What's covered in our ratings: Health and Performance
GoodGuide ratings are based on an evaluative health algorithm that was developed by leading experts in the fields of environmental and health sciences. Each rating primarily reflects an assessment of the ingredients in a product. For formulated products, we examine whether a product’s ingredients are on any of the health hazard lists used to identify chemicals with health concerns. For food products, we conduct a nutritional evaluation of a product’s ingredients.
GoodGuide ratings also include information about the effectiveness of a product when it is available. Consumers obviously want products that perform their function well (e.g., does it work well as a household cleaner or a personal care moisturizer). Based on the results of performance tests run by independent product quality organizations like Good Housekeeping, GoodGuide gives extra points to products which perform well.
Our ratings range from 0 (low) to 10 (high) with higher numbers indicating better products. The highest products range rate 8 or above, while the lowest products rate 4 or below. Our summary scores provide you with simple, actionable information, making it easier for you to switch to new, more beneficial products which perform well. See the sections below to learn more about the details of how GoodGuide calculates product ratings.
GoodGuide makes it easy to unpack the information used to rate a product in the “Behind the Ratings” section on our mobile and website product pages.
Have a question you want a quick answer to? See our frequently asked questions page.
Our 0-10 Scale
GoodGuide uses a 0 (low) to– 10 (high) scale to rate products. In association with our numerical ratings, we use a consistent color scale ranging from red (low) to green (high) to quickly convey to users where a rating falls on the spectrum of worst to best products (see scale below).
What's Covered in our Ratings: Health
Our ratings characterize the potential health impacts associated with use of a product. The following four broad classes of indicators are used in a product’s health assessment:
- Human health impact: indicators providing information about the potential health effects of a product: What degree of health concern do product ingredients pose? What is the overall nutritional value of a food product?
- Data adequacy: indicators tracking the availability of information needed to assess health risks of a product.
- Other negative aspects: indicators providing product regulatory information. Are any product ingredients banned or restricted?
- Product management: indicators identifying whether a product are among the best on the market based on third-party certification assessments of product safety, performance tests by independent laboratories, or other important attributes.
The availability and type of health ratings vary across different product categories:
- For personal care and household chemical products, health ratings are determined by the number of ingredients with health or regulatory concerns.
- For food and beverage products, health ratings are determined a nutritional assessment based on the ratio of recommended to restricted nutrients.