Capsule Size Guide
Welcome to LFA’s video on capsule sizes. There’s currently a total of 10 capsule sizes which all loosely follow standard sizes, however, it’s important to note that the tolerances between 2 different manufacturers may differ. No matter the type of empty capsules you choose, from Gelatin, Pullulan or HPMC, to understand capsule sizes let’s first take a look at the measured dimensions.
Please note we have a full resource that can be used to compare the different capsule sizes.
Overall Closed Length measures the size of the capsule when it has been closed shut with the formulation inside.
The Cap length is the shortest part of the capsule, this part fits over the top of the body once filled with the formulation.
The Body is the longer end of the empty capsule and filled with the formulation.
The weight capacity measures how much of your formulation can fit inside of your desired capsule. However, this will depend on the density of the formulation. You wouldn’t be able to as much of a light, fluffy powder into a capsule as you would a powder with a higher density. Every powder has a different density. Even the same ingredient produced by 2 different manufacturers can have different density depending on their manufacturing process.
If we look at one of our previous videos on bulk density, you’ll see when we fill the cylinder up to the 1-litre mark with Magnesium Stearate it weighs 597g. We then took Calcium Powder as an example and weighed 597g and it took up half the volume of the cylinder at 500ml. It showed the major differences in formulation weights.
On the LFAs capsule size chart, you’ll be able to see the "Empty Capsule Weight Capacity by Formulation" in milligrams. If we look at a 00 capsule which is the most popular sized capsule, you can see if your formulation density is 0.6 grams per millilitre you’ll be able to fit 540mg but if your formulation density is 1.2 grams per millilitre you’d be able to fit double the amount at 1080mg, again this shows the difference in what your formulation density makes.
A 000 capsule is ideal when working with larger formulations, especially if you’re using dried herbal, vitamin and mineral. Mainly used in homemade dietary supplements.
00 is the most popular size capsule out there as it combines both the ideal size as you’re able to fit a good amount of formulation without the capsule is too big for the consumer.
From 0 to 5 there’s a significant difference on how much each capsule can hold and again this depends on the density of the formulation and your intended dose for your capsule, be sure to see the bulk density video in the description below.
The E sizes, 00E and 0E are extended versions of the 00 and 0 capsules. They’re just there if you don’t want to move up to a 000 from the 00 and the 0 to the 00. They would make a good compromise.
As well as having the sizes, capsules weights, volume capacity and formulation density, the capsule size chart will also show you the standard capsules per case you’ll receive. Which has a massive difference depending on the size of the capsule you are working with from a triple zero at 50,000 capsules per case to a size five at 350,000 per case.
Deciding on what size capsule you need depends on several factors:
- The total weight you need for your capsule
- Do you want your capsule a certain size? Larger capsules such as 000 are sometimes considered too big and undesirable by a consumer
- The density of your powder, every powder granule weighs differently so if you have the same volume of 2 powders and weigh them, you’ll get different weights. Take a look at our video on bulk density for more information.