The Best Tampons

The Best Tampons

We aren’t sure of everything that’s in most tampons, including some that we recommend. Really. That’s because tampon makers aren’t required to disclose this information. Still, there’s no significant evidence to suggest that tampons you can buy in the US contain anything harmful (except in rare cases of allergies) or that organic tampons, which are made with organic rather than conventional cotton, are better for your health.

A note of disclosure: One of the authors of this guide has a past professional relationship with a tampon company.

Our pick

Tampax Pearl

Tampax Pearl

Best applicator tampon

The Pearl tampon’s foolproof, non-compact plastic applicator, long braided string, and sturdy, reusable wrapper pleased our testers.

Buying Options

$6 from Staples
(pack of 18)
$7 from Amazon
(pack of 36)
Tampax Pure

Tampax Pure

Best organic applicator tampon

This organic version of the Pearl tampons has the same highly rated plastic applicator and wrapper.

Buying Options

$18 from Amazon
(pack of three, 16 each)

Testers who tried all absorbencies of both Tampax Pearl and its new, near-identical organic version, Tampax Pure, preferred these applicator tampons to all the other brands they used. They praised the standard-size applicators, the relatively long and thick braided strings, and the uniquely sturdy, easy-to-open wrappers that made disposal of used tampons a breeze.

Cost per tampon (regular absorbency)1
Tampax Pearl: 19¢, pack of 50
Tampax Pure: 38¢, pack of 16

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Our pick

O.B. Pro Comfort

O.B. Pro Comfort

Best applicator-free tampon

Easy to unwrap and insert, the Pro Comfort tampons shed fewer fibers than most applicator-free (aka “digital”) tampons, testers found.

Buying Options

$7 from Amazon
(pack of 40)
O.B. Organic

O.B. Organic

Best organic, applicator-free tampon

As easy to unwrap and insert as Pro Comfort tampons, the O.B. Organic version is less expensive than most of its organic applicator-free competitors.

Buying Options

$18* from Amazon
(pack of three, 24 each)
$4 from Target
(pack of 24)

May be out of stock

*At the time of publishing, the price was $5.

While one tester referred to the O.B. Pro Comfort as “the Porsche of tampons,” what really makes this applicator-free tampon stand out is its ease of unwrapping and its competitive pricing. Testers liked the organic version just as much. The O.B. tampons we like best cost on average 25 percent less than other leading applicator-free tampons.

Cost per tampon (regular absorbency)
O.B. Pro Comfort: 16¢, pack of 40
O.B. Organic: 25¢, pack of 24

Everything we recommend

Our pick

Tampax Pearl

Tampax Pearl

Best applicator tampon

The Pearl tampon’s foolproof, non-compact plastic applicator, long braided string, and sturdy, reusable wrapper pleased our testers.

Buying Options

$6 from Staples
(pack of 18)
$7 from Amazon
(pack of 36)
Tampax Pure

Tampax Pure

Best organic applicator tampon

This organic version of the Pearl tampons has the same highly rated plastic applicator and wrapper.

Buying Options

$18 from Amazon
(pack of three, 16 each)

Our pick

O.B. Pro Comfort

O.B. Pro Comfort

Best applicator-free tampon

Easy to unwrap and insert, the Pro Comfort tampons shed fewer fibers than most applicator-free (aka “digital”) tampons, testers found.

Buying Options

$7 from Amazon
(pack of 40)
O.B. Organic

O.B. Organic

Best organic, applicator-free tampon

As easy to unwrap and insert as Pro Comfort tampons, the O.B. Organic version is less expensive than most of its organic applicator-free competitors.

Buying Options

$18* from Amazon
(pack of three, 24 each)
$4 from Target
(pack of 24)

May be out of stock

*At the time of publishing, the price was $5.

Source: NY Times – Wirecutter

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