PERIOD PANTS are becoming more and more popular.
Whether it's the growing pressure to choose sustainable products or the cost-saving aspect, we're all for it: here are the best period pants on the market right now.
Innovative companies are looking for ways to reduce human waste and are constantly trying to come up with eco-friendly alternatives for everyday products.
We recently answered the most common questions people have about menstrual cups and suggested our best buys, and now we're taking a closer look at period pants.
Always wanted to try them out but are afraid of leaks? Always wondered how exactly they work?
Read our answers below to learn all about period pants.
What are period pants?
Period pants are an innovative sanitary product that aims to replace wasteful sanitary products, such as pads and tampons.
They are leakproof underwear made from a fabric that is designed to absorb and wick away liquid to keep you dry and comfortable throughout the day.
How do period pants work?
Period pants are made of three or four different layers of fabric.
The fluid is wicked away from the body and is trapped in the layers of fabric to stop it from leaking onto your clothes or sheets.
Different materials are used by different brands but the most common include cotton, bamboo and merino wool.
How long do period pants last?
The lifetime of your pair of period pants will depend on how well you look after them.
Most period pants will need to be hand-washed but it's best you treat your pair according to the individual brand's instructions.
Fans of the product say that a single pair can last up to two years depending on the care level and the usage.
There are a few different options on the market for lighter and heavy bleeding days, so read on to discover the best period pants out there right now.
- Wuka Basics Period Pants, £12 – buy here
Wuka is made of Lenzing MicroModal fabric meaning it's super soft and stretchy.
There are lots of different styles, but the new Basics range are the best value for money.
They come in a hipster style, providing full coverage and holding up to three tampons worth.
The size range varies from UK 4 to 20, meaning Wuka has got all of us covered.
- Sport, £30 – buy here
- Thong, £22 – buy here
- Boyshort, £36 – buy here
THINX period-proof technology features four different layers of protection: moisture-wicking, odour-controlling, leak-resistant, and super-absorbent.
They are easy to care for: rinse them first before putting them into your washing machine (avoid bleach and fabric softener).
There are many different options to choose from and Thinx Super can take up to four tampons worth.
- Swimwear Bikini Brief, £25.60 – buy here
- One Piece Swimsuit, £52.40 – buy here
Modibodi is made from Modifier Technology that can hold up to two tampons worth and they are only 3mm thick.
The fabric contains bamboo and merino wool, making it super soft on the skin whilst it provides ultimate protection.
They also have a heavy/overnight range for those women who have a heavier flow as well as an activewear collection, so you'll never have to shy away from exercise while you’re on your period again.
Lots of people also ask: Can you swim in period pants? And the answer is, with these ones you can!
The Modibodi swim range allows you to enjoy carefree days by the pool.
- Bikini, £20.99 – buy here
- High-waist, £29.95 – buy here
- Boyshort, £29.95 – buy here
Heavy period days? Flux has got you covered.
Their period pants feature a built-in moisture-wicking, absorbent, and leak-proof panel to keep you dry – they can hold up to four tampons worth!
They come in three different styles, so you can choose the right ones for you.
- Innersy Women's Menstrual Period Underwear 3 Pack, £16.99 – buy here
Innersy's undies may not be the most stylish ones available out there but at just under £20 for a pack of three they're perfect for those who want to give period pants a try without investing too much.
The undies can hold two tampons worth of blood, so make sure you pack another pair with you if you have a heavy flow.
Their full wide back coverage and extended protective lining in the front ensure no messy stains on sheets or clothes, giving you extra protection against leakage.
6. Intimate Portal
- Intimate Portal Sensation Aborsbent Menstrual Knickers, £30.99 to £40.99 – buy here
An Amazon bestseller, Intimates Portal's undies are available in a variety of colours and styles.
The reusable brief can hold up to two light tampon's worth of blood, and are made with four layers of absorption and protection.
They also come in handy if you have postpartum bleeding and incontinence.
Intimate Portal's pregnancy underwear called under-the-bump parties are particularly popular with expecting mums for their comfort as well as their breathable cotton and spandex blend to ensure a great fit with light belly support.
- MAIA Bikini, $40 – buy here
- Boxer Brief, $42 – buy here
- MAIA Brief, $40 – buy here
Lunapads.com don't have a shop in the UK yet, but we couldn't bring ourselves to leave them out of our list.
They not only offer a range of period pants but also sell reusable pads and liners too.
Here's the product guide.
Luna Undies feature a removable absorbent layer called an 'Insert' that can be changed throughout the day for that extra feeling of freshness.
It's worth checking them out but bear in mind that shipping costs $15 for orders under $75.
How do you wash period pants?
Period pants rely on special materials to help absorb and wick away leakage.
In theory, this means you can't stain them.
That said to ensure your reusable period pants last longer and are ready for your next period, you'll need to wash them after use.
Make sure you read the brand's instructions as each has specific advice as to how to best wash your undies.
As a general rule, when you first take them off, it's advised to rinse them in cold water until the water runs clear.
Then you'll need to pop them in the washing machine with your delicates and run it on a cold wash.
Avoid using fabric softeners as these can break down the natural fibres in the fabric, and just to stick with laundry detergent or soap.
Then after washing, hang them out to dry so they're ready for the next use.
Do period pants feel wet or smell?
As long as you're wearing underwear that is suitable for your flow you'll be dry throughout the day.
Both Thinx and Modibodi's higher absorbency styles can hold up to four tampons' worth of liquid.
If you're feeling unsure about the heaviness of your flow, you may need to pack an extra pair for your own peace of mind.
The fabric and the lining of period pants are specifically designed to stop odour and have been scientifically proven to do so.
So, if cared for correctly (have a look at our washing guidelines), your undies won't smell.
Can you swim in period pants?
If you like swimming there's no reason your periods should stop you from enjoying your favourite activity or ruin your beach holiday.
All you'll need to do is opt for a period-proof swimwear, currently available from Modibodi and US brand Ruby Love (with international delivery starting from $14.95 (£11.82).
Modibodi claims its swimwear is 100 per cent leak-proof and includes a gusset that absorbs fluid from the body and locks it into the inner layer.
Bear in mind that it isn't cheap. The bikini costs £72.50 while the costume is just shy of £100 at £98.50.
However, the company does offer a 30-day free trial, so you can get a full refund if aren't 100 per cent happy.
On Ruby Love prices start at $39.99 (£30) plus shipping costs for a bikini and $79.99 (£61) for a swimming costume.
Don't forget that both retailers recommend wearing their period-proof swimwear to hold lighter flow or extra protection on heavy days so you can still go for a dip.
Enjoyed our roundup of the best period pants? Check out Sun Selects for more of the best products at the best prices.
Take a look at our dedicated health and fitness section to discover our recommendations.
If you like reusable sanitary products, here are the top 5 best menstrual cups on the market right now.
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