The best reusable cotton swabs in the UK 2023

According to the article L541-10-5 of the Environment Code, the sale and use of single-use plastic cotton swabs are forbidden in the UK. However, a more ecological, efficient and economical alternative exists: washable cotton swabs, made of silicone, wood or steel. If you tend towards zero waste, let's take a look at the best reusable cotton buds of the moment.

LastSwab Turquoise Dauphin

Editor's Choice

LastSwab Q-tip

Best reusable cotton swab in 2021

The LastSwab Q-tip has only the shape of a disposable cotton swab. The shaft and the two tips are made of polypropylene. The TPE tips remove cerumen.

9,44 £ on Amazon

Produced in Denmark, the LastSwab Q-tip is made from polypropylene from South Korea and thermoplastic elastomer or TPE from Germany, both of which are recyclable materials. The tips are both flexible and soft for comfortable use. This reusable cotton swab offers an interesting alternative as it can replace up to 1,000 disposable ear buds.

With the LastSwab Q-tip, you'll receive a corn-based PLA carrying case, which is handy if you're often on the go. It allows you to store your accessory right away. All you need is a little water and soap when cleaning. If your earwax texture is more liquid, use the tool dry. Otherwise, clean your ear only after showering.

Coton-tige réutilisable EcoSwab

The best cheapest

EcoSwab reusable cotton swabs

Best entry-level reusable cotton swab

This pack of 2 cotton swabs is incredibly effective. As ecological as they are washable, they come with a pretty magnetic case made of biodegradable bamboo.

5,52 £ on Amazon

To put an end to non-recyclable waste, adopt this set of 2 EcoSwab reusable cotton swabs. They are designed to last for years and can withstand thousands of uses. Their environmentally friendly design is such that even themagnetic closure case is made of biodegradable material, namely bamboo.

The silicone tips are medical grade. In addition, the stems are easy to grip and do not contain BPA or other toxic substances that can harm your health. In this kit, you get two cotton swabs with different uses. The first one, with soft nubs, will be used to clean the ears. The second one, with a flat and a round tip, is useful for make-up.

Orinko en bambou

The best high end

Orinko - Set of 4 Bamboo Toothpicks and 4 Toothbrushes

Best high-end reusable cotton swab

If you want to do something for the planet and have a zero-waste bathroom, buy this set of recyclable bamboo ear picks and toothbrushes.

11,98 £ on Amazon

Also called oriculi, this set of Japanese ear picks has been around for a long time and replaces the usual cotton buds. They are quite hygienic and antibacterial in nature. Despite their small size, these 4 reusable cotton buds will last for years as long as you take care of them. They are made of bamboo, so they are free of BPA and toxic components. The same goes for the 4 toothbrushes with plastic bristles previously infused with activated carbon.

With the Orinko set, each member of the family will have their own washable cotton swab. You can easily distinguish and hang them thanks to their colored cord at the end of the handle. More efficient than the classic cotton swabs, they collect earwax via the flat spoon-shaped tips. Even a child can use them.

Cure-oreilles Remos

In steel

Remos ear plugs

Best reusable steel swab

With the special shape of the Remos ear cleaner, you will be able to remove all the oxidized earwax without having to push the accessory further into the ear canal.

9,22 £ on Amazon

The Remos ear pick or escurette is a tool designed to allow you to remove impurities from the back of your ears with ease. 7 cm long, it has a stainless steel body and a special head for scraping. The recovery of earwax will be painless because of the rounded end. Moreover, the ear wax will remain stuck in the metallic loop.

Due to the quality of the design, the metal will not oxidize, even if it is wet or damp. The ergonomic handle ensures an easy and firm grip. The Remos ear cleaner will not slip out of your hands during use. Note that disinfection is always required before and after each use.

Buying guide • November 2023

Best reusable cotton swab

Any specific needs?

Best reusable cotton swab in 2021

Best entry-level reusable cotton swab

Best high-end reusable cotton swab

Best reusable steel swab

Your guide : Samuel

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Comparison table of the best reusable cotton swabs

LastSwab Turquoise Dauphin
Coton-tige réutilisable EcoSwab
Orinko en bambou
Cure-oreilles Remos
LastSwab Q-tip
EcoSwab reusable cotton swabs
Orinko - Set of 4 Bamboo Toothpicks and 4 Toothbrushes
Remos ear plugs
The LastSwab Q-tip has only the shape of a disposable cotton swab. The shaft and the two tips are made of polypropylene. The TPE tips remove cerumen.
This pack of 2 cotton swabs is incredibly effective. As ecological as they are washable, they come with a pretty magnetic case made of biodegradable bamboo.
If you want to do something for the planet and have a zero-waste bathroom, buy this set of recyclable bamboo ear picks and toothbrushes.
With the special shape of the Remos ear cleaner, you will be able to remove all the oxidized earwax without having to push the accessory further into the ear canal.
Soapy water
Hot water and soap
Water and Marseille soap
Soapy water
Carrying case
11.2 x 2.1 x 1.8 cm
10.6 x 3.6 x 1.4 cm
7 x 0.8 x 0.35 cm
Silicone, TPE, corn-based material
Bamboo and silicone
Stainless steel
Suitable for children

Help us improve this table:
Report an error, request the addition of a feature to the table, or suggest another product. Thank you for your kindness!

Buying guide - reusable cotton swab

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How to choose your reusable cotton swab

The sensitivity of the ears differs from one person to another. It is important to choose the most suitable reusable cotton swab according to this parameter. To help you, remember these criteria:
choisir coton tige réutilisable

#1 - The material

In terms of materials, you can choose between medical silicone, stainless steel and bamboo or beech wood.

  • Silicone : washable cotton stems are more flexible, durable and inexpensive.
  • Wood : here, the ear stick is ecofriendly, especially if it is made of bamboo or beech wood.
  • Steel : with good durability, the reusable cotton stick will accompany you for many years. It is also robust and super hygienic.

#2 - The storage case

The storage box is essential to keep the reusable cotton swab clean. Certainly, models that come alone will easily find makeshift cases. However, these must be able to accommodate them perfectly or the tips will quickly get damaged. Ideally, choose washable cotton swabs that come with recyclable packaging. Not only will you be able to transport them more easily, but you will also be able to protect them in the best way possible.

#3 - The shape

The shape of the reusable cotton swab guarantees you a high grip and comfort of use. They are currently found in various tip shapes: rounded, smooth, curved or polished. Once again, you must take into consideration the sensitivity of your ear canals. However, we recommend that you look for cleaning sticks that won't hurt you. It's best to opt for a model that comes with different shaped tips that are removable and interchangeable.

#4 - The number

To choose the right number of reusable cotton swabs, pay attention to your needs. If you are single or are the only one who needs such an accessory, there is no need to get a whole pack. One or two models will suffice. On the other hand, if everyone in the house is asking for their own biodegradable cotton swabs, you may be interested in the sets. And you will save money.

#5 - The ease of care

This parameter depends on the design material and the texture of the tip of the reusable cotton swab. Those with round or spiked tips offer ease of cleaning. Just run them under water and you're done. However, if the tip is textured, access to the nooks and crannies may be a little more difficult. With this in mind, choose a model that also has a small cleaning brush.

How to properly clean your ears?

Having good hearing implies good ear hygiene. This requires effective and regular cleaning of your ears. You have to know how to do it. Poor hygiene affects hearing ability. Inadequate cleaning can damage certain parts of the organ and lead to certain infections. How do you clean your ears properly? Here are some practical tips to help you do so:

Cleaning the pavilion

Cleaning the ear consists mainly of cleaning the pinna. This is the visible part of the outer ear. It's full of little nooks and crannies where cut hair and dirt can collect. The pinna also houses the outer part of the ear canal. This area usually accumulates cerumen, which is aesthetically unpleasant.

Dirt embedded in the auricle must be removed. It harbors bacteria and can encourage infections such as ear infections. The same applies to the cerumen ejected towards the auricle. They are collected with a cotton swab to be removed from the ear.

However, one should never try to go too far into the auricle. Of course, earwax is unsightly. However, it plays an essential role in protecting the eardrum. It is important to keep in mind that it is normal and healthy to have earwax in the ears. It is not necessary to go to the bottom of the canal to remove them. Just clean the most visible part of the canal, without forcing it inward. Use a reusable cotton swab to do this.

Finding the right frequency

How often you clean your ear depends on how much wax your ears produce. In any case, it is not always necessary to do it daily. Experts say that cleaning your ears once or twice a week is more than enough. If your ears are not producing enough earwax, you can space out the cleaning even more.

What is earwax?

Earwax, also known as ear wax, is a natural yellowish substance produced in the ear. It is largely composed of fatty substances and is essential to effectively protect the inner part of the ear canal against dirt and external aggressions.

The different types of reusable cotton swabs

If the disposable cotton swab is exclusively made of wood, the reusable cotton swab is available in various materials such as stainless steel or silicone.

Reusable wooden cotton rod

coton tige réutilisable en bois

The reusable wooden cotton swab (beech wood or bamboo) often takes the shape of an oriculi, i.e. a rod with a sort of curved spoon or spatula at the end. Originally from Japan, it has been used for centuries to clean the ears of adults and children without pushing the earwax towards the eardrum.

As for its maintenance, a quick rinse under water or a cleaning with soapy water is more than enough. The reusable wooden cotton swab still requires delicacy otherwise you will hurt the inside of your ears. If necessary, make several passes to remove as much ear wax as possible with the curved tip.

Reusable stainless steel cotton rod

The stainless steel reusable cotton swab stands out because of the variety of shapes of its tip. It is the most popular type in the medical field (ENT). No longer reserved for professionals, there are currently some for all tastes: curved ones as well as those in the format of a safety pin. Moreover, you don't need to be an expert to use them.

Since it is made mostly of stainless steel, the washable cotton swab is easily cleaned with water. A mixture of iron, nickel and chromium, stainless steel resists rust and corrosion and is very strong and durable. It should be noted that it is also a 100% recyclable material, indefinitely.

Reusable silicone cotton rod

coton tige réutilisable en silicone

This type of model is usually composed of medical silicone. It comes in two forms: the ear stick and the silicone oriculi.

  • The ear stick : with a cross-shaped base, it stands out for its ease of use. A few rotary movements at the edge of the ear canal are necessary to get rid of excess earwax. Suitable for children, it has an ergonomic design and a short length, ideal for ultra-safe ear care.
  • The oriculi with silicone head : visually resembles the classic cotton swab except that instead of finding cotton on the ends, you will have silicone tips. Its heads can be spiral, smooth, round, spiked or pointed. It depends on the intended use, because, let's face it, you can use it to correct your makeup.

Reusable cotton swab or ear bulb?

Reusable cotton swabs

The reusable cotton swab is actually a variant of the wadded stick with a plastic stem and cotton, the only difference being that instead of throwing it in the garbage, you can wash it with soapy water, dry it and reuse it. An economical asset, certainly, but above all an ecological gesture that will lead you to a zero waste approach.

This revolutionary tool is becoming more and more popular in bathrooms and toiletry kits and is now available in a variety of designs. For the greatest happiness of all, it is available in three types of materials: wood, stainless steel and silicone.

Ear bulb

The ear bulb, nasal bulb or enema bulb, gives you the possibility to clean your ears or nose with liquid. It is often associated with babies and children, but the ear bulb can also be used for adults. This medical device, usually made of silicone, is shaped like a balloon with a super soft cannula.

To use it, you must first fill it with liquid (lukewarm water, a specific earwash product or saline). Then insert the cannula into the ear canal without going too far and squeeze the bulb gradually to drain the liquid. Tilt your head to the side so that the liquid can get rid of the excess earwax.


Both are ear cleaning devices. The reusable cotton swab is recommended for people who want to have a tool that is compact, light, space-saving and easy to use. On the other hand, the ear bulb is for people who want to clean their ears thoroughly and who do not mind getting their ear canal wet.

Why buy a reusable cotton swab?

pourquoi acheter coton tige réutilisable


Compared to ordinary single-use cotton swabs, reusable ones are much more environmentally friendly. You can use it dozens of times, which greatly limits the waste from its use. Not only that, but reusable cotton swabs are usually made from natural, biodegradable materials like cotton and bamboo.


The purchase of a reusable cotton swab is very advantageous in terms of price. Of course, it costs more than a box of disposable cotton swabs. However, the savings will be seen in the long run. Your reusable cotton swab has a very long life. You'll have used up boxes and boxes of expensive disposable earwashes before you wear out your reusable cotton swab.


The reusable cotton swab has a better design than disposable models. It's softer, yet more durable. There's no chance of the cotton tip coming loose and getting stuck in your ear. The shaft also offers a better grip. All of this helps you to comfortably clean your ears on a daily basis.

Convenient and easy to use

Typically, a reusable cotton swab comes with two different shaped tips. Choose the one that suits you best. In both cases, the use will remain simple. The small accessory can be delivered in a small case. You can take it with you everywhere, without ever cluttering your bags and luggage. You will then preserve an excellent hygiene to your ears in any circumstance.

Suitable for the whole family

Reusable cotton swabs are designed to meet the needs of the whole family. Adults, but also children, will be able to use them daily to ensure good ear hygiene. For children, there is no risk of earwax plugs or eardrum perforation. Better yet, each member of the family will adapt quickly and easily to the handling of the accessory.

The best brands of reusable cotton swabs

In our opinion, the best brands of reusable cotton swabs in 2022 are :


The LastSwab brand is considered the creator of the reusable cotton rod. Founded in 2019, it has developed a wide distribution network dedicated to this innovative and ecological product. LastSwab highlights the quality of its reusable cotton swabs, which are made from sustainable materials used mainly in medical settings.

EcoSwab is among the precursors of the zero waste grocery concept. Founded in Canada, the brand markets in its home country and in Europe wide ranges of eco-friendly and recyclable products that we use every day. EcoSwab cotton swabs are known for their innovative design and exceptional longevity.

Orinko is a brand specialized in the production and distribution of products presented as an ecological alternative to everyday consumer goods. In its catalog, you will find a vast selection of sustainable and reusable products. This includes cotton swabs that you can reuse several hundred times without affecting its quality and effectiveness.

Remos is a brand specialized in the manufacture of products dedicated to personal hygiene. It stands out by using high quality stainless steel in the production of tweezers, blade holders, dental mirrors or even reusable ear picks. These are practically indestructible and can be used for more than a decade.

Limiting waste from our bathroom is the primary goal of the French brand Lamazuna. In order to achieve this, it offers a rich catalog of reusable products such as makeup remover wipes or even cotton swabs. Its flagship product, the Oriculi, is one of the references in the reusable cotton swabs market.

What is the price for a reusable cotton swab

The diagram below will help you to get an idea of the typical prices for each price range (entry-level, mid-range and high-end).

However, more expensive does not necessarily mean better.

We therefore advise you to always consult our ranking before deciding, rather than blindly relying on price ranges.

5 £ to 9 £
9 £ to 13 £
more than 13 £
Price range diagram


Clean the reusable cotton swab after use

After each use, the reusable cotton swab should be cleaned. This will extend its life. The ear cleaner will also be directly reusable the next day once it is cleaned. To do this, rub the cotton tip with soapy water. Do not use detergents or harsh products. Don't forget to rinse the cotton swab well and let it dry before putting it back in its case.

If disinfection is needed, do it like this

After several successive sessions, you can disinfect your reusable ear pick. To do this, use an alcohol-based antiseptic and disinfectant product. It is also possible to immerse the cotton bud in hot water for about 5 minutes. In this case, use hot water at about 60°C and avoid boiling water, which could melt the stem of the accessory.

The reusable swab replaces the disposable swab for makeup

The reusable cotton swab is not only used to scrub your ears. You can use it as a makeup accessory. The two different tips are great for smudging, lining, or erasing makeup. They are also good tools to line your nail polish by removing excess and marking the edges. Of course, it will always be reusable as long as you clean it well after each use.

Frequent ear cleaning is not essential

The cotton swab is a good ally in cleaning the ears. However, this does not imply that you use it every day without interruption. The use of a tissue and a finger is enough to remove cerumen every day. Use the cotton swab less regularly, when needed. Also remember to use it properly so that you avoid certain risks such as cerumen plugs.

Remember to dry your ears after showering or swimming

In an effort to clean our ears properly, we may tend to push the reusable cotton swab as far into the ear canal as possible. This is not a good idea. This pushes the cerumen further into the canal, causing clogs and exposing the eardrum to the risk of perforation. When cleaning, avoid inserting the reusable cotton swab too far into the ear canal.


Can we do without a reusable cotton swab?

Yes, some specialists recommend using your pinkie or a simple handkerchief to clean your ears. This is effective, but less convenient. The reusable cotton swab, on the other hand, is easier and more comfortable. Its shape is designed to facilitate the removal of cerumen. You can do without it, but using it would be even better. Therefore, it is better to use it especially since it is offered at a very affordable price.

What about the reusable bioplastic ear pick?

The bioplastic ear pick is among the best options if you plan to adopt the reusable cotton swab. It displays an extended lifespan and a proven eco-friendly nature. Bioplastic is an environmentally friendly and sustainable material. In fact, some reusable bioplastic ear picks come with a lifetime guarantee.

How long does a reusable cotton swab last?

On average, a reusable cotton swab is made to withstand 1,000 cleaning sessions. You can practically use it for several years. Of course, this longevity varies from one model to another depending on the materials it is made of and its quality. In any case, it is recommended to clean your reusable cotton swab well so that it enjoys an optimal life span.

How do you maintain a reusable bamboo cotton swab?

Bamboo is a material that resists moisture very well. So you can use soap and water when cleaning a reusable bamboo cotton swab. You don't have to rub very hard to remove the encrusted cerumen. Remember to always rinse the cotton swab well and let it dry before storing it.


Note: Below are some of the sources we have consulted in writing this article. Links to other sites are not continuously updated. It is therefore possible that a link may not be found. Please use a search engine to find the desired information.
  1. Danish Brand Offers Washable, Reusable Cotton Swabs,
  2. Reusable Cotton Swabs: What Can You Replace Them With?,
  3. What Can You Replace Cotton Swabs With?,
  4. Everything You Need to Know About Reusable Q-tips,
  5. Get Rid of Earwax & Help the Environment With These Reusable Cotton Swabs,
  6. Reusable Cotton Swabs Are the Sustainable Tool You Never Knew You Needed,
  7. 10 Best reusable cotton buds 2021: from silicone buds to stainless steel ear picks,
  8. This reusable cotton swab is actually more genius than gross,
  9. LastSwab vs. EarthSider Review,
  10. LastSwab | The First Reusable Cotton Swab | Shipping ....,
  11. : reusable cotton swabs,
  12. The 3 Best Reusable Cotton Swabs 2021 - Guide to ...,
  13. Cotton swabs - 58 products | Greenweez,
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  16. Discover our organic cotton and cotton swabs La Vie Claire,
  17. LASTSWAB I Reusable cotton swabs - classic version,
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  20. Reusable Cotton Stems and Earpicks - Alternativi,
  21. 2 Reusable Cotton Stems | Oriculis | Zero Waste,
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  23. Reusable Cotton Stems - discover the only 100% ....,
  24. Reusable cotton swabs - Reviews, Tips, Guides & Questions,
  25. Reusable cotton swabs - LastSwab - Leaves & Clouds,
  26. Comparative list of the 10 best reusable cotton swabs of 2021,
  27. Why choose a reusable cotton swab? | OOPLA,
  28. Reusable cotton swabs made in the UK, which brands ...,
  29. Reusable cotton swabs with soft pimples ...,
  30. The first reusable cotton swab | Delivery ...,
  31. ,
See more


March 2022 : Translation of this buying guide from our partner

See more
Our selection
LastSwab Turquoise Dauphin
LastSwab Q-tip
Coton-tige réutilisable EcoSwab
EcoSwab reusable cotton swabs
Orinko en bambou
Orinko - Set of 4 Bamboo Toothpicks and 4 Toothbrushes
Cure-oreilles Remos
Remos ear plugs


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