The 10 Best Nursing Pads of 2022

Keep your clothes protected on your breastfeeding journey

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Leaking is more common in the early days of breastfeeding, while the supply of breast milk adjusts to your baby's needs. Nursing pads, also called breast pads, are a very useful breastfeeding accessory. Placed into a regular or a nursing bra, they can absorb breast milk from leaking breasts to help prevent embarrassment and protect your clothing from stains.

Before you purchase nursing pads, you’ll want to consider the type of nursing pad that will fit your needs. Material is also important because you’ll want something leak-proof or maybe even adhesive. Additionally, think about cost and how often you’ll need to buy nursing pads. 

Here, the best nursing pads on the market.

Our Top Picks
Made with soft cotton bamboo and contoured microfiber, they’ll leave you feeling comfortable while absorbing any leakage.
Each pad is individually wrapped and has two adhesive strips on the back to keep them in place within your bra or nursing tank.
The pad is discreet with a no-show design, while the patented MilkLock technology is designed to trap all leaks.
Made with superabsorbent materials designed to prevent leakage and maintain dryness while still staying discreet.
Ultra soft fabric means no dampness, itching, or sticking, and it means you’ll need to change them less throughout the day.
The bamboo viscose top layer of this product is soft on the skin while also being naturally antibacterial and antimicrobial.
Comfortable and ultra soft, these pads are designed with leak-proof backings and are fully reusable and washable.
This ultra-soft and absorbent nursing pad has everything a sensitive-skinned mama will need.
Instead of absorbing any leakage, these nursing pads prevent leakage from happening in the first place.
They’re great for those with cracked, sore, or painful nipples as they can be placed in the fridge for cooling.

Best Overall: NatureBond Organic Bamboo Nursing Breast Pads

NatureBond Organic Bamboo Nursing Breast Pads
Pros
  • Contoured shape

  • Added laundry bag

Cons
  • Pad may show through certain material

These organic bamboo nursing pads have it all: style, comfort, and eco-friendliness. Made with soft cotton bamboo and contoured microfiber, they’ll leave you feeling comfortable while absorbing any leakage. They’re also environmentally friendly because they’re washable, so you can reuse them over and over.

They feature a beautiful lace design in different colors so you can still feel stylish. The company even sends you a laundry bag to make washing them that much easier for you.

Material: Cotton bamboo and microfiber | Price Per Pad: $1.50 | Uses: Multi-use

Best Disposable: Lansinoh Stay Dry Nursing Pads

lansinoh-nursing-pads
Pros
  • Honeycomb lining

  • Waterproof layer

Cons
  • Not environmentally friendly

If you’d prefer to not have to worry about washing and drying your nursing pads, a disposable option is probably your best bet. Disposable shouldn’t equal uncomfortable, though, and the Lansinoh Stay Dry Nursing Pads make comfort a priority. Features of this pad include a quilted honeycomb lining that provides excellent leak-proof coverage, as well as a waterproof layer that keeps your clothes protected.

The contoured shape also ensures that you remain comfortable and discreet, even when they pads are wet. Each pad is individually wrapped and has two adhesive strips on the back to keep them in place within your bra or nursing tank. Simply throw them away at the end of the day and move on.​

Material: Not Listed | Price Per Pad: $0.13 | Uses: Single-use

Best Ultra Thin: NUK Ultra Thin Nursing Pads

Nuk Ultra Thin Nursing Pads
Pros
  • No-show design

  • Breathable material

Cons
  • Not recommended for heavy flow

If you prefer to go with the most minimal coverage possible without being completely bare, the NUK Ultra Thin Nursing Pads provide enough absorption to keep you comfortable while still being super thin. The pad is discreet with a no-show design, while the patented MilkLock technology is designed to trap all leaks.

Extra soft, breathable material reduces the risk of irritation, and the dual-layer construction provides protection without the added bulk you’ll find in some pads. This product is recommended for people with light flow or who have already established their milk production and aren’t leaking as much as someone new to breastfeeding.

Material: Not Listed | Price Per Pad: $0.15 | Uses: Single-use

Best Heavy Leaking: Medela Disposable Nursing Breast Pads

Medela Disposable Nursing Breast Pads
Pros
  • Budget-friendly

  • Great for heavy flow

  • Double adhesive tape

Cons
  • Not environmentally friendly

Especially as your breast milk first starts to come in, you may find that you need a little extra coverage. Medela Disposables are made with superabsorbent materials designed to prevent leakage and maintain dryness while still staying discreet under your clothing.

These cotton and nylon pads are made with an absorbent polymer that will keep you dry, comfortable and confident while you settle into your breastfeeding routine with your little one.

Material: Cotton and nylon | Price Per Pad: $0.09 | Uses: Single-use

Best for Large Breasts: Mother-Ease Cloth Nursing Pads

Mother-Ease Cloth Nursing Pads
Pros
  • Washable

  • Reusable

Cons
  • Costly

Mother-Ease cloth nursing pads are a fan-favorite product because they have a whole lot going for them, not the least of which is how they fit comfortably on larger breasts. The ultra-soft fabric means no dampness, itching, or sticking, and it means you’ll need to change them less throughout the day, as well.

Unlike other brands, the contoured shape of these pads also moves to fit with the user’s body, so there is no bunching in your bra or sliding around. The neutral color won’t show through clothing, either. The eco-friendly, washable, reusable material also helps prevent thrush and yeast by wicking moisture away from your skin and keeping you dry while also keeping your baby safe.

Material: Cotton or bamboo | Price Per Pad: $9.32 | Uses: Multi-use

Best Eco-Friendly: Bamboobies Disposable Nursing Pads

Bamboobies Disposable Nursing Pads
Pros
  • Made with renewable resources

  • Milk-proof backing

Cons
  • Thick

For all of the on-the-go convenience of other disposable nursing pads with the additional benefit of eco-friendliness and sustainability, check out the Bamboobies disposable nursing pad line. The bamboo viscose top layer of this product is soft on the skin while also being naturally antibacterial and antimicrobial.

Meanwhile, the inner core is ultra-absorbent, working all day to keep you dry and comfortable. The patented milk-proof backing is perfectly breathable and keeps sensitive skin healthy, as well.

Material: Bamboo viscose, polyamide, and elastane | Price Per Pad: $0.18 | Uses: Single-use

Best Reusable: EcoNursingPads Contoured Washable Reusable Bamboo Nursing Pads

EcoNursingPads Contoured Washable Reusable Bamboo Nursing Pads
Pros
  • Environmentally-friendly

  • Washable

Cons
  • Not adhesive

Eco-conscious parents might prefer reusable pads over disposable ones, and these contoured, washable bamboo nursing pads give them all they’re looking for in this type of product. The new and improved EcoNursing Pads offer a contoured shape with two types of pads in one pack: ultra-soft, velvety, flower-shaped Day-sies for daytime use and thick, contoured, organic bamboo pads for heavier or night-time flow when you go longer without feeding.

Comfortable and ultra soft, these pads are designed with leak-proof backings and are fully reusable and washable. The Day-sies, in particular, are especially soft and soothing for chafed or sore nipples or sensitive skin.

Material: Bamboo | Price Per Pad: $1.39 | Uses: Multi-use

Best for Sensitive Skin: Bamboobies Washable Reusable Nursing Pads

Bamboobies Washable Reusable Nursing Pads
Pros
  • Washable

  • Ultra-soft top layer

Cons
  • Not recommended for use with nipple creams

While most moms are bound to experience some discomfort when they first start breastfeeding, for those with extra sensitive skin, finding a super-soft nursing pad is a must. Bamboobies washable, reusable nursing pads are a best-selling product with more than 3,100 reviews, and for good reason.

Besides the fact that you can wash and reuse this product, saving you money and helping the environment, the ultra-soft top layer that touches the skin is made with 57% bamboo viscose, 23% polyester, and 20% cotton.

The absorbent inner layer is made of 55% ramie and 45% cotton, and the outer leak-proof layer is 100% polyester with TPU waterproofing. This ultra-soft and absorbent nursing pad has everything a sensitive-skinned mama will need to get breastfeeding started on the right foot.

Material: Bamboo viscose, polyester, and cotton | Price Per Pad: $2.09 | Uses: Multi-use

Best Silicone: LilyPadz Reusable Silicone Nursing Pads

LilyPadz Silicone Nursing Pads
Pros
  • Easy to clean

  • Prevents leakage

Cons
  • Costly

Instead of absorbing any leakage, these nursing pads prevent leakage from happening in the first place. Made from 100% medical-grade silicone, these pads have a skin-like feeling, leaving you feeling comfortable all day long. 

If you’re looking for easy-to-clean nursing pads, you've found them with LilyPadz. They can simply be washed with soap and water. And, because they’re reusable, they’re more eco-friendly than pads that are disposable.

Material: Silicone | Price Per Pad: $9.98 | Uses: Multi-use

Best Gel: Lansinoh Soothies Breast Gel Pads

Lansinoh Soothies Cooling Gel Pads
Pros
  • Provide relief

  • Vegan

Cons
  • Cannot be used again after 72 hours of use

It’s no secret breastfeeding can be painful, so if you’re needing nursing pads that bring relief, these breast gel pads are a great place to start. They’re great for those with cracked, sore, or painful nipples as they can be placed in the fridge for cooling. 

There is a fabric backing to avoid any friction (and more pain) from a bra. They’re also vegan and absorbent, helping with the environment and any leakage that may occur. You can reuse them for up to 72 hours.

Material: Cotton | Price Per Pad: $3.99 | Uses: Multi-use

Because many people who breastfeed experience cracked or sore nipples, we recommend trying Lansinoh Soothies Breast Gel Pads (view at Amazon). There is a fabric backing to avoid any friction (and more pain) from wearing a bra and they can be placed in the fridge for cooling. There’s also NatureBond Breastfeeding Bamboo Nursing Breast Pads (view at Amazon). Made with soft cotton bamboo and contoured microfiber, they’ll leave you feeling comfortable while absorbing any leakage. They’re even washable, so you can reuse them over and over.

What to Look for in Nursing Pads

Type

Breast pads come in different types, shapes, and sizes, and they can be disposable or reusable. Some have adhesive strips to hold them in place and prevent them from shifting in your bra, while others are contoured to the shape of your breast, says Donna Murray, RN, BSN.

  • Disposable: Disposable nursing pads are designed to be worn once and then discarded. They're available in a variety of shapes and thicknesses, and great for when you're going out or traveling since you won't have to worry about washing them. 
  • Reusable: Reusable nursing pads are more cost-effective since you can wear them, wash them, and use them again and again. They're also environmentally friendly, but you'll have to buy several few pairs since you'll need to change them often, and you'll want to have a few pairs handy while others are in the laundry.
  • Silicone: Silicone nursing pads are not absorbent. Instead, they put gentle pressure on the breast to prevent leaks. Made from soft silicone, these pads have a sticky surface that adheres directly to your breast, so they can be worn with or without a bra. They're often used under fancy clothing or for swimming.
  • Homemade: Nursing pads can easily be made from a variety of items. You could cut up disposable diapers, sanitary napkins, use a handkerchief or other cotton material, or sew some absorbent material together. Avoid artificial materials and try to stick with 100% cotton fabric, which is better at soaking up leaks and feels soft against your skin.
  • Hydrogel: Hydrogel pads are not used for leaking. They help soothe and heal sore nipples, and they can be kept in the refrigerator or freezer so they can provide cool relief.

Material

Choose nursing pads that are soft, absorbent and made of cotton. They should allow your breasts to breathe, so avoid pads with waterproof or plastic inner liners that can trap moisture against your skin.

You should change your nursing pads whenever they get wet. Constant exposure to wetness against your breasts could lead to skin irritation and sore nipples, which can also create an environment that will encourage the growth of yeast and bacteria, which can cause infections such as thrush and mastitis, explains Murray.

Cost

When you’re picking out nursing pads, consider the cost as you may have to replace them often depending on the type you go with. Over time, disposables can be expensive, since you have to continuously buy new ones. Depending on your flow, you may need more nursing pads on hand, which can cost extra, too. If you want to save money, reusable nursing pads are usually a better choice.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How many nursing pads do I need?

    If you prefer reusable pads, five to six sets should be enough to rotate through, depending on how much you leak and how often you change and wash the pads. If you prefer disposable nursing pads, you will need to change them out every three to four hours, or whenever they are damp. Overall, the number of nursing pads you need depends on how often you nurse and how much your breasts leak.

  • How do I clean nursing pads?

    Reusable nursing pads can be washed regularly with your laundry, or by hand with mild detergent. They should be washed whenever they are damp in order to avoid bacteria build-up.

  • Can I wear nursing pads all day?

    Wearing nursing pads all day is perfectly fine, as long as you change them out as needed. Constant exposure to wetness against your breasts could lead to skin irritation and sore nipples, which can cause the growth of yeast and bacteria and infections such as thrush and mastitis. You should always change your nursing pads whenever they are wet.

Why Trust Verywell Family

Katrina Cossey has been a digital content producer and news and feature writer for more than six years. She has covered local and national news as well as writing and researching parenting topics. Katrina is a parent herself and used the Lansinoh Stay Dry Nursing Pads (view on Amazon) after giving birth. She found them to be comfortable and provide much-needed leak protection.

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