If you take a quick stroll through aisles of a grocery store or drugstore, you'll find there's an organic option for just about everything these days, including produce, deodorant, and even tampons. The popularity of organic tampons has been on the rise lately as more and more people make the switch to all-natural products.
Since many of us have been loyal to the same feminine care products that we've been using since we first got our periods, you may have some questions before switching products. So we talked to gynecologists to get the scoop on everything you need to know about organic tampons.
What is the difference between regular and organic tampons?
The main difference between regular and organic tampons are the materials used when making them. "Organic tampon companies make claims that the organic tampons are composed of 100% organic cotton, free of chemicals, rayon and synthetics, fragrance-free, hypoallergenic, not bleached with chlorine, dioxin free, and free of additive chemicals that may be harmful to a women's health," said Sherry A. Ross, MD, an ob-gyn, author of she-ology and she-ology. the she-quel, and creator of URJA Intimates skincare products for the vulva and vagina.
Are organic tampons safer?
The simple answer is no—there is no scientific evidence that organic tampons are safer than other options on the market. Since tampons are inserted inside our bodies for hours at a time, it makes sense that people would have safety concerns, but Dr. Ross says there is no reason for concern. "I don't feel as though organic tampons are necessarily any safer than the traditionally manufactured tampons available to the consumer," she said. "When properly tested, regular tampons are safe and free of harmful chemicals. The FDA has tested and cleared traditionally used tampons for women to use safely and with confidence."
Are there any benefits to organic tampons?
While they are not safer to use, there are some benefits to switching to organic tampons—particularly environmental reasons. Organic farming typically uses more sustainable practices, plus by not treating cotton with pesticides, less harmful chemicals have been released into the environment.
Even better, organic tampons also typically use more eco-friendly applicators, such as biodegradable cardboard or BPA-free plastic applicators that are derived from plant-based materials.
"Organic tampons are available as an alternative for women who prefer to go this route," said Dr. Ross. "Similar to choosing organic vegetables, it's an alternative, but not necessarily better or safer for women to consume."
What to look for when buying organic tampons?
If you do decide to give organic tampons a try, Dr. Ross recommends checking the box for ingredients before buying: "You will want to make sure they are composed of 100% organic cotton, free of chemicals, rayon and synthetics, fragrance-free, hypoallergenic, not bleached with chlorine, dioxin free, and free of additive chemicals."
Now that you know the difference between organic and non-organic tampons, if you are looking to make the switch to the more eco-friendly period products, we've got you covered. Here are 11 organic tampons that reviewers love.
These are the best organic tampons to shop:
With nearly 3,000 five-star ratings, these organic tampons from Organyc are an Amazon favorite. The tampons are made from 100% organic cotton that is both soft and breathable. Along with being hypoallergenic and dermatologist-tested, the tampons feature twisted organic cotton fibers for added absorbency. No rayon, dyes, perfumes, colors, or chlorine are used to make them either. “I have been using these for a few years now and I love them,” raved one shopper. “They're organic, and I love how compact they are! They are comfortable and easy to use, just make sure you press down completely on the applicator before removing (it sort of ‘clicks’ together).”
To buy: Organyc 100% Certified Organic Tampons, $6 for 16; amazon.com
Shoppers love that these organic Tampax tampons have an applicator that is comfortable and easy to use. But their favorite part seems to be the fact that they are made from 90% plant-based materials. The tampons themselves are bleach, dye, and fragrance-free, and they’re made with 100% organic cotton that is certified by the Global Organic Textile Standard. “These tampons are fantastic,” wrote one customer. “They come in two different sizes of regular and super, which is very convenient depending on the day. I can wear them for as long as necessary and there is no leakage. It neutralizes smell as well. Very pleased with these.”
To buy: Tampax Pure Organic Tampons, $16 for 16; amazon.com
If you prefer to use cardboard applicators, check out these tampons from Oi. Not only are the tampons made from 100% certified organic cotton, but the rounded cardboard applicators are fully biodegradable, making them a fantastic eco-friendly product. Most importantly, reviewers say the tampons are both comfortable and absorbent. “I love that these are eco-friendly, biodegradable, and non-toxic,” wrote one. “They’re easy to use, easily concealable, and give me ease of mind that I’m doing something good for the environment. Ease and comfort all around!”
To buy: Oi Certified Organic Tampons, $15 for 16; amazon.com
These Veeda tampons are as eco-friendly as they can possibly get. In addition to being made with 100% natural cotton, the tampons don’t come with any applicators, so no excess materials need to be thrown away. In addition to being gynecologist-tested, the tampons are also biodegradable and free from fragrances, dyes, synthetics, and chemicals. “I love these non-applicator tampons,” raved one reviewer. “I have a very heavy flow, and I find that I don't have to change these too often. No applicator also means less plastic, less waste, and they're also way more discreet, and I can pack more of them into a smaller space.”
To buy: Veeda Natural Cotton Applicator Free Tampons, $8 for 32; amazon.com
Hundreds of Amazon shoppers love these organic cotton tampons from Seventh Generation because of their comfortable, dual-layer design that prevents leaks. The tampons come in both regular and super sizes, and customers say the regular size is a great option for light flow days. Even better, for every box of tampons sold in the United States, the brand donates 43 cents to nonprofit organizations to offset the “period tax” and help make period products more accessible to women in need. “Very pleased with these,” wrote one reviewer. “Didn’t get the weird tingling that other tampons can give you. Felt they had the same or better absorbency.”
To buy: Seventh Generation Organic Cotton Tampons, $14 for 18; amazon.com
Walmart customers love these super plus organic cotton tampons from Lola so much, they have given them an impressive 4.3-star rating. These popular period products are perfect for women with heavy flows because they are designed to expand in all directions to prevent leaks. Shoppers are fans of the tampon's compact design that fits in the palm of their hand, allowing them to discreetly carry one to the bathroom. They also like the fact that the tampons are gynecologist-approved and from a women-owned business.
To buy: Lola Super Plus Organic Cotton Tampons, $7 for 20; walmart.com
Since the heaviness of your flow can fluctuate each day during your period, many women keep a variety of tampon sizes on hand. This box of organic tampons from Top comes with both super and regular sizes, for light and heavy days. The tampons themselves are made from 100% organic cotton and have been produced using sustainable and ethical processes. One shopper called the Top tampons a “must try” before adding, “I’ve used many different brands of organic tampons. These are by far the most comfortable, reliable and absorbent. No issues with the applicator and love the discreet packaging.”
To buy: Top Regular & Super Organic Tampons, $17 for 30; amazon.com
If you have sensitive skin, these hypoallergenic, certified organic cotton tampons from Cora might be just what you’re looking for. The highly absorbent products are made without any dioxides, polyester, pesticides, and fragrances, and they are applicator-free. “Best product ever,” raved one customer. “Minimal waste and perfect for everyone especially those that are extra sensitive. Thread is so soft and they absorb perfectly. Protective wrap stands up to the roughest of travel and yet is easily unwrapped so no time wasted. Love, love, love it. Lifetime customer here.”
To buy: Cora Organic Cotton Tampons, $13 for 36; amazon.com
According to the brand, these organic O.b. tampons can provide protection for up to 8 hours at a time, making them a good option for overnight use (but before you choose to sleep in one, we recommend reading this guide on sleeping with tampons). Shoppers love that they are made from responsibly sourced, organic cotton and that its applicator is made from 92% of plant-based materials. “I highly recommend these tampons,” wrote one customer. “I stopped using tampons when I noticed they’d irritate my lady parts after use. I changed them every 2-3 hours, and even then I’d feel dry and chaffed or just felt them there. With these there’s no irritation, dryness, I honestly forget they’re in. I won’t use any other brands after these.”
To buy: O.b. Organic Tampons, $6 for 18; amazon.com
These organic cotton tampons from Rael have a near-perfect rating on Amazon thanks to their leak-locking technology and ultra-slim BPA-free applicator that glides in easily and comfortably. According to the brand, the tampons feature a unique design that keeps “fluids locked in the core for added security.” One shopper wrote, “I used to use Tampax, but things changed as I got older and I needed something more absorbent and more comfortable. I started switching to organic food, so why not beauty/hygiene products as well? These [are comfortable and] do what they need to, and I don't need to worry about leaks the way I used to.”
To buy: Rael Organic Cotton Tampons, $12 for 16; amazon.com
While most options on this list are more expensive than other tampons you can find in the aisles of your favorite drugstore, Just’s tampons are as affordable as they are eco-friendly. Made with a 100% cotton core, the company’s feminine care products are produced without any dyes, fragrances, or chlorine bleaching. Hundreds of Walmart shoppers have given the tampons a near-perfect rating, with many raving about how they’re absorbent and comfortable.
To buy: Just Cotton Core Tampons, $6 for 20; walmart.com
Sign up for our Health Shopping newsletter to get your daily dose of retail therapy with great deals handpicked by our editors — straight to your inbox.