Our bodies work because of omega-3 fatty acids. They help build cell walls, provide energy, and keep just about every system in your body running smoothly. Yet, the “fat” in “fatty acids” has scared many people away over the years. Fats aren’t an inherently bad thing. In fact, omega-3s are some of the most important nutrients we need.
Since few people have the time or money to prepare fish twice a week like the Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend for optimal omega-3 levels, the next best option is to take an omega-3 supplement. But there are multiple kinds of omega-3 supplements, all with different dosages, ingredients, costs, safety features, and more. Finding the right omega-3 supplement for you can get overwhelming. We did the hard work for you and picked the seven best omega-3 supplements available right now.
If you’re in a hurry, check out our top picks below.
- Best overall: Natural Force Pure Omega-3
- Best budget pick: Nature Made Burp-Less Fish Oil
- Best tasting: Natural Force Pure Omega-3
- Most potent: Live Conscious OmegaWell
- Best from fish: Natural Force Pure Omega-3
- Best from krill: Kori Krill Oil
- Best combination: Life Extension Super Omega-3 Plus
- Best from mussels: Xtend-Life Green Lipped Mussel Powder
- Best vegan omega-3: Calgee Sustainable Vegan Omega-3
Natural Force is a liquid supplement that includes the recommended daily dosage of Omega-3, plus a natural lemon oil to completely remove any fishy taste.
Natural Force products are tested by three independent third parties, manufactured in a cGMP-certified facility, and are committed to sustainable practices. Subscribe to save 20% and get free shipping on orders over $100.
- Top considerations for omega-3 supplements
- How our top recommendations compare
- What are fatty acids?
- What is omega-3?
- How much omega-3 do I need?
- What are the different kinds of omega-3 supplements?
- Who could benefit from an omega-3 supplement?
- Are omega-3 supplements safe?
- Natural Force Pure Omega-3
- Live Conscious OmegaWell
- Life Extension Super Omega-3 Plus
- Nature Made Burp-Less Fish Oil
- Calgee Sustainable Vegan Omega-3
- Kori Krill Oil
- Xtend-Life Green Lipped Mussel Powder
- FAQ about omega-3 supplements
- Why you should trust us
Winner: Nature Made
The value of an omega-3 supplement comes not only from the price listed on the product itself but also from savings and the supplement’s quality. From subscription and bulk savings to the dose per serving and additives, dozens of considerations ultimately come together to form our opinions about the best supplement for your money.
Nature Made Burp-Less Fish Oil wins our cost category because of Nature Made’s bulk options and low price per serving. You can get 30 or 100 servings (60 and 200 capsules, respectively) for about 25 cents per serving, providing 2,400mg of fish oil and 720mg of omega-3s. If that isn’t enough omega-3 for your daily diet, the bulk options allow you to double your serving size while keeping your cost per serving on the lower end of our list. Plus, you can save 10% (and earn free shipping) by signing up for their subscription program.
What goes into a supplement directly affects what you’ll get out of it. It’s critical for an omega-3 supplement to offer clean, heavy-metal-free ingredients that have been well-tested and sourced responsibly. However, the best kinds and number of ingredients will depend on your wants and needs. Some might want a one-ingredient product that directly correlates with the Dietary Guidelines for Americans’ recommended daily intake, while others want a more robust formula.
Xtend-Life has only two ingredients inside their Green Lipped Mussel Powder supplements: the aforementioned mussel powder and rosemary leaf extract. The rosemary extract is a natural preservative and provides powerful antioxidants and polyphenols, specifically carnosic acid, which prevents the supplements from oxidizing and losing their power. And with a wallop of 2,400mg of mussel powder per serving, Xtend-Life ensures you’ll get exactly what you need and nothing more.
But there are more places to get your daily dose of omega-3s than just fish. Life Extension pulls omega-3s from a large list of ingredients for their Super Omega-3 Plus, including:
- Fish oil
- Krill oil
- Sesame seed lignans
- Olive extract
- Extra virgin olive oil
Each ingredient brings omega-3s and other heart-healthy ingredients — like astaxanthin and a wide range of polyphenols — to every serving. The list covers every major omega fatty acid, providing a rounded nutritional profile without too many extras (though it does contain caramel coloring and maltodextrin). You can get a certificate of analysis for every product Life Extension makes, including Super Omega-3 Plus, to see exactly when it was tested by an independent third party and what they found.
Winner: Natural Force
Since the FDA doesn’t have the same testing and research requirements for supplements as they do for food and prescription medication, the pressure is on manufacturers — and consumers — to ensure that a supplement is safe. This means that all products are tested for quality, purity, and potency (preferably by an independent third party). In the best cases, a transparent certificate of analysis is available for you to check that they dotted their i’s. Ingredients available in safe doses and the manufacturing facility’s compliance with current Good Manufacturing Processes (cGMP or GMP) are also critical to a supplement’s safety rating.
We also consider sustainability as part of our safety testing, as fishing (and hunting other creatures from which you can derive omega-3 fatty acids) has some inherent sustainability risks. Ensuring that fish and other sea creatures are sustainably harvested means that a company thinks about the Earth’s health and is more likely to keep yours in the front of their minds.
Natural Force provides a healthy dose of omega-3s in every serving of Pure Omega-3, and they are also incredibly transparent about their production process. It’s manufactured in a cGMP-compliant facility, and they name the three different independent third parties that test every formula. Every Natural Force product — including Pure Omega-3 — has its own webpage explaining what they test for and linking to all of the most recent third-party lab test results and certificates of analyses. And as a certified B-Corp, they use clean, sustainably-sourced, and wild-caught fish that aren’t at risk of overfishing to make their fish oil.
Winner: Life Extension
Clinical research has revealed a wealth of knowledge about omega-3s. It’s important that supplement manufacturers take this information seriously. This means not overpromising what omega-3s can do, dosing their products effectively, and using high-quality ingredients. Finding and referencing those clinical studies directly also wins favor, helping you understand why the companies made the decisions they did.
Life Extension uses the power of every omega fatty acid to boost their Super Omega-3 Plus formula but does so in a tasteful way. They cite 24 studies from top-notch scientific journals that justify every ingredient and health benefit you might find. You’ll find more than enough EPA and DHA in every serving and clinically relevant amounts of phospholipids, astaxanthin, olive extract, and sesame seed lignan extract. Plus, they’ve exceeded international purity standards for their fish oil by distilling it with novel technology that reduces environmental pollutants.
Supplements that are easy to take are more likely to become part of your daily routine. Convenience isn’t the only thing that makes or breaks a supplement’s place in our top picks, but an inconvenient product is less likely to appeal to most people. When we consider a supplement’s convenience, we look at when, how often, and how many supplements you’ll need to take, if they need to be taken with food, and (in the case of omega-3 supplements) whether or not they have fishy aftertastes.
Kori allows you to customize your omega-3 supplement routine to your needs without compromising on nutritional value or cost. There are three different sizes to their krill oil softgels: large, medium, and small, and you’ll take a different number of softgels depending on their size (one, two, and three, respectively). No matter what you decide, however, you’ll always get 1,200mg of omega-3s and pay $19.99 for a one-time single-bottle order. (And, as a plus, there’s no fishy aftertaste, meaning you can take it whenever and not worry about how your breath smells.)
To make it a little easier to compare your options, we’ve put together a chart that summarizes all the important facts about our top products. All financial information is based on the cost of one one-time order; prices and values may differ with subscription programs, bulk deals, and ordering different-sized containers.
|Natural Force||OmegaWell||Kori||Xtend-Life||Calgee||Life Extension||Nature Made|
|Number of servings||95||30||30||30||30||60||60|
|Price per serving||$0.42||$0.83||$0.67||$1.10||$0.93||$0.58||$0.23|
|Serving size||1 teaspoon||2 softgels||1 softgels||4 capsules||2 softgels||2 softgels||2 softgels|
|EPA content||546mg||800mg||250mg combined||150mg||750mg||360mg|
|DHA content||450mg||600mg||250mg combined||300mg||510mg||240mg|
|Omega-3 source||Fish oil||Fish oil||Krill oil||Green lipped mussel||Algal oil||Fish, krill, sesame, olive oil||Fish oil|
|Return policy||30 day||365 days||14 days||365 days||30 days||365 days||30 days|
Omega-3 is one particular kind of fatty acid. In the same way amino acids are the building blocks of our body’s protein content, fatty acids are where we get our lipids (fats). Fats are critical for survival, allowing us to:
- Have energy
- Grow cells
- Maintain healthy cholesterol and blood pressure
- Protect our organs
- Stockpile fat-soluble nutrients like vitamins A, D, E, and K
We can’t naturally make fats; as essential nutrients, we need to get adequate amounts of healthy fats through our diet for our body to keep functioning. There are four major categories of fatty acids.
Monounsaturated fats (MUFA)
Unsaturated fats are the most healthy fat. They come in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated forms, referring to the number of double bonds in their chemical structures. Extensive national studies have found that both can lower blood pressure, improve cholesterol levels, and reduce cardiovascular risk. You can find monounsaturated fats in oils (olive, peanut, and canola in particular), avocados, nuts, and seeds.
Polyunsaturated fats (PUFA)
Polyunsaturated fats are a broad classification of healthy fats that include omega fatty acids like omegas-3, -6, and -9. They’re liquid at room temperature, and your body is unlikely to make these on its own. You can find PUFAs in oils (particularly sunflower, corn, soybean, and flaxseed), walnuts, flax seeds, and fish.
Saturated fats are less healthy alternatives that your body doesn’t need much of to function, found primarily in animal-based foods like meat, cream, butter, and cheese, as well as coconut and palm oils. They are solid at room temperature and can increase your risk of heart disease. The American Heart Association recommends getting no more than 13g of saturated fat daily.
Trans fats are the stereotypical “unhealthy fat.” They’re industrially-created fats found most often in partially hydrogenated oils and are notoriously bad for your cholesterol levels and heart. The FDA banned artificially created trans fats in 2018, requiring that food-makers eliminate them in three to four years. However, even with this change removing most trans fats from our daily lives, you might still find them in things like margarine, shortening, fried foods, and microwave popcorn.
Omega fatty acids
Much like there are several kinds of dietary fat, omega-3 isn’t the only omega fatty acid out there. (And there are multiple kinds of omega-3 fatty acids we’ll explore later, too.) The three most common omega fatty acids are omega-3, omega-6, and omega-9.
Omega-6 fatty acids are a PUFA mainly found in vegetable oil, nuts, and seeds and are an essential nutrient. They seem to have similar health effects as omega-3 when eaten in moderation. However, Western diets aren’t moderate in their omega-6 intake. The American Heart Association (and the Institute of Medicine) recommend that 5-10% of your daily caloric intake should come from omega-6 fatty acids. The standard Western diet has a considerably higher omega-6 content, taking in ten times more omega-6 fats. Studies have shown that those with higher omega-6 content are more likely to be obese and experience worse symptoms of conditions like cardiovascular disease, colorectal cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, and asthma.
Omega-9 is generally found in monounsaturated fatty acids. As a MUFA, it plays a role in reducing your risk of heart disease and has anti-inflammatory properties. Olive oil is mainly made up of omega-9 fatty acids, tying the fat to some heart-healthy benefits of a Mediterranean diet. That said, it’s not critical to look out for omega-9 in your diet or add it with a supplement as it’s easy to synthesize from other unsaturated fats. A large amount of omega-9 in your blood is generally an indicator that your diet doesn’t have enough omega-3 and omega-6 since your body will make it in response to a fatty acid deficiency.
As the most well-known fatty acid, omega-3 supports a massive range of necessary bodily functions. It plays a role in moderating:
- Cardiovascular disease
- Cholesterol (specifically triglycerides and LDL)
- Blood pressure
- Arthritis and joint pain (specifically rheumatoid and osteoarthritis)
- Neurodegenerative diseases
- Fetal development
Some researchers suggest that omega-3 might help with executive dysfunction found in depression and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). More studies are necessary to conclude whether or not it can help. Other areas of focus for clinical research include eye, liver, and skin health.
Much like there are many kinds of omega fatty acids, there are many kinds of omega-3s. The four most common that you’ll find include the following.
Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA)
EPA is one of the most abundant omega-3 fatty acids alongside DHA. It’s naturally found in fish, krill, and mussel oil but is most common in fatty fish like salmon. Most studies look at EPA and DHA together, as it’s rare for a supplement or food source to have one and not the other. When isolated, however, clinical research shows EPA might be in charge of triglyceride levels, coagulation, and cardiovascular risks.
Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)
DHA is just as vital to the body as EPA. It helps with many of the same health concerns, but studies have shown that DHA offers more support for unruly blood pressure, pulse, and inflammation in isolation. DHA is also the subject of interest in current research around the role of omega-3s in brain development, neurodevelopmental disorders, and mental health. High levels of DHA in the gestating parents’ bloodstream before a child is born reduce the rate of preterm birth by up to 50%, implying a relationship between DHA and fetal development.
Docosapentaenoic acid (DPA)
DPA isn’t quite as easy to find listed in a Supplement Facts sheet as EPA or DHA, but research has revealed that it might play a bigger role in our health than initially thought. In 2016, a study found that DPA might be responsible for storing and transporting EPA and DHA, getting them where they need to be in the body.
Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA)
ALA is the most common omega-3 in plant matter such as soy, walnuts, flax seed, and algae. When we consume ALA, our bodies convert it to other omega-3s like EPA and DHA. Most fatty fish get their omega-3s from algae, too. It’s an essential nutrient necessary for normal growth and development, and while research on ALA is still underway, it’s been implicated in metabolic, inflammatory, and cardiovascular diseases.
The two types of omega-3 you’re most likely to see broken down in a Supplement Fact sheet are EPA and DHA. This is because they have the most research backing their uses in the body and are present in large enough quantities to be measurable. You might still see ALA and DPA listed, but it’s less likely. However, not every supplement breaks their omega-3 quantity down in the same way. Some don’t separate omega-3 fatty acids from their total oil per serving, whereas others will break down everything from omega-3 to polyphenols.
The Dietary Guidelines for Americans don’t yet have clear expectations about adequate daily omega-3 intake. However, they have established guidelines for daily ALA intake. Since ALA is a kind of omega-3 fatty acid, it’s reasonable to assume that daily ALA intake is roughly equivalent to your overall omega-3 needs. We’ve included these daily guidelines in the chart below.
One study published by the American Heart Association in 2019 showed that taking 4g or more of omega-3s (with at least 3g of EPA and DHA combined) worked as well as prescription medication for lowering triglyceride levels. Another study from June 2022 found that between 2g and 3g of omega-3 daily significantly reduced high blood pressure. However, don’t stop taking prescription medication if you’ve been told you need it; talk to your doctor if you’d like to try the supplemental route.
There isn’t necessarily any benefit to taking more omega-3s than the adequate intake guidelines suggest. Omega-3s are fat-soluble, meaning they’ll stick around in your body’s fat storage and accumulate. Taking too much long-term may lead to:
- Low blood pressure
- Excessive bleeding
- Increased risk of bleeding and bruising
Of course, it takes a lot to get to an excessive amount of omega-3s. One study found that mice whose mothers ate a diet that was 40% fats and rich in omega-3s had altered gut microbiomes, a higher risk of colitis, and difficulty fighting bacteria like E. coli and staph infections. Another found links between high omega-3 levels in the blood and an increased risk of prostate cancer and atrial fibrillation. There hasn’t been enough research to determine how much is too much, but studies have shown that up to 10mg daily is safe for short-term use.
More useful than the overall omega-3 intake is EPA and DHA intake. It’s recommended that adults get about 500mg of combined EPA and DHA daily. However, a 2017 study shows that 90% of Americans don’t get that much. Our top picks don’t all break down their omega-3 content in the same way. Some only label how much fish, krill, or algal oil are in the supplement, others include EPA and DHA levels and omega-3s, and others have a mix. The most important thing to look for is adequate amounts of EPA and DHA, which all but one of our top picks lay out.
Since omega-3 is found in several different kinds of food, omega-3 supplements pull their main ingredient from many sources. We’ll go into detail about all of your best options — and a few that aren’t so great — below.
Fish oil is easily the most common source of omega-3s in supplements and is generally considered the gold standard. Fish oil-based omega-3 supplements are often labeled and marketed as fish oil supplements. Don’t be thrown off by the labeling: you’ll get the same results either way.
Omega-3 supplements made from fish oil are the most common for a reason. Fish oil is inexpensive, relatively sustainable, easy to make, and contains a huge amount of omega-3. It’s one of the densest sources of omega-3 fatty acids out there. Specifically, fatty fish will have the highest omega-3 content per ounce. For comparison, here are some of the top-ranking fish in omega-3 content in one 3.5oz serving:
- King mackerel: 2.6g
- Sablefish: 2.125g
- Lake trout: 2g
- Herring: 1.7g
- Yellowfin tuna: 1.6g
- Sardines: 1.5g
- Albacore tuna: 1.5g
- Whitefish: 1.5g
- Sockeye salmon: 1.4g
- Anchovies: 1.4g
- Bluefish: 1.2g
- Striped bass: 0.8g
- Brook and rainbow trout: 0.6g
- Pacific halibut: 0.5g
Seeing fish like mackerel, anchovy, salmon, or menhaden (a particularly great source of DPA) in a supplement’s Supplement Facts means that you’re likely to have a high ratio of omega-3 to fish oil, giving you the most bang for your buck.
It’s also important that companies that make their omega-3 supplements with fish oil go through heavy metal testing. We’ll address the issue in more detail later, but many fish are contaminated with mercury (particularly large, fatty fish). A good company will test fish oil for mercury, but almost none of the metal makes it through the distillation process, even in low-quality fish oil supplements.
Nutritionally, krill oil is similar to fish oil. It’s made from Antarctic krill, which are known for their bright red color. That red color comes from astaxanthin, an incredibly potent antioxidant that turns creatures like salmon and flamingos red. It also tints krill oil that same red, though you might find that krill oil supplements change color from batch to batch depending on what the krill had been eating and where they were harvested. Astaxanthin can potentially improve cardiovascular health beyond what just omega-3s provide, making krill oil a great choice for someone considering an omega-3 supplement for heart health. A recent study showed it can safely lower triglycerides in those with severely high triglyceride levels.
Krill often have just as much omega-3 as fish do. They also contain phospholipids, which bind to the fatty acids in krill oil. This makes it easier for our bodies to absorb, giving krill oil a higher bioavailability. So while krill oil might have lower omega-3 counts in Supplement Facts, it’s more likely that it’s all being used.
Green-lipped mussel powder
Green-lipped mussel powder may be one of your best options if ecological sustainability is your main concern while picking an omega-3 supplement. The green-lipped mussel is a shellfish native to New Zealand and is one of the country’s top exports. Clinical studies show that extract from green-lipped mussels can manage arthritis pain, likely due to its abundance of anti-inflammatory properties from an exceptional amount of omega-3.
Because green-lipped mussels are shellfish, you’ll likely find it sold as a powder. In these cases, the mussels are freeze-dried and then crushed, preserving the most nutrients possible. That said, freeze-drying is not as good at keeping omega-3s stable and bioavailable as pressing it into an oil, so green-lipped mussel powder often has lower omega-3 content than fish or krill oil. About 1-2% of the total powder content comes from omega-3s.
There are two main types of vegan omega-3 supplements: those made from nuts and seeds (particularly flax seed) and those made from algae. Algal oil supplements are made from different kinds of marine algae. They are more likely to contain straight ALAs than sea creatures but still contain comparable amounts of EPA and DHA, which are as bioavailable as the EPA and DHA found in fish and shellfish. Technically, most oceanic omega-3s are related to algal oil, as algae is a primary food source for most sea life and fish make the same conversions from ALA to EPA and DHA as humans do.
Red seaweed, sometimes used in algal oil supplements, contains carrageenan extract. (Carrageenan is also a thickener in dairy products and dairy alternatives.) Carrageenan has been controversial in the last few years, with some claiming that it can have destructive effects on the human body, from causing gastrointestinal disease to promoting cancer. It’s actively used in clinical studies when researchers try to explain or understand inflammation in the body, particularly in the digestive tract, and it does have implications in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). However, the most recent research states that we don’t know enough about how carrageenan affects the human body to make any firm statements about whether or not to limit our exposure.
Some nuts and seeds are easy sources of omega-3s; walnuts, sunflower seeds, and flax seeds are some of the top picks. Flax seeds are particularly healthy. A vast majority of their fat composition is PUFAs, which contain an omega-3 to omega-6 ratio of about 3.5:1. However, flax seeds’ omega-3 content comes mostly as ALA, which our bodies must process into EPA and DHA before we can use it. When we process ALA into other omega-3s, we lose most of the good parts of ALA. About 85-90% gets metabolized and not used. However, since it takes about one tablespoon of flax seed oil to make the same omega-3 as one fish oil supplement (350mg), you can conveniently use flax oil as a great salad dressing base. It just doesn’t often work as well in vegan omega-3 supplements.
Cod liver oil
Once an extremely common dietary omega-3 supplement, cod liver oil has fallen out of favor in recent years. The liquid made from the liver of cod fish was once regularly given to children to prevent vitamin D deficiencies and has been used for centuries in northern Europe. Cod liver oil is an excellent source of vitamins A and D, containing three to four times the recommended daily intake of both.
You can still buy cod liver oil, but it’s not the best omega-3 supplement. Because cod isn’t as fatty as fish like salmon or mackerel, there’s less fat (and, therefore, fewer omega-3s) per fish for manufacturers to use. This means omega-3 doses in cod liver oil are generally lower than in fish oil.
Cod liver oil is a significantly better source for vitamins A and D than omega-3s. If you try cod liver oil (which didn’t make our list of the top seven best omega-3 supplements), pay attention to the signs of vitamin A toxicity. Don’t take cod liver oil while also supplementing vitamin A or D.
There are a few rare omega-3 supplements that are made from mammalian oil. Historically, mammalian oil included things like whale blubber used in oil lamps. Nowadays, mammalian oil omega-3 supplements almost always come from harp seal blubber.
Mammalian oil has high amounts of DPA compared to fish and krill oil and has been shown in studies to improve fatigue and peripheral neuromuscular function in athletes. It’s been a subject of interest from researchers looking to figure out why Indigenous populations who eat large amounts of marine mammals tend to have lower triglycerides and blood pressure. However, we can’t endorse anyone taking mammalian oil supplements for their daily omega-3 boost.
Most people could benefit from adding an omega-3 supplement to their daily regimen. Unless you already eat fatty fish twice a week, there’s a very high chance that you don’t have enough omega-3 in your diet.
The FDA doesn’t regulate supplements the same way they do food and prescription medications, so they shouldn’t be used as treatments, cures, or preventions for any disease or medical problems. However, omega-3 supplements are especially beneficial to those who struggle with high cholesterol. Multiple studies have shown that omega-3 fatty acids can lower your triglyceride levels while simultaneously raising your LDL (“good” cholesterol) levels.
Some people state that omega-3 supplements can improve heart conditions. While having adequate omega-3 levels is necessary for good cholesterol and helping to keep your arteries clear, the current largest study (of over 25,000 adults in the U.S.) showed in 2018 that taking omega-3 supplements didn’t lower the risk of heart attacks in those who weren’t predisposed to having one. However, the study did find that omega-3 supplements improved heart health in 77% of African-American participants, so that demographic may find extra benefits from omega-3 supplements.
Pregnant people will also benefit from adding extra omega-3s to their prenatal care. Omega-3s help fetuses build healthy eyes and brains, so ensuring that your omega-3 levels stay high can prevent everything from preterm birth to low birth weight.
Omega-3 supplements are well-received by most healthy adults. You might experience some gastrointestinal discomfort (such as nausea and burping) when first starting to take an omega-3 supplement, but this often goes away over time. If it doesn’t, stop taking them and contact your doctor. Some people find symptom relief by taking their omega-3 supplements with food.
There’s some concern that omega-3s thin your blood. Studies are currently mixed as to whether or not that claim has merit, but if you’re taking blood thinners like warfarin or NSAIDs or have a history of aneurysm or stroke, talk to your doctor before starting an omega-3 supplement.
If you’re allergic to fish or shellfish, a fish, krill, or mussel-based omega-3 supplement won’t be the right choice. Look for a vegan omega-3 supplement made from algae or flax seed instead.
Some people may also be concerned about potential heavy metal exposure — particularly mercury — through fish oil supplements. Heavy metals build up in fish over time and are more likely to occur in larger fish, which are the ones we often use to create fish oil supplements. However, every fish oil supplement has heavy metals removed during the refining process (including all of our top picks). Both third-party testing organizations and researchers have looked into the matter and concluded that there are no health concerns. If you’re worried, look for a certificate of analysis or testing results for the supplement: it’ll tell you whether or not it passed a zero-tolerance mercury test. You can also check your heavy metal levels at home to soothe your worries.
Best overall, best from fish, and best-tasting
- Surprisingly light, sweet lemon flavor
- Provides almost exactly the recommended daily dose in one serving
- 95 servings per bottle
- Tested by three independent third parties
- Certified B-Corp ensures sustainable practices
- Manufactured in cGMP-certified facilities
- Subscribe and save 20%
- Free shipping on orders over $100
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- No subscription savings for first order
- Adds (natural) sweetener on top of other flavors
Our top pick for fish oil and omega-3 supplements is Natural Force’s Pure Omega-3. This omega-3 supplement is the only liquid supplement on our list, as fish oils are often thick and more likely to have a strong taste. Pure Omega-3 is flavored with natural lemon oil that not only masks that fish taste but completely removes it. Our testers were surprised that it had a light, sweet, and almost delicate flavor akin to lemon curd or cake. (Pure Omega-3 is sweetened with monk fruit, a natural sweetener.)
One serving of Pure Omega-3 provides a hefty dose of EPA and DHA. It’s made from wild-caught Menhaden fish, which are unique because they give significantly more DPA than other fish. You’ll get the following in every spoonful:
- 1,326mg omega-3
- 546mg EPA
- 450mg DHA
- 95mg DPA
This breakdown almost perfectly aligns with the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. It has double the EPA and DHA while providing a little more than 1.3g of your daily omega-3. This omega-3 supplement also contains lemon flavor (from oil), rosemary extract, and mixed tocopherols to act as stabilizers and maximize freshness. The oil sits in an amber glass bottle, which prevents UV from oxidizing the oil as fast as it would in a clear bottle. Plus, each bottle contains 95 servings, giving you three months of omega-3 with a little extra buffer just in case.
Natural Force is a highly transparent company that shares just about anything you could want to know about the creation and safety of Pure Omega-3. As a Certified B-Corp, you can also guarantee that they safely and sustainably harvest the fish for their fish oil, too.
One bottle of Pure Omega-3 has 95 single teaspoon servings, meaning it’ll last you more than three months. This bottle costs $39.99, but you can also sign up for Natural Force’s Subscribe & Save program. However, this subscription works slightly differently than other programs: you’ll save 20% on your second order and beyond (dropping the price to $27.99) rather than on every order.
Shipping is free on orders over $100, but you’ll pay a flat shipping fee for everything else, including subscription purchases. The amount you’ll pay varies depending on how fast you want the bottle:
- Premium (2-3 business days): $14.99
- Economy (5-7 business days): $9.99
If you aren’t happy with your Pure Omega-3, Natural Force will provide a full refund within 30 days of purchase. You’ll fill out a quick form, and then a customer service agent will contact you to discuss alternative options, troubleshoot any issues, or find a replacement product that’ll work better. They’ll also record information about the problem — especially if it’s a quality control issue — to ensure that it doesn’t happen to anyone else.
- Large EPA and DHA doses
- Enteric coating ensures no fishy aftertaste
- Third-party tested and made in cGMP-certified facilities
- Shellfish- and GMO-free
- Subscribe and save up to 32%
- Free shipping on most orders
- 365-day money-back guarantee
- Large capsules
- Enteric coating contains talc
Live Conscious is a health-centered company that makes a wide range of supplements. They focus on holistic, natural health but use extensive third-party testing and cGMP-certified manufacturing facilities alongside their sustainably-sourced fish. One serving of OmegaWell contains:
- 2,000mg fish oil
- 1,500mg omega-3
- 800mg EPA
- 600mg DHA
This is a stunning amount of EPA and DHA, making OmegaWell the most potent on our list. Other supplements may have more fish (or alternative) oil, but the EPA and DHA content are what really matter when it comes to omega-3 supplements. This dosage puts you closer to a medicinal or therapeutic range or allows you to step back to one capsule daily if two becomes too many.
The capsules are a little large for some, but the biggest downside is that Live Conscious’s enteric coating powder contains talc. (Specifically, they list polyacrylic resin, trimethyl citrate, and talc in their enteric coating powder.) While it’s great that the enteric coating is there, as it prevents the capsule from dissolving early enough in the digestive tract to taste or burp up, these ingredients are enough to raise an eyebrow.
There isn’t much research on the effects of polyacrylic resin on the human body, but talc can be toxic to humans when inhaled in large quantities. There may also be a link between stomach cancer and talc, but the relationship needs to be explored further. We recommend opening the capsules and taking one two-capsule serving on a spoon or in a drink rather than as a capsule to side-step their curious ingredient choice.
Live Conscious offers subscription and bulk deals on their Omega Well omega-3 supplement. You’ll earn savings with any selection except for the purchase of one bottle one time. And if you join their subscription program, not only will you save more, but you’ll also have the opportunity to skip, pause, or cancel your subscription without hassle. All subscriptions ship at the same rate you’re expected to use: one bottle has 30 servings, so it’ll be shipped once a month, three bottles every three months, and six bottles every six months.
The pricing structure gets tricky fast, so we’ve put together a small chart to help you make sense of it.
|One-time cost (each)||Subscribe & Save cost (each)|
Shipping is free for every OmegaWell purchase except for a one-bottle order one time. For that order, you’ll pay $5.95 to have it shipped in 7-10 days.
Insider Tip: Live Conscious often runs coupon codes that offer free shipping. Wait until a banner ad for free shipping pops up on the page to take advantage of the deal.
OmegaWell is backed by a one-year money-back guarantee, so you’ll be able to return your order no matter what.
- Contains several major fatty acids beyond omega-3s
- Combines fish, krill, sesame, and olive for a big boost
- High in critical omega-3s
- Formula updates following the latest research
- Readily provides certificates of analysis for all products
- Save up to 27% with a subscription or bulk order
- One year 100% satisfaction guarantee
- Free shipping on orders over $50
- Extensive ingredient list contains artificial coloring and maltodextrin
- Softgels run large
- Can’t combine bulk and subscription savings
Life Extension is a company with a long history and longer product list. They offer just about any supplement you could want, and omega-3 supplements are no exception. In fact, Life Extension offers seven different omega-3 supplements, from pure EPA and DHA to our favorite, their Super Omega-3 Plus. Omega-3 Plus contains fish and krill oil, olive extract, and sesame seed lignans to fully encompass every natural source of omega-3s, providing a dietary boost similar to taking several different low-dose omega-3 supplements from various sources at once.
Each serving of two softgels contains:
- 2,350mg fish and krill oil
- 750mg EPA
- 510mg DHA
- 60mg phospholipids
- 200mg olive extract (the equivalent of four tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil)
- 5mg sesame seed lignan extract
- 2mg astaxanthin
This swell of omega fatty acids could help improve your heart and blood health from multiple angles, promoting healthy cholesterol and potentially lowering your stroke risk. There are a few other natural ingredients commonly seen in other omega-3 supplements, such as lemon flavor (to prevent fishy aftertaste) and rosemary extract. However, Super Omega-3 Plus also contains artificial ingredients like caramel coloring (to give a uniform appearance to each softgel) and maltodextrin. Maltodextrin is a processed carbohydrate used as a thickener and filler, so if you’re looking for a more streamlined supplement, this might not be your best option.
There are 60 servings per bottle of Super Omega-3 Plus. They’re gluten-free and non-GMO and the company provides certificates of analysis for all independent third-party testing they perform.
If you’re interested in learning more about Life Extension, check out our full review.
Life Extension offers several different prices for their Super Omega-3 Plus supplement, depending on how many bottles you want and whether or not you join their subscription program. Ordering 4-9 bottles gives you a 7% bulk discount, and ten or more gives you a 27% discount. Joining their AutoShip program automatically gives you that 27% discount and free shipping, but you can’t combine that with any bulk deals. We’ve included a chart below to help you visualize the difference in all Life Extension’s pricing offers.
|Cost per bottle (one-time purchase)||Cost per bottle (AutoShip & Save)|
You can choose to have your AutoShip send you a new bottle (or multiple) at monthly intervals between one and twelve months. If you don’t join the AutoShip program, you can still earn free shipping by ordering $50 or more sitewide. Otherwise, it costs $5.50 for standard UPS Ground shipping.
Life Extension offers a 365-day money-back guarantee. If you need to return anything — regardless of whether it’s been opened and sampled — just reach out to their customer service to get the process started.
Best budget pick
- Enteric coating guarantees you won’t taste any fish
- Available in two bottle sizes
- Easy to find in retail stores
- Subscribe & Save 10%
- Free shipping on orders over $25 to the contiguous U.S.
- Contains several additives and preservatives
- Low dose of omega-3s
- Moderately large pills
If you struggle with tasting an omega-3 supplement long after you’ve taken it, there’s a specific formulation you can look for to combat fishy burps and lingering aftertastes. Enteric coatings are designed to keep your stomach from breaking down a capsule too early in the digestive process, keeping any oceanic scents deep in your intestines where they can’t come back up. Nature Made makes an excellent enteric coating for their omega-3 fish oil supplements, Burp-Less Fish Oil softgels.
One serving of this Burp-Less Fish Oil contains:
- 2,400mg fish oil
- 720mg omega-3
- 360mg EPA
- 240mg DHA
A dose of 2,400mg of fish oil per serving looks great on paper, but a closer look reveals that only one-third of that dose is omega-3s. Considering many of our other top picks have close-to-equal amounts of oil and omega-3s, this ratio is less than stunning. It also contains more fillers and preservatives, such as polysorbate 80 and glyceryl monostearate, than other omega-3 supplements.
You should take two softgels daily alongside food to ensure maximum absorption.
Nature Made sells their Burp-Less Fish Oil in two different sizes and at two price points depending on whether or not you join their Subscribe & Save program (which saves you 10% on each order).
|Cost||Subscription cost||Free shipping?|
|60-count||$13.69||$12.32||Orders over $25|
You can set up your subscription to deliver a new bottle of Burp-Less Fish Oil every 30, 45, 60, or 90 days, and it’s easy to pause, skip, or cancel your deliveries through your online account.
There’s a relatively high shipping fee — $8 — if you purchase less than $25 worth of products through Nature Made’s website. Should you only want one bottle but don’t want to bother with the cost of shipping, you can also find Nature Made products at the following retailers:
- Rite Aid
You can get your money back if you don’t like your Burp-Less Fish Oil if you request a refund within 30 days of receiving your order. However, this only applies to products purchased directly through Nature Made’s website, and you’ll need to return your supplement in its original packaging. Plus, if you paid a shipping fee to deliver your fish oil, you’ll have to pay it again when you return it.
Best vegan source
- Free of carrageenan, gluten, major allergens, and palm oil
- Provides EPA and DHA equivalent to fish oil
- Vegan-friendly formula
- Small softgel easy to swallow
- Transparent independent third-party testing
- Created in a cGMP-compliant facility
- Subscribe and save 15%
- Free shipping on all orders
- 30-day return policy
- Return policy only applies to first bottle ordered
- Only available in the U.S.
Calgee’s entire brand centers on their Sustainable Vegan Omega-3 supplements. The founders set out to create an eco-conscious vegan omega-3 supplement after trying to find a vegan omega-3 supplement for their heart health that provided the same benefits as those made from fish oil. Calgee’s Sustainable Vegan Omega-3 supplements do just that.
Made from marine algae (specifically schizochytrium, a kind of marine microalgae), each serving offers:
- 1,000mg algal oil
- 550mg omega-3
- 40mg omega-6
- 150mg EPA
- 300mg DHA
Sustainable Vegan Omega-3 is the only omega-3 supplement on our list that’s higher in DHA than EPA. This is because schizochytrium is naturally rich in DHA and less in EPA. While EPA is generally considered the powerhouse of omega-3s, if you’re looking for a prenatal omega-3 or something to support mood and cognitive processing, one high in DHA like Calgee’s supplement will be your best bet. It provides a boost over other kinds of vegan omega-3 supplements by giving you the EPA and DHA directly, and while it won’t get you to your daily necessary omega-3 intake alone, it’s a great start.
Calgee lays out where their ingredients come from on their website. (Their microalgae comes from North Carolina and is extracted using only water, for example.) All of the Sustainable Vegan Omega-3 is bottled in a cGMP-compliant facility and is always tested by an independent third party.
One 30-serving bottle of Calgee’s Sustainable Vegan Omega-3 costs $28. You can also join their Subscribe & Save program to save 15% ($4, for a new total of $24). New orders ship every 30, 45, or 60 days, and it’s easy to skip or cancel your subscription if you have too much or have changed your mind altogether.
Calgee offers free shipping on all orders (though they currently only ship to the United States) and a 30-day money-back guarantee. Note that their return policy only covers one bottle from your first order. You won’t be able to get a refund on your second, third, or fourth order, nor will you get all your money back if you start with six bottles of Sustainable Vegan Omega-3. That said, Calgee lets you keep the bottle when you request your refund.
Best from krill
- Made from only krill oil
- Extremely sustainable practices with tracing abilities
- Available in three capsule sizes
- Tested for purity by Good Housekeeping, among others
- Buy two or more items for free shipping
- Subscribe and save 10%
- Short return window
- No bundle deals
What Kori does well, they do exceptionally well. Luckily for us, they only make krill oil softgel supplements. They make their supplements from only Antarctic krill oil — no fillers, additives, or flavors necessary. Not only is their ingredient list clean, but you can also use your lot number or the QR code on the box to trace exactly where in Antarctica (and when) the krill that made your supplements lived. Like farm-to-table practices, Kori prides themselves on total transparency in their production practices. They’re third-party tested by several independent organizations, including none other than Good Housekeeping (among other more scientifically-based operations). Kori also partners with three conservation organizations, hires an independent third party to verify their sustainable fishing habits, and has the highest rating possible with the Sustainable Fisheries Partnership.
Each serving of Krill Oil contains:
- 1,200mg krill oil
- 250mg EPA and DHA
- 480mcg phospholipids
- 120mcg astaxanthin
This isn’t a lot of EPA and DHA, and we were a little disappointed that they don’t break down the difference between their EPA and DHA content.
You can get Kori Krill Oil in three different capsule sizes depending on what size softgels you feel comfortable swallowing. All three provide the same amount of krill oil, have the same number of total servings (30), and cost the same, but the number of softgels that constitute a serving goes up as their size decreases. You can find them in the following sizes:
- Large (1,200mg) softgels: one softgel per serving
- Medium (600mg) softgels: two softgels per serving
- Small (400mg) softgels: three softgels per serving
No matter what size you pick, all of Kori’s krill oil softgels cost $19.99. You can purchase them one at a time or in a pack of three, which won’t give you any discounts but will save you the cost of shipping. Joining their Subscribe & Save program also offers a 10% discount on both a one- and a three-pack of krill oil.
|Price (total)||Price (individual)||Subscribe & Save price (total)|
Shipping costs $4.99 for the purchase of only one bottle. However, ordering two or more (including a three-pack) waives the shipping cost. Currently, Kori only ships to the United States. Should you decide that krill oil isn’t the best option for you, you can return your krill oil to Kori within 14 days of receiving your order. Be sure to include a receipt or other proof of purchase with your return when sending it back unopened and unused.
You can also purchase your Kori Krill Oil from several different retail locations:
- Sam’s Club
- Rite Aid
- Bed Bath & Beyond
Best from mussels
- Contains 2,400mg of mussel powder and little else
- Mussels are harvested safely with strong tracing methods
- References (and links to) several clinical studies
- Manufactured in a GMP-certified facility
- 365-day quality guarantee
- Free shipping on U.S. orders over $100
- Pungent smell
- No omega-3, EPA, or DHA values given
- No subscription program
- Steep shipping fees on small orders
- Four capsules per serving
Xtend-Life is a New Zealand-based company that provides a wide range of supplements, as well as health and beauty products. They use as many traditional ingredients as possible, utilizing the unique environment while maintaining sustainable practices and doing just about everything in-house. They use GMP-certified facilities to manufacture their products and are even a member of the GOED, the global organization representing the EPA and DHA omega-3 industry. It’s a no-brainer that their Green Lipped Mussel Powder is the best on the market, especially considering Xtend-Life’s commitment to practicing in New Zealand.
Each serving gives you 2,400mg of mussel powder. Our testers found that the smell of Green Lipped Mussel Powder was a little overwhelming, but it wasn’t something that they could taste when taking each capsule. (We don’t recommend sticking your nose in the bottle to take a whiff.) One serving requires you to take four capsules, which is a lot even before considering the smell.
Critically, Xtend-Life doesn’t delineate any omega-3, EPA, DHA, DPA, or other nutrient content per serving of Green Lipped Mussel Powder. Their FAQ states that each serving contains between one and two percent omega-3 (between 240mg and 480mg) with no further breakdowns. All things considered, this Green Lipped Mussel Powder lacks the muscles to be an outstanding omega-3 supplement. However, if you’re interested in giving mussel powder a try to support joint health, this is a good one to use first.
One 30-day container of Green Lipped Mussel Powder costs $32.95. At this time, Xtend-Life doesn’t have a subscription program, though you can sign up for their loyalty program (which is free unless you opt for their VIP program) and save 10% on all orders.
Orders over $100 ship free to the U.S., but shipping costs $10 on orders less than that (an increase from $7.50 in 2021). We recommend ordering enough from them to hit that mark, whether you’re buying in bulk or splitting an order with a friend (or three). Despite Xtend-Life’s base in New Zealand, orders arrive in the United States in 3-5 days. However, expect some shipping delays; even though Xtend-Life shipped them the same day they were ordered, it took our testers over a month to receive their packages.
Xtend-Life offers a 365-day money-back guarantee. You’ll have to cover the shipping cost, but anything you don’t like (whether or not you’ve tried it) is eligible for a return within a year of placing your order.
Curious about Xtend-Life’s other products, including other supplements and their skincare line? Our full review covers everything you need to know.
What’s the difference between omega-3 supplements, fish oil, and krill oil?
Omega-3 supplements are any supplement that provides ample omega-3s. It’s an umbrella term that can include fish and krill oil and things like algal, flax, cod liver, and mussel oil. Ultimately, these supplements are named after the kind of organism that provides the oil, and there are slight differences between each one. Fish oil is often the densest in omega-3 fatty acids, providing the most omega-3s per dose. On the other hand, krill oil provides more antioxidants like astaxanthin and omega-3s.
Should I refrigerate my omega-3 supplement?
Refrigeration depends on the kind of omega-3 supplement you purchase. Light exposure and high temperatures can affect the taste and smell of omega-3 supplements, making them more pungent. High temperatures and direct sunlight can oxidize these supplements, which can ultimately cause more harm than good as they essentially go rancid. Not every supplement can handle a refrigerator’s low temperatures; Kori is often best left in a dark cabinet, for example. Generally, it’s safe to put your omega-3 supplement in the refrigerator, but you won’t have to. Be sure you always read the instructions first.
How do you know if omega-3 has gone bad?
A few key sensory signs can help you decide if your omega-3 supplement is rancid. If you take softgel capsules, break one open to check its smell and taste. A normal omega-3 supplement should taste relatively fresh with a mild oceanic or fish element; rancid supplements taste intensely fishy or sour. Oil will sometimes look cloudy or splotchy as it goes bad. And always be sure to check the expiration date. While improper storage can cause an omega-3 supplement to go bad before its time, an omega-3 supplement past its expiration date that you suspect might be rancid should almost always just be replaced.
Can my pets take the same omega-3 supplement as me?
Omega-3s are commonly recommended supplements for household pets, helping to improve skin, fur, and joint health. Dogs, in particular, can benefit from a daily omega-3 supplement. And while many brands create omega-3 supplements specifically for pets, there are very few differences between those supplements and those aimed at humans. As long as you follow proper dosing recommendations and ensure that there aren’t any harmful ingredients in the formula, veterinary experts agree that it’s generally okay for you and your pet to share an omega-3 supplement.
When should I take my omega-3 supplement?
Some omega-3 supplements have specific timing requirements, like taking them first thing in the morning or with food. Others don’t. If your omega-3 supplement has instructions, it’s best to follow them. If there are no instructions, you can take your omega-3 supplement whenever it’s most convenient. The only caveat is that your digestive system slows down overnight, so taking an omega-3 supplement right before bed might mean you don’t get the full benefits.
How long does omega-3 take to work?
Like all supplements, the time to results varies from person to person. However, omega-3s build up quickly in the body due to their fat solubility. It takes about 24 hours for your EPA, DHA, ALA, and other serum omega-3 levels to increase, and you can expect changes in your body and mind to begin within six weeks. It may take up to six months to see full results, so be patient while you’re getting started.
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