In-depth baby product reviews led by a Pediatrician

Best Nursing Pads

We tested nursing pads from Cache Coeur, Kindred Bravely, Lansinoh, and more to find the top-performing options
Best Nursing Pads
By Abriah Wofford ⋅ Senior Review Editor
Wednesday April 20, 2022
Our Editors independently research, test, and rate the best products. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Learn more
Need help choosing the right nursing pad? You're in luck. Our review ranks the top 10 nursing pads available today. To determine the best, we've researched the market before purchasing worthy contenders for hands-on testing. While ranking the competition, we evaluated and compared essential factors, like absorbency, comfort, wicking ability, and eco-health. Naturally, leaks happen, especially in the early days of breastfeeding, and nursing pads will likely become your best companion. Let our review help guide your decision-making. You'll be thankful to have this handy breastfeeding accessory to keep you dry and protect clothing from stains.

Top 10 Product Ratings

Displaying 1 - 5 of 10
< Previous | Compare | Next >
 
Awards Editors' Choice Award Editors' Choice Award  Top Pick Award  
Price $28 List
$7.00 each at Amazon
$0.12 List
$0.10 each at Amazon
$2.13 List$2.89 List
$2.25 each at Amazon
$0.15 List
$0.09 each at Amazon
Overall Score Sort Icon
84
76
71
69
63
Star Rating
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Pros Excellent absorbency, never feels wet, stays putSuper absorbent, good wicking ability, not bulkyExtra soft fabric, multiple sizes, no leaksDisappears under a bra, good coverage, soft materialGood leak protection, good coverage, locks away moisture
Cons Pricey, thick padding, synthetic materialLots of plastic waste, weak adhesiveRequires prep to become fully absorbent, fabric remnants on skinLess absorbent, not contouredBulky feel, more plastic waste, poor adhesive
Bottom Line Extremely comfortable and perfectly contoured nursing pads that you forget you are wearing, but quite expensiveHighly absorbent nursing pads with convenient individual packaging, but poor eco-healthSuper soft, cozy, and absorbent bamboo fabric that good for the most sensitive skin, but may leave lintCute variety pack of super soft and super thin pads that keep you dry, but may not be enough for heavy leaksDisposable pads that are very absorbent and wick well, but aren't top of the line
Rating Categories Curve By Cache Coeur Lansinoh Stay Dry Mama Designs Bamboo Bamboobies Medela Disposable
Leak Protection (35%)
9.0
9.0
7.0
5.0
8.0
Comfort (35%)
8.0
7.0
7.0
9.0
5.0
Wicking Ability (20%)
9.0
9.0
8.0
7.0
8.0
Eco Health (10%)
6.0
2.0
6.0
6.0
1
Specs Curve By Cache Coeur Lansinoh Stay Dry Mama Designs Bamboo Bamboobies Medela Disposable
Available Sizes Regular and Overnight OS Small and Large Regular and Overnight OS
Contoured Yes Yes No No No
Usage Reusable Disposable Reusable Reusable Disposable
Adhesive No Yes No No Yes


Best Overall Nursing Pad


Curve By Cache Coeur


84
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Leak Protection 9.0
  • Comfort 8.0
  • Wicking Ability 9.0
  • Eco-Health 6.0
Usage: Reusable | Contoured: Yes
Super absorbent
Perfect contour
Breathable material
Expensive
May not fit every shape

The Curve by Cache Coeur instantly became our favorite nursing pads as they offer many perks that other brands do not. They are thicker than average; however, they do not feel bulky while wearing them, plus their shape and contour help them to lay seamlessly under a bra. There is even a slight indentation for the nipple, so you do not experience any points of pressure. The antibacterial mesh lining is very breathable and wicks away moisture from your skin, helping you feel dry and fresh. The super-absorbent core layer locks away all leaks for up to 9 hours in the daytime version. We love that one pair can last so long, so you don't have to worry about changing out your pads as often or bringing along extras when you are out and about. Curve pads come in 2 different sizes with varying absorbency levels to suit your needs. They are machine washable, and Cache Coeur recommends using a washing net to keep them in tip-top condition.

Some users noted that the pads' contour might not be perfect for every breast shape, allowing them to shift around during wear or be less comfortable. However, we appreciate that they have a contour with a seam. The Curve pads are also some of the most expensive on the market, costing nearly twice as much as the next contender in line. However, we feel that the cost is justified, as one pair will last you all day, during which time you may use 3-4 pairs of a different brand. You can get away with purchasing fewer pads as long as you are ok with frequent laundering. Overall, we love the Curve pads. We would use them ourselves and highly recommend them to any nursing mother.

Favorite Disposable Pads


Lansinoh Stay Dry


76
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Leak Protection 9.0
  • Comfort 7.0
  • Wicking Ability 9.0
  • Eco-Health 2.0
Usage: Disposable | Contoured: Yes
Thin profile
Good absorbency
Soft material
Adhesive is not very strong
Minimal contour

Lansinoh Stay Dry is our favorite disposable option. The soft material has a honeycomb texture that adds an element of cushion to the side that lays against your skin. The absorbent core lasted longer than other disposables we tested, and even when the pads were chock full of leaked breastmilk, we did not experience any leaks. The large size offers good coverage and catches liquids even if the pad shifts slightly during wear. The inner surface wicks away moisture from the skin and does not stick to sore nipples or leave any fuzz behind. The outer shell has a waterproof lining to keep your clothes dry. Each pad comes in its own package, and we think they are super handy to stash in your diaper bag in the event you need one while on the go.

We are a bit disappointed by the adhesive strips. There are two small rectangles on either side of the pad meant to stick to your clothes and hold the whole thing in place. We found that the stickiness is not very strong and doesn't last as long as we would like. If you wear these pads to bed and toss and turn throughout the night, the adhesive tends to stick to itself, and the pad crumples inside your bra. While they are contoured, the pads' shape does not form very well to the breast and may show through clothes. Lansinoh pads are our top choice of the disposables contenders we tested despite these drawbacks. Even if you choose to use washable pads, we recommended having a few of these around as backups, as they can come in handy if you ever run out.

Best Budget Nursing Pads


BabyBliss Bamboo


58
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Leak Protection 7.0
  • Comfort 5.0
  • Wicking Ability 5.0
  • Eco-Health 6.0
Usage: Reusable | Contoured: Yes
Deep contour
Stays in place well
Doesn't leak
Not as soft
Thick seams

BabyBliss Bamboo pads are made from a blend of cotton and bamboo terrycloth fabric on the inside and have a microfiber core with a water-resistant polyester outer. They have a deep contour that lays flush against your skin and helps the pad stay put during wear. We did not experience any leaks or sogginess while wearing the BabyBliss pads. They come with a mesh wash bag and are machine washable, but BabyBliss recommends using the cool setting while washing and drying. There are three different sizes available to choose from based on your breast size and typical leakage amount. Many users report that these Bamboo pads are highly durable, and they come in a large pack, so you may never have to repurchase them.

Unfortunately, the terry cloth texture of the inner lining is not as soft as we would like. The material can feel abrasive for those with sensitive or cracked nipples. It may be more likely to stick to the skin (ouch!) than a smoother texture. A seam creates the pads' round contoured shape in both the outer and inner layers, and the manufacturer was thoughtful enough to place the seams on opposite sides of the pad, but they are still noticeable when wearing and may cause some discomfort. If you do not have issues with sensitivity and are looking for a durable and budget-friendly product, the BabyBliss Bamboo is a good choice.

Favorite Slim Fit


Bamboobies


69
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Leak Protection 5.0
  • Comfort 9.0
  • Wicking Ability 7.0
  • Eco-Health 6.0
Usage: Reusable | Contoured: No
No extra bulk
Super soft lining
Get better with time
Less absorbent
May shift during wear

Bamboobies washable nursing pads have been a longtime favorite for many moms. Our breastfeeding mom said these are so comfortable that she couldn't tell where the pad started and stopped during testing. The ultra-thin liners are indiscernible under clothing, and the bamboo velour inner lining is gentle on sensitive nipples. It also has good wicking properties to keep you from feeling soggy. We tested both the day version and the blue circular night pads. We noticed that the night version is a tad bulkier yet has much better absorbency, making them a good choice for mommas who leak more heavily.

On that note, some moms may find Bamboobies to be too thin and not absorbent enough for their needs. There is no contour to the fabric, but we appreciate that there are no seams either. Some users say the heart shape helps them form closer to the breast, while others say the irregular shape made it a bit hard to position the pad correctly. However, we have very few complaints about Bamboobies, and we love them for their offer of discreet protection.

Best for Soothing


Ameda ComfortGel


57
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Leak Protection 4.0
  • Comfort 9.0
  • Wicking Ability 3.0
  • Eco-Health 5.0
Usage: Reusable (up to 6 days) | Contoured: Yes
Reusable
Good for sore nipples
Breathable
Shrink over time
Stick to clothes

Ameda ComfortGel pads are ideal for soothing nipples that are sore and chapped from breastfeeding. The smooth gel surface prevents further agitation from chaffing and may offer a cooling effect that eases discomfort. Unlike many other gel pads, these have tiny holes in the center that allow some airflow, which balances out the moist environment with an element of breathability. Many moms store their pads in the refrigerator or freezer to increase the cooling sensation. The ComfortGels are reusable for up to 6 days when properly cared for, allowing you to get the most out of every pair.

When using and reusing these gel pads, following the suggested cleaning instructions is necessary to reduce and prevent the possibility of infections. We also noticed that the circumference gets smaller after each use and provides less coverage, so they may not be usable for the entire six days. These gel pads are not absorbent and not meant to catch leaks, so they received a poor score for leak protection. But, if you seek some relief from the soreness that can come with breastfeeding, the Ameda ComfortGel breast pads may be just what you need.

Compare Products

select up to 5 products to compare
Score Product Price Our Take
84
$28
Editors' Choice Award
Extremely comfortable and perfectly contoured nursing pads that you forget you are wearing, but quite expensive
76
$0.12
Editors' Choice Award
Highly absorbent nursing pads with convenient individual packaging, but poor eco-health
71
$2.13
Super soft, cozy, and absorbent bamboo fabric that good for the most sensitive skin, but may leave lint
69
$2.89
Top Pick Award
Cute variety pack of super soft and super thin pads that keep you dry, but may not be enough for heavy leaks
63
$0.15
Disposable pads that are very absorbent and wick well, but aren't top of the line
58
$1.57
Best Value Award
Reusable nursing pads with a form-fitting contour and budget-friendly price, but not as soft
57
$9
Top Pick Award
An excellent solution to soothe cracked or sore nipples, but not great for everyday leaks
55
$1.25
Unbleached cotton may be good for those who want to avoid synthetic materials but must sacrifice some comfort
50
$1.63
Extra-large nursing pads made with some organic materials, not as comfortable or dry
33
$0.20
Attempt at an eco-friendly disposable option, but not as functional as others and not recommended

Why You Should Trust Us


BabyGearLab has been researching and testing a wide variety of baby products for over ten years, gathering experience and knowledge from parents, professional caregivers, and our founder and pediatrician Juliet Spurrier. Leading this nursing pad review is Senior Review Editor, Abriah Wofford. With six years of baby gear testing under her belt and many years of professional childcare experience, Abriah has more than enough context to help make informed decisions on the best products. Justice Wofford assesses comfort, absorbency, and overall ease of use while breastfeeding her 1-month-old infant to augment our research and testing with some hands-on use.

We assessed the texture and comfort of each set of nursing pads.
Some nursing pads came with convenient accessories such as a carry...

Analysis and Test Results


Nursing pads might be a must-have item for your breastfeeding days, depending on your milk production. They catch potential leaks, saving you from a soaked bra and embarrassing wet spots. Let us help you find a set of pads that are reliable, comfortable, and fit within your budget.

Tip: If your little one has difficulty finding a good latch, it can lead to cracked or sensitive nipples. A good nipple cream like this one from Motherlove can be a lifesaver while breastfeeding.


Value


We tested a mix of reusable and disposable nursing pads in this round of testing. Although the disposables have a much lower price per piece, they will become an ongoing purchase, and you may find that you end up spending more in the long run t than you would on a pack of durable reusable. The BabyBliss Bamboo nursing pads are our favorite affordable nursing pads. They come in a 14-pack with a mesh wash bag and are durable enough that it is unlikely you will ever have to repurchase. Although they are not as soft or leakproof as higher-scoring products, we feel that they offer the best value for the price.

Leak Protection


The absorbency of a pad can vary depending on the thickness, material, and size. When thinking about what may be best for you, consider whether you are a heavy leaker or light and how frequently you change your pads.


The most absorbent brands are usually larger and bulkier and may be overkill for some people. They do not fit under clothes as smoothly as lighter-weight pads. The exception is the Curve pads, which earned a 9 of 10 for leak protection. They boast a 9 hour wear time and are absorbent enough to catch and lock away all leaked milk. While they are thicker than average, they are the perfect shape to be nearly invisible under clothing. Bamboobies are some of the thinnest pads we tested. They are very comfortable to wear but are best for light leakers because they do not have a large capacity.

Disposable nursing pads are typically much more absorbent than...
Disposable nursing pads are typically much more absorbent than reusable ones. The Lansinoh Disposables held the most liquid in our tests.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Most of the time, disposable pads will out-absorb reusable options, and this is because many of them contain SAP, which is the same material found in diapers that makes them so absorbent. Lansinoh pads earned a top score of 9 for this reason. However, we did not find this true when using Eco by Naty. They do not disclose if they use SAP in their nursing pads; however, they were the least absorbent product we tested, leaving mom feeling soggy much sooner than other brands.

Reusable vs. Disposable
Many moms choose to use a combination of reusable and disposable nursing pads. Disposables create more waste and can feel similar to wearing a diaper on your chest, and our tester preferred reusable pads when at home. However, the individually wrapped pads can be super convenient to keep in your diaper bag or purse while out and about.

Comfort


When you use a pad while nursing, ideally, it will disappear beneath your bra, and you will forget it is there until it is time to change it. While that goal may not be attainable all the time, some products come closer than others. Elements like fabric texture, material bulk, and the contour of the pad all make a huge difference while using.


The Curve pads have a shape and structure similar to the padding you find inside a bra. They are easy to wear, do not crumple, wrinkle, or have any awkwardly placed seams, and earned an 8 out of 10 for comfort. Bamboobies earned the top score in this metric, with a 9 out of 10 thanks to their super thin construction and velvety soft material. We also loved the BabyBliss Bamboo for their deep contour that reduces gaps and wrinkles, although the terry cloth texture on the inside may not be as gentle as other options.

Curve By Cache Coeur were the most comfortable pads to wear.
Curve By Cache Coeur were the most comfortable pads to wear.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Lansinoh disposables have a very pliable construction and soft material, so even though the contour is not so deep, they still form to your shape well. The NuAngel cotton pads are the least comfortable to wear. The cotton fabric is soft, but the pads are bulky and a bit stiff, making them feel awkward when placed inside your bra. These pads earned a 3 out of 10 for comfort.

The night version of the Bamboobies nursing pads had a slim profile...
The night version of the Bamboobies nursing pads had a slim profile and above average absorbency.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Wicking Ability


No one likes feeling constantly soggy. Our favorite pads wick away moisture and leave you feeling fresh as a daisy.


The Curve pads are among the best reusable options in this metric, along with the Mama Designs Bamboo. Both felt only slightly damp when loaded to the max and earned 9 and 8 out of 10, respectively. Disposables also excel in this area. Lansinoh pads earned a 9 out of 10 thanks to a quilted surface pattern and inner SAP that helps keep moisture off the boob.

The surface material and texture impact a pad&#039;s wicking ability...
The surface material and texture impact a pad's wicking ability. Terry cloth textures like on the BabyBliss Bamboo work well for this purpose.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Eco by Naty Bamboo missed the mark on this one. When loaded with the same amount of liquid as other products, Naty pads were sopping, while others merely felt damp. They scored 2 out of 10. Kindred Bravely and BabyBliss were both average-performers in terms of wicking earning scores of 5 and 4 out of 10. The terry cloth loops create a slight buffer between the liquid and your skin, but they do not keep you as dry as some other fabrics might.

Eco-Health


While not the main focus of our testing, we feel that eco-health deserves mention here. We included both types of nursing pads in this review; disposable and reusable.


Of course, reusable options score higher, but we gave top scores to products like NuAngel, 9 of 10, and Kindred Bravely, 7 of 10, that use all natural materials or a higher number of organic components. The lowest scorer was the Medela Disposable. Earning a 2 out of 10, not only are they a single-use product, but they are also not as absorbent as the similar Lansinoh version, so you have to use more throughout the day and create more waste in the process.

You will likely need to change your pads every 2-3 hours, so be sure...
You will likely need to change your pads every 2-3 hours, so be sure to purchase enough to last through a few days.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Conclusion


While your breastmilk production adjusts itself to your baby's needs, it is normal for leaks to occur. Therefore, nursing pads may be your new best friend. Having a comfortable set of absorbent pads that are nonirritating and leave no residue (looking at you fuzzies!) can make a world of difference. We used each product over a multi-week period and compared them side-by-side to find the ones that work well in different situations. Whether you prefer reusable pads or disposable ones, or pads that fit snugly and discreetly hide under your clothing, we are confident that our lineup includes an option that may meet your needs. If you are still unsure what is best for you, try out a few brands before purchasing more of your favorites.

Abriah Wofford

Honest, objective reviews. Led by a Pediatrician.

BabyGearLab was founded by a Pediatrician Mom with a mission to provide a reliable, independent, source of information to new parents. Our experts have tested thousands of baby and kids products to share key performance, health, and safety findings. We spend tens of thousands of dollars crash testing car seats to inform our ratings. And, we combine our review work with gobs of expert parenting advice. To assure complete independence, we buy all the products we test ourselves. No sponsored content. No ads. Just real, honest, side-by-side testing by people who care.

Learn More