Best-Rated Period Products

See Our Ratings Methodology

Best-Rated Period Products 2022

Most Satisfied Customers | U by Kotex

U by Kotex was rated best in Canstar Blue’s period products review for the SECOND year in a row, with five stars for quality and comfort, range variety, packaging appeal and overall satisfaction.

Fact Checked Fact Checked

U by Kotex cycles to #1 in period products review for 2nd year

As women, there are certain products we rely on when it’s that time of the month, for basic hygiene reasons but also to make us feel comfortable and confident. That’s why over half of the women we surveyed (63%) generally have a spare tampon or pad in their bag at the ready for when old ‘Aunt Flow’ comes knocking. But while period products are a necessity for many people, it’s important to find a brand that’s really got you covered when you have your period. That’s where our consumer review comes in!


How we rate period products


Whether you prefer pads, tampons, or menstrual cups, finding a good period product is no walk in the park. Just ask the 28% of people we surveyed who’ve had a period care product leak in public. Doing some research on brands available in the market can help avoid disasters and save you money in the long run.

Canstar Blue surveyed 1,126 Australians for their feedback on the period products (i.e. pads, tampons, menstrual cups, period underwear, etc.) they’ve purchased and used in the last six months

  • The outcomes reported in these ratings are measured via accredited research panels managed by Qualtrics.

Respondents rate their satisfaction with their period product brand from zero to ten, where zero is extremely dissatisfied and ten is extremely satisfied. Brand satisfaction was rated by respondents on the following criteria:

  • Overall satisfaction: measures consumer satisfaction with a period product as an individual score NOT a combined total of all criteria.
  • Absorbency & effectiveness: the product doesn’t leak if used properly and holds a reasonable amount of liquid.
  • Quality & comfort: the product is comfortable to wear day and night (i.e. not itchy, holds in place when exercising and sleeping, etc.) and offers discreet protection.
  • Range variety: the brand offers a good range of sizes, and product options to suit various flows and preferences.
  • Packaging design: the product packaging was aesthetically pleasing and provided sufficient information/instructions.
  • Value for money: good quantity, quality, and effectiveness of the product for the cost.

The winning brand is the one that receives the highest Overall satisfaction rating once all the scores from the Overall satisfaction criteria are combined and averaged.

  • Overall satisfaction is asked as a specific question and represents an individual measure, not a combined total of all criteria.
  • When we cannot determine a clear winner from the criteria for the Overall satisfaction rating, we will then look at the other criteria measured in the rating.
    • The brand with the highest number of five-star ratings within the supporting criteria will become the five-star recipient in overall satisfaction, and thus win the award. If a clear leader still cannot be determined from the supporting criteria, joint winners will be declared.

Brands must have received at least 30 responses to be included, so not all brands available in the market have been compared in this survey. The brands rated in this survey are listed below in order of best overall satisfaction.

1. U by Kotex
2. Bonds
3. Libra
4. TOM Organic
5. Carefree
6. Stayfree
7. Coles

U by Kotex was rated the top period product brand, scoring five stars for quality and comfort, range variety, packaging appeal and overall satisfaction. Meanwhile, Bonds was the only brand to receive full marks for absorbency and effectiveness, and also got five stars for quality and comfort, alongside TOM Organic (which also ticked the packaging appeal box) and value for money, on par with Coles.

Find more detailed information on our ratings methodology.

 


Top Period Products

U by Kotex

U by Kotex tampons and sanitary pads review

Whether you’re wearing skinny jeans, working out or just want a good night’s sleep, U by Kotex has something for every occasion and stage of your menstrual cycle. The brand offers a wide range of pads, tampons, liners, period undies, disposable briefs and maternity pads in different designs to suit different activities, time of day and preferences.

U by Kotex tampons are said to have a slender tip and design for easy use, with 11g absorbency (perfect for medium flow days). They come individually packaged with coloured twist-open wrappers. Alternatively, its pads have a Rapid Dry Core which quickly absorbs fluid into the pad and special grooves that channel moisture into the centre of the pads to prevent leaks. Pads also have anti-leak side guards to keep you fresh and dry for longer. All U by Kotex products come in different absorbency levels and sizes.

  • U by Kotex achieved five-star reviews for quality and comfort, range variety, packaging appeal and overall satisfaction. It scored four stars for value for money and absorbency and effectiveness.

Bonds

Bonds Period Undies

The Bonds brand has always been synonymous with underwear, and now its range includes period underwear, known as ‘Bloody Comfy Undies.’ There are four types of undies available: ultra-light (holds one tampon worth of fluid), light (two tampons worth), moderate (three tampons worth) and heavy (four tampons worth).

The undies are designed to be worn instead of regular underwear, and catch their respective amounts of blood, depending on which type you are wearing. The brand claims the product is designed to make you feel comfy and confident, with its layers of leakproof protection. When you’ve finished using the undies, you simply rinse them out and chuck them in the wash, ready to wear again when they are clean. Bloody Comfy Undies save you money by avoiding purchasing disposable products and preventing plastic build-up in landfill sites.

  • Bonds scooped up five stars for value for money, quality and comfort and absorbency and effectiveness. It also received four stars for packaging appeal and overall satisfaction but received three stars for range variety.

Libra

Libra tampons and sanitary pads review

Libra offers pads, tampons, liners and period underwear that are said to be designed by women, for women. Libra pads and liners come with and without wings, as well as regular ‘invisible’ and ultra-thin options, for your daytime, night-time and sport. Libra pads and liners also have a unique BodyFit shape designed to move with and not against your body and anti-bunching technology.

Its tampons range includes Libra Girl, Body Fit and Slim, which offer regular and super absorbency as well as a tapered tip for comfy insertion and an anti-fluff base. Libra offers a monthly package subscription that allows you to pick from any three pre-packaged kits and get them delivered straight to your door with free shipping!

  • Libra received four stars in every research category – including overall satisfaction.

TOM Organic

TOM Organic

TOM Organic offers a range of period products with a specific focus on sustainability and organic materials. The brand sells tampons, period underwear, period cups, maternity products, liners and pads. Its tampons, pads, liners and underwear are made from organic cotton, which is said to be better for your body than synthetic materials and plastics, and a better choice for the environment.

TOM Organic also has a period cup available. What sets it apart from other period cup products, is the steriliser case it comes with (made from recyclable green plastic), which allows you to keep your cup clean to avoid infection. The brand offers subscription packs that can be ordered through its website and delivered to your door.

  • TOM Organic landed five stars for quality and comfort and packaging appeal, but rated four stars for absorbency and effectiveness and overall satisfaction. The brand received three-star reviews for value for money and variety and range.

Carefree

Carefree tampons and sanitary pads review

Carefree is a brand of pads, tampons and pantyliners from Johnson & Johnson. All Carefree products use FreeFit technology to work with your body and provide superior protection anywhere you go. All products feature different absorbency levels and come in various sizes and makes. Want to try out Carefree? The brand offers free samples to help you find the right fit.

  • Carefree maintained an easy four stars across all research areas, such as absorbency and effectiveness, product range, value for money and overall satisfaction.

Stayfree

Stayfree tampons and sanitary pads review

Stayfree only stocks sanitary and maternity pads. Its products contain a 360° fit feature to offer protection from every angle, and an anti-leak system claimed to direct fluid into the pad to help avoid leakage. Stayfree pads also have a Thermocontrol cover to draw moisture away from the body, plus active odour neutralisers to keep you feeling clean and fresh. Stayfree offers ultra-thin, standard, overnight and maternity pads with light to medium and heavy coverage.

  • Stayfree kept a clean four stars across the board, except for value for money, where it landed three stars.

Coles 

Coles tampons and sanitary pads review

Coles homebrand is the supermarket’s budget line of everyday home, kitchen and sanitary essentials. It offers a range of pads, panty liners, and tampons. These are available for a wallet-friendly price, with most products selling for under $2.

  • Coles achieved a solid three stars in most research categories, including overall satisfaction. It scored its only five-star review for value for money.

How much do women spend on pads and tampons?

Prices for pads and tampons range from $1.50 up to $15, depending on the brand, type, size, absorbency level and so on. Our survey found that Aussies spend on average $17 per month on sanitary products, which equals to $204 per year and about $5,100 over a lifetime. That’s the cost of a holiday!

Women’s behaviour and attitudes towards sanitary products

It seems most of us who experience menstruation like to be prepared for when ‘Tom of the month’ rolls into town. Our survey found that just over half of respondents (63%) keep a spare tampon or pad in their bag as a precaution, while 42% keep a schedule of their menstrual cycle to stay ahead of the, ahem, ‘flow’.

Also, here are some interesting facts on buying behaviour.

  • Over half of consumers (60%) have tried multiple sanitary product brands
  • One third (30%) generally buy the largest packs available
  • Exactly half (50%) have tried multiple products of the same brand
  • One in five (23%) generally buy the cheapest sanitary products available

Pads vs tampons ─ which is best?

Ahh, that’s an age-old question and the answer is not so simple. Every woman has different habits and needs. Your choice will depend on your menstrual flow, what you tend to get up to during the day and what makes you more comfortable and confident. Both pads and tampons come with their pros and cons.

Tampons

Here are a few key things to consider about wearing tampons:

Pros Cons
Completely sensationless Associated with Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS)
You can swim with them Sometimes uncomfortable to insert
More discreet to carry and wear under clothing Can’t wear them overnight

Pads

Here are some important things you should know about pads:

Pros Cons
More options to suit all flows and activities Can bunch up with certain body movements
Can wear them overnight Can’t swim in them
Less risk of leaks and no inserting Harder to dispose

Are menstrual cups good for periods?

Menstrual cups are small, flexible, reusable funnel-shaped cups made of rubber or silicone designed for insertion (like a tampon) to collect menstrual blood. They’ve been on the market for years now, as a more environmentally friendly and convenient alternative to traditional sanitary products. Generally speaking, menstrual cups have a higher capacity than other methods and don’t contain nasties like bleach or dioxin commonly found in tampons and pads. It’s no wonder a fifth of our respondents (23%) have considered switching to reusable menstrual cups or period underwear (which is exactly what the name suggests).

What sanitary product should I buy?

Our survey found that quality, absorbency and value for money were the most important factors of consideration for consumers. There isn’t much else to it, although demand for eco-friendly sanitary products is on the rise which suggests sustainability is also important. But to keep it simple, you want to find period products that are:

  • Gentle on the skin
  • Offer superior protection against leaks and odours
  • Comfortable to feel and wear (day and night)
  • Comparably affordable

Sometimes, the only way to find the right fit is to try a few options. Some brands offer free trials and samples, so you can find a trusty period pal without bleeding money. Alternatively, give our review a go to see how different brands compared on quality, absorbency, packaging appeal, product range, value for money and overall satisfaction.

About the author of this page

This report was written by Canstar Blue’s home & lifestyle journalist, Tahnee-Jae Lopez-Vito. She’s an expert on household appliances, grooming products and all things grocery and shopping. In addition to translating our expert research into consumer-friendly ratings reports, Tahnee spends her time helping consumers make better-informed purchase decisions on all manner of consumer goods and services, while highlighting the best deals and anything you need to be aware of.

Compare Supermarkets

Picture credit: matka_Wariatka / Shutterstock.com.

Here are the previous winners of Canstar Blue’s period products review:

  • 2021: Tena & U by Kotex
  • 2020: Poise