Review our capsule size chart graphic below. When you are planning to sell a supplement that is in capsule form, one of the biggest considerations is the size of the capsule to choose. If you are still considering, these points will give you some guidance. To better understand the calculations in relation to other selection factors, we recommend reading the entire guide carefully.
Table of Contents
Understanding Capsule Sizes
Two of the most important factors to keep in mind throughout this guide are capsule size capacity in units of volume and weight capacity in units of mass.
We offer capsule sizes ranging from 000 to 5, with 0 to 4 being most popular. With capsules, higher numbers indicate smaller sizes. It is important to understand the light, medium and heavy volume density capacities of each option. You will learn more about them in upcoming sections of this guide.
Below is an image of a capsule size chart showing measurements and weights for various capsule sizes.
Most popular capsule sizes with range of weight capacities depending on material density.
Size 00: With a light ingredient volume, the capsule can handle 430 mg of filling. It can handle 665 mg with a medium volume and 950 mg with a heavy volume.
Size 0: This capsule size can handle up to 305 mg of filling for a light density, 475 mg for a medium density and 680 mg for a heavy density.
Size 1: For a light density, this capsule size can hold 225 mg of filling. It can hold 350 mg for a medium density and 500 mg for a heavy density.
Size 2: With light-density ingredients, this capsule size holds 165 mg. It can hold 260 mg for a medium density and 370 mg for a heavy density.
Size 3: With a light density of filling, this capsule holds 135 mg. It holds 210 mg for a medium density and 300 mg for a heavy density.
Size 4: For a light-density substance, the capacity for this size is 95 mg. It increases to 145 mg for a medium density and 210 mg for a heavy density.
Size 5: This capsule can hold 60 mg for a light density, 90 mg for a medium density and 130 mg for a heavy density.
What to Consider in Choosing a Capsule Size
As you think about your supplement, these are some of the most critical factors that will affect capsule size:
- Total mixture density for combination supplements.
- The preferred dosage per capsule.
- The desired appearance of the supplement.
- The intended purpose of the supplement.
First, figure out the density of the powders that will go into the capsule. If the filling density range is smaller than the capsule size that you prefer to market, there are filler ingredients that can be added. If the density of the preferred dose is greater than what can fit into that capsule size, you may discover that you need to divide it into two of the capsules of your preferred size. When this is the case, you can simply use more capsules to hit your intended mg desired. But careful, too many pills and your product may be disliked by consumers wanting to limit the number of pills they take.
In some cases, you may want a certain size of capsule for enhanced visual appeal. For example, you may decide that you want a smaller capsule because it goes better with your brand. If the density or volume of the supplement exceeds the desired capsule capacity, you may decide to divide it into multiple capsules.
With this consideration, your target market will help determine your choice. For example, if you are making a supplement for children, the capsules should be small enough for them to ingest. This is where the diameter and total length are critical to consider. In the charts from the capsule size section, locked length is the length measurement that you need to consider. That is the length of the finished capsule. The listed diameter measurement is the larger cap part, which is the most important in making size determinations for your market.
Smaller capsules are also better for elderly people who may have difficulty swallowing. Additionally, smaller capsule sizes are better for smaller animals if you are creating pet supplements. However, most healthy adults and larger animals can ingest the larger sizes of capsules, such as size 00 and size 0.
Calculating Filling Density
One of the most common questions that customers ask is how many capsules it takes to hold a certain amount of an active ingredient or a filling mixture. There is no simple answer to this question. It is not always a determination of volume alone. The weight of the filling material depends on the density, which varies greatly among different substances. For example, liquids, powders and granules will have different densities because of their differing properties. Your manufacturer will need to inform you how much volume can fit per capsule based on your intended formula and ingredients.
To calculate density, use this formula:
Density = Mass/Volume
The result that you get will be a number in grams per milliliter. If you recall in the earlier sizing section, there are three density measurements for each size of capsule. As a guide, these are the densities for the light, medium and heavy categories:
- .45 g/ml is classified as light.
- .70 g/ml is classified as medium.
- 1 g/ml is classified as heavy.
Superior offers all of these services to our clients but if you want to do it on your own you will need the right supplies. You will also need to find the right weights and measurements that apply to this equation. These are the figures that you need to find and what you will need to determine them.
This is the total amount of the substance that you plan to put in the capsule. Remember that if you have multiple ingredients there will be differences in volume of each.
This is the weight of your product.
Selecting the Right Capsule for Density Range
Once you know the density, it is a little easier to determine the right size of capsule by viewing the ranges for each size. You will still need to consider the other factors that were covered previously, such as your target market.
Size Calculation Example
To put all this information into perspective, consider an example. If you have a powdered ingredient that you want to encapsulate, you weigh it on your scale and determine that it is 650 mg. If its density is nearly .70, you can look at the chart to see that a size 00 capsule will hold your intended dose. This may be your choice of capsule size if you are planning the supplement for an adult or a large animal.
If you are planning the supplement for a child, a smaller animal or a market that includes a lot of elderly individuals, you may want to reconsider using a smaller size capsule and increase the number of capsules that need to be consumed. Also, you may not like the look of a larger capsule if a smaller size of capsule goes better with your brand or product vision.
We Can Help You Make Capsule Supplements
There is no need to panic if you do not know what size of capsule to choose after reading this guide. If you are not sure about capsule sizes, substance weights or any other issues, we welcome you to contact us. Our team can assist you with your capsule sizing, manufacturing and packaging questions. We can also help with other types of supplements if you have additional ideas. When you work with us, we offer:
- Access to our skilled support team and your own account executive.
- Formulation, certification, flavoring and R&D services for simple or complex needs.
- Access to a large supply chain to accommodate your immediate needs and expansion in the future.
- Our commitment to provide you with excellent customer service at every step.
Our experience in manufacturing and packaging includes 95% of delivery forms and packaging options, which means that we offer you more variety and flexibility. Our company has completed projects of every scope and has served businesses of every size, including multiple Fortune 500 companies. To learn more about the capsule manufacturing process and our services, please contact us.