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The Best Multivitamins For Women: Prenatal, Postnatal & Beyond

September 24, 2022
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Let's face it: No matter how hard you try, it's not always easy to ensure your body is getting all the water-soluble and fat-soluble vitamins, macrominerals, and trace minerals (phew, it's a long list!) you need to thrive.

Even the most balanced diets can still require a little added assistance to fill in nutrient gaps. And now, with plenty of evidence on the benefits of a targeted multivitamin for whole-body health, there's really no reason not to be taking one.

Men and women have similar (often identical) vitamin and mineral (i.e., micronutritional) daily requirements. And at mbg, we really believe in gender-neutral multivitamins thoughtfully formulated to strategically cover both sets of needs. There is, however, an exception for women who are pregnant, trying to get pregnant, or breastfeeding, who require higher amounts of certain key nutrients.

With this in mind, we rounded up up the 10 best multivitamins for women at every stage of life—all of which feature high-quality ingredients, clean delivery formats, and rigorous standards.

What is a multivitamin for women?

Multivitamins for women may feature more iron and a wider range of B vitamins than multivitamins for men—if they differ at all. (Sometimes, they feature the exact same formulas, just with different labels.)

With that being said, both men and women will often benefit from taking the same multivitamin—as long as it's complete, which we'll get to later.

The one time women will want to opt for a gendered multivitamin is if they're looking for support around pregnancy. "A specialized multivitamin, for example for prenatal support in women trying to get pregnant or who are pregnant, should feature higher levels of key nutrients, particularly iron, calcium, vitamin D3, iodine, and certain B vitamins (e.g., folic acid), on top of the baseline full array of vitamins and minerals in a regular multi," explains mbg's vice president of scientific affairs Ashley Jordan Ferira, Ph.D., RDN.

Moral of the story: Most people needn't fret about finding the best multi for women. Instead, just focus on finding the best multi, period.

How we picked.

High-quality ingredients

We vetted and curated multivitamin/mineral (aka "multi") formulas that include high-quality versions of vitamins and minerals that are essential for women of all life stages, plus innovative and useful additions like botanical extracts, longevity bioactives, and more.

Delivery format

While vegan capsules provide the most comprehensive and clean multivitamin formulas for women, we also provide diverse delivery format options for your personal preferences—from tablets and softgels to vegan capsules and even a gummy.

Sustainable packaging

Many of our multi selections feature premium, recyclable glass packaging to not only care for the environment but the ingredients in your multivitamin supplement, too. Amber glass bottles, for example, protect nutrients from UV light degradation.

Analytical testing

These products all prioritize brands who invest in advanced analytical testing (for purity, potency, and precision) via ISO-certified labs. This helps ensure you are consuming high-quality multivitamins made of top-notch raw materials that you can trust.

mbg's picks for best women's multivitamin of 2022:

Best overall (and best vegan multivitamin) : mindbodygreen ultimate multivitamin+

Pros

  • High-potency vegan formula optimized for women & men 18+
  • Comprehensive array of vitamins and minerals
  • Full-potency doses of 6 longevity bioactives

Cons

  • Not for children
Form: Capsule
Dietary considerations: VeganVegetarianNon-GMOGluten-freeSoy-freeDairy-freeMajor food allergen-free
Environmental impact: Sustainably packed

Looking for a comprehensive multivitamin that's optimized to give both men and women the essential vitamins and minerals they need to thrive? Look no further than mbg's ultimate multivitamin+. It features 33 premium ingredients including 14 essential vitamins, 13 minerals (including essential mineral iron support for younger and older women) and 6 botanical bioactives at science-backed doses (no sprinkling here) to provide daily support for immunity, brain health, heart health, and more. This cutting-edge supplement is stored in a UV-protective, eco-friendly amber glass jar and optimized for bioavailability, bioactivity, and gentleness. Two vegan capsules a day helps you mind your nutrient gaps, and enjoy an array of premium longevity botanicals (master antioxidant glutathione, resveratrol, piperine, and a bouquet of carotenoids (lutein, zeaxanthin, and lycopene) to boot.*

Best for young women (and best organic multivitamin): Garden Of Life mykind Organics Women's Multi

Pros

  • Formulated for women
  • Organic food blend added
  • Features modest amounts of whole foods

Cons

  • Missing calcium, magnesium, and potassium
  • Long list of “other ingredients”
Form: Tablet
Dietary considerations: VeganVegetarianNon-GMOGluten-freeSoy-freeDairy-freeUSDA certified organicCertified-kosher
Environmental impact: Sustainably packed

Garden Of Life’s vegan and organic supplement provides 500% of the daily value of vitamin B-12, which is notoriously hard for women to get enough of—especially if they eat a mostly plant-based diet. We appreciate that this supplement delivers a lineup of essential vitamins and most minerals and features a blend of organic whole foods. Its ingredient list could be cleaner, though, and it's missing a few all-important minerals like calcium, magnesium, and potassium.

Best iron-free multivitamin: Metagenics Phytomulti®

Pros

  • Unique phytonutrient blend
  • High-potency methylated B vitamins (folate and B12)
  • Iron-free

Cons

  • Missing calcium, potassium, and vitamin K2
Form: Tablet
Dietary considerations: Non-GMOGluten-free
Environmental impact: Sustainably packed

Iron is an essential mineral and women of all ages have daily nutritional requirements (hence, why we believe that it’s important for a comprehensive multivitamin). However, iron needs can vary depending on age, gender, and life stage. For example, following menopause, daily iron requirements slight decrease. If you fall into that camp, or it's simply a matter of personal preference or biology, consider this iron-free supplement from Metagenics. It contains more than 20 essential vitamins and minerals (though calcium, potassium, and vitamin K2 are missing from the list) and is enhanced with a unique array of phytonutrients like zeaxanthin, lutein, and lycopene.*

Best prenatal multivitamin: Best Nest Wellness Mama Bird Prenatal Multi+

Pros

  • Full array of essential vitamins and minerals
  • Features organic herbs, probiotic, and digestive enzymes
  • Supports a healthy pregnancy*

Cons

  • Sprinkling of vitamin D3 and calcium, no vitamin K or potassium
  • Lacks DHA and probiotic strain info
  • Plastic bottle
Form: Caplet
Dietary considerations: VeganVegetarianNon-GMOGluten-freeSoy-freeDairy-freeNut-free
Environmental impact: Plastic

Prenatal care is not to be neglected, and Best Nest’s Mama Bird multivitamin offers targeted support for this special time of life. Each caplet is easy to swallow and gentle for sensitive stomachs, and one a day is all you need for an array of essential vitamins and minerals.

Containing a higher dose of iron (18 mg) to support pregnancy daily needs (27 mg), this supplement also has a unique blend of probiotics, digestive enzymes, and organic herbs (including organic chamomile flower and ginger root) for belly comfort. Organic and vegan, this multi is free of the things your baby doesn't need, like sugar, preservatives, artificial color and flavors.*

Best postnatal multivitamin: MegaFood Baby & Me 2 Postnatal Multi

Pros

  • Formulated for breastfeeding moms and developing newborns
  • Supports baby’s brain development
  • With organic moringa leaf extract

Cons

  • Missing calcium, magnesium, and potassium
  • Long list of “other ingredients”
Form: Tablet
Dietary considerations: VegetarianNon-GMOGluten-freeDairy-free
Environmental impact: Sustainably packed

Doctor-designed for breastfeeding mothers and their growing babies, MegaFood’s Baby & Me 2 multivitamin high-quality formula delivers important nutrients like vitamins C, D, and E, and minerals like iodine and chromium. A standout ingredient in this formula is the organic moringa leaf extract, an ancient botanical that's been shown to naturally promote breast milk production. It's worth noting that this supplement is missing calcium and magnesium, though, so new mamas will need to get these essential minerals through their diet or additional supplementation instead.*

Best multivitamin for women over 50: Pure Encapsulations Women's Nutrients

Pros

  • Targeted for women 40+
  • Botanicals for cardiovascular, eye health, and mood-balancing support*
  • Urinary tract and breast health support*

Cons

  • Missing vitamin K2, iron, copper, and molybdenum
  • 3 capsule serving
  • Plastic bottle
Form: Capsule
Dietary considerations: VegetarianNon-GMOGluten-freeSoy-freeDairy-freeMajor food allergen-free
Environmental impact: Plastic

Some nutritional needs begin to change as you grow older, and this comprehensive multivitamin from Pure Encapsulations is formulated for women 40+. Complete with a good source of calcium (coming in at 200 mg per serving) plus a unique array of botanicals, and modest doses of adaptogens (including rhodiola and lemon balm) it promotes cardiovascular health, eye health, and a balanced mood, as well as supports urinary tract and breast health. Just be prepared to take three capsules a day of this multi, and to get your iron elsewhere. It's lacking in this otherwise very comprehensive vegetarian multi.*

Best menopause multivitamin: Rainbow Light Menopause One Multi

Pros

  • Formulated for menopausal women
  • Features herbal blend including black cohosh
  • Includes digestive enzymes

Cons

  • Long list of “other ingredients”
  • Contains soy, dairy, and wheat allergens
  • Plastic bottle
Form: Tablet
Dietary considerations: Vegetarian
Environmental impact: Plastic

A high-quality, comprehensive multivitamin can go a long way in supporting you through certain life stages, including menopause. In one single, vegetarian tablet, Rainbow Light Menopause One Multi offers a targeted blend of nutrients, with a high-potency B vitamin complex, essential antioxidants to combat oxidative stress, and digestive support from plant-sourced enzymes. While the formula is lacking in iron, potassium, and vitamin K2, it contains a unique herbal blend including the the botanical black cohosh, which has been shown to help women keep their cool (literally) through the temperature regulation challenges of menopause.*

Best multi for energy : New Chapter Perfect Energy Multivitamin

Pros

  • Modest doses of adaptogenic herbs
  • Certified B Corp
  • B complex for cellular energy support

Cons

  • Missing calcium, iron, magnesium, & potassium
  • 3 tablet serving
  • Contains soy allergen
Form: Tablet
Dietary considerations: VegetarianNon-GMOGluten-freeDairy-freeCertified-kosher
Environmental impact: Sustainably packed

Need a little extra help in the energy department? New Chapter’s Perfect Energy Multivitamin is formulated with 22 vitamins and minerals (including all 8 essential B vitamins) to support the generation of ATP energy and keep you going all day long. Plus, this unique multi supports a healthy stress response with a modest amount of adaptogenic herbs like organic maca, rhodiola, and ginseng. As a newly certified B Corp, New Chapter also prioritizes environmental health through smart sourcing and meaningful philanthropic partnerships.*

Best gummy multivitamin: SmartyPants Women's Formula

Pros

  • Modest dose of omega-3 EPA + DHA
  • Fish oil from sustainable fisheries
  • Features CoQ10

Cons

  • 6 gummy serving
  • 9 grams of carbs, including 6 grams of added sugars
  • Gummies are a more incomplete multi option
  • Missing calcium, iron, copper, magnesium, potassium, chromium, molybdenum, manganese
Form: Gummy
Dietary considerations: Non-GMOGluten-freeDairy-free
Environmental impact: Plastic

They may be delicious, but gummies are the least complete form of multivitamin (note the missing ingredient list — there's only so much room to fit nutrients within all that sugar and gelatin or pectin). If you're going to take one, it should at least have the major essential nutrients and clean “other ingredients,” like this option from SmartyPants. It boasts 17 essential nutrients plus other premium active ingredients such as omega-3s, CoQ10, and choline in significant amounts to aid in supporting a healthy heart and energy levels. Organic cane sugar, organic tapioca sugar, and natural colors and flavors round out this cleaner candy.*

Best multi on a budget : Life Extension Two-Per-Day Multivitamin

Pros

  • High-potency formula
  • Methylated B vitamins (folate and B12)

Cons

  • Missing vitamin K1, vitamin K2, calcium, iron, copper, & potassium
  • Sprinkled quercetin, lycopene, & zeaxanthin
  • Plastic bottle
Form: Tablet
Dietary considerations: Non-GMOGluten-freeDairy-free
Environmental impact: Plastic

You don't need to break the bank in order to find a multivitamin that does its job well. Case in point: This Two-Per-Day Multivitamin from Life Extension, a high-potency formula that offers the recommended daily allowances of vitamins (including some methylated B vitamins like folate and B12) and minerals—all for 18 cents a tablet. It also contains modest doses of quercetin, lycopene, and zeaxanthin to promote eye health and combat oxidative stress, and reviewers note that it's given them noticeably more energy, better sleep, and higher quality of life overall.*

What to look for.

Your diet can only get you so far, and a multi can help you get the vitamins and minerals you're missing on your plate—as long as it's complete.

A complete multivitamin will fill common nutrient gaps1 with an array of essential vitamins; provide microminerals like iron, zinc, iodine, selenium, copper, manganese, molybdenum, and chromium (we all have daily needs for these too, mind you); and ideally have some nonessential—but supportive—trace minerals like boron and silica. Added botanicals and bioactives are a major bonus, too.

Your personal eating habits will guide which multi is best for you. If you follow a vegetarian or vegan diet, be sure to choose one that contains a complete B vitamin complex with all 8 essential B vitamins. Iron and iodine are also key for plant-based eaters.

Another point to consider is ingredient dosage. There's no point in investing in a supplement that only supplies your body with a sprinkle of vitamins and minerals. Look for high-potency formulas that offer a full array of vitamins and minerals, at or above 100% of the daily recommended value. Just note that some of the larger minerals (calcium, magnesium, and potassium) are more difficult to squeeze into a capsule, so they're often included in slightly lower doses to keep serving sizes down.

As for packaging? "I am a strong proponent of packaging that's recyclable, doesn't introduce more plastic into our planet, and also protects the precious ingredients you're paying for," Ferira previously recommended. "For that combination of environmental impact and buffering your multi ingredients from UV light, amber glass fits the bill," she adds.

Finally, you'll want your multivitamin to adhere to your personal values. If you're already prioritizing a diet that's vegan and free of GMOs, artificial sweeteners, and synthetic dyes, why not look for the same in your daily multi?

FAQ

Do women's multivitamins really work?

In short, yes, women's multivitamins work—if they are created with high-quality ingredients and offer a complete range of nutrients in meaningful amounts.  

"A high-quality and comprehensive multivitamin/mineral supplement supports a variety of structures and functions in our body, like our bones, immune system, eyes and vision, cellular energy, and more, because the array of vitamins and minerals (and unique botanical ingredients, if included) all play critical roles in cells, tissues, and organs throughout our beautifully complex bodies," Ferira previously noted.

Although, again, gendered multivitamins may not be necessary for everybody, if you have pre- or postnatal needs, a female-targeted multi will be a good choice.

Is it good to take a multivitamin every day?

Not only is it good to take a multivitamin every day, but you should most certainly be doing so if you want to reach your nutritional goals. That's why it's important to find a multi that comes in a reasonable serving size that's easy enough to take daily. 

Are multivitamins a waste of money?

The only way a multivitamin would be a waste of money is if you're not investing in a high-quality product. Again, looking at the concentration of ingredients and quality of the formula are essential steps for ensuring you're actually getting the most from your multi.

The takeaway.

It's not entirely essential to go with a multivitamin that's gendered (unless you're looking to support pre- or perinatal needs), but it is important to look for one that's formulated with a comprehensive range of essential vitamins and minerals in significant doses. With any of the high-quality multis on this list, women will be one step closer to achieving all of their nutritional needs (outside of food and water) and then some.

If you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or taking medications, consult with your doctor before starting a supplement routine. It is always optimal to consult with a health care provider when considering what supplements are right for you.

Meet The Experts

Merrell Readman is the Associate Food & Health Editor at mindbodygreen. Readman is a Fordham University graduate with a degree in journalism and a minor in film and television. She has covered beauty, health, and well-being throughout her editorial career.