Tampons are essential to everyday life, so why not consider using ones that are better for the environment?
Tampons and other period products, along with their packaging, produce over 200,000 metric tons of waste each year. We already know that the plastic parts of tampons, such as the applicators, can take hundreds if not thousands of years to decompose.
But even the tampons themselves can be problematic. Many of them are made with a material called rayon, a cellulose fiber that comes from wood pulp. It has high absorbency, but it’s also commonly associated with the increased likelihood of toxic shock syndrome.
I think that we can do better. And there is better out there.
Biodegradable tampons, also commonly referred to as organic cotton tampons, are a healthier alternative for both you and the environment. They are designed to decompose in a timely manner after use, and they tend to contain few to no chemicals, making using them a worry-free experience.
So if you are interested in seeing a few for yourself, look no further! I’ve compiled a list of the best biodegradable tampons on the market.
So let’s take a look and see which one is the best choice for you!
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Top 10 Best Biodegradable Tampons
#1 – Natracare Organic Cotton Regular Tampons
Natracare is one of the leaders in organic products, especially when it comes their tampons. They don’t play around when it comes to the health and safety of their customers. This brand more than willing to go the extra mile and do their part in eliminating a lot of the problematic chemicals found in other tampons.
But why I really like this brand is because of how great it is for women who suffer from allergies and other skin sensitivites. There are multiple reports of Natracare customers who are overjoyed to use this product simply because it does not cause issues or discomforts.
These tampons won’t fluff up from absorption either, which can reduce swelling and soreness. The only issue is that they aren’t super absorbent, which can be problematic for women who have heavier periods.
I recommend checking them out if you are someone who is looking for a quick and easy, eco-friendly tampon.
#2 – Rael Organic Cotton Unscented Tampons
Rael’s organic cotton tampons are biodegradable and boast a high performance. When it comes to leak protection, this brand works wonders. And thanks to its high absorbency, you won’t have to worry about frequent changing or accidents.
These tampons are easy to use, comfortable, and even come with some cute packaging. But there are some things to be aware of. The applicator for this brand is a bit long, so it may cause cramping if inserted too far. And the applicator has mixed results – some people say that it’s super easy to use, while others say that the applicator can be challenging.
But for the tampon itself, the leak protection is way better than a lot of other brands, sometimes being used for over 8 hours. I recommend sticking with a maximum of 4 hours, though.
So if you are someone who is looking for tampons that have excellent absorbency, then I recommend checking out Rael’s tampons.
#3 – Oi Certified Organic Cotton Tampons
Oi’s organic cotton tampons are wonderfully made. You can expect great comfort, good absorption, and a material that is eco-friendly.
But what makes Oi stand out is it’s cardboard applicator. When it comes to eco-friendly/biodegradable tampons, cardboard applicators are often used as a replacement to plastic ones. Unfortunatley, the cardboard versions tend to be harder to work with.
This is not the case with Oi. They’ve developed their applicator to be super easy to use, and it won’t put up a fight when you try to use it unlike with other brands.
Now, let me be clear. It’s still not as seamless of a process when compared to plastic. However, I’m happy to see brands making eco-friendly options better than ever. Oi is doing its part to bridge the gap.
So if you are someone who values a quick and easy application process that’s also eco-friendly, I recommend checking Oi’s tampons out!
#4 – Cora Organic Applicator Tampons
Cora is a company that has a commitment to women worldwide. And they reflect that in their products as well. Cora’s organic tampons are a solid choice for women who have periods that vary. This brand offers both regular and super absorbency, meaning that you can adjust accordingly if the situation changes.
What this brand really excels in is comfort and ease of use. It just FEELS right, which is so important when you are going to be rocking it for hours at a time. These tampons feel like they were designed by women, for women.
But the thing I need to stress is that choosing the appropriate tampon based on your absorbency needs is important. The gap between the regular and super is noticeable – you are likely to leak if you are a “super” but used a normal.
And if you are looking to be covert, these tampons are easy to open and make very little noise. The color is also a muted white, which is a breath of fresh air in a sea of hot pink or bright orange.
So if you value comfort and are looking for a variety of different absorbency strengths, then I recommend checking out Cora’s tampons.
#5 – Seventh Generation Organic Cotton Tampons
Seventh Generation is a company that values the environment and aims to make all of their products biodegradable, compostable, or otherwise eco-friendly. So it only makes sense that their organic cotton tampons are also designed with the environment in mind.
The tampon and even the wrapping are very biodegradable – heck, the wrapping practically dissolves in water. The applicator is made from 95% plant material, but looks and funcions similar to that of plastic. This makes the applicator more eco-friendly while retaining many of the advantages found in traditional plastic applicators.
But don’t think that the tampon sacrifices the user experience for the enviornment. These tampons offer excellent absorbency and feels like fluffy clouds. The chemical-free nature of these tampons make them a solid choice for women with sensitivities as well.
My only issues with these are that the wrapping is pretty loud and that the string may not be long enough. Depending on how far you insert the tampon, this may force you to fish it out later.
But if you are someone who wants values high absorbency with a great eco-friendly nature, then I recommend checking out Seventh Generation’s tampons.
#6 – Tampax Pure 100% Organic Cotton Tampons
Tampax’s organic cotton tampons offer many of the same great features found in other biodegradable tampons. But what stood out to me was the stamp of approval it got from women with endometriosis.
If you don’t know, endometriosis is a condition in which cells similar to the lining of the uterus grow outside the uterus. This can result in heavy or irregular periods, painful menstrual cramps, and more. A tampon that can held such an array of health issues is a high-quality one for sure.
When faced with these issues, the comfort of the tampon goes from a desire to a necessity. Thankfully, Tampax’s tampons offer a high degree of comfort. However, it’s worth noting that these tampons have a tendency to leak when faced with particularly heavy periods (outside the normal scope of a heavy period), so they are not a catch-all solution.
Even so, Tampax’s tampons are a great choice for women who suffer from this or other similar conditions. I recommend checking them out!
#7 – Pee Safe 100% Organic Cotton Tampons
While the name “Pee Safe” may be a bit silly, I assure you that their tampons are amazing. When you use them, it’ll be as if your period problems have vanished. Okay, maybe not THAT amazing, but these still do come close!
The cotton that this brand uses is higher quality organic, which means fewer leaks for you while retaining its eco-friendly nature. While the tampons are unscented, you can be sure that no foul smells will be detected during and after use.
Compared to regular absorbency tampons, these tampons offer much more absorbency, though not as much as your typical “super” absorbency. For most periods, you’ll barely notice a thing.
Just be aware that the packaging can be bit annoying to deal with, as you have to remove a thin strip off rather than a twist and open wrapper. It can also struggle a bit with chunky or clotting periods, so keep that in mind if you are prone to those.
If you are looking for a period experience that comes and goes without too much notice or effort from you, then I recommend checking out Pee Safe’s tampons.
#8 – MyBoxShop Organic Tampons
MyBoxShop’s organic tampons are excellent for people who are on the go and need something that won’t shift around. For you active people out there, this one is for you!
You can be guaranteed that these tampons don’t contain chemicals, additives, dyes, or bleach. The process used to make these tampons are done by the eco-friendly book and as such are fit for both personal use and the environment.
Looking at the absorbency, there have been mixed results. Which is to be expected, given how wildly different periods can be. Someone’s “heavy” can be another person’s “regular”, and this brand tends to struggle with those who have really heavy periods.
It’s clear that these tampons are better suited for people with lighter periods who also prefer to be on the move. Easy to use, offers good comfort, and is way better for your health. It’s a good deal all around if you don’t expect too much bleeding.
So if you are someone who is looking for a “get up and go” kind of eco-friendly tampon, that I recomend checking this brand out!
#9 – Veeda 100% Natural Cotton Tampons
Veeda’s natural cotton tampons can make a harder period much more bearable. It’s not as long as some other brands, which can work wonders for how your body might respond to it.
Other women have stated that their periods became much more manageable, often reporting lessened cramping and a lighter flow. This is, in part, thanks to the lack of chemicals and focus on providing a more natural alternative to chemical-laden tampons.
As for absorbency, these are best for women who have light to average/regular flows. They are also one of the few tampons designed to handle flow changes throughout the day, which can be useful for those who otherwise have to guess whether or not they have to change their tampons to account for the increased midday flow.
So if you are handling tougher periods, then it may be beneficial to consider Veeda’s tampons. They may help you like they’ve helped many other women.
#10 – Organyc 100% Certified Organic Cotton Tampons
Organyc’s organic cotton tampons are the perfect combination of small yet powerful. They are made to absorb a lot of blood and stop menstruations from reaching your underwear. This product is also good for stopping nosebleeds if you have large nostrils, interestingly enough.
These tampons are also one of the few that do NOT come with an applicator – just the tampon with a long string attached. You might think that this means that the tampons are hard to put in, but this is not the case. While the process is not what you may be used to, it’s still pretty easy to get the tampons where they need to go.
With packaging and a simple design, it can be easy to overlook these tampons. But many have sung high praises for this product, citing that they are wonderfully absorbent, very comfortable to wear, painless to insert, and affordable to boot!
Organyc’s tampons have only been around for a little over a decade, yet I can see why they’ve made such a splash in the eco-friendly tampon community. I highly recommend you check them out for yourself!
What to Look For in Biodegradable Tampons
Here are a few things that you should keep an eye on when shopping around.
What Makes the Tampon Eco-Friendly
I recommend that you check to see if the tampon is good for the environment. As the younger generations increasingly prioritize eco-friendly living and sustainable behaviors, more and more companies are looking for ways to capitalize on these desires.
Some companies will develop products that are better for the environment, yet other companies try to trick you into thinking that they are eco-friendly when, in reality, they are certainly not.
Therefore, I recommend that you do your research. Look at what the company is focusing on. Advertising laws prevent companies from outright lying, so you can glean the truth even when given half-truths.
For example, a box of tampons may have images of green bamboo sticks and other plant life while containing harmful, toxic ingredients. Taking a glance at the ingredients list should tell you all you need to know. If you see long, scary-looking chemical names, don’t be intimated. A quick google search will reveal everything you need to know about them, including whether or not it is toxic.
You are going to want to choose products that are “organic”, “vegan”, “ethical”, and more. Better yet, if they listed what is in their product (in terms of sustainability), then you can be more assured that it’s the real deal. Fakers don’t typically advertise their fakeness while also getting away with it.
Bonus points if the product is certified by an eco-based organization like the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC).
Finally, I recommend sticking with organic cotton tampons because cotton is a biodegradable material. So when you are ready to toss them, you can be sure that they’ll break down in a natural environment. And make sure that the cotton is naturally made – the biodegradable nature of cotton suffers if it’s mixed with certain synthetic fibers like polyester.
The Absorbency Rate of the Tampon
We both know that you aren’t going to use a tampon that sucks at absorbing liquid, even if it’s good for the environment. Thankfully, there seems to be a large variety of options; after all, there isn’t just one kind of period.
You can expect to see eco-friendly tampons hover around the “regular” to “super” absorbency ratings, which should be enough to get you through the day in most circumstances.
From what I’ve gathered, you can expect the same, if not slightly better, performance when comparing organic cotton to synthetic materials. One is just much better for the environment and your health.
If you can’t find a tampon that works for your needs, then
The Type of Applicator Used
Unfortunately, plastic still seems to be the go-to choice for tampon applicators, even the supposedly “eco-friendly” ones. And because plastic applicators come into contact with human fluids, they cannot be recycled either.
Ideally, you’ll want an applicator that’s made of cardboard, not plastic. This way, the applicator can properly break down over time, or you can put it inside a compost bin and no one would be the wiser.
But cardboard applicators are still pretty rare, especially when compared to plastic applicators. You should go with organic, eco-friendly material first. Here’s a quick ranking:
Organic Cotton Tampon > Eco-Friendly Tampon with a Plastic Applicator > Regular Tampon.
Try to stick with the tampons that have the least amount of plastic. And be sure to let companies know that you need plastic-free tampons. Reviews work wonders, and companies DO pay attention to them!
Chemicals in Tampons
Did you know that there are likely a variety of chemicals in your tampons?
It’s true! Many brands add chemicals to their tampons for one reason or another. But don’t let that scare you – I just want to make sure that you are informed. Here are a few popular ones that you might stumble upon:
- Titanium Dioxide (Dioxin)
Let’s take a closer look at each one.
Titanium Dioxide (Dioxin)
Dioxin is the worst one on this list. It is an environmental pollutant and has been linked to cancer and endocrine disruption, which can cause a wide range of health problems to sprout. Older tampons tend to have higher concentrations of dioxin due to their material being bleached with chlorine gas.
Thankfully, the FDA stopped the bleaching process, resulting in newer tampons having a minimal amount of dioxin.
Bisphenol A, or BPA, is a possible hormone-disrupting chemical that’s created from producing plastic. Older tampons may have significant concentrations of BPA, which may cause health issues when exposed to them over time.
It’s important to note that there is no clear link between BPA and cancer though. There is not enough research to support the claims one way or another.
Fragrances are made from many different chemicals. Unfortunately, the safety of exposing sensitive bodily areas to such fragrances is not widely understood. This means that there may be a certain level of risk that comes with using tampons with fragrances.
Even though these chemicals may not be harmful to your health, the point remains that they’ve all garnered some suspicions. I don’t think that these chemicals will harm you, but I’d prefer to not take the chance.
I’d recommend sticking with tampons that have little to no of these chemicals in them. You can check the ingredients list to make sure. And if you do find these chemicals, then don’t be afraid to reach out to the company and confirm the concentration of the chemical(s). If it’s just a little, then you will probably be fine.
The Comfortability of the Tampon
This is a big one. You are going to be walking around with said tampons for hours, so you better make sure that you are comfortable with them.
Now, this is a tough one to judge based on the packaging of the tampons alone, so be sure to lean into other customers’ reviews of the product. If a lot of people sing a brand’s praises, then it’s likely that the tampon works well for a large variety of people, increasing the odds that it’ll work and feel good to you too.
And if you just can’t find a biodegradable tampon that feels good to you, consider going with other eco-friendly options, such as:
- Menstrual cups
- Period-proof underwear
- Menstrual discs
- Period-proof leggings
It’s not good enough for a tampon to be biodegradable and eco-friendly – it has to feel great and work well for you too!
All right, that wraps up the list. I hope you found it useful!
As always, thanks for reading. I appreciate you stopping by.
Let’s continue to strive for a greener, better way of living!