If you just welcomed your bundle of joy into this world, there are a few changes that you expect when it comes to breastfeeding your little munchkin. Because of the abundance of milk in your breasts, leaks are inevitable. Yes, it’s completely unpredictable, more-so for new mums. This is because as the baby creates its own suckling pattern, your body will adjust to match their needs. While you might not experience any leaking at all, if it does happen, it could happen for a few weeks while for some for as long as the baby is breastfeeding.
The hormone that’s responsible for the leaking is Oxytocin, which causes the Milk Ejection Reflex (MER). This reflex occurs when your breasts become full of milk, when you think about your baby, hear one crying, or even while you reach a climax (oxytocin is released then too). Choosing and using soft, absorbent, and breathable nursing pads will help save the situation.
Since there are different types of nursing pads as well as a myriad of brands out there, it can be a frustrating endeavor for a pregnant woman or a new, sleep-deprived mother to search for one that works optimally. This is why we decided to make this difficult time a little easier for you. We have put together an array that will be sure to leave you wanting for nothing. So, de-stress your breasts with any selection from our list of the top 10 best nursing pads.
Top 10 Best Nursing Pads Of 2020 Reviewed
1. Baby Bliss Organic Bamboo Nursing PadsReusable Nursing Pads
Moms who wish to save on the cost of disposable nursing pads will love this set of reusable organic bamboo nursing pads from Baby Bliss. It features three layers, the first of which is ultra-soft organic bamboo cotton to keep your nipples comfortable (a must when breastfeeding). The second layer is an absorbent inner lining while the outer layer is satin smooth fabric that won’t show any leaks.
We like the fact that you get 14 all at once so you’re good to go for a week. It also comes with its own washable bag so you never have to worry about losing one of the pads to the black hole inside every washing machine. Plus, it comes with a breastfeeding guide to help new moms learn about different techniques. Another feature that makes this nursing pad stand out is the fact that it is 4 1/2 cm in diameter, large enough to comfortably fit any bra size AND it still comes in three sizes – medium, large, and x-large.
- Really soft, feels great
- Very absorbent
- 100% money back guarantee
- Visible when wearing unlined/unpadded bras
- Lie flat; doesn’t fit the curve of your breast well so the edges kind of lift
- Gets full of milk very quickly
2. bamboobies Washable Reusable Nursing PadsNursing Pad For Sensitive Skin
Heart-shaped nursing pads? Count us in! These adorable reusable pads come in different colors to brighten up your day, even if you’re the only one who can see them. In fact, the three thin ones for daytime use won’t be visible at all unless you’re wearing a pretty tight shirt or have no bra on at all.
You also get a thick nursing pad for nighttime use so you don’t have to worry about waking up to a mess. These ultra-eco pads are made out of cotton and bamboo rayon velour, an absorbent layer of cotton and hemp, and a waterproof outer layer of polyester. Yes, these are definitely expensive for only 4 pads but the savings it will give you, in the long run, makes it worth the price.
The drawbacks to these pads are few. Smaller-chested moms may find their pads not fitting inside their bra properly. And some moms have reported feeling cold and uncomfortable once the pads start absorbing milk.
- Super soft
- Very absorbent
- Tends to roll up when drying
- Can be cold for some moms
- A bit pricey
3. Lansinoh Stay Dry Disposable Nursing PadsDisposable Nursing Pads
If disposable pads are more your thing (who has time for laundry, right?), Lansinoh Dry Disposable Pads should work for you. These leak-proof pads feature quilted, honeycomb lining to keep accidents from happening and two adhesive pads to make sure they don’t slide out of place. The pads are contoured to conform to your breast shape and individually packed. These really are absorbent and leak-proof as promised; your skin stays dry the entire time. Plus, they seem to hold a lot of milk.
The main drawback with these pads are the plastic wraps and adhesive paper. Because you’ll be running through at least a few a day, the extra waste would quickly pile up in the trash. Some moms feel that these pads aren’t soft while others feel the pads tend to be a bit lumpy.
- Sticks in place
- Conforms to your breast shape
- Not soft compared to others
- A bit pricey for disposable
- Not eco-friendly
4. EcoNursingPads Washable Reusable Bamboo Nursing PadsNursing Pad For Large Breasts
These reusable, organic nursing pads also feature a unique shape just like our previous pick. With these pads, you get flower-shaped pads which are called Day-sies. These are custom-designed to fit more naturally around the breast, to prevent wrinkles and be less visible when worn. These Day-sies are for light to medium flow. The pack also comes with round pads for overnight use. You also get a laundry bag so you can wash them all together.
The pads are absorbent but it doesn’t take the moisture away as good as disposable ones. Also, these don’t always stay in place. While the Day-sies are discreet, they are quite large and may bunch up.
- Very absorbent
- Gives a lot of coverage
- Very soft, soothing to sore nipples
- Maybe too large for some moms
- Not that discreet; visible undershirts
- Sensitive skin may find the edge of the lining itchy
5. M&Y Organic Bamboo Nursing Pads
Organic, hypoallergenic, and breathable, these reusable nursing pads are very similar to our number 1 pick, Baby Bliss. You get one set of 14 organic bamboo pads of varying colors. These are more vibrant in color which could be a good or bad thing. But for those who don’t want multiple colors, you can also buy the same set in white. The set is also offered in 2 sizes – A cup (3.9 inches) and C cup + (4.7 inches).
The pads are made out of three layers – bamboo, microfiber, polyester with waterproof TPU. So you get a super soft, absorbent layer surrounding your breasts and a waterproof outer layer to prevent leaks from ruining your favorite bra and shirt. Plus, these pads come with an organza bag for storage, a laundry bag for washing, and a breastfeeding guide. If you’re not happy at all with the product, the company offers a 100% money-back guarantee. When it comes to performance, these pads work great.
They’re very absorbent and can even be used overnight. They do, however, hold moisture so you’ll feel the wetness. Also, like most reusable pads, these do not have anything to stick them in place so they may move/slide around. In addition, these pads are visible under your shirt.
- Very absorbent
- 100% money-back guarantee
- Doesn’t wick away moisture; you feel the dampness
- Visible undershirt
- Some users felt that the pads were too bulky
6. Kindred Bravely Washable Organic Nursing PadsNursing Pad For Small Breasts
Kindred Bravely offers one of the best nursing bras ever. So why wouldn’t they offer nursing pads as well? These ultra-soft, hypoallergenic, bamboo nursing pads are feature three layers similar to what other reusable pads offer except in one way – the middle layer is an ultra-absorbent microfiber layer that wicks moisture away. Once the pad is full, you’ll feel the dampness of the pad. Otherwise, it’s very dry and soft. The pads are contoured to provide a better fit and come with a cute waterproof carry-bag that you can place your wet pads in while you’re out and about.
The pads are still visible when word under unlined bras or under tight-fitting clothes. These pads are 4.5 in diameter which, for some moms, are still a tad small. Also, these are not great for overnight use. While these are absorbent enough for light to medium flow, those with a heavy flow may need something else.
- Very soft
- Organic and hypoallergenic
- 100% satisfaction guarantee
- Made in China
- Not for large breasts
- Not for heavy flow
7. Medela Disposable Nursing Bra PadsNursing Pad For Heavy Leaking
The Medela Disposable Nursing Bra Pads are lifesavers for those who want disposable pads that are designed for heavy milk flow or moms who are now taking longer breaks between feedings. These super absorbent pads are made out of cotton, nylon, and an absorbent polymer to keep you dry and comfortable but they won’t be visible to other people.
The price per pad is extremely low but the size and shape of each pad are top quality. The pads also feature 2 sticky tabs to keep your pad in place. Each pad is individually packed so you might find yourself filling your trash can faster. The drawback to these pads is that they aren’t that soft and are a bit bulky.
- Very absorbent
- Very affordable
- Not soft
- Not eco-friendly
- A bit bulky
8. Philips AVENT Disposable Breast PadsNursing Pad For Heavy Leaking
Avent’s disposable breast pads feature a contoured design to enable you to slip it easily into your bra and help it stay invisible to everyone else. It has an anti-slip adhesive tape. It feels silky soft and is made of four hygienic layers to ensure that all the moisture doesn’t touch your skin, ensuring you remain dry and comfortable while wearing them. We love the fact that these are very absorbent and are able to stay in place even without having to use the stickers.
These can fit even the bustiest of mothers. Because the pads are so thin, they don’t bunch up and look bulky. They remain invisible even under a tight-fitting shirt which is a feat that few nursing pads are able to do. Some moms have reported feeling itchy when using the pad.
- Very absorbent
- Discreet and does not bunch up
- Not eco-friendly
- Some have reported itchiness
- Only has one strip of tape instead of two
9. Lacti-Cups Nursing CupsNursing Pad For Heavy Leaking
Instead of letting your leaked milk go to waste, why not collect it instead. And no, we don’t mean a breast pump. We’re talking about Lacti-Cups. These cups have been designed to be placed inside your bra to catch as much as 4 ounces of leaked milk. It can fit any breast size and isn’t visible when you’re wearing a bra with padding. These cups are easy to clean and easy to use. They’re very comfortable and allows sore nipples a bit of relief from chafing on cloth or pads.
The only drawback is that there isn’t a locking mechanism that will keep the milk from spilling out when you bend over.
- Saves leaked milk
- Can fit any breast size
- Not visible under a padded bra
- No locking mechanism
- May leak when bending over
- A few moms have reported leaks at the bottom of their cups
10. Serenity Bamboo Washable Organic Bamboo Nursing PadsNursing Pad For Heavy Leaking
Yes, these bamboo organic reusable nursing pads are a tad more expensive than some of our other picks that are similar in material and features. But there’s more to these pads than meet the eye. The pads come in two different sizes 10cm and 12cm (diameter). They also come in multiple colors and white. These are very absorbent and don’t feel wet at all. They also don’t leak even when you use them overnight. And they’re easy to wash – hand wash or machine. You can put treatment on your sore nipples and these pads won’t stain. And they feel really soft, even to cracked nipples.
So, what’s the catch? It doesn’t contour to your breast well and bunches up so you need to readjust from time to time. Also, the pads are pretty visible under your shirt. Lastly, it doesn’t come with care instructions so first-time users are left to do guesswork or Google.
- No leaks and very absorbent
- Easy to wash
- No care instructions
- Not discreet
- Doesn’t contour well
Choosing The Best Nursing Pad – The Ultimate Buying Guide
Just like nursing bras, nursing pads are more about preference than performance. What may fit one mama won’t necessarily contour well to another mama’s breast. Leakage is also a very personal thing. Some only leak a little, if at all, while others have a heavy letdown. Your best bet in finding the pad that allows you to avoid embarrassment in public is by trying a lot of different brands. So our best advice is to avoid buying a lot in the first go. And see if your hospital will be able to provide you with samples to try out before they discharge you.
That being said, it still pays to learn all about nursing pads and the pros and cons of each type to give you a better chance of narrowing down your choices to what will suit you best. With that in mind, we decided to write a guide that gives you the lowdown on nursing pads.
Types: What Options do You Have?
Basically, there are only two types of nursing pads – reusable and disposable. Obviously, reusable pads are washable, allowing you to use these pads numerous times. While these are more expensive than disposables based on the cost per pad, you’ll definitely be saving money in the long run.
Disposable pads are, you guessed it, thrown away after each use. These are typically individually packaged for hygienic purposes but that also means you’ll be dealing with an overflowing trash can filled with wrappers and pads.
Pros and Cons of Reusable Pads
Reusable pads are eco-friendly as well as wallet-friendly. Each pad costs more than a disposable pad but you’ll be saving money in the long run. Most of the popular ones’s such as the Baby Bliss Organic Bamboo Nursing Pads are organic and hypoallergenic. These pads tend to be softer than disposable ones so they’re less likely to irritate your already chafed nipples.
However, these pads are not convenient. You’ll need to wash these every time and you may find that some still smell like spoiled milk after a wash. You definitely need several pairs unless you plan on doing laundry more frequently. You’ll need a waterproof bag to place them in if you plan on switching pads while outside the home.
Though they are thicker and bulkier than disposable pads, they are not as leakproof. You will need to replace them frequently. Also, being bulkier means they are often visible when you wear unlined bras and tight-fitting clothes. These do not come with stickers or adhesive strips so you may find yourself adjusting them from time to time.
Pros and Cons of Disposable Pads
Disposable pads are the best in terms of preventing leaks from showing on your clothes. This is because these pads usually have a plastic lining on the outside to stop milk from leaking to your bra even if it’s already full of milk.
These pads are usually thinner which makes them more comfortable to wear and invisible under your shirt. Plus, they’re much more convenient to use outside the home, particularly if you’re going to be away from home for days and unable to wash your reusable pads. Disposable pads also come with stickers or adhesive strips so you can keep them in place.
On the other hand, these pads are definitely not eco-friendly. You’ll definitely be producing a lot of waste with these pads since they come individually wrapped. Because you’ll be throwing each pad as soon as you fill them up, you’re going to be spending a lot on these. There’s a good chance you’ll go through a 120-count box in a month’s time.
Thick or Thin?
While thickness does help how much milk a pad can absorb, it doesn’t mean you should always pick them over thin ones. Some thin pads such as the Philips AVENT SCF254/10 Day Disposable Breast Pads can absorb a lot and still stay dry.
Also, you definitely shouldn’t get pads that are too thick, just by wearing you suddenly become Dolly Parton’s long-lost daughter. But, again, this is all a matter of preference and breast shape. As you might see from reviews, some moms report that the pads conformed well while others reported the same pad as ill-fitting.
What about Nursing Cups?
If you feel like your leaked milk should be utilized instead of wasted on a pad, reusable or not, then a nursing cup should fit you. Now, these can only contain a certain amount of milk and can become uncomfortable if you use it for too long.
Like we’ve already stated, it’s best if you try out as many as possible to find the one that fits you best. And if you go the reusable route, you may benefit from having some disposable pads on hand as well. This way, you’ll have something to use for long outings or for days when you haven’t had time to do laundry.