How Many Reusable Breast Pads Do You Need?

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If you decide to breastfeed your baby, nursing pads are a must-have item for your maternity wish list. Many mothers choose to purchase reusable breast pads to save money and because they are better for the environment. A common question new mothers may have is, “How many reusable breast pads do I need?”

You will need approximately 6 to 9 pairs of reusable breast pads (or 12 to 18 pads) while nursing your baby. Purchasing enough pads will ensure you have enough to get you through each day while having one or two extra for when some are in the wash.  

Buying reusable breast pads is a wise investment, as they are usually a cost-effective and comfortable option. Read on to learn more about what reusable breast pads are and what factors you should consider when buying and using them.  

What Are Reusable Breast Pads?

Reusable breast pads are cloth pads that fit into your bra to prevent breast milk from leaking between feedings. The pads also protect your clothing from leaks and stains from milk when you are nursing.  

Some reusable nursing pads have a breathable layer to prevent leaks. 

Reusable pads are usually more comfortable than disposable pads because they are made with more natural materials. They provide better air circulation, which helps sore nipples to heal better and faster. This also helps keep your nipples dry, which is essential to prevent health issues like yeast infections.

What Factors Do I Need To Think About When Buying Reusable Breast Pads?

Factors you need to think about when buying reusable breast pads include how frequently you will feed your baby, how often you plan on washing them, and how many you expect you may use in a day. 

It’s also essential to keep in mind that you’ll be using two breast pads at a time, so you’ll likely need to double the number you’re thinking of.

If you’re a first-time mother, you likely don’t have experience with determining how many pads you’ll need. Additionally, you may not have an idea of what your body’s schedule will be and how frequently your baby will need feeding.

Most women find that they go through about 3 pairs – or 6 breast pads – a day. Additionally, you should always have an extra on hand that you keep in your diaper bag and access in case of an emergency.

This number is why I suggest buying between 6 and 9 pairs of pads. This way, you won’t have to keep washing your pads during the day and can toss them in the machine every other day or every few days. 

How Many Reusable Breast Pads Do I Need?

On the low side, you will need at least six pads per day, which means you’ll be using 42 pads a week. 

However, if your baby feeds more frequently or you experience frequent leakage, you may need to use up to 10 or 12 pads a day. This is especially common right after birth until your milk production regulates. This would mean you’d be using between 70 and 84 pads a week.

Of course, you don’t need to purchase this many, as the pads are reusable and will be washed and reused during the week. 

Ideally, you should buy between 12 and 18 reusable breast pads. This will ensure that you’ll be able to wash them every other day without worrying about running out. Additionally, if you find you need more pads than expected, they should be enough to last you until your additional sets arrive.

What Kind of Reusable Breast Pads Should I Purchase?

Factors to consider when purchasing reusable breast pads include making sure the pads are comfortable and absorbent. Additionally, you should make sure that the pad is contoured and provides adequate coverage over your breasts. 

Things to keep in mind when buying reusable breast pads include: 

  • Comfort. You will want a breast pad that is soft and doesn’t stick to your nipples. Looking for an option with a stay-dry layer on the surface near your skin will help protect you from irritation and yeast infection. 
  • Absorbent. If your breast pad is ultra-absorbent, then you will not have to change it as often. 
  • Coverage. Consider buying a pad large enough to cover a good portion of your breast, which will prevent the pads from bunching up. 
  • Contoured. A contoured pad will cup your breast like a bra does. It will prevent the pad from moving around and bunching up inside your bra.   

I’ve created a list of some options that I recommend. These are all available on

BrandNumber of Pads per PackageMaterialFeatures
Lanisoh Washable Nursing Pads4Polyester and BambooTeardrop-shapedUltra-absorbent layer from plant fibres
Ideal for sensitive skin
Washbag included
Bamboobies Washable, Reusable Nursing Pads4BambooYou can choose different absorbency levels
visible under clothes
Ana Wiz Washable Bamboo Breast Pads6BambooSuper-soft and ultra-absorbent
Leak-proof, ultra-absorbent breathable membrane
Come in various colourful prints
KeaBabies Organic Bamboo Breast Pads14BambooMade with 4 layers to prevent leakages
Washbag included
100% organic
Contoured cone design fits snugly