Each capsule delivers a hefty 10 mg of melatonin per capsule, so if lower doses of melatonin aren’t working for you, Puritan’s Pride might be just what it takes. The supplement comes in a gelatin and vegetable cellulose capsule, so if you’re opposed to animal products, you might need to look elsewhere. In terms of purity as assessed by independent lab testing, Puritan’s Pride Premium does well, but not outstanding. Each capsule actually contains more like 11 mg of melatonin. While this means you’re getting 10% extra, it also means that your dose is 10% higher than it ought to be.
Again, because these measurements are so small, it can be tricky and expensive to get them right. Though the cost per capsule is higher than average, keep in mind that the melatonin content per capsule is also higher than many of its competitors, to the tune of 200 to 300%. If you know that high doses of melatonin are what you need when you can’t fall asleep, it might be easier to opt for a high dosage supplement like Puritan’s Pride instead of taking several lower capacity melatonin supplements at once. This is a brand you’re likely to find at your local pharmacy or drug store. The triple strength formulation doesn’t actually contain a tremendously high amount of melatonin—each softgel actually contains only 5 mg of melatonin, which is indeed stronger than a regular supplement, but not by a factor of three. The softgel formulation does mean there are a few more ingredients than usual. The gel capsule and the liquid it contains are made up of soybean oil, gelatin, glycerin, beeswax, soy lecithin, and titanium dioxide.
This doesn’t mean much for most people, but if you can’t eat soy, or if you are vegetarian or vegan, you’ll want to look elsewhere. Being a softgel does mean that this product is likely to dissolve and get absorbed more quickly, so the onset of sleepiness should be more rapid and sudden than with other products. This could be a good or a bad thing depending on what you’re looking for. Purity-wise, Nature’s Bounty Triple Strength Melatonin is middle of the road. Analytical testing shows that each softgel contains about 16% more melatonin than advertised, which is fairly typical. If you want a medium dose of melatonin and want it to take effect rapidly, Nature’s Bounty Triple Strength might be the supplement for you. This melatonin supplement is a solid middle-of-the-road choice for delivering a reasonable dose of melatonin in a cheap and efficient way. It provides 5 mg of melatonin per tablet, according to the label, and it’s got no extraneous or gimmicky ingredients. In terms of the purity and accuracy of the product, Now Foods falls a bit short, as do a number of the other low-cost melatonin supplements. Independent analytical lab testing concluded that Now Foods Melatonin contains 22% more melatonin than it should. Not necessarily a bad thing; certainly, it is much better than the alternative (getting less than your money’s worth). Still, this points to problems with quality control in the manufacturing process. It is hard, though not impossible to get an accurate dosage measured out for amounts this small. To some extent, this is one consequence of keeping costs low. A more accurately measured supplement manufacturing process is going to cost more, and when the low-cost supplements are dominating the market, the obvious choice is to go with a manufacturing method that is a little less precise, but saves money. If precision is important to you, choose a brand that has independently-verified label accuracy. But if 6.1 mg is as good as five in your book, Now Foods Melatonin is a great choice. This name-brand melatonin supplement comes in an extra-small dosage (just one milligram of melatonin per serving). Uniquely, the melatonin is also delivered as an artificially-sweetened, non-caloric lozenge. Aside from melatonin, the only ingredients are sorbitol, mannitol (both sugar substitutes) and natural flavoring. In terms of purity, GNC Melatonin performs sub-par—lab testing reveals that each lozenge actually only contains 0.89 milligrams of melatonin, so the true dosage is even lower than what you’re paying for. Considering this, GNC Melatonin is best-reserved for people who really don’t need much melatonin at all to fall asleep. If the usual 3 mg supplements knock you out cold and leave you feeling woozy the next day, GNC melatonin might be worth a try. Best Naturals Melatonin is a high-dose melatonin supplement, delivering 10 mg per tablet. The other ingredients are unremarkable, just your usual mixture of tablet binders and stabilizers.
The real surprise comes when you look at the lab-verified melatonin amount: Best Naturals actually contains 25% more melatonin than advertised—instead of the label-claimed 10 mg, each tablet contains 12.5 mg of melatonin. That’s more than four times as much as a standard melatonin supplement. Since you don’t want to over-do it with melatonin, you should probably choose a different product, unless you know you’ll need a very high dosage of melatonin to fall asleep and want to get your money’s worth. Natrol is a market-dominating melatonin supplement whose purple bottle is hard to miss. It’s on shelves at pharmacies and drug stores everywhere, and it’s the number one best selling sleep aid supplement on Amazon.com. Each tablet of Natrol Melatonin provides 5 mg of melatonin, along with 10 mg of vitamin B6 and a few stabilizing compounds in the tablet, like cellulose and stearic acid. Aside from this, it’s a pretty simplistic supplement. The physical properties of the tablet determine the rate of release; there is no special “slow absorption” form of melatonin.
A time release tablet will disintegrate more slowly in your stomach, while a fast-acting tablet will come apart more rapidly. Unfortunately, independent lab testing finds that the label accuracy of Natrol Melatonin Time Release is questionable. Analytical testing found that each tablet contains, on average, 7.4 mg of melatonin—quite the difference compared to 5 mg. Part of this problem might be the technical difficulties of accurately measuring such a small amount on a consistent basis, but other brands seem to accomplish it.