Whether you’re shopping for your first ever period or your first period after having a baby — or maybe you're just unsatisfied with current feminine product! — whatever the reason for your search, I'm here to assure you that the best maxi pads can provide full coverage without sacrificing comfort.
Of course, pads are naturally going to be a bit bulkier than tampons and menstrual cups — there’s simply no way around that. But while some maxi pads can feel just like wearing an adult diaper, others are specifically designed with comfort and discretion in mind. Always has a one-of-a-kind "My Fit" sizing chart that helps customers purchase the right pad for their panty size and flow. And many other brands, like Playtex and Poise, offer unique technology that allow pads to contour and turn with the body. Plus, with the amount of maxi pad options on the market today, you can get pretty customized. Whether you're shopping for a pad to accommodate a super heavy flow, a high intensity workout, or a tween new to menstruating, there's a maxi pad out there to fit your needs.
It’s also true that these days there are more organic options, which is good news for anyone with sensitive skin or those prone to itching or chafing. That's because pads made from organic cotton tend to be less irritating than pads made from synthetic materials, according to Rashmi Kudesia, MD, an interview with Women's Health.
And if you like it when your purchases help other people, brands like L. Organic and Always make a point of donating both their time and some of their products to help menstruating people in need.
Take a look at the best maxi pads below. All of them were selected with comfort and coverage in mind, and they're highly-rated on Amazon.
1. The Best Maxi Pad For Heavy Flow
Always Maxi Overnight Pads are ideal for sleeping in, but they're also a great daytime option for people with super heavy flows. Always My Fit, the brand's sizing system, helps you customize your pad to fit your flow and your panty size, and the LeakGuard Core absorbs blood in seconds for up to 10 hours of protection. The back end of these pads are also two times larger than Always regular pads, which should mean way fewer leaks. And since these are unscented pads, they're not a bad pick for people with sensitive skin. On top of all that, Amazon shoppers give these pads a 4.1-star rating.
Plus, supporting Always means you're supporting the company's efforts to end period poverty across the globe. Always has partnered with over 65 organizations that serve young people in need around the world. Since 2007, Always' programs have reached over 50 countries and delivered over 200 million pads to young people who need them most.
What fans are saying: “The only pads I can use. With PCOS, it's difficult finding a product that can manage heavy flows.”
2. The Best Maxi Pad For Tweens & Teens
Always Radiant Teen Pads boast “zero feel” protection for all day comfort, and they offer Flex-Foam, moisture-wicking technology as well. Since they're designed with teen and tween bodies in mind, these pads are shorter than regular Always Radiant pads — but they claim 100 percent leak-free protection for up to eight hours, which makes them an excellent pick for school days. They also come in a colorful, printed packaging. Also worth noting: Amazon shoppers give these pads 4.5 stars.
What fans are saying: “My teen daughter loves these...they are great for her because they flex with her while she is playing volleyball...she really doesn't like anything else...”
3. The Best Maxi Pad For Sensitive Skin
L. Organic Chlorine-Free Regular Absorbency Pads are made with GOTS-certified organic cotton, so you would be hard pressed to find a softer pad than these. These award-winning pads also feature an ultra-thin, breathable design for added comfort. And since these hypoallergenic pads are made with zero chlorine, fragrances, pesticides or dyes, they’re a solid pick for people with sensitive skin. Plus, for every L. Organic product purchased, the company donates a product to menstruating people in need. Also good to know: these pads are cruelty-free, and Amazon shoppers give them an impressive 4.7-star rating.
What fans are saying: “As someone with sensitive skin, I've appreciated finding a product that finally doesn't irritate. Also, the idea of helping others is a great benefit.”
4. The Best Maxi Pad For Sports
Designed specifically with sports in mind, Playtex Sport Ultra Thin Pads are an excellent pick for active days, whether you're working out or running a dozen errands. They have an ultra-soft cottony cover and a “Qwik-Dry” absorbent core that pulls fluids quickly into the pad and wicks away moisture. These pads also boast odor-shielding technology and a “Flex-Fit” design with wings, which means they can twist and turn with your body, resulting in fewer leaks and more solid coverage. Amazon shoppers rave about these as well, giving them a 4.4-star rating.
What fans are saying: “The 'regular' pads are ultra thin and so comfortable you will forget that you are wearing them. They fit securely on undies because the adhesive wing design holds them in place no matter whether you are on a treadmill, running, rowing, or whatever exercise or sport you prefer. You can wear them every day, because you just can't feel them. They come individually folded and wrapped for easy carrying in a purse or luggage.”
5. The Best Postpartum Maxi Pads
Although many people use Poise products to deal with incontinence, lots of Amazon shoppers have noted that they love these pads for postpartum needs specifically, and it's easy to see why. Poise Incontinence Maxi Pads use ContourFIT design so they literally contour to fit your body shape, and they come with leak-block sides to help keep you dry and protected as well. These pads also offer an absorb-loc core that quickly locks away wetness and odor, and Poise pads are reportedly able to stay five times drier than the leading period pad — making them perfect for new moms. With all these amazing features, it's no wonder Amazon shoppers give these pads 4.1 stars and hundreds of positive reviews.
What fans are saying: “Regular pads just don't cut it after giving birth, and these are very absorbent and comfortable. They were also great after six months of breastfeeding when my first period returned. These do not leak! This price is wonderful and the delivery on Amazon can't be beat.”
Also Nice: Reusable Period Panties For Any Occasion
The best thing about Bambody Period Panties is that you never have to worry about leaking when you wear them, because they’re designed to withstand constant flow and replace pads and tampons altogether. They’re also composed of cool and breathable bamboo fabric, plus 5 percent spandex for extra stretch. The only drawback to these period panties is that they're designed to withstand light to medium flows only. Still, these undies have earned a respectable 4.2 star-rating on Amazon. And if you buy them and don't love them, no worries — they come with a 100 percent money-back guarantee.
What fans are saying: “I was so sick of ruining my panties every month. With these, I no longer do! They are the softest, most comfortable panties I own! The protection is unlike anything I have ever seen! I have never been this comfortable and confident during my period ever. Buying more!”
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