It’s easy to think that all menstrual pads are created equal. As long as they absorb menstrual fluid, they’re doing their job well, right?
Not really. If you take a closer look, you’ll see that there are many types of menstrual pads on the market. Some of them are considered “regular” in terms of length and thickness, while others are longer and thicker to provide better protection during a heavy flow and while you’re sleeping.
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There are also menstrual pads that are made of organic materials, which means they can help you limit your exposure to harmful substances. There are even pads that are designed to be reusable — simply wash them after using and they’re good as new!
With these in mind, it’s easy to see just how important it is to do your research and find out which menstrual pads best fit your needs. We’ve created this guide to help you narrow down your options and easily choose the best possible pad for you.
BEST REGULAR MENSTRUAL PADS
If you’re looking for simple, no-fuss pads, the best place to start is with regular menstrual pads. They’re designed to do one thing: to keep you dry and clean during days when you’re having normal flow. To help you choose the right pad, we’ve listed some of the best options below:
Stayfree Maxi Pads for Women
One of the biggest downsides of wearing menstrual pads is the hot, wet, and messy feeling that you can get from them. Stayfree Maxi Pads for Women strive to fix this issue by using an anti-leak core that locks in fluid and keeping it away from your skin.
They also come with Thermo Control technology, which works just like athletic fabrics by quickly wicking moisture away and keeping you feeling clean, cool, and dry.
The pads likewise have reinforced Four-Wall Protection (which prevents leaks on the front, back, and sides) and a Cottony Dry Cover that feels soft on your skin while keeping fluid away from your body.
Always Maxi Pads 24ct Regular Non-Wing Unscented
Always Regular Non-Wing Maxi Pads come with powerful and long-lasting absorbency that keeps you feeling dry and fresh even during the busiest times of the day. They’re designed to absorb fluids in seconds and has a LeakGuard Core as well as dependable barriers that pull fluids away from the pad’s edges.
They also come with a Dri-Weave cover that has the softness of cotton and keeps you dry and comfortable. The pads have a Securely Fits design, so you won’t have to worry about your pad twisting out of place and paving the way to leaks.
U by Kotex Curves Regular Liners, Unscented
Want to wear a pad that won’t make you feel like you’re wearing one? Try U by Kotex Curves Regular Liners. They come with a specially designed cover that resembles the softness of your underwear, so you’ll be tricked into thinking that you’re not wearing any menstrual pad. Of course, you’ll you’ll stay comfortable the whole day.
The liners have a curved design that conforms to the natural shape of your body, and they have special channels that keep fluids within the pad and prevent leaks. They’re individually folded and wrapped, so you can easily place a couple of liners in your pocket or purse and have dependable protection wherever you go.
Playtex Sport Pads Ultra Thin with Wings
These pads are made with athletes in mind as well as busy, active people. They’re made with a Flex-Fit design, which allows them to move along with your body and give you excellent protection even when you’re on the go. They also have a Qwik-Dry core that pulls fluids into the pad, locks them inside, and prevent leaks from taking place.
You don’t even have to worry about odor since the pads have Odor Shield Technology that neutralizes unpleasant odors and keeps you smelling fresh.
An added bonus: the Playtex Sport Pads Ultra Thin with Wings have a super-soft cottony cover that helps you feel comfortable the whole day!
QUANJIAN Sanitary Napkins Sets Pads (no longer available)
QUANJIAN is a newcomer to the feminine care industry, but so far customers are loving its products. If you want to give its products a try, buying this set is the best option for you. It comes with three packs of daily menstrual pads, one pack of night menstrual pads, and one pack of protective pads.
The pads are made of cotton along with bamboo charcoal fiber, negative ion staple fiber, and magnetic end fiber that help neutralize anaerobic bacteria.
They also have a PE permeation coating that keep fluids and bacteria away from your skin, a water-lock feature that further protect your skin from moisture, and a breathable cover that promotes air flow and keep you feeling fresh.
The pads are designed to be hypoallergenic, so you won’t have to worry about using them even if you have sensitive skin.
Update: we no longer recommend these.
Hospeco 147A Gards Maxi Sanitary Napkin
You might not be familiar with Hospeco, but it’s actually a popular option for businesses that offer feminine hygiene products to their customers.
This is definitely obvious when you receive the product: each pad is folded and placed in an individual box, which makes them ideal for vending machines. However, you’ll find that the individual packaging is highly convenient, especially when you just want to bring a couple of pads with you.
In terms of protection, the pads have a multi-channel design that ensures greater absorbency and keeps leaks away. They’re free of dyes and fragrances (which reduces your chance of developing allergic reactions) and measure 8.5 inches by 2.5 inches to provide you with maximum protection.
BEST MENSTRUAL PADS FOR HEAVY FLOW
Some women have heavy flows as a normal part of the menstrual cycle, while others experience them due to a reproductive health issue. No matter what the reason is, you have to agree that heavy flows can be inconvenient since they make you more prone to accidents and generally make you feel wet and icky.
Fortunately, you can prevent these from happening by using menstrual pads that are designed for heavy flow. Here are some of the best heavy-flow pads.
Always Extra Heavy Overnight Maxi Pads with Flexi-Wings
These pads have a unique design that makes them perfect for heavy flow and gives you excellent protection all night. As a result, you can sleep without having to worry that you’ll wake up to stained sheets.
The pads have a raised core that accommodates your body’s natural curves as well as multiple barriers that prevent fluids from leaking into the edges. With an extra-wide back and dependable wings, these overnight maxi pads will keep you protected throughout the night and let you have a good night’s sleep.
Stayfree Ultra Thin Pads for Women with Wings, Overnight
Stayfree Ultra Thin Pads have a Cleanquilt design and Thermo Control technology that quickly pull fluid away from your skin, which means you’ll feel clean and fresh the whole night. The pads don’t contain cotton, but they do have a cottony Soft Touch cover that helps you stay dry and comfortable.
They also come with Four-Wall Protection to ensure you’ll stay leak-free from front to back and side to side, and they have an odor neutralizer that keeps unpleasant odors away.
U by Kotex AllNighter Ultra Thin Overnight Pads with Wings
These overnight pads are just the right size to provide you with excellent protection while you sleep. They have a 3D Capture Core that has extra-fast absorption and keeps fluids away from your skin.
They also have unique Tru-Fit wings and deep channels that fit your body and flex along with every movement, so you don’t have to worry about leaks even when you toss and turn in bed. With an Xpress DRI cover and super-soft sides, the pads will help you feel fresh and comfortable throughout the night.
Seventh Generation Chorine Free Maxi Pads – Overnight With Wings
What sets these overnight pads apart is that their manufacturing process: they’re whitened without the use of chlorine and are free of dyes and fragrances, which means they’re safe to use even for those who have sensitive skin and are safe for the environment.
They come with contoured wings that perfectly fit your underwear as well as no-slip adhesive to ensure they’ll stay securely in lace. The pads are contoured to help you enjoy a comfortable fit, and they’re individually wrapped so you can easily slip a couple of them in your purse when you’re spending the night outside your home.
BEST ORGANIC MENSTRUAL PADS
There’s nothing wrong with using regular menstrual pads, but you have to realize that some of them are made with harmful chemicals that can irritate your skin. This is especially true if you have sensitive skin.
Fortunately, you have the option to buy menstrual pads that are made of organic materials. Organic means that the cotton and other materials used to make the napkin are grown without pesticides and other chemicals. As a result, you have the assurance that you’re using feminine products that are good for your body and good for the environment.
We’ve listed some of the best options below:
Natracare Pads Ultra With Wings
These pads are made of 100 percent cotton that’s certified organic as well as sustainable and renewable plant cellulose. It’s also 100 percent free of chlorine, plastics, dyes, binders, fragrances, surfactants, and other chemicals. As a result, the pads are more than 95 percent biodegradable and compostable, making them even more friendly to the environment.
Rael 100% Organic Cotton Menstrual Regular Pads
These menstrual pads from Rael stand out from the crowd because their core and top sheet are both made of 100 percent organic cotton that’s non-GMO and is certified by the USDA. They’re highly durable and come with an absorbent inner core and leak-proof borders to prevent accidents even during your heaviest flows.
They come with protective adhesive wings to ensure you can freely move around while enjoying maximum safety and optimal comfort. Rael 100% Organic Cotton Menstrual Regular Pads are designed to be breathable without causing leakages, so you can stay dry, comfortable, and confident throughout the day.
Organyc 100% Organic Cotton Pads with Wings for Sensitive Skin
Organyc creates these pads with 100 percent organic cotton, bleaches them without chlorine, and ensures they’re compostable and biodegradable. This means that you’re using products that are environment-friendly and good for your health.
The pads are highly absorbent, so you don’t have to worry about having leaks. They’re also breathable and pH-neutral, which makes them a great choice for those who have sensitive skin.
BEST REUSABLE MENSTRUAL PADS
Want to save the environment without sacrificing your comfort? You’ll want to look into reusable menstrual pads. These pads are made of special materials so, instead of throwing them out after one use, you can simply wash them and use them again once they’re dry.
Opting for these pads is a great way to reduce the amount of waste you produce and do your part in minimizing environmental pollution. The best part: these reusable pads are absorbent, so you won’t have to worry about leaks! Here are some of the best options available:
Hesta Organic Cotton Reusable Cloth Menstrual Period Pads
These pads are made of 100 percent certificated organic cotton, and they’re FDA-registered and free of bleach and other toxic chemicals. With six layers of organic cotton, they can help keep you dry and fresh throughout the whole day.
Unlike other reusable pads, Hesta Organic Cotton Reusable Cloth Menstrual Period Pads do not contain nylon fabric; instead, they have a pure cotton lining that has a waterproof layer to lock fluids in. The pads can last up to two to three years with proper care.
Heart Felt Bamboo Reusable Cloth Menstrual Pad
These menstrual pads are made of bamboo charcoal fabric, which is highly absorbent and protects you from leaks. It’s also hypoallergenic and ideal for sensitive skin, and it has odor-neutralizing properties that help you stay fresh-smelling the whole day. The pads have a waterproof layer that help keep fluids inside and prevent accidents from taking place.
The best part about the fabric is its dark color, which means that stains won’t be visibly noticeable. And here’s an added bonus: the bamboo charcoal fabric is super soft, so you’ll stay comfortable even during your heavy days.
Dutchess Cloth Menstrual Pads – Bamboo Reusable Sanitary Napkins
These pads come with double charcoal bamboo layers, which make them super-absorbent and ideal for heavy flow days or overnight use. Paired with their waterproof outer layer, these reusable pads effectively prevent leaks and help you stay protected.
They’re also designed in a way that your delicate areas come into contact with cotton microfleece layers, which are incredibly soft and will make you feel comfortable all day long. The pads are machine-washable, so you can simply throw them into the washing machine after each use.
Charlie Banana Washable Reusable Super Feminine Menstrual Pads
These reusable pads from Charlie Banana are free from chlorine, perfume, and harsh chemicals, giving you the assurance that they won’t harm your health.
They’re designed to be stain-free so, no matter how heavy your flow is, you won’t have to deal with stubborn stains when washing your pads.
These Super pads measure 10 inches long and 3.2 inches wide, making them great for overnight use and for days with heavy flow.
These are some of the best menstrual pads on the market! Browse through them to find the pads that match your specific needs and preferences and give you the level of comfort and protection that you’re looking for.