The Best Cotton Underwear for Women, From Lace Thongs to Granny Panties (and Everything In-Between)

If we're being honest, underwear is something we want to put on in the morning and forget about ... until we take it off at the end of the day. And while there are some sexy lace and high-quality synthetics options, we've long considered cotton the best for breathability, comfort, and durability - three absolute requirements in our opinion. When we set out to find the best cotton underwear for women, we made sure that each pair ticked all of these boxes. Let us introduce you to your 22 new favorites.
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1. Knickey
Best selection of nude shades
Composition: 95% cotton, 5% elastane
We're excited to announce that more and more lingerie brands are accepting the fact that "nude" and "beige" are not synonymous with skin tone for most women (thank you, Cuup, Heist and Nubian Skin). However, most of the brands mentioned above use synthetic fabrics. Hence, finding cotton panties that go with darker skin tones is still a challenge. However, Knickey has six nude options, plus some brightly colored shades made from certified organic cotton that are both super soft and ethically made (so you can feel good when you feel this good).
Buy it ($ 13)
Available in sizes XXS to XL
2. Gap stretch cotton bikini
Best classic bikini
Composition: 93% cotton, 7% elastane
Several women told us that Gap is their go-to place for simple cotton underwear. The bikini style has nearly 500 reviews, 87 percent of which are five stars. Take it from a longtime fan: "I love [these] underwear, they have been my" everyday underwear "for years. They don't boot up, aren't too thin, and are of better quality than similar cotton underwear from [other mall brands]. "
Buy it ($ 11)
Available in sizes XS to XXL
3. Victoria's Secret Stretch Cotton High-Leg Briefs
Best high-cut bikini
Composition: 57% cotton, 38% modal, 5% elastane
If you're looking for something with a taller cut, both in the waist and legs, this Victoria's Secret style should do the trick. They are available in a variety of colors and patterns, in addition to white, black, gray, and beige. One woman we spoke to just bought this style repeatedly for almost 20 years. (These have the lowest cotton percentage of any style on this list, but reviewers say the fabric still feels breathable and note the gusset is made entirely of cotton.)
Buy it ($ 11)
Available in sizes S to XL
4. Oddobody String Bikini
Best string bikini
Composition: 100% cotton
All underwear and tops from Oddobody are made from 100 percent organic, sustainably grown and ethically sound cotton. The two founders put an emphasis on talking about and demonstrating the realities of women's bodies, which explains why there are videos of different models showing each style. Also, you won't see photoshopped curves or retouched pubic hair on this website. As for this popular '90s style, fans rave about the string sides not digging in, and quite a few thought it was wedge-proof.
Buy it ($ 24)
Available in sizes XS to XXL
5. Hanky ​​Panky Cotton Original Rise Thong
Best thong
Composition: 96% cotton, 4% elastane
The adorable packaging and the fact that they come in a single size have long made Hanky ​​Panky panties one of our favorite gifts for a long time. While we were skeptical of this "one size" claim, they are really suitable for sizes 4-14 thanks to the magic of the stretchy lace band that moves with your body. Per size 10 buyer: “These are some of the most comfortable straps you will ever wear. There's no binding or entrapment, and the cotton really makes all the difference when it comes to that little extra comfort and protection. "
Buy it ($ 60 for set of 3)
Available in one size (for sizes 4 to 14)
6. Everlane The HighRise Hipster
Best high waisted
Composition: 92% cotton, 8% elastane
Everlane is known for its high-quality, comfortable basics - including underwear you can trust. For those who want maximum coverage of both buttocks and tummy, this high-rise hipster is incredibly soft and light, which means it won't ride up and give you a wedgie, and it won't feel too tight around your midsection either. "The high-rise hipster is so soft and fits wonderfully - no panty liners," said a review from a buyer who bought a medium size. "They also prevent the button and zipper of my skyscraper pants from digging into my skin, which is very nice."
Buy it ($ 12)
Available in sizes XS to XL
7. Eerie festive lace thong underwear
Best high waist thong
Composition: 95% cotton, 5% elastane
Aerie's unique lace design offers a subtle smoothing effect in the waist and hips with the promise of no visible panty lines in the back. “The high waist is so comfortable. The tip doesn't itch and doesn't interfere at all, ”says one big buyer. "Also, you can't feel the cord when you're wearing it, which makes me uncomfortable with some of my other straps." Another reviewer compared it to the Spanx thong, only with less compression and less chance of booting up in the crotch - not to mention a lower price point.
Buy it ($ 9)
Available in sizes XXS to XXL
8. Gap stretch cotton shorty
Best boyshort
Composition: 93% cotton, 7% elastane
Another Gap favorite, these boys shorts have an avid following of women looking for more coverage and zero VPL. Browsing through the nearly 260 reviews, we saw many repeat buyers and women who have been loyal to this exact style for years. “It's the style of underwear I've been wearing for about five years,” says one fan. “They're soft and stretchy and don't flare up. I'm very curvy in the lower half and often have problems with underwear sliding up or giving me lines. these don't do that. "
Buy it ($ 11)
Available in sizes XS to XXL
9. Knickey High-Rise Brief
Best French cut
Composition: 95% cotton, 5% elastane
For your information, the higher cut leg of these French panties gives the illusion of legs that are miles long. Fans also love the slightly higher waist, which creates a subtle smoothing effect on the hips and stomach, and many reviews call it "surprisingly sexy". However, some mention the feeling that the fabric will stretch throughout the day, especially if these were worn for exercise or physical work.
Buy it ($ 13)
Available in sizes XXS to XL
10. Natori Cotton Girl Briefs
Most beautiful everyday couple
Composition: 94% cotton, 6% elastane
These lace-trimmed briefs are prettier than your plain cotton panties, but not quite as eye-catching as sheer lingerie. They're among the top rated underwear pairs at Nordstrom. The label "The Holy Grail of Lingerie" was even tossed around in the review area. One reason for all the hype? This lace trim gives these underwear a seamless no-show effect under jeans, pants, and dresses (although very tight styles like yoga pants can still weigh you down with VPL). Take it from a newly remodeled fan: “I bought this on a whim during the anniversary sale. I'm usually loyal to another popular brand, but I'm switching to these. They are wonderfully soft and extremely comfortable and above all stay seated. "
Buy it ($ 20)
Available in sizes XS to XXL
11. Thirdlove Everyday Cotton Bikini
Largest size range
Composition: 95% cotton, 5% elastane
Finding plus size cotton underwear can be a real challenge, but ThirdLove offers eight sizes of each style of underwear so you can find the best fit without compromising on quality or style preferences. (This shouldn't come as a surprise to a brand that also offers more than 80 bra sizes.) Some come with scalloped lace trimmings, while others have straighter elastic. So check the pictures in front of you. And trust us when we say you can't go wrong with this bikini cut.
Buy it ($ 10)
Available in sizes XS to 3X
12. Aerie Cotton Eyelash Lace Boybrief Underwear
Best under $ 10
Composition: 95% cotton, 5% elastane
Several PureWow editors raved about Aerie's underwear in general, but the boybrief was called out more often than any other style. In fact, the boybrief - which offers more coverage than a bikini, but not enough to be considered a skyscraper or a boyshort - is Aerie's best-selling style. And good news for price-conscious customers: each pair of Aerie underwear costs less than $ 10. (Though the brand almost always has deals like 6 for $ 25, you can stock up without worrying about using your credit card to the max.)
Buy it ($ 9)
Available in sizes XXS to XXL
13. Seamless hi-cut briefs made from Hanro cotton
Most Splurge-Worthy
Composition: 100% cotton
If you're ready to spend a little more dough to get really luxurious 100 percent cotton panties, then Hanro is the place for you. The brand has a serious cult following and countless reviewers have cited these as their couple of choice for the past five, ten, or even 20 years. So what makes it worth wearing them for decades? The super soft cotton barely feels and the sturdy (but not too tight) elastic band makes it immune to wedgies or riding.
Buy it ($ 40)
Available in sizes XS to XL
14. Amazon Essentials Cotton Stretch Bikini
Best bulk pack
Composition: 95% cotton, 5% elastane
Whether you want to pick six neutrals or ten colorful styles, this Amazon underwear is definitely the way to go. There are a whopping 34,848 reviews to scroll through (if you're interested), but most praise the breathability, comfort, and ease of the simple bikini cut. And while some reviewers found they didn't last as long as they'd hoped (avoiding the dryer should help), we'd say they are still worth the purchase at just over $ 2 per pair.
From $ 14 on Amazon
Available in sizes XS to XXL
15. Eberjay Pima Goddess Everyday Bikini
Composition: 92% cotton, 8% elastane
If comfort is your number one priority, we strongly recommend that you consider choosing Eberjay. The bikini style is made from Pima cotton and has an incredibly soft, smooth, and luxurious feel that you won't want to take off. They are even approved by Gwyneth Paltrow and the Goop team. One thing should be noted: the label says "hand wash". So be careful about throwing these in with your regular laundry.
Buy it ($ 20)
Available in sizes XS / S to L / XL
16. Pact Classic Fit Bikini
Most environmentally friendly
Composition: 95% cotton, 5% elastane
Pact has very high standards for its environmentally friendly manufacturing processes and even holds fair trade certification so you can be sure that the cotton used to make these underwear has been sourced and woven in an ethical and sustainable manner. One review stated: “I've been buying PACT underwear for years because the cotton is organic and the fit is perfect. I've bought so many pairs (and they held up so well) that I haven't had to buy one since April 2017. I just came back to buy some plain black underwear and I'm very happy to get these. "
Buy it ($ 12)
Available in sizes XS to XXL
17. Calvin Klein CK One cotton bikini underwear and wireless bralette
Best lingerie set
Composition: 95% cotton, 5% elastane
If you're looking for a matching set of cotton underwear and bralette, we're part of the celebrity-recognized Calvin Klein duo. While you've likely seen influencers and other famous faces wear their sets as loungewear, they absolutely work for everyday use too. The bikini cut has a fairly low waist, but critics love that the elastic, while beefy, doesn't dig in or fold over during the day.
Buy the bra ($ 38)
Buy the panties ($ 20)
Available in sizes XS to XL
18. Thinx Cotton Briefs
Best period panties
Composition: 95% cotton, 5% elastane
When panties first hit the market in 2015 (aka underwear that absorbs your flow and negates the need for pads, tampons, or a cup) we couldn't have been more excited. And they have only become more demanding in the last five years. Thinx's cotton briefs, for example, combine all of this absorbing power with the breathability of cotton so that you can feel comfortable and dry even on hard days. (Speaking of stronger flow, there's also the Super Cotton Brief, which offers the maximum absorbency of roughly four tampons for those who want it.) Some reviews suggest these are small, especially if you're prone to bloating during your periods You may want to consider resizing. And while they're not exactly a bargain, you can save up to 20 percent when buying a pack of three, five, or seven.
Buy it ($ 34)
Available in sizes XXS to 3XL
19. Jockey Plus-Size Elance Brief 3-pack
Top rated by Macy
Composition: 100% cotton
Jockey might not be the sexiest or trendiest brand out there, but that doesn't mean it doesn't make great underwear. While most cotton panties at Macy have around 100 reviews, these classic panties have over 2,400, most from repeat buyers. In addition to the impressive breathability, the soft material and the soft elastic on the waist and legs, people love the extensive size range, which often goes up to 5XL.
Buy it ($ 23)
Available in sizes XL to 5XL
20. Fruit of the Loom Tag-Free Cotton Brief Panties
Top rated on Amazon
Composition: 100% cotton
This Fruit of the Loom set is one of the absolutely highest rated on Amazon with more than 19,000 reviews, of which 87 percent are four stars and up. They're perfect for girls who are looking for a no-nonsense pair of panties that they can put on and forget with no adjustments required. “I swear these cotton panties - the same ones I've been wearing for over 60 years - are well made and made of breathable cotton,” says a lifelong fan. “They're about as inconspicuous as they can get, but they fit well and they worry for making you feel less hot and less likely to cause urinary tract infections. When ordering, keep in mind that they will shrink a little (not much) the first time you wash. "
$ 10 on Amazon
Available in sizes S to 3XL
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PureWow may receive a portion of the revenue from products purchased in this article, which was created independently by PureWow's editorial and sales departments.

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