1. Whisper Cosmo 24cm ($6.50/box of 10)
2. Kotex Luxe 24cm ($5.95/pack of 16)
3. Laurier F 25cm ($5.60/pack of 15)
And the criteria these pads are going to be reviewed on are:
To test these criteria out, we used some (questionably) scientific methods: we made our own fake blood using diluted corn syrup, such that its consistency matched that of period blood, and used syringes to accurately measure the amount of blood that goes onto each pad, and to make sure that each pad is tested with the same conditions.
Peck and I have both tried all three pads, so we do have some differing personal opinions so we’ll share that with you guys at the end of the review too. Also take note that we used red food colouring to make the fake blood, so be warned, the photos you are about to see look quite… realistic. But without further ado, let’s get this battle going!
Design was assessed based on wing size, pad shape, material, and the presence of leakage containing ridges on the pad.
1. Whisper Cosmo
Even with the wrapping on, the Cosmo pad just felt much thinner than the other pads, it felt much more compact than the Laurier F pad, for example. The pad itself has a really interesting design: it has a tapered front and a wider back, that I suppose is meant to be the “unique 3D fit” that the pad claims to have. The wings were also significantly wider than the other the other two pads, making it better at protecting against leakages. The pad itself doesn’t have the deep ridges that are typical of other pads that surround the core of the pad, and the surface of the pad is pretty much flat throughout. But the most interesting about the pad was the material: it is made out of a foamy material, that the brand calls Lactoflex, and is really thin (like really thin). The pad was also very soft to the touch, just like a cotton pad, but had the smoothness of a plastic pad.
2. Laurier F
This pad felt was much thicker than the Whisper Cosmo, but just a little thicker than the Kotex Luxe. The shape of the pad is your standard straight up and down design, and the wings were smaller than that of the Whisper Cosmo, and Kotex Luxe. But the pad does have side ridges to contain blood flow. The material of the pad is very similar to your normal cotton pad, so if you’re a fan of those, you will probably like this pad too!
3. Kotex Luxe
First of all, there are such pretty designs on this pad! The other two were much more… clinical looking compared to this pad. So if cute designs are your thing, this pad will probably be great for you. The pad itself is quite thin, and has dry netting on top that is typical of plastic pads, as well as a blue absorbent core. So if you are into the whole dry net thing, the this is probably the pad for you. There are also leakage-containing ridges around the side of the core to direct the flow of blood. However, the wings were not as bug as the Whisper Cosmo.
Overall for Design: Whisper Cosmo
While the Kotex Luxe is really cute with its designs and all, the Whisper Cosmo is the real winner, with its innovative design. Upon trying the pads out, both Peck and I felt that the Whisper Cosmo really delivered in terms of the whole “moulding to the shape of your body” promise, and provided the most comfort and safety from leakage. Kotex would come in second, with its dry netting and, medium sized wings, while unfortunately the Laurier F comes in last with its lack-lustre design and tiny wings. But will Laurier F fare better in the future rounds?
Absorbency was assessed based on the amount of blood that was transferred to the bottom of the pad after 1 minute, as well as the speed of this process.
1. Whisper Cosmo
After the gush of fake blood, the liquid stayed on the surface of the pad for quite a couple of seconds before being absorbed into the pad. The direction of the flow of the blood was not contained due to the lack of ridges on the pad, and spread out through the pad pretty evenly. The blood was effectively transferred to the bottom of the pad, but not as quickly as the Kotex Luxe. The red pigments stayed pretty much at the top though, which Peck felt was the deal-breaker. But if you are okay seeing blood, I guess this doesn’t really matter.
2. Laurier F
The fake blood stayed on the surface a little while before being absorbed into the pad itself, so absorbance didn’t happen as quickly. The ridges did work to direct the flow of blood, and the blood was transferred to the bottom of the pad efficiently.
3. Kotex Luxe
Absorbance occurred really quickly for the Kotex Luxe, with almost no delay between the the gush and the absorbance. The absorbance was condensed to absorbent core, and within the ridges of the pad. The blood transferred to the bottom of the pad, and the dry netting on the surface of the pad was virtually blood-free.
Overall for Absorbency: Kotex Luxe
The winner was clear for the absorbency test, with its absorbency core, side ridges, and dry netting, the Kotex Luxe was the most efficient absorber. When Peck and I tried the pads out, we did find the Kotex to be highly reliable in terms of absorbency and protection against leakage, due to its design. While during the testing phase, Whisper Cosmo and Laurier F did kind of the same in terms of absorbency, during actual wear, the Whisper Cosmo provided much more protection against leakage, as the wings were much wider and the design was generally more ergonomic than the Laurier F, and hence could provide more protection. So once again, the Laurier F loses out!
Dryness was tested by seeing how much blood was transferred onto a tissue paper after 2 minutes, with a standard amount of pressure being used each time (once again, using an extremely scientific tool: our air freshener as the weight).
1. Whisper Cosmo
While absorbency of Cosmo was pretty good, even after 2 minutes, the surface of the pad was still pretty moist (for lack of a better word). The color of the fake blood was also still pretty vibrant, if that’s any indicator of dryness. There was quite a bit of transfer to the tissue paper when it was pressed onto the pad. So in terms of dryness, Whisper Cosmo didn’t perform that well, unfortunately.
2. Laurier F
At the 2 minute mark, most of the blood had transferred to the bottom of the pad, as the top of the pad looked pretty dry. It was also pretty dry to the touch. However, there was still a little bit of transfer on the tissue paper, but not as much as that for the Whisper Cosmo. Pretty impressive for a cottony pad.
3. Kotex Luxe
The dry netting was really effective in increasing dryness for the Kotex Luxe, as there was virtually no transfer onto the tissue paper. The top was also pretty dry to the touch, as most of the blood had been transferred to the bottom of the pad.
Overall for Dryness: Kotex Luxe
The pictures don’t lie. The transfer for Kotex Luxe was almost nonexistent, and significantly lesser than the other two pads. Laurier F did second best for this test, and Whisper Cosmo comes in last. Boo.
So we got curious and wanted to find out what the insides of the pad actually look like, what made them such great bloodsucks. Below are the horizontal segments of the pads we used. Interestingly, Whisper Cosmo uses a sponge like material that absorbs blood like water, hence making the pad really “clean” looking and thin. And as you can see, most of the blood is pulled to the bottom (darker red layer). While Laurier F and Kotex Luxe uses a mix of cotton mesh and blue bead shaped absorbent material within the core. Kudos to Whisper for the differentiating technology!
Some personal thoughts:
After testing all three pads, I have to say that I still enjoy Whisper Cosmo the most, because it is simply the most comfortable pad, and it provides the most protection, which are the most important criteria to me. Using the Laurier F wasn’t too great an experience, because each time I used it, I stained my clothes (and we all know how terrible that feeling is). My suspicion is that the wings are simply to small to provide ample protection. While the Whisper Cosmo is really great for comfort, it is still the most expensive pad of the lot. The fact is that the Kotex Luxe provides almost the same level of protection and comfort as the Whisper Cosmo, at a lower price. So I do have to admit that (objectively speaking) the Kotex Luxe is probably the best option.
Peck also tried all the pads, and she too enjoys the Kotex Luxe the most. The one thing about the Whisper Cosmo that gets to her is the vibrancy of the color on the pad when you are changing. So if you’re like her, and get grossed out by blood easily, then Whisper Cosmo is probably not the pad for you.
Overall Champion: Kotex Luxe!
Kotex Luxe just provided the best all-round experience, and while its design may lose out to Whisper Cosmo, it’s absorbency and dryness more than make up for it. It’s lower price point is also a major plus 🙂
So there you have it, folks! Do you agree with what we talked about here? If not then which pad do you think deserved the title? Leave your thoughts in the comments below! If you’re looking to find out more about tampons, you can read our review on super tampons here.