Our Methodology for Testing and Selecting Sleep Supplements

As people continue to look for new ways to improve their sleep, natural sleep aids have garnered lots of attention. Throughout our website, you will find lists and reviews of sleep supplements, including products like melatonin and magnesium. To provide transparency into our sleep supplement content, we have created this guide, which provides a detailed breakdown of how we test and select sleep aids to feature on Sleep Advisor.

How We Test Sleep Supplements 

When we test sleep supplements first-hand, our reviewer uses the product for a full month to better understand how the product performs. The tester also takes into account specific categories that are a part of our testing methodology, providing ratings for each category that ultimately go toward the product’s overall score. Each of these categories is based on a 1-5 scale, with 1 being the lowest rating and 5 being the best.


Most consumers look to reviews to truly see how effective a product is. If our reviewer gives a supplement’s effectiveness rating a 1 or 2, then that means the product didn’t work at all for its intended use. Conversely, a rating of 5 means that the tester felt the effects early on and saw noticeable improvements in their sleep and energy levels.

Julia Forbes testing Ritual Melatonin

Learn more: Melatonin vs. Magnesium

Side Effects

With supplements, there is a concern for side effects. Therefore, it helps our readers to share what side effects, if any, our testers experience. If a supplement received a 1 or 2 rating, the side effects were significant, even worsening sleep as a result. On the other hand, a 5 rating means the reviewer felt no side effects during their month of testing.


It’s important to know what goes into the supplements you take, which is why this is included in our methodology. A supplement that rates well here is very transparent with its ingredients; the ingredients will be traceable, third-party tested, backed up by scientific research, and have a clear formulation. 


What goes into making a supplement is also critical for ensuring quality and value. Supplements and brands that rate well for manufacturing are open about their process and ingredients. They also follow important guidelines like the Current Good Manufacturing Practice (cGMP) and have third-party endorsements and/or certifications.

Find out more: Top Melatonin Supplements


Of course, one of the top things consumers want to know with any purchase is the cost. When our reviewers evaluate the price of a product, they’re also looking at the value of it. Is the price and amount you get on par with the market value? Is it affordable and high in quality? These are qualities that help a product rank well for price.

Customer Experience

Although having our team test products first-hand is highly beneficial, it’s also helpful to know the experiences of real-world customers who’ve purchased from the brand and tried the product. 

When we look at customer experience qualities, we assess how transparent their reviews are. Does their website only have glowing reviews or does it feel like there’s a fair balance? What are other customers saying on third-party websites like Amazon? How is the company’s customer service and shipping? These are all qualities we consider when evaluating customer experience.

Brand Reputation

When we evaluate the brand reputation, there are multiple factors we look at. 

Is there an established consumer trust in the company? Have independent studies or medical professionals backed up the product? Do they rate well with the Better Business Bureau and Glassdoor? Do they invest in quality packing or additional features to boost the quality of their products? Do they have unique ownership that could be important to consumers? This might include women, minority, or veteran-owned brands. 

A company that rates well here will have a respected reputation as a quality brand. 

Our Overall Score

As mentioned, each of the above categories will receive a rating of 1-5 from our tester. To get the overall score, we take each rating, add them up, and divide that number by 7 (for seven categories). That final number is then the overall score for that supplement. 

How We Select Sleep Supplements to Feature

We also have pages on our website that feature lists of top supplements for different categories like melatonin, magnesium, CBD, and more. To help ensure the products we feature are of the highest quality, we consult with nutrition experts who are knowledgeable about these supplements. We include their expertise as both writers and reviewers to ensure the content is accurate, detailed, and trustworthy. 

Find out more: Top-Rated CBD Oils

Ritual Melatonin, being testing by Sleep Advisor