Return Policy
Return Policy

No returns

Why Onnit Earned Best Melatonin for Travel

Traveling, especially if you’re venturing into another time zone, can disrupt your circadian rhythm10 and cause jet lag. However, it isn’t always practical to bring a whole bottle of capsules on the road (or plane) with you. We like this Onnit Instant Melatonin Spray for travel because it’s a compact bottle that’s easy to throw in your bag or pocket, and it fits under the TSA’s carry-on guidance for liquids: anything under 3.4 ounces is allowed on the plane with you.

Because it’s a spray, you also don’t need water like you would to swallow capsules — just six quick sprays directly in your mouth will give you 3 milligrams of melatonin. It comes in two flavors, lavender and mint, and the company says the mint can double as a breath freshener. Another reason we like this supplement is that Onnit does third-party testing through Informed Sport. This means it’s routinely tested for banned substances and other contaminants. 

What Is Onnit Made Of?

Onnit combines melatonin with natural flavors and preservatives. The exact ingredient breakdown depends on which flavor you get. The lavender has a water base with glycerin, ethyl alcohol, natural flavors, lavender oil, stevia leaf extract, and natural citrus extract. Lavender adds a floral flavor to the spray but has also been shown to improve sleep quality11 on its own. The mint version has fewer ingredients: water, glycerin, ethyl alcohol, natural flavors, and natural citrus extract.

Our Take: The Onnit Instant Melatonin Spray is convenient for plane travel and road trips. As an added bonus, the mint flavor doubles as a breath freshener.

What We Liked

  • Compact bottle – You can throw this small 3.4-ounce bottle in your bag or your pocket and easily take it with you. It’s also the TSA-approved size for travel on an airplane.
  • Comes in two flavors – This spray is available in mint and lavender. The mint doubles as a breath freshener, while the lavender has its own sleep-inducing properties.

Potential Drawbacks

  • May have an aftertaste – Some reviewers say this spray has an unpleasant aftertaste that lingers for a while. You won’t have this problem with capsules.
  • Might need more than the recommended dose – Onnit says that six sprays equal a serving, but some reviewers said they needed more like 10 or more to feel the effects. That can make it slightly less convenient.

Customer Reviews of Onnit Instant Melatonin Spray

Onnit Melatonin Spray is rated 4.7 out of 5 on the Onnit website. Customers appreciate the convenience and rapid absorption of Onnit Melatonin Spray, although some note that the spray mechanism can be inconsistent.

Natrol Kids Melatonin Berry Gummies – Best Melatonin for Kids

Natrol Kids Melatonin Berry Gummies

Natrol Kids Melatonin Berry Gummies

The best kids’ supplements have natural ingredients and contain lower but effective doses. The Natrol Kids melatonin fits the bill and comes in a fruity flavor.

Sleep Advisor Score
4.80 / 5 starstarstarstarstar

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Why Natrol Earned Best Melatonin for Kids 

Even if your kids can swallow a tablet, they probably don’t want to. We chose the Natrol Kids Melatonin Berry Gummies for several reasons. For starters, gummies are easier for children to take — they just have to chew them like a fruit snack — and reviewers say these particular ones taste good. Aside from that, their ingredients are extremely clean for a gummy supplement. They do have added sugar (you’d be hard-pressed to find a gummy without it), but it’s organic and in natural forms (tapioca syrup and cane sugar). 

Related: A Guide to Melatonin for Kids

Most of the remaining ingredients are organic too, and there are only natural flavors and colors; these berry gummies are colored with organic fruit and vegetable juices. The Natrol Kids gummies also have a lower dose of melatonin that’s suitable for kids. A single gummy supplies just 1 milligram of melatonin. Natrol’s supplements are also third-party tested by NSF International and the manufacturing facilities and processes follow cGMP practices.

What Is Natrol Made Of?

These gummies are about half the size of a nickel and contain only organic and natural ingredients. They’re non-GMO, gluten-free, and vegetarian. They’re also free of synthetic dyes and artificial flavors, preservatives, and sweeteners. 

Melatonin is the only active ingredient; the remaining ingredients include organic tapioca syrup, organic cane sugar, water, citric acid, coconut oil, carnauba wax, organic natural flavors, organic fruit and vegetable juice, pectin, and sodium citrate. 

Our Take: The best kids’ supplements have natural ingredients and contain lower but effective doses. The Natrol Kids melatonin fits the bill and comes in a fruity flavor that makes it easier for kids to take.

What We Liked

  • Organic ingredients – Most of the ingredients in this supplement, including the sugars, are organic. It also contains natural flavors and colors and no artificial ingredients.
  • Smaller dose – Kids supplements should have smaller doses, and this one contains just 1 milligram of melatonin per gummy. If you have an older child, you can always have them take more (under the guidance of their pediatrician) if you need to.

Potential Drawbacks

  • Dose might not be enough for older kids – Some reviewers say this supplement didn’t have enough melatonin for their older kids. You can mitigate this by taking more, but this will increase the cost per serving.
  • Only comes in one flavor – This melatonin is only available in a berry flavor, which not all kids may love. We would like to see it in more flavor options to appeal to different tastes and preferences.

Customer Reviews of Natrol Kids Melatonin Berry Gummies

Natrol is rated 4.8 out of 5 on Amazon. Customers appreciate the ease of administration and child-friendly formulation of Natrol Kids Melatonin, yet some express concerns about the need for precise dosing in younger children.

Nature Made – Best Budget Melatonin

Nature Made Melatonin 3mg Tablets

Nature Made Melatonin 3mg Tablets

Nature Made Melatonin offers high-quality melatonin at a budget-conscious price.

Sleep Advisor Score
4.70 / 5 starstarstarstarstar

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Free shipping

Return Policy
Return Policy

Free returns

Why Nature Made Earned Best Budget Melatonin 

When it comes to supplements, we don’t recommend getting the cheapest option you can find. Instead, if you want to go the budget-friendly route, you should be even more discerning about which brands you choose. Nature Made is our best budget pick because the company has been producing supplements since the 1970s and, even though these are about half the price of some of our other picks, they’re still high-quality.

They contain only melatonin and a small amount of calcium. They’re gluten-free and don’t have any added color, artificial flavors, or preservatives. Plus, both the 3-milligram and 5-milligram versions of the melatonin are USP-verified. We specifically chose the 3-milligram version of this supplement as our pick since you can always take a higher dose, but Nature Made also offers 5-milligram and 10-milligram versions if you want a more potent option. 

What Is Nature Made Made Of?

This supplement is in tablet form and contains a short list of ingredients. There’s melatonin, plus 65 milligrams of calcium and three inactive ingredients (croscarmellose sodium, cellulose gel, and magnesium stearate) that act as preservatives.

Our Take: When choosing a budget supplement, it’s even more important to consider quality. Nature Made is a trusted brand that makes USP-verified supplements and this melatonin is available in several effective doses.

What We Liked

  • Cost-effective – This is no surprise, considering this is our budget pick. However, it’s worth reiterating that even though this is the least expensive option on our list, it is still a high-quality, third-party-backed product.
  • Minimal ingredients – Many budget-friendly brands use fillers to bulk up their products, but this supplement only has five ingredients. There are no artificial ingredients.

Potential Drawbacks

  • Some don’t like the texture – Some reviewers say the tablet starts to dissolve in their mouth almost immediately and has a bad taste. They say this also makes it harder to swallow.
  • All immediate-release – This is an immediate-release melatonin, so there’s no delayed absorption. Because of this, it might not help you stay asleep as well as time-released capsules.

Customer Reviews of Nature Made Melatonin

On the Nature Made website, their melatonin is rated 4.6 out of 5 stars. Customers value the affordability and widely available nature of Nature Made Melatonin, though some report variations in effectiveness, which can be a concern for some users.

Who Should Consider Using Melatonin Supplements?

People who would benefit from melatonin the most are those who struggle to fall asleep for whatever reason. Since naturally occurring melatonin is supposed to help regulate your circadian rhythm12, supplements can do exactly that as well. Lighting and noise can mess up your circadian rhythm but so can stress, fatigue, and critical illness we can’t control as easily. Melatonin supplements can help if you have trouble falling asleep for any of these reasons a few nights in a row.

Melatonin supplements are sold over the counter, which means you don’t necessarily need a doctor’s prescription to get one. However, it’s best to first consult with your doctor to ensure what exactly you need and how much.

Is Melatonin Safe?

Yes, according to the National Institutes of Health13, melatonin is considered safe for short-term use. If side effects do occur, they’re usually mild. The most common are daytime sleepiness, headache, nausea, and dizziness.2

If you’re currently taking a blood pressure-lowering medication, ask your doctor before taking a melatonin supplement. Some research14 shows that melatonin may reduce the efficacy of some antihypertensive medications. Melatonin can also naturally lower your blood pressure.14 If you’re on medication, or you have low blood pressure already, it may lower your blood pressure too much, leading to lightheadedness and an increased risk of falls.

How to Choose a Melatonin Supplement

Dosage

Most physicians15 believe it’s best to start with the lowest dose to see the effect it’ll have on you. Try taking it at least 30 minutes before bedtime, as it takes up to 40 minutes to work.

Melatonin is sold in a range of dosages, with a typical effective dose for adults ranging from 3 to 5 milligrams. That being said, some supplements may go up as high as 10 milligrams per serving. Contrary to popular belief, the higher dosage doesn’t always promise better sleep. In some cases, it can have a contrary effect, potentially giving you nightmares or making you sleepy the next day.

View our Melatonin Dosage Guide here.

The Form It Comes In

Melatonin is sold in various forms, so you can find everything from gummies to capsules, tablets, liquid drops, sprays, and patches.

Capsules and tablets are meant to be taken by mouth, followed by water. Similarly, you can take liquid melatonin by mouth, holding a drop under your tongue, or you can mix it in a glass of water. Gummies are meant for those who can’t take capsules or don’t like the taste of liquid melatonin. Lastly, transdermal patches16 may be less common but are believed to be equally effective, especially because they have sustained release.

Additional Ingredients

Some melatonin supplements are sold with nothing in them but melatonin. Others have several additional ingredients, such as magnesium, to help relax the body and prepare it for sleep. Some may have Vitamin B6, which is believed to help boost melatonin production17.

Some supplements also contain L-theanine18, which promotes calmness by reducing stress and anxiety. Other ingredients you may come across in melatonin supplements include GABA (another sleep aid), inositol, calcium, and different sleep-inducing botanicals.

Related: Best Magnesium Supplements for Sleep

Third-Party Endorsements

The first thing to remember is that melatonin supplements aren’t approved by FDA19 because they’re looked at as dietary supplements. Nonetheless, they’re considered effective pharmacologic insomnia therapy by the American Academy of Family Physicians20.

However, it’s important you buy products that have certain certifications that indicate their safety and quality.

Some of the best third-party certification programs include the U.S. Pharmacopeia21 (USP) and NSF International. USP is the most widely accepted standard that indicates the supplement has the exact ingredients listed on its label. In addition, it also ensures it’ll break down within a certain amount of time and doesn’t contain any harmful levels of contaminants.

The NSF International22 mark assures consumers that the product has been tested by independent certification companies.

Effectiveness

Because melatonin supplements aren’t regulated by the FDA, you’ll have to do a little investigative work to determine if they’re likely to be effective for you.

The first thing you should do is look for approval by the USP. This ensures that the supplement contains exactly what it says it does, in terms of both ingredients and dosage. Some research shows that melatonin concentration can range from -83 percent to 478 percent23 of what’s listed on the label.

The next step is to compare the dosage in the supplement with science-backed recommendations. In this case, research shows that doses of melatonin between 1 and 5 milligrams24 can be effective for adults, and doses between 1 and 6 milligrams can be effective for seniors. Effective doses for children and adolescents are 0.5 to 3 milligrams and 3 to 5 milligrams for adolescents.

Once you’ve determined that the specific supplement you’re looking at is approved by the USP and contains an effective dosage, it can be beneficial to read through unbiased customer reviews to see how it affects the majority of people. See if you can find third-party reviews or verified reviews from Amazon, instead of relying only on reviews from the brand’s website.

Are there trusted reviews that say the supplement worked for them? While everyone is different, there’s a better chance of the supplement working for you if it’s worked well for many other people. If a large number of customer reviews say it didn’t work, this can be a red flag.

Potential Side Effects of Melatonin

Melatonin is considered safe for short-term use. If side effects do occur, they are generally mild25 and may include dizziness, headache, nausea, and sleepiness. Excessive doses, such as taking more than 10 milligrams per day, are more likely to cause side effects.15

Therefore, when choosing a melatonin supplement, make sure it provides an effective dose without going overboard (reminder: 1 to 5 milligrams per day is generally plenty for most adults). Keeping your daily dose within this range should decrease your chances of side effects.

In addition to that, read through the customer reviews to see if there are repeated reports of side effects. If many people are having similar negative experiences, it could be due to other ingredients in the supplement or possible contamination. Are there several reports of nausea or dizziness when taking the product? If yes, you may want to skip it. If not (and the supplement is backed by the USP), it may be a good choice.

Related: Can You Overdose on Melatonin?

Manufacturing Process

The FDA doesn’t regulate supplements directly, but it does oversee a regulation process called Current Good Manufacturing Practice26, or cGMP. Instead of just testing a single batch of a supplement, these regulations ensure high-quality manufacturing operations from start to finish. They cover everything from the raw materials used in the supplement to quality management procedures and purity of the finished product. To maintain a cGMP certification, facilities are regularly inspected by FDA staff. 

When choosing a supplement, try to find one that’s cGMP-certified, if you can. Supplements that aren’t cGMP certified aren’t necessarily bad, but this is another layer of protection for the consumer.

Also, try to choose companies that are very transparent about their manufacturing process. Where do their raw materials come from? Where do they make the supplements? Are they U.S.-based, or are the supplements imported from somewhere else? Willingness to give as much information as possible is usually a good sign.

Price

Melatonin is relatively inexpensive, and prices typically range from five to 15 dollars per bottle27. Price can vary depending on how (and where) the supplement is manufactured, and what ingredients are in it. For example, a supplement that contains only melatonin will likely be less expensive than a supplement that contains melatonin combined with other relaxation-inducing ingredients, like magnesium, ashwagandha, and L-theanine.

When choosing a supplement, consider this general price range, but ultimately, choose one that fits within your budget and is a price that you feel comfortable paying.

Customer Experience

Customer experience is an important part of any purchase. You want to make sure that the company is prompt and reliable if you need to get a hold of them, and that customer service representatives are willing to work with you to solve any issues.

Read through reviews to see what actual customers have to say about the experience with the company. Did the supplements ship quickly and arrive safely? Are there any major complaints? Is it easy to contact customer service, and are they responsive?  The answers to these questions should all factor into your decision. Don’t rely on the brand’s site alone; check unbiased, third-party sites like TrustPilot, too.

Brand Reputation

With an ever-increasing interest in health and wellness, there are a lot of supplement companies popping up. But since supplements aren’t regulated by the FDA, it’s a good idea to purchase from a well-known company that has a good reputation. 

If you don’t have personal experience with the company, look for reviews and accreditation on TrustPilot, Glassdoor, and/or the Better Business Bureau (BBB). You can do some investigating to see if they have a medical advisory board, and dig a little into that board to verify their credentials and reputations. You can also check for scientific studies that support the specific melatonin supplements, or the brand’s products more generally.

This doesn’t necessarily mean that a new company isn’t a good one, but a long-standing positive reputation can give you added peace of mind that the company can be trusted.

Types of Melatonin Supplements

  • Capsules – Capsules are made from gelatin or non-gelatin shells that contain the actual supplement. You can take them as they are or open them and take the supplement without the shell.
  • Tablets – Unlike capsules, tablets are solid. You can only take them by mouth with some water. However, in some cases, you can split a tablet should you need to split the dosage.
  • Gummies – Gummies are usually made from glucose syrup, gelatin, palm oil, natural flavors, and several other ingredients apart from melatonin itself.
  • Liquid – Liquid melatonin comes in dark bottles with a dropper meant to make it easy to separate drops. This type is easy to dose, thanks to the dropper. You can take supplement drops by mouth or mix them in a glass of water.
  • Sprays – Melatonin in liquid form is also available in sprays. These supplements may be preferred by individuals who have difficulty swallowing pills or who want a quicker absorption of melatonin28.
  • Patches – Melatonin patches go onto your skin. They have an adhesive back that makes them easy to stick to your skin without falling off in the middle of the night. You’re supposed to use one at least 40 minutes before bed.

FAQs About Melatonin for Sleep

What’s the best dosage for adults?

Most doctors recommend you take a dosage of 0.3 to 5 milligrams29 before bedtime, pointing out that a higher dose doesn’t necessarily work better than a lower one.

In most cases, it’s best to start with the lowest dose, especially if you’re unsure of the effect it’ll have on you. You may also want to consult with your doctor on the specific dose that should work best for you. Either way, be careful not to take more than the recommended dose.

View our Melatonin Dosage Guide here.

Does age affect melatonin levels?

According to experts, the melatonin levels we produce naturally decrease with age30. Melatonin is important for sleep, immunity, aging, and other biological processes. As it decreases with age, we have a higher chance of developing age-related diseases and conditions like insomnia.

For this reason, using melatonin supplements could help improve sleep while potentially slowing age-related diseases.

Where can I buy melatonin?

You can purchase melatonin supplements anywhere natural products are sold, both in stores and online.

Is it okay to take melatonin every night?

According to Mayo Clinic31, melatonin should only be taken as a short-term solution for sleeping problems. If you continue to struggle with sleeping, it’s important to work with a medical professional to find out the root cause of why you’re not getting enough sleep because there may be a more suitable treatment for it.

Who should not take melatonin?

Johns Hopkins Medicine32 does not recommend melatonin for those who are pregnant or breastfeeding, have an autoimmune or seizure disorder, or anyone with depression. It’s also advised that anyone with diabetes or high blood pressure consult their doctor before taking melatonin.31

Our Final Thoughts

Melatonin is a commonly used supplement that could improve your sleep. However, knowing what to look for to find the safest and most appropriate option for you and your needs is vital. As a reminder, we also recommend consulting with your doctor, especially if you’re taking other medications or have any underlying medical conditions.

For more information, we suggest you check our melatonin guide to learn more about the supplement, including its benefits and side effects.

Lindsay Boyers

Lindsay Boyers

Content Writer

About Author

Lindsay Boyers is a functional nutritionist with extensive experience in sleep, supplements, and other areas of health and wellness. She is also currently taking a sleep science certification course.

Lindsay has been testing, and writing about, products across all wellness and lifestyle categories for the past four years. She has personally tested over two dozen mattresses, and countless other sleep products.

Her work has been featured in Forbes, Sports Illustrated, US News & World Report, CNET, CNN Underscored, The Spruce, Healthline and more.

Combination Sleeper

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