Here's an indisputable fact: periods suck. And this is true regardless of how many you've hard - it's not one of those things that gets better or easier with time, it just always sucks. It leaves you feeling fatigued, emotional, and worst of all, it might ruin your "good" underwear.
That's discounting how self conscious and embarrassed you'll feel in public, especially if your clothes get stained. Unfortunately, there's no "opt out" button, so you can't take a hiatus.
But thanks to the ongoing efforts aimed at curbing period stigma, it's slightly less traumatizing dealing with period embarrassments. You mostly just have to worry about stains resulting from unwanted drips when tampons/pads fail - this is when your underwear comes through.
The best underwear for periods can be deceptively robust, yet elegant and are made to absorb a surprisingly large amount of blood. The big deal with period panties is that while they're designed to hold in lots of blood, they're also tailored to allow your lady bits breathe - to keep things sanitary.
As with all 21st century products, period panties come in different shapes, and sizes - meaning you'll find those that are more suitable for tampons than for pads. With that in mind, you'll be seeing some of the features that make an underwear suitable for periods, how to choose your period panties based on your preferred product (menstrual cup, tampons, pads or cave-woman-free-flow), and lastly a review of the best underwear for periods, backed by popular demand.
How To Choose The Best Underwear For Periods
Not only are period panties a lot more comfortable than normal undies, some of them can hold up to 2 or 3 tampons' worth of flow. Which is incredible if you tend to be paranoid about bleeding out in public. Most of them will vary in thickness, and cut. Here are key features:
Even though it seems ironic, period panties need to be just the right amount of porous to keep you fresh down there. If you're using one of those foot long pads while on you're period, the fabric of your underwear will need to be extra breathable, since you're essentially in a diaper (but without all the bulk). The dark, moist environment will make a good breeding ground for bacteria, so you need to counter that by allowing fresh air circulate.
Some of the most breathable fabrics are cotton and wool. Because they're natural, they have inbuilt anti bacterial/odor reducing properties, which helps prevent bacterial buildup.
Most period underwear are made from cotton, which won't irritate your skin. Sometimes it'll be mixed with other synthetic fabrics like nylon and polyester.
- GENTLE to SENSITIVE SKIN, SILKY TOUCH Natural Bamboo menstrual underwear. NATURALLY HYPOALLERGENIC, ANTIBACTERIAL, ANTIMICROBIAL and more absorbent than cotton making them excellent against your skin.
- BREATHABLE and THERMOREGULATING, Stay comfortable whatever the weather; keeps you cool in summer and warm in winter.
- DEGRADABLE - the greenest material that will simply return to the Earth. 95% Bamboo Fiber and 5% Spandex. Machine Washable, Tumble Dry Low
- FULL BACK AND EXTENDED FRONT protection ideal for light incontinence and spotting
- US DESIGNER AND SELLER. Comes with giftable box
Period panties are essentially normal underwear, but with super absorbency. Most designers include a few extra layers of water resistant fabrics in the gusset to contain unwanted drips of blood. If you don't get queasy at the sight of your blood, and your flow's fairly light, there are some super absorbent period panties you can wear - without needing any pad or tampon.
Some of them are reusable, as long as you remember to wash them immediately after each use. They're thus very economical, if you have the inclination to do the math on what you'll be saving.
- PACKAGE INCLUDEING: pack of 3 leak-resistant sanitary briefs
- NO LEAK: three layer design of rear widening can prevent any unexpected leakage. and no more mess on mattress or embarrassing stains on pants
- THE FEATURES of PERIOD PANTIES: leakage, reusable protective underwear for women. excellent for days with menstrual cycle heavy flow or light incontinence and postpartum recovery
- MACHINE INSTRUCTION: machine wash,hand wash or air dry. Don't rinse, Don't even put them on tumble dryer
- NOT for ABSORBENCY: the leak proof lining can prevent liquid going through, BUT MUST use together with sanitary napkins, tampons, pantyliners, menstrual cups, maternity pads or incontinence pads
Unlike tampons, pads tend to bulk things up down there. And the last thing anyone wants is to wear something that announces to what feels like the entire world (period paranoia can do that) that it's your time of the month.
You're also better off with fewer seams, and depending on the style, no seams in the inner part of your thighs - since that'll just rub you off wrongly and may trigger chafing. Bonus points for underwear without tags.
- REUSABLE PROTECTION for women and girls during their menstrual cycle, excellent for days with menstrual cycle heavy flow, postpartum bleeding or urinary incontinence! Our leakproof protection means you can have worry free confidence, no leaks!
- PATENTED 3 LAYER TECHNOLOGY: Exclusive to Modibodi, The Modifier Technology is super-slim - only 3mm thick. No bulky uncomfortable feel.
- HIGH QUALITY ORGANIC BAMBOO VISCOSE OUTER FABRIC: Our period and incontinence panties are made of breathable, antimicrobial certified organic bamboo viscose, a sustainable and renewable fibre that means no more disposable pads or tampons ever!
- COMFORT & STYLE: The perfect fit, where comfort and protection from period and menstrual overflow and incontinence meets durable comfort and fashion forward style.
Thongs, tangas, and whatever new design's trending should be avoided during your time of the month. Because regardless of how absorbent your tampon is, there should always be a line of defense between your lady bits and outer clothes. Aside from that, your underwear styles are mostly a matter of personal preference - just make sure there's enough rear coverage.
If you use pads, opt for period panties whose gussets are wide and extend all the way to the back - to prevent your pad from shifting position.
Now that you've seen some of the key features to look out for when shopping for the best underwear for periods, let's move on to some of the most popular period panties.
Top 10 Best Underwear for Periods
1. Innersy Women's Menstrual Period Underwear, Leakproof Cotton Panties
Pro: Wide double lining at the rear
Con: Double lining doesn't extend all the way to the front
All night protection: Comes up all the way to the belly, so it minimizes the outward appearance of a bloated tummy. The rear end of the underwear has two layers of lining which is especially helpful while you're sleeping at night.
Unfortunately, the double layer doesn't extend all the way to the front, so it won't prevent stains towards the front - especially if you're wearing a pad. It does work pretty well with tampons and menstrual cups.
Note that the double lining at the rear means your panty line may show when it's worn beneath certain types of fabrics.
2. Funcy Women's Menstrual Period Protective Panties
Pro: Very easy to wash
Con: Makes squishy noise when you move
Very absorbent: While these aren't intended to be worn without pads, tampons or cups, some users with light flows have managed to get by using them alone. Each undy is made from 5% spandex and 95% bamboo fiber - which is super soft and comfortable, but not meant to be washed in a washing machine, only hand wash. Not to worry though, once soaked, the stains come off pretty easily.
The underwear does tend to make a squishy sound (caused by the water resistant lining used) when you walk, but there's a way to get around it. Just wash the underwear before your first wear, and it should be fine. The sizes tend to run a little bit small, so maybe order one size higher, so it won't feel too constricting.
3. EvaWear Tampon Replacement, Absorbent Menstrual Period Panty
Pro: Can be worn without pads or tampons
Con: Sizes run small
Comes in various seamless styles: Instead of your typical granny styled period panties, EvaWear allows you choose the same high quality absorbent underwear in different styles, bikini or hipster, all of which are seamless. It's made with cotton, nylon, and spandex - with each fabric strategically placed to play to its strength. The pant's both tagless and hypoallergenic, so there's
little chance of being irritated by the fabric.
In terms of absorbency, this underwear can hold up to 20 ml, or about 2 tampons worth of flow. So you can get away with wearing just this without any pad/tampon/cup during the day (not at night). They fit smaller than their tag size, so order one size bigger.
4. Yoyi Fashion Women's Menstrual Period Briefs
Pro: Really long water resistant lining
Con: Not very breathable
Snug fitting: Keep in mind that these are strictly leak-proof, not replacement panties like EvaWear. The biggest selling point of this period brief is the lining which starts from the gusset and extends all the way to the waistline. The water resistant lining is so wide, it'll prevent any stray drips from leaking out - this is particularly useful at night, when you can't keep checking for stains.
These briefs are 84% nylon and 16% spandex, while the water resistant lining are 82.2% viscose and 17.8% cotton. All in all, not the most breathable combo, so you probably shouldn't wear this for more than 8 hours in a day. You can toss these in the washing machine to wash only, not dry - so the gusset leak-proof lining won't get damaged.
5. Intimate Portal Women's Period Panties, Absorbent Menstrual Incontinence Underwear
Pro: 4 layered absorbency protection
Con: Rustles and crinkles like you're wearing a diaper
Replacement Panties for light days: Like EvaWear, intimate portal can be worn without tampons or pads on really mild days, which is usually interpreted as less than 20 ml worth of blood. It's made of cotton and spandex, so it's quite breathable. It offers full coverage, with the lining extending from the front, all the way to the rear.
Despite the 4 layers used to build absorbency, this still feels like regular underwear, so you can wear it even when you're not on your period. One of the special instructions provided by the manufacturer is to wash the underwear with cold water and dry it on a line before your first use - this should take care of the diaper- like rustling sound.
6. Modibodi Women's Period & Incontinence Underwear
Pro: Super slim and stylish
Con: Not very practical
Seamless classic bikini cut: Modibodi used their innovative modifier technology to create a super skinny (just 3 mm) replacement panty that can be worn without pads/tampons. Bear in mind though that the bikini cut (they have other styles) provides only light protection, so about 10 ml or one tampon's worth of protection. For most people, that's less than half a day's worth of protection, so it may not be entirely practical to wear this alone.
The bikini panty's made from a mix of bamboo, spandex, merino and polyester, so it's super soft, breathable and stretchy in all the right places. If your flow's super light, then you'll appreciate the cut of this underwear - because unlike most bulky period panties, you won't have to self consciously waddle about.
7. Hesta/Rael Women's Organic Cotton Period Panties
Pro: Environmentally friendly
Con: Beige panties aren't lined with black, so they can stain
Leak-proof, eco friendly period panties: These period panties by Hesta are made with 95% certified organic cotton and 5% spandex, to give it a bit of stretch. It comes in both black and beige colors - so go with the black if you don't think you'll be able to wash off stains properly.
While the inner lining extends all the way to the waistline at the back, it doesn't extend to the front, so if you're someone who sleeps on the stomach at night, maybe try the Yoyi Fashion menstrual panties instead. Otherwise, these are your typical leak-proof panties, just safer for mother Earth.
8. Natratouch Natural Bamboo Fiber Menstrual Panty
Pro: Biodegradable, breathable and provides thermoregulation
Con: Different sizes in the same pack
Great for sensitive skin: Bamboo fiber is one of the greenest, softest and most hypoallergenic fiber in the planet. It's also naturally absorbent, so that, coupled with the 3 layers of extended lining, means this is a great underwear to wear during your time of the month.
It keeps you comfortable, regardless of the weather, so this is one of the few menstrual underwear you can wear while hiking.
9. UndiePads Period Panties
Pro: Comes with built-in pad
Con: Overpriced for disposable underwear
All day protection: If you use pads, you'll be familiar with the bunching and shifting pads do as you move about. With UndiePads, a uniquely shaped pad has been sewn into the panties, so it'll stay in place regardless of how you toss and turn at night or during the day. The pad's also 3 times more absorbent than typical pads, so you won't need to rush to the bathroom every so often to change.
The only issue people have with this is the price tag. At $9 per pack of 3, that's $3 per disposal UndiePad - and no one uses just 3. However, if you think of
these as period panties for specific activities like hiking, where you won't have the luxury of washing and waiting for your, no doubt, bulky period panties to dry, then this is worth the expense.
10. 4Period Women's Absorbent Period Panties, Organic Cotton
Pro: No ride-up elastic bands
Con: Boring colors
Great value for money: Replacement panties are usually either too expensive, or too few/pack. This 4period contains 5 period panties per pack, and at this price tag, they're a steal since you can wear them throughout your period cycle.
They're organic cotton, which is superb for extremely sensitive skin, easy to care for, and as long as you don't toss them in a tumble dryer, they'll last you a long time - making them one of the best underwear for periods. The colors are boring, but it's highly unlikely you'd care about that when you're bleeding like a tap.
manhyiaonline.org may receive a small percentage of the purchase price for items bought through our links from Amazon.com and other sites.