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Healthy eating

Care/of, Ritual, Hum: How to pick a personalized vitamin subscription

You can now purchase vitamins that support your health based on your goals, allergies and even blood type.

Care/of

You can subscribe to just about anything these days: television, razors, tampons, household goods and more. Now you can subscribe to personalized vitamin packs, too.

Several companies have popped up offering vitamins and dietary supplements that are meant to cater to your specific needs. You simply fill out a questionnaire or pick an area of your health you want to improve, and you'll get vitamins delivered monthly. Here, I'll outline the vitamin subscription services worth trying.

Read more: Peloton, Daily Burn and more: Best workout subscription apps

Why get a personalized vitamin subscription service?

It's become clear to wellness aficionados that mass-market vitamins and supplements don't always cut it. By attempting to cater to everyone, most of the vitamins you find in supermarkets and grocery stores don't cater to anyone -- chances are, you don't need half of what's in your generic brand multivitamin.

Research shows that multivitamins don't reduce the risk for disease, and some vitamins are harmful in high doses, such as vitamin E. Supplementing based on your individual needs is a smarter route that reduces your risk for vitamin toxicity (and saves you from spending on supplements you don't need).

Plus, it's possible that the brands you can buy over the counter contain unapproved and dangerous ingredients.

Millions of supplements, especially ones marketed for weight loss, athletic improvement and sexual performance, can contain harmful additives and chemicals because they're classified as food rather than drugs. This means supplements don't undergo the strict regulation and vetting process that medications do.

You should always try to purchase supplements that were developed with support from clinical studies, preferably long-term, double-blind trials.

Six of the best vitamin subscriptions 

The vitamin subscription you choose will come down to your goals and budget.

This is an overview of six subscription services that deliver vitamins to address your individual needs.

Note that CNET may get a share of revenue from the sale of products featured on this page.

Vitamin subscriptions at a glance


Price range Access to healthcare professional You take Pill type Shipping
HUM Nutrition $10-60 per product Yes, you are matched to a registered dietitian Multiple pills or powders Capsules, caplets, powders Free on orders over $50
Care/of $5-28 per product No Multiple pills or powders Capsules, caplets, powders Free on orders over $20
Ritual $30-$35 per month No One pill Capsules Free
Persona Nutrition $10-60 per product Yes, staff nutritionists Multiple pills Capsules, caplets Free
Vitafive $8-14 per product No One or more pills Gummies Free, Amazon Prime eligible
Rootine $60 per month No One packet of microbeads Slow-release microbeads Free

HUM Nutrition

HUM Nutrition

HUM Nutrition started with one man's personal struggles with skin breakouts and blemishes. Walter Faulstroh found that prescription medications only worked temporarily for him, and topical treatments left his skin -- and his confidence -- scarred.

Hum got its start creating supplements to get healthy, clear skin but the brand has since expanded to include a comprehensive offering of products for hair and nails, digestion, immunity, energy, bones and joints, sleep, stress and metabolism.

A 3-minute quiz unlocks your wellness profile and a free consultation with a registered dietitian. Your Hum profile reveals what would be your most effective vitamin combos, and your RD counsels you even further. You'll receive your Hum subscription box every 30 days, whether you sign up for a month-to-month subscription or buy a Commit and Save plan for three, six or 12 months.

The price of your subscription box will vary based on which vitamins you choose. Hum's products range from $10 to $60. Hum ships worldwide and shipping is free for all orders over $50. 

See at HUM Nutrition

Care/of

Care/of

Care/of takes personalization further than most with customized packaging and a handy app to use alongside your vitamin subscription.

Care/of doesn't just offer vitamins, though: This company also offers personalized recommendations for protein powders, adaptogens, botanical supplements and on-the-go packets of powdered vitamins called Quick Sticks.

Getting started with Care/of also includes a quiz that takes less than five minutes (try it out even if you're not interested in the subscription — it's fun and you'll learn a lot about yourself). The quiz culminates in a personalized nutrient report based on your current activity level and diet, goals, lifestyle and values.

A Care/of subscription comes in daily vitamin packs with helpful nutrition tips, such as "Try swapping pretzels for an apple today. An excess of processed food can feed unhealthy bacteria in your gut."

You can always adjust or cancel your subscription, and shipping is free on orders over $20.

See at Care/of

Ritual

Ritual

Ritual focused entirely on women's health, and it's great if you want a one-and-done deal when it comes to vitamins. Choose from two vitamins: Essential for Women and Essential Prenatal Vitamins.

Both of Ritual's products cut out many of the vitamins (plus fillers, artificial colors and allergens) in multivitamins that most women don't actually need, such as calcium. Instead, Ritual created a new women's multivitamin that includes only what women typically don't get enough of -- boron, folate, iron, magnesium and biotin, just to name a few.

The Essential Prenatal is formulated specifically to fill in the nutrient gaps for mom and baby. Both Ritual vitamins use a two-in-one design that separates dry ingredients from liquid ones, so you only have to remember to take one pill.

Essential for Women is $30 per month and Essential Prenatal is $35. Subscriptions arrive every 30 days, and shipping is free.

See at Ritual

Persona Nutrition

Persona Nutrition

Formerly Vitamin Packs, Persona Nutrition offers two ways to order your vitamins: the personalized way and the quick way.

The personalized way, like some of the others on the list, includes a quiz that ends with custom supplement recommendations. The quick way allows you to build your own pack if you already know what you need, or you can pick from popular combinations.

Whichever route you go, Persona Nutrition delivers your vitamin packs once a month, and your packs are organized into time of day based on the way certain vitamins are processed and absorbed by your body.

For example, it's best to take water-soluble vitamins soon after waking up because an empty stomach can help you better absorb them. Fat-soluble vitamins such as vitamins K and E, on the other hand, are best taken with a meal because your body won't absorb the vitamins without the help of dietary fat.

Persona Nutrition ships orders every 28 days, and shipping is free. Your vitamins are packed  convenient daily packets labeled AM, PM or Night, depending on the contents of your subscription. Persona offers nearly 100 products, and the cost of your box will vary based on which products you add to your subscription. The predesigned essential packs range from about $10 to about $60. 

See at Persona Nutrition

Vitafive

Vitafive

If you absolutely can't stomach the idea of taking pills, Vitafive could be your solution. This vitamin subscription service specializes in gummy vitamins, which, let's be honest, are a little more fun to consume.

Vitafive sends you a 30-day supply of your chosen vitamins (no quiz for this one, so you'll need a good idea of which vitamins you want to take) in fun daily packs or monthly pouches. A monthly pouch is the best way to go if you want a month's supply of just one or two vitamins. If you need to take more, the daily packs are a more convenient and organized option.

As far as your account, Vitafive makes it easy for you to pause your subscription without canceling, manage the items in your subscription, add additional members to your account and change your shipping schedule.

You can also order Vitafive products on Amazon.

See at Vitafive

Rootine

Rootine

Rootine goes even deeper than Care/of and HUM. It begins with a quiz about your lifestyle, and uses that information, plus  your age and body size, to calculate your exact micronutrient need. Additionally, you can order a DNA test with your first purchase or input data you already have from a service like ancestry.com or 23andMe.

If you have data from a blood or urine test on hand, you can also upload that for a physician's review. Rootine then takes your demographics (age, weight and so on), lifestyle, DNA information and blood or urine analysis into account to create your perfect vitamin pack.

Rootine gives you a detailed profile of all your recommended vitamins, explaining what they do and why you need them.

A Rootine subscription is $60 per month, regardless of what's in your pack. You're required to purchase a minimum of three month's worth of vitamins, which will be shipped every 90 days but billed monthly. Shipping is free. 

See at Rootine