We include products we think are useful for our readers. If you buy through links on this page, we may earn a small commission. Here’s our process.
No matter how old you are, it can be easy to lose track of what you’ve had to eat or drink when you’re feeling sick. It can be even harder to remember the last time you took your medication.
One way to stay on track with any medications you need is to use a pill dispenser. These days, there even more options alongside the pillbox divided for days of the week.
How do you choose the right one, though? What are some standout versions currently on the market? Our list starts with simple pillboxes and organizers and works down to pill dispensers with timers and notifications. Let’s take a look.
When choosing what pill dispensers should make our list of favorites, we considered:
- Special features. Some pill dispensers merely organize pills in clearly labeled boxes while others have special alarms to indicate that it’s time to take medication or even notify you when it’s time to renew your prescription.
- Materials. Placing your pills in a safe container matters! Those that are BPA-free, made with food-grade material, and free of an off-gassing smell get top honors.
- Price. There is a wide range of prices for pill dispensers. In recognition of different budgets, we tried to include a range of options.
- Customer reviews. We know that there are certain things only a user can know, so we factored in heavily what people who had bought the product had to say about it.
Prices can vary from $5 to over $1,000.
- $ = under $20
- $$ = $20–$50
- $$$ = $51–$100
- $$$$ = $101–$499
- $$$$$ = over $500
This BPA-free plastic container allows for a week’s worth of organizing. There are seven pill cases that can be removed from the large case for easy on-the-go use, and each of these is divided into morning, noon, and night medications with individual snap locks.
This pill organizer looks like a rainbow but lacks the bells and whistles of some more expensive options. There’s no security lock, alarms, or automatic distribution, so if you need these extra protections or reminders, you’ll want to invest in another option.
Best for oversized pills
Looking for something that will fit lots of pills or larger pills? This organizer can hold several fish oil and vitamin D supplements. It sorts 7 days of a.m./p.m. meds or 14 days of once-a-day meds.
Containers are BPA-free and include a push-through lid option, so those with arthritis can easily fill them. (The flexible lids are also easy to open when it’s time to take out pills.) They can be separated to fit easily in a purse or bag, and you can get reminders on your phone to take your pills via a free app.
Downsides? No security locks or non-phone alarm options.
Best travel pill organizers
Thanks to the lovely leather case, no one will guess where your pills are hiding. The seven BPA-free cases inside are divided into four sections for morning, noon, evening, and nighttime medications. For ease of opening, the lids slide and don’t require a twisting motion.
Like many simple pill organizers, this one won’t dispense pills, sound an alarm when it’s time to take medications, or include a security lock, so it may not be the right choice if you have more advanced needs.
Want to keep some cold and flu medications handy while you’re traveling? A keychain pill holder may be the perfect answer.
These small containers made of aluminum alloy will clip onto your keychain or bag. Coming in a pack of six, these containers are waterproof and durable.
They won’t automatically dispense pills, alert you when it’s time to take pills, or offer a security lock, though. The lid may also be harder for someone with arthritis or other dexterity issues to open.
Easy-to-open pill organizer
This weekly pill organizer earned the Arthritis Foundation’s Ease-of-Use Commendation as a product that makes a part of daily life easier for people with arthritis.
It’s simple but users find it’s secure for holding their medication and say compartments are large enough if taking multiple pills each day. The push-button mechanism lets users open the container without relying on fine movements to lift or pry open the lids.
For some users, the container lids stay open after a short amount of use. This is also probably not the best pill holder to throw in a bag for traveling, because of the buttons.
Best splurge automatic pill dispenser
This dispenser offers audible and visual reminders when it’s time to take medication. There’s also an app to remind you or a caregiver. It has an optional PIN password to keep medications safely locked away until it’s time to take them.
It can hold up to 90 days of medication. The app gets decent reviews from customers and is available on the Apple and Google Play stores. There is also the option for additional subscription services like automated prescription refills.
On the downside, Hero requires a monthly payment and subscription. We priced this dispenser on the high side of our guide because of the subscription-based fees over time on top of the one-time price for the unit itself.
Best for those with memory issues
This dispenser is locked by a key, preventing someone from taking medications before the designated time. With up to six daily alarms, individuals are notified in a friendly voice that it’s time to take their medication (with light alarms as well) when the proper time comes.
When the pills are ready to be removed, the machine is clearly marked where to press.
Because it can hold up to 28 days’ worth of medication, it won’t require a caretaker’s constant attention.
Best for long-distance caregivers
MedaCube arrives fully assembled with a touch screen for programming. It offers audio and visual cues (along with the option of phone call reminders) when it’s time to take medications, and caregivers can even record personal voice prompts.
Caregivers can receive notifications of missed doses and low supplies. They can also access a complete online chart of dosages. If the device is dropped or tampered with, it will automatically lock down and send a notification to caregivers.
While it’s not light or small to travel with — it’ll also cost you a pretty penny — the peace of mind this dispenser offers may be priceless.
Feeling a little lost about how to choose the best pill dispenser for you?
- Think about your specific needs: Do you need something that will hold a lot of pills? Do you need to be reminded to take pills multiple times per day? Do you need something easy to open?
- Balance your desires with how much you want to spend. You’ll want to make sure that your budget and needs are a match. (Some things like a BPA-free container are available at any price point, while automatic distribution, security locks, and alarms will usually cost you more.)
- Look at some options in your price range (check out our list above for some ideas), then check out customer reviews. These can help you make sure that the pill dispenser you’re eyeing is the real deal.
Keep in mind that no matter what pill dispenser you choose, you’ll need to stay on top of filling it for it to work. To be sure you’re filling the dispenser and taking your medications, make these actions a part of your weekly routine, even if that does include an alarm!
Keeping track of your medication is important so that you don’t miss a dose or take too much. Even if you normally have a great memory, it’s easy for day-to-day events to start to run together, especially if you’re not feeling your best.
Whether you want the bare basics or something a little fancier, there are pill dispensing products to help you keep things on track.