These Are the Best (and Worst) Laundry Pods You Can Buy

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve probably heard about laundry pods thanks to the shocking PR incidents that happened earlier this year. But before all the negative publicity, laundry pods were just an easier way to portion out laundry detergent. Forget finding the minuscule line on the cup or measuring out powder — with pods, starting your laundry is as easy as picking out a pod and throwing it in.

However, laundry pods aren’t perfect. First and foremost, they’re typically more expensive than regular laundry detergent (convenience usually comes at a cost). But do they work better? Consumer Reports recently stacked up all the different laundry pod brands to see which came out on top. Read on to discover the best and worst laundry pods you can pick.

The best laundry pods

It’s worth noting that even though these are the best laundry pods, even the highest ranked brands scored considerably worse than traditional detergent.

6. Tide Pods 3-in-1

Tide PODS 3 in 1 HE Turbo Laundry Detergent Pacs

Tide PODS 3 in 1 HE Turbo Laundry Detergent Pacs | Amazon

  • Overall score: 65
  • Cost per pod: 29 cents 

Tide Pods are part of what gave the whole industry a bad reputation — not that it’s their fault, of course. These particular laundry pods scored “very good” for removing body oil and dirt and “good” for grass and other stains.

Next: Tide Pods Plus Downy 4 in 1

5. Tide Pods Plus Downy 4 in 1

Tide PODS Plus Downy 4 in 1 HE Turbo Laundry Detergent Pacs

Tide PODS Plus Downy 4 in 1 HE Turbo Laundry Detergent Pacs | Amazon

  • Overall score: 65
  • Cost per pod: 33 cents 

They didn’t score “excellent” ratings for anything, proving once again that popular brand names aren’t necessarily the best option. These pods were also the second most expensive of the group.

Next: Gain flings!

4. Gain flings!

Gain Flings

Gain Flings | Amazon

  • Overall score: 66
  • Cost per pod: 34 cents 

Surprisingly, Gain had some of the most expensive pods of all the options tested, but they were only the fourth most effective. These pods were great at getting out body oil stains but only “good” at removing other stains.

Next: Tide Pods Plus Febreeze 4 in 1

3. Tide Pods Plus Febreeze 4 in 1

Tide PODS Plus Febreze Sport Odor Defense 4 in 1 HE Turbo Laundry Detergent Pacs, Active Fresh Scent

Tide PODS Plus Febreze Sport Odor Defense 4 in 1 HE Turbo Laundry Detergent Pacs | Amazon

  • Overall score: 68
  • Cost per pod: 33 cents 

These are the second most expensive laundry pods you can buy. They received “excellent” marks for removing body oil and “very good” for dirt and grass stains.

Next: Persil ProClean Power-Caps

2. Persil ProClean Power-Caps

Persil ProClean Power-Caps Laundry Detergent

Persil ProClean Power-Caps Laundry Detergent | Amazon

  • Overall score: 69
  • Cost per pod: 32 cents 

Persil might not be the first brand you think of for laundry detergent, but the numbers don’t lie. Consumer Reports gave them high marks for removing most types of laundry stains.

Next: Persil ProClean Power-Caps 2-in-1

1. Persil ProClean Power-Caps 2-in-1

Persil ProClean Power-Caps 2-in-1 Laundry Detergent

Persil ProClean Power-Caps 2-in-1 Laundry Detergent | Amazon

  • Overall score: 69
  • Cost per pod: 23 cents 

With excellent marks for removing body oil and “very good” rankings for getting rid of dirt, this particular type of Persil laundry pod is the best one that money can buy. It’s also one of the cheaper options at just 23 cents per pod.

Next: These are the worst laundry pods.

The worst laundry pods

Want cleaner clothes? Don’t bother with any of these brands.

6. All Mighty Pacs Oxi Free & Clear

all Mighty Pacs Laundry Detergent, Free Clear for Sensitive Skin

all Mighty Pacs Laundry Detergent, Free Clear for Sensitive Skin | Amazon

  • Overall score: 62
  • Cost per pod: 28 cents 

These pods were excellent at removing body oil, but only received “fair” ratings for other stains. Still, at 28 cents per pod, they’re at least offered for a decent price point.

Next: All PowerCore Pacs Oxi

5. All PowerCore Pacs Oxi

all Powercore Pacs Laundry Detergent

all Powercore Pacs Laundry Detergent | Amazon

  • Overall score: 61
  • Cost per pod: 33 cents 

These were excellent at removing body oil and good at removing other stains. But for the price of 33 cents per pod, you should probably spend your money on pods with a higher score.

Next: Arm & Hammer 2-in-1 Power Paks OxiClean

4. Arm & Hammer 2-in-1 Power Paks OxiClean

Arm & Hammer 2-IN-1 Laundry Detergent Power Paks

Arm & Hammer 2-IN-1 Laundry Detergent Power Paks | Amazon

  • Overall score: 58
  • Cost per pod: 19 cents 

These are definitely cheap at 19 cents per pod. They did get “very good” for removing body oil and dirt, too. But with only “fair” marks for removing other stains, you get what you pay for.

Next: dropps Oxi Scent + Stain Fighting Detergent

3. dropps Oxi Scent + Stain Fighting Detergent

Dropps HE Oxi Booster Pacs

Dropps HE Oxi Booster Pacs | Amazon

  • Overall score: 52
  • Cost per pod: 20 cents 

These laundry pods had a low overall score and had a hard time removing dirt stains from laundry. They’re on the low price side of all the pods tested at just 20 cents, so it’s up to you whether they’re worth it.

Next: Seventh Generation Free & Clear Packs Sensitive Skin

2. Seventh Generation Free & Clear Packs Sensitive Skin

Seventh Generation™ Free & Clear Laundry Packs

Seventh Generation™ Free & Clear Laundry Packs | Target

  • Overall score: 48
  • Cost per pod: 56 cents 

The most expensive pods by far at 56 cents each, these laundry pods were also the second worst of the bunch. They may be free from harsh additives, but they’re also not great at getting clothes clean. They were only “good” at removing body oil, grass, and dirt.

Next: Arm & Hammer Plus OxiClean 3-in-1 Power Paks

1. Arm & Hammer Plus OxiClean 3-in-1 Power Paks

Arm & Hammer Plus Oxiclean 3-in-1 Laundry Detergent Paks

Arm & Hammer Plus Oxiclean 3-in-1 Laundry Detergent Paks | Amazon

  • Overall score: 48
  • Cost per pod: 17 cents 

These laundry pods are the overall losers. They were decent at removing body oil, but when it came to cleaning grass, dirt, and other stains, they weren’t worth the money.

And now, a quick note on laundry pod safety…

Consumer Reports recommends that laundry pods should be avoided in homes with children under six or adults with cognitive impairment. Deliberate or accidental ingestion of the pods may cause serious injury or death.

Read more: This Is Why You Should Stop Using DIY Laundry Detergent Right Now

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