Compared to other jan/san product categories, there isn’t great variety when it comes to the coin-operated dispensers that distribute tampons and sanitary napkins in female restrooms. In fact, most are wall-mounted stainless-steel cabinets that include one or two slots for tampons and one or two slots for pads. The good news is, these dispensers typically last 20 or more years with very minimal maintenance.

In addition to the dispenser itself, distributors also provide the tampon and pad products that go in the dispenser because retail packaging does not fit in the units. Many facility managers still purchase these refills based solely on price, purchasing proprietary brands from jan/san manufacturers instead of national retail brands most women are familiar with.

But, as more women move up into managerial and purchasing positions, quality is being considered right up there with price and brands that are found on retail shelves are becoming more commonplace.

No matter what brand of product is used, the most common challenge with feminine hygiene dispensers is theft, particularly in high schools and colleges. It’s important to secure the dispenser well with locks to avoid vandalism.