Cooler weather is here, which means more layers and the heightened possibility of nether-region irritation, and we’re 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 sensitivity issue, either. 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 or 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, or 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.
At Refinery29, we’re here to help you navigate this overwhelming world of stuff. All of our market picks are independently selected and curated by the editorial team. All product details reflect the price and availability at the time of publication. If you buy or click on something we link to on our site, Refinery29 may earn commission.