• Top 10 Best Cotton Buds in the UK 2021 (Johnson's, LastSwab and More) 1
  • Top 10 Best Cotton Buds in the UK 2021 (Johnson's, LastSwab and More) 2
  • Top 10 Best Cotton Buds in the UK 2021 (Johnson's, LastSwab and More) 3
  • Top 10 Best Cotton Buds in the UK 2021 (Johnson's, LastSwab and More) 4
  • Top 10 Best Cotton Buds in the UK 2021 (Johnson's, LastSwab and More) 5

Top 10 Best Cotton Buds in the UK 2021 (Johnson's, LastSwab and More)

Cotton buds are one of the items most commonly found in British bathrooms. They’re versatile staples of our daily routines, being most commonly used for cleaning ears or applying make-up. Unfortunately, traditional cotton buds are made using single-use plastic, they’re bad for the environment and are too often found washed up on our beaches. Fortunately, this is beginning to change!


The government has now issued a ban on cotton buds made from single-use plastics, meaning that from this point on, they must be made from sustainable materials. In this article, we go over the benefits of making the switch to more eco-friendly options, from reusable q-tips to biodegradable, bamboo buds. To help save you even more time and effort, we've ranked the top 10 best in the UK on Amazon, Asda and eBay to find the perfect one for you.

This Article's Contributors

mybest Editing Team
  • Last updated: 23-08-2022
Table of Contents

How to Choose Cotton Buds in the UK - Buying Guide

For such a simple hygiene tool, there’s a surprising amount of information to consider when searching for your new favourite brand of cotton buds. Luckily, it’s easy when you know how! Follow our buying guide, to go from novice to expert in no time.

Buying Biodegradable and Reusable Cotton Buds Will Reduce Your Impact on the Environment

We’re at a critical point when it comes to considering the ways in which we look after our environment. For that reason, we’ll start by showing you the ways in which you can ensure that you find a cotton bud that does exactly what you need it to while having as little an impact on the planet as possible.

Choose Cotton Buds Made From Biodegradable Materials

Choose Cotton Buds Made From Biodegradable Materials

A great first step is to look for cotton buds that are made entirely from biodegradable materials. These are materials that compost quickly, without having an adverse effect on the environment. Rather than lingering for hundreds of years, polluting our oceans and harming marine wildlife, they’ll gradually disappear back into the earth.


The most common biodegradable materials that you’ll find in the construction of cotton buds are bamboo, wood, or paper. All are sturdy enough to be used to clean ears and apply makeup efficiently, although this varies with wood and bamboo generally being preferred over paper.


The unfortunate downside of biodegradable cotton buds is that, while they can be reclaimed by mother earth, their manufacture still leads to carbon emissions. Still, they’re a massive improvement over their single-use counterparts!

Choose Reusable Cotton Buds Made from Durable Materials

Choose Reusable Cotton Buds Made from Durable Materials

A cotton bud made from plastic or silicone may seem to go against everything you know about sustainability, but it’s when you consider that they offer a version of a single-use item that can be used thousands of times that their benefits become clear.


Rather than repeatedly order new batches of cotton buds, you’ll instead be able to use a single one for years to come. Don’t worry, they’re extremely hygienic, and in many cases they even look pretty good too, often coming with rather nifty carrying cases.


Of course, the downside of reusable cotton buds is that, when they finally run their course, they’ll hang about on the planet for a little bit longer than their compostable brothers. That said, they're less impactful overall than the cotton buds that we used to use, which were both single-use and non-compostable.

Buy in Bulk to Reduce Carbon Emissions

Buy in Bulk to Reduce Carbon Emissions

If a reusable cotton bud isn’t for you, and you’re veering towards single-use compostable options, try and order in as large a quantity as is reasonable. You can buy packs of 100, 200, or even more, which should be plenty - even for larger households.


If their production and despatch is partly responsible for some carbon emissions, it makes sense to cut down on these harmful processes by ordering cotton buds in bigger quantities, and therefore less often. It’s a small effort, but it all adds up!

Top Tip: Find a Tip Style That Fits Your Needs

Top Tip: Find a Tip Style That Fits Your Needs

There’s probably no end to the uses of a cotton bud, but primarily they’re used for cleaning ears and applying or removing makeup. Being different activities, these tasks require slightly different tools. Which is why cotton buds can be found with several different tip styles.


Most commonly, you’ll find the standard teardrop tip shape, but you can also find wider tips, sloped tips, and even ones with bumpy surfaces. The choice is yours, and if you’re undecided, many cotton bud sets include several styles, so you’ll be able to switch between them as necessary.

Certain Activities Benefit from Longer Cotton Buds

Certain Activities Benefit from Longer Cotton Buds

For cleaning ears, a standard-sized cotton bud will suffice, but other activities may require a cotton bud of longer length. In fact, longer cotton buds are often used in beauty salons, and rather contrastingly, in arts and crafts activities for children!


They’re a little trickier to track down, but they can be found. These measure around 10 cm - 15 cm in length, as opposed to the standard 7 cm.  In fact, we’ve included some longer cotton buds in our top 10!

Find a Child-Safe Cotton Bud for Cleaning Little Ears

Find a Child-Safe Cotton Bud for Cleaning Little Ears

When it comes to buying products for children, safety is of the utmost importance. Unfortunately, many cotton buds are not suitable for children. Just as commonly, you’ll find that manufacturers fail to mention at all whether their product is safe for use on youngsters which is why it’s always best to err on the side of caution.


However, that doesn’t mean there aren’t options for children! Many are specifically designed for little ones, just make sure to purchase cotton buds that have child safety explicitly stated on the packaging or in the product description.

Compare the Best Cotton Buds

Image
1
LastSwab Reusable Cotton Bud 1

LastSwab

2
EcoShoots Bambuds 1

EcoShoots

3
EcoSlurps Reusable Cotton Buds 1

EcoSlurps

4
Pure Heart Organic Bamboo Cotton Buds 1

Pure Heart

5
leaf boat Baby Safety Cotton Buds 1

leaf boat

6
Etereauty Ear Cleaning And Wax Removal Kit 1

Etereauty

7
Shintop Long Handle Cotton Buds 1

Shintop

8
Sfuzwg Reusable Cotton Swabs Portable Kit With Mirror 1

Sfuzwg

9
Johnson's Baby Cotton Buds 1

Johnson's

10
Healifty Disposable Iodine Cotton Sticks 1

Healifty

Name

Reusable Cotton Bud

Bambuds

Reusable Cotton Buds

Organic Bamboo Cotton Buds

Baby Safety Cotton Buds

Ear Cleaning And Wax Removal Kit

Long Handle Cotton Buds

Reusable Cotton Swabs Portable Kit With Mirror

Baby Cotton Buds

Disposable Iodine Cotton Sticks

Features

Truly the Last Swab You'll Ever Need

The Sustainable Choice For That Familiar Cotton Feel

A Versatile Duo of Reusable Swabs For A Variety of Uses

Bring Some Colour Into Your Bathroom With These Beautifully Bold Buds

The Safe and Sustainable Choice For Your Little Ones

A Professional Kit for a Deeper Clean

The Ideal Swab For A Greater Reach

The Ideal On-The-Go Cleaning Companion

The Industry Standard Brand Making The Eco Shift

A Welcome Addition to Anyone's First Aid Kit

Price£10.40£4.49£6.99£6.99£4.99£8.99£5.99£7.49£0.85£11.59
MaterialPlasticOrganic cotton, bamboo woodBamboo, silicone, plasticBamboo, cottonOrganic cotton, bambooStainless steelCotton, woodSiliconePaper, CottonPlastic, cotton, iodine
BiodegradableNoYesNoYesYesNoYesNoYesNo
ReusableYesNoYesNoNoYesNoYesNoNo
Pieces1pc200022007872003 swabs, 4 replaceable heads200100
Tip StylesBumpyStandardStandard, sloped, bumpyVariousStandardMultipleStandardVarious StandardStandard
Length-7 cm-7.5 cm7.5 cm4.5 - 4.8 cm15 cm7.2 cm-8 cm
Suitable For ChildrenNoNoNoNoYesNoNoNoYesYes
Link

Top 10 Best Cotton Buds in the UK

You now know a little more about how to find a top-performing cotton bud while remaining environmentally conscious. We promised that we’d help you find some of the best, so here they are, gathered together in our top 10. 

10

HealiftyDisposable Iodine Cotton Sticks

£11.59

MaterialPlastic, cotton, iodine
BiodegradableNo
ReusableNo
Pieces100
Tip StylesStandard
Length8 cm
Suitable For ChildrenYes
9
MaterialPaper, Cotton
BiodegradableYes
ReusableNo
Pieces200
Tip StylesStandard
Length-
Suitable For ChildrenYes
8

SfuzwgReusable Cotton Swabs Portable Kit With Mirror

£7.49

MaterialSilicone
BiodegradableNo
ReusableYes
Pieces3 swabs, 4 replaceable heads
Tip StylesVarious
Length7.2 cm
Suitable For ChildrenNo
7

ShintopLong Handle Cotton Buds

£5.99

MaterialCotton, wood
BiodegradableYes
ReusableNo
Pieces200
Tip StylesStandard
Length15 cm
Suitable For ChildrenNo
6

EtereautyEar Cleaning And Wax Removal Kit

£8.99

MaterialStainless steel
BiodegradableNo
ReusableYes
Pieces7
Tip StylesMultiple
Length4.5 - 4.8 cm
Suitable For ChildrenNo
5

leaf boatBaby Safety Cotton Buds

£4.99

MaterialOrganic cotton, bamboo
BiodegradableYes
ReusableNo
Pieces78
Tip StylesStandard
Length7.5 cm
Suitable For ChildrenYes
4

Pure HeartOrganic Bamboo Cotton Buds

£6.99

MaterialBamboo, cotton
BiodegradableYes
ReusableNo
Pieces200
Tip StylesVarious
Length7.5 cm
Suitable For ChildrenNo
3

EcoSlurpsReusable Cotton Buds

£6.99

MaterialBamboo, silicone, plastic
BiodegradableNo
ReusableYes
Pieces2
Tip StylesStandard, sloped, bumpy
Length-
Suitable For ChildrenNo
2
MaterialOrganic cotton, bamboo wood
BiodegradableYes
ReusableNo
Pieces2000
Tip StylesStandard
Length7 cm
Suitable For ChildrenNo
1

LastSwabReusable Cotton Bud

£10.40

MaterialPlastic
BiodegradableNo
ReusableYes
Pieces1pc
Tip StylesBumpy
Length-
Suitable For ChildrenNo

More Green Ideas for Those Who Want to Make a Difference

More Green Ideas for Those Who Want to Make a Difference

Saving the planet doesn’t just stop with cotton buds, and every little change you make adds up. We’ve got plenty of articles on green solutions, from reusable straws to books that’ll teach you more about how you can make a difference, so click the links below to find out more!

Summary

If the intention of the ban is to reduce the production of single-use plastics, then our aim is to show you that this doesn’t mean a reduction in quality. We hope that this article has proven that it’s entirely possible to move towards a greener planet, while keeping your ears squeaky clean!

Author: Ben Willimett

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