Applicator vs Non-Applicator Tampon: Which Is Right For You?

Pads, panty liners, cups, cloth pads… there are plenty of period products out there to choose from. If you’ve picked tampons as your menstrual management companion, you’ve got another choice to make; applicator or non-applicator tampons or switch?

Before we go into the ins and outs of using the two types of tampons, have you thought about these questions?

  • Do you know what absorbency level you need? Using one that has a higher level of absorbency than you need can not only be uncomfortable, but can increase the risk of TSS. We can safely say that that’s not something you want to risk getting. Always go for the lowest possible absorbency to match your flow.
  • How well do you know your body? Everyone’s vagina is different. What works for people you know might not necessarily work for you. Bear this in mind when it comes to your period products.
  • Have you researched how tampons work and how to use them? Once you dive a little deeper into the technicalities of tampons, you might be overwhelmed by the idea of using them or suddenly want to switch from one tampon style to another?
  • Which brand will you choose? We’re not trying to be overly bias but ours are made from 100% organic cotton, are biodegradable and compostable – better for the environment and your body!

Once you think you’ve given it some thought, it’s time to check out the pros and cons of both applicator and non-applicator tampons…

Non-Applicator Tampon


  • Being the more affordable choice between the two, you’ll save yourself money every cycle by picking non-applicator tampons
  • Non-applicator tampons are much smaller and easier to carry around
  • Being smaller means less packaging and waste, which is more environmentally friendly, especially if you’re using biodegradable, organic cotton tampons
  • You’re in total control of how a non-applicator tampon goes into your vagina, and can adjust how it sits based on what the most comfortable spot for you is.


  • Using a tampon without an applicator can get messy – your finger’s got to go right inside your vagina for it to fit in properly, meaning more blood gets on your hands
  • It takes a little bit more time and practise to familiarise yourself with your body to get a non-applicator tampon in smoothly

Applicator Tampon


  • Applicator tampons help to do the hard work by pushing the tampon in for you. They’re arguably more comfortable and easier to use!
  • If you’re new to tampons, using applicators is a safe way to know your tampon will be in properly and securely
  • Using applicator tampons can be less messy as the applicator deals with the blood, rather than your finger


  • A larger product that uses more materials ultimately means that using applicator tampons puts out more unnecessary waste into the world
  • Applicator tampons are also more expensive because companies are manufacturing with more materials and the applicator accessory
  • Did you know about 20% of vaginas have a naturally retroverted uterus (where the uterus tilts backwards towards the spine instead of forwards)? Using an applicator can be more painful and inflexible to insert if you have one
  • Once your tampon is in there and it feels uncomfortable, readjusting means you’ll have to use your fingers, which makes the point of using an applicator tampon redundant.

An applicator is a great segue way into using tampons if you’re a beginner to them or even your own period. There’s still a slight learning curve but it’s definitely an easier product to get to grips with. If you’re starting to think more consciously about your everyday products, and are no stranger the realities of period blood, then a non-applicator tampon sounds like the right fit for you!

Whichever you choose, don’t be ashamed to talk to family or friends about your period – we all have them! They might have some words of wisdom or funny stories to share that’ll help with your choice. Or you can always message us on Facebook or Instagram if you have any period-related questions.

Plastic in your tampon?

Conventional tampons contain plastic, meaning they’ll never biodegrade. Protect our planet by choosing eco-friendly period products.

Biodegradable tampons

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One thought on “Applicator vs Non-Applicator Tampon: Which Is Right For You?

  1. vee said:

    Non-applicator and it really annoys me that tampons are harder to find where natracare is stocked.