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 bigger brands.
If you’re interested in switching to organic tampons, this guide should help you make the right decision for you.
- 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?
So, what exactly is an organic tampon and what makes it different from a regular tampon? Like all organic products, organic tampons are completely free from chemicals.
Since when are there chemicals in regular tampons? It turns out, most regular tampons are packed full of chemicals.
Women’s Health Mag spoke to Alyssa Dweck, a doctor and author of The Complete A to Z for Your V — (sounds like she knows her stuff!)
Dweck explains 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 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.
Are Organic Tampons Really Better?
Does switching to organic tampons really make a difference?
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.
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 they are generally considered to be safe to use.
Nevertheless, the promise of chemical-free, unscented, all natural tampons was too good to miss.
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)
Other Toxic Ingredients
No Perfumes or fragrance
|Applicators Offered||Plant-based chlorine free applicator
BPA-free plastic applicator
|BPA-free plastic applicator
|Subscription Options||Every one or three months||Once a month|
|One-Off Purchase Available?||Yes||Yes|
|Price*||$0.38 – $0.44 per tampon
$7 for a pack of 16 or 18 tampons (depending on applicator)
|$0.66 per tampon
$12 per box of 18 mixed tampons (prices vary with subscription options)
|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.
Easy, painless insertion.
Applicator not prone to breaking.
Slightly thicker than Rael tampons
Applicator needs to be pulled out before insertion and was fiddly.
Didn’t feel a thing!
Didn’t feel a thing!
|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 Reviews||3 Stars
Some reviewers had trouble with very heavy flow using Super tampons. Super+ tampons are a new release.
Excellent absorbency 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.
Partnered with Happy Period to give menstrual hygiene kits to local homeless women.
|Manufactured in the US to lower carbon footprint.
Partnered with non-profits to offer period products to girls living in poverty in the US.
|Where to buy||Rael on amazon.com||www.cora.life|
*Prices quoted are at the time of publishing and may vary.
As you can see, both companies offer some great products to help you get through your cycle each month. But how do they compare in practice?
Let’s go to the full reviews to examine real user experiences (including my own) to find out.
Rael Tampons Review
Let’s begin with Rael. This company has been around since 2017 and we were impressed by their origins story.
Rael 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: $30 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”. This is sourced from Texas for a number of their tampon products.
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 as follows:
- 100% certified organic cotton (both core and withdrawal cord).
- Applicator of cardboard, BPA-free plastic, or plant-based material.
Rael Tampon Applicator Options
You can also choose what type of applicator suits you best. Rael has the following material options:
Rael’s Tampon Options
The tampons arrive in a set 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 3 different absorbency levels: Regular, Super, and now Super+ sizes for different flow types. They also sell sets of 2 boxes with 1 Regular and 1 Super tampon selection.
While it’s important to know what’s going on inside your tampons, these impressive ingredients won’t help unless the tampons actually work.
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.
Since then, Rael has released it’s Super+ tampons. While these are new and still don’t have a huge number of reviews, those that they have so far are overwhelmingly positive.
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.
The tampons I tested were the ones with a BPA-free plastic applicator and a Super absorbency level.
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.
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.
I have noticed that Rael recently release their Super+ tampons so these could be a better fit for those of us with heavy flow days.
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.
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. Regular tampons tend to cost around $7 for a pack of 36, making Rael twice as expensive as regular tampons.
From my perspective I do expect anything with quality ingredients in it to cost more.
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
- BPA-free plastic applicator (there is also an applicator-free tampon option)
Cora Tampon Applicator Options
You can choose between:
The applicators are made from BPA-free plastic.
Cora’s Tampon Options
They come in different absorbtions:
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 from Cora’s website or take out a subscription.
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.
This user used to react badly to the bleach in regular tampons — Cora came to the rescue.
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.
Which organic tampon subscription would I recommend?
However different features matter to each of us so I’ve broken down how the Cora and Rael tampons that I tried compared across these categories:
In terms of application, Rael does have 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. As I mentioned though I haven’t tried the newest Rael Super+ tampons which will probably provide more absorption.
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
Again, 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. Alternatively I would recommend that they try Rael Super+ tampons to get more absorbency.
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 gives back to women living in poverty too.
- 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