Fish are one of the healthiest foods we can eat, and they’ve been a staple of our ancestors’ diet since at least 1.95 million years ago (an assortment of leftover aquatic animal bones and stone tools for deboning fish were discovered in 2010 by researchers in northern Kenya).1 And some experts believe that this addition of fish into ancient humans’ diets is what actually kickstarted the growth of human brains, starting with Homo erectus about 1.8 million years ago.2
Fish are abundant in fatty acids, protein, minerals, and vitamins (including D, which more than 40% of Americans are deficient in).3 4 The fatty acids in fish — omega-3 and omega-6 — are essential for the proper growth and development of our brains.5 6
But even with all of this information pointing to the health benefits of fish, very few people get the recommended amount of at least 2-3 servings or 8oz a week (for a 1,600-2,000 calorie diet).7 13 According to a 2019 survey, only 19% of adults and 5% of children eat seafood twice a week.8 If you’re part of the 60% of the U.S. population that doesn’t live in a state touching the ocean, it can be challenging to get fresh fish. Even if you live near the sea, it doesn’t stop fish from being an often expensive option with an acquired taste for some.
Fish oil supplements are the next best thing to fill in those nutritional gaps. A simple pill can provide those high-quality vitamins and, most importantly, fatty acids like omega-3s. We dove into the vast number of fish oil supplements to find the best and came back with seven top picks (and a few honorable mentions). We’ll detail things like dosing, nutritional quality, and whether or not you’ll be tasting them repeatedly throughout your day in this guide.
If you’re in a hurry, here’s a list of our top picks.
Natural Force’s product contains the best source of fish oil and is our top pick in 2023. It’s sustainably produced and actually tastes good.
One bottle of Natural Force’s fish oil contains a 3+ month supply and features strong doses of omega-3s in every serving. It’s third-party tested and comes in a sweet lemon flavor.
Over the past two decades, Innerbody Research has helped tens of millions of readers make more informed decisions about staying healthy and living healthier lifestyles.
We devote great effort to thoroughly researching and testing every health service or product we evaluate, ensuring that our reviews remain unbiased and comprehensive. We evaluate products and services based on quality adherence, the latest medical evidence, and current health standards. For this guide to the best fish oil, we extensively examined over 30 scientific studies and personally sampled a multitude of fish oil supplements from across the market.
Additionally, like all health-related content on this website, this guide was thoroughly vetted by one or more members of our Medical Review Board for accuracy.
We assessed fish oil supplements based on a set of four distinct criteria: efficacy, cost, safety, and sustainability. To be effective, a supplement needs to meet (or safely exceed) the doses established by researchers, backed by sufficient scientific evidence. Next, supplement costs can vary depending on several factors, such as the number of servings and whether or not they meet the aforementioned criteria for efficacy.
When it comes to the safety of fish oil supplements, concerns over mercury build-up in fish don’t translate to supplements, so our focus was more on things like third-party testing, certifications, and adherence to guidelines.9 And finally, we looked at sustainability. It’s vital to know the steps being taken by fish oil manufacturers to reduce any negative impacts on the ecosystems and populations of the harvested fish.
Winner: Natural Force
Presently, experts have only established a recommendation for omega-3 intake that focuses on alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), an omega-3 fatty acid found in plants.10 11 Since the recommended amounts for other omega-3 types are yet to be determined, we utilized the ALA recommendations to gauge the total levels of omega-3s found in fish oil supplements.
Based on this information, the average adult male needs 1.6g and the average adult woman needs 1.1g of omega-3 per day.10 Additionally, for DHA and EPA, some researchers and medical experts (including the World Health Organization) have settled on a dose recommendation of around 500mg combined.12
Now, when we considered a fish oil supplement’s efficacy, we looked at:
Our top fish oil supplement, Natural Force Pure Omega-3, has the highest efficacy out of all of our top picks. A single daily teaspoon of Pure Omega-3 provides almost exactly one recommended dose of omega-3s, 1.3g — this is a little above the recommendation for women and almost enough for men. It also surpasses the recommended combined dose of DHA and EPA by nearly double at 996mg. And considering one bottle contains about 95 servings, you can get a three-month supply of sustainable, low-cost, and high-concentration fish oil in a 16oz glass bottle.
A close runner-up to Natural Force is Barlean’s Omega 3 Fish Oil Liquid, which (at its lowest dose offering) provides 1,350mg of omega-3s, 660mg EPA, and 420mg of DHA. The main factors holding this supplement back, however, are its high price per serving ($0.88 compared to Natural Force’s $0.42), offering one-third fewer servings per bottle, and its inclusion of ingredients like sugar alcohol and xanthan gum.
Winner: Nature Made
The value of a supplement always goes beyond how much you pay for it. The number of servings (and price per serving) and the quality of those servings are factors we consider when investigating a supplement’s cost. In the case of fish oil, there are two distinct winners for the best price, depending on your goals.
Nature Made’s Burp-less Fish Oil Softgels have the best bang for your buck in sheer bulk. You can get 200 softgels — or 100 servings — for less than $30 if you join Nature Made’s Subscribe & Save program. If you don’t, you’re still barely paying over $30, or $0.30 per serving. Stack savings with 25% off your first purchase if you subscribe to their newsletter, too, and you’ll increase those potential savings.
If you just want to try fish oil for a month, Care/Of Fish Oil is your best option. You get a 30-day supply for $16, which is dramatically lower than any other bottle on our list. Technically, you can’t order a one-off bottle from Care/Of, but it’s easy to start a subscription and then cancel it if you find that fish oil doesn’t work for you. That way, you don’t have hundreds of leftover servings. And we recommend Care/Of over similarly priced alternatives like Life Extension because it provides some of the cleanest and highest-quality fish oil supplements on our list.
Safety is simpler to quantify in fish oil supplements than in other supplements since fish oil’s main ingredient is straightforward. As stated earlier, the concerns over mercury build-up in fish don’t translate to fish oil supplements. And as long as the supplements are manufactured using real fish and safe production practices, there’s little you have to worry about. The best supplements are independently third-party tested, and their companies proudly display Certificates of Analysis.
Nutrigold goes above and beyond to prove that its supplements are safe. It offers complete transparency about all testing, makes its products according to International Fish Oil Standards (IFOS) five-star certification guidelines, and provides any information you could want (and then some) about what goes into each capsule. An Informed Purchasing Decision Checklist is available on the Triple Strength Omega-3 Fish Oil product page, so you don’t need to go on a scavenger hunt to find safety information. And while it offers the strongest dosage out of all our favorite fish oil supplements, there’s little-to-no evidence that shows you’ll experience anything worse than mild side effects from its 2.6g serving of fish oil.34
Care/Of is another brand that makes sure its products are safe for consumers. All of its products are C.L.E.A.N. Certified, third-party tested (on three separate occasions throughout the supply chain), and made according to current Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMPs).
Special offer from Care Of: FREE Shipping On Orders Over $30
Winner: Natural Force
When it comes to fish oil, we must consider a supplement’s sustainability. How good can a product be for our bodies if it involves decimating an endangered fish population in the wild or factory farming fish in less-than-ideal conditions? A sustainable fish oil supplement is better for our bodies and the world, with the bonus of a lower likelihood of trying to refill the supplement one day and finding out you can’t because all of the fish are gone.
Natural Force takes the crown in sustainability on multiple fronts. It’s a Certified B-Corporation that meets high social and environmental standards and uses a glass bottle to hold high-concentration liquid fish oil. The company uses wild-caught Atlantic menhaden fish to make the oil. Menhaden fish are incredibly oily (meaning Natural Force can catch fewer fish to get the same amount of fish oil) and are protected by strict fishing and conservation laws. That means there’s little risk of overfishing this ecologically crucial species, ensuring global and personal health.
Other brands, like Spoonful, detail some of the efforts taken to support sustainable fishing, but no other brand on our list comes close to Natural Force.
The chart below compares and contrasts the various costs, doses, and other information (such as additional ingredients and added flavors) of our top seven recommended fish oil products. Keep in mind that prices are based on one-time purchases without discounts, bundles, or subscription deals.
Fish oil supplements are a way to infuse omega-3 fatty acids into your daily life. Fish are naturally a great source of fatty acids, but sometimes it’s easier to pop a pill than grill a piece of salmon. The HHS and USDA’s 2020-2025 edition of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans includes recommendations that adults eat 8oz of fish every week (for 1,600-2,000 calorie diets).13 Most people don’t reach this recommendation, so fish oil supplements can help to fill in that nutritional gap.
On a technical level, fish oil supplements are mostly made of — you guessed it — oil pressed from fish. Commercial fish processing takes the non-meat parts of fish and presses them to extract the oil, then purifies and packages it into supplements. Fatty fish are the best kind to turn into fish oil because they naturally produce more oil, and their oil includes more fatty acids. Some fatty fish include:
Some non-fish sea creatures, like mussels, are also rich in fatty acids. New Zealand green-lipped mussels are a common alternative to replace fish oil in some omega-3 supplements.
Before delving into omega fatty acids and omega-3s, specifically, the chart below offers a quick breakdown of the four major categories of fatty acids. Healthy fatty acids help build the lipids necessary for all of our cells to function and, in nature, they almost always show up alongside glycerol to make triglycerides.
A naturally occurring fat typically found in animal-based foods or tropical oils. The American Heart Association recommends limiting saturated fats to around 5% of your daily calorie intake (for a 2,000-calorie diet), which adds up to about 13g.14
The “worst” fat for you; it can be potentially harmful to your health even in small amounts.16 Trans fats can be naturally occurring or artificial. Commonly found in fried and processed foods. It’s often used for frying fast food since it can withstand being heated repeatedly without breaking down.19
There are three types of omega fatty acids — omega-3, omega-6, and omega-9 — that have various qualities and properties that provide your body with unique benefits. Omega-3s and omega-6s are polyunsaturated fats that cannot be produced or “synthesized” by your body, meaning you need to get them from outside sources (like food or supplements) for your body to function properly.5 This makes them “essential fats.” Omega-9s, on the other hand, are monounsaturated fats that are considered only partially essential due to the fact that, unlike omega-3 and -6, our bodies do create some of the required amounts, but the rest can be acquired from dietary sources like olive oil.17
Most healthy adults and children who eat a varied diet don’t have to be concerned about an overall essential fatty acid deficiency (EFAD).20 But, while it’s rare to have EFAD, the modern Western diet consists of a disproportionate ratio of omega-6s to omega-3s, which has been linked to higher risks for diseases such as:6 21 22
One mouse study from 2020 even found that the parental ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 in utero can lead to the offspring overeating throughout their lives.23 These higher risks could be due to the potential of omega-6s being pro-inflammatory and omega-3s being anti-inflammatory.22 And that’s where fish oil supplements can come into play.
Currently, the only established recommendation by experts for omega-3 intake revolves around alpha-linolenic acid or ALA,10 which is an omega-3 found in plants.11 Since we don’t yet know the recommended amounts for other types of omega-3, we’ll be using the ALA recommendations to gauge the total levels of omega-3s found in various fish oil supplements. Based on this information, every day the average adult male should consume 1.6g of omega-3 and the average adult woman needs 1.1g.
While there’s still a lot of research to be done, we do know that omega fatty acids may support a healthy body by:5
Fish (and their oil) are some of the best sources of omega-3s. Fatty fish like salmon eat algae, which provide them with omega-3 fatty acids. We then reap those benefits when we eat the fish. You can also get omega-3s from vegetarian sources. This is most bioavailable in foods like flaxseeds, chia seeds, and walnuts, but you’ll need to eat considerably more to get even a fraction of the overall omega-3 levels that fish provide. (Plus, walnuts contain more than four times more omega-6 than omega-3 fatty acids.)
Omega-3s aren’t just one chemical, either. They are a category of fatty acids that all have different sources and uses in the body. We’ve rounded up information about the four most common types here.
EPA is one of the two most common omega-3 fatty acids (alongside DHA) in fish oil. Most studies look at EPA and DHA together, but when studied on their own, EPA appears to be the primary compound that helps to keep blood from clotting and reduces triglyceride levels. One recent study found that an EPA supplement on its own lowered the risk of heart attack by 25% in patients with a history of cardiovascular disease.24 Both EPA and DHA may lower inflammation.25
DHA is the other most common omega-3 fatty acid found in fish oil. It’s long been known to help reduce blood pressure and calm a high resting heart rate independently of EPA, though the two share many common features.26 It’s also an excellent anti-inflammatory agent. There’s no well-established daily suggested intake of DHA yet. Still, some researchers recommend taking about 500mg of EPA and DHA if you don’t have a history of heart problems.27
DPA is the little brother to more well-known compounds like EPA and DHA. It’s often found in fish in smaller amounts than EPA and DHA and is generally not considered to be one of the essential omega-3s. This might be due to research showing that it doesn’t improve cardiovascular health, even when used in combination with EPA and DHA.28 Nevertheless, some fish oil supplements — particularly those made from menhaden fish, the number one source of DPA — include it anyway.
ALA is the omega-3 you’re most likely to find in vegan or vegetarian omega-3 supplements. It provides a plant-based alternative to fish oil, often through algal oil (like the fish eat) or from nuts and seeds. Some recent studies have investigated its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, proposing that it might work to help soothe symptoms of central nervous system diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.29 If you aren’t allergic to fish or shellfish and aren’t squeamish about eating fish, we recommend taking a fish oil supplement since it provides more omega-3s in the end.
Contemporary Western diets have replaced many sources of omega-3s with omega-6, which leads to many people missing out on some of the benefits of a proper omega-3 to omega-6 ratio (like a lower risk of cardiovascular disease).21 22 Anyone who doesn’t eat at least the recommended 8oz of fatty fish weekly can get extra support from taking fish oil supplements to boost their omega-3 levels.
Since omega-3s can help lower your triglyceride levels, along with a whole range of other cardiovascular benefits, anyone with a history of high cholesterol (especially high triglycerides) or heart troubles could see benefits from increasing their omega-3 levels.30 One of the most extensive national studies of over 25,000 adults on omega-3s and heart disease showed that taking omega-3 supplements didn’t decrease the risk of a heart attack in people who weren’t already at risk of having them. However, researchers found that 77% of African-American participants had improved heart health, which requires more research to understand but is interesting nonetheless.
Pregnant people need to take in more omega-3s to support their growing fetuses. Omega-3s help a growing baby build its brain and retinas,10 so while you might not be able to eat sushi, a fish oil supplement can help with everything from preventing preterm birth to a higher birth weight.31
Other areas that fish oil supplements might help with (but that don’t have the science yet to fully confirm) include:
Additionally, while the anti-inflammatory properties of omega-3s are exciting, there hasn’t been as much research on them yet compared to other benefits, like heart health.
Generally, fish oil supplements are safe. You might experience some mild stomach upset, bad breath, or heartburn if you take too much, though.
There’s been some talk of fish oil supplements increasing your risk of bleeding and interacting poorly with blood thinners, but recent studies show little-to-no proof of this claim.32 However, if you are taking a blood thinner or have a history of aneurysms or strokes, talk to your doctor before starting a fish oil supplement.
Naturally, if you’re allergic to fish or shellfish, you should stay away from fish oil supplements and look for a vegan omega-3 supplement instead. Also, some supplements might have allergens in their flavorings. For instance, Barlean’s Fish Oil Liquid in the Pina Colada flavor most likely contains coconut due to it being flavored with “natural flavors”.
You should always reach out to your doctor before starting any supplement, especially if you take any medications or have any health concerns.
Sometimes, mercury and other heavy metals can build up in fish because of environmental pollution. This is more likely to affect larger fish (since they eat smaller ones, compounding mercury levels), but since we often eat or press these larger fish (like tuna), we are at risk for higher mercury levels. Older studies have found that almost 90% of people have higher mercury levels than recommended, and those who ate more fish were more likely to have even higher levels.33
However, that doesn’t mean that you should completely avoid fish or fish oil. Heavy metals are almost always removed during the refining and processing of fish oil. Both independent third-party testing organizations and researchers have come to the same conclusion: virtually no fish oil supplement on the market contains mercury.9 Before being sold, most fish oil supplements are tested for mercury and other heavy metals to be sure. This information should be readily available in a Certificate of Analysis or third-party testing results.
If you’re concerned about your mercury levels, our guide to the best at-home heavy metal tests might help soothe your worries.
Best overall and best liquid
During our testing, we were pleased to discover that Natural Force’s Pure Omega-3 liquid fish oil doesn’t taste like fish. With the addition of monk fruit, a natural sweetener with zero calories, and natural lemon flavoring, it tastes strangely like lemon curd or a lemon cake. There’s no oily texture that stays behind in your mouth, and you won’t experience any fishy burps afterward.
But that’s not the only reason why this product is our top choice for fish oil supplements. All of its fish oil comes from sustainably harvested, wild-caught menhaden fish, the best natural source of DPA, along with other omega-3s like EPA and DHA. (DPA doesn’t have any additional benefits that we know of, but it’s nice to identify anyway.) The supplement facts reflect Pure Omega-3’s quality, as one teaspoon of the fish oil contains:
This nutritional breakdown is almost exactly what researchers have found most beneficial in clinical trials.
Natural Force does offer a Subscribe & Save program, but you can only get 20% off your order (bringing the price down to $27.99) after your first shipment. That means you can’t take advantage of a decreased price until you know whether you like it. If you decide to join their Subscribe & Save program, you can choose how often you want to receive a new bottle:
Considering each bottle contains 95 servings, this liquid fish oil has one of the best values we came across. If you’re not sharing it with anyone else, one bottle can last for more than three months.
Natural Force only offers free shipping on orders over $100. If you’re purchasing one bottle of Natural Force, you can select from two shipping speeds at flat costs:
If it’s more convenient for you to buy Natural Force via Amazon, you can enjoy free shipping with no strings attached, and your price will equal the price you’d pay with the Subscribe & Save option from buying direct.
Best budget pick
One of the worst things about fish oil supplements is fishy burps. Even if they don’t taste like fish going down, as the softgel dissolves, the fish smell lingers in your digestive tract and can come up in fishy burps. It’s unpleasant at best and can be nauseating at worst.
Nature Made’s Burp-Less Fish Oil is the brand’s answer to this problem. By coating each supplement in a thicker gelatin casing, the supplement is prevented from entirely dissolving in the stomach. This is what usually causes fishy burps. Our testers found that Nature Made’s Burp-Less Fish Oil capsules successfully help stop your body from reminding you about what you’ve taken.
Burp-Less Fish Oil is advertised as 1,200mg fish oil softgels, but that dosing is per individual pill. One serving is two softgels, which provide:
That 600mg of omega-3 fatty acids is about half of what’s generally considered your daily ideal based on the ALA recommendations. Since there aren’t uniform official recommendations, we can’t say for sure whether or not these are truly lacking. But considering there’s 2,000mg of fish oil and only 600mg of omega-3s (a ratio of about 4:1), there are better supplements to maximize your omega-3 intake, like those from Spoonful or Nutrigold.
Since there’s more casing, the pills are also bigger (longer than a penny) and more difficult to swallow — as we found during testing. The ingredients list is longer, including thickeners, surfactants, and preservatives. Nature Made is also unclear about what kind of fish the oil is from, only stating that it comes from wild-caught ocean fish rather than farm-raised fish.
This product comes in two different sizes: 60 softgels and 200 softgels (there are additional sizes, like 120 and 300-count, for sale for about $25 each on Amazon). Either way, you can purchase them once or sign up for Nature Made’s Subscribe & Save program. This subscription saves 10% from every order, and you can choose how often you’d like the package to be delivered:
You can also change, pause, skip, or cancel your subscription anytime. The chart below details the differences in prices between different-sized bottles and subscription options.
|60-count softgels (30 servings)||200-count softgels (100 servings)|
|Standard value (cost per serving)||$0.46||$0.30|
|Subscription value (cost per serving)||$0.41||$0.27|
Shipping is free on all orders over $25 within the contiguous United States. If you live in Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, or outside of America, an $8 charge will be tacked on. However, Nature Made’s supplements are stocked in nearly every major brick-and-mortar store with a vitamin section.
Ultimately, at only $0.30 per serving for a one-time purchase of a 200-count bottle, Nature Made beats every other capsule option on our list and earns our choice for the best budget buy. Even if you technically spend more for the 200-count option, your overall savings — and the fact that it’ll last you over three months — make this item particularly cost-effective. The next closest option (for capsules) is Spoonful’s Omega Minis, which cost $0.36 per serving, but you only get 40 servings total.
Care/Of uses sustainably harvested wild salmon to create its fish oil, relies on several well-founded studies on omega-3s to back up its products, and manufactures these supplements cleanly.
Care/Of cold-presses its fish oil (using the same processes that make high-quality olive oil) to preserve the natural vitamins A, D, and E also found in salmon. Using heat while pressing fish can strip or denature some of these vitamins and enzymes, so cold-pressing ensures that you’re getting the benefits closest to eating a salmon filet. However, this also means that the ratio of omega-3s to fish oil is often lower.
Each serving (one softgel) has 800mg of omega-3s. Of those, it provides 250mg of DHA and 500mg of EPA. This fish oil is one of the cheapest supplements on our list at face value. There aren’t any subscription savings or bulk discounts, but if you’re looking to try a fish oil supplement for one month, Care/Of is one of the least expensive ways to do it. Technically, Care/Of doesn’t allow one-off purchases. However, you can start a subscription and cancel it right away. All Care/Of monthly subscription boxes can be altered, skipped, or canceled without penalty.
Shipping is free on orders over $30. If you want to hit free shipping, you’ll need to add another supplement to your cart, as one month’s fish oil supply costs only $16.
In testing, Care/Of’s supplements weren’t the easiest to swallow (the easiest ones to swallow were Spoonful’s Mini Omega softgels), but they also weren’t the worst our testers had ever come across. Also, a fishy aftertaste was a drawback; these pills might benefit from some sort of natural flavoring, like the lemon in our one honorable mention choice, Nordic Naturals.
Additionally, Care/Of’s supplements come in individually packaged sachets. This is particularly convenient if you purchase multiple supplements from the company — you could get all of your pills in one easy-to-open packet. If you only subscribe to one supplement, it might initially seem like a bit of a waste. However, keeping in line with how environmentally conscious the company aims to be with the sustainability of its fish oil, the packets are made from plant-based ingredients that are designed to break down over time and can be composted. The wrappers also come with various fun facts and quotes printed on them, which is a cute addition that adds character to Care/Of’s offering. (We actually learned about the plant-based packaging from one of these facts.)
Nutrigold’s Triple Strength Omega-3 Fish Oil contains 2,100mg of omega-3s and almost three times the amount of EPA used in clinical trials (hence “Triple Strength”). Specifically, this formula contains:
While this dosage falls within general nutritional guidelines, taking too much fish oil can lead to some unpleasant side effects such as:
And having significantly more EPA might be associated with less inflammation, but that study only looked at EPA and DHA in 2,000mg-6,000mg concentrations.40 Considering that EPA and DHA are generally available in equal concentrations in the wild, there may not be as many nutritional benefits here. Just because it’s strong doesn’t mean that it’s the best. If you want to start slower, perhaps consider the omega-3 options from brands like Nature Made or Care/Of.
That said, Nutrigold still stands firmly with its sustainability and transparency goals. It uses MSC-certified sustainable and wild-caught Alaskan pollock, a small fish that is resistant to overfishing and doesn’t consume other fish, leading to lower-than-average mercury levels.41 They’ve been independently verified by third-party testing, and all Certificates of Analysis are available online. If you’re looking for more information, Nutrigold has a long Informed Purchasing Decision Checklist that goes through every detail you might want to inspect.
This fish oil comes in three different size bottles:
Nutrigold doesn’t offer any subscription programs, but reordering is easy. If you’re buying a 120-count or 180-count bottle, you can count on free shipping; if your order is under $49, shipping comes at a standard $4.99 (or you can pay more for specific UPS methods). You can also spend a few cents more to make your order carbon-neutral, which is a nice touch.
One major drawback to Nutrigold’s Triple Strength Omega-3 Fish Oil is its availability. We were, sadly, unable to find a bottle of this fish oil to purchase and test for ourselves. Neither the Nutrigold website nor online retailers, like Amazon, had any in stock. For this product, our recommendation is based purely on research. The company’s website states this stocking issue is “due to high demand and high-quality sourcing standards” and notes that you can sign up for email notifications to alert you when it’s available again.
Easiest to swallow
One of the most common complaints about taking fish oil is that the capsules are, generally, very big and difficult to swallow. Spoonful offers a potential solution to this problem with its Mini Omega 3 Fish Oil — and they really are easier to take. None of our testers experienced issues swallowing these 0.37-inch capsules. However, they did experience fishy burps.
Some online reviews do mention that the spherical shape of the capsules caused them to get almost stuck in people’s throats (defeating the purpose of being easy to swallow). We recommend taking a sip of your drink before swallowing these capsules and then taking them one at a time with ample amounts of water (or your drink of choice) to prevent this. This is how our testers took them, and they experienced no issues.
These supplements provide a decent amount of omega-3s per serving (about 256mg lower than Natural Force) at a lower price than many competitors. A bottle of Spoonful’s fish oil is $14.95, while Natural Force is $39.99. Of course, you do get over double the servings and more DHA from Natural Force, but Spoonful does offer more EPA.
A single serving of this sustainably sourced supplement made from wild-caught small fish contains:
Additionally, similar to Care/Of and Nutrigold, Spoonful’s omega softgels only contain fish oil and tocopherols.
If swallowing pills (even small ones like Spoonful’s Mini Omega) is a challenge or a chore, then Amazon’s fish oil gummies could be an option for you. These surprisingly tasty fish-shaped gummies offer 303mg of fish oil, 93mg of total omega-3s, 67mg DHA, and 13mg EPA. While this is the lowest potency item on our list, it’s actually the highest-potency gummy we came across during our research. Nature Made, for instance, sells a fish oil gummy for nearly double the price of Amazon’s ($17.29 compared to $8.42) and has 227mg of fish oil with only 57mg of total omega-3s.
Amazon’s gummies come in an assortment of flavors — lemon, orange, and strawberry-banana — all of which completely mask any fish taste. None of our testers experienced fishy burps as the day went on, either.
If you run into any problems with your Amazon Basics Fish Oil, the company offers a no-questions-asked full refund within a year of purchase. This is comparable to the one-year 100% satisfaction guarantee of our one honorable mention, Life Extension.
Barlean's Seriously Delicious Omega-3 Fish Oil is aptly named — all of our testers really enjoyed the flavor they tried, Mango Peach Smoothie. This is particularly impressive as one of our testers strongly dislikes the taste of artificial sweeteners, but they didn’t even notice that Barlean’s is sweetened with sugar alcohol instead of added sugars.
This liquid’s total omega-3 and EPA content actually surpass that of our top pick, Natural Force, and there’s only a difference of 30mg in DHA. Unfortunately, Barlean’s suffers from being much more expensive per serving than Natural Force, and it contains more ingredients than some may want to see in their fish oil supplement.
Another potentially disappointing factor is that Barlean’s flavors can have different amounts of omega-3s (and different prices). If you want higher potency, then some flavors may not meet your needs. The chart below details these differences.
The fish oil products in this section didn’t quite earn a spot in our top picks, but they still offer decent amounts of omega-3s and have some unique qualities that may appeal to you for one reason or another. Nordic Naturals, for instance, is the only capsule mentioned in this guide with flavoring.
The chart below details information on our honorable mention choices. As with the chart containing information on our top picks, the prices are based on single-item purchases.
Nordic Naturals Ultimate Omega offers 1,280mg of total omega-3 made up of 650mg EPA, 450mg DHA, and 180mg of other omega-3s. It also comes in a liquid variety containing a little over double the amount of total omega-3s — 2,840mg (1,460mg of EPA and 1,010mg DHA).
Nordic Naturals fish oil is third-party tested, and both options come in a lemon flavor (similar to Natural Force). Through testing, we found that you can still taste some of the fishiness inherent to fish oil, even though it’s less pronounced.
All of this might sound enticing, but the serving amounts and prices make this product far from cost-effective. A 4oz bottle of liquid Ultimate Omega only provides 24 servings, meaning if you take it every day as recommended, you’ll run out in three weeks. If you want a more cost-effective and long-lasting liquid omega-3, Natural Force would be the way to go, or even Barlean’s.
Nordic Naturals does offer free shipping on all orders and a subscription through its website for 10% off. For price comparisons between Ultimate Omega’s softgel and liquid forms, check out the chart below.
|Standard cost||Standard value ($/serving)||Subscription cost||Subscription value ($/serving)|
|60-count softgels (30 servings)||$27.95||$0.93||$25.16||$0.84|
|90-count softgels (45 servings)||$39.95||$0.89||$35.96||$0.80|
|120-count softgels (60 servings)||$49.95||$0.83||$44.96||$0.75|
|180-count softgels (90 servings)||$69.95||$0.77||$62.96||$0.70|
|4oz liquid (24 servings)||$41.95||$1.82||$37.76||$1.57|
|8oz liquid (48 servings)||$71.95||$1.53||$64.76||$1.35|
Fish oil isn’t the only way to bolster your diet with heart-healthy omega-3s. Olive oil, the cornerstone of a Mediterranean diet, also contains polyphenols from monounsaturated fatty acids that are as good for your heart as omega-3s. It can help raise your HDL cholesterol and is thought to work alongside omega-3s in re-balancing out-of-whack cholesterol levels. Life Extension takes advantage of the benefits from both PUFA and monounsaturated fat through a combined supplement: its Super Omega-3 EPA/DHA softgels.
Each supplement contains IFOS-certified, sustainably sourced anchovy oil, sesame lignans, and olive extract for three sources of polyphenols and healthy fats. Specifically, every serving of two softgels contains:
The sesame seed lignan extract is used as a preservative as much as it is an additional source of polyphenols, but still matches estimations of daily recommended doses (about 10-15mg).42
Life Extension offers three different unique coatings and sizes for these softgels as well. You can get it in the following forms:
Both the traditional and enteric-coated softgels come in 30- and 60-serving bottles, and the easy-to-swallow softgels only come in a 60-serving bottle (where four softgels are one serving).
Life Extension has a unique (but potentially confusing) approach to its AutoShip savings subscription program. Rather than giving you flat savings like most of its competitors, there’s a range of savings options between 23% and 33% depending on what you’ve ordered, all rounded to the nearest 25 cents.
|Standard cost||Standard value ($/serving)||Subscription cost||Subscription value ($/serving)|
|60-count softgels (30 servings)||$15.00||$0.46||$11.00 (27% off)||$0.37|
|120 count softgels (60 servings)||$27.00||$0.41||$20.00 (26% off)||$0.33|
|60-count enteric-coated softgels (30 servings)||$17.25||$0.53||$13.00 (25% off)||$0.43|
|120-count enteric-coated softgels (60 servings)||$28.50||$0.43||$22.00 (23% off)||$0.37|
|240-count easy-to-swallow softgels (60 servings)||$27.00||$0.41||$18.00 (33% off)||$0.30|
If you use AutoShip, you’ll get one bottle at your chosen increment of anywhere from 1-12 months. However, you can also order your non-subscription purchase in bulk with additional savings — which are variable (and potentially a bit confusing) like the AutoShip savings.
If you don’t use AutoShip, free shipping unlocks at $50. And if this Super Omega-3 EPA/DHA Fish Oil doesn’t have what you were hoping for, Life Extension has a generous one-year 100% satisfaction guarantee. Any time within a year after you’ve purchased your supplement, you can return the bottle for a full refund — this is the same as the impressive refund policy from Amazon Basics.
Ultimately, Life Extensions’ Super Omega-3 didn’t make our list due to having some nutrient amounts (like total omega-3s) hidden behind proprietary ingredients, the fact that it contains an additional allergen (sesame), and the company’s overly-complicated pricing.
If you're curious about some of Life Extension’s other products or want to learn more, check out our full review.
Elm & Rye provides a sleek, simple fish oil option. If you’re only interested in getting 100% pure fish oil without flavorings, preservatives, or other additives, Elm & Rye might fit the bill. Each jar contains 60 capsules of 1,000mg of fish oil made from salmon and nothing else (besides the capsule ingredients of gelatin, glycerin, and purified water).
It isn’t easy to find information on Elm & Rye’s website about its fish oil’s specific supplement facts — that includes basic information like how many pills you get per bottle and how much total omega-3 is in each dose. You can find the list of ingredients on the product page, along with how many supplements you should take (one) and some general omega-3 benefits, but the EPA (180mg) and DHA (120mg) content is hidden within the third-party lab testing results further down the page. We also had to reach out to customer service to find out that the fish oil comes from salmon; using the website’s chat essentially rerouted us to email, where we heard back within an hour.
A one-time purchase of Elm & Rye’s fish oil costs $44.99 for a two-month supply, but if you join the Subscribe & Save program, you can save 20% on every shipment (lowering your cost to $35.99). The percentage you save through subscribing is fairly middle-of-the-road; it’s better than Nature Made’s (10%), equivalent to Natural Force’s (20%), and less than Life Extension’s (23%-33%).
Elm & Rye will automatically send you a new jar once a month, but you can request more frequent shipments or skip months from your account without penalty. Shipping is only free on orders over $99 within the continental United States, but the company at least offers a 30-day money-back guarantee.
High costs and a lack of transparency are major reasons why Elm & Rye didn’t make it into our top picks. We hope the company will improve in these aspects to provide a more customer-friendly experience.
Innerbody uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
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