The 8 Best Nursing Pads of 2020

Keep your clothes protected on your breastfeeding journey

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Our Top Picks

Best Overall: Rebabies at Amazon

"Provide convenience, comfort, and maximum protection with organic bamboo material that is super absorbent."

Best Disposable: Lansinoh Stay Dry Nursing Pads at Amazon

"Each pad is individually wrapped and has two adhesive strips on the back to keep them in place within your bra or nursing tank."

Best Ultra Thin: NUK Ultra Thin Nursing Pads at Amazon

"The pad is discreet with a no-show design, while the patented MilkLock technology is designed to trap all leaks."

Best Heavy Leaking: Medela Disposables at Amazon

"Made with superabsorbent materials designed to prevent leakage and maintain dryness while still staying discreet."

Best for Large Breasts: Mother-Ease Cloth Nursing Pads at Amazon

"Ultra soft fabric means no dampness, itching, or sticking, and it means you’ll need to change them less throughout the day."

Best Eco-Friendly: Bamboobies Disposable Nursing Pads at Amazon

"The bamboo viscose top layer of this product is soft on the skin while also being naturally antibacterial and antimicrobial."

Best Reusable: EcoNursing Reusable Bamboo Nursing Pads at Amazon

"Comfortable and ultra soft, these pads are designed with leak-proof backings and are fully reusable and washable."

Best for Sensitive Skin: bamboobies Washable Nursing Pads at Amazon

"This ultra-soft and absorbent nursing pad has everything a sensitive-skinned mama will need."

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.

Here are the best nursing pads on the market.

Our Top Picks

Best Overall: Rebabies

If you’re new to the breastfeeding game, why not try a pad that’s basically the Bentley of all options? Rebabies organic bamboo breastfeeding pads are the whole package. Rebabies nursing pads provide convenience, comfort, and maximum protection with organic bamboo material that is super absorbent while also being soft, gentle, and breathable at the same time.

Each package comes with both regular and overnight pads, as well as a washing bag for quick and easy cleaning. The additional cotton carry bag makes it easy for you to discreetly bring your pads with you everywhere you go. These hypoallergenic pads mean moms don’t have to worry about itchiness or infections, and the soft, organic bamboo also helps soothe sore nipples and provide maximum comfort.

The pads look natural under all clothing, and as if that weren’t enough, each package comes with a decorative card so that moms can write a message for their babies to read at some point in the future.

Best Disposable: Lansinoh Stay Dry Nursing Pads

lansinoh-nursing-pads
Courtesy of Amazon

If you’d prefer to not have to worry about washing and drying your nursing pads, a disposable brand 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’re 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.​

Best Ultra Thin: NUK Ultra Thin Nursing Pads

If you prefer to go with the most minimal coverage possible without being completely bare under there, 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 moms with the light flow or who have already established their milk production and aren’t leaking as much as someone right after labor.

Best Heavy Leaking: Medela Disposables

Especially as your breastmilk 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.

Best for Large Breasts: Mother-Ease Cloth Nursing Pads

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 for big-breasted women. 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.

Best Eco-Friendly: Bamboobies Disposable Nursing Pads

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.

Best Reusable: EcoNursing Contoured Washable Reusable Bamboo Nursing Pads

Eco-conscious moms out there might prefer using a reusable pad over a disposable one, and the contoured washable reusable bamboo nursing pads give those moms 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: the ultra-soft velvety flower shaped day-sies for daytime use and the thick, contoured, organic bamboo 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 for sensitive skin problems.

Best for Sensitive Skin: bamboobies Washable Reusable Nursing Pads

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. The 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 percent bamboo viscose, 23 percent polyester, and 20 percent cotton.

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

5 Types of Nursing Pads

By Donna Murray, RN, BSN 

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.

Leaking Breasts

Leaking is more common in the early days of breastfeeding, while the supply of breast milk adjusts to your baby's needs. You might not experience leaking at all. You might leak for a few weeks, or you might deal with leaking for as long as you breastfeed your baby.

Leaking can occur when you hear your baby cry, when your breasts become very full, when you're intimate with your partner, or for no reason at all.

When You Might Need Nursing Pads

If you have sore, cracked nipples, hydrogel pads may be helpful.

Choosing the Right Breast Pad for You

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 liners that can trap moisture against your skin.

You should also 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.

Types of Breast Pads

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.

Disposable Nursing Pads: Disposable nursing pads are designed to be worn once and then discarded. They're available in a variety of shapes and thicknesses, so you may want to try a few different brands to see which one you like best.

Disposable pads are also great for when you're going out or traveling since you won't have to worry about washing them. But, over time, disposables can be expensive, since you have to continuously buy new ones.

Reusable Nursing Pads: 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 since you're not throwing away multiple pads each day (they won't end up in a landfill).

You'll have to buy a 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 Pads: 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: Nursing pads can easily be made from a variety of items. You could cut up disposable diapers or sanitary napkins to fit inside your bra, use a handkerchief or other piece of cotton material, folding it and placing it over your breasts or, if you know how to sew, you can stitch together a few layers of absorbent material into a circular shape, or any other shape that's comfortable for you.

When making your own pads, avoid artificial materials. It's best to use 100% cotton fabric, which is better at soaking up leaks, and soft against your skin.

Hydrogel Pads: Hydrogel pads are not used for leaking. They're often used to help soothe and heal sore nipples, and they can be kept in the refrigerator or freezer so they can provide cool relief.

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