The three-billion-dollar period product industry (often creepily referred to as the "feminine hygiene" market—though the problematic label is likely a complaint for another day) is, for the first time in decades, experiencing a necessary disruption. Troublingly unregulated, the large companies that manufacture most of our tampons and pads are not required to disclose the ingredients used to make these products with full transparency. This is concerning because vaginas are highly absorbent, and the allergens, carcinogens, artificial fibers, pesticide residues, bleaching agents, and artificial fragrances found in many mainstream tampons (of which people with periods end up using about 11,000 over the course of their lives) can be irritating and even dangerous.
The good news is that many smaller brands are stepping up to the plate by creating safer, healthier, and more environmentally friendly period products. These include organic tampons, reusable pads, and menstrual cups. Better yet, there are many affordable natural period products conveniently available on Amazon Prime. Keep scrolling to discover nine highly rated ones.
Cora's organic tampons offer everything you could possibly want: highly absorbent cotton; cute, discreet packaging; and an incredible price. A 36-count (containing 18 regular and 18 super) comes in under $13. You can even subscribe on Amazon so your tampons will arrive at your doorstep every month without you even having to think about it.
For $18, you get 24 of these 100% organic cotton pads that reviewers swear are not only safe and non-irritating but also comfortable and absorbent enough to get away with wearing all night. "These are simply the best overnight pads. Period! They are long enough, wide enough, and comfortable," said one reviewer. "My periods are heavy and … I have had no leaking issues or irritation, whatsoever. These are comfortable and as discreet and functional as the national plastic blister brands. However, Rael brand won't be in the landfills for 500 to 800 years. I'm sold."
For those unfamiliar, menstrual cups are flexible little silicone cups that you insert into the vagina and leave in for up to 12 hours. The cup creates a seal around your cervix so it will catch your flow without leaking. After 12 hours, tug on the little stem at the bottom to break the seal, pour the contents into the toilet, give the cup a little rinse, and place it back in. The Lena cup is the product I personally use. It has almost 6000 Amazon reviews and a 4.5-star rating.
If you're hell-bent on finding a natural tampon option with a traditional plastic applicator, go for L.'s organic tampons, whose applicators are BPA-free. A 48-count of regular absorbency tampons costs $20 and comes in this very cute packaging.
These ultra-thin pads are organic, hypoallergenic, and highly reviewed on Amazon. As one user wrote, "Best pads ever! I was so surprised at how awesome these absorbed, held up, and DID NOT LEAK! Even on my heaviest days they held up. They held in place I had absolutely no issues with the adhesive. … These left me fresher and NO uncomfortable rash, itching or irritation! Hooked for life."
Most of us aren't used to the idea of reusable pads, but users swear that once you make the switch, you'll never go back. Just think of how much better they are for the environment! And so much more absorbent. If you're curious about them, this seems to be the brand to try. "I've tried four different brands of reusable pads. These are by far the best," one reviewer wrote.
Over 200 Amazon reviewers have tried and liked these organic pads (of which you get 20 for $14). "I have experienced irritation from other well-known brands of pads. These pads are a lifesaver!" one user wrote. Pro tip: Reviewers do recommend these for light-to-moderate flow (not heavy).
With almost a perfect five-star Amazon rating, these ultra-affordable organic tampons (90 for $14!) have won over reviewers, who are also very happy with the brand's liners, which you can purchase on the same page. "Love this product and very happy to find on Amazon!" one user wrote. "If you have skin sensitive to chemicals, dyes, and perfumes, this is a fantastic product that works great!"
Probably the most famous menstrual-cup brand is Diva Cup, which has thousands of positive Amazon reviews. As one user wrote, "This is the BEST THING for people with periods to avoid holding another mourning session for their favorite pair of undergarments. Never using pads or tampons again. THANKS DIVACUP!"
Opening Image: Cora
Next up: The 7 Best Tampons for Swimming
This post was updated by Sarah Yang