When you are in your car and you roll up to a stop sign, what happens? Do you come to a quick, quiet stop or do you find yourself standing on the brake pedal and squealing up to the intersection?
Are you embarrassed in traffic when your brakes scream every time you step on the brakes? It could be time to change your brake pads, and since these are so essential, you do not want to make a mistake in selecting the best brake pads for your vehicle.
We understand that you may not want to take a lot of time researching the best brake pads because, well, they can be boring.
But we want you to be safe and get the best product for your budget, so we have taken the time to review some of the top brake pads available today.
It is worth a couple minutes of your time to read about our findings. If your attention span isn’t that long, you can skip to the end and discover our choice for the best brake pads.
How We Reviewed
We reviewed the top 10 brake pads in this article based on their compatibility, their effectiveness, the amount of dust they emit, and their price.
We selected our top pick based on its universal compatibility, its resistance to fade, and its minimal impact on rotor life. The best brake pads also have minimal dusting and they are OE validated.
Overall Price Range
Pricing for the brake pads reviewed in this article range from $25 to $63. The less expensive pads are often engineered to be compatible with specific makes and models, while the best brake pads are universally compatible.
The higher end brake pads are usually designed with ceramic or carbon ceramic materials, have the friction material bonded to the backing plate for bond integrity, and comply to SAE J2784 specifications for braking effectiveness, Noise/Vibration/Harshness (NVH), and durability.
10 Best Brake Pads for a Smooth Stop
1. ACDelco 17D1367CH Professional Ceramic Front Disc Brake Pad Set
The ACDelco Professional Ceramic Brake Pads are designed to resist corrosion and premature wear. They are premium replacement pads that are suitable for many vehicles.
They are designed with ceramic, semi-metallic, and organic formulas that provide safety and reliability.
They are independently tested to SAE J2784 standards for braking effectiveness, Noise/Vibration/Harshness (NVH), and durability. They perform exceptionally with noise-dampening shims, slots, and chamfers that diminish noise and vibration.
The friction material is integrally molded to the backing plate for bond integrity. The stamped backing plate allows the pad to move properly within the caliper assembly to reduce noise and brake pulsation.
The ceramic formula uses less metal, resulting in quiet, low dust braking. The pads do not require curing and are ready to install out of the box.
2. Akebono ACT787 ProACT Ultra-Premium Ceramic Brake Pad Set
The Akebono ACT787 Pro-ACT Ultra-Premium Ceramic Brake Pad Set virtually eliminates brake squealing, groaning, and vibration.
These pads wear significantly better than traditional brake pads in normal driving conditions, extending the time between pad replacement.
Materials in Pro-ACT Ultra-Premium brake pads are carefully selected to be compatible with open wheel aluminum designs and dramatically reduce brake dust. These pads provide consistent, smooth stopping, even during panic stops.
Akebono offers more than 400 pads compatible with virtually every domestic, European, and Japanese car and truck. These pads control noise, vibration, and harshness (NVH) levels. They are rotor friendly and require no break-in period.
3. Bosch BC905 QuietCast Premium Ceramic Disc Brake Pad
The Bosch BC905 QuietCast Premium Ceramic Disc Brake Pads feature an advanced ceramic friction formula that draws on the same aluminum based alloy used in aerospace engineering. The pads are 2025 Copper Free Legislation compliant.
The life of the pad and rotor is extended by the chemical formula that forms a protective layer on the rotor and pad surface.
The rubber core shim is manufactured using techniques that result in lower noise, corrosion resistance, and increased strength.
The pad kit contains everything needed to install the pads, including hardware and synthetic lubricant.
4. Wagner ThermoQuiet QC465A Ceramic Disc Pad
The Wagner ThermoQuiet is a one piece brake pad that provides superior stopping and quieter braking under any driving conditions.
The proprietary Integrated Molded Sound Insulator (IMI) dissipates vibration and heat while their exclusive friction formulations create less dust and provide superior stopping performance.
SevereDuty commercial friction surpasses testing and quality standards to meet the needs of vehicles driven in extreme conditions.
Friction material is integrally molded to the backing plate and post cured for strength and longevity.
These pads are compatible with Asian, European and American made vehicles with application specific shims to reduce vibration.
The chamfers and slots are engineered to reduce noise, resulting in quiet, dependable braking.
5. Wagner ThermoQuiet QC1324 Ceramic Disc Pad
The Wagner ThermoQuiet QC1324 Ceramic Disc Pad Set features Wagner OE21 low copper technology that makes these pads 35% quieter and gives them 15% more stopping power than traditional brake pads.
They feature low dusting technology that keeps wheels cleaner. This pad set includes all the hardware needed to install the brake pads.
6. Akebono ACT914 Brake Pad Set
The Akebono ACT914 Brake Pad Set provides improved pad wear compared to traditional brake pads under normal driving conditions.
The pads feature a variety of ceramic formulations that virtually eliminate brake squealing and vibration.
The materials in these pads are compatible with open wheel designs and they minimize dust and support smooth, consistent stopping.
Akebono originated ceramic pad technology and they have over 75 years of braking expertise so you can be confident your pads are formulated to meet OE quality, fit and performance.
7. StopTech 309.10780 Street Performance Front Brake Pad
The StopTech Street Performance Front Brake Pads are ideal for light track day use and autocross. They provide substantial brake performance improvements by using factory calipers and pre-matched, direct replacement OEM components. The pads feature a high maximum operating temperature to eliminate fade.
They have superior actuation, release, and modulation. Linear response is aided by para-aramid composites.
This model includes StopTech sport rotors, sport pads, and stainless steel lines. The pads arrive with shims bonded to the pads and attached wear indicators.
8. ACDelco 17D785CH Professional Ceramic Disc Brake Pad
This ACDelco Professional Ceramic Disc Brake Set is manufactured by the true GM original equipment parts brand with a century of experience manufacturing 90,000 GM OE parts that are installed in over 2 million GM vehicles every year.
They are manufactured for superior fit, form, and function for a competitively priced alternative to unbranded aftermarket parts.
These pads are tested for braking effectiveness and durability. They feature ceramic, semi-metallic, and organic formulas that offer safety and reliability.
The shims, chamfers, and slots are made of premium materials and feature a stamped backing plate that diminishes noise, vibration, and braking harshness.
These pads are engineered for enhanced performance for exceptional applications such as police vehicle use.
9. Centric 105.0436 Posi-Quiet Ceramic Brake Pad
The Centric Posi-Quiet Ceramic Brake Pads feature application specific, mechanically attached shims that provide superior noise abatement over drift lock style shims.
The backing plates are precision cut or shaved to reduce vibration and noise because they fit properly in the caliper, resulting in even pad wear and consistent braking power over the life of the pad.
The pads provide stable friction performance across a wide range of temperatures.
These pads are constructed using the most advanced process available, using extreme pressure to compress the friction material and create a consistent material density to ensure better braking performance with minimal noise.
10. Bosch BP976 QuietCast Premium Disc Brake Pad
The Bosch QuietCast Premium Disc Brake Pad Set is engineered with premium platform specific materials to ensure quiet operation, low dust, and exceptional stopping power.
Strength and insulation against noise is ensured by the rubber core multilayer shim.
The patented copper free ceramic and semi metallic friction formula utilizes an advanced aerospace alloy that is compliant with 2025 Copper Free Legislation.
Pad and rotor life is extended by the protective transfer layer. This set includes a hardware kit and synthetic lubricant that allow you to do a complete brake job.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What Is a Brake Pad?
Brake pads are part of the disc brakes that are used in automobiles. They are constructed of steel backing plates with a ceramic, rubber, or other friction material that is affixed to the side of the plate that faces the rotor.
When the brake pedal is pressed the brake pads come into contact with the rotor and slow the vehicle.
The best brake pads will be long lasting and perform equally well in stop and go traffic, up and down steep hills, and at highway speeds.
2. What Features Should I Look for in the Best Brake Pads?
The best brake pads will be made of ceramic, carbon-ceramic, or other low-dusting material. They will have their friction material bonded to the backing plate for increased durability.
The best brake pads are SAE J2784 compliant to braking effectiveness, durability, and Noise/Vibration/Harshness (NVH) specifications.
Look for brake pads that include all the hardware and lubrication necessary to install them.
3. How Often Should I Change My Brake Pads?
Brake pad wear depends on a variety of factors, including your driving habits, the environment, the hardness of the pads, and the materials they are made of.
Brake pads generally need to be replaced after about 50,000 miles. Some pads may need to be replaced after 25,000 miles while others may last 70,000 miles or more.
4. What Are the Signs I Need to Replace My Brake Pads?
If your brakes are squealing, it means they are about to run out of their gripping ability and the pads need to be replaced.
If you feel your vehicle wobbling and shimmying when you come to a stop, it may mean that your rotors are warped and you should replace both your brake pads and rotors.
Have your mechanic check your brake pads when you have the oil changed. If the pads are less than 20% they should be replaced.
5. Where Can I Purchase the Best Brake Pads?
A high-quality brake pads can be purchased at auto supply stores, discount retailers such as Walmart, and auto repair shops. The brake pads reviewed in this article are all available online.
If you would like to purchase one of we have reviewed, you can click on the associated link to purchase the product.
Based on our research we believe the best brake pads are the Akebono ACT787 ProACT Ultra-Premium Brake Pads.
The pads offer substantially quieter braking, enhanced initial effectiveness, a high resistance to fade, consistent brake pedal pressure, and extremely low dusting for cleaner wheels.
The ceramic technology incorporated in these pads causes minimal wear on your rotors. They are the only OE validated, application specific friction formulations on the aftermarket.
Whether you spend your time behind the wheel cruising along the interstate, creeping through rush hour traffic, or navigating through your neighborhood, you will not be disappointed with the Akebono ProACT Ultra Premium Ceramic Brake Pads.