Which nipple cream is best?

Breastfeeding offers several health benefits for both children and parents, but it can be painful or difficult. Some common symptoms of breastfeeding include chafed nipples, cracked skin and dry nipples, particularly in the first few months of breastfeeding. 

Luckily, there are lots of soothing nipple creams available that can help heal chafed nipples and reduce discomfort. The Lanolin Nipple Cream is a nipple cream that protects, nourishes and soothes with 100% pure lanolin formula.

What to know before you buy a nipple cream

Benefits of nipple cream

Most people who breastfeed report chafing, soreness and cracked skin that can sometimes bleed. It’s important to maintain surface moisture for your comfort and the health of your child. Making sure you have healthy nipples helps your child breastfeed more easily.

Another benefit of using nipple cream is that it helps decrease the risk of mastitis, which occurs when the bacteria found on your skin enters your breast tissue through cracked skin or milk ducts. Cracked skin provides the bacteria with a way to enter the breast tissue, which can lead to painful inflammation. It’s important to keep your breast and nipples moisturized when you’re breastfeeding.

How to use nipple cream

You can apply nipple cream directly onto the nipple and other impacted areas. You don’t have to remove the nipple cream before you breastfeed your infant, but it’s best to allow the nipple cream to dry for about 15 minutes. This lets the ingredients absorb into your skin and be as effective as possible before breastfeeding again.

You can also apply nipple cream shortly after taking a shower when your skin is softest. Make sure your skin is entirely dry before applying the nipple cream. Trapping water can lead to fungal infections such as nipple thrush.


Nipple creams usually include multiple emollients to restore the natural lipid barrier and protect the skin. This can help reduce dryness and heal cracking skin. There are multiple good ingredients to look for when selecting a nipple cream:

  • Lanolin: Lanolin is one of the most common ingredients found in nipple creams. It’s safe for infants and acts as a great moisturizer that prevents unneeded water loss in the skin. Lanolin is similar to petroleum jelly but is much more lightweight.
  • Coconut oil: Coconut oil is naturally antibacterial and antimicrobial, which helps boost moisture in the skin and prevents infection.
  • Mango or shea butter: Mango and shea butter have an abundance of vitamin C and vitamin E, which help prevent further cracking and protect the skin.
  • Calendula: The herb calendula is known to have antifungal and anti-inflammatory properties, which help heal the skin and prevent thrush.

What to look for in a quality nipple cream


Nipple creams usually come in three textures that vary in absorption and spreadability, including balms or salves, butters and creams.

  • Creams: These creams are similar to traditional body lotions, but they’re more custard-like and thick in texture. They are also popular among users because they absorb well and spread easily.
  • Butters: Nipple butters are oil-based and come with a stiffer texture than creams do. Butters also include a higher concentration of emollients and less water. They offer intense moisture and absorb more slowly into the skin.
  • Balms or salves: Balms tend to use natural wax that doesn’t include any water content. The stiff texture of balms requires more effort to apply and is a little slow to absorb, but they offer an effective barrier to prevent moisture loss.

Organic options

Many people choose organic or all-natural nipple creams, particularly since their infant might ingest them. Organic nipple creams typically include natural extracts and oils and don’t include any mineral oils, parabens or petroleum.


Nipple creams tend to come in a squeeze tube or jar. This might seem like a small factor, but the packaging matters to breastfeeding parents that only have one hand available to apply the nipple cream. Squeeze tubes work best for one-handed application and make sure that the product stays fresh.

How much you can expect to spend on a nipple cream

Nipple creams cost about $7-$19, depending on the quality, quantity, features and ingredients. The most inexpensive nipple creams contain only about one or two main ingredients, and the more expensive nipple creams include several beneficial ingredients.

Nipple cream FAQ

Are numbing nipple creams safe to use?

A. Try to avoid nipple creams with numbing agents, since these creams can make it harder for your child to breastfeed.

Can you use Vaseline as nipple cream?

A. Petroleum-based products, such as Vaseline, are safe for consumption, but they can lead to mild digestive problems if your child ingests the Vaseline regularly. Nipple creams don’t pose this kind of risk, particularly organic or all-natural nipple creams.

What’s the best nipple cream to buy?

Top nipple cream

Lanolin Nipple Cream

Lanolin Nipple Cream

What you need to know: This nipple cream protects, nourishes and soothes with 100% pure lanolin formula.

What you’ll love: This product comes in a slim squeeze tube, which is perfect for one-handed use and works on chapped lips. The cream also comes in a thick formula, so it stays in place to heal and soothe.

What you should consider: This product is somewhat thick but spreads easily after being warmed up by rubbing between your fingers.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top nipple cream for the money

Medela Purelan Lanolin Nipple Cream

Medela Purelan Lanolin Nipple Cream

What you need to know: This popular nipple cream is easy to apply and is composed of pure lanolin.

What you’ll love: This product works well for dry skin and chapped lips, is made of 100% lanolin and is easy to spread compared to thicker nipple creams. It’s also safe for infants and free of fragrance, preservatives and additives.

What you should consider: Squeezing this nipple cream out of the tube can take some muscle, and it doesn’t work for those with allergies to lanolin.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Bella B Nipple Nurture Butter

Bella B Nipple Nurture Butter

What you need to know: This plant-based nipple cream is a great option for vegan moms and those who don’t like the feel of lanolin.

What you’ll love: This product is perfect for general skin irritation and chapped lips. It’s full of nourishing ingredients, including cocoa butter, olive oil, avocado oil and shea butter. The cream is also hydrating, soothing, thick and easy to apply.

What you should consider: This product isn’t as effective on severely irritated skin or cracked nipples.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon


Sign up here to receive the BestReviews weekly newsletter for useful advice on new products and noteworthy deals.

Alex Kilpatrick writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

Copyright 2022 BestReviews, a Nexstar company. All rights reserved.