Try these on for size.
When it comes to tampons, you probably fall into one of two camps: A) You've always worn the same tampon brand your mom handed you the first time you saw a red spot on your underwear. B) You've gone exploring, trying organic tampons or maybe even applicator-free.
But is there a “best” tampon out there? Well, that depends on who you ask. Stephanie McClellan, MD, chief medical officer of the woman’s health app Tia, doesn’t have a favorite brand but she always recommends organic. “Intuitively, thinking about using something that has less chemicals in the process seems to be sensible to me, because you’re literally putting them inside of your body,” she says. The vagina is extremely absorbent. “What you decide to put in it should be as pure as possible,” Dr. McClellan says.
But Gianni Rodriguez-Ayala, MD, who works in obstetrics and gynecology at Northwell Health, notes that “There’s not much science behind what makes one brand better than another.” She adds: “The two most important factors to consider when choosing a tampon are whether you feel comfortable and whether it offers the least absorbency possible, while providing the right protection.” The absorbency factor is what you really want to watch out for.
Both Dr. Rodriguez-Ayala and Dr. McClellan say that higher absorbency tampons have been linked to an increased risk for toxic shock syndrome—a bacterial infection that can be deadly. “It’s important to avoid leaving tampons in for more than eight hours,” Dr. Rodriguez-Ayala says. “Selecting the right tampon for your particular body and flow can make it easier to avoid such unsafe habits.”
Below, you'll find the 11 best tampon brands to choose from right now. But remember, this is a personal choice. If you feel best going organic, do it. If you’re happy with the same tampons you’ve been using since you were 13, go ahead and stick with ‘em.