Gone are the days in which tampons and pads served as your only menstrual product option. Much like the ever-popular menstrual cup, period underwear, also known as period panties offer you a more environmentally-friendly — and at times more affordable — alternative to common period products. Unlike your traditional panties, period underwear offer protection from leaks and liquids, and with styles ranging from thongs to shorts, there's a cut suited for every body type and need.
When it comes to deciding on any period product, it always comes down to what makes you most comfortable. However, if you've never used a non-traditional period product, the experts are here to help, guiding you on some of the best options in period underwear, and how to use them.
Suzanne Siemens, Aisle CEO & Co-Founder, told NYLON that before you even click add to cart, you need to some homework. "Think about your flow and lifestyle when you pick your brand and style," she said. "Most brands are primarily suitable for light flow/spotting or as back-up for internally worn products like tampons or cups. Some offer absorbency options for heavy flow."
The idea of swapping out your favorite period product for something new can seem daunting, but if you do your research, you may find that period underwear are a much better fit for you. Below, find out everything you need to know about making the switch to period panties, and five options available to purchase right now.
How To Decide On Period Underwear
Unlike menstrual cups or tampons, period underwear should not require an adjustment period. As Siemens explained, you could essentially just put on a pair and go. However, you will need to consider whether you plan to wear the underwear as secondary protection, or alone.
Some period underwear brands offer protection that's equivalent to four tampons worth of liquid, but other brands are intended to be worn on lighter days, or with a tampon, pad, or cup."The idea of “free bleeding” in your underwear might feel different. But, if you use them only for your light days (or as back up with internal products) it’s no change at all," Siemens said.
In order to ensure that you're choosing the right period underwear for your need, Alice Warren, Director of CX, Thinx Inc., suggested reading reviews and looking at the ingredients. "It is important to look for underwear that is OEKO-TEX certified, as well as offer environmentally safe and responsible practices with their manufacturer," she said. She also suggested considering how many pairs you might need to last the length of your period.
How To Take Care Of Your Period Underwear
Ensuring the longevity of your period underwear comes down to proper care. Care will come down to brand, but Siemens noted that most period underwear can be washed the same way you care for any other delicates. "Just avoid using any harsh stain treatments (like bleach or hydrogen peroxide) or fabric softeners, as they actually decrease absorbency and make the undies less effective."
Warren also said to be mindful of properly drying your underwear. "It’s important that period underwear, and underwear in general, air-dry completely before you use them again. If they are slightly damp, or if the room you dry them in isn’t well-ventilated, you can potentially open yourself up to infection and odors," she said.
Now that you've learned a bit more about period underwear, it's time to take your research for a test run. Scroll, or shop, through some of the current available options in period underwear.
We only include products that have been independently selected by Nylon’s editorial team. However, we may receive a portion of sales if you purchase a product through a link in this article.
Featuring an absorbent cotton liner, which is angled to collect your flow, a leak-resistant barrier protects you from excess moisture, and helps fight odor. As its name would suggest, the Hipster style sits on your hips, and this brief can be worn alone or with a pad or tampon. Available in sizes XS to 3XL.