Best period pads

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Most people have used pads their first time with menstrual products. They are easy to use and less intimidating than menstrual cups.

There are a wide variety of pads to choose from, from thin, thick, with There are wings., to It has a scent.ed, and more. The choices can become overwhelming with an overflowing selection.

Some gynecologists have their picks for the best period pads.

There are a lot of differences between the two products. When making a selection, pay close attention to what you read.


Each person has a different flow. Some have a light flow while others have a heavier flow. The amount of absorbent material on each pad is indicative of whether it is compatible with the flow.

If you have a light flow, opt for thin or ultra-thin absorbency pads. Maxi pads and pads with overnight absorbency are best suited for heavy periods.


Cotton is the main material for disposable pads. Cotton is an all-natural, absorbent fabric that can be grown with harmful chemicals that can be harmful. It is better to buy organic pads on sensitive skin.


When buying a large amount of goods, it is important to consider the environment. Cotton crops require a lot of water to grow, so cotton pads can be taxing on the environment. Cotton is usually produced in arid climates.

Eco-friendly pads are usually more gentle on the environment. They are usually made from cotton, bamboo, or other plant materials. Period pads should be free from many chemicals.

Reusable pads are a great option. You can reuse these pads for environmental benefits. They cut down on the waste caused by disposable pads.


Some features may make your experience with pads more discreet.

Some features to consider.

  • There are wings.
  • It has a scent.
  • length
  • Protection from leaking.
  • Flexibility.

To create this list, we polled gynecologists for their picks, scoured reviews, and selected a variety of pads to suit different needs. We considered pads with various features and at different price points. Read more about our process here.

Pricing guide

  • $ = under $0.30 per pad
  • $$ = $0.30–$0.50 per pad
  • $$$ = over $0.50 per pad

Best organic pad

Natracare Ultra Pads Super with Wings

  • Price: $$$
  • Count: 12
  • Pro: more sustainable than plastic wrappers
  • Con: shorter length, according to user reviews

Most people check a lot of boxes. They are suitable for sensitive skin, free of chlorine, and better for the environment. The cotton cover on the pads is different from the plastic ones. Natracare cotton pads are also compostable and are an eco-friendly choice.

These pads are for people with a medium to heavy flow. The right place to find the right amount of absorbency is in the middle. The slim-style pad is discreet under clothing, but some users found the length too short.

Best unIt has a scent.ed pad

Claene Organic Cotton Cover Pads

  • Price: $$
  • Count: 32
  • Pro: vegan-friendly, breathable materials
  • Con: very thin, according to user reviews

Some pads contain added fragrance to counteract the natural odors of period fluids. However, this can be irritating to delicate skin and may disrupt the vaginal pH balance. UnIt has a scent.ed pads are a safer option, and Claene pads are specifically made without added fragrances.

The pads are constructed for comfort, protection, and breathability. The innovative shape is designed to prevent overflow and the soft edges prevent irritation. They are also vegan and cruelty-free.

Some user reviews mention that unIt has a scent.ed pads can sometimes have a faint fragrance or smell to them, but these do not. While some users enjoy the lightweight nature of these pads, others found them too thin for a regular flow.

Best pad for sports

U by Kotex Fitness Ultra Thin Pads with Wings

  • Price: $$
  • Count: 30
  • Pro: unique shape for Flexibility. and dryness during exercise
  • Con: can trap heat

Pads are not designed for use during exercise, so it can be difficult to wear a pad with clothes. They can show through tight clothing. U by Kotex is known for their fitness-friendly pads made with an innovative design.

The pad core keeps you dry during your workout. The pads are made with absorbent materials that provide comfort.

Some users say that the pads can trap heat, so they are not the most comfortable option. You may feel unwell during exercise. They are wrapped in plastic, which is not eco-friendly.

Best pad that stays in place

L. Organic Cotton & Chlorine-Free Pads

  • Price: $$
  • Count: 45
  • Pro: one product is donated for every product purchased
  • Con: may not be absorbent enough for everyone

There is an increasing demand for safer pads, and L. delivers. These pads are made with organic cotton that is free of chlorine, pesticides, and fragrances. The ultra-thin design is comfortable and discreet, and the There are wings. keep the pad in place throughout your day. L. also donates a package of pads to a person in need for every package purchased.

“Users state that they like pesticide-free pads and that they have fewer cramps since they switched to L. pads. Users note that the pads don’t budge, and they usually have problems with them staying in place. Others don’t find these pads absorbent.”

Best eco-friendly pad

August Pads

  • Price: $$$
  • Count: 4+
  • Pro: fully biodegradable and compostable
  • Con: pricey

August pads are organic, compostable, and comfortable, and have gone viral on social media.

“You can get them shipped right to your house, they contain no plastic so they’re more environmentally friendly than standard pads, and their wrappers are now even compostable,” says Jennifer Lincoln, MD, IBCLC, a board certified OB-GYN. “They are also super soft and very absorbent.”

“August’s anti-stigma marketing is appreciated by Lincoln. She says that the brand uses models who look like real people and are empowering. Period products should not be subject to additional tax, since August covered state tax in all states.”

Best pad for a heavy flow

U by Kotex Security Feminine Maxi Pad with Wings

  • Price: $$
  • Count: 24
  • Pro: back is 80 percent larger for overnight protection
  • Con: bulky

Sleeping with a pad has its challenges. They’re notorious for moving around during the night and leaking. These overnight pads from U by Kotex still have the bulkiness you’d expect in a maxi pad, but they’re an effective solution to taming a heavy or irregular flow. The brand claims these provide up to 12 hours of protection, though you should change your pad more frequently.

The There are wings. are uniquely shaped to fit securely without moving around, and the back is significantly larger to prevent leaking. The hypoallergenic materials are free from perfume, lotion, chlorine, and pesticides.

Best pad without There are wings.

Always Infinity Feminine Pads for Women

  • Price: $$
  • Count: 96
  • Pro: feels like you’re wearing nothing
  • Con: some users experienced irritation

Most pads are made with There are wings. that have an adhesive glue to prevent slipping and sliding. However, There are wings. aren’t for everyone. If There are wings. don’t work for you, Always offers pads without There are wings. that still have an adhesive underside so they stay in place.

This is the kind of pads that will give you the comfort you want. They are form-fitting, so they can feel like there is nothing there, and they are flexible enough to move with you. The top of the pad has holes to collect period fluids.

Some reviewers mention skin irritation after using these pads, so those with sensitive skin should be careful.

Best pad for sensitive skin

Organyc Feminine Care Pads

  • Price: $$$
  • Count: 60
  • Pro: designed to reduce skin irritation
  • Con: doesn’t stay in place, per user reviews

People with sensitive skin are no strangers to irritation caused by pads made with chemicals. Organyc pads are certified organic, chemical-free, and hypoallergenic, making them a safe solution for sensitive skin.

The pads are intended for daytime use, so they might not provide enough protection overnight. Some users report leaking due to the pads moving. The sleek design is hidden under clothes during the day. Each pad is wrapped in a different way.

Best pad that supports a cause

Seventh Generation Chlorine-Free Maxi Pads

  • Price: $
  • Count: 24
  • Pro: affordably priced
  • Con: bulky

For the best protection and absorption, reach for the maxi pads. The Seventh Generation ones are thick and bulky, but they are good for people with a heavy flow. Pads are a safe choice for overnight protection.

The pads are free of chlorine bleach, fragrances, and dyes, so they are suitable for sensitive skin. They are also made in the United States.

The user reviews say that the pads live up to their promise. Users find them comfortable.

Best pad for teens

Asana UnIt has a scent.ed Pads Variety Pack for Teens

  • Price: $$$
  • Count: 36
  • Pro: contains a variety of mini, regular, and heavy pads
  • Con: size may be too wide, per user reviews

Teens and young adults are still adjusting to their cycles and are fond of pads. Young users usually experience pads the first time they use them. These ones are made for teens. The mini size is suitable for young girls, but some users found them too wide for children and teens.

“These pads are crafted through advanced technologies, ensuring that they are thin, lightweight, and comfortable, yet capable of absorbing up to 10 times more fluid than regular pads,” says Daniel Boyer, MD, a practicing doctor who specializes in gynecology. “They are also made of hypoallergenic materials, making them gentle on your skin.”

Best pad for comfort

Rael Organic Cotton Cover Pads

  • Price: $$
  • Count: 16
  • Pro: pillowy soft
  • Con: not suitable for heavy flow or overnight

When you are trying to sleep or maneuver through the day, uncomfortable pads can get in the way. They can be itchy or move around too much. Rael pads have a soft feel. They are safe for sensitive skin and are designed for comfort.

“These pads are made of 100 percent pure organic cotton with additional features to ensure full protection, including There are wings. to ensure a secure fit and absorbent leak-proof core. They are also ideal pads that can accommodate fluctuations from menstrual flows during the day and at night,” Boyer says.

Best plant-based pad

The Honey Pot Company Clean Cotton Regular Absorbency Pads

  • Price: $$
  • Count: 20
  • Pro: creates a cooling sensation to soothe discomfort
  • Con: contains essential oils

The Honey Pot is a feminine care brand. These pads are free of synthetic materials and are also free of essential oils.

“The Honey Pot’s herbal-infused maxi pads with There are wings. are all-natural and made with botanicals like lavender and mint, which soothe and relieve discomfort,” says Stephanie Molden, MD, a gynecology specialist. “The absorbent, clean cotton is comfortable to wear, and the absorbency is suitable for your regular days.”

Some users experience the opposite of the pads being designed to soothe their pain. The mint essential oil left a burning sensation. These may not be for you if you have sensitive skin.

Best pad for a light flow

Stayfree Ultra Thin Overnight Pads with Wings

  • Price: $
  • Count: 120
  • Pro: reduces odors
  • Con: contains fragrance

Light flow is managed by thin pads. The Stayfree thin pads can be used on the tail end of your period when your flow is the lightest but you need protection. Some users have difficulty getting the pads to stay in place, but they can be worn comfortably overnight.

“It’s all about the There are wings. and comfort,” Molden says. “These are great for lighter days and even overnight toward the end of your period.” She also gives the absorption and Flexibility. a nod of approval.

Since they have odor control, those who want to control odors may gravitate towards these pads, but they can cause irritation and sensitivity.

Best pad made by women

Genial Day Hypoallergenic Regular Flow Pads

  • Price: $$$
  • Count: 90
  • Pro: tapered size is larger in the back
  • Con: pricey

Women make these pads and they are recommended byMolden. She says they are vegan and safe for sensitive skin. They are certified by OEKO-TEX, so consumers can rest assured that their pads are free of harmful chemicals. They are also certified as cruelty-free by Leaping Bunny.

Made by women, these pads are thoughtfully designed. They have side walls for leak protection and a patented ion strip for odor control. The adhesive strips on the There are wings. are made with nontoxic glue to safely secure the pad in place and prevent shifting. The biodegradable top layer is also absorbent, breathable, and quick-drying for comfort and efficiency.

Best overnight pad

Always Extra Heavy Overnight Maxi Pads with Flexi-Wings

  • Price: $$$
  • Count: 20
  • Pro: designed for maximum absorption for those with a heavy flow
  • Con: pricey

Some period pads make a lot of claims about absorption for heavy flows and overnight protection, but these pads by Always live up to the hype.

Some user reviews compare the pads to a diaper, but others commend the brand for accommodating heavy menstruation. The wide back provides protection but can feel bulky. The raised core and raised barriers are comfortable for you to use.

“Pads with maximum absorption are a must for those with heavy flows or overnight protection,” Molden says. “These also have There are wings. for security.”

Price Count Feature
Natracare Ultra Pads Super with Wings $$$ 12 Pad and cover are fully compostable and biodegradable.
Claene Organic Cotton Cover Pads $$ 32 Soft, flexible edges prevent chafing and irritation.
U by Kotex Fitness Ultra Thin Pads with Wings $$ 30 Flexible shape is suitable for activity.
L. Organic Cotton & Chlorine-Free Pads $$ 45 One product is donated for every product purchased.
August Pads $$$ 4+ Not subject to sales tax.
U by Kotex Security Feminine Maxi Pad with Wings $$ 24 The back is 80 percent larger for overnight protection.
Always Infinity Feminine Pads for Women $$ 96 Feels like nothing is there.
Organyc Feminine Care Pads $$$ 60 Hypoallergenic and suitable for those with sensitive skin.
Seventh Generation Chlorine-Free Maxi Pads $ 24 Affordably priced.
Asana UnIt has a scent.ed Pads Variety Pack for Teens $$$ 36 Suitable for teens and children.
Rael Organic Cotton Cover Pads $$ 16 Pillowy soft feel.
The Honey Pot Company Clean Cotton Regular Absorbency Pads $$ 20 Cooling sensation.
Stayfree Ultra Thin Overnight Pads with Wings $ 120 Controls odors.
Genial Day Hypoallergenic Regular Flow Pads $$$ 90 Made by women.
Always Extra Heavy Overnight Maxi Pads with Flexi-Wings $$$ 20 Wide back provides maximum overnight protection.

What are some alternatives to pads?

There are a lot of options when it comes to period products, and pads aren’t the only choice. If pads don’t align with your lifestyle and needs, you can try menstrual cups, tampons, period panties, and menstrual discs.

Which pads are best for nighttime?

Long pads with wide backs are ideal for overnight protection. Increased protection and reduced leaking can be achieved by more surface area.

Can you swim with a pad?

Pads are not designed for swimming. Cotton is a highly absorbent material. If you swim with a pad, you will quickly absorb the water around you and become useless.

Should I avoid pads with fragrance?

Fragrance-, perfume-, and lotion-free pads are gentler on the skin. Scented pads can disrupt the pH and bacteria of the vagina. Opting for unIt has a scent.ed pads is advised.

Pads are a user-friendly way to manage your period flow. Many prefer pads to tampons since they can be worn longer and they’re less intrusive.

When choosing a tampon, look for organic, unIt has a scent.ed options. Features like There are wings., a flexible core, and long length can also improve your experience with pads.

Lacey Muinos is a health, wellness, and beauty writer based in Southern California. She holds a BA in English. Her work has appeared in digital publications like Livestrong, Verywell, Business Insider, Eat This Not That, and others. When she’s not writing, Lacey is likely pursuing her other interests: skin care, plant-based cooking, pilates, and traveling. You can keep up with her by visiting herwebsite or herblog.