Car owners are often confronted with the question of whether to choose between ceramic or organic brake pads when changing brakes.

If you are looking for the ideal brake pads, you need to consider the heat resistance due to the friction generated by the car.

Around the 1950s, when cars were fitted with disc brakes, asbestos was the ideal material for brake pads. The material was cheap and heat resistant but had the disadvantage of being a danger to the environment. The manufacturers were forced to look for alternatives.

Organic brake pads were made from a mixture of different materials such as fiber, glass, Kevlar, and carbon. Resin was added to bond all the components together. This resulted in a cheaper manufacturing process, while the materials were environmentally friendly.

The semi-metallic brake pads were introduced later. These consisted of 65% metallic components. Some of the metals used are copper, iron, and steel. The other 35% consists of fillers, modifiers and some graphite. Due to the metallic nature of the brake pads, they are durable but have the disadvantage of being noisy.

In the 1980s, car manufacturers started to produce ceramic brake pads. These pads would consist of ceramic and copper fibers. They were then baked in an oven to make them stable. The ceramic pads are quieter and gentler on the rotors.

Ceramic vs Organic Brake Pads

Organic pads

Ceramic Brake Pads

Organic brake pads are made of natural materials such as rubber, Kevlar or glass. They are characterized by the fact that they are softer on the rotors than the ceramic brake pads. As they are made of natural materials, they are less expensive and easy to manufacture.

The brakes are best suited for those who do not use their car for long-distance driving but for daily commuting. The brake pads wear quickly, which is proven by the large amount of dust they produce. You will have to replace your organic pads more often than ceramic pads.

The brakes also have the added disadvantage of overheating quickly, which can lead to friction loss, making it difficult to stop the car.

  • Unlike metallic pads, produce less dust
  • Easier to manufacture
  • Gentler on the brake rotors
  • Can be used by a variety of cars and weather conditions
  • Cannot withstand certain temperatures
  • Not suitable for racing cars
  • Need to replace them frequently

Ceramic brake pads

Ceramic brakes are durable due to the nature of the materials used in their manufacture. They are the ideal type of brakes for those car owners who travel a lot on long distances. Ceramic brakes do not overheat easily, which means they are less abrasive.

You should expect them to last longer than organic brakes. They produce some dust, but not as much as the organic brakes.

  • Quietest of the pads
  • The brake dust is fine thus does not stick to the rotors
  • Can withstand different temperatures
  • Higher lifespan than the organic brake pads
  • More costly than other types of brake pads
  • During extremely cold temperatures, they are noisier
  • Not suitable for large trucks or high-performance cars

Semi-metallic brake pads

  • Metallic content makes them withstand high temperatures
  • Can be used for high-performance cars
  • Produce a firmer hold on the rotors
  • Have more brake dust
  • Are the noisiest
  • Expensive

Factors to consider when purchasing brake pads

Organic Brake Pads

1. Heat

A car moving at high speed causes a lot of friction between the brake pads and the rotors. Therefore, if you travel long distances and transport heavy loads, you need brake pads that can withstand the heat.

Good brake pads should be heavy enough to dissipate the heat generated during braking. However, the brake pads should not be so heavy that they put additional stress on the car. Ceramic brake pads are light and heat resistant at the same time.

2. Noise

Loud brakes are a source of irritation for many drivers. Brake pads made of steel or bronze with carbon are usually heat resistant but noisy. The best brake pads for noise reduction are usually ceramic pads. This is due to their soft material, which is gentle on the rotors.

3. Durability

It is expensive to change the brake pads every time you visit the gas station. The least durable pads are organic pads, followed by semi-metallic pads. If you want durable brake pads, choose ceramic pads.

4. Dust

Dust is what remains when the brake pads come into contact with the rotors. You should choose brake pads that produce the least amount of dust. Organic brake pads have a high percentage of carbon and graphite components. They therefore produce the most dust. Ceramic brake pads do produce some dust, but the dust is less sticky and will not stain your car’s wheels.


It is impossible to drive a car without a functioning brake system. Brake failure is a source of serious accidents. When you press the brake pedal, a hydraulic system supplies brake fluid to the wheels and the brake pads come into contact with the rotors. This helps to bring the car to a standstill.

RELATED: Dot 3 vs Dot 4 Brake Fluid – What is the difference?

The brake pads are under enormous pressure because they are in constant contact with the rotors. This means they are prone to overheating and cracking. Choosing between ceramic or organic brake pads is not an easy choice. Both pads have advantages and disadvantages. Organic brake pads were first manufactured but soon became unpopular because of the high asbestos content in them. Later, other materials such as fibers, glass, and Kevlar were used.

Organic pads are cheap and this contributes to their popularity. They are ideal for car owners who drive moderately. The brakes are also quiet and protect the brake discs. Ceramic brakes have become increasingly popular. This is because they are quiet and less prone to wear.

They are also ideal for driving in different temperature conditions. However, ceramic brake pads are more expensive and produce less dust. They are also the most durable.