Tampons aren’t a product that we tend to give much thought to. They’re just meant to ‘do the job’ once a month and be forgotten about.
That is, until very recently when a growing number of women started to discover what goes into some tampons (and therefore into our bodies).
In this article I’ll go into why organic tampons can be a healthier choice and what explains their sudden rise in popularity over the more traditional brands.
If you’re interested in switching to organic tampons, I hope this guide helps you choose between the two.
And if you’re looking for organic cotton tampon options in the UK, check out our review of Flo and Daye here.
Why Choose Organic Tampons Over Regular Ones?
Are Organic Tampons Really Better?
Cora vs Rael: Best Organic Tampon Subscriptions Compared
Rael Tampons Review
Cora Tampons Review
Which Organic Tampon Brand Would I Recommend?
Why choose organic tampons over regular ones?
As well as being made from organic materials, organic tampons are also free from chemicals and additives.
We may not think of regular tampons as having chemicals in them, but it turns out that a lot do have a number of chemical processes or by-products.
Women’s Health Mag spoke to Alyssa Dweck, a doctor and author of The Complete A to Z for Your V. Dweck explained how regular tampons are often made with a type of cotton that is usually grown using pesticides before being combined with rayon and other non-organic cottons.
They are also bleached with chlorine to be the bright-white color we all associate with tampons.
Organic tampons on the other hand, are made with much healthier materials. Firstly, they are made with 100% organic cotton. They are also not bleached with chlorine and they do not have additional chemicals included.
Are organic tampons really better?
The important thing to keep in mind is that tampons don’t just sit in your body without interacting with it. Your vagina is what is known as a mucous membrane, which is capable of absorbing compounds.
This means that compounds from the tampons you are using may literally be absorbed into the body.
So when you use regular tampons, there can be some potentially harmful chemicals entering your body.
For instance, chlorine bleaching can result in the release of something called dioxin, and the residue can stay on the tampons. Dioxin is a known carcinogen, meaning it can cause cancer if allowed to build up in the body over time. It could also be a hormone disruptor — as if our hormones weren’t already disrupted enough during our cycle!
With organic tampons, there are no chemicals that can disrupt your hormones, and so they don’t allow chemicals into your body.
Plus, organic tampons are usually unscented, which can be much more comfortable for women with sensitive skin.
However it’s important to note that the FDA (or Food and Drug Administration) monitors the production of regular tampons. This means that despite these concerns, they are considered safe to use.
Nevertheless, the promise of chemical-free, unscented, all natural tampons is too appealing. Ever more women are switching from large tampon companies to newer, organic brands.
Cora vs Rael – best organic tampon subscriptions compared
|Ingredients||OSC certified Organic Cotton (tampon and cord)||GOTS certified Organic Cotton
Water resistant wax coating (string)
And other toxic chemicals
And other toxic chemicals
|Applicators offered||BPA-free plastic applicator
BPA-free compact plastic applicator
|BPA-free plastic applicator
|Subscription options||Every one or three months||Every 3 months|
|One-off purchase available?||Yes||Yes|
|Price||$0.44 per tampon
$13.99 for a pack of 32 tampons (depending on applicator)
|$0.63 per tampon
From $10 per box of 16 mixed tampons
|Review summary||4.62 stars
Based on 994 reviews across 3 websites.
Based on 3734 reviews across 4 websites.
|Ease of application||5 stars
Thin, smooth applicator designs.
Slightly thicker than Rael tampons.
Slim but long
Small, compact and discreet
|Portability||Tampons come in a long pink wrapper that is pretty but a little conspicuous when in public.||Small, compact black wrapper makes it easier to carry these tampons around.|
|Absorbency review||3 Stars
Some had trouble with very heavy days.
Even on heavy flow days.
|Delivery options||Delivers to the US, and internationally through Amazon||Delivers to the US, and internationally through Amazon|
Heat patch (for cramps)
Wash + Wipes
Cora menstrual cup
Wash and cloths
Period and bladder liners
Heat relief pads
|Social responsibility||Responsibly sourced materials.
Partners with Happy Period.
Delivers menstrual kits to homeless women.
|Manufactured in the US to lower carbon footprint.
Partners with non-profits.
Delivers period products to underprivileged girls.
|Best Prices||Rael organic||Cora organic|
Both companies offer some great products to help you get through your cycle each month. But how do they compare in practice?
Here we look at real user experiences (including my own) to find out more.
Rael tampons review
Rael has been around since 2017. It was founded by three unlikely women: Aness An, a journalist and author, Binna Won, an art director, and Yanghee Paik, a former movie distributor.
These three women were fed up with the lack of healthy products on the market, and came up with Rael as a solution.
Rael’s mission with organic tampons
The company claims to bring “nature’ and “nurture” together by prioritizing healthy organic materials and processes in their products. And in the process they have offered plenty of exciting products.
You can also buy ‘Period Sets’ which have a selection of their period products, either as a one-off or to be delivered each month.
Rael monthly period care subscription box: $35.13 for the first box on Amazon
Rael organic tampons
When it comes to tampons, Rael has plenty of options to choose from. All of their tampons are “scientifically formulated” and made with “certified organic cotton” sourced from Texas.
Rael tampon ingredients
The company claims that these tampons are made without: “harsh chemicals that irritate and inflame your intimate areas, disrupt your hormones, or expose you to carcinogens.”
Their list of ingredients is:
- 100% certified organic cotton (both core and withdrawal cord).
- Applicator made of cardboard or BPA-free plastic.
They’re also free from: Chlorine, Dioxin, GMOs, Pesticides, Artifical Dyes, Rayon, BPA, and perfumes.
Rael tampon applicator options
You have a choice of 3 applicator options with Rael:
Rael’s tampon options
The tampons arrive in sets of 16 or 18 in a pretty, pale purple box that comes with a small user manual. The number you get depends on the applicator option that you choose.
The tampons themselves come in 2 different absorbency levels: Regular and Super sizes for different flow types. They also sell sets of 2 boxes with 1 Regular and 1 Super tampon selection.
Rael claims that their organic tampons offer excellent leak protection by using an 8-hour “leak locker technology”. These tampons should expand to fit your body comfortably for a worry-free 6-8 hours.
Rael tampon subscription options
You can set a 1 or 3 monthly subscription frequency on Rael’s website.
On Amazon however you can customise this more and get a discount on the tampon subscription.
They give you options of getting tampon deliveries anywhere between every 2-7 weeks (or following that between 2-6 months).
That way you won’t forget to get tampons every month and you can customise it to your own cycle length.
Rael tampon reviews
Let’s take a look at some of the online reviews to find out what other people are saying about these tampons.
We looked at 994 reviews from Amazon, Influenster, and Rael’s website, and the tampons got a weighted average of 4.62 stars.
Here are a few examples of what users had to say:
There were a few reviewers who found that the Super tampons weren’t absorbent enough for their heavier flow days.
Other users complemented Rael tampons as being super comfortable to use:
My review of Rael’s organic tampons
It all sounds pretty impressive so I decided to give Rael’s tampons a go for myself.
Here are some pictures of what I received in the mail:
I was impressed by the cute, simple packaging and the lack of plastic in the box. Everything was recyclable, which is a huge plus.
The tampons themselves are a little longer than some, making it slightly harder to carry them around discreetly (although they do have a compact version).
Nevertheless, the outside packaging of each tampon is a lovely soft pink color and is made of a high quality, non-plastic material.
When I tried these tampons I was pretty impressed by the ease of application. Because these tampons are super thin, they slip in very easily. The applicator is also well designed. I found that it never got stuck during application.
Other tampons can feel sticky or fragile during application, Rael’s tampons are incredibly easy to insert and very rarely glitches, breaks, or malfunctions.
Once the tampon was in, I never noticed it. While some larger tampons can feel slightly uncomfortable if they’re inserted incorrectly, Rael’s tampons really didn’t make themselves known at all.
In terms of leak protection, I was a little disappointed in these tampons. Even though they are advertised as being “Super”, I found that they were simply too small to support me through my heaviest flow days.
While they did expand a little, they soaked through within 2-3 hours on the first two days of my period. After this, I found some leakage coming through. However, during the latter half of my period, I found these tampons to be much more effective. During these lighter flow days, I very rarely noticed any leaks at all.
How long do they last?
For the first half of my period, these tampons lasted for a 2-4 hours.
During the second half of my period, the tampons lasted for up to 8 hours.
Storage and portability
Unlike some applicator tampons, these tampons come with their applicators already open. This means that they are much longer than some other tampons while they’re still in the package.
Having longer tampons can take up a bit more space in a bag or purse. The size and pink color also makes them a little conspicuous when you need to visit the bathroom in public.
If you like something a little more discreet, you can opt for their compact version which is about half the length.
At just $7 for a pack of 16 or 18, these tampons are pretty good value for money.
Compared to non-organic tampons like Tampax, however, they are more expensive. You are paying for the organic, quality ingredients inside them.
Rael tampons pros and cons
|Tampon made completely of organic cotton||More expensive|
|Plastic or cardboard applicator options||Still contains plastic in applicator|
|BPA-free plastic applicator|
|Various absorbency levels|
|Leak protection — 4-8 hours|
Is Rael a good brand for tampons?
Rael is a good brand for tampons because its made completely out of organic cotton — all the way from the string to the tip. You won’t have to worry about harmful chemicals being absorbed into your body.
It also comes in various absorbency and types of applicators (plastic or cardboard) to suit various needs.
The best part I liked about it was how easy it was to insert and I couldn’t feel it as I went about my day.
Cora tampons review
Cora was founded by Molly Hayward. When travelling in Kenya she discovered that young girls didn’t have access to pads or period products. Instead they used sand, animal dung, tree bark or anything they could find. They even stayed home from school during their times of the month.
According to Cora’s website, 300 million women around the world use rags, plastics, and even ash during their period. Some of these materials increase the risk of infection that could cause health problems later on.
She founded Cora in the hope of giving a better future for women everywhere.
Cora has an impressive brand mission — to empower women.
The ethos of the company is that with each Cora purchase, some money goes towards providing pads and female health education to another girl in need.
By using solely organic materials, this brand is aiming to be an advocate for women’s health all over the world. Now this is a mission statement that we can get behind!
Like Rael, Cora doesn’t stop at organic tampons. They also have a wide range of interesting organic products for women to use when it’s their time of the month.
They even have post-birth products like soothing sheets for post-birth tenderness and nipple balm for tender, dry breasts during breastfeeding.
If you’re interested in learning more about Cora, you can check out their amazing blog, Blood + Milk, where content is published regularly about women’s health issues and news.
Cora organic tampons
As for Cora’s organic tampons (the product we’re here to investigate), the product appears to be pretty impressive.
Cora tampon ingredients
A number of their products are designed in California and made in the US to reduce their carbon footprint. Organic cotton for the tampons is sourced from Europe.
The tampons are made with the following ingredients:
- Organic GOTS certified cotton (both tampon and string)
- Water-resistant wax coating on the string
- Tampons with applicator have a polyethylene finish
- BPA-free plastic applicator (there is also an applicator-free tampon option)
They’re also free from: Chlorine, Dioxins, GMOs, Fragrance, Pesticides, Polyester, Fragrances, Toxins, Rayon, Artificial Dyes, and BPA.
Cora tampon applicator options
You can choose between:
The applicators are made from BPA-free plastic.
Cora’s tampon options
They come in different absorptions:
- Super Plus
When you receive your Cora subscription for the first time, you’ll also receive a stylish black box for storing your tampons, along with a small, discreet black clutch for carrying products on the go.
When it comes to leak protection, Cora’s tampons claim to use a signature “Fearless Fit Design” to ensure both comfort and leak protection.
Cora tampon subscription options
You can make one-time purchases of tampons or take out a subscription: Cora.
Subscriptions are delivered every month and you can customise your box to have the products that you need each month. You can pause or cancel at any time.
They offer an additional discount if you pay for the year’s subscription up front.
Cora Tampon Reviews
Before I tried these tampons for myself, I checked out what other users have said about these tampons in the past.
We looked at 3734 reviews from Amazon, Influenster and Target and the tampons got a weighted average of 4.61 stars.
Cora users love the sleek packaging, which makes them feel like adults again.
This recent mom loves using the tampons and loves the company philosophy. She and a few other users had some trouble with the applicator at first.
My review of Cora’s organic tampons
I was really excited to try Cora’s organic tampons after reading all of the rave reviews.
I loved the sound of the company mission, the aesthetic, and the functionality of the innovative tampons.
The pack of 16 arrived in a square cardboard box that was a little more compact than the Rael packaging:
I thought the box was pretty and convenient, especially if I had wanted to place the box on my bathroom shelf.
Again, everything in the box was recyclable. Unlike Rael, the box didn’t include any instructions.
The tampons themselves appear at first to be a little wider than the Rael tampons.
However, I appreciated the fact that they were much shorter, as this makes it easier to fit them in bags, pockets, and purses.
Plus the black and white wrapper looks incredibly chic and sophisticated, which is actually pretty rare in tampons! It’s a nice change from the customary pink or purple.
The ease of application with Cora’s tampons was a little trickier than I would have liked. Unlike other tampons with a smaller applicator that needs to be pulled open before insertion, Cora’s tampons don’t make a little click to let you know the tampon is ready to go. Because of this, I accidentally broke my first Cora tampon.
The applicator does make a clicking sound when the tampon is fully inserted. I wasn’t really expecting this and the second tampon was not fully inserted.
By the third try, I had got a hang of Cora’s applicators. Once you are used to the amount of pressure needed, they’re fairly easy to use.
Even though Cora’s super sized tampons are a little wider than Rael’s, I didn’t notice any discomfort while wearing them. In fact, I barely felt a thing all day long!
This is where Cora’s tampons really do shine. I didn’t experience any leaks at all with Cora, even during the first and heaviest day of my cycle.
Upon taking the tampon out, I noticed that the cotton had significantly expanded, which is probably why the tampons are so good at withstanding leaks.
These tampons proved to be super absorbent and they never let down!
How long do they last?
During the heaviest part of my cycle, these tampons lasted for at least 6 hours, sometimes more!
During the lightest days, these tampons were more than adequate, lasting for 8 hours.
Judging by the efficiency of Cora’s super sized tampons, I’d recommend the regular size for women who don’t experience a particularly heavy flow from month to month.
If you have a heavier flow, these super sized tampons should serve you well.
Storage and portability
Cora’s tampons are designed to be quite short and compact. They were about the length of my pinky finger.
This meant that I could easily put a few in my bag, my coat pocket, and even my wallet, just in case. I loved how convenient these tampons were to take around with me.
Plus, their black and white packaging is super stylish and chic. I finally felt like I was using tampons made for grownup women, not just for teens!
Cora offers one-off purchases or a monthly subscription-based payment scheme.
You can choose between 6, 12, 18, or 24 tampons a month, and you can customise your box to get some pads as well.
The cheapest subscription is just $8 a month, which I found to be good value.
Again, like Rael, this subscription is pricier than your regular supermarket non-organic tampons. However, based on my experience with these high quality products, I thought it was well worth the price.
Cora tampons pros and cons
|Tampon core and string is organic cotton||More expensive|
|Plastic applicator or no applicator options||No non-plastic applicator|
|Compact applicator||Tampon has plastic outer finish|
|BPA-free plastic applicator|
|4 absorbency levels|
|Leak protection — 4-8 hours|
Is Cora a good tampon brand?
Cora is a good brand for those that want organic cottons tampons that are free from common nasties like doxines and chlorine.
I especially like that it has 4 different absorbency levels that suit light to heavy-flow days. I had no worries about leakage with the Super size and it lasted for 6 hours on my heavier days.
Rael or Cora, which organic tampon subscription would I recommend?
Both Rael and Cora are great brands of organic tampons made without chemicals and additives. Although I liked both very much if I had to choose one it would be Cora as it was more absorbent on the heavy days.
I’ve broken down how the Cora and Rael tampons that I tried compare, across a few categories:
In terms of application, Rael has the edge. With their slimmer style tampons, Rael is a little easier to insert. Cora’s applicators are a little flimsier than Rael’s meaning that you have to be pretty careful during insertion. However once you did a few times it became simple to do for Cora’s as well.
As far as comfort goes, I found both Rael and Cora incredibly comfortable. Neither of these tampons felt uncomfortable while they were being worn — in fact, you could barely feel that they were there at all!
When it came to leak protection, Cora was the winner. While both tampons were advertised as being “super”, Cora was the one best able to see me through my heaviest flow days.
With Cora, I found that I didn’t have to worry about leaks at all, while Rael was prone to some leakages, especially on heavy flow days.
How long do they last?
Cora tampons tended to last much longer than the Rael tampons. On a heavy day, Cora tampons would last for almost 6 hours, while Rael could only last up to 3 hours. Both lasted for 6-8 hours on the lighter days.
Storage and portability
When it came to convenience and design, Cora came out on top for me. I really appreciated the compact design of the Cora tampons, as they fit neatly into my small tampon box that I keep in the bathroom.
The compact size and discrete black wrapper design meant that they fit into small pockets in my purse or clothing, making them pretty inconspicuous when I was out and about.
Rael, were a bit longer, making them slightly trickier to store at home and carry when leaving the house.
While both products are more expensive than most non-organic tampons on the market, I found both to be pretty decent value, considering the quality of the product and the organic, ethically sourced ingredients they’re made of.
Final thoughts on Cora vs Rael organic tampons
While Cora was the best brand for me, I can easily see why Rael would be the best pick for someone else. I would potentially recommend Rael for a younger woman who had just started her period or for a woman with a lighter flow.
The only real issue I had with Rael’s tampons was their inability to cope with heavy flow days — if I had a lighter flow, I’d absolutely love these tampons! Plus, their super stylish packaging is perfect for the bathroom shelves.
Discovering organic tampons has been a real eye-opener for me. I never realized the chemicals that can go into regular tampons and how they could be absorbed into the body.
Now that I’ve discovered Rael and Cora who sell stylish, functional and ethically made organic tampons, I really can’t see myself going back. A few extra dollars each month seems little to pay for an organic, chemical-free product, that is helping my body to stay free from additives and trace by-products.
Who created Rael?
Rael was created by Aness An, Binna Won, and Yanghee Paik.
Did Rael tampons change?
Rael changed the design of their tampon applicator recently to include only cardboard or plastic. They no longer have their plant-based applicator.
Are Cora tampons clean?
Cora’s tampon core are made of organic cotton that’s free from chlorine, dioxins, fragrance, and pesticides. Although there is a small polyester fiber finish.
How long can you keep Cora tampons in?
You can leave Cora tampons in for 4-8 hours.
Other women’s health products
Apart from using organic tampons, taking probiotics is another way to care of your vaginal health. Check out our review of a popular women’s health probiotic brand — ProViotics by Daye. It helps to keep the natural vaginal microbiome healthy and prevent infections.
If you’re looking for probiotic that targets more of your gut and heart health, you can check out our review of Microbiome Plus+.
- What Are Organic Tampons—And Should I Start Using Them?
- Dioxins and their effects on human health, WHO
- Absorption, NCBI
- Cora Mission
- About Rael
- Rael Amazon Reviews
- Influenster Rael Reviews
- Influenster Cora Reviews
- Influenster Rael Reviews
- Amazon USA Cora Reviews
- Target Cora Reviews
- Amazon UK Cora Reviews