Gal pals: we’ve officially hit summer — a season that brings higher temperatures, extra sweat, and sometimes, an increase in down-there issues. More sweat means the heightened possibility of nether-region irritation, and we’re already on the hunt for undergarments that will do the least harm during this risky time. TL;DR: that “best” underwear, friends, is tried-and-true cotton.
Truth is, even though silky blends feel luxurious, the better undergarment fabric for your vagina is plain old cotton. “Cotton, in general, tends to be non-irritating to your skin,” says Raquel Dardik, MD, of the Tisch Women’s Health Center. “The external skin around your vagina is like regular skin, but just a little bit more sensitive. So if you have material that irritates your skin normally, you might have minor inflammation to the area.”
It's not just a skin issue, though. Cotton is known to be one of the most breathable types of fabrics out there, which makes it better for your skin — and also your vagina. “Most of the synthetic fabrics, as well as silk, are not that breathable,” Dr. Dardik says, “and for women who have sensitive skin and yeast infections, the most breathable material [like cotton] is really what works best [when it comes to underwear].”
Why? Well, yeast thrives on moisture — so if you trap moisture in your fussy silk and mostly nylon blend underwear, you're creating a prime breeding ground for an infection (ouch). “Of course, if you're the kind of person who never has issues with vaginal irritation and infections, you can wear whatever you want,” Dr. Dardik says. But if you're prone to annoying vaginal problems, opting for underwear made up of mostly cotton — or at the very least with 100% cotton lining — is your best bet.
Still, we wouldn’t want to deprive you of buying cute lingerie, low-key boy shorts, even the stringiest thongs that your underwear drawer needs. So for this edition of Hype Machine, we combed all of the reviews and rounded up the best and highest-rated cotton underwear for you, your wardrobe, and of course, your vagina.
Welcome to Hype Machine, our hit-list of the top reviewed products across the web — according to a crowd of die-hard shoppers. Call this your 4-star & up only club, with entry granted by our devoted-to-the-goods shop editors.
Hanro Seamless Cotton High Cut Briefs
Best Investment Brief
If you’re in the mood to splash out on your next panty purchase, look no further than this luxe heritage pair. Customers declare them to be the best luxury cotton underwear, citing top-notch fit, comfort, and jaw-dropping longevity.
The Hype: 4.3 out of 5 stars; 24 reviews on Nordstrom.com
What They Are Saying: “I picked these briefs because of the color (to match with a lovely Hanro cami). My other Hanro briefs are full cut, so I was concerned how this would fit, but should not have been. They are lovely and still cover all the right places. I don't mind Hanro prices, because their underwear goes through hundreds of washes unchanged (I am happily using the briefs I bought 5 years ago), it is the most comfortable and I feel like a queen wearing it.” — Jasmina, Nordstrom.com reviewer
Hanro Seamless Cotton High Cut Briefs, $, available at Nordstrom
Knickey High Rise Brief
Best “Sexy” High-Waist Style
Knickey’s organic cotton underwear offers the best of both worlds, with a navel-skimming waistline and a high, French-cut leg opening that shows off a little more cheek than necessary.
The Hype: 4.9 out of 5 stars; 1,188 reviews on Knickey.com
What They Are Saying: “I mean what can I say… you want comfort, huggable, good quality cotton around your booty? Then Knickey underwear is where it’s at.
Can’t believe it’s taken me this long to find Knickey but relieved I did. Looking into whatever their subscription is about and ordering more!”
Knickey High-Rise Brief, $, available at Knickey
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