The 8 Best Iron Supplements to Buy in 2018

Fuel any deficiencies with our top-picks

We are committed to researching, testing, and recommending the best products. We may receive commissions from purchases made after visiting links within our content. Learn more about our review process.

You need iron in your body to maintain a healthy red blood cell count and to produce hemoglobin. The hemoglobin molecule is found in blood and it carries oxygen throughout the body—a must for everyday function and energy.

Unfortunately, iron deficiency is very common (especially in women) and can sometimes lead to anemia, a condition caused by low iron levels that can lead to fatigue, shortness of breath, and chest pain, according to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. Other commons signs of iron deficiency anemia include brittle nails, pale skin, dizziness, weakness, headache, irregular heartbeat or difficulty concentrating. If you’re experiencing these symptoms, head to a doc to get your iron checked.

You can get iron from your diet—a must-do to keep it at healthy levels. Foods like meat and fish contain high amounts, along with some leafy greens, but vegetarians and vegans tend to need an iron supplement to keep their levels up as the richest iron sources come from animals.

Taking iron supplements does have some side effects, which include stomach discomfort and they can interact negatively with antibiotics, so check with your doctor before taking. 

If you find out from your doc that you do need more of the mineral, and they suggest adding a supplement to your diet—be sure to check our top iron supplements below.

Best Overall: Feosol Ferrous Sulfate Iron

This pill uses a different form of iron than other supplements on the list—it comes from ferrous sulfate, which the brand considers a favorable form for absorption. The Feosol brand touts their pharmacist-approved formula as highly potent and effective for anyone who needs to up their iron intake. One pill contains 360 percent of your daily recommended dose of iron. 

Iron is best absorbed on an empty stomach with at least 8 ounces of water. However, if you tend to get an upset stomach after popping the pill, take this with food instead. And remember, as with all supplements, keep out of reach of children, as they can easily overdose. 

Best for Allergies: EZ Melts Iron

For those who have certain diet restrictions like being vegan or having allergies to milk, nuts, and soy—finding a supplement that meets all these criteria can be tough. That is where this dissolving tablet comes into play. 

Your body needs vitamin C to help absorb any iron you take in, and this supplement includes enough of both nutrients to increase your vitamin and mineral levels. Unlike other supplements, you pop this one in your mouth and simply let it dissolve—no swallowing big pills necessary. Reviewers rave that it tastes great, too, thanks to its orange flavoring.

The product is also free from common allergens like milk, eggs, fish, shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts, wheat, and soy. So most people should be able to take it, no matter your dietary restrictions. 

Best for Athletes: Mega Food Blood Builder

Many endurance athletes have an increased risk of iron deficiency (along with other vitamins and minerals), as they tend to lose iron through their gastrointestinal tracts, as well as through the breakdown of red blood cells.

This supplement not only contains iron, but also vitamin C, folate, and vitamin B12 (all of which help promote absorption) to offer an extra energy boost. Most of these nutrients come from natural food sources, including beets, oranges, and broccoli. 

Best for Pregnant Women: Nature Made Iron

When women are pregnant, the heart has to work harder to keep the fetus safe and healthy. This means blood volume throughout the body increases by 30 to 50 percent. Because of this increase in blood flow, sometimes pregnant women need more iron to keep up with the oxygen demand of the body’s tissues.

One brand that’s been around for nearly 50 years: Nature Made. Like most of their products, this iron supplement is free from artificial flavors, preservatives, yeast or starch—plus, it’s gluten-free. It also gets a stamp of approval from the U.S. Pharmacopeial Convention (or USP), which helps to regulate the supplement industry as the Federal Drug Administration does not.

While you can take an iron supplement on an empty stomach, most brands (like Nature Made) recommend having it with food as that can reduce your risk of experiencing an upset stomach. Before taking this pill when pregnant, make sure to speak with your doctor to see if it’s necessary.  

Best for Vegans: Garden of Life Vitamin Code Raw Iron

As with most supplements in the Garden of Life line, this iron pill is certified vegan-friendly, as well as non-GMO. To top it off, the pill is also raw, meaning that it's produced below 115-degrees to help preserve its nutrients. That’s key when you’re making an iron supplement made mostly from a fruit and vegetable blend. This Garden of Life supplement also contains probiotics and enzymes to help with digestion—and help cut back on any stomach distress.

In addition to being a good choice for vegan, Garden of Life iron is also good for those with gluten or dairy intolerances as it does not contain these ingredients.

Best for Vegetarians: Pure Encapsulations Iron-C Hypoallergenic Supplement

Manufactured in Massachusetts, Pure Encapsulations makes sure all of its products are GMO-free. You won’t find artificial sweeteners or colors, coatings (making it vegan- and vegetarian-friendly), gluten, magnesium stearate (a common inactive ingredient in iron supplements), or hydrogenated fat in these pills. All you get is iron glycinate and vitamin C in the form of absorbic acid, as well as a cellulose (or plant-fiber) capsule.

Other major allergens like wheat, peanuts, and eggs are also left out of this pill, which the label suggests taking with a meal. You’ll get 60 capsules, each containing 15 milligrams of iron, in one bottle. 

Best for Anemia: Pure Micronutrients Iron Plus Supplement

Another supplement with a mix of vitamins C, B6, B12, folic acid and (of course) iron, your body should better absorb the nutrients mixed into this formula. Made from ferrour glycinate and iron bisglycinate, the manufacturer aims to cut down on upset stomach side effects and any poor aftertaste with the mix of the two active ingredients.

This supplement is also good for those with allergies as it does not contain any gluten, yeast, soy, dairy, or even GMOs, binders, fillers, dyes, preservatives, or artificial colors and flavors—hence the “pure” title. 

Best for a Liquid Form: Wellessee Liquid Mineral Iron Supplement

Have trouble swallowing pills? Try getting your iron from a liquid instead. Just one tablespoon-sized serving offers the recommended daily amount of iron. You can add the sweet liquid to water or put it in your juice. Avoid mixing it with dairy products, though, as this can lower absorption levels.

While this supplement tastes fruity, it’s free from sugar and is instead sweetened with Stevia to lower the calorie count as well. Keep in mind, though, even if you love the taste, don’t go overboard. This is still a supplement, so you can easily overdose on your iron intake for the day if you keep adding drops to your drinks. 

Was this page helpful?