Sweat pads line your clothing to protect your shirts from armpit sweat. But how do you know if sweat pads will work for you?


What Are Underarm Sweat Pads?

Sweat pads are pads that attach directly to the skin or armpits and absorb sweat. Also called garment guards, sweat shields or armpit pads, sweat pads come in a few forms.

The most popular sweat pads are peel-and-stick disposable pads. Others are washable, reusable cloth pads. They work best when applied to dry, clean-shaven armpits.

Most pads come in a few colors, including nude, black and white. You can find them online or in the health and beauty section of retail stores.

Types of Sweat Pads

Depending on how much you sweat and the kind of clothing you wear, there are a few types of sweat pads to choose from.

Sweat Pad Types Adhesive Pad

Disposable Skin-Adhesive Sweat Pads

Some sweat pads stick directly to your skin. Adhesive sweat pads are lightweight and typically made of cotton or fleece material. They can only absorb light to moderate amounts of sweat.

Sweat Pad Types Cloth Adhesive

Disposable Sweat Pads That Stick to Clothing

Disposable sweat pads adhere to the underarms of your shirt to capture armpit sweat. They work best when applied to cotton clothing.

Sweat Pad Types Reuseable Pad

Reusable Sweat Pads

These machine-washable sweat pads are ideal for nice dress shirts or blouses. They can be sewn in or worn with snaps, tapes or pins. Some reusable sweat pads fasten around the torso or arm, while others can be hooked to clothing such as a bra.


If you experience extreme underarm sweating or have sensitive skin, underarm sweat pads are not recommended.

Will Sweat Pads Work For You?

If your armpits get damp from time to time, sweat pads can help block the appearance of underarm sweat. But sweat pads can only contain so much moisture and pose other side effects.

Consider a sweat pad alternative:


If You Have Sensitive Skin

Sweat pads can cause redness, irritation and skin darkening. If you have sensitive skin, stay away from sweat pads that adhere directly to your skin.


In Stressful Situations

You sweat bullets in high-pressure situations, and sweat pads don’t always stay put. Stressing over the placement of sweat pads makes an already nerve-wracking situation that much worse.


When Wearing Tight Clothing

Sweat pads are bulky and show through tight-fitting shirts. You can trim sweat pads to make them less noticeable, but they will absorb less sweat.


When Wearing Loose-Fitting Clothing

When sweat pads attach to your inner shirt, they need to sit against your skin to absorb moisture. Wearing loose shirts means sweat can more easily soak through your shirt instead.


If You Have Hyperhidrosis

Sweat pads can’t contain the daily wrath of heavy armpit sweat that people with axillary hyperhidrosis experience. The surface can fill up and start to leak in a matter of minutes.

The Side Effects of Sweat Pads

Beyond these situations, sweat pads have other limitations and won’t work for everyone. For example:

Sweat pads are often visible through your shirt.

Underarm sweat pads are thick and bulky. Depending on the style and type of fabric, they are often embarrassingly visible through your shirt.

They cause rashes and skin darkening.

The adhesive on sweat pads and the daily application can irritate skin and leave it darkened or discolored. The pads can also be painful to remove.

One size doesn’t fit all.

Most sweat pads only come in one size and don’t fit properly. Once an adhesive pad sticks to your shirt , it’s not easy to adjust.

They're heavy and uncomfortable.

Sweat pads trap sweat in your underarms. Over the course of the day, sweat loosens the sweat pad’s adhesive qualities, causing leakage and extra uncomfortable weight.

Sweat pads require embarrassing maintenance.

Sweat pads don’t always stay in place. They can get heavy and even fall off. If you sweat heavily, you may need to cycle through a few sweat pads per day.

They can ruin your clothing.

Most sweat pads are disposable and only good for one-time use. Costs add up fast when you have to consistently keep a supply on hand.

Sweat pads are expensive.

The adhesive on some sweat pads leaves a sticky residue that's difficult to remove from clothing. They’re not great options for expensive fabrics or special items of clothing.

They add daily frustration.

Using sweat pads daily adds another frustrating step to your routine. From applying them daily to ordering a weekly or monthly supply, sweat pads add another task to your to-do list.

When Sweat Pads Work

Sweat pads don’t solve the problem of sweating and only work in unique situations.

If you suffer from occasional nervous sweating or just need extra protection for a presentation, sweat pads can temporarily conceal armpit sweat. But if you sweat profusely or have been diagnosed with axillary hyperhidrosis, sweat pads won’t hold your sweat for long.

The Only Integrated Sweat Pad

If you sweat heavily, you need a sustainable solution to underarm sweat. Fortunately, there’s a less annoying, natural and economic alternative to underarm sweat pads. The secret is in your undershirt.

To fight the appearance of sweat marks, Thompson Tee co-founders Billy and Randy spent more than 10 years designing the only patented sweat proof undershirt, the Thompson Tee.

With built in Hydro-Shield sweat proof technology, Thompson Tees completely absorb underarm sweat and allow it to evaporate. The ultra-thin and durable technology is secured in a layering and stitching system, so you don’t have to stick, sew or attach anything. Just throw on the undershirt and go.

Unlike bulky sweat pads, the sweat proof barrier stays put throughout the day, so you don’t have to adjust the placement or worry whether it’s visible to others.