12 best vitamin D supplements to boost your health and mood

Known as the sunshine vitamin - these supplements are key to optimising your health.

Best vitamin D supplements to boost your health and mood

by Ellen Kinsey |
Updated on

If you are on the hunt for the best vitamin D supplement, then you're off to a good start. Vitamin D, frequently known as the 'sunshine vitamin', is central to maintaining good health, regardless of age or sex. This powerful nutrient is involved in just about everything from strengthening bone density to boosting immune function - it's no wonder that vitamin D is often at the top of the list when it comes to the best supplements for overall wellbeing.

Strikingly, despite its vast health benefits, many individuals are vitamin D deficient. According to Vitall's UK health statistics in 2023, approximately 20 per cent of the population in the UK has a vitamin D deficiency, and 60 per cent of the population is considered as having insufficient levels of vitamin D. This could be due to a combination of factors, including limited exposure to sunlight, certain dietary restrictions, and in some cases, genetic factors.

Disclaimer: Always talk to your GP before starting a new supplement regime.

Best vitamin D supplements at a glance:

Best vitamin D liquid supplement: Nutri Advanced Vitamin D3 with K2 Liquid Drops – Buy now on Amazon UK
Best value vitamin D supplement: Nutrition Geeks Vitamin D3 Tablets – Buy now on Amazon UK
Best vitamin D3 K2 supplement for clean ingredients: Viridian D3 and K2 – Buy now on Revital
Best vitamin D gummy supplement: NaturesPlus Vitamin D gummies – Buy now on iherb

The good news is that supplementation can effectively bridge this gap. Vitamin D supplements come in diverse forms to suit everyone's needs and preferences. Whether you opt for the convenience of capsules or prefer the ease of a liquid supplement, you have multiple options to ensure your body receives this vital nutrient. Some of the best probiotics even come with vitamin D too.

For women, maintaining optimal levels of vitamin D is even more crucial during and post-menopause. As our oestrogen levels decline our bone density can suffer. Maintaining our vitamin D levels can slow down and minimise this process.

The dynamic duo of vitamin D3 and K2 is incredibly beneficial. It's good to note that vitamin D3 is the form of vitamin D derived from animal sources and is more potent than its plant-based counterpart. However, vitamin D3 can also be derived from lichen, a vegan-friendly source.

To select the highest quality products, we invited health expert Kate Booker, Nutritionist at Nutrition Geeks, to shed further light on this topic. If you have any questions, scroll down to the section below to learn why Vitamin D is important and benefits it has. So, whether you want to find the optimal dosage during menopause or find a highly effective vitamin D supplement for your family - here are our top picks.

Best vitamin D supplements

Tested

Best vitamin D liquid supplement

Yours/Nutri Advanced

Nutri Advanced's 30ml D3 with K2 drops combines vitamin K2 with D3, which contributes to maintaining healthy bones. It easily absorbs, because it's in drop form. Take once or twice daily by applying three drops directly to the tongue or in water. Our tester comments: "The most common consensus I have had from the consultations is that drops are the best way to absorb vitamin D and that the supplement should contain a D3 K2 combination."

One thing to note is that these D3 drops contain Cholecalciferol which is usually derived from sheep's wool, so it may not be suitable for vegans.

Our tester was impressed by the results of taking this vitamin D supplement. She comments: "I believe it has really increased my energy levels and strengthened my immune system." In addition, it tastes pleasantly of oranges; just take three drops on the tongue daily.

Pros

  • Liquid form transports well around the body
  • Includes Vitamin D3 and K2 to ensure the best results
  • Excellent value and long-lasting
  • Extremely clean ingredients

Cons

  • Some may prefer to take capsules
  • Made from Cholecalciferol which is often made from sheep's wool - so it may not be suitable for vegans

Best value vitamin D supplement

Nutrition GeeksAmazon/Nutrition Geeks

If you are looking for an excellent value product, this supplement contains 365 compact tablets in a letterbox-friendly, eco-conscious pouch. Nutrition Geeks offers a high-quality vitamin D supplement in an easy-to-swallow 6mm pill form. A customer comments: "Lovely small tablet size makes it easy to swallow … very good price for a whole year's supply."

It delivers a large vitamin D dose without any aftertaste and provides a six-month supply for a little over £3. If you are looking for a supplement that's eco-friendly and affordable, this is the one.
The NHS advise that we should all take a vitamin D supplement, and with this one, you'll hardly notice the cost or that it takes up any space in your vitamin drawer.

A customer advises that you should only take this vitamin with water. Coffee and tea stops it being absorbed by the intestines.

Pros

  • Eco-friendly packaging uses less plastic than conventional pill bottles
  • Economical, offering a six-month supply for less than £3
  • 365 tablets per package
  • Amazon's Choice recommended

Cons

  • Does not contain K2 for optimal results
  • The D3 is sourced from Cholecalciferol which is from sheep's wool - so it may not be suitable for vegan lifestyles

Tested

Best vitamin D3 K2 supplement for clean ingredients

Yours/Viridian
Price: £16.61 (was £22.15)

www.revital.co.uk

Viridian's reputation as one of the cleanest supplements on the market. Their D3 and K2 supplement offers a balanced blend of two essential nutrients that helps support your bone health, the immune system and so much more. A customer comments: "Long use by date, and I am very pleased with that."

A real bonus is that their vitamin D3 is plant-sourced, and the K2 is derived from fermented natto cultures – making it a good choice for those with a vegan lifestyle.

The great benefits lie in the combination and natural sourcing of the D3 and K2 vitamins – making it an excellent pick in liquid drops and spray form. Our tester said that both the drops and the spray are easy to take and taste pleasantly of oranges. It provides a mood boost along with its benefits to bones, muscles and the immune system.

Customers notice the different to their health, as one comments: "I’m using this to help my arteries and heart declassify. The product is easy to swallow with no odd reactions in my stomach etc."

Pros

  • Combination of two essential nutrients optimally absorbed by the body
  • Vegan Vitamin D3 and non-animal-tested K2 from fermented natto cultures
  • Very clean ingredients

Cons

  • It's easy to pipette or squirt more than the dose

Testing

Best clean food derived vitamin D supplement

Yours/Wild Nutrition

In a scientific study, this food-grown Vitamin D supplement claims to be 100% better absorbed than the leading capsule and high street spray. It's a naturally sourced D3 supplement that contains 1000IU per capsule and is more bioavailable than synthetic alternatives. It helps maintain calcium absorption to maintain good bone strength and muscle function.

Customers comment that this is a very effective supplement. And like our tester, they thought the packaging was top-notch, with a classy glass jar and minimalist style, that makes it an elegant gift idea.

Yes, this is more expensive than high street supplements but customers confirm this does boost the immune system. Our tester is trialling it over the course of a month and will give their verdict.

Pros

  • Derived from food for better bioavailability
  • Highly praised for its effectiveness
  • All-natural, no fillers or synthetic ingredients

Cons

  • More expensive than other supplements

Tested

Best vitamin D gummy supplement

NaturesPlus Vitamin D gummiesYours/NaturesPlus

It's fun to take your vitamins when they taste this good. NaturesPlus Vitamin D gummies are an assortment of mixed berry and orange flavours. You get two months' supply in a bottle. Each gummy contains the equivalent of 1,000IU.

Customers (and our tester) love the taste and texture of the gummies, and they deliver an all-important dose of vitamin D in a fun form. Whilst there's higher doses of vitamin D available in other supplements, these are a lovely gummy and an alternative to swallowing pills.

Boost your mood, support your immune system and bone health with a high potency vitamin. Expect to feel the benefits in a month of taking a daily gummy.

Pros

  • Immune, bone and muscle support
  • Vegan and no-GMO
  • Taste lovely and uplifts mood
  • Two months' worth is good value

Cons

  • Not a hugely potent source of vitamin D

Tested

Best vitamin D supplement for over 50s

Healthspan

As we get older, we need to take extra care, especially if you have an indoor lifestyle. We recommend this Healthspan Vitamin D because of its high strength and addition of cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil to help your body absorb the vitamin D3.

Our tester commented that these are small capsules that are easy to swallow and works out to be 9p per capsule, so it's excellent value for money. Each capsule contains a dose of vitamin D3 that's equal to 2000IU. It's a high-strength dose that's aimed at people aged 50+ and should be taken daily throughout October to March. Customers like that the packet is letterbox friendly and Healthspan delivers orders fast.

If you live in northern countries, it's vital to supplement your diet to ensure you're getting enough vitamin D3 to support muscle and bone strength.

Pros

  • Works out to be very good value for money
  • Small capsules is easier to swallow
  • High-strength vitamin D3 in cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil, making it easier to absorb
  • Supports your immune system, bones, teeth and muscles
  • Beneficial if you have an indoor lifestyle

Cons

  • These capsules are not vegan

Tested

Best vitamin D for high IU

Yours/Bio-Synergy

With 5000IU per capsule, Bio-Synergy Vitamin D3 is a concentrated dose of the sunshine vitamin. D3 helps you absorb calcium and phosphorus and these keep your bones strong.

Natalie says: "I've been taking these in conjunction with Magnesium Citrate as I watched some research that said vitamin D uses the body's magnesium reserves to absorb, so for optimal release take a magnesium supplement too.

"As someone who suffered horribly with muscle and joint aches and low mood during the winter, I only wish I'd discovered this supplement sooner.

"Literally within days of taking it I felt much better in general. Less aches and pains, brighter mood. Once you know a bit about what the human body needs and how it works, you can learn to heal yourself."

Pros

  • Vegan-friendly
  • High concentration of vitamin D3
  • Three months supply

Cons

  • Capsule form only

Testing

Best vitamin D supplement for vegans

Yours/DR.VEGAN

Ethical and sustainable brand DR. VEGAN is known for their high-quality supplements made from plant ingredients, and this vitamin D supplement is no different. These are housed in compostable packaging, and the product itself is vegan, easy to swallow, halal, and free from gluten, dairy and lactose - making it an all-around winner for any dietary requirements. A customer comments: "I’ve been using Vitamin D and Vitamin B12 from DR. Vegan for about four months, and I am very satisfied with the results. I have more energy and feel very good."

It is a high-dose supplement with 2,500IU per pill, which will contribute to a healthy immune system and calcium absorption – which can be a nutritional area to address if you have a plant-based diet.

Pros

  • Sustainable, compostable plastic-free packaging
  • Caters for all dietary requirements
  • Subscription service available offering a 15 per cent saving

Cons

  • Does not contain K2 for optimal results

Tested

Best vitamin D spray supplement

BetterYou Vitamin D Daily Oral SprayYours/BetterYou

BetterYou's convenient and user-friendly oral spray delivers vitamin D in a refreshing minty taste. We've tested it and felt it was an effective way of boosting mood during the winter. The bottle lasted all winter and we used two sprays a day. It tastes minty-fresh and provides a little mood boost.

It's an excellent solution for those who struggle to swallow pills, with the bonus of being easily transportable too. It'll fit in a handbag. The spray is easily absorbed into the cheek, and you begin to feel the benefit almost immediately. A customer comments: "Following a vit D deficiency, I started buying this, cheaper on subscription than Holland and Barrett. Does the job and tastes OK. It is good value."

Also, BetterYou has an environmentally conscious approach, using recycled plastic for packaging. Do note that this product contains Cholecalciferol so it may not be suitable for vegan lifestyles.

Pros

  • Natural peppermint taste
  • Easy-to-use oral spray
  • Environmentally friendly, as half the product range uses recycled ocean plastic

Cons

  • Not the cleanest ingredients on this list
  • It does not contain K2

Best vitamin D supplement with probiotics

Bio KultHolland & Barrett/Bio Kult

This supplement is great to take alongside a course of antibiotics or when travelling to keep your body working at its best. Bio-Kult supports both your immune system and the digestive tract. Its unique blend includes vitamin D3 and live yeast. A customer comments: "These tablets must be taken with food. I started by taking two a day; after a week, I could see a difference."

Each supplement contains 6 mcg of D3 and 5 million gut-friendly bacteria, which can help with recovering from illness and digestive issues. Also, we love that it's all-natural with no nasty fillers.
Do note that it is unsuitable for vegans.

You could see all sorts of benefits, including weight loss. As a review comments: "I am now taking one a day, my belly fat has greatly reduced, and people are noticing! I highly recommend these tablets."

Pros

  • The dual-action formulation targets both the immune system and the digestive tract
  • It can be stored at room temperature; no need for refrigeration
  • Bio-Kult S. Boulardii can be used on a continuous basis (up to 6 months)

Cons

  • Does not contain K2
  • Isn't strictly a Vitamin D supplement

Tested

Best vitamin D dissolvable strips

Yours/Diso

If you have difficulty swallowing pills, these Diso Dissolvable Vitamin Strips are a tasty alternative. Our tester was really impressed with the strong raspberry flavour and the instant boost it gave. Natalie found them especially useful as an afternoon pick-me-up while working from home and not getting nearly enough sunshine.

Of all the products we tested, this one is the most creative. The little box of strips came in a package filled with colourful paper shreds. Also, there was a well-designed and informative booklet. You get one month's supply per box. It's convenient to pop the individually wrapped strips in your bag for when you're on the go – it makes a nice sweet treat that's calorie free too. You don't need water, just let it dissolve on your tongue.

Taking vitamin D in this form means it's rapidly absorbed into the bloodstream, so you feel the benefit fast. It's also a precise dose which is more difficult to achieve with drops and spray.

Keep it on your tongue or it will stick to your teeth, but it will dissolve. All-in-all it's a fun and innovative way to get your vitamin D.

Pros

  • More bioavailable than other ways of taking vitamin D
  • Convenient to take when you're on the go
  • All natural colours, flavours and sweeteners and plant-based ingredients
  • Uplifts your mood and tastes lovely
  • Sustainable packaging

Cons

  • It has a tendency to stick to teeth or the roof of your mouth, but it will totally dissolve

Testing

Best vitamin D gummy supplement

Yours/Bioglan
Price: $25.90

If you need the motivation to take vitamins, then these Bioglan Vitamin D3 1000iu Vitagummies are a delicious way to support your vitamin D levels all year round. These vitamin gummies are easy to take – no water and no swallowing difficult tablets. Customers praise them, with one commenting: "These are great. Take these to feel better over the winter months."

Also, customers agree that they taste great. It's like having a sweet that's actually doing you some good. Our tester is trying them out over the course of a month and will give their verdict. They're enjoying the delicious orange taste; it's like having a couple of sweets everyday.

Each fruity serving contains 3000IU (75 µg) of vitamin D3 from Cholecalciferol. They are gelatin-free, too.

Pros

  • Perfect bone and calcium absorption
  • Chewable for those who don't like to swallow supplements
  • Strong dosage

Cons

  • Some may not like gummies

Buyer's guide to vitamin D

Our modern lifestyles often involve extended indoor periods, and, let's be honest, the weather isn't always on our side to supply that much-needed sunshine for vitamin D.

We spoke to Kate Booker, nutritionist at Nutrition Geeks, to determine the importance of vitamin D and how to choose the best supplement for you. Although remember, a balanced diet, rich in various vitamins and minerals, is the foundation of good health, so consider these supplements as your health-supporting assistants, not substitutes. There are many foods that contain vitamin D that you could add to your diet too.

What does vitamin D do for the body?

The popularity of vitamin D supplements is no fad - as this vital vitamin is central to the healthy functioning of our body. Kate tells us that vitamin D benefits bone health, supports bone density (along with vitamin K2), and helps to protect against osteoporosis.

"Low vitamin D levels are associated with bone loss and fractures," says Kate. "Vitamin D can improve muscle function and balance, reducing the risk of falling. Vitamin D also supports immune function, protecting against infections and allergies. It’s also beneficial to gut health."

She also says it is also worth noting that magnesium is required to make vitamin D, so it’s important to include this mineral in your diet. "Magnesium is found in green leafy vegetables, cacao, bone broths and sardines," suggests Kate. She also says it can also be absorbed through the skin via Epsom salts in the bath. "Vitamin K2 is an important vitamin for bone density. K2 can be found in fermented and probiotic foods."

In our roundup above, we provide you with suggestions on supplements that include the synergy of D3 and K2. Our top recommendations are Viridian D3 & K2 90 Capsules and Nutri Advanced's Vitamin D3 with K2 Liquid Drops.

Why is it important to supplement vitamin D?

We get a lot of vitamin C from foods, but it's not as easy for vitamin D. "We can make vitamin D from the sun from March to October in the UK," Kate tells us. "Your genetics and skin tone will dictate how well you can make vitamin D from the sun; if you aren’t getting enough mid-day sun on your skin, then it could be beneficial to boost your intake through supplements. A good vitamin D supplement contains D3, which raises levels higher and for longer than D2."

What source of vitamin D is suitable for vegans?

In this article, we touch on what sources of vitamin D are suitable for plant-based diets as frequently D3 is sourced from Cholecalciferol - which is made from sheep's wool. We asked Kate what the difference is between D2 and D3 and what was the most appropriate form of vitamin D for vegan lifestyles.

"D2 is a plant source of vitamin D found in mushrooms. D3 is the animal source, found in mackerel, wild-caught salmon, cod liver oil and oily fish," says Kate. "D2 is less than one-third as potent as cholecalciferol, so D3 is a better supplement option. D3 supplements also stay in circulation longer."

So it is best to go for a supplement with vitamin D3 if you are vegan but check if the source was derived from lichen - which is a vegan-friendly source. If you are also looking for supplements to complement a vegan lifestyle, it is a good idea to look into the best B12 supplements as well to bridge the nutrient gaps.

Vitamin D and sunscreen

Using a good sunscreen is vital to protect against skin cancer and skin ageing. But can using a sunscreen cause vitamin D deficiency? In short, it's unlikely. Even if you applied sunscreen completely perfectly every day from March - October, some of the sun's UVB rays would still permeate. Don't stop using sunscreen in order to increase vitamin D.

How much vitamin D should you take for menopause?

"This depends on your blood levels; checking your blood levels of vitamin D can ensure you are taking the correct amount. Ideally, your levels should be in the optimal range, which is 75-125 nmol/L. For most people, a dose of around 1000iu will be safe to take." Many of the best supplements for perimenopause and menopause will factor this into their formulas too.

This article contains expert advice from Kate Booker, Nutritionist at Nutrition Geeks.

Ellen Kinsey was a Senior Health and Wellness Product Writer and has been a part of Bauer Media since 2020. She has left to study Ayurveda in India to expand her knowledge and skills in the health and wellness field, where she plans to continue making journalistic contributions.

Just so you know, whilst we may receive a commission or other compensation from the links on this website, we never allow this to influence product selections - read why you should trust us