Selection of apple cider vinegar brandsShare on Pinterest

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Vinegar has been used for centuries as cooking, cleaning, and medicinal agents (1, 2).

Apple cider vinegar is made from fermented apples and water, which produce acetic acid — the main active compound in vinegar. According to one 2006 review, apple cider vinegar comprises around 5–6% acetic acid (1).

Many studies suggest acetic acid is responsible for many of vinegar’s associated health effects, such as lowering blood sugar levels, aiding weight loss, and reducing risk factors for heart disease (2, 3, 4).

While most of the research has been conducted on animals, many recent human studies validate the beneficial effects of apple cider vinegar on managing blood sugar and cholesterol levels (5, 6).

It takes about 750 mg of acetic acid to be effective, which is usually about 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar (7, 8).

Nevertheless, further human research is still needed.

When shopping for apple cider vinegar, you may come across several types of products.

Raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar contains a cloudy substance that’s known as “mother.” The “mother” is made up of strands of proteins, enzymes, and beneficial bacteria, which are known as probiotics (9, 10, 11).

In addition to acetic acid, the “mother” is the other main component of apple cider vinegar that’s thought to be responsible for its purported health benefits. However, research has not substantiated its associated health claims.

Unfiltered apple cider vinegar is also often unpasteurized. It may be more beneficial because it has more active enzymes. However, people who are pregnant or immune-compromised, as well as children, should not consume unpasteurized products.

In contrast, filtered apple cider vinegar has had its “mother” and other sediment removed, resulting in a clear, amber-colored product. As such, filtered apple cider vinegar is often perceived as having fewer health benefits but may be safer for the above populations.

Here’s what we looked for when choosing the best apple cider vinegar brands:

  • Ingredients. We focused on products that are free of or low in added sugars, as well as free of artificial additives, such as food colorings, flavorings, and preservatives.
  • Quality. For apple cider vinegar supplements, we chose those produced under high quality standards and manufactured in facilities registered with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and follow Current Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMPs).
  • Product form. We chose a variety of different products depending on their intended purpose, including vinegar, tonics, gummies, and capsules.
  • Price. We included options that suit a wide range of budgets with prices ranging from $5.50–$35.

A note on price

Given that this article reviews diverse products, including vinegar, tonics, gummies, and capsules, a direct price comparison is not possible.

Prices for the products in this roundup range from $5.50–$35. However, prices may vary depending on the type of product, container size, where you shop, as well as other factors.

Pricing guide

  • $ = under $12.50
  • $$ = $12.50–$25
  • $$$ = over $25

Best overall

Fairchild Organic Apple Cider Vinegar with the Mother

  • Price: $
  • Type: unfiltered

Fairchild Organic Apple Cider Vinegar with the Mother is the best all-around apple cider vinegar.

Made with only 100% organic apples from Washington state, this vinegar gets great reviews for its bold apple flavor.

Unlike other brands, Fairchild Organic Apple Cider Vinegar is undiluted and only contains fermented organic apples, which means you get more pure apple cider vinegar than brands that dilute their products with water (12).

The vinegar is also certified organic by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), unfiltered, unheated, unpasteurized, free of concentrates, and contains “mother.”

One tablespoon (15 mL) of the vinegar provides 5 calories and less than 1 gram of carbs (13).

Some people prefer to buy organic over conventional apple cider vinegar for the potential health benefits, as organic products must comply with stricter regulations regarding the use of pesticides and synthetic fertilizers (14).

Another potential benefit of choosing organic apple cider vinegar is the diversity of beneficial bacteria it contains.

In one study comparing the bacteria content of organic unfiltered apple cider vinegar products with conventional unfiltered apple cider vinegar, the organic vinegar had a greater diversity of bacterial strains (15).

Gut bacteria diversity is important for overall health, as research has found an association between greater gut diversity and a reduced risk of obesity, type 2 diabetes, and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). It has also been linked to benefits for immune health (16, 17, 18, 19).

Pros

  • raw, unfiltered; contains the mother
  • undiluted, meaning it’s a pure vinegar that contains all of the probiotics
  • USDA certified organic and contains no GMOs
  • unpasteurized, meaning the enzymes are still active

Cons

  • consumers report issues with the bottle, which may easily break or leak

Best for cooking

Bragg Organic Raw Unfiltered Apple Cider Vinegar with the Mother

  • Price: $
  • Type: unfiltered

Bragg Organic Raw Unfiltered Apple Cider Vinegar is one of the more popular brands of apple cider vinegar on the market.

Made from organic apple cider vinegar and water, Bragg’s vinegar is USDA certified organic, non-GMO certified, and contains “mother.”

In addition to its high quality, Bragg Organic Raw Unfiltered Apple Cider Vinegar comes in a variety of sizes, including 16-ounce (473-mL), 32-ounce (946-mL), and 128-ounce (3.8-liter) bottles.

If you’re planning on cooking with apple cider vinegar on a regular basis, the 128-ounce (3.8-liter) bottle is likely the most convenient and budget-friendly option.

One tablespoon (15 mL) contains 0 calories and 0 grams of carbs (20).

While reviewers mention that this vinegar has a stronger acidic smell and flavor than Fairchild Organic Apple Cider Vinegar, it’s still a great option for use in salad dressings, marinades, and other culinary applications.

If you’re drinking it straight, be sure to dilute the vinegar with a little water to make it more palatable.

Pros

  • raw, unfiltered, and unpasteurized; contains the mother
  • available in three different sizes
  • USDA certified organic and non-GMO certified

Cons

  • consumers report a strong and unpleasant smell

Best budget pick

Kevala Organic Raw Apple Cider Vinegar

  • Price: $
  • Type: unfiltered

Also available in larger sizes, Kevala Organic Raw Apple Cider Vinegar is a good quality apple cider vinegar that’s less expensive than other similar brands.

Made with organic apple cider vinegar from U.S.-grown apples and purified water, many reviewers mention that Kevala Organic Raw Apple Cider Vinegar has a clean, slightly sweet flavor that may be more tolerable for some individuals.

The vinegar is also USDA certified organic, non-GMO verified, and free of additives. As it’s less expensive, this vinegar can be a good option if you plan on using it as both a culinary ingredient and cleaning solution or hair rinse.

One tablespoon (15 mL) of Kevala Organic Raw Apple Cider Vinegar provides 0 calories and 0 grams of carbs (22).

Pros

  • raw, unfiltered, and unpasteurized; contains the mother
  • USDA certified organic and non-GMO verified
  • pleasant and somewhat sweet taste

Cons

  • only available in plastic container

Best flavored apple cider vinegar tonic

Vermont Village Apple Cider Vinegar

  • Price: $$$
  • Type: unfiltered tonic

Made with raw organic unfiltered apple cider vinegar and organic honey, each of Vermont Village’s sipping vinegar products is flavored with whole, high quality ingredients, such as organic turmeric and organic blueberries.

Each product is USDA certified organic, contains just three or four ingredients, and is naturally sweetened with honey.

However, it’s important to be aware of serving size. Sold in an 8-ounce (237-mL) bottle, 1 serving of this sipping vinegar is 1 ounce (15 mL), with 1 serving of the Blueberry Honey flavor containing 25 calories and 6 grams of total and added sugars (23).

You’re not meant to consume the whole bottle at once. Instead, you’re supposed to drink 1-ounce shots. Each bottle contains 8 shots.

Drinking the whole bottle would provide 48 grams of added sugar, which exceeds the American Heart Association’s recommendation to limit your added sugar intake to no more than 36 grams per day for men and 24 grams per day for women (24).

Pros

  • USDA certified organic and non-GMO
  • made with unfiltered apple cider vinegar with the mother
  • short ingredient list with no artificial ingredients

Cons

  • contains added sugar
  • not vegan

A note on apple cider vinegar tonics

Due to the proposed health benefits of drinking apple cider vinegar, flavored apple cider vinegar tonics have become more popular. Compared with pure apple cider vinegar, a tonic may contain other beneficial ingredients.

While some of these products are healthy and flavorful drink options, others may contain excessive amounts of added sugar. Research has shown that frequent intake of high sugar beverages is linked to an increased risk of obesity, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease (24, 25, 26).

When shopping for these bottled drinks, look for products that are low in added sugars and free of artificial additives. You’ll also want to look for an overall short ingredient list.

Also, make sure to note the serving size, as some products may contain several servings per bottle.

Best versatile apple cider vinegar tonic

Wedderspoon Apple Cider Vinegar with Monofloral Manuka Honey and the Mother

  • Price: $
  • Type: unfiltered tonic

Made from naturally fermented, cold-pressed apples, Wedderspoon Apple Cider Vinegar with Monofloral Manuka Honey and the Mother contains just three ingredients: organic apple cider vinegar, raw monofloral manuka honey, and raw beechwood honey.

Manufactured in New Zealand, it’s an unfiltered, unpasteurized product that’s made without any heat or chemicals.

Manuka honey is native to New Zealand and known for its antibacterial properties (27).

The addition of manuka and beechwood honey adds a sweet, slightly tart flavor that works both as a tonic and for culinary uses, such as salad dressings.

One tablespoon (15 mL) of Wedderspoon Apple Cider Vinegar with Monofloral Manuka Honey and the Mother contains 15 calories, 3 grams of carbs, and 2 grams of total and added sugar (28).

You should not consume the whole bottle at once.

Pros

  • unfiltered and unpasteurized
  • short ingredients list with no artificial ingredients
  • works as a tonic and for culinary purposes

Cons

  • contains added sugar
  • only available in a plastic container
  • no longer vegan since it contains honey

Best apple cider gummies

Goli Apple Cider Vinegar Gummies

  • Price: $$
  • Type: unfiltered

While limited research suggests vinegar may have benefits for heart health and weight loss, it’s unknown if taking apple cider vinegar supplements in the form of gummies or capsules has the same effect (3, 4, 7, 8).

Nevertheless, if you’re interested in trying an apple cider vinegar supplement, Goli Apple Cider Vinegar Gummies are a good option.

Free of artificial colorings, flavorings, and preservatives, Goli Apple Cider Vinegar Gummies are manufactured in a facility that has been certified by the FDA for following cGMPs for quality and safety.

These gummy supplements are also USDA certified organic, certified vegan, and free of major allergens. However, they are not third-party tested for quality and accuracy.

The gummies fall under the recommended therapeutic dose of 750 mg of acetic acid that most research has found is required to provide health benefits, so you need two gummies to consume an adequate dose. They also contain added sugar.

Each gummy contains 15 calories, 4 grams of carbs, 1 gram of sugar, 500 mg of apple cider vinegar, and 50% of the Daily Value (DV) for vitamins B12 and B9 (folic acid).

Pros

  • made with unfiltered apple cider vinegar
  • made in allergen-free, cGMP certified facilities,
  • gluten-free, non-GMO, and vegan
  • provides added folate and B12 vitamins

Cons

  • insufficient research on whether consuming apple cider vinegar gummies provide the same health benefits
  • not third-party quality tested
  • under the recommended therapeutic dose
  • high in sugar

Best apple cider capsules

Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar Supplement

  • Price: $$
  • Type: not shown

For those who prefer to consume apple cider vinegar in capsule form, Bragg’s also makes apple cider vinegar capsules that are non-GMO, gluten-free, and sugar-free. The capsules are also vegan and free of artificial additives.

They are a great choice if you don’t like swallowing a tablespoon of vinegar and don’t want the sugar content that comes with gummies.

Three capsules contain 750 mg of acetic acid as well as 30 mcg (3 mg) of vitamin D3.

For best results, it’s recommended to take three capsules with water and a meal. However, keep in mind that the potential benefits of the apple cider vinegar capsule form have not been confirmed by research.

Pros

  • made with vegan capsules
  • non-GMO, gluten-free, and sugar-free

Cons

  • must take three capsules per serving to receive the health benefits
  • overall benefits of ACV capsules are lacking clinical evidence

Best apple cider hair rinse

dpHUE Apple Cider Vinegar Hair Rinse

  • Price: $$$
  • Type: unfiltered

More research needs to be done on how apple cider vinegar may impact hair directly. But, given its low pH and antimicrobial properties, apple cider vinegar has been suggested to help maintain the pH balance of your hair, resulting in smoother, stronger, and shinier hair. It’s also said to protect against dandruff and scalp conditions (29).

Despite a lack of research on using apple cider vinegar topically to help support healthier hair, many individuals claim to notice improvements in scalp condition and hair quality after using apple cider vinegar hair rinses.

dpHUE Apple Cider Vinegar Hair Rinse is one of the best reviewed apple cider vinegar hair rinses on the market due to its reported ability to help strengthen hair and improve scalp health without causing dryness.

The hair rinse also contains argan oil, which is rich in vitamin E and oils, including oleic and linoleic acid. Both vitamin E and these oils have been linked to benefits for hair growth and protection against breakage (30, 31).

These moisturizing ingredients are likely the more effective ingredients in this hair product, not the apple cider vinegar.

However, there’s also no evidence showing that apple cider vinegar is harmful when used topically, so there’s likely no harm in trying this product either.

Pros

  • made with unfiltered apple cider vinegar
  • vegan and cruelty-free
  • contains argan oil

Cons

  • lack of research on the benefits of apple cider vinegar on hair care
  • strong apple cider vinegar smell

When buying apple cider vinegar, you’ll want to consider its intended purpose.

For example, if you intend on drinking it, you want to look for a product with a tolerable taste. You may also want to choose an organic unfiltered product, as it offers a greater probiotics diversity (15).

For both drinking and cooking, look for a product label that doesn’t mention the phrase “apple-flavored,” as this may indicate that the product is more processed and not made from real apples or apple cider.

Additionally, some consumers may want to steer clear of artificial additives, including flavorings, colorings, and preservatives. If buying a flavored tonic, look for products with minimal ingredients and added sugars.

As most apple cider vinegar products are unpasteurized, it’s important to talk with a healthcare professional if you’re pregnant or immunocompromised. Unpasteurized products may contain potentially harmful bacteria.

In contrast, if you’re using apple cider vinegar to make a hair rinse or cleaning solution, both filtered and unfiltered products are fine to use.

Other factors to consider when buying apple cider vinegar include the price and quantity.

You can also consume apple cider vinegar via capsules or gummies, although the effects of these forms are not supported by research.

PriceTypeBest forConsiderations
Fairchild Organic Apple Cider Vinegar with the Mother$9.98 per 32 ozunfilteredoverallmay easily leak or break
Bragg Organic Raw Unfiltered Apple Cider Vinegar$9.99 per 32 ozunfilteredcookingmay have a stronger smell
Kevala Organic Raw Apple Cider Vinegar$21.99 per 64 ozunfilteredbudgetonly available in plastic container
Vermont Village Blueberry Honey Apple Cider Vinegar$5.49 per 8 ozunfilteredflavoredbe mindful of portion sizes to avoid consuming too much sugar
Wedderspoon Apple Cider Vinegar With Monofloral Manuka Honey & The Mother$6.98 per 25 ozunfilteredversatilitymay be easy to exceed added sugar recommendation intakes
Goli Apple Cider Vinegar Gummies$18.98 per 60 gummiesunfilteredgummiesuncertain whether consuming apple cider vinegar gummies provides the same health benefits
Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar Supplement$17.97 per 60 capsulesnot showncapsulebenefits of consuming apple cider vinegar capsules are not confirmed by research
dpHUE Apple Cider Vinegar Hair Rinse$35 per 8.5 ozunfilteredhair rinselack of research on the benefits of apple cider vinegar on hair care

Useful supplement shopping guides

Check out these two articles to help make supplement shopping a breeze:

What are the types of apple cider vinegar?

Depending on the processing method, you could find these types of apple cider vinegar:

  • With the mother: Apple cider vinegar labeled “with the mother” contains a sediment formed by the probiotics or good bacteria from the acetic acid production. The “mother” provides multiple bioactive compounds responsible for the vinegar’s health benefits (10).
  • Unfiltered: An unfiltered apple cider vinegar means that the “mother” has not been strained or removed. As such, it has a cloudy appearance that also provides the “mother’s” numerous benefits.
  • Filtered: Unlike unfiltered apple cider vinegar, filtered vinegar is a clear, amber-colored product because it has had the “mother” removed. Thus, it is perceived as having fewer health benefits.
  • Organic: An organic apple cider vinegar is produced with organic apples, which are free from pesticides and other potentially harmful substances.
  • Unpasteurized: An unpasteurized apple cider vinegar means that the product has not been subjected to pasteurization, which is a heat treatment. Because heat denaturalizes enzymes and kills bacteria, unpasteurized vinegar still contains active enzymes and probiotics from the “mother.”
  • Raw: A raw apple cider vinegar is an unprocessed product, meaning that it has not been pasteurized, filtered, or refined.

How should apple cider vinegar be stored?

Apple cider vinegar should be stored in a cool and dark place, such as a pantry or cupboard.

Alternatively, if you prefer to store it on your kitchen counter, pour it into a dark glass container to avoid direct sunlight, and make sure to keep it away from heat sources.

What are the benefits of apple cider vinegar?

Apple cider vinegar has been linked to numerous health benefits, including:

  • Providing bioactive compounds: Most of apple cider vinegar’s health benefits are attributed to its acetic acid content. However, it also packs a good amount of antioxidants, probiotics, and micronutrients (2).
  • Antidiabetic effects: Apple cider vinegar may help control blood sugar levels by improving insulin sensitivity and function and reducing fasting blood sugar levels (5, 32).
  • Boosting heart health: Apple cider vinegar may boost heart health by lowering triglycerides and total cholesterol levels, two risk factors for heart disease (5, 8, 33).
  • Weight loss support: Some compounds found in apple cider vinegar have been shown to have anti-obesity effects in animal studies (7).
  • Antimicrobial effect: Apple cider vinegar may effectively kill antibiotic-resistant bacteria, such as Staphylococcus aureus and E. coli. It also seems to have antifungal effects against Candida albicans (29, 34, 35).

However, be sure to talk with a healthcare professional before adding apple cider vinegar to your diet, since it may interact with blood sugar medications and potassium-lowering medications (33).

How much apple cider vinegar should I take per day?

Since human research is limited, a specific apple cider vinegar dosage is difficult to determine.

However, evidence suggests that 1 tablespoon of vinegar (750 mg of acetic acid) mixed with water might be all you need to consume to get the most out of it — though amounts may vary depending on its intended purpose.

While apple cider vinegar is safe when consumed in small amounts, daily intakes of larger quantities (8 ounces or 250 ml) may lead to osteoporosis, kidney damage, and low blood potassium levels (33).

Also, remember to dilute it with water to avoid damaging your tooth enamel (33).

Apple cider vinegar has been used for thousands of years due to its slightly sweet taste and numerous potential health benefits.

In addition to being used in cooking and health tonics, apple cider vinegar is a common ingredient in household cleaners and hair products.

When buying apple cider vinegar at the store, look for products made from high quality ingredients and without artificial additives.

While more research is needed, organic, raw, and unfiltered apple cider vinegar may be the best choice for optimal health benefits.