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

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If we’re being honest, buyer underwear isn't at the top of our shopping list, but it's a necessity. And while there are plenty of sexy lace and quality synthetic options out there, we found cotton to be the best when it comes to breathability, comfort and durability—three absolute requirements, in our opinion. So, when we set out to find the best cotton underwear for women, we ensured that each pair checked all those boxes. Now, let us introduce you to your 14 new top-drawer favorites.

The Best Cotton Underwear for Women at a Glance:

knickey best cotton underwear for women

1. Knickey

Best Variety of Nude Shades

Composition: 95% cotton, 5% elastane

We’re happy to report that more lingerie brands are embracing the fact that “nude” and “beige” are not synonymous with skin tone for most women (thank you, Cuup, Heist and Nubian Skin). That said, most of the aforementioned brands use synthetic fabrics, so finding cotton panties to match darker skin tones is still a bit of a challenge. However, Knickey offers six nude options, in addition to some colorful shades, all in certified organic cotton that’s both super-soft and ethically made (so you can feel good about feeling this good).

Available in sizes XXS to XXXL

best cotton undies update skims

Best String Bikini

Composition: 90% cotton, 10% Spandex

If you haven't tried SKIMS underwear, you're seriously missing out because the brand designs some of the smoothest body-contouring options out there and has an extensive size range (from XXS to 4X). As for this popular ‘90s style, fans rave about how the string sides don’t dig in, and more than a few deemed them wedgie-proof. Score!

Available in sizes XXS to 4X

gap best cotton underwear for women

3. Gap Stretch Cotton Bikini

Best Classic Bikini

Composition: 93% cotton, 7% spandex

Multiple women told us that Gap is their go-to for simple cotton undies. The bikini style has more than 700 reviews, many of which are five stars. Take it from one longtime fan: “I love [this] underwear, they have been my "everyday undies" for years. They don't ride up, they aren't too thin and they're a better quality than similar cotton undies from [other mall brands].”

Available in sizes XS to XXL

voctorias secret best cotton underwear for women
Victoria's Secret

4. 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 higher cut, both in the waist and the legs, this Victoria’s Secret style should do the trick. They come in a wide variety of colors and patterns, in addition to basic white, black, gray and beige. One woman we spoke to has been buying this style on repeat for almost 20 years. (These do have the lowest percentage of cotton on this list, but reviewers say the fabric still feels breathable and note that the gusset is entirely made of cotton.)

Available in sizes S to XL

everlane best cotton underwear for women

5. Everlane The Highrise Hipster

Best High-Waisted

Composition: 92% cotton, 8% elastane

Everlane is known for its quality, comfy basics—including undergarments you can trust. For those who want maximum coverage, on both the bum and tummy, this high-rise hipster is incredibly soft and lightweight, meaning it won’t ride up and give you a wedgie, nor will it feel too tight around your midsection. “The high-rise hipster is so soft and fits beautifully—no panty lines,” reads one review. “They also stop the button and zipper on my high-rise pants from digging into my skin, which is nice.”

Available in sizes XS to XL

gap boyshorts best cotton underwear for women

6. Gap Stretch Cotton Shorty

Best Boyshort

Composition: 93% cotton, 7% spandex

These boy shorts have a devoted following of women looking for more coverage and zero VPL. While scrolling through the nearly 400 reviews, we saw lots of repeat buyers and women who’ve been faithful to this exact style for years. “These are the style of underwear I've been wearing for about five years now,” says one fan. “They are soft and stretchy and do not ride up. I am very curvy on the bottom half and often have issues with underwear riding up or giving me lines; these do not do that.”

Available in sizes XS to XXL

knickey french cut best cotton underwear for women

7. Knickey High-rise Brief

Best French Cut

Composition: 95% cotton, 5% elastane

FYI, the higher-cut on these French panties give the illusion of longer legs. Fans also love the slightly higher waist, which have a subtle smoothing effect at the hips and tummy, and lots of reviews call them “surprisingly sexy.” That said, some mention feeling like the fabric stretched out throughout the day, especially when worn to work out classes.

Available in sizes XXS to XL

thirdlove best cotton underwear for women

8. Thirdlove Everyday Cotton Bikini

Greatest Size Range

Composition: 95% cotton, 5% spandex

It can be a real challenge to find cotton underwear in plus-sizes, but ThirdLove offers every style of underwear in eight sizes to help you find the best fit without compromising on quality or style preference. (This should come as no surprise from a brand that also offers more than 80 bra sizes.) Some come with a scalloped lace trim while others have a more straightforward elastic band, so be sure to double check the images before you check out. And trust us when we say you can’t go wrong with this bikini cut.

Available in sizes XS to 3X

hanro best cotton underwear for women
Bare Necessities

9. Hanro Cotton Seamless Hi-cut Briefs

Most Splurge-Worthy

Composition: 100% cotton

If you’re willing to spend some extra dough to get a truly luxurious, 100-percent cotton panty, Hanro’s got you covered. The brand has a serious cult following and tons of reviewers mention these as their go-to pair for the last five, 10, even 20 years. So, what makes them special? The super-soft cotton has a barely-there feel and the sturdy (but not too tight) elastic makes them immune to wedgies or riding up.

Available in sizes XS to XL

amazon essentials best cotton underwear for women

10. Amazon Essentials Cotton Stretch Bikini

Best Bulk Pack

Composition: 95% cotton, 5% elastane

Whether you’re looking to pick up a set of six neutral hues or 10 brightly colored styles, these Amazon undies are definitely the way to go. There are more than 115,000 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), at just over $2 per pair, we’d say they’re still well worth the buy.

Available in sizes XS to XXL

pact best cotton underwear for women

11. Pact Classic Fit Bikini

Most Eco-Friendly

Composition: 95% cotton, 5% spandex

Pact has very high standards for its eco-friendly manufacturing practices and even has a Fair Trade certification, so you can rest assured the cotton used to make these undies was procured and woven in an ethical and sustainable manner. As one review says, “I have been buying PACT underwear for years because the cotton is organic and the fit is perfect. I bought so many pairs (and they endured so well) that I haven't needed to buy any since April 2017. I just came back to buy some basic black underwear, and I'm very glad to get those.”

Available in sizes XS to XXL

calvin klein best cotton underwear for women

12. Calvin Klein Ck One Cotton Bikini Underwear

Best Low Waist

Composition: 95% cotton, 5% elastane

While you’ve likely seen influencers and other famous faces sporting Calvin Klein sets as loungewear, they absolutely work as everyday undergarments as well. The bikini cut has a fairly low waist, but reviewers love that the elastic band, while substantial, doesn’t dig in or fold over as they go about their day.

Available in sizes XS to XL

thinx best cotton underwear for women

13. Thinx Cotton Briefs

Best Period Panties

Composition: 95% cotton, 5% elastane

When period panties (aka, underwear that absorbs your flow negating the need for pads, tampons or a cup) first hit the market in 2015 we couldn’t have been more excited. And they’ve only gotten more sophisticated in the five years since. Thinx’s cotton briefs, for example, combine all that absorbing power with the breathability of cotton to keep you comfortable and dry—even on heavy days. (Speaking of heavier flow, there's also the Super Cotton Brief, which offers approximately four tampons’ worth of absorbency, for those who need it.)

Available in sizes XXS to 3XL

fruit of the loom best cotton underwear for women

14. Fruit Of The Loom Tag-free Cotton Brief Panties

Highest Rated at Amazon

Composition: 100% cotton

This Fruit of the Loom set is one of the highest-rated on Amazon, with more than 85,000 reviews, 85 percent of which are four stars and up. They’re perfect for the gal who’s looking for a no-fuss panty she can pull on and forget about, with no midday adjustments necessary. “These cotton panties—the same I've been wearing for over 60 years, I swear—are well made [with] breathable cotton” says one lifelong fan. “They’re about as unglamorous as it gets, but fit great and make you feel less hot and is less likely to cause urinary tract infections [than other brands]. When ordering, keep in mind that they will shrink a tad (not a lot) when you first launder them.”

Available in sizes S to 3XL

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