The Best Calcium Supplements — Citrate, Carbonate, and More

Learn which kind of calcium supplement is the best add to your supplement routine.

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For many people, their average daily consumption of calcium from food and drink is often less than the recommended intake. (1) For those with more acute bone-health needs, calcium supplements can be an easy way to increase the amount of calcium consumed daily. There are plenty of products out there that are created from different types of calcium, many are manufactured with different minerals, and some aren’t even pills.

To determine which type of calcium supplement is right for you, we combed through the top options available for shoppers and chose which we think are the best powder, softgel, and gummy options.

Best Calcium Supplements

Editor’s note: The content on BarBend is meant to be informative in nature, but it should not be taken as medical advice. The opinions and articles on this site are not intended for the diagnosis, prevention, and/or treatment of health problems. It’s always a good idea to talk to your doctor before beginning a new fitness, nutritional, and/or supplement routine. Individual needs for vitamins and minerals will vary.

Best Overall Calcium Supplement

Many pills and supplements customers encounter have bulky, round, or thick tablets that are difficult for some to swallow. The slim tablet shape of these pills is designed to help the supplements go down easily every time. New Chapter uses Vitamin D3 and Vitamin K2 to help your body absorb calcium efficiently and direct it to your bones.

New Chapter Calcium Supplement
New Chapter Calcium Supplement
New Chapter Calcium Supplement

This calcium supplement is a plant-based source of 770 milligrams of calcium. It also provides 45 micrograms of Vitamin K2 and is fermented with 1,000 IU of Vitamin D3.

Many calcium supplements on the market source their calcium from rock, specifically limestone, creating a flat molecular architecture lacking other nutrients. The new Chapter extracts calcium from plant sources, allowing other vitamins to combine with the calcium in a natural honeycomb structure. This is great for those hoping to benefit from additional key vitamins and trace minerals such as magnesium.

Who Should Buy New Chapter Calcium Supplement

  • Those who find it easier to swallow sleeker pills.
  • Anyone who needs to increase their Vitamin D3 or Vitamin K2.
  • People who only want nutrients from plant-based sources in their diets.

Who Shouldn’t Buy New Chapter Calcium Supplement

  • Anyone who is put off by having to take three pills per day.
  • Those who need physically sturdy pills that can travel well.

While those accustomed to supplements may not think twice about the directed dosage, many will not be used to taking pills throughout the day — a pill during lunch and two during dinner is recommended. Due to the febrile nature of calcium and the slim design of the supplements, there may be a few broken pills in the bottle before opening. Users may have to combine two halves to complete the suggested dosage, although this shouldn’t be an issue if your vitamins are stationary in one location (travelers beware).

Aside from that, these are a great choice if you specifically want a calcium supplement in pill form and are the overall top pick.

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Best Calcium Carbonate Powder

BulkSupplements is usually pretty friendly on customers’ wallets, and this product is no exception. Each pouch contains 80 servings that each provide 500 milligrams of calcium in the form of calcium carbonate. For those curious about the chemistry of a carbonate, it is an ion consisting of one carbon atom and three oxygen atoms.

BulkSupplements Calcium Carbonate
BulkSupplements Calcium Carbonate
BulkSupplements Calcium Carbonate

Each 1,250-milligram serving of this calcium carbonate provides 500 milligrams of calcium that is free from yeast, soy, gluten, sugar, and dairy. Each pouch carries 80 servings and contains no other ingredients.

Who Should Buy BulkSupplements Calcium Carbonate

  • Folks who don’t want any ingredients other than calcium.
  • People who value third-party testing for purity.
  • Anyone who prefers their supplements in powder form.
  • Those who need to stay on a tight supplement budget.

Who Shouldn’t Buy BulkSupplements Calcium Carbonate

  • Those who prefer to take their supplements in tablet or softgel form.
  • Anyone who wants added flavor.

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Best Calcium Citrate Powder

Each of the 42 servings per pouch in this calcium citrate (organic acid) supplement provides 570 milligrams of calcium. The product is free of yeast, soy, gluten, dairy, added sugar, and no additional ingredients. This product is produced to certified Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMP) standards and has been third-party tested for purity.

BulkSupplements Calcium Citrate
BulkSupplements Calcium Citrate
BulkSupplements Calcium Citrate

Each pouch contains 42 2,380-milligram servings that each provide 570 milligrams of calcium (44 percent of the daily recommended value). This product is free of soy, gluten, dairy, yeast, and added sugar.

Who Should Buy BulkSupplements Calcium Citrate

  • People who want their supplements third-party tested for purity.
  • Folks who prefer products that follow cGMP standards.
  • Those who don’t want any additional ingredients beyond calcium citrate.

Who Shouldn’t Buy BulkSupplements Calcium Citrate

  • Anyone who would prefer gummy or softgel supplements.

[Related: Nutrition For Bulking: 10 Tips For Intelligent Muscle Gain]

Best Calcium Supplement for Vitamin D

This supplement only contains calcium and Vitamin D3 as key ingredients. Many other supplements, whether calcium or not, will have several more vitamins or minerals included. This is one of the more inexpensive calcium tablets available on the market, but each bottle packs a whopping 220 pills. When it comes to a simple calcium supplement with only Vitamin D added, this is a great choice.

Nature Made 600mg Calcium Tablets with Vitamin D
Nature Made 600mg Calcium Tablets with Vitamin D
Nature Made 600mg Calcium Tablets with Vitamin D

Each of these bottles provides 100 softgels that each pack 600 milligrams of calcium and 400 IU of Vitamin D3. It contains soy and its ingredients include gelatin, soybean oil, and white beeswax.

Who Should Buy Nature Made 600mg Calcium Tablets with Vitamin D

  • Those who want a high dose of calcium that is still lower than the daily recommended value.
  • Anyone who prefers a simple ingredient list — this one is just calcium and Vitamin D3.
  • People who need to maintain a tight budget for supplements.

Who Shouldn’t Buy Nature Made 600mg Calcium Tablets with Vitamin D

  • Those who find swallowing larger pills uncomfortable.
  • Folks who need easy-to-cut pills to manage more specific doses.

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Best Calcium Supplement Gummy

While traditional calcium pills can raise a curious eyebrow due to their unique smell, these chewable gummies have a reasonably nice scent, and taste like one might expect regular gummies to taste. These are a potentially great choice for those who aren’t comfortable swallowing pills and/or dislike mixing powders into their drinks to consume their supplements.

Vitafusion Calcium Supplement Gummy Vitamins
Vitafusion Calcium Supplement Gummy Vitamins
Vitafusion Calcium Supplement Gummy Vitamins

Each two-gummy serving provides 500 milligrams of calcium and 1000 IU of Vitamin D3 alongside five grams of sugar. The ingredients include glucose syrup and gelatin.

Some manufacturers shy away from gummies because the vitamins and minerals aren’t as easily absorbed as in pill form. Thankfully, the gummy supplements from Vitafusion have the bio-equivalency of standard pills to absorb key ingredients with clinical trials to back it up.

Who Should Buy Vitafusion Calcium Supplement Gummy Vitamins

  • Those who want supplements that taste good.
  • People who appreciate Vitafusion’s clinically proven absorption.
  • Anyone who needs to take it easy on their wallets.

Who Shouldn’t Buy Vitafusion Calcium Supplement Gummy Vitamins

  • Those who are looking to avoid adding any sugar to their diets.
  • Folks who would prefer an extremely chewy gummy.

The main downside to taking gummies instead of pills is the added sugar required to get the vitamins into gummy form. If the sugar isn’t a put-off, then the price tag might incentivize this to be moved up to the top of your consideration list as each package comes with 100 gummies.

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How We Decided Our Picks

Adding a supplement to your daily routine can take an adjustment. Given the serving frequencies required by some calcium supplements, customers should find the calcium version that best fits their lifestyle. We used several criteria to evaluate what type of calcium supplement might be right for you. Here are the categories we used to judge these products:

Ease of Use

Calcium supplements can be designed to take several different forms and shapes. Based on the type of calcium they were formed from, some supplements need to be in a larger pill form, which could be difficult for some to swallow. These types of products, however, tend to have higher amounts of calcium per serving. Some softgel versions of calcium supplements are easier to ingest, as are calcium gummies. If you have a tough time swallowing hard pills, or even any kind of pill, perhaps a softgel or gummy is the way to go.

Additional Ingredients 

Many different supplements, whether calcium or other crucial vitamins or minerals, typically have several other ingredients that help the key vitamin or mineral be absorbed into the body or even have other unrelated health benefits. Look out for calcium supplements that have Vitamin D3 or Vitamin K2, as both of these may aid the body’s process of absorbing calcium. Some calcium supplements are designed to pair calcium with other minerals, such as magnesium.

Price 

Calcium supplements are available at a wide range of costs. Some products are simplified to only containing a serving of calcium with Vitamin D to help with absorption. Products that have a higher content of calcium may also be more expensive. Pay attention to the amount of calcium per pill as, oftentimes, a bottle will have many pills per package combined with a serving size of two or three. These bottles can run out quickly, even though they may seem like a better value at first glance.

Taste 

Calcium supplements that are part of a gummy taste much different than a calcium supplement in pill form. Calcium supplements in pill form can have a fishy smell or an otherwise neutral, though not aromatic, scent. Softgels that contain tiny pieces of calcium supplements surrounded by the outer layer often don’t have the same taste, aftertaste, or smell as straight calcium supplement pills. Those who more difficult time swallowing pills or tasting medicine may opt for a gummy or softgel.

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What To Consider Before Buying

How Much Calcium Do You Need?

Some calcium supplements have half of the recommended daily value, while others can have 100 percent, if not more. Depending on your health needs, you may need more than the daily recommended value, an amount that typically applies to a wide range of people. If you eat a diet high in calcium, that may play a role in how much calcium to take in supplement form. Speak with your doctor or medical professional if you have any questions about your personal calcium requirements.

What Is Your Budget?

Some customers may only be looking to start taking calcium as a holistic way of improving their personal wellness. If you don’t mind swallowing big pills or having to take multiple pills a day, then most calcium supplements on the market will suffice and not dent your wallet too much. 

How Good Are You At Taking Pills?

Some people don’t have an easy time swallowing large pills, especially if serving sizes are two more pills. There are options for people like this, such as calcium supplement gummies or softgels, which are more flexible and can be swallowed more easily. If you aren’t accustomed to washing down larger pills, then this shouldn’t be too big of a concern for you.

Resources

  1. Straub DA. Calcium supplementation in clinical practice: a review of forms, doses, and indications. Nutrition in Clinical Practice. 2007; 22(3):286-96.
  2. de Baaij JH, Hoenderop JG, Bindels RJ. Magnesium in man: implications for health and disease. Physiological Reviews. 2015 ;95(1):1-46.