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10 of the best nipple creams

Using recommendations from our team of parent testers, we have compiled the best creams to soothe sore nipples and help you breastfeed with confidence

best nipple creams

Why do I need nipple cream?

When you start breastfeeding it can take a while for your newborn to get the right latch. In the first few weeks while breastfeeding is becoming established, they are likely to feed little and often, meaning that your nipples may get sore, painful or cracked as they adjust.

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Thankfully, there’s a whole range of different nipple creams and balms available that can make life a little easier while your body adjusts to breastfeeding. Whether lanolin-based – an oily substance found naturally on sheep’s wool – or created totally from plant products, these creams are applied all over the nipple area to lubricate, soothe and moisturise.

How often can I use nipple cream?

You can apply most nipple creams as often as you need to. Most brands don’t need to be removed when it is time to feed, which saves you precious seconds and avoids a fussy baby while you’re washing it off.

While the majority of the creams are odour and taste free, some babies might not like feeding when you have just applied nipple cream, so it is best to put it on in between feeds or just after.

How much can I expect to pay for nipple cream?

In our roundup, we have included brands that appeal to every budget, with the cheapest nipple cream at just £1.29 for 75ml and the most expensive at £19 for 30ml. The majority of nipple creams we have featured are priced at around £10, but with many of them a little bit goes a long way and they can have multiple uses as skincare.

Here’s our pick of the best nipple saviours to make breastfeeding more comfortable…

1. Lasinoh HPA Lanolin Nipple Cream, £10.49 for 40ml (£26.23 per 100ml)

Best for everyday use

Type: Cream | Remove before breastfeeding: No

The UK’s number 1 selling nipple cream, breastfeeding mums everywhere swear by the healing magic of this product. Lansinoh Lanolin only contains 100% pure lanolin, which helps to rehydrate damaged tissue from within.

MFM user reviewer Colette, mum of 3, said: “I used it for all of my babies. It is great and helped me to breastfeed comfortably.”

As well as being hypoallergenic, it’s odour and taste free so you don’t have to wipe it off before breastfeeding. You can also buy a 10ml size if you want to test it out before committing to the full sized product (40ml).

Our reviewer Sarah was impressed with how simple it was to use: “Instant pain relief is hard to beat, and you don’t have to wipe this product off before breastfeeding. My baby didn’t seem to notice it at all, even though it made feeding much easier for me.”

Read our full MadeForMums review of Lansinoh Lanolin here

Available from: Amazon, Boots and Superdrug

2. My Expert Midwife No Harm Nipple Balm, £16.50 per 30ml (£55 for 100ml)

Best for easy application

Type: Balm | Remove before breastfeeding: No | Award: MadeForMums Awards 2020, Breastfeeding balms and products – Gold

The My Expert Midwife No Harm Nipple Balm is ‘midwife developed, mum approved’, which is our kind of expertise. The ingredients are all natural and like other leading creams on our list, it contains pure lanolin, but also coconut oil and sweet almond oil to help it glide onto skin (let’s face it, no one needs already-sore skin to drag).

Like some other nipple creams, it also has uses as a nappy rash cream and lip balm, but it does have one of the higher price tags on our list.

However our 2020 Awards testers felt that the product was worth the high price tag. MFM tester Diana said:  “I also like the texture of it and how easy it is to massage it in. I would definitely recommend it if you have the budget. It is quite expensive compared to normal lanolin cream in the market, but you only need to use a small amount, so I would probably get away with needing just one throughout my breastfeeding journey.”

What really sets it apart though is the pump dispenser, making it easy to apply one-handed – a must for any mum. Our tester Kara said: “An easy to use product and pump. Had no nipple issues using this through breastfeeding.

Available from: Amazon, Boots and My Expert Midwife

3. Medela Purelan 100 Nipple Cream, £9.99 for 37ml (£27 per 100ml)

Best for a leading breastfeeding brand

Type: Cream | Remove before breastfeeding: No

Medela is best known for its market-leading breast pumps, like the electric Medela Swing, but it also hits the spot with this nifty nipple saviour, Medela Purelan 100 Nipple Cream.

A challenger to the bestselling Lansinoh HPA Lanolin Cream, both creams only contain lanolin. It’s a thicker formula than other nipple creams in our round-up, and it does take some effort to get it out of the tube, but it melts away as soon as it touches skin and breastfeeding mums rave about its results.

One great feature of this cream is that it can be used for more than just nipples. MFM user Sammy said: “A friend recommended it not only for nipple relief, but also for cracked lips and it is honestly a lifesaver. I don’t need it for my nipples anymore, but I use it on my lips every night before bed and no more cracked lips!”

Available from: Amazon, John Lewis and Medela

4. Weleda Nipple Balm, £8.25 for 25ml (£33 per 100ml)

Best for quick absorption

Type: Balm | Remove before breastfeeding: No

A pioneer in all things green, natural and cosmetic, Weleda’s Nipple Balm is a soothing, nourishing cream developed by midwives and pharmacists. It is made with organic calendula, plant oils and protective waxes. The addition of plant oils means it has a lovely smooth feel and mums have reported it sinks into skin really well and gets to work healing sore nipples right away.

It’s also fragrance-free and free of petroleum derivatives or artificial additives, so is a great choice if you want to opt for more plant-based ingredients.

One Amazon reviewer commented: “After struggling for two months with a severe crack to one nipple, I thought I’d try this as an alternative to the two previous brands. After just four days of regular application it’s almost fully healed and I’m no longer in pain when feeding my baby. I really can’t recommend this enough.”

Available from: Amazon, Weleda and Boots

5. Mama Mio Keep Calm Nipple Balm, £12 for 30ml (£40 per 100ml)

Best for plant-based ingredients

Award: Bronze – Breastfeeding products, MadeForMums Awards 2021

Type: Balm | Remove before breastfeeding: No

Blending medical grade vegan lanolin, organic shea butter, organic coconut and olive oils and calendula, Mama Mio’s Nipple Balm is a product our testers loved for its plant-based ingredients.

Although at a mid-range price point, a little does go a long way as MFM tester Caroline found. She said, “Calming on the area and quickly relieved cracked nipples, with only a small amount required to feel the benefits. It is not sticky like other brands and doesn’t leave any residue.”

While many other balms in our round-up also have oils to make them silkier, it’s worth noting that some MFM mums reported this formula was slightly thicker, similar to a lanolin only product like Medela Purelan or Lansinoh HPA Lanolin Cream.

Available from: Amazon, John Lewis and Mama Mio

6. First Days Maternity Supplies 100% natural nipple balm, £16.95 for 60ml (£28.25 per 100ml)

Best for multi-use

Type: Balm | Remove before breastfeeding: No | Award: MadeForMums Awards 2020, Breastfeeding balms and products – Joint Silver

The Natural Nipple Balm’s vegan-friendly ingredients and effectiveness made this a clear winner with our home testers. They found it worked very well on sore nipples and on other dry, chapped skin.

This balm certainly gives you more bang for your buck, as often once you have finished breastfeeding, you no longer have a use for nipple cream. Our testers loved the fact that this product was a multitasker, as it can be used by the whole family, including the ‘newest of newborns’, on lips, cuticles, dry patches of skin on elbows or even as a nappy balm.

MFM tester Sandra, mum of 3, says: “The best part about this product is how easy it is to use. It’s so silky and light that it just glides on. Some other products on the market are quite thick and sticky, which can drag sore nipples on application and also cause nipples to stick to your bra/pad. Not so with this product.”

Produced in the UK and presented in a reusable tin, this is also an environmentally friendly product, which will appeal to many new parents.

Available from: Amazon and First Days Maternity Supplies

7. My Little Star New Mum Nipple Cream 75ml, £1.29 for 75ml (£1.72 per 100ml)

Best value nipple cream

Type: Cream | Remove before breastfeeding: Yes

If it’s a good value nipple-rescuing option you’re after, you’ve hit the jackpot with this My Little Star New Mum Nipple Cream, which is the most competitively priced on our list by a significant amount. This moisturising cream is fragrance-free, dermatologically tested, paediatrician approved and suitable for sensitive skin – not bad for less than two quid.

It doesn’t claim to be natural or organic like others, but many mums have claimed they’ve noticed a marked improvement in their nipples since using it.

While it may be slightly less nourishing than other richer balms in our round-up, and you do have to remove it before breastfeeding, you can’t go far wrong for the price.

MFM user Zara liked the My Little Star nipple cream, but noted: “I found it too much effort to remember to remove it before feeding, especially in the newborn haze.”

Available from: Superdrug

8. Organic Babies Mum & Baby Rescue Balm, £13 for 100ml

Best organic nipple balm

Type: Balm | Remove before breastfeeding: No

One of only two products on our list that doesn’t include lanolin (the other is NESSA’s Nipple SOS balm), this rich cream is made from 91.9% organic ingredients and is certified by the Soil Association and the Vegetarian Society.

Made by natural beauty brand, Green People, this Organic Babies Mum & Baby Rescue Balm has a similar ingredient list to Weleda’s Nipple Balm, although it’s significantly cheaper.

It includes shea butter, hemp, beeswax and calendula to nurture and protect sore, cracked nipples and it can also be used to soften the perineum area before birth. Although it is fragrance-free and mostly organic, some MFM mums have reported a slight smell like vegetable oil.

One Amazon reviewer, who called the balm a “lifesaver”, said that as well as helping with her sore, cracked nipples it also came in handy for her baby’s cradle cap and dry skin.

 Available from: Amazon, Green People and Ocado

9. Jeunvie Essentiel Vie Nipple Cream, £12.99 for 100ml

Best value organic nipple balm

Type: Cream | Remove before breastfeeding: No | Award: MadeForMums Awards 2020, Breastfeeding balms and products – Joint Silver

This eco-friendly product got full marks in the MFM 2020 Awards for effectiveness. Our home testers reported well-soothed skin and were keen to recommend this Essential Vie Nipple Cream to their friends. The brand is built around making vegan, hypoallergenic and eco-friendly products for mums and babies, and the ingredients are organic too – a win-win product in our books!

Something that was noted by the 2020 Awards testers was how the balm can be used for more than just soothing sore nipples, including as a stretch mark cream and on your baby’s delicate skin. Tester Eleanor explained: “It got rid of the little bit of dry skin my baby had on her cheeks from being out in the cold in her buggy. This is so much nicer to use than the previous balm I have been using! There’s no oily residue, it doesn’t get on my clothes nor did it leave a mark when I tested to see if it would ruin clothes!”

The texture of the balm is slightly grainy because of the addition of shea butter. However one of our testers loved this, as it felt like an exfoliator and moisturiser all in one. While another tester Emma said that “the product had to be warmed to remove the grainy texture but went on nicely.”

Available from: Essentiel Vie

10. NESSA Nipple SOS 30ml, £19 for 30ml (£63 per 100ml)

Best luxury nipple balm

Type: Balm | Remove before breastfeeding: No

The newest nipple balm on the block, NESSA Nipple SOS is 100% vegan, with no lanolin or beeswax in its formulation. Packed full of moisture-boosting butters, it’s blended with tropical fruit oils to hydrate and nourish even the sorest of nipples. Its non-sticky, soothing formula is also multi-purpose and works great as a nappy rash cream or lip balm.

Comparable to the Organic Babies Mum & Baby Rescue Balm on our round-up, which is free from lanolin, NESSA’s balm goes one step further for mums who want a fully natural, vegan option. It’s rather pricey, but with 1% from every jar sold going to UK charity, Bliss, it’s just another reason to treat yourself (and your nipples).

Our Awards testers loved the luxurious packaging and design, including the cotton pouch that is a nice added extra, and felt it would make a lovely gift for a new mum. Tester Sarah said: “This is a lovely soothing balm which rubs in easily and has a non sticky texture.”

Available from: NESSA

What to do if you’re struggling with breastfeeding

During those early days when you are in a newborn bubble, it might feel like your baby is constantly asleep or feeding, but don’t worry, this is quite normal.

Sometimes the pain can become so uncomfortable that you may want to give up breastfeeding altogether. According to the NHS, it’s actually one of the main reasons mums switch to bottle feeding. We support mums feeding their babies in a way that works for both mum and baby, be that bottle or breast, combi-feeding or pumping – but if you are keen to persevere with breastfeeding, there’s a lot of support out there.

Your midwife should be able to offer advice on helping your baby get a better position and latch on more effectively, which can go a long way to easing the pain. You can attend local breastfeeding support clinics, contact breastfeeding organisations like La Leche League, or pay to see a lactation consultant. Check out our breastfeeding support article for more advice.

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