Reusable Period Pads vs. Period Panties: Which is Best?

Finally, we’re breaking free of tampons, single-use pads, and we’re finding more eco-friendly and, just as importantly, comfortable options. But which is best? You can find hundreds of options online in various designs and patterns, but what really matters most is which will be the most comfortable, usable, and long-lasting.

Here, we’ll guide you through what you should consider before making a purchase.

What are period panties?

Period panties are underwear that has been designed with an absorbent gusset to collect and hold moisture. They typically come in different absorbency levels, styles (we even offer thongs!), and worn all day. When you change, you simply wash your underwear, let it dry, and you can wear it again.

What are reusable period pads?

Reusable pads retain the same shape as the pads you’ve likely used in the past but are still separate from your underwear. Most have wings with poppers or Velcro that secures the pad in place around your underwear. You unfasten it when you change, wash the pad, and can use it again.

The only period underwear that can hold up to 5 tampons

What are the pros and cons of reusable period pads?

  • Pro: They eliminate the need for single-use products. Your wallet doesn’t like it, and the environment likes it even less. It’s distressing to think of all your past sanitary materials sitting in a landfill somewhere. While they partially will degrade, they will outlive you. And, likely, all your great-great-great-grandchildren. The Menstrual Health Alliance India says it takes 500-800 years for a single sanitary pad to decompose.
  • Pro: They’re cost-effective. Depending on where you purchase them from, you likely won’t pay more than $20 for a pad, and if you care for them correctly, should stay absorbent for a year or more.
  • Pro: You can put them on when aunt Flo pops by for a surprise visit. If you are out of the house a lot, then keeping a reusable pad in your bag will allow you to wear your pad without having to get undressed in a public restroom.
  • Pro: They’re easy to wash. When you take it off, simply rinse it out and leave it to dry.
  • Con: They may still shift. While reusable pads will likely hold their shape more than a standard pad, they may shift and move as you go about your daily life.
  • Con: They’re not leakproof. Any underwear or pad that doesn’t fit correctly and doesn’t have the right leakproof technology will leave you vulnerable to mishaps.
  • Con: You may still get that “diaper” feeling. You know when you’re wearing a really thick pad and you feel like everyone can see it? Well, this will likely still be the same with reusable pads, especially since they’re more likely to retain their shape.

What are the pros and cons of period panties?

  • Pro: They stick with you. We’ve all felt that moment our pad or tampon decides it’s got other plans and doesn’t intend to stay in the right place. You also aren’t alone if your pad has shifted in the night and when you get up to go to the bathroom, you end up having to clean blood off the inside of your thighs. It’s natural, but it’s not glamorous. Period panties offer you complete movement freedom.
  • Pro: That includes going to the gym! If you don’t go to the gym or workout when it’s your time of the month out of a fear of a leak or discomfort from your tampon or pad, then period panties will be your best friend. Sometimes, your time of the month is a time to take a little break from your workout schedule, but you shouldn’t have to hit pause.
  • Pro: As we talked about in the pads section above, period panties also eliminate the need for single-use items. Also, because many use body-friendly natural fabrics, such as cotton, they are much more likely to degrade in a way that’s not harmful to the environment when you do throw them out.
  • Pro: They’re long-lasting. Like all other intimates, how long that is depends on how well you care for them, but our undies last 2-3 years on average.
  • Pro: They’re leakproof. Unlike pads, our leakproof period panties include our patented Leak-Loc™ technology, which ensures no moisture spills out.
  • Pro: You won’t feel like you’re wearing a pad. Even our most absorbent underwear is invisible under clothes. You won’t feel or look like you’re wearing a diaper!
  • Pro: Our period panties are designed to be kind to your body – locking in moisture and bacteria, so you stay happy and healthy down there at all times.
  • Pro: Easy to wash – simply rinse them when you take them off and hang them to dry. In a pinch, you can throw them in the washing machine; just handwash as much as you can to keep them in the best condition possible.
  • Pro: Buy once, keep for years! No more rushing out to the store when you run out of sanitary products.
  • Con: If you’re out and about a lot, and can’t always predict when your period will start, then you’ll have to carry a spare pair around with you in your bag and get undressed in an unfamiliar restroom if it starts while you’re out.

Which is best for me?

One may be clearly best for you over the other, or you may decide that using both is best. If you experience heavy flow and want to be sure you’re not going to experience any leaks, period panties are the way to go. When you know your period is coming up, just start wearing your period underwear.

If your periods aren’t on a set, predictable cycle, then you may find that having a reusable pad in your bag will give you the most peace of mind. That way, you can quickly use your pad wherever you are, when your period starts. Then, when you get home, you can switch over to your more comfortable period underwear.

Our Proof period underwear is available in a wide range of styles and fits, and as comfortable as your normal undies. To find out more and to see our range, click here.