Matador Refillable Toothpaste Tubes Review
The Matador Refillable Toothpaste Tubes are a less wasteful alternative to buying single-use travel-sized toothpaste, though they’re pretty niche in purpose.
- Alternative to travel-sized toothpaste in single-use containers
- Compact size packs enough toothpaste for common trip lengths
- Small nozzle ideal for pea-sized applications
- Limited use cases beyond storing toothpaste
- Reattaching the sliding clip is tricky
- Takes practice to avoid spillovers when resealing
(2 week tube) | 0.74 oz (1 week tube)
0.25 oz (7.1 g)
(2 week tube) | 0.23 oz (1 week tube)
4.8 in x 1.7 in x 0.94 in (12.2 x 4.3 x 2.4 cm)
(2 week tube) | 3.9 x 1.7 x 0.94in (1 week tube)
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Disposable packaging is something we prefer not to travel with. Sure, a sachet here and a tube there doesn’t seem like much, but over time they can add up. As such, we try to eliminate that kind of waste whenever we make a packing list by simply pouring some of our household toiletries into smaller, travel-sized containers. There are a lot of these on the market, but the one we’re looking at in this review is specifically designed for toothpaste.
Meet Matador’s Refillable Toothpaste Tubes. They look like any run-of-the-mill toothpaste tube but with a twist. Unlike commercial tubes of toothpaste whose ends are sealed, Matador’s are foldable. Surely it can’t be that easy, right? Unfortunately, it isn’t, and the design does have its downside in terms of ease of use. Still, it’s worth a look for those who want to reduce waste while avoiding having to use toothpaste tabs (or not brushing their teeth at all).
The basic idea of the Refillable Toothpaste Tube is simple. These are tubes made out of BPA-free, PVC-free plastic with twist caps on one end and foldable edges on the other, which are sealed by a sliding clip. They come in either 0.74 or 1.18-ounce sizes (that’s 22mL and 335 mL in metric), with the larger size coming in black while the smaller comes in white. The sizes may seem arbitrary, but it makes them TSA-complaint and are designed to be good for one and two weeks, respectively. It’s also worth noting that the sizes are according to the tubes’ max fill lines, which we’ll explain later.
You’ll be pleased to know that these tubes are dishwasher-safe. However, we recommend using a slim brush for thorough cleaning of the nozzle and the inner corners. Toothpaste tends to leave hardened residue, and leaving them to accumulate over time isn’t ideal, to say the least.
So what’s it like to actually fill these tubes with toothpaste? That’s fairly easy. Simply remove the plastic slider at the end to unravel the end of the tube. From there, it’s as easy as squeezing in toothpaste up to the “Max Fill” line marked on the outside. The tricky part is actually resealing the tube.
You have to fold at the “Fold Line,” which is helpfully marked on the outside. In case you’re wondering why there’s a huge discrepancy between the Fold Line and Max Fill line, that’s because the toothpaste will gradually creep up as you reseal. In other words, it’s overhead to avoid spillage. That said, we’ve had instances where we followed the Max Fill line but still had some residue make its way out. You can also fold past the Fold Line in case you want to compress the tube when you’ve used up some of your paste. In practice, though, this is quite hard to do, so we recommend just folding at the seam.
Once you have the edge folded, it’s time to reattach the sliding clip. In practice, this takes considerable effort as you have to get the alignment right and the fold slim enough to fit. This should get easier over time as the plastic wears in more, though we haven’t seen much of a change over the course of our initial testing period.
Setup aside, using the Refillable Toothpaste Tubes is actually quite enjoyable. Well, as enjoyable as squeezing toothpaste out of a tube can get. The size of the nozzle is small enough that the US Dental Association’s recommended pea-size application is easy to follow. Commercial toothpaste tubes, more often than not, have oversized nozzles based on our experience, which leads us to use more than the recommended amount; not the case with Matador’s tubes.
One of the biggest advantages of Matador’s Refillable Toothpaste Tubes is how small they are. Since they’re purpose-built as toothpaste tubes, they don’t have to be large. Other travel containers like the GoToob+, for example, have a more general purpose; thus, they’re ideally large enough for enough shampoo, for example. Whereas you really can’t fit more than one or two uses of shampoo in either size of the Refillable Toothpaste Tubes.
This small size means that the Refillable Toothpaste Tubes can fit in almost any toiletry bag. In fact, you might even find some tech pouches with large enough pen slots where these can slide in (we don’t recommend doing that, by the way). To put it another way, they’re really ideal if you’re looking to minimize the amount of toothpaste you bring on trips.
Aside from the humangear GoToob+ we mentioned earlier, there’s also the GoTubb. Keep in mind, though, that while it’s almost as compact as the Matador Refillable Toothpaste Tubes, it’s not quite as airtight. That said, airtightness may be bypassed altogether.
It’s easy to get too focused on comparing containers, as there are alternatives to liquid toothpaste itself. For example, you may want to go for toothpaste tablets, such as the ones from Bite or Unpaste. These don’t count towards your liquids allowance, and they’re easier to pack since they don’t require an airtight container.
Lastly, we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention the Aurelle TOOB Brush. This is a 2-in-1 solution that includes a reusable tube for your toothpaste and a toothbrush. The biggest downside is it can only contain a small amount of toothpaste, smaller than either size of Matador’s tubes. However, if absolute space savings is your priority, this is a better option.
So who is this product for? Reusable toothpaste tubes seem like a great idea, and they are, but it has some indirect competition. Anyone who regularly goes to the dentist may have already amassed a stockpile of complimentary toothpaste that comes in adorable, travel-friendly sizes. In other words, some users may not find a need for a reusable alternative.
If you’re perfectly comfortable with just bringing one of those complimentary tubes, then this isn’t for you. Meanwhile, those who can live with toothpaste tablets will find themselves with arguably an easier travel solution. All that said, Matador’s Refillable Toothpaste Tubes work best for those who have a large grocery store-bought tube of toothpaste at home. Simply fill one of these up for a trip, so you don’t have to bring the large tube. Then if you run out after your trip, you can simply top up without having to buy more single-use packaging.
- Skeptical at first, but filling these up has been proven pretty easy so far, minus a bit of toothpaste let out the top
- They look great & minimal
- Nozzle is relatively small, which is good since it doesn’t let too much paste out
- A bit challenging to clean out – a straw brush helps a lot
- Enjoying the small nozzle compared to larger toothpaste nozzles
- Just feels like using a regular travel-sized toothpaste after filling it up