How We Test Products

At Verywell Mind, our mission is to offer reliable, compassionate and up-to-date information on the mental health topics that mean the most to you. And when it comes to purchasing decisions, whether you want a therapist-recommended self-help book or a light therapy lamp to help you through the darkest days of winter, you deserve peace of mind. That’s why we take caution and care with every product we research, rigorously test, and ultimately recommend. 

We conduct market research, interview industry experts, and test products with a comprehensive methodology in The Verywell Testing Lab and in the comfort of testers’ homes to give you product recommendations you can trust. While we do receive affiliate commission on some of the products purchased through our content, our recommendations are curated based on performance, test results, and hands-on experience.

Our Testing Process

Prior to testing products, our team of writers and editors exhaustively researches the marketplace and interviews industry experts—including mental health professionals, licensed therapists, and registered dietitians—on what to look for when buying particular products. From there, we develop detailed testing methodologies that help us rate products based on attributes like ease of set up, value, performance, and more. These attributes are displayed to you for context on a one to five scale next to each product. Next we come up with a selection of products to test that cover the gamut of retailers, prices, user reviews, brand authority and more. While we may receive some products for free, we purchase the vast majority of the products that we test. 

In addition to the objective testing results, we also weigh qualitative insights: Was the yoga mat grippy enough to prevent sweaty hands from sliding? How much noise can you hear when wearing different pairs of ear plugs for sleeping? Did the sunrise alarm clock gradually brighten your room? We take it upon ourselves to editorialize the performance data in order to provide easy-to-understand reasons you can trust our recommendations. You can also trust us to tell you what could be better about the products we recommend. We do this to help you make the most informed decision and select the product that will best suit your individual needs. 

yoga mat test

Verywell Mind / Nick Kova

Please note that all products, including those we review and recommend, may from time to time be subject to recalls or revised use recommendations. We, therefore, urge you to monitor any official announcements from the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) that may be related to products you purchase.

We are dedicated to ensuring that our content reflects the diversity of our audience. To do this, we make a point to research brands and products founded by people who identify as BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) and other minority groups whenever possible. Read our full commitment to anti-racism.

Testing in The Lab

Our testing facility in Manhattan, NY—the Verywell Testing Lab—is equipped with over 7,000 square feet and two test kitchens. In The Lab, we test everything from yoga mats to noise-canceling headphones side by side in order to see how they compare to one another. During each test, we are capturing photos, videos, and comments from testers to provide you with the most comprehensive and behind-the-scenes look at how we conduct our tests and how the products held up. 

Our editors, writers, and producers test products alongside trained professionals and experts (we have certified yoga instructors putting each mat to the test) using detailed and standardized methodologies. And we get creative with our tests, too. When testing yoga mats, we use a spray bottle with water to approximate a sweat-filled yoga practice in order to test the grip on each mat. Because we know few things can interfere with the meditative aspects of yoga like a slippery mat.

best yoga mat test

Verywell Mind / Nick Kova

Testing At Home

We are committed to testing products in the situations that most closely mimic your intended way of using them. For this reason, not every product lends itself to testing in The Lab. We know that products require real-life testing and some data can only be collected in a real-life situation. With at-home testing, we’re able to vet things like delivery and setup and monitor how things hold up over time—like how long the bulbs on a light therapy lamp last or how well the white noise machine helps you sleep. 

Our at-home testing process follows many of the same steps as testing in The Lab. Our home testers are editors, writers, and experts who follow the same kind of detailed methodologies we use in The Verywell Testing Lab. They fill out surveys rating each product for key attributes, provide helpful insights on each product, and capture photos and videos of how the products perform in real-life.

How We Evaluate Dietary Supplements

Dietary supplements may, in certain circumstances, help manage mental health challenges, including stress, anxiety, and depression. But while supplements can help do these things, they pose potential risks due to lack of regulation and improper usage (and it is important to note that they alone will not treat mental health conditions). It is possible to take too much, to create a nutrient imbalance from improper usage, and for supplements to interact with other supplements or prescribed medications. In fact, there are a number of potential interactions between herbal supplements and conventional medications, including antidepressants. For these reasons, our team of registered dietitians has created a methodology that is rooted in and backed by research for how and why we go about recommending dietary supplements.

It is best to get our nutrients from the foods we eat, and supplementation is only useful when nutrient needs cannot be met through the diet. Even if the manufacturer website makes big promises, this does not mean these claims are supported by research. Supplements are not intended to treat, prevent, or cure conditions or diseases—they will not solve any physical or mental health conditions aside from those caused by deficiencies. There are no recommendations for the general population regarding supplements because each person’s needs and risk of deficiency is different—there are no supplements that are beneficial for everyone.

In the United States, the FDA does not regulate supplements or approve them for safety and efficacy before they are marketed to the public. 

Tips for Using Supplements Safely VW Health Original Photo

Verywell Mind / Anastasiia Tretiak 

We only recommend dietary supplements that are evidence-based, meaning there are a substantial number of good quality studies to support a recommendation. If there is research that makes us skeptical about safety, we will not recommend that product. We are cautious around our recommendations and examine these products at the individual ingredient level. Among our recommendations, you will not find: supplements with claims that are unsupported by clinical research, supplements that are potentially dangerous (beyond the typical risks associated with nutritional supplements), weight loss supplements (this includes diet pills), supplements with sexual enhancement claims, or any exercise or sports performance products that may be harmful to athletes.

We prioritize products that have been third-party tested and certified by one of three reliable organizations—NSF, USP, or ConsumerLab—and we will always highlight whether or not each product is third party tested and certified. Since the FDA does not regulate the supplement industry, third-party testing helps ensure that a product contains what it says it contains and is not contaminated with other ingredients, though it says nothing about efficacy. These certifications can be expensive, so, if a supplement is not third-party tested or certified, it doesn’t automatically mean that it is not a good product. 

In addition to these strict standards, we closely examine the supplement facts label for attributes we value. These include products that are non-GMO, organic, free of unnecessary additives, and minimally sweetened. Our methodology and recommendations for dietary supplements is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of a physician or other qualified health provider with any question you may have regarding dietary supplements.

Why Trust Verywell Mind

The product recommendations from Verywell Mind are purely editorial. We will occasionally receive products to test and review for free, but we purchase the overwhelming majority of the products we test. And while we do receive affiliate commission on some of the products we recommend, we never let retailers, public relations firms, or salespeople dictate our content and product coverage. Instead, we do the heavy lifting ourselves by tapping into our network of experts and testers to help you make smarter purchases—and to avoid that dreaded buyer’s remorse.

Before we test products, we thoroughly research the marketplace. This includes reading the latest studies on product safety and interviewing experts (including doctors, licensed therapists, registered dietitians, and more) for best practices, frequently asked questions, and the most important things to look for in a given product. 

Once written, every one of our articles is fact checked for accuracy and is vetted by a mental health professional on the Verywell Mind Review Board. However, you should consult a healthcare professional to determine if a specific product—especially a food, supplement, or medical device—is right for you. 

After we publish an article, we don’t just forget about it. Our team is relentless when it comes to updating and keeping our existing recommendations fresh, accurate, and helpful. We also know how frustrating it can be to do your research on a product only to add it to your cart and see that it’s out of stock, so we try to mitigate this by having dedicated editors check availability daily to provide you with the best user experience possible.

Meet Us

Ashleigh Morley
Editorial Director, Commerce
Ashleigh Morley
Personal Detail

Ashleigh is the editorial director for commerce at Verywell where she oversees health, fitness, family, and mind content.

She received a B.A. in Journalism from Baylor University.

Her work has appeared in Men's Health, Women's Health, Esquire, Harper's Bazaar, InStyle, and more.

Read more
Isabella Broggini
Health Commerce Editor
Isabella Broggini
Personal Detail

Isabella has been writing for Verywell Mind since September 2020.

She has written for various publications, including Her Track, Age Brilliantly, Odyssey, and Swirled.com.

Isabella is a National Academy of Sports Medicine certified personal trainer and certified fitness nutrition special.

Read more
Autumn Rauchwerk, MS, RDN, RYT
Senior Commerce Editor, Nutrition
Autumn Rauchwerk
Personal Detail

Through her own nutrition and yoga business, Autumn has spent 5 years working with graduate students and professors, local businesses, yoga studios, public and private schools, and individuals to spread nutrition knowledge and yoga practice to New Yorkers ages 4 to 84. 

Autumn has published on the Intuitive Eating and Health at Every Size approach to nutrition in the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior as well as for a wide array of nutrition practices in the city. 

Autumn's first career was in food social justice and sustainability, where she spent much of her time helping college students start food recovery and donation programs and speaking at conferences, events, and in college classrooms throughout the country as well as creating and revamping employee trainings. 

Read more
Tori Zhou
Associate Commerce Editor
Tori Zhou
Personal Detail

Tori is an NYC-based writer and Associate Health Commerce Editor at Dotdash Meredith, writing for Brides and producing for Verywell Fit, Verywell Mind, and Verywell Family.

Before joining Dotdash Meredith, she wrote for Bustle and Nylon, covering lifestyle and entertainment topics and developing a passion for the Oxford comma.

She studied Journalism and Media Studies at Rutgers University.

Read more
Jaylyn Pruitt
Commerce Producer
Jaylyn Pruitt - Verywell Mind
Personal Detail

She studied anthropology and linguistics at the University of Florida and has a Master of Library and Information Science from the University of South Florida.

She has a background in information access research.

She started working with Dotdash Meredith in May 2019.

Read more
Israel Fontoura
Editorial Commerce Producer
Israel Fontoura
Personal Detail

Israel received a Master’s of Science degree from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism.

He has been the Editorial Commerce Producer for Verywell Health since June 2021.

Throughout his career, he has written about social media trends, entertainment, healthcare, and more.

Read more

Contact Us

If you have questions, comments, or opinions you’d like to share with our team of editors, please feel free to email us at commercefeedback@dotdash.com