This post contains links through which we may earn a small commission should you make a purchase from a brand. This in no way affects our ability to objectively critique the products and brands we review.
Evidence Based Research To fulfill our commitment to bringing our audience accurate and insightful content, our expert writers and medical reviewers rely on carefully curated research. Read Our Editorial Policy
Melatonin is melatonin, right? How can you tell the difference between the same ingredient slapped on the label of hundreds of different sleep supplements?
Thankfully, our list of the 6 best melatonin supplements on the market today is designed to give you a deeper understanding of how to tell high-quality melatonin supplements apart from cheap imitators.
Hi-Health Sleep Formula takes our vote for the best overall, thanks to its diverse blend of science-supported botanicals, additional micronutrients, and GMP certification.
Whether it’s melatonin only or more of a smorgasbord approach, gummies or capsules, we’ve got your back—now sleep on it!
Tablet form; focused primarily on melatonin (no added extracts), but calcium and B6 facilitate melatonin synthesis and other calming mechanisms; high melatonin per serving; time-released delivery encourages healthy sleep
Robust blend of supporting botanicals, micronutrients, and more
Can enhance resistance to stress
Multi-capsule serving size
Best for: Anyone looking for a more holistic approach to a sleep supplement that supports melatonin with potent, research-supported herbs.
A colorful, but well-measured assortment of herbal ingredients helps stretch the 3 milligrams of melatonin per serving in the case of Hi-Health Sleep Formula. Here are a few of the science-supported ingredients included in this sleep aid:
Ashwagandha Root Extract
Valerian Root Extract
Passion Flower Extract
L-Tryptophan (the stuff in turkey that makes you sleepy), GABA (gamma aminobutyric acid), and the calming amino acid L-Theanine also make an appearance, each of which serve no small role in the body’s wind-down mechanisms.
You might be surprised to see vitamin B-6 on the ingredient list—and a high dose at that—given how B vitamins are marketed for energy and metabolism, but B6 specifically is an important cofactor in the multi-step process of melatonin synthesis.
Where some supplements try to dazzle with a haphazardly thrown-together selection of trendy ingredients, Hi-Health Sleep Formula is a model of how to formulate for function.
Best Timed-Release Melatonin: Natrol Advanced Sleep Melatonin 10mg
Timed release encourages sleep quality throughout the night
Calcium and vitamin B6 facilitate melatonin action
Fewer supporting ingredients
Best for: Anyone looking to get the most out of melatonin. This product contains a larger dose, and supporting ingredients boost its effectiveness.
It may not be boasting a smorgasbord of herbal extracts, but if this very “melatonin-forward” supplement by Natrol doesn’t work, then melatonin may not be for you.
In addition to the generous 10 milligrams of melatonin per one-tablet serving, Natural Advanced Sleep Melatonin uses vitamin B6 and calcium to help the body synthesize melatonin, among other pro-relaxation mechanisms.
Each tablet uses a time-released delivery system, providing half the melatonin initially and the other half in a steadier and slower manner to support healthy sleep later into the night.
We would caution anyone inexperienced with melatonin to start with less than 10 milligrams, but for those who are familiar with this quantity, Natrol Advanced Sleep delivers a no-nonsense solution for those sleepless nights.
Best Melatonin Only: Windmill Sleep Soundly Liquid Melatonin
Best for: Anyone who responds well to melatonin and prefers a potent and fast-acting supplement to take regularly before bed.
Whether it works better for your nightly routine to have a product you can take closer to bed, or if you simply prefer a fast-acting melatonin supplement for its more pronounced effects, Windmill Sleep Soundly Liquid Melatonin is as straightforward as it gets.
Each serving of this liquid supplement provides 10 milligrams of melatonin with no other active ingredients.
If you’re not accustomed to this strong of a dose (10 mg), you can start with a single dropper or less, as the 10-milligram serving requires two full droppers. It won’t beat the price of most melatonin capsules on a per-milligram basis, but Windmill Sleep Soundly Liquid Melatonin can get you to sleep and keep you there with much less lead time than your standard capsule.
Best Sugar-Free Gummies: Nordic Naturals Zero Sugar Melatonin Gummies
Best for: People who just want a smaller dose of melatonin and/or those who prefer a (sugar-free) gummy over capsules and other options.
It certainly won’t be going toe-to-toe with most other options on this list as far as supporting botanicals are concerned, but Nordic Naturals is known for uncompromisingly clean and effective supplements, which is the case with their Zero Sugar Melatonin Gummies.
Each single-gummy serving provides 1.5 mg of melatonin, which is definitely on the lighter side, but offers a convenient option for those more sensitive to it.
For those of us who would have to go with 2-3 gummies a night, it’s still a decent value at $0.21 per milligram of melatonin.
Each gummy does come with one gram of xylitol, a sugar alcohol, but as long as you’re not sensitive to these, it’s a safe alternative.
Otherwise, there are no artificially derived colors, flavors, or harsh preservatives.
Each serving provides 1 milligram of melatonin, but this supporting case of science-backed botanicals works synergistically to gently but potently ease the brain into a state of serious relaxation.
In fact, the label provides a warning in large, red font: “May cause drowsiness when used as directed.”
Whether you prefer to go the herbal route and/or if you are avoiding larger doses of melatonin for whatever reason, Life Seasons Rest-ZZZ gives an excellent example of a natural, but still effective workaround.
All this said, there’s definitely an elephant in the room: you’re definitely going to be out a few extra bucks if you go with this product.
Best Melatonin Tablets: Carlyle Fast Dissolve Melatonin
Best for: People who want a highly economical sleep aid that delivers a powerful dose of melatonin in one tablet.
While you certainly won’t hear us singing the praises of sucralose anytime soon, the fact that you only need one tablet (or even less) of Carlyle Fast Dissolve Melatonin to get 12 milligrams of melatonin helps keep the sucralose quantity low.
Thanks to the quickly dissolving tablet, you only need about 30 minutes before the melatonin absorbs and starts working, and at 180 tablets per container, those who prefer to cut the tablets in half can get their entire year’s worth of melatonin with one order.
Carlyle Fast Dissolve Melatonin doesn’t incorporate any fancy herbal extracts, but if melatonin works for you, then this is an entirely straightforward solution.
The tablets are flavored naturally, and Carlyle tests their ingredients in the lab for purity and safety.
Is it OK to take melatonin every night?
The answer depends on several contextual factors that can affect safety and tolerability.
Being already produced by the body, melatonin is generally well-tolerated and virtually 100% non-toxic to humans, but exogenous (consumed from outside sources) melatonin can still cause some acute side effects like next-day drowsiness, headache, dizziness, nightmares, mood swings, and more.
This study by University College in London goes into more detail on the adverse effects of melatonin.
Also, even without acute side effects (which are indeed pretty rare), some clinician researchers argue that using melatonin for more than 6-8 weeks can cause similar or more intense side effects, and others argue to exercise caution over the long term because of a general lack of safety data.
When should you take melatonin?
If you’re using a standard melatonin tablet or capsule, most sources recommend taking the supplement between 30 minutes and one hour before laying down to sleep. However, liquid melatonin and fast-dissolving tablets can work as quickly as 10-30 minutes, so keep that in mind.
As always, there’s nothing wrong with adjusting this window to maximize effectiveness for your situation. As a side note, staying away from bright screens and other artificial light sources close to bedtime will help your brain switch into melatonin-producing mode, which can boost the effectiveness of your supplement.
Is melatonin a sleeping pill?
Melatonin is most commonly used for sleep, but it also has been shown to exert an antioxidant effect. For now, yes—the vast majority of melatonin products on the market are intended to support a healthy night’s sleep.
Is melatonin actually good for you?
Yes. In the proper context, melatonin supports several health benefits, which makes sense considering the body produces its own supply. In addition to sleep, melatonin can improve gastro-esophageal reflux disease (GERD), seasonal depression, and more.
Options abound for melatonin supplement seekers, who, nowadays, can easily find high-quality supplements in various formats (liquid, gummy, capsule, etc.), formulations (melatonin only or more complex), and more.
Key quality indicators to look for when shopping melatonin supplements include the use of vitamin B6 and/or calcium to enhance its effects, lab-tested ingredients, GMP and other quality-focused certifications, and the presence or absence of botanical ingredients, preservatives, artificial ingredients, etc. Consult with your doctor if you have any questions about starting a melatonin supplement, and when you do, be mindful of the dosage. It always helps to start low (around 2 milligrams) and adjust from there.
Food is for physical wellness, and pharmaceutical products are for mental health conditions—that’s where most of us land when it comes to nutrition psychiatry.
Nutrition is understandably not priority one in the chaotic moments immediately following a traumatic brain injury (TBI), but as soon as the patient is stable, nutrition therapy shares center stage with other key tenets of TBI rehabilitation.
Normally, we’re content to bounce around new and/or controversial theories on nutritional concepts all day, but every so often, we have the luxury of seeing in black and white.
This may seem like a fun-killing exercise at first, but we’re not interested in coddling or pandering to our readers, so let’s get the harsh reality out of the way: most of us haven’t earned the right to binge on vacation.