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Best Overall: Tide PODS 3-in-1 Laundry Detergent Pacs
These small detergent packs bring a big clean, making them one of the best-selling laundry pods on the market. Tide PODS 3-in-1 contain a triple-action formula that cleans clothes, combats stains, and protects colors.
Each container has 81 laundry pods, though you’ll probably need to use two or even three pods for extra-large or extra-dirty loads—which is true for just about all brands of detergent packs. These Tide PODS work well for delivering a fresh scent to your clothes and, according to the manufacturer, work in both cold and hot water wash cycles. Real world use proves this to be true, as long as you put the laundry pods in first and select a cycle size with enough water to thoroughly penetrate and rinse the load—in other words, properly prep your laundry and you’ll get good results.
Best Natural: Grab Green Natural 3-in-1 Laundry Detergent Pods
Grab Green 3-in-1 Laundry Pods are a top choice if you’re shopping for natural laundry care. These laundry pods use enzyme-based cleaning agents and essential oils for a fresh, fragrant clean. Available in a variety of nature-inspired scents, including Vetiver and Gardenia, you’ll love using these good-for-you and good-for-your-clothes detergent packs.
Inside each laundry detergent pod is a powder blend that offers 3-in-1 action: clean clothes, fight stains, and brighten colors. The blend is free of phosphates, phthalates, chlorine, animal by-products, toxins, dyes, and masking agents.
Reviewers did note that you'll need to use enough water to make sure these powder laundry pods fully dissolve. You’ll also want to keep in mind that one pod is sufficient for small loads, but larger loads require two or even three pods. However, the Grab Green Laundry Detergent Pods are a great option if going natural is important to your family.
Go green with our other top choices for green laundry detergent.
Best for Stains: Tide Pods Ultra Oxi Laundry Detergent Pacs
Seriously dirty laundry requires major stain-fighting power, and you’ll find it in Tide Pods Ultra Oxi Laundry Detergent Pacs. While Tide makes some of the most popular laundry pods on the market, this Ultra Oxi formula includes extra lifting power to remove stubborn stains and set-in odors.
These laundry pods are specially formulated for stains and include an additional pre-treating formula to target set-in stains. The 4-in-1 cleaning action of Tide Pods Ultra Oxi is incredibly effective and means you can skip the hunt to pre-treat every stain in your laundry pile. Reviewers are happy to report the excellent results they’ve had using these laundry pods for grease stains, sweat stains, grass stains, and more.
Best for Cold Water: Method Laundry Detergent Packs
One of the biggest concerns that people have with laundry pods is their failure to fully dissolve. This can especially be annoying and noticeable if you're going through cold water wash cycles. To minimize the chances of finding pod residue in your finished laundry, consider using a liquid laundry detergent pack. Method Laundry Detergent Packs are a popular pick that utilizes quick-mixing liquid detergent and fresh, natural scents.
These laundry packs focus on delivering a big clean without bleach or toxic chemicals—in fact, they're hypoallergenic. Available in both Ginger Mango and Beach Sage scents, you'll get great smelling laundry and save a bit of energy with the cold cycle.
Looking for the best scents for laundry? Read more reviews of the best smelling laundry detergent.
Best for Sensitive Skin: Seventh Generation Free & Clear Laundry Detergent Packs
If you’re in search of laundry pods for sensitive skin, Seventh Generation Free & Clear Laundry Detergent Pacs might be your best bet. These hypoallergenic laundry pods are an EPA Safer Choice product and omit fragrances, dyes, and artificial brighteners that can sometimes irritate your skin. They’re also a USDA Certified Biobased Product, with a formula that is 94 percent plant-based.
The biggest drawback to these natural laundry pods is that they don’t dissolve well in cold water, according to some users. But many people with sensitive skin are very happy with these laundry pods and report no skin reactions—making it worth the higher price tag compared to other detergent packs. Reviewers also appreciate the easy-to-read ingredient list on the product package, since some companies make you hunt for the information on the label.
Best for Odor: Gain Flings Laundry Detergent Pacs
Fight stubborn odors with a powerful laundry pod, like Gain Flings Laundry Detergent Pacs. These brightly scented laundry pods clean effectively and leave behind a fresh scent. Each laundry pod fights stains, odors, and everyday grime with a combination of detergent, OxiClean, and Febreeze. As a result, your clothes come out cleaner, brighter, and fresher.
Gain Flings promise to impart enough fresh scent to keep your clothes smelling great for up to 6 weeks from wash to wear. This means that even if you work up a sweat, your freshly laundered clothes have an extra layer of protection from odor—thanks to Gain’s AromaBoost ingredients.
Want more odor-fighting power? Check out our roundup of the best laundry detergents for odors.
Best for College: Persil Proclean Discs Laundry Detergent
Ace the laundry game with the best laundry pods for college—Persil Proclean Discs. These budget-friendly and powerful detergent packs are a popular pick for college students, or anyone looking for a convenient, affordable detergent option.
Persil Proclean Discs promise a deep clean for clothes, thanks to a unique four-chamber design. Inside each liquid-filled section are agents responsible for cleaning, stain removal, fiber care, and imparting a fresh scent. This all-in-one approach makes these laundry pods perfect for college students—no lugging multiple bottles to the laundromat or measuring separate ingredients. Just pop in a Persil Proclean Disc for easy garment care that makes the grade.
Best for Babies: Grab Green Natural Newborn Baby Laundry Detergent Pods
Parents are naturally concerned with the safety and quality of household products, including laundry detergent. Baby clothes, bibs, blankets, and more all come in contact with your newborn’s sensitive skin and you want to make sure that the ingredient list for your laundry detergent checks out. Grab Green Natural Newborn Baby Laundry Detergent Pods are a top pick for parents shopping for baby-safe laundry pods.
The enzyme-based cleaning formula skips artificial and toxic ingredients. There are no sulfates, parabens, phthalates, dyes, or optical brighteners in these laundry pods. In addition, Grab Green adds a layer of child safety by coating the pods with Bitrex, a bitter substance that will deter children from accidentally ingesting these laundry pods (although nothing can beat keeping the pods far out of reach of curious kids). The soothing chamomile fragrance is derived from a combination of essential oils that will leave clothes smelling fresh and clean, not cloying or overpowering.
Best Budget: Solimo Laundry Detergent Pacs
For laundry pods on the cheap, look no further than Solimo Laundry Detergent Pacs. This Amazon brand offers the convenience of laundry pods at a price per load that's cheaper than the competition. At around 15-cents per pod, you can toss these in with dirty laundry without worrying about pinching pennies.
Despite being budget laundry pods, reviewers report that they have a pleasant, clean smell that isn’t overwhelming or too strong. Most people find they do a great job cleaning, and there are few complaints about the pods leaving behind residue, so if you prefer to wash in cold water, these may not be the pods for you. A few reviewers shared that particularly dirty, greasy, oily, or smelly laundry needed two or three Solimo laundry pods per load to get the right amount of cleaning power. However, if you use enough pods in proportion to how dirty or large your laundry load is, you’ll get fresh, clean clothes for cheap.
Looking for even more help fighting tough stains? Check out our guide to the best laundry stain removers.