Review of the Best TENS Unit Pads

TENS unit pads are the point of contact between the TENS machine and your skin. The pads connect to the machine, stick to your skin, and transmit the electrical current.

TENS units are a great way to find pain relief, however, eventually the electrode pads will need to be replaced after repeated use. The length of time the electrode pads last depends on the manufacturer and specific product.

There are both budget options for those who are concerned about price, and more expensive options for those who want the best possible TENS unit electrode pads.

There are many different products out there and they all offer different shapes of pads and different connection types, so it is important to buy TENS electrode pads that work with your machine and fit your needs.

Santamedical TENS/EMS Electrode Pads

In this article, we will compare some of the best electrode pads for TENS units and answer some common questions about them. We will give you all the tools you need to choose the right pads for you.

Compare 10 Tens Unit Pads

Product # Pads Price/Pad Connection Type Size Check Current Price
Santamedical Re-Usable TENS/EMS Unit Electrode Pads 40 0.45 Pigtail 2x2
AlegriaCare Electrode Pads 40 0.75 Pigtail/Snap-on 2x2
Syrtenty TENS Unit Electrodes 44 0.43 Pigtail 2x2
Easy@home Electrode Pads 16 0.69 Pigtail 2x2
Angel Premium TENS/EMS Unit Electrode Pads 40 0.38 Pigtail 2x2
Ultimate TENS Unit Pads 40 0.75 Pigtail 2x2
TENS Electrodes - Premium Quality Large Snap On Pads 20 0.85 Snap-on 3x1.77
DONECO Square TENS Unit Electrodes 48 0.42 Pigtail 2x2
Eco-Patch Premium Electrodes 40 0.42 Pigtail 2x2
Sonic Technology's Branded Pre Gelled Self Adhesive Electrode Pads 16 1 Pigtail 2x2

10 Popular Tens Unit Replacement Pads

Santamedical 40 pack of 2" X 2" Re-Usable TENS/EMS Unit Electrode Pads

This 40 pack from Santamedical is a pigtail connection type pad. At 45 cents per pad, this pack is an inexpensive option while still being a quality product.

The Santamedical pack is very highly reviewed and trusted by many people. Users report that the pads last much longer than the pads that came with their TENS unit. You should be able to get at least 10 uses out of the pads before they need to be replaced.

Users report that these pads are very sticky, last a long time, and will not fall apart when removing them. The pads don’t leave any gel behind when removed, so there is no cleanup after your treatment.

They are very durable. While the wires of some pads are prone to breaking, the Santamedical pads have lead wires that can handle wear and tear.

Unfortunately, it seems these pads should not be used with higher-powered machines. Small battery-powered devices are fine, but larger machines may push too much power for the pads and potentially cause minor burns.

If you have a latex allergy, you should consider using a different pad, as these ones do use some latex.

AlegriaCare Electrode Pads 2 x 2

The AlegriaCare pack comes with 40 electrode pads. This is a higher end offering at 75 cents per pad. You have the option of ordering them as either pigtail or snap-on connections.

The AlegriaCare pack is highly reviewed. As a higher end pad, you can expect them to be far superior to the stock pads that came with your machine.

The pads are very sticky which will allow you to get many uses out of them. With these pads, you will be able to move around without having to worry about the pads falling off.

The fabric used for the pads are thick and tightly weaved for durability without preventing them from being flexible. Also, these pads are latex free, so you don’t have to worry about allergic reactions while using them.

Despite being hypoallergenic, some users still received rashes from using these pads. The pads are latex free, but there could be other materials that cause skin irritation.

Also, some people complain that the snap-on heads keep popping off or the wires keep falling out.

Syrtenty 2" Square TENS Unit Electrodes

The Syrtenty pack comes with 44 pads at a price of 43 cents per pad. The pads feature a pigtail connection type.

These pads are the #1 bestseller in Amazon’s electrodes department, and it shows too. These Syrtenty pads have many 5 star reviews. You can expect that pads loved by thousands of people are sure to be high quality and reliable.

The electrodes are all individually packed, so you don’t need to open more than you need to. They are reported to stay sticky for a long time and are made with a durable material. Despite their stickiness, they don’t hurt to remove.

Although many people love these pads, others claim that the pads lose their stickiness too quickly. They say that they are too thin, which makes them too strong on the first contact and then lose their stickiness after the first use and prefer the pads that came with their TENS unit.

Easy@home Electrode Pads

This 16 pack offers its pads at a price of 69 cents per pad. The Easy@home pads come as a pigtail connection type.

These pads are very sticky, and users report that they get between 10 – 15 uses per pad. The pads are very flexible, so they will fit to wherever you place them.

The electrodes conduct current very well and can be used on high for extended periods of time without problems.

Some users are dissatisfied with the quality of the adhesive, saying that they aren’t reusable. It should be noted that these pads should not be stored at too high of a temperature as the adhesive is known to melt off.

The seller is very courteous and active in the reviews section and seems to be willing to reimburse those who had a bad experience with the product.

These pads are somewhat less known than other brands, but they still deliver a high-quality product. Overall, an excellent and cost efficient option.

Angel Premium TENS/EMS Unit 40 Electrode Pads

This pack from Angel is a great budget option for the cost conscious buyer. With 40 pads in a pack at 38 cents per pad, these pads are a steal. They use the popular pigtail connection type.

Don’t let their low price fool you, these are great pads and are very highly reviewed on Amazon.

These pads are very sticky and will require proper care to be used effectively. The pads come with resealable bags to ensure they last as long as possible.

Users claim that the pads are actually too sticky, which makes them difficult to put on and even harder to peel off. There are also reports that the gel on the pads will sometimes roll up, causing the pads to fall off during treatment.

There are also complaints that the pads do not have enough conductivity to effectively manage pain.

The seller claims that they are now using a different supplier and the quality issues have been taken care of.

Ultimate TENS Unit Pads 2 x 2

This 40 pack from Ultimate TENS Unit Pads comes at a price of 75 cents per pad. The pads use the pigtail connection type.

These pads feel like they are made well and have excellent reviews. The pads have good conductivity, and can even be used without the assistance of gels. The adhesive also works very well; the pads will stick to your skin without having to worry about them coming off.

The electrodes are all individually wrapped and come with instructions, so it’s easy to get started.

Buyers of this product are generally satisfied with the overall quality but are unhappy with the seller’s advertising.

Some users claim that the pictures misrepresent what you will actually get in the mail. The advertising claims that you will get 25 uses from each pad, which is a bit unreasonable.

If you’re interested in this product, please read the sales page carefully and be sure to check out the buyer reviews to get a more accurate representation of what you’re getting.

Discount TEN - Premium Quality Large Snap On Pads

This 20 pack comes at a price of 85 cents per pad. These pads feature a snap-on connection and an unusual pad shape and size of 3 x 1.77 and is highly reviewed.

Each pair of pads comes with their own envelope. The adhesive is high quality, and the pads can be used over 10 times.

The snaps fit perfectly, so you don’t have to fight with the pads to hook them up. Also, the pads produce an even electrical current across the pads, no dead spots.

The seller advertises these as being “large” pads, however, the pads are only slightly larger than standard 2 x 2 pads some users are complaining about.

The quality of these pads seems to vary by the package, as users report some pads do not stick well and others do stick well. Also, these pads may not work as well as other pads on curved surfaces. One user claims that he could not get the pads to stick to his wrist at all.

DONECO 2" Square TENS Unit Electrodes

This 48 pack from DONECO comes at a price of 42 cents per pad. The pads feature a pigtail connection type.

These pads have excellent reviews on Amazon, and it’s easy to understand why. The adhesives that DONECO uses are top quality. They won’t slide around due to sweat or too much gel. Even better, they are good for multiple uses.

If you are suffering from more severe pain, you will want to purchase different pads. These pads aren’t able to handle the high level of current needed to treat severe pain. If that is the case, you will want to buy larger electrode pads, one user suggesting a size of 2 x 4.

Buyers report that some of the pads seem not to be as sticky as others, possibly caused by a quality control issue. The seller is very active in the review section and is willing to send replacement pads to dissatisfied customers.

Eco-Patch Premium Electrodes 10 Packs

This 40 pack comes at a price of 42 cents per pad. The pads feature the pigtail connection type. The pads are cloth backed to provide the flexibility to fit your body’s contours.

The adhesives on these pads are plenty sticky and can be worn even while moving around. They will also last a long time by practicing proper care.

The Eco-Patch pads use a special gel adhesive which avoids triggering some people’s allergies. If you have problems with allergies while using TENS units, check out this pack.

Some users of these pads are dissatisfied with the stickiness, claiming that they could not get multiple uses out of them. It has also been said that some pads do not distribute current evenly.

Also, the pads are very thin and can sometimes tear apart when they are being removed.

It is interesting to note that some buyers, even though they are dissatisfied, continue to buy this product due to the cheap price.

SonicTechnology's Branded Pre Gelled Self Adhesive Electrode Pads

This 16 pack comes at a price of $1 per pad. They use the pigtail connection type.

These high-quality pads are well worth the price as these are some of the best replacement pads available. These pads are highly reusable, conduct well, and are easy to re-position.

Users complain that the adhesive on the pads can be messy. The edges sometimes don’t stick to the skin and sometimes the adhesive pad is pulled off when trying to remove the pad.

There are also reports that the gel used is not hypoallergenic, as it seems to cause skin irritation for some people.

Some people swear by these pads, and others aren’t sure they’re worth the higher price. There’s no question that these pads deliver what they promise, but whether you buy these pads or not just depends on what’s more important to you price or quality.

Overall, if you want to try out some high-quality pads then give these a try.

FAQ About TENS Unit Pads

Due to the technical nature of TENS units and the amount of information surrounding them, it’s easy to get confused. Remembering all the connection types and maintenance directions can quickly become overwhelming.

In order to clear up some of this confusion, we’ll answer some of the most common questions people have about TENS unit replacement pads. By the end of this section, you’ll be able to confidently make a decision about which pads are right for you.

What are electrodes?

Electrodes are the pads that connect to the TENS unit via wires. The pads are what transfers the electrical current from the machine to your body. The pads have a sticky gel on them to help them stick to your skin. Reusable electrodes for TENS units are a way to save money on an otherwise costly recurring purchase.

What should you expect from a quality tens pad?

High-quality TENS pads will have the following qualities.

  • The pads should provide good conductivity from the machine to your skin.
  • They should also be able to be used multiple times; this saves you money over the long term. The pads should use a high-quality adhesive glue that doesn’t stick to your fingers, which will allow you to place them more easily.
  • Some TENS pads cause skin irritation, however, a quality TENS pad will not. Additionally, they should have a cloth backing to provide comfort and flexibility.
  • Finally, you should look for resealable packaging. Resealing your pads will allow you to extend their life far more than if you left them out in the open.

What are common connection types for electrode pads?

Electrode pads come in three different connection types. There are button / snap-on, pre-wire / pigtail, and pin connection.

  • Snap-on connections have a snap-on button that connects to the lead wire of the TENS unit.
  • Pig tail connections have a small length of wire attached that makes it easier to attach to the TENS unit.
  • With a pin connection, the lead wire of the TENS unit is directly inserted into the electrode.

However, pin connections are not very common so you shouldn’t have to worry about them. Most pads will be either snap-on or pigtail.

The type of pads you buy will depend on the connection type supported by your TENS unit. Look at your machine’s documentation to find out which type it supports. If you’re still unsure, try contacting the TENS unit’s manufacturer.

What are common sizes for electrode pads?

In addition to the different connection types, pads also come in different shapes and sizes. Here is a list of the most sizes, in inches.

  • 2 x 2
  • 2 x 4
  • 2.75 Round
  • 4.5 x 6 Butterfly
  • 1.5 x 1.5
  • 1.5 x 1.3

What are common leadwire connection types?

TENS units typically have one of the three common pad connector types. They are 2mm pins, snaps, or alligator clips. The other end plugs directly into the TENS unit with a 2.5mm or 3mm jack.

Can you give examples of tens unit products or brands for each connection type?

TENS pads use three types of connections: snap-on, pigtail, and pin. The pin connection type is very uncommon, and you will have limited replacement pad options if you buy a TENS unit that uses the pin connection.

Button / Snap connections

  • Most HealthmateForever products use this connection type.
  • KEDSUM 16 Modes TENS Unit.

Pigtail / Prewire

Pin Connection

The pin connection type is not very common. In fact, it is difficult to even find an example of this type of connection.

Where can I buy replacement pads for tens units?

The best place to buy electrodes for TENS units is online. Online stores like Amazon, Walmart, Walgreens, CVS, and Rite Aid all offer a wide selection of TENS pads. You can also find them locally at a brick and mortar store, but the selection will be limited. To get the best selection at the best possible prices, you should purchase online.

How long do tens unit pads last?

The length of time your pads will last depends on several factors. Your skin type, climate, and how you use them will all affect their lifespan. All things considered, the typical lifespan of pads should be somewhere between 15 – 25 uses. You can slightly increase their lifespan with proper maintenance such as replacing the plastic film and resealing them after each use, however, you will eventually have to replace the pads no matter what you do.

How to care for pads?

In addition to the steps mentioned above, you can also extend their lifespan by applying a drop of rubbing alcohol and rubbing the pads against each other. If you’re looking for more information on getting the most out of your TENS pads, we have an excellent article on how to make TENS unit pads sticky again.

Will the pads work with my device?

Before buying pads, check your device to see what type of connection type it takes. For example, is it pigtail or snap-on? When looking at pads on Amazon, the seller will say what connection type it is. Just find pads that have the same connection type as your TENS unit. If you’re still unsure, most Amazon sellers have a list of compatible TENS units on the product page. You can always contact the seller directly if you need additional information, they will be glad to help you.

Can I extend the life of pads with gels?

Yes, gels are known to extend the life of pads and are trusted by many users. In addition to extending the life of the pads, gels also increase the conductivity of the pads which will improve the overall quality of the TENS treatment. Some good gels are the Parker Laboratories Spectra 360 Electrode Gel and the Tensive Park Labs Conductive Adhesive Gel, both of which have good reviews.

Should I use the TENS machine pads that came with my machine or a 3rd party brand?

TENS units themselves are fairly cheap, some being as low as $20. The majority of the cost of using a TENS unit comes from replacing the pads. If you are using the machine often, the cost of the pads can quickly add up. Brand specific pads can cost as much as $2 per pad, in comparison to 3rd party pads which will usually only cost about 40 – 50 cents per pad. For this reason, you may want to use 3rd party pads.

Where to place electrotherapy pads?

Where you place the pads depends on what you are suffering from and where the pain is occurring. For your convenience, we have a dedicated page for TENS pad placement with charts for each condition. This page will help you get the best possible relief by placing the electrode pads in the ideal position.

What is the best tens machine?

This question is difficult to answer because it depends on your budget and your needs. TENS units can be as cheap as $20 on the low end and thousands of dollars on the high end. Rather than rack up credit card debt, it is better to buy a TENS unit that is within your means. We have a page that compares different TENS units by price, features, and technical specifications. We highly recommend you take a look at our comparison page before choosing your next TENS unit.

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