Disposable Vs. Reusable Nursing Pads – Which one is Better?

Reviewed by

In Brief: Disposable Vs. reusable nursing pads

The choice between disposable or reusable nursing pads depends on lifestyle and personal preference. If one prefers cost-effective and eco-friendly products, then reusable nursing pads are better. Disposable nursing pads may be better if looking for convenient pads that have less leakage and more absorbency.

Nursing pads or breast pads are breastfeeding accessory that absorbs milk from the breasts and protects the cloth from stains.

It may be useful when breasts are full, while sleeping, and during the first few weeks of delivery.

The two main types of breast pads are disposable and reusable. This article helps in comparing the pros and cons of using disposable and reusable breast pads.

Disposable Vs. Reusable Nursing Pads

ParametersDisposable nursing padReusable nursing pad
MaterialsSynthetic materials, including plasticsNatural materials, including cotton and bamboo
Noticeability and securityLess noticeable and more secureMore noticeable and less secure
CostMore costlyCost-effective
Environmental impactHazardous to the environmentEnvironmentally-friendly
LeakageLessMore chance if not changed frequently
Infection riskMore if it has synthetic materialsMay cause if not changed often

Breast pads are essential for lactating mothers and come in different types, shapes, and sizes.

They can be disposable or reusable, and it may help in preventing nipple irritation and infection.


Disposable pads usually have a plastic lining on the outside, which prevents leakage.

Washable nursing pads don’t seem to prevent leaks unless it is changed often because they are less absorbent.


Disposable nursing pads are made of synthetic materials that are highly absorbent. It may vary from brand to brand.

Reusable nursing pads are made of natural materials, including cotton and bamboo, that can be decomposed.

Infection risk

Disposable nursing pads aren’t made of the most breathable material and could lead to clogged ducts. Also, as the disposable nursing pads have plastics, it may cause fungal infections such as thrush.

Sometimes, the plastic lining may be uncomfortable and cause itchiness if having sensitive skin.

Washable nursing pads, if left for a longer time, may make the skin susceptible to bacteria.


The disposable nursing pads are made of thin materials, and therefore, it is barely noticeable. As it has an adhesive backing, it may prevent sliding down out of the bra.

As the washable nursing pads are made of disposable material, one can notice them, especially under clothing. As they don’t have adhesive, they won’t stay in place.


Single disposable nursing pads are not expensive.

But it can be costly in the long run since it has to be purchased often.

Reusable nursing pads are cost-effective as it can be washed and reused again. They are an affordable option when using for the long term.

Environmental impact

Disposable nursing pads are harmful to the environment as they are made of synthetic materials that go through chemical processing and not biodegradable.

As they are thrown daily, they may clog the sewer systems and land refills. Some women are switching to disposable pads made of eco-friendly materials.

Reusable nursing pads are eco-friendly as they are not thrown every day. They won’t end up in a landfill. Make sure to use reusable pads made of 100% cotton or bamboo.


Breast milk leakage is a common problem, and both disposable, reusable nursing pads help curb this issue.

If you value money and the environment, choose reusables and if you prefer convenience and better absorbency, go for disposables.

Finally, it is a matter of personal preference.