The Top 5 Organic Pads & Panty Liners – Reviewed!
If you’re looking to try organic menstrual pads, it’s probably because you know that wearing a chemical-laden product pressed up against your lady parts 24/7 might not be the way to go.
Sure, it might only be for seven days a month, but that adds up month after month and year after year; a recent Newsweek article claims the average woman wears a tampon for more than 100,000 hours in her lifetime. If you wear pads and panty liners, the same time estimate should apply.
The problem with conventional pads is that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) doesn’t make feminine hygiene companies list their products’ ingredients. And when you use products that contain non-organic cotton, there’s a very good chance they still contain some residue from chemical herbicides and pesticides. Did you know that conventionally grown cotton is considered one of the most toxic crops out there?
Additionally, cotton products bleached with chlorine contain a toxic byproduct called dioxin, a known carcinogen. It may be present in conventional pads in very small amounts, but dioxin is known to accumulate in the body and stay there for more than 20 years after exposure.
Women with sensitive skin can also benefit from using organic pads and panty liners because they contain fewer, if any, irritants, like fragrances and synthetic chemicals.
Some organic tampons are also biodegradable, which is good for keeping everlasting plastics out of landfills, a practice that can help to curb the growing pollution problem on our planet.
As the awareness of the benefits of using organic feminine hygiene spreads, we’re becoming blessed with more great products coming onto the market to meet our needs. Some have been around for a long time, and others are newer arrivals on the scene. Here’s our list of the Top 5 Disposable Organic Menstrual Pads.
1. Tampon Tribe Organic Pads
If you’ve been looking to replace regular sanitary pads with an option that’s better for your body and the planet, you’ll definitely want to put Tampon Tribe organic pads on your shortlist. In case you’re wondering why many feminine hygiene products are so bad for you, here’s the skinny: Unless your pads and pantiliners are organic, they’re likely to contain plastics – including those made with dangerous BPA and BPS. Most contain dioxins, chlorine bleach, pesticides, and herbicides. Many contain added chemicals to prevent odor, too. The good news is that just like many of the reusable pads, period panties, and menstrual cups we’ve reviewed in the past, Tampon Tribe organic panty liners and pads are free from all the bad stuff. Let’s take a closer look.
About Tampon Tribe
Tampon Tribe is a small U.S. company that calls Southern California home. Its founders recognized that many conventional sanitary products contribute to plastic pollution, and that many of the same pads and tampons contain toxins that really don’t belong anywhere near your most sensitive body parts. In response, they joined an ever-growing list of companies that offer organic feminine hygiene products, focusing not just on providing GOTS certified organic cotton, but also on completely eliminating plastic.
Everything sold by Tampon Tribe is offered online, on a month-by-month or monthly subscription basis. The more you order at once, the larger your discount. It’s up to you to decide when to have your organic pads delivered – no more emergency trips to the drugstore!
There’s just a little more to like about this company. In the spirit of social responsibility, Tampon Tribe provides a homeless woman with a day pack of menstrual products for every month’s worth of biodegradable feminine hygiene products they sell. Convenience, environmental awareness, and a heart, too? Yes, please!
Tampon Tribe offers menstrual cups, tampons, and a full lineup of organic pads and pantiliners including options for light and heavy flow. We conducted a separate review of Tampon Tribe tampons – check it out if you’re interested! This review focuses on the company’s pads and panty liners.
How they Work
You might think that organic, plastic-free pads required pins, belts, or something equally awkward to deal with. Luckily, Tampon Tribe’s product development team came up with fantastic alternatives to plastic and adhesives, so all you have to do is unwrap your pad, position it as you normally would, wrap the wings around your undies, and go on with life. The pantiliners are like most others on the market in that they’re smaller, without wings.
Do These Pads Pass the Test?
Tampon Tribe pulled out all the stops when they designed certified organic maxi pads, light-day pads, and pantiliners that are convenient, breathable, and great for the planet as well as for your body.
These pads are made with 100% GOTS certified organic cotton, minus all those nasty toxins and bleaches that most companies use to lighten the cotton in their pads. There are no chemical absorbents, and there are no unnatural fragrances.
If you’re at all like us, you’re probably a bit curious about how Tampon Tribe deals with issues like packaging and adhesive. The sticky strip that holds your pantiliner or pad in place is made with a biodegradable polymer instead of with nasty, chemical-laden glue. As for packing, each pad is neatly folded and individually wrapped in a biodegradable starch film. These pads and pantiliners fit right into your purse or pocket, just like those offered by most other companies. The main difference is that there are no toxins, and there isn’t any plastic waste left behind. In fact, you can compost everything if you’d like!
Instead of being packed in a plastic bag or box, the first month’s subscription arrives in a natural jute bag. After that, everything comes packaged in recycled paper that you can recycle or compost. In case you’d like a plastic-free shipping option, that’s available as well.
So, how do they feel, and how well do they work?
The pads have a cotton coversheet that prevents any fibers from the core from sticking to your skin. They’re designed for breathable, lightweight performance, and even though they contain no superabsorbents, they do a great job of capturing and containing your flow. You may find that you need to change a little more often on your heaviest days.
We were surprised to find that these pads didn’t make crinkling noises like most others. The adhesive works very well; we didn’t have any trouble with shifting. Overall, the fit and feel is comfortable. The nighttime pads are large – you’ll definitely know that they’re there. At the same time, you won’t have to worry about any leaks – they do a great job of keeping you covered.
The pantiliners are just as nice as the pads, very lightweight, absorbent, and great for catching little spots. We tried them as backup for menstrual cups and tampons, and they were ideal for the job.
- Daytime and nighttime versions have wings
- 100% GOTS certified organic cotton
- No viscose
- No dioxin
- No chemical-based superabsorbent
- No pesticides
- No herbicides
- No toxins
- No plastic
Tampon Tribe pads are available in daytime and nighttime sizes. You can mix and match as needed. Pantiliners and tampons can be purchased separately, or you can order a “mashup” of biodegradable pantiliners, pads, and/or tampons to meet your monthly needs.
The Bottom Line
Even though Tampon Tribe pads and pantiliners only come in three sizes at the moment, they tick all the right boxes when it comes to comfort, absorbency, and of course, organic, earth-friendly materials. If you’re looking for a solid alternative to plasticky pads made with harmful chemicals, then you’ll definitely want to give Tampon Tribe a try.
Editor Score: 5 out of 5
Where to buy:
- Official website: Click here to enter
Promotions: Exclusive 15% off coupon code: MCR15
Natracare has been producing natural products for nearly 30 years, including the first ever alternative to conventional feminine hygiene.
Their pads and pantyliners are soft to the touch and made from certified organic cotton, a design intended to leave a soft footprint on the earth.
- Ultra Pads. Slim pads with wings. Absorbencies: Regular, Super, Super Plus and Long.
- Ultra Extra Pads. A more absorbent version of the Ultra Pads. Absorbencies: Normal, Super and Long.
- Maxi Pads. Thick, long and cushioned, these pads don’t have wings. Absorbencies: Regular, Super and Night Long.
- Thin panty liners for backup use and protection against spotting. Types: Mini, Curved, Tanga for thong underwear and Ultra Thin.
Natracare Pads at a Glance
- Made from 100% certified organic cotton
- Chlorine-free, which means no dioxins
- Lined with a plant-based backing
- Free of rayon or latex
- Free of fragrances and dyes
- Made with a wood-pulp absorbent core
- Biodegradable and compostable
- From a company in business since 1989
Estimated Price (from company’s website): $7.00 for 14 regular absorbency pads
Natracare pads are made with 100 percent certified organic cotton in the top layer that goes against the skin. The absorbent core is made from ecologically-certified cellulose pulp, meaning it’s taken from fast-growing trees. The pads also contain corn starch, and glue that’s non-toxic for the adhesive layer. Wings give a snug fit during use, and each pad is wrapped in a biodegradable cover.
These organic pads are totally plastic free; they use a cellulose plant material as the backing layer. The organic cotton is whitened and purified using oxygen rather than chlorine; this way there’s no dioxin in Natracare pads.
Natracare pads can be composted because they’re biodegradable as opposed to pads made from plastic that doesn’t break down for hundreds of years.
Natracare pads are made in Sweden.
Reviewers say these pads are comfortable, soft and breathable. They like that they’re hypoallergenic and non-irritating. Some customers complained that the Natracare pantyliners didn’t hold up well during the day and almost seemed to “wilt” when exposed to moisture, creating the need to replace them more often than conventional panty liners. They also didn’t like that the super absorbency pads don’t seem as thick as some other brands.
Editor Score: 5 out of 5
Where to buy:
3. The Honest Co.
The name Honest Co. might sound familiar to you because it’s been getting a lot of publicity due, no doubt, to its famous founder: Hollywood actress Jessica Alba.
She created the brand, that includes organic sanitary pads, with a vision of making green household and personal use products that are affordable, stylish and sustainable.
The Honest Co. Products
- Liners Made with Organic Cotton
- Thong Liners Made with Organic Cotton
- Pads Made with Organic Cotton, Regular
- Pads Made with Organic Cotton, Super
The Honest Co. Pads at a Glance
- Made from 100% certified organic cotton
- Can be bought on a monthly subscription
- Plant-based waterproof backing
- Plant-based wrapper
- Your purchase gives feminine care to women in need
- No irritants or fragrances
Estimated Price (from company’s website): $5.95 for 10 regular absorbency pads
The Honest Co. pads are made from GOTS certified organic cotton. GOTS certified cotton is recognized as meeting the world’s leading standards for organic textiles. The outer cover and the absorbent inner core of The Honest Co. pads are both made from organic cotton. They’re designed to be breathable, absorbent and comfortable.
The waterproof backing is made from plant-based materials that phthalate free, and the pads have wings to give even more protection against leaks.
The Honest Co. pads are designed in California and made in Italy.
We haven’t found any customer reviews for these pads yet. Have you tried The Honest. Co. organic cotton pads or liners? Let us know what you think!
Editor Score: 4.7 out of 5
Where to buy:
Organyc menstrual pads are made by an Italian company that’s been making cotton products for hygiene and medical uses since 1947.
Their pads are sold around the world in more than 26 countries and are recommended by doctors around the globe for people dealing with allergies and skin sensitivities.
- Night Wings, Heavy Absorbency
- Day Wings, Moderate Absorbency
- Day Wings Thick, Super Absorbency
- Panty Liner, Light
- Panty Liner, Light Plus
Organyc Pads at a Glance
- Made from certified organic cotton
- Bleached with hydrogen peroxide; no dioxins
- Don’t contain synthetics
- Don’t include wood pulp
- Produced by a long-established company with a good reputation
Estimated Price (from company’s website): $8.00 for 10 regular absorbency pads
Organyc pads are made from certified organic cotton and they also have an organic cotton absorbent core; not the tree-killing wood pulp that’s found in so many sanitary pads.
They whiten and sanitize their cotton with hydrogen peroxide, which is a natural disinfectant. These pads don’t contain any bleach and therefore, no dreadful dioxin. They don’t have synthetics like rayon and also no super-absorbent powders. Many women find that super-absorbent powders found in conventional pads create a too-dry environment in the vagina that leads to irritation and sometimes, infection.
Reviewers liked the fact that Organyc pads are free of dyes and perfumes. They said the pads are soft, absorbent and non-irritating. However, a few customers have complained about an inconsistent product; one reviewer said that the pads are supposed to be quilted, but the pads they received were only half quilted as if there was a screw-up with the manufacturing. But that may have just been a one-time thing. Others have said the adhesive isn’t sticky enough.
Editor Score: 4.4 out of 5
Where to buy:
Maxim pads are brought to us Maxim Hygiene Products, a family-run company. Maxim aims to give women maximum protection during their menstrual periods in a way that’s good for their health and the environment.
Maxim’s pads referred to by them as sanitary napkins, are NOT organic; however, we included them on this list because they’re made with natural, chlorine-free cotton, so you avoid coming into contact with dioxins. They also have a new line of pads that contain silver and tourmaline.
- Natural Cotton Ultra Thin Winged Pads. Absorbencies: Daytime/Regular, Super/Nighttime and Super Plus/Overnight
- Natural Cotton Classic Contour Pads. Absorbencies: Regular
- Natural Cotton Maternity/Extra Heavy Pads. Absorbencies: Regular
- MaxION Natural Cotton Ultra Thin Winged Pads. Absorbencies: Daytime/Regular and Super/Nighttime
Maxim Pads at a Glance
- Made from natural cotton
- Not organic
- Individually wrapped for convenience
- Designed with leak control channels
- Made by a family run company
- Cardboard packaging made from recycled materials
- MaxION pads feature ions that guard against odor and irritation.
Estimated Price (from company’s website): $5.49 for 10 regular absorbency pads
Maxim pads are made with natural cotton. Their cotton isn’t organic. However, it’s not chlorine bleached, so it’s free of dioxins. The absorbent core is also made from natural cotton and doesn’t contain any wood pulp. The widespread use of wood pulp contributes to deforestation, which is why Maxim is proud to say they don’t use it in their pads. Maxim pads are 95 percent biodegradable.
Silver and Tourmaline
In addition to their standard Maxim natural cotton pads, they also have an interesting line of pads called MaxION. MaxION pads are also made from natural cotton that’s free of chlorine, but these pads also have silver and tourmaline ions integrated into them to fight against irritation and feminine odor. Silver naturally has antimicrobial properties, and tourmaline is a gemstone that according to Maxim may help boost your mood and energy levels. It may even benefit your immune system, they say.
We’ve seen silver used in period panties like Thinx because of its antimicrobial properties. It’s surprising that it’s cost-effective to put silver in disposable pads too. If you like pads with deodorizing properties but need something non-irritating, Maxim might be cornering that market with their MaxION pads.
Maxim also has a handy period survival kit that’s a cute way to test out their product line. If you order it, you get two organic regular pads, a few panty liners and a feminine wipe, all in one lovely sequined bag.
Customers with sensitive skin who are allergic to dyes and perfumes love Maxim sanitary napkins. One said that if your priority is chlorine free, these are the pads for you. Reviewers also find them comfortable, thin and absorbent. However, some say that the wings are awkward to put in place. They also wish the price was lower.
Editor Score: 4.0 out of 5
Where to buy:
NatraTouch pads have a name that’s similar to Natracare, but they’re two completely different companies. NatraTouch is a brand that’s distributed by a company called Apropos.
They say that their pads are made from USDA certified 100% organic cotton that’s grown in Texas. However, the pads are actually a Korean-based product that’s made in China. Confused? So were we. The bottom line is that regardless of where this product is made, it has a certified organic cotton cover, which is why NatraTouch made this list.
- Ultra Slim Organic Sanitary Pads with Wings. Sizes: Small, Medium, Large and Overnight.
- Organic Pantiliners. Sizes: Regular and Long.
NatraTouch Pads at a Glance
- The top layer is made from 100% certified organic cotton
- Free of perfumes and dyes
- Affordably priced
- May have plastic backing; company doesn’t say
Estimated Price (from company’s website): $14.99 for 30 regular absorbency pads
NatraTouch pads have a top cover that’s made from certified organic cotton. They’re among the lowest price organic pads I’ve yet to see. Besides the organic cotton cover on these pads, there’s nothing else that’s claimed to be natural or eco-friendly. It seems to have a plastic backing and there’s no explanation of what the packaging materials are made from. But if you’re looking for an affordably priced option for organic cotton pads, these products are worth a try since they’ll be free from dioxins and the chemical residues that conventionally grown cotton products can have.
Reviewers with sensitive skin said that NatraTouch pads didn’t cause the irritation and rash they would get using other products, so they loved that! They like the size of the pads and the absorbency. Some users complained that the adhesive didn’t hold the pad in place well enough. A few reviewers questioned the organic status of this product because they’re made in China, and at this time, China doesn’t follow the same truth-in-advertising guidelines that the USA and other countries follow.
Editor Score: 3.5 out of 5
Where to buy:
How to Choose the Best Organic Cotton Pad or Liner for You?
If you’re sensitive or allergic to chemicals in conventional pads, any of the organic or natural pads and panty liners on our list should give you relief. And none of the products we listed contain dioxin, a known carcinogen.
If you’re unsure where to start, we recommend our top choice, Natracare, because the brand has been around a very long time and has a great reputation, and they use 100 percent certified organic cotton. Their pads also have a plant-based backing.
The Honest Co. products are newer on the market and it’s possible they’ll continue to evolve as more women try them and give their feedback; if you’re socially conscious they’re a great choice because your purchase helps provide feminine hygiene products to women who need them in the United States and abroad. They also hit all the marks with their GOTS-certified organic cotton and plant-based backing.
Organyc pads are made by a company with decades of experience working in cotton, and their pads are said to be very soft and absorbent. Organyc pads are similar to Maxim in that both brands of pads have an absorbent cotton core and don’t use wood pulp. But the difference between the two is that Organyc uses certified organic cotton, and Maxim only uses natural cotton that’s not organically grown. So, if certified organic is the most important to you, choose Organyc over Maxim.
If you love to try new and interesting products, try the MaxION from Maxim. The MaxION pads have silver integrated into them for natural odor-fighting properties, and they also have a possibly mood-boosting additive called tourmaline. We haven’t seen silver or tourmaline in any other disposable pads out there. Also, if you buy from Maxim, you’re supporting a family-run company.
NatraTouch is the least expensive brand, but they only have an organic top lining. However, NatraTouch is good place to try organic cotton pads if your budget is your top priority.
Whichever brand you choose, we recommend starting out with a small pack of pads or panty liners to see how they work for you. It typically costs less per pad if you buy a larger quantity, but it’s wise to wait until you’ve tried out a new brand before you invest in a big supply.
We hope you’ve found our reviews of the Top 5 Organic Pads useful. This list focused on the disposable type of organic pads; reusable cloth menstrual pads are another great option for avoiding chemicals in your menstrual wardrobe. So are menstrual cups and period panties. Also, be sure to check out our review of the Top 10 Organic Tampons. We wish you the best of luck in the search for your perfect period products.