Sustainable Period Panties and Pads Part 1
Have you heard of period panties or reusable pads? Over the last few months I’ve heard more and more about these and was intrigued to say the least. The idea of panties that can replace pads (and in some cases, tampons too) is a lovely idea if it can truly be executed properly. I did some research and bought pairs of these period panties from the three leading companies I found online: Luna Pads, Dear Kate, and Thinx. Then, I went on Etsy (my FAVORITE place to shop) and got myself some reusable pads from three additional sources to try.
Side note: Etsy is a marketplace for vintage and handmade goods and encompasses everything from cosmetics, to costumes, to jewelry, shoes, and so much more. Great quality, handmade good are the best, in my opinion. Give Etsy a try, I have a feeling you’ll love it!
Now, back to my story. In my search for eco-friendly period essentials I learned a lot about disposable pads and tampons that made me cringe. First, the amount of waste we produce monthly from our periods is astonishing. In my quest to cut back my over waste output this was an obvious area that needed attention. Next, some the materials used in commercial pads and tampons are not good for you (like dioxin in tampons and rayon in pads) and can be harmful. Not to mention that eliminating tampons eliminated the chances of Toxic Shock Syndrome (yes, it’s real and yes, you should care about avoiding this). After reading article after article on the harmful materials, I felt a sincere motivation to eliminate these from my life completely and find the best alternatives available.
So I went through all the pads and tampons I had left in my possession and then waited until my next period came when I could really dive into this new green routine completely. Here’s my review of each company and product:
Thinx: I have two pairs of the full liner panties from Thinx and plan to grab their boyshorts and one of their things to try. I find the fully lined panties to be the most comfortable for me, I use them for everything from workouts to feeling confident wearing white while on my period. The quality of their undies is outstanding! Use this link to get $10 off your Thinx purchase!
Dear Kate: I had four pairs of their fully lined panties and I plan on buying more. Their fully lined panties have changed my life for the better. I can finally sleep comfortably through the night during my period without worrying about leaking. I also love to wear these during my workout classes because I know that no matter how much I bend and stretch, I won't leak. They're super comfortable, easy to clean, and don't make me feel like I'm wearing a diaper. Use this link to get $15 off your order!
Luna: Both sets of panties have a built-in lining and come with a removable cotton pad that fits into the crotch of the panties via two elastic bands. Both the built-in lining and the extra pad cover the basic necessary surface area to catch leaks but unlike the other panties I purchased, they don’t have linings that are longer to cover your butt to help prevent leaks while you sleep. This, I’ve found both good and bad. While I don’t like that I can’t lie flat on my back and be 100% leak free with these due to the limited built-in liner, I do like that they feel more like non-period panties so they’re very comfortable to wear on light days. I found the extra pad to be very absorbent but it sometimes slips out of the two elastic bands that hold it in place and I have to readjust it when I use the restroom; because of this they have no wings and I find that they work better for lighter flow days for me. Not terribly inconvenient but not my favorite thing during my heavy flow days. Luna also sells Diva menstrual cups, natural laundry detergent, cup wash, and more so definitely check them out!
Mother Moon: I got two of their 12” cotton flannel windpro fleece heavy flow pads because the first three days of my period are always extremely heavy and I wanted some pads that I can wear to sleep, lounge at home, and more without worrying if I’ll leak. These are incredibly absorbent but they are bulky. I personally don’t mind the bulkiness because these are mostly for overnight use and I like the piece of mind that a hefty pad can offer form heavy flow days/nights. I love the fabric offerings of the shop and the materials are super soft and squishy for extra comfort! These pads snap into your panties and stay put, they don’t move around or come loose. The snap is sturdy and they have build in “wings” as part of the construction of many reusable pads. I personally like wings so that works very well for me and my flow.
Caleighs Cloth: I have two of their 10” flannel heavy flow pads with two layers of Zorb sandwiched between fleece. These are great; super absorbent, soft, great fabric choices, sturdy snap that keeps them in place, and very comfortable to wear. These are my go-to pads for heavy days.
Cat and Wolf Designs: I have three of their wet bags: a small travel bag to carry my pads on the go, a large bag for soiled pads and panties, and a medium bag for my soiled gym clothes (swim suits, etc.). I LOVE wet bags and use them for absolutely everything. They're convenient and make life less... messy.
Aaylas: I have an 8" pad and a 9” pad from them. They’re flannel and velour with organic bamboo batting and a layer of PUL with a cotton backing. The pads snap easily into your underwear and don't slip and slide around. I've never had them leak and they're very comfortable to wear. I'm partial to longer pads myself but even these shorter ones are great and can come in handy. They're especially easy to take with you, I just carry mine in a small wet bag that hold in any moisture and smell from soiled pads so there's no mess in your purse!
Muff Dusters: This shop makes the cutest nerdy reusable pads around! Embroidered and tastefully designed, they have something for the nerd in everyone from Harry Potter and Doctor Who to fairies and Twilight. I grabbed one 10" moderate cotton top fleece back pad, one 11" heavy cotton top fleece back pad, and one 12" cotton top fleece back pad.