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How Do I Choose A Capsule Size? Here’s Our Simple 6 Step Guide

By Rylee in Blogs   •   Jan 15, 2022   •   12 minute read
vector illustration of man holding big capsule size

Shoes, shirts, batteries and cartons of milk all come in different sizes - so why should it be any different when you're in the market for quality empty capsules? Well, it's actually not any different at all, because 'one size fits all' doesn't have to apply when you're looking for where to buy empty capsules. But if you're new to the world of preparing and filling your own gelatin capsules, you may have noticed that the main capsules sizes are basically standard across the board (normally size 00 capsules) and perhaps then a couple of variations at best. In too many cases, that means suppliers of empty gelatin capsules offer up something a little smaller (size 0 capsules) and then - if you're lucky - a little bigger (size 000).

Dig a little deeper into the world of premium gel and veggie capsules, however, and the capsule size chart on offer starts to swell quite impressively. While 000 is usually the "big boy" of the extended selection for those capable of chomping down sizeable dose, you may find yourself among the ranks of those considering a smaller size. Size 1 is a step down from 0, and then those sizes further descend down the line all the way to size 5, which should easily slide down your puppy or toddler's throat. And the really great news is that all of them should already be compatible with your quality capsule filling machine, so it will just be a matter of receiving your order and then getting on with fully customising and perfecting your very own daily health and wellbeing regimen.

The only question left is: what capsule size is right for you? And what about your family? Don't forget about your kids - and even your pets! Is it just a matter of personal preference, or is there more to it?

6 simple steps for choosing the perfect capsule size

Let's take a deep dive into how to choose the right empty capsules sizes for your needs and goals:

1. Understand the capsules size chart

If you're like most people, you'll know that size 0 or 00 capsules are the ones you'll find in just about all of those pre-filled capsule products on the shelf. Then it's just a matter of looking at the other gelatin capsule sizes on the chart and making a visual guess as to which one you prefer for your own needs.

But the capsules size chart is, in fact, more detailed than that. Depending on the chart you're looking at, you may also see:

  • Weight (when the capsule is empty)
  • Weight capacity
  • Volume (how much can the gel capsules hold?)
  • Length (when closed/locked)
  • Individual length (of the body & cap)
  • Possible tolerance (how much your chosen size may differ in reality)

Fully understanding all there is to know about the size of the product you're about to buy will mean minimising mistakes when you order online.

2. Know your required dosage

Next, you may want to match the required dosage of your filler with your desired size of pill capsules. What we mean is that it's crucial to factor in the appropriate active ingredient component with whatever else will be in the mix - which is known as the excipients, bulking agents or diluents. Then, you'll know if the total 'mix' for each cap will suitably match your selected size of gelatine capsules with your consumption preferences (ie. the entire dose in one capsule, or whether it will be spread over multiple capsules).

3. Factor in the mix volume

A related factor to consider is your final mix's bulk density - because some fillers are denser than others. The gel or
vegetarian capsules sizes you buy differ, but once you get them, that size is then fixed. Understanding the bulk density of your filler will help you understand if any excipients need to be added in order to get the desired capsule weight.

To calculate, simply:

  • Use a measuring vessel with a known volume
  • Weigh it and re-set to tare to zero
  • Fill the vessel completely with your filler. Do not attempt to compact the mix
  • Weigh the full vessel and write down the value
  • Divide the powder weight by the vessel volume
vector illustration of hands holding different size of capsule bottles

4. How much can you swallow?

Most of us have swallowed plenty of standard gelatin capsule sizes, so you'll already know if you have a personal preference for something a little (or a lot) smaller, or whether you can gulp down something even bigger. Remember, those standard size 00 capsules are standard because they're the most commonly used - but that may be too big for any kids or pets/animals you may be preparing your empty capsules for.

5. Will they fit in your existing capsule filler machine?

It may well be that your machine for filling capsules is only suitable for the most common capsule size, so it may be necessary for you to purchase a new machine equipped for the capsule size(s) you intend to work with. And if you're not sure, one solution is to buy empty capsules initially in a small quantity so you can check it's really suitable - and then up that order for your next order.

6. Check your capsule type is catered for

We also know that many of you prefer veggie capsules over standard gel capsules for ethical or other reasons, so the last thing to check is that the size you prefer is available in your desired material type - because some suppliers may offer multiple sizes for gelatine caps but only a very limited selection for the vegetarian alternative.

At Buy Empty Capsules, we've got you covered - no matter what. We offer the full range of capsules sizes, so that whether you opt for gelatine or veggie, or for standard or less-popular sizes, they're all available for you whenever you need them - and all are compatible with the capsule maker you have handy. If you have any further questions, don't hesitate to ask - because we always aim to please!

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