Best Valerian root reviews – top-rated supplements based on statistical modeling
After 18 months of gathering data from over 4,000 reviews of Valerian root supplements for sleep and anxiety, we bring you a finalized update of the guide on best products and brands based on statistical modeling of user satisfaction data.
We’d like to thank our expert consultants, who helped us narrow down the initial search to 24 products.
What to choose and what to stay away from? Without much ado, let us dive right in…
Below are our TOP 3 picks. To read more click the button that says “Click here for the full review”.
- User satisfaction 86%
Who is it for?
With 150 mg of Valerian and 2 mg of Melatonin, Driftoff might be the choice for those looking for a mellower supplement than Luna.
- User satisfaction 92%
Who is it for?
Luna is the top-rated natural sleep aid not only among Valerian supplements but overall, too. It’s the most potent blend we looked at.
- User satisfaction 84%
Who is it for?
Vintage Bliss is more than a sleep aid. It’s designed to fit the needs of people with active lifestyles and athletes. It includes muscle-recovery nutrients.
Best valerian for sleep – Luna
If any sleep and relaxation aid can be described as “trusted by users”, it’s Luna. It is THE top-rated supplement not only in this category of The Sleep Studies but in the whole range of sleep aids and supplements for 7 updates now.
It’s been 14 months now since started gathering data for this guide and Luna has been the top-rated supplement from the get-go.
Richest in Magnesium and L-Theanine
Luna is not a valerian-only supplement.
What’s different about it is the complex formula. Let’s be precise – when we say “complex” we are primarily referring to the fact that it includes 6 mg of Melatonin per serving, 10 mg of Magnesium and 200 mg of L-Theanine.
Why is this a “big deal”?
First things first – the statistics and most recent studies suggest that the number of Americans deficient in Magnesium is a whooping 80%. That’s right, 4 out of 5 of us don’t have enough magnesium in our diets.
The list of issues connected to Magnesium deficiency range from sleep-issues, type 2 diabetes to sudden cardiac death. If you’re thinking, “How in the world do I get all these vitamins and minerals?” we’re on the same page.
That’s why the fact that Luna includes 10 mg of Magnesium per serving is a big deal.
Valerian is a potent herb, it’s one of the few herbs that, although natural, works by stimulating the same receptors as prescription sleep pills, without the plethora of side effects.
he downside is that, to see full benefits in terms of sleep, relaxation and anxiety-relief, you’d have to go with a high dose if your supplement is Valerian-only. High doses of Valerian can cause feeling lethargic the next day (about 1 in 6 users, according to the data we gathered for this guide).
The biggest difference with Luna is the addition of a hefty dose of Melatonin. The combo of Valerian, Chamomile, GABA and Melatonin is very potent.
This means that that Luna is likely to get you to sleep faster, regulate you Circadian rhythm (sleep-wake times) and allow you to get calm and uninterrupted deep sleep phase.
On the other hand, such potent sleep formula might result in feeling groggy. With Luna, that’s balanced out by the addition of L-Theanine (known for its focus and clarity-enhancing properties).
Bottom line – with Luna, it’s not about the dose of Valerian, it’s about the unique blend. If you are looking to “kill more than one fly” in one sweeping motion, Luna might be the right supplement for you.
The relaxation complex we mentioned is potent and allows you to fall asleep fast and get solid hours on restoring sleep while the L-Theanine keeps you alert and focused the next day.
As our expert consultants shared, the “secret” to get the most out of Valerian supplementation is to find the sweet spot between getting good sleep and not feeling lethargic the next day.
If it’s only Valerian, you usually have to go with higher doses, which often results in feeling drowsy.
That’s where Driftoff formula seems to excel – the balanced ingredients complement Valerian and work with it in synergy.
What’s in it?
Two veggies capsules (one serving) gives you 150 mg of the herb, 2 mg of Melatonin and 100 mg of GABA and Tryptophan and 100 mg of the following herbs extracts:
- Passion flower
- Lemon Balm
- Passion flower
Bottom line – Driftoff is lab-certified to have ZERO allergens like Preservatives & Derivatives, Gluten, Soy or any traces of animal products.
That goes both for the ingredients inside and the capsule itself. Based on our statistical model, Driftoff has a user satisfaction rate of 86%.
Vintage Bliss Night-time
Vintage Bliss Night-time is a supplement designed for active people and athletes. It comes from Old School Labs, a company with 40 years of heritage in the supplement industry.
The formula is high in Vitamin B6, Calcium, Zinc and, again, the all-important Magnesium.
This is a potent supplement designed for faster recovery from physical and mental fatigue.
Highest in Magnesium
The hefty 100 mg of Magnesium is the highest dose of Magnesium of all our top picks.
Apart from the Magnesium, the main difference between the Luna and Vintage Bliss is that the later bland includes a peg more of the herb per serving (200 mg vs. 150 mg) and is lower in Melatonin (Luna contains 6 mg vs. the 2.5 mg found in Vintage bliss).
In terms of sleep, this means that Vintage Bliss relies less aggressive and relies more on the mellow effects of Valerian and Magnesium and less on the potency of Melatonin.
Bottom line – Night-time Vintage Bliss might be the supplement for you is you are living a physically active lifestyle that calls for enhancing the ability of your body to recover fast.
The high dose of Magnesium in the blend is a sure-fire way to be positive that you belong to the 20% of Americans that’s not deficient in this crucial nutrient, often referred to as “miracle mineral.”
Reference info and honorary mentions
In the rest of this guide, we’ll take a full look at our top 10 picks. Again, the ratings you are about to see are based on our own experiences, opinions of a few experts we contacted to help us with this guide.
Above all, they are based on a pool of data we got by using our proprietary statistical model to analyze the user reviews of the best Valerian root supplements. Let’s dive in.
Top 10 best Valerian root supplements
Be Calm by Komplete Balance
Be Calm is probably the most elaborate blend among our top picks. It’s lower in Valerian (75 mg per serving) and higher in other sleep and relaxation-promoting ingredients (like Magnesium and a range of Vitamin B (B-1, B-2, B-6 and B-12).
It’s also highest in Vitamin C (500 mg). The blend does not include Melatonin, which lowers the risk of forming a habit.
Be Calm is certified to be non-GMO by a US-based laboratory and it comes with a full 30-day money-back guarantee.
It might be a choice if you are looking to avoid Melatonin altogether, while regulating your sleep-wake time cycle and focus by relying on the calming effects the high dose of Magnesium have on your central nervous system.
Frontier Co-op dried root
If you are not a fan of capsules and prefer to use dried root, you might want to look at the USDA-Organic certified root from frontier.
The downside of dried root is the smell. Pretty much all Valerian supplements will have a somewhat unpleasant smell, but the small of capsulated extracts doesn’t compare to that of a dried whole herb.
It’s non-irradiated, which means that it hasn’t gone through the process of ionization that serves the purpose of prolonging the shelf-life by destroying all the bacteria in the herb.
That raises the question of safety
Herbs and spices that are “non- irradiated” are usually those that are either anti-bacterial or on their own or they contain good bacteria that promotes a healthy intestinal flora and thus, a hostile environment for the potentially harmful bacteria.
In the case of Valerian, it’s the former, it’s famous for its anti-bacterial properties, making the dried root safe to use.
Having said that, if you do go with an organic herb in this form, you’ll want to make sure that the manufacturing practices are certified by an USDA agent, which is the case with Frontier Co-op root.
Herb Pharm non-alcohol tincture
The alcohol free-tincture from Herb Pharm is our top picks among the liquid forms of the supplement.
The main advantage of a liquid extract is that it is more easily absorbed. This Herb Pharm tincture is made using only fresh root and rhizome.
It also ticks all the boxes in terms of potentially harmful chemicals – it’s vegan, non-GMO, free of any traces of animal products and tested for the herb identification using the HPTLC fingerprinting method.
One bottle contains 4 oz of liquid extract based on glycerin and distilled water instead of alcohol and the extraction process does not include any synthetic solvents. One serving is 0.7 ml and contains 810 mg of Valerian Officinalis.
Gaia is a unique brand because the the herbs used to make the product is grown on their own certified organic farms.
As with most top products we looked at, it is 100 % vegetarian and contains zero gluten.
The extract delivers 1.8 mg of Valerenic acid derivatives per serving and is lab-tested and certified to be toxin-free.
In our rating system, we’ve seen a user satisfaction rate of 84 % with this Gaia liquid extract.
The highest user satisfaction rate among classic formulas that only include the herb (no additional nutrients or “blends”) comes from a well-known and trusted brand – NOW.
Compared to Driftoff, for example, the main difference is that the later contains Melatonin, which is a sleep aid on its own, which makes NOW better suited for prolonged use, because melatonin can be habit-forming.
One serving of NOW (2 veggie capsules) contains 1 g of the root, which is much higher than the 150 mg that’s in one serving of the Driftoff.
So, how do you decide?
First of all, it goes without saying that it’s smart to talk to talk to your MD about the two options. Some people we talked to shared that they have both forms on hand and use Driftoff when they need a more immediate effect. Driftoff is the more “efficient” and immediate, primarily because of the 2mg of Melatonin included.
So, the road to finding what works for you is to talk to your MD about the Melatonin or trying out the root-only caps and see how your body responds.
Nature’s Way Valerian Root reviews
One of the top value-for-money product on the list – this supplement comes as a pack of 2 with 60 servings each. A capsule contains 530 mg of the herb and recommended serving is 3 capsules.
It’s standardized to 0.8 mg of Valerenic acid.
Since the root is in natural form and not an extract, what we’ve seen as a downside is that the smell of a freshly opened bottle is unpleasant, which is only natural and most companies making the supplement in this form even include disclaimers about the smell.
So, if you receive a bottle and it feels like something might be wrong because of the smell, you can relax (pun intended), because it’s supposed to smell like that.
Sundown Valerian root reviews
Another whole-herb supplement similar to the Nature’s way above, both in terms of standardization and the amount of root in a capsule (530 mg).
The recommended dose is 4 capsules taken 4 hour before bedtime. If 4 capsules sound like too much, bear in mind that this is a whole-herb and not an extract. One serving delivers 2.12 g of pure root.
What we’ve seen with this supplement is a user satisfaction rate of 82%.
Frequently asked questions
What we'll cover
In the FAQs section, we’ll do our best to address some of the questions we’ve seen in our inbox – from where to buy the herb, to dosage, origins and main benefits
Where to buy Valerian root?
Valerian is a natural supplement and is not regulated as a medicine, which means that it is commonly found in any pharmacy. You can find the supplement in your local Walmart, Walgreen’s or online, with retailers like Amazon. The option that might give you more insight into the quality and effectiveness of a specific brand is getting it online, where you can sift through user experiences. If you have more questions about where to buy Valerian root, please use the comment section or contact us and we’ll do our best to provide information based on our experiences.
Valerian root at Walmart
Since we first published this guide we’ve been receiving questions about the brands of Valerian root at Walmart.
We can’t speak towards the quality of most brands available at Walmart, as most of the products we looked into are not available in their online store.
Yes, the root does smell, especially fresh whole-herb supplements.
It’s simply the nature of the herb.
What we’ve seen when talking to our testers about it is a range of adjectives used to describe the smell – anything from “medicinal” to “putrid”.
If smell is an issue, you might consider going with a liquid extract, since it absorbs fast and doesn’t release as much odor as other forms of the herb.
Best Valerian root supplement for anxiety – reviews and top pick
If anxiety is your main issue, you’ll probably want to go with a supplement that’s not high in Melatonin, but well-balanced between the extract and Magnesium.
These two work in synergy and the what we’ve seen in the reviews of Valerian root for anxiety is that it might be a good idea to go with a pure extract like Gaia and add Magnesium as a separate supplement.
Best Valerian root brand
These are the TOP 10 best valerian root brands:
- Zhou Nutrition
- Vintage Bliss
- Komplete Balance
- Herb Pharm
- Gaia herbs
- Now foods
- Nature’s Way
Disclaimer: It’s hard to describe any of the brands as “best”, so the list of top brands is based on our experience and user satisfaction stats.
Origins and use
This perennial plant is native to Europe and Asia. It is green in color with sweetly scented pink and white flowers that bloom in the summer and grows up to 5ft tall. Its root has been used in homeopathic medicine for over 100 years to alleviate symptoms caused by stress and anxiety.
Recently it has grown in popularity with people looking for alternative ways to aid sleeping problems. Since it’s a natural mild sedative, it’s calming effects has been proven to help people suffering from anxiety and those looking to improve their mood.
It is also used for conditions linked to psychological stress such as nervous asthma, hysteria, hypochondria, migraines, headaches and stomach issues caused by severe anxiety.
Some people also use to treat mood disorders like depression, ADHD, tremors, and chronic fatigue.
Women particularly favor the herb for relief from menstrual cramps, hot flashes, and premenstrual syndrome.
It can also be added to your bath to promote relaxation and prepare you for a night of calm, serene sleep.
The supplements should be taken according to the dosage recommended by the manufacturer or your homeopathic physician. The most common dosage is between 300 and 900 mg per day.
To help with insomnia the same dosage is recommended two hours before bedtime.
How does it work?
It is estimated that around 60 million Americans have been affected by insomnia at some point in their lives. Sleep deprivation has been a cause for over 100,000 road accidents in the US alone. It is also far more likely for workers to injure themselves at work due to fatigue caused by insomnia. It can also have great, long lasting effects on your health. It puts you at risk of severe illnesses such as high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, and diabetes.
By taking a supplement that has beneficial effects on your mood and sleep, you’re investing in your health, safety, and quality of life.
The extract promotes relaxation by enhancing GABA signaling in the brain the brain.
GABA’s natural purpose is to reduce the activity of neurons to which it binds, meaning it controls fear and anxiety receptors and slows them down. When these neurons become over excited we experience a great amount of discomfort and anxiety which can have lasting effects on overall health.
By promoting GABA signaling in the brain, Valerian supplement acts as a sedative on the sympathetic nervous system which is the part of our bodies that is most sensitive to stress and anxiety. By taking the herb regularly you will begin to notice improvements in your mood and sleeping patterns without the harsh side effects that clinical medications have.
Modern pharmaceutical medications, but cause addiction and harsh withdrawal symptoms. This has not been seen in users taking the herb for any period of time.
On the same note, it has also been proven helpful for people who were trying to withdraw from sleeping medication and regain a healthy sleeping pattern naturally.
What form to choose?
There’s no simple answer to that question. The herb comes in a wide variety of different forms. Everything from capsules, tinctures, teas to essential oils and dried powders.
Most supermarkets and drug stores sell blends of teas made with different plants that complement the effects of each other and give you the desired, calming effects.
Some of these plants include mint, lemon balm, lavender, sage, and chamomile. Usually, these blends will have a stronger sedative effect.
Keep in mind that there is not one Go-to supplement type that has been proven most effective.
Since this is a herbal supplement, there is no danger of trying out different types and seeing which ones bodes the best for you. In the end, it all comes down to personal preference and to the way your body reacts to it.
Pure organic extracts come in capsule form and are usually the most convenient to take.
Dried root form capsules would be the least recommended choice as it is hard to determine how exactly much of the active ingredient one serving contains.
It is also impossible to know the age of the batch. This is also an issue with the liquid form. Supplements that have been left out for too long or have expired are no longer safe to use and may cause side effects.
Side effects can vary and will depend on different factors such as intake, your metabolism, general health and stress levels.
Some studies have shown that an overdose can lead to drowsiness, headache, upset stomach, brain fog, dry mouth, and indigestion. The safest duration of time for taking the herb is 4 to 8 weeks. After that, it is recommended to take a break before starting again.
It is important to be responsible when taking any kind of sedative, natural or otherwise and never take more than the recommended dosage.
Be careful when driving or doing anything that requires you to be alert and avoid drinking alcohol when taking the herb.
Remember to consult your physician if you are pregnant or breastfeeding before starting a new supplement or medication. Even though it has been proven as safe to use it is always smart to get a professional opinion.
In general, very little side effects have been experienced by users. Some people may feel a bit “hungover” after the effects have worn off which usually wears off very quickly.
How did we choose and test – our process of pinpointing the best Valerian root supplement?
It’s the internet age and there is a lot of misinformation out there on every topic possible.
There’s nothing wrong with expressing your opinion on a topic, but when it comes to health-related issues like sleep supplement we always take extra care to make sure that the information we present, although intended for educational purposes only, has some kind of precise methodology behind it.
We’ve been reviewing sleep-related products for a while now and the system we use is based three main factors – expert opinions, our experiences and statistics we collect.
Below is a 4-step outline of our reviewing process:
Step 1 – expert consultants we bring in depending on the topic.
The first step is always to narrow down the search by getting some expert opinions. In this case, the search was narrowed down to 32 products. We ten proceeded to gather data for our proprietary statistical modeling.
Step 2 – the mentioned statistical modeling is based on information we collect from experiences of users.
The crucial part here is to know what to look for and what to ignore. Let us explain. for a reference guide like this we look at every possible source of user experiences.
What we mean when we say that it’s critical to know what to ignore is that some of the data can be misleading. For our stats and ratings, we only take into consideration the experiences we know are genuine.
For example, if a product is new to the market, we have a rule of waiting at least 6 months before we consider it. the reason for this is simple – although online retailers take exhaustive measure to prevent it, attempts to “game the system” by the sellers are still a factor for us.
That primarily goes for new brands that we don’t know. It’s not likely that a reputable brand like, say, Nature’s Way, Gaia or Now Foods would be involved in this kind of shady practices. But, with new brands, we prefer to wait until the product has “matured” and we have a pretty clear picture of what we’re looking at.
Step 3 – once the search in narrowed down, we put our team of data-analysts to work.
They are given precise instructions and they comb pretty much all relevant information they can find. The data we collect are then processed by our in-house statisticians. The system was tweaked over the years to reflect the type of product we are looking at. In the case of supplementation, the factors are limited. To put it simply – what influences our ratings the most are user experiences.
Step 4 – we compile the data in a concise way that ‘s simple for you, our reader.
In this case, the whole process outlines above comes down to a single number – user satisfaction percentage.
Are the brands well-trusted?
We mentioned that, with new brands, we wait until a product is matured to take it into consideration. Around the office, we call the new-comers “toddlers”.
That aside, even with the companies that have been on the market for years, there’s no way to skip fact-checking their claims, both about the products in question and about their past reputation. That’s what we call “the trust quota” and it goes from 0 to 1.
Let us give you an example, the most well-trusted companies will have a trust quota of 1. The process is simpler if a company is registered with the Better Business Bureau.
We use this number to adjust the ratings of any new products. Let’s say that our “trust quota” is 0.9. To get to the final rating, we multiply the satisfaction ratings with the trust quota.
About the top brands
Let’s take a look at some of of the companies behind the products, their philosophy, mission statements and stories. Before we get into it, let us just say that we are not associated with any of them, nor did we get free testing samples. The products that we used were purchased at retail, like anybody else would.
The top-rated product and the one we labeled as the best Valerian root supplement comes from Nested Naturals.
About the company
Nested Naturals defines their mission to be “To provide the best natural supplements and radically honest information so that people can make the best wellness choices for themselves and the planet.“
Although their product, Luna, has been among the top few natural sleep aids for as far back as we can remember, if you take a look at their website, they seem to be a pretty relaxed bunch (pun intended). Their “about us” doesn’t have the “corporate feel”. Instead they talk about their personal approach to a healthy lifestyle. they do however, admit that they like chocolate cake. Nice touch.
Their story starts with a personal journey and pursuit of wellness of the two founders, Jeremy and Kevin. in their words, they are all about the honesty and transparency in matters regarding of “what’s in the bottle…”.
Let us be honest and open, too. In our book, Nested Natural has a trust quota of 1. This rating is separate from the quality ratings and it speaks towards the reputation of the brand. In the process of completing this guide we “mystery-shopped” with them to test out the responsiveness of their customer service and whether they stand behind their mission. We’ve seen nothing but good, things, our messages were addressed promptly with precise answers to our questions. Again, the maximum possible trust quota of 1 speaks for itself.
The runner up on our list of best Valerian root supplements, Driftoff, comes from Zhou Nutrition.
The company has a Better Business Bureau rating of A+. It also carries a trust quota of 1 (not that they know about us, but we’ve got nothing but positive things to say, based on our experience).
Their mission statement revolves around the philosophy of “bringing out the greatness inside of you“. Back when we first started working on this mega guide, it did take a moment to grasp the concept but once we did, we liked it. It goes beyond physical health and explores the trifecta of a healthy and balanced life – Physical, Emotional and relational Health.
On a more specific note, we’ve seen no specks on the canvas of ZHOU’s reputation. The mission statement above might not speak much about the quality of the products but if you dig a bit deeper, you see a business established on the solid foundations of quality control.
What do we mean by that?
Their facilities are FDA-registered and their products are USA-made. We know that in this day and age of outsourcing, bringing a US-made product to the table at competitive prices is not a simple task. But we’re more interested in the fact that the manufacturing facilities are inspected and registered with the FDA. For that to happen, one has to abide by the strict GMP Standards (Good Manufacturing Processes).
All of Zhou’s products, including the Driftoff, are backed by a 60-days warranty.
Vintage Bliss is a unique product on the list because it comes from a company that’s primary oriented towards sports supplementation and muscle building. In their mission statement Old School Labs describes their efforts to be “Creating uncompromising, premium supplements for informed customers who demand the very best.“
We admit that most members of our team (with one exception, our editor on all matters related to sleep therapy, Ivan Kolev) don’t know much about the rest of the brand’s product range.
But if Vintage Sleep is any indication of the kind of quality Old School Labs bring to the table, the word “premium” is not used lightly to describe their supplements.
Their products are US-made and come with a full refund option. based on what we’ve seen, not many people choose to use it, though.
This guide is updated every two months to make sure that the information presented is relevant. We don’t re-test the products unless we see a significant fluctuation in the user ratings, we simply input new data and update the stats and ratings. It’s a way to make sure that nothing slips through the cracks and we stay on top of things.
In case you have questions or comments about your experience, feel free to touch base by using the comment section below or drop us a line through our contact page.
The Sleep Studies team