Bandages, Not Made in USA?

Check the bandages in your first aid box, are you sure they are made in USA?

People all over the world trust the quality of US brand because products made in the States are usually safer and better. But on a trip to drug stores for bandages, I realized, even with first aid items, US brands might not be US made.

I started with the brand that took up most of the shelf space, none of this brand was made here. Next, I moved to the 3M Nexcare, thank havens, these are made in USA. Then I got curious about “green” bandages.

From the bandages I found at Whole Foods, it looks like “latex-free” is the feature, since some people are allergic to latex. These are what I ended up getting.

Nexcare Waterproof Clear Bandage

Nexcare Waterproof Bandage Made in USANexcare Waterproof Clear Bandage is made of a clear material that lets the air in and keeps the water out. At first sight, I thought, how can this thin, clear layer handle my frequent hand washing. It also took me a while to figure out how to put it on. (see this application demonstration, 28 seconds into the video.)

As Nexcare advertised, it stayed on until I decided to take it off a few days later. My cut was healed and it didn’t leave a ring of stickiness.

Nexcare Soft’n Flex Bandage

nexcare soft'n flex bandages made in usaIf you would rather have the traditional bandage, Nexcare Soft’n Flex Bandage is the pick. It is latex-free, comfortable to wear, and flexible to the movements. It stays on well but I must say the waterproof ones did much better.

Before you run out to the store for these US made bandages, make sure to visit Nexcare’s Coupons & Rebates page and save some money!

[NOTE] Please see the 2015 update on more USA made options.

24 thoughts on “Bandages, Not Made in USA?

  1. Why do USA made dressings, wraps, bandages have to be made with foreign materials? The cost of labor, cheap price and who knows what kind of quality control? ???

    • I actually am not sure if every related product can be made with 100% US material though I hope they can. And we can help by finding and supporting these companies.

      I did a quick search and found GT Bandages, their “bandages are exclusively made from organic USA-grown cotton and latex-free breathable elastic”! GT bandages are also on Amazon.

      So, they might be out there, we have to seek them out and support them with our purchases. And when more of us do that, more companies will start producing products we need here.

    • B. L.,

      I had the same frustration as you. But after a while, I noticed that wasn’t changing anything. That is when I redirected my energy to finding great USA made quality products… you know, the “what you put energy into you get more back” sort of thing.

      It’s the little things, the culmination of all little things, that matters. Every time I want to buy something, I check where it’s made or grown. When I find the USA made product working well for me, I tell people, I blog about it.

      When people are welling to listen, I talk about how durable USA made products are eco-friendly because we don’t need to replace them all the time, and many other practical reasons for owning these products.

      I think about the vibrant people working in the factories/farms in the States, how the owners are doing everything they can to keep their businesses at home, how that would support people living on this lovely land.

      This way, I stopped the frustration from extracting any more energy out of me. At the same time, I am moving in the direction toward the results I like to see.

      Perhaps, if you like, try to do the same in your own way, express your love for this country and the people in it. We are the people with the incredible combination of kindness and tenacity, always know that!

  2. Just purchased Band Aid brand bandaids from Costco. Nothing on the outer package says made in China, only after opening do you see made in China on the individual boxes. I’m taking them back for a refund!

    • Roger,
      Band Aid box from Costco has been made in China for a long time, I checked when I first wrote this post back in 2011. Sorry Band Aid decided not to print the country of origin on the outside. Perhaps if more people return this product, Costco would think about switching to Made in USA bandages.

      In my 2015 follow up post, the cheaper option to NexCare, Up and Up bandages from Target are still made in USA, I bought some in late 2020.

  3. About two or three years ago I bought some gauze rolls, only later realized they were made in China. Never used them, left in closer, recently went through closet they all turned yellow. That can’t be good. A few months later cleaning out basement found a bag with Kerlix gauze all different sizes that I had when I worked on an ambulance nearly 30 years ago and they were as white and fresh as the day I put them in the bag. It pays to buy American.

    • Steven, thank you for taking the time to share your experience. USA made products still means quality and in this case, safety, as well. I’m getting tired of using products that need replacing in a short period of time. In the end it’s more costly not only in money and in time and effort of cleaning/recycling things out.

      The “Little Black Dress” idea says it all, find the thing (preferably made in USA) that works and lasts, and it will be the gift that keeps on giving!

    • Oh my, I am so glad you told us about that.years back there was a chicken virus that killed lots of farmer saw a vehicle go around the chicken house the next morning there was yellow dust around the fans. I did get some bandaids see they are made in China ,will not use them on my body.what about the shots we are getting what bandaids do they us?! I. Say if we can’t make it in USA we don’t need it.!A. Keter

      • A. Keter,

        Thank you for taking the time to leave your thoughts here. I am sure you are also checking the sources of your food/ingredients.

        I seems my body is pretty sensitive so I’ve been finding my baking and cooking ingredients from smaller U.S. farmers. And there are many happy surprises, I was not only able to find organic products I want that’s grown in the U. S., the prices are better more than half of the times compared to larger online retailers.

        To be safe, I still write the farmers and ask them to tell me where their products are from. That is a good thing because there are things that are just not grown here. And like you said, if it’s now from here, I don’t need it. I can always find an alternative, either with the ingredient or use another recipe.

        Pretty soon, the farmers and producers in other fields here would feel safe enough to grow and make more of what we need because they know we are here to support them as they make goods to support us.

  4. Does anyone know if there are gauze bandages — not bandaids, but 2×2’s and 4×4’s — still made in the USA? I’ve been all over the web, and feel like I’m just banging my head against a wall.

    • Jeremy, are you looking for sterilized gauze rolls? If you are I’ve found some on Amazon by Covidien/Kerlix 4.5″ x 4.1 yd, 6-ply. I searched with “gauze rolls made in usa” then I check to make sure.

      I don’t know what size you need so I’ll share my own search process on Amazon.

      1. Pick a product that fits your need
      2. Read the product details for country of origin, if not listed…
      3. Hover your mouse over the photo (provided the photo is high-def), you can sometimes find the country of origin. If that doesn’t work…
      4. Post your question in the Q & A area above where the reviews would be. This is the last resort, Amazon sends your question to sellers and past buyers, so sometimes you don’t get anything back.

      If you need sterilized products, make sure to check again before your place your order, search engins are still not as smart as people.

      You might also try to see if there are local first aid medical supply companies around you. They might not be cheap but you’d get a product you want then you can look for it online.

      If you need more help with your search, please let me know!

  5. I too try to avoid any products made in China. My family thinks I’m obsessed with this topic and I guess I am. Another sneaky trick some manufacturers use is to put ” American ” or ” US” in the item’s name such as “American Denim” or “Usa Jeans” and when you finally unearth the correct inside label, there is the insidious “made in China ” stamp!

    • Julie,

      You are definitly a discerning shopper. I’ve also noticed the deceptive image placement of US flags. And you are correct that the only way to be certain is to read the lable.

      And lately, I found myself moving away from the thinking of “don’t want” products of certain origions to “I want” to buy products to support hard working people in our lovely country. I believe that if we help each other out, whatever changes happen, we will all be fine.

      So happy to get a message from a like-minded shopper, we’ve already made a difference, I am seeing more USA made items everyday.

      (* I initialized your last name for your privacy, hope that is okay with you.)

  6. If you are concerned about putting a bandage on a cut/wound read the label. I have found that almost all J&J bandaid products are made in China. I do not use any product on or in my body from China.

    • Brenda, we share the same concern. That was the reason I started checking the origin of the bandages and beauty aid items like cotton rounds.

      Thank you for taking the time to write and I hope we will soon see more USA made products coming back into our stores.

    • Wife and I do not use China Made products either.
      Our Band-Aid brand band aids are made in Brazil. The next batch we bought were the 3M products made in the US

      • Scott, good to know that you will be buying US made 3M bandages next time. If you didn’t read my 2015 update and would like a less expensive product, Up & Up bandages from Target are also made in USA the last time I checked.

      • Check the actual bandage. We just purchased a box of Band-aid bandages that states made in Brazil but the individual bandages inside the box clearly states made in China. Very disappointed.

        • Melc, I am very surprised that the box and the individual bandage show different countries of origin! At least they didn’t try and hide it by not printing where they are made on the bandages. Now you can make an informed choice when you need to buy bandages next time.

          Since it’s a recent purchase, I am concerned that they didn’t at least relabel the box, hopefully they are just trying to use up the left-over from the last printing run. I now also wonder how diligent Band-Aid is in producing and checking their products.

          Thank you for taking the time to share what you found here for me and everyone searching for this information.

  7. I was surprised to discover that the”Band-aid” brand of gauze that I just bought was made in China. This parent company is Johnson and Johnson. ?

    • That is how I felt when I wrote this post. And I believe you are correct that Band-Aid is part of Johnson and Johnson. Whenever I check the bandages in the stores, I found that 3M (Nexcare) to be the only company that provides USA made first aid items. Target’s store brand Up & Up was the other USA made bandages I found.
      Also, more recently, if you read origins on boxes of other types of products, you might often see designed/engineered in USA but produced else where.

      • I was just looking at CVS and noticed even 3m made in the usa with globally sourced materials…soo nothing is actually clearly made in usa-some Band Aid were made in Brazil and I am not sure if that is better than China or not? Trying to keep Chinese made things out of our mouths and off of our bodies…

        • Alexis, you are correct about the materials, in the comment section of the 2015 update, I have a reply from 3M which I’ve copied to the bottom of this reply. Do keep in mind that it could be difficult to have any true 100% USA sourced products since it may be impossible for one country to have all of the raw materials needed to make a product.

          I, too, am not familiar with the medical product standard in Brazil. I hope and expect that 3M is diligent in checking their materials before producing their products. Besides, it’s getting harder and harder for companies to hide unsavory practices since people are not blinded by advertising and/or brand as much as before.

          Buying USA made products (though it might not be 100% US), I believe, is still the best way to keep and bring back the manufacturing abilities here which to me means safety and quality. When more are manufactured here, more resources might be harvested here. In the cases of materials that are not available in the US territories, perhaps the inventive and free thinking personality of the people here will develop alternatives from US materials.

          And I hope more people will have learned to appreciate what we own, buy quality products, and keeping them for their usable lifetimes so the same amount of raw materials will last us much much longer no matter where in the world they are harvested.

          —– A reply from Nexcare (@Nexcare) on 2/9/2019: —–
          “All of our Nexcare™ bandages, tapes, wraps, and dressings are made in the USA with globally sourced materials. Thanks for asking!”

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