Aside from the discomfort of trying to pass a hard, solid stool, this common inconvenience can also lead to several complications. Of the most dangerous is the potential for fecal impaction. Basically, this means a hardened stool has lodged itself in your colon, preventing the passage of waste products out of your body.
Fortunately, the struggle of solid stool isn’t something you need to suffer through. Stool softeners have become widely available, safely altering stool to achieve a manageable texture that you can easily and effortlessly pass through your system. Now the only question is – what is the best stool softener on the market? Let this comprehensive buying guide help you find the right one for you.
Top 10 Stool Softeners Comparison Table
Things to Consider When Choosing a Stool Softener
Lots of stool softeners are available on the market, and each one might look like a promising option. However because the situation can be very delicate, it calls for nothing short of the safest, most effective product available. So to make sure you buy the best stool softener, keep these factors in mind when you visit the store to make your purchase.
- Active Ingredient. Stool softeners can help you achieve a more manageable stool texture and consistency by way of several mechanisms. These mechanisms vary depending on the active ingredient available in the formulation. There are lots of different active ingredients that you can find in various types and brands of stool softeners; however, these are the most common:
- Docusate Sodium. Most common among the different active ingredients used by stool softeners is docusate sodium. It works by encouraging stool to absorb more water to make it softer and easier to pass. Some side effects of docusate sodium include stomachache, diarrhea, and abdominal cramps.
- Polyethylene Glycol 3350. This active ingredient works by maintaining more fluid in the stool so that it becomes easier to pass. The component also works as a laxative, encouraging more frequent bowel movement. Some side effects include abdominal cramps, flatulence, nausea, and bloating.
- Fiber. Fiber is a very general term, but it’s the most common ingredient found in natural stool softeners. Coming in many different forms, fiber works to soften stool by absorbing more water and clumping with your stool to encourage your body to pass it. Because fiber is insoluble, it will bring about speedier results than other options.
- Added Benefits. For some people, hardened stool comes hand in hand with infrequent bowel movements. So if you don’t pass stool very often, and you find that every time that you do get the urge, your stool is too hard to pass, you might want to look for a stool softener that also works as a laxative.
Plain stool softeners simply change the consistency of your stool to make it more manageable to pass. However, these medications or supplements will not promote frequent urges – it still depends on your body when it chooses to release the stool.
By using a stool softener and laxative, you effectively soften stool and encourage more frequent defecation; this can be beneficial for some because the longer a stool stays in your system, the harder it becomes and the more difficult it is to pass.
Top 5 Best Stool Softener Reviews
Kirkland Signature products are some of the most affordable you’ll find on the market. While they aren’t a brand-name manufacturer, their formulations have been proven to be very effective by countless users and consumers. The Kirkland Signature 100mg Stool Softener has often been considered the best stool softener because of many different reasons, but most prominently, because of its efficacy.
These stool softener supplements use 100mg of docusate sodium in liquid gel form. The high dosage and liquid formulation make it a potent and speedy solution against painful episodes of hardened stool. The gentle formula does not incorporate any stimulants so that you can enjoy discomfort-free relief.
To top it all off, the Kirkland Signature 100mg Stool Softener is a great bet because of its cost. At just a few dollars in worth, you get 400 pieces of effective, safe, and reliable softgels that you can reach for anytime you might find yourself struggling on the porcelain throne.
The second top choice for the best stool softener is MiraLAX Powder 17.90 ounces. Unlike many other stool softeners that come in tablet, capsule, or gel form, MiraLAX comes as a powder which you can easily dissolve in any beverage for easy consumption. Aside from working as a stool softener, MiraLAX Powder 17.90 ounces is also an effective laxative that produces bowel movement in at least 1 to 3 days time.
Using polyethene glycol 3350 as its main active ingredient, this stool softener works to alter stool texture by absorbing more water into the stool over a long period. Ultimately, the result is that you induce diarrhea to help you pass stool without a struggle. These effects can stick around for a few days, clearing your bowels of residual stool and ensuring that there isn’t any solid stool left behind.
Ideally, MiraLAX Powder 17.90 ounces should be used by individuals who have severe discomfort or pain when trying to pass harder stool, or who have compromised or weak abdominal muscles. Also, because it takes some time to produce an urge, you should time your dosage so you aren’t inconvenienced when you find the need to visit the bathroom.
Using docusate sodium as its main active ingredient, Senokot-S Dual Action Vegetable Laxative and Stool Softener is a gentle overnight formula that gives comfortable relief from the hardened stool. Each dosage contains 8.6mg of sennosides, which are a safe laxative ingredient that helps encourage an urge.
Senokot-S Dual Action Vegetable Laxative and Stool Softener can take anywhere between 6 and 12 hours to produce a bowel movement, so it’s ideal to take a dosage early in the evening in time for morning. With its safe and effective formula, children as young as 12 years of age can take a dosage to experience fast and easy relief.
The only issue with Senokot-S is its cost. Worth up to double the value of other stool softeners, it might not be a practical option for buyers working on a budget.
If you’re not comfortable with stimulating softeners that push an urge too soon or too strongly, the Member’s Mark Stool Softener 100mg Capsules is one of the gentlest options available. This safe, effective, and mild stool softener gently works to absorb more water from your gut to achieve an easier texture to pass. For children 12 years and older, Member’s Mark Stool Softener 100mg Capsules is a safe alternative that doesn’t risk any side effects.
The only problem that some users have had with this particular stool softener is that it might not work quite as well as other options in terms of achieving the optimal texture. While it does soften stool significantly, some say that it doesn’t do as good a job as other contenders.
Although the Gericare brand was developed for older individuals, their stool softener formulation is safe and effective for use on all adults. Much like many other stool softeners on the market, Gericare Docusate Sodium Stool Softener 100mg Softgels uses docusate sodium as its main active ingredient, encouraging the body to retain less water so that stool can become softer and easier to pass.
What makes it a great pick aside from the fact that it’s an effective solution is that it’s also very affordable. Each bottle of Gericare Docusate Sodium Stool Softener 100mg Softgels comes with 1000 pieces, which is particularly ideal for individuals who constantly struggle with hard stool, or for people who want a reliable supply at the ready for their family.