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The Best Stool Softener - 2023

Last updated on January 4, 2023

We looked at the top 12 Stool Softeners and dug through the reviews from 8 of the most popular review sites including and more. The result is a ranking of the best Stool Softeners.

Best Stool Softener

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Our Picks For The Top Stool Softeners

Show Contents
Our Take
Experts Included
Pros
Cons
  Top Pick

HealthA2Z Stimulant Free Gentle Relief Stool Softener

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HealthA2Z

Stimulant Free Gentle Relief Stool Softener

Overall Take

Stock UpWith this stool softener bottle, you get a whopping 400 capsules.

Experts Included
DWYM Health & Wellness Experts plus . Along with user reviews from Amazon.
  Runner Up

Amazon Basic Gluten-Free Constipation Relief Stool Softener

Amazon Basic

Gluten-Free Constipation Relief Stool Softener

Overall Take

Budget-Friendly PickYou'll love the affordable price tag on this stool softener.

Experts Included
DWYM Health & Wellness Experts plus . Along with user reviews from Amazon.
  We Also Like

MiraLAX Original Unflavored Powder Stool Softener

MiraLAX

Original Unflavored Powder Stool Softener

Overall Take

Stimulant-Free Stool SoftenerSince this stool softener is unflavored, you can mix it into your favorite beverage for easy consumption.

Experts Included
DWYM Health & Wellness Experts plus Very Well Health, Med Consumers, BestReviews. Along with user reviews from Amazon.
Pros
" It dissolves quickly without creating a gritty texture, and it’s flavorless"
Cons
"A bit pricey"
  Strong Contender

Colace Docusate Sodium Adult Stool Softener

Colace

Docusate Sodium Adult Stool Softener

Overall Take

Safe for ChildrenWith this stool softener, you won't need to strain to have a bowel movement.

Experts Included
DWYM Health & Wellness Experts plus Very Well Health. Along with user reviews from Amazon, Target and Walmart.
Pros
" Its active ingredient is a reliable stool softener and laxative. "Colace can make your first days as a new parent much easier.""
Don't just take for granted what one reviewer says. Along with our own experts, DWYM analyzes the top expert reviews of the leading products and generates a score you can actually trust.
19

Products Considered

We identified the majority of the stool softeners available to purchase.
12

Products Analyzed

We then selected the leading and most popular products for our team to review.

View All Product Rankings

8

Expert Reviews Included

In addition to our expert reviews, we also incorporate feedback and analysis of some of the most respected sources including: Med Consumers, Very Well Health and BestReviews.

59,492

User Opinions Analyzed

We also incorporate user reviews from the leading retailers including

Our experts reviewed the top 12 Stool Softeners and also dug through the reviews from 8 of the most popular review sites including and more. The result is a ranking of the best of the best Stool Softeners.

DWYM is your trusted roduct review source. Our team reviews thousands of product reviews from the trusted top experts and combines them into one easy-to-understand score. Learn more.

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Look for the DWYM seal for products that are the best in their category.

The Best Overall

HealthA2Z Stimulant Free Gentle Relief Stool Softener

User Summarized Score

9.2
4,815 user reviews

Our Take

This stool softener works in as little as 12 hours and is best used by individuals who only occasionally need assistance with constipation. The formula increases water to the bowels, which in turns softens stools so that they are easier to pass. It's also stimulant-free and safe for use in children ages 2 and up.


Overall Product Rankings

1. HealthA2Z Stimulant Free Gentle Relief Stool Softener

Overall Score: 9.6
Reviews Included: 1

3. MiraLAX Original Unflavored Powder Stool Softener

Overall Score: 9.3
Reviews Included: 5

4. Colace Docusate Sodium Adult Stool Softener

Overall Score: 9.2
Reviews Included: 5

7. Equate Extra Strength Soft Gel Stool Softener

Overall Score: 9.0
Reviews Included: 1

8. Phillips’ Milk Of Magnesia Saline Stool Softener

Overall Score: 9.0
Reviews Included: 4

9. Wellness Basics Docusate Sodium Laxative Stool Softener

Overall Score: 9.0
Reviews Included: 1

10. Kirkland Signature Constipation Relief Stool Softener

Overall Score: 9.0
Reviews Included: 4

11. Senokot-S Gentle Dependable Dual Action Stool Softener

Overall Score: 8.9
Reviews Included: 5

12. GoodSense Docusate Sodium Softgels Stool Softener

Overall Score: 8.8
Reviews Included: 2

Our Stool Softener Findings


HealthA2Z Stimulant Free Gentle Relief Stool Softener

What We Liked: This stool softener works in as little as 12 hours and is best used by individuals who only occasionally need assistance with constipation. The formula increases water to the bowels, which in turns softens stools so that they are easier to pass. It’s also stimulant-free and safe for use in children ages 2 and up.


Amazon Basic Gluten-Free Constipation Relief Stool Softener

What We Liked: You’ll get 100 softgels when you opt for this gluten-free stool softener. The formula is stimulant-free and designed for use in adults who need a little help producing a bowel movement. It’s also gentle on tummies and extremely effective when you need it most.


MiraLAX Original Unflavored Powder Stool Softener

What We Liked: When you opt for this stool softener, you’ll relieve your constipation without cramping, bloating or episodes of gas. The formula works with the water in your body and can be consumed in either a hot or cold drink. It’s also free of gluten, sugar and preservatives, which means just about anyone on any diet can use it.


Colace Docusate Sodium Adult Stool Softener

What We Liked: Dependable is the best word to describe this over-the-counter stool softener. It’s safe for children ages 2 and up and is completely free of stimulants. The main ingredient used in this formula is docusate sodium, which will begin to produce results within 12 to 72 hours.


Dulcolax Comfort Coated Constipation Relief Stool Softener

What We Liked: This stool softener comes in an easy to swallow softgel that begins working within 12 to 72 hours. It’s gentle and works with your body to make passing stools less painful. This specific formula is created for use by women.

Our Stool Softener Buying Guide

The Mayo Clinic describes constipation as having three or fewer bowel movements or difficult to pass stools in a week. While chronic constipation should be treated by a doctor, occasional constipation can be handled at home with an over-the-counter stool softener. There are several different stool softeners on the market, so you’ll want to take a look at this guide in order to choose the one that will work best for you.

Start off examining the ingredients used within the stool softener. You want to make sure it doesn’t go against your diet. For example, the MiraLAX Stimulant-Free Laxative Powder Stool Softener is free of preservatives, sugars and gluten. That makes it a good choice for individuals who have a gluten-intolerance or a disease like diabetes.

Determine the method of delivery that works best for you. Many stool softeners come in a softgel or pill that can be swallowed in an instant; however, some individuals have trouble swallowing pills. In that case, you’ll want to go with a liquid or a powder that can be dissolved in a glass of water or hot tea.

Check the age range of the stool softener next. If you want to keep a bottle in your medicine cabinet that is able to treat the entire family, go with a softener that is safe for children ages 2 and up. Some stool softeners are only listed as safe for adults.

Go with a stool softener that is gentle on your digestive system. For example, the Colace Regular Strength Stool Softener is stimulant-free and utilizes the active ingredient docusate sodium for gradual constipation relief. It reduces straining, which is often the cause of hemorrhoid flare-ups. Other brands also provide relief without the bloating, stomach discomfort or bouts of gas.

It’s also possible to choose a stool softener that is specifically formulated for a certain people group. For example, some softeners are made just for women. Others are made with an added laxative for individuals who have both trouble going and have hard stools.

DWYM Fun Fact

Unfortunately, constipation happens and it’s more common than you think. A study conducted by researchers at the American Gastroenterological Association revealed that 16% of the population suffers from constipation. That figure jumps to 33.5% in individuals who are age 60 and older. The study lists a few risk factors that may be the cause of one’s constipation. They include a low-fiber diet, stress, low physical activity, certain medications, depression and abuse.

Fortunately, individuals no longer need a prescription to purchase a stool softener to treat their constipation when it arises. Of course, you’ll want to consult your physician if you have more than just the occasional bout of constipation.

The Stool Softener Tips and Advice

  • Even though some of the stool softeners are safe for children ages 2 and up, they can be harmful if taken in a dose above the recommended amount. It’s best to keep the stool softener out of the reach of children. If your child does get a hold of the stool softener and consume a dose above what is permitted, call Poison Control at 1-800-222-1222.
  • Always store the stool softener at room temperature. Most stool softener directions state that temperatures between 59 and 83-degrees Fahrenheit are best. They also warn against freezing the medication.
  • Always consult with your doctor if you are taking any other medications, as stool softeners may interact with certain prescription drugs. You’ll also want to speak with your doctor if you are pregnant or nursing, have kidney disease, stomach pain, nausea, vomiting or follow a magnesium-restricted diet.
  • If you begin to experience rectal bleeding after taking the stool softener, or you don’t produce a bowel movement, contact your doctor right away to determine if there is a more serious cause for your constipation.
  • In addition to taking the stool softener, try increasing your fiber intake through fiber-rich foods. These include broccoli, berries, squash, beans, leafy greens and mushrooms.
  • As you examine the price of the available stool softeners on the market, you want to look at how much you’re paying per serving. That’s the best way to compare prices to know which brand is offering the best deal. The Colace Regular Strength Stool Softener is moderately priced. You’ll pay the most per serving for the MiraLAX Stimulant-Free Laxative Powder Stool Softener.

About The Author

Alicia Bodine 

Alicia Bodine is a New Jersey-based writer specializing in health and nutrition. She enjoys spending time searching for the best all-natural products that will keep her and her family in optimal health. With more than 15 years of experience, her work has appeared on leading health and wellness publications. When she's not writing, you'll find her gardening, spending time with her kids, cooking in the kitchen or playing with her two kitties, Flitter and Otter. Alicia loves researching the latest and greatest gadgets, products and items that help her save time, energy and money.