The purpose of this study is to investigate factors influencing croscarmellose sodium functionality with special emphasis on developing a discriminating model tablet formulation to evaluate product brand-to-brand variability. The particle size distribution, water uptake, and swelling properties of five brands of croscarmellose sodium in either neutral water or 0.1 N HCl were studied. Differences were observed in all properties between brands. Media with acidic pH had a negative impact, but to different extents, on both the water uptake and swelling of all croscarmellose sodium brands due to the presence of carboxymethyl sodium substituents. A tablet matrix composed of lactose (75% w/w) and dicalcium phosphate (25% wt/wt) was used to compare the functional equivalency of the five brands of croscarmellose sodium. The tablet disintegration times were inversely proportional to the swelling ability of superdisintegrant in the testing medium regardless of medium temperature and disintegrant concentration. In conclusion, the particle size, total degree of substitution, and the ratio of basic to acidic substituents are important factors that should be considered during product optimization. The tablet matrix composed of lactose and dicalcium phosphate at a weight ratio of 3:1 can be used as a model formulation for product lot-to-lot consistency and product brand-to-brand comparison purposes.