If you've been getting your period for years now, you probably have your routine down. You might have your go-tos for cramps, headaches, the rollercoaster of emotions, and other fun PMS symptoms. You know the "period" foods that are extra comforting and that make you feel good. You know how to take it easy or treat yourself better during that time of the month. And, of course, you have sworn loyalty to certain feminine-care products.
I've done the math, and I calculated that I've probably gotten my period 250 times in my life. And let me tell you. When you really spell it out like that, it's kind of eye-opening. I would say for 90% of those instances I've stuck to the same tampon and pad brands without fail. It worked, and I wasn't going to fix what wasn't broken.
But ever since I became a wellness editor, I started to get more curious about all the different feminine-care products out there. In recent years, so many more startups and brands have been in the spotlight. It's pretty exciting that there are so many options now, especially since our bodies are all so different. Something that works for me might not be comfortable for you.
Particularly in the tampon department, there have been some noteworthy advancements. There are a lot more nontoxic choices. There are options for all types of flows. And you've got products with different fits.
To help you narrow down your options, we've rounded up some of the best brands based on editors' picks and customer reviews. Take a look at our choices for the best tampon brands below.
Tampax might have been one of your first introductions to tampons. It's still a go-to for me. What we love about the brand is that there are so many options, like its Pearl, Radiant, and cardboard lines. There's also a 100% organic cotton offering that's free of dyes, fragrances, and chlorine bleaching called Pure. And the brand has a tampon for every type of flow: light, regular, super, super plus, and ultra.
What the reviews say: "I have tried every tampon in the market, and these are the best. I basically hemorrhage gallons of blood during every menstrual cycle and used to need two tampons at a time along with a maxi pad. Ever since I discovered these tampons, I only need one at a time! Thank you Tampax Pearl for your super absorbency! You make my time of the month something to look forward to!"
"I love that Tampax came out with an eco-friendly and organic version. They aren't as absorbent as my other ones, but that's an okay trade-off to not be putting stuff soaked in who knows what up me for a week. They are pretty similar to regular Tampax except these need a little liner with them for me to feel safe. But I generally have a heavy flow anyways. These are much preferred as I try to be organic in as many ways as possible. This is a product I use so often, and literally for days on end, but it never crossed my mind that they may be made with harmful chemicals! They are still bleached and are single-use, but they're a good alternative to a menstrual cup when I don't feel like dealing with it or have to deal with public bathrooms so I don't want to rinse it."
The Honey Pot Company's founder Bea Dixon started her company when she was having trouble remedying her bacterial vaginosis. The brand's feminine-care products are natural, plant-based, biodegradable, cruelty-free, clinically tested, and gynecologist-approved. In addition to tampons, The Honey Pot Company also has feminine washes and wipes, menstrual cups, and pads in its lineup.
What the reviews say: "I love all things Honey Pot. The tampons are fantastic with no leaking. I also bleed much less now that I've switch over to Honey Pot for all feminine care. I support natural tampons made by people with vaginas."
"I honestly feel that I have less cramps when using this brand—is that even possible? I'm not sure but I love all of the Honey Pot products. I can't imagine using anything else now."
For every product bought, Cora provides pads and health education to girls and women around the world. Its tampons are made of organic cotton and have a BPA-free plastic applicator. They also have a unique design that expands width-wise to fit your body, so you don't have to worry about leaks. The brand also offers pads, menstrual cups, period underwear, and a feminine wash.
What the reviews say: "First time trying Cora products, and they have been great so far. The packaging is very nice, but more importantly, I feel good about putting something in my body that does not have harsh chemicals. I personally like applicators, and these were just as good as regular Kotex/Tampax. I have a very heavy flow the first few days, and these were good and absorbent. I am going to try their pads next. These are products that are more expensive, but I don't mind since I only use them monthly."
"These work better than other organic tampons I've tried. For me, there was still some leaking, but that has been the case for almost every tampon I've tried, organic or not. These are comfortable, have a nice applicator, and I've had much less cramps/pain down there since I made the switch to organic. These are nice. If other organic tampons haven't worked well, give these a try!"
Playtex is another "starter" brand you might have used when you first got your period. That's because its tampons are so easy to use and comfortable. The Sport versions are especially key if you're swimming, working out, or just doing something really active. It stays in place and absorbs really well, so you can focus on what you're doing.
What the reviews say: "I have converted many 'pad' friends that were scared of tampons because of these! The GAME CHANGER of these is that they have this little edge on the applicator that helps you grip it WAY BETTER than any other tampon on the market. Which is critical to getting it up in there enough to not feel it! You'll never buy another tampon again."
"These [Playtex Simply Gentle Glide Unscented Tampons, Ultra Absorbency] are a game-changer if your monthly experience is akin to the elevator scene from The Shining. It actually makes me angry at all the other absorbency categories (looking at you, Super Plus) because they're so ineffectual in comparison. Definitely reserve these for big-gun days though as they can be uncomfortable (or you can kinda feel them) if you're not bleeding heavily."
Lola is another trusted period-care brand with products that are made of 100% certified organic cotton and without toxins, dyes, or synthetic fibers. The best part is that when you shop for the tampons, you can customize your box based on your needs and flow (so you can mix and match absorbencies). Choose from plastic, cardboard, and non-applicator versions. Lola's inventory also includes pads, a daily multivitamin, personal lubricant, and condoms. The brand does good, too. It has partnered with nonprofits to supply period products to those who need them.
What the reviews say: "I'm obsessed with these 100% cotton tampons. I truly can feel a difference and feel so much better about my period."
"I love Lola products. The tampons are perfect and the option to select and mix the sizes that you need is a great idea. I do not end up with an excess of tampons I will hardly use. The super plus are excellent for very heavy flow days, as are the plus. Excellent coverage and I never have to worry about leakage."
Another classic, beginner brand, Kotex has different tampon options to choose from, like sporty Fitness, compact Click, and Sleek, which has a special applicator grip for precise insertion. Kotex also has tampons in different absorbency levels: regular, super, and super plus. Simply put, you know you're getting a dependable product with this brand.
What the reviews say: "U by Kotex Super Plus compact tampons are the ones you need on heavy flow days, international flights, pool days, intense workouts or you simply need maximum protection. I know that when I wear this I will have zero leaks and I will have protection for a few hours (or all night)."
"I have tried a lot of different tampons, including the organic ones, which I do like, but they just aren't as absorbent or comfortable as these. I have always had good luck with these. They are easy to insert, are compact, and they rarely leak like other tampons. I always end back up buying these because they are reliable and comfortable."
Rael's self-care product inventory includes tampons, pads, period underwear, reusable liners, feminine washes and wipes, toothpaste, and skincare. Everything is made with natural, sustainable materials and with high-quality ingredients. The tampons contain certified organic cotton and a BPA-free applicator.
O.B. is probably best known for its "digital" or non-applicator tampons, which are ideal if you don't want to use a plastic applicator or want to reduce waste. But for those who aren't used to that, the brand also has an organic, plant-based applicator option. In general, the tampons are super absorbent and comfortable.
What the reviews say: "I've always used tampons with an applicator but wanted to try something new in the name of waste reduction. I will say that I was very surprised when I got the box. No way 40 tampons were in there! It really does save space and waste to go applicator-free. Anyway, these worked well for me! I can see how most American women and girls might be put off by non-applicator tampons, especially if they're used to applicators already. But these really are easy to use, and the included instructions were very informative for someone new to them. If you insert them correctly, everything is just fine and protection is exactly what you'd expect. Call me a convert."
"I love o.b. tampons, they're easy to carry, easy to use and they stay put! I've tried every single brand out there and these are the only tampons that stay in place throughout the entire day! Doesn't matter how heavy your flow is. These are the only tampons I use, and I will recommend these for the rest of my life. The worst feeling in the world is when you're at a meeting at work and you suddenly feel a leak coming on!!! No more!! Just use o.b. and thank me later!
My Box Shop's period products are free of chemicals, bleach, pesticide residues, and synthetic fragrances, so you know you're getting something that's good for you. The tampons are made with 100% organic cotton, have a BPA-free applicator, and are designed with eight channels to prevent leaks.
What the reviews say: "I've used pads by this brand in the past. This was my first time using their tampons. I generally don't use them, but due to a vacation I needed to. I was pleasantly surprised. They are just as good as the pads and a great alternative to the garbage in drugstores."
"The super size is convenient for me since I have quite a heavy flow. I still have to replace the tampon every three hours on my heaviest days, but that's fine with me! The packaging is very cute and nice and clean! I wish that they were in paper bags instead of plastic bags, but that is a minor inconvenience. The compact version makes it very easy to carry around! The plastic applicator does not feel uncomfortable or painful when inserting."
Another nontoxic option, This is L.'s tampons and pads are free of pesticides, chlorine, fragrances, and dyes. The tampons come in regular and super absorbency options. Plus, the company gives back by increasing access to period-care products around the world. Not to mention, the packaging is pretty cool, too.
This article is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended to be used in the place of advice of your physician or other medical professionals. You should always consult with your doctor or healthcare provider first with any health-related questions. See our full health disclaimer here.