As parents, we're always looking for the best way to quickly heal small and big scratches and cuts, and get easily frustrated by band-aids and bandages that fall off easily, are not water resistant, do not seal the cut in very well, and leave a gunky sticky residue behind when they're taken off. For the past seven years, we've been on a mission to find the best bandages for babies and kids, ones that stay put through wet and dry adventures, don't cause rashes (e.g., Latex-free), are flexible, and don't leave behind a sticky residue. Below we review the best 5 bandages we've found, which includes both fabric and plastic options. This list also includes many of the best waterproof band-aids, which have made a lot of advances in the past several years (especially since when I was a kid!). Note that the term "Band-Aid" is a trademark of Johnson & Johnson, which we are not associated with.
Here are the Best Bandages of 2018!
Nexcare bandages are the official bandage for USA Swimming and the Tough Mudder competition, showcasing their ability to stay on the skin under the wettest and messiest of circumstances. And this is no joke! In our testing, we found the Nexcare waterproof bandages to be the best at not only staying on the skin (yes, even hairy skin!) in the water, but also at keeping a nice dry seal around the perimeter of the cut to prevent water and bacteria from entering the area. All that while maintaining a breathable adhesive and cloth area, and leaving no sticky residue when removed after a couple days of use. We also liked the clear flexible adhesive are, which makes the bandage less noticeable while also being super flexible and latex-free. This is a great option for kids and adults with contact allergies to latex rubber, and for parents interested in reducing exposure to latex to minimize allergy development over time. All of these features made this an easy choice for this year's overall best band-aid! Coming in at under 10-cents per bandage, they are a great deal. The only peculiar thing about these bandages, that you'll quickly get used to, is the application. It applies like a typical bandage, but then has a thin outer tape that you peel off after application. This helps seal the bandage on without accidentally peeling back or lifting the edges. The unique trapezoidal shape of the bandage has rounded corners to help keep it from snagging on clothing, and the shape and flexibility make it excellent for things like knees, knuckles, and toes! Overall, and excellent bandage and this year's overall best!
These are a close second to the Nexcare option, and are truly excellent adhesive bandages for babies, adults, and kids. Note that this product contains latex, unlike the Nexcare option, just in case that's something you need to consider. In our testing, we found these Band-Aid Water Block bandages to be quite good at staying on through baths, showers, and the pool, and also good at keeping the cut dry and clean. The clear adhesive perimeter is very similar to the Nexcare: it is flexible, has a great adhesive that doesn't leave any sticky residue when removed, and has rounded edges to prevent it getting caught on clothing and other things. The only drawback is that after 3 days of use, the Nexcare maintained slightly better adhesion. The other drawback is when putting them on, the clear adhesive sides have a tendency to roll back and stick on themselves, which can make putting them on a pain, at least relative to the Nexcare (which has the stiff perimeter that you peel off after applying the bandage). After trying these out, we came to realize what a great design the Nexcare bandages have. But if you're careful and not easily frustrated by this type of thing, these Band-Aids make an excellent option for active use, with a highly flexible and breathable form factor that does a great job staying put during submersion in water. Overall, these are a great option!
These are super fun and adorable Band-Aid bandages with a ton of different themes. They're available in Thomas and Friends, Barbie, Disney's Frozen, Mickey Mouse, Finding Dory, Hello Kitty, Paw Patrol, and a ton of other themes! These bandages are for babies and kids who will find comfort and fun in seeing their favorite characters taking care of their boo-boo. And there's definitely something to be said for that! The bandages themselves do a decent job. They are not waterproof so do not expect them to sustain adhesion in the shower, bath, pool, or at the beach. They also don't do very well with perspiration or messy play. In other words, they tend to get dirty and peel off much sooner than the Nexcare or Band-Aid Water Block options. They are not Latex-free, so for parents and kids who find issue with that, definitely go with our Nexcare option, above. Overall, these bandages are the basic Band-Aid brand that have withstood the test of time and gained the trust of moms worldwide for high quality, reliability, and comfort. They are a bit easier to remove than the waterproof options above, which is good for kids who will find it a bit painful to get their bandage taken off. These will basically fall off on their own after a day or so, so it's good for the situations when the cut is little but packs a big emotional punch. These will make kids feel good with their fun characters, and help them forget their boo-boo; and that's enough to help this option climb up to this position on our list, despite of the sub-par adhesive performance. A bit more expensive than other options because of the cute designs, coming in at around 15 cents per bandage.
This is a huge assorted pack of the classic flexible fabric bandages that the Band-Aid company has worked hard to revise and perfect over the past several decades. They were great when we were kids, and even better now. It's a great package to keep in the house or vehicle. The flexible fabric is great for basic cuts and scrapes on the arm and leg, but the adhesive and flexibility isn't great for tougher spots like the knees, elbows, or fingers. For those, use something like the Nexcare waterproof, or Band-Aid Water Block options, which do a great job flexing and staying stuck on in the toughest positions and situations. These flexible fabric Band-Aids do a nice job with a soft breathable adhesive and a quilted pad for the cut itself. The breathability aspect will speed up healing time a bit, and the softness makes it feel nice to the touch when running your hand over it. Of course, these are only good for about a day or so, and then they tend to peel off quite easily unless your child is sedentary or it's covered with clothing and not on a joint (like a knee or elbow). And did we mention how cheap these are? We found a box of 100 assorted sizes for about 5 cents per bandage, which is hard to beat. Note that these contain latex for parents who need to consider this aspect.
For parents who don't necessarily keep a tube of antibiotic hanging around, but want the peace of mind that the cut is less likely to develop an infection, these bandages might be a great option for you. We keep a box of these at our vacation home and they're great to have in a pinch (no pun intended), for basic cuts and scrapes that need to be quickly treated with some antibiotic and a bandage. The assorted package contains both waterproof and conventional options, and both plastic and fabric options. Some are sheer plastic, which helps with aesthetics a bit. The adhesive on the fabric options wasn't quite as good as the Band-Aid fabric options, but they are pretty decent overall. The plastic ones are flexible and do a nice job staying put, especially the waterproof options. They also do a pretty good job overall with leaving minimal residue. Overall, a good option at a fantastic price, typically around 3 cents per bandage!