A man meets the love of his life and is ready to propose. He loves this woman more than anything else and can’t wait to make the long-established descension earthward and promptly dump his soul all over the place. Teeny box in hand.
There’s one substantial holdup to the proceeding. He sweats. A lot. So much so that he’s landed in a doctor’s office seeking help for diagnosable hyperhidrosis (the clinical term for excessive sweating). He can’t propose until he gets this under control, he tells the doctor, and while that man got the help he needed from the dermatologist he might’ve considered a temporary solution to avoid stalling one of life’s sweetest milestones.
Sweaty armpit pads.
Sure, they’re not a cure-all or even a long-term fix. But for moments that demand composure — work presentations, speeches, ocean flights in Denier 328s — this stealth absorption method can do the trick.
What the Experts Say
Dr. Brendan Camp, a double board-certified dermatologist at MDCS Dermatology in New York City; Dr. Cameron Rohksar, a board certified dermatological surgeon and associate professor of dermatology at New York City’s Mount Sinai School of Medicine; and Dr. Marisa Garshick, a board-certified dermatologist and clinical assistant professor at Cornell University informed the purchasing and health guidance below.
Dr. Camp notes that armpit pads can be an effective fix for trying to avoid underarm moisture causing stains and discoloration. Essentially replaceable and adhesive ergonomic towels, sweaty armpit pads absorb your underarm sweat so you don’t have to.
They can also help apparel — like dress shirts, which can often feel like they were designed to show off sweat — looking crisp and professional. Consider them another weapon in the anti-sweat arsenal alongside effective antiperspirants and, when applicable, medical intervention.
Kleinert’s Underarm Sweat Pads
The best sweaty armpit pads need to be big enough to absorb plenty of sweat, soft enough to wear comfortably, easy to apply, and sticky enough to stay put without leaving adhesive behind later. Kleinert’s Disposable Underarm Pads check all those boxes. Measuring 5 by 5.75 inches, these non-woven armpit pads are among the largest purchasable online and offer great coverage and top absorption. The large, round size makes them easy to wear and also the best choice for most individuals dealing with excessive sweating. Just be aware their larger size is less discreet with tighter clothes. Overall, these armpit pads are still the best, just not for every garment.
ZeroSweat Underarm Sweat Pads
Why It Stands Out: The ZeroSweat Underarm Sweat Pads are large — almost as big as the average hand — effective and offer solid value.
ROI: Armpit pads will never be as economical as roll-on antiperspirants, but the ZeroSweat pads start to get closer. With their size, coverage, and fact they come in a pack of 50, they drive a fair bargain.
Hot Take: These pads’ smaller size could be a major pro depending on the build of the user. Overall, these armpit pads are pretty big, sticky, comfy, and absorbent, which will work for a lot of people, a lot of clothes, and a lot of sweat.
CLEANEAT Armpit Sweat-Absorbing Pads
Why It Stands Out: The CLEANEAT Underarm Sweat-Absorbing Pads are much more textured than most other pads. They also feature a mint fragrance, which is uncommon.
ROI: These are some pretty inexpensive armpit pads. For under $20, you get nearly two months’ worth of twice-daily use.
Hot Take: Most armpit pads online are basically the same: They feature a comfort layer, some kind of sweat shield layer, a sweat-proof breathable layer and an absorbent layer. These pads’ added layer of absorbency makes them more effective, and therefore better, than simpler pads at the same price point.
Aoeoun Armpit Sweat Pads
Why It Stands Out: The Aoeoun Sweaty Armpit Pads feature a separate middle section that could improve the pad’s placement and adherence.
ROI: These are some of the cheapest armpit pads you can buy. They come in a pack of 100, which makes them an excellent value. However, they don’t seem to diverge from the competition except for their useful, bendable middle part.
Hot Take: These armpit pads come individually wrapped, which keeps every pad fresh and clean until you need it.
Garment Guard: The Original Disposable Adhesive Cotton Underarm Sweat Pads
Why It Stands Out: The Garment Guard Disposable Underarm Shields are unique among armpit pads. They come in an oval shape instead of double wings and are beige instead of white for improved blending with different fabric colors.
ROI: These are among the most expensive armpit pads but the beige color helps the pad blend and remain unseen, which can be worth a lot depending on the occasion.
Hot Take: The crowning difference of the Garment Guard pads may just be that they are made out of cotton. That makes this armpit pad compostable and even a little more sustainable.
TopDry Underarm Sweat Pads Vest for Men
Why It Stands Out: TopDry’s Underarm Sweat Pads Vest straight-up looks silly. However, no one will see it under lots of clothes and it’s one of the few legitimate cloth-based and reusable solutions for sweaty armpits.
ROI: This admittedly goofy-looking sweaty armpit pad vest offers the best ROI of all. With enough wear and washes, it could deliver more value than roll-on antiperspirants.
Hot Take: This is an inverse mank, but it simply makes sense. Why not have a separate piece of clothing under your clothes to absorb armpit sweat? The reusability and sustainability factors are even bigger bonuses. For best results, size down multiple sizes so the vest fits snugly.
Frequently Asked Questions About Sweat Armpits
How can I stop sweaty armpits?
Assuming you don’t want to use an antiperspirant product, your options are limited without medical intervention. Dr. Garshick recommends wearing light, breathable fabrics to allow heat to escape. Excessive underarm sweaters could also consider shaving their armpit hair if they think it would help them apply an antiperspirant better.
Can super sweaty or super dry armpits be bad for the skin?
Both situations can be less than ideal, if not dire, according to Dr. Rohksar. Excessive armpit sweat can contribute to a growth in bacteria and, consequently, some bad body odor and skin irritation. “Excessive sweating can cause skin irritation, itching, and inflammation, especially if it occurs regularly,” says Dr. Rohksar.
Having overly dry skin is no picnic either. Though something like sweaty armpit pads aren’t likely to have much of an impact, antiperspirants can contribute to feelings of dryness and have been known to cause skin irritation and potentially painful armpit rashes. “We do not rely on sweat glands to keep our skin hydrated so the effect of antiperspirants on sweat glands should not dry your skin,” Dr. Blair Murphy-Rose says. “However, some ingredients in antiperspirants can certainly irritate skin and [often] do for many patients.”
What are some of the pros and cons of sweaty armpit pads?
Armpit pads soak up excess sweat and lessen body odor in an easy-to-use and often invisible physical package for most shirts. There’s something invaluable about preventing stains and feeling more comfortable. At the same time, the pads may not necessarily hold up in every situation. “Depending on the type of clothing being worn and the activities performed while using them, it may be difficult to keep the armpit pads in place sometimes,” Camp says.
Armpit pads, especially once they’ve absorbed a lot of sweat, can become visible on some thinner, lighter shirts. That’s not any worse than visible sweat or antiperspirant stains, but still not great.
How do I apply armpit pads to my shirts?
Start by placing your shirt on a flat surface. The armpit pad is easier to apply if the shirt is inside out.
Remove the sticker protectors and place the wider side of the pad on the inner part of the sleeve near your body and the narrow side in the sleeve just under where your arm would go. Press the sticker firmly to ensure it’s stuck.
You might not get it perfectly the first time, but you’ll improve the alignment of the pad in your shirt as you wear a few pads and shirts. Ultimately, you’ll want to put the wider side of the pad in the area that typically accumulates the most sweat.