Welcome to your one-stop shop for finding the perfect period underwear for you! Whether you’re a beginner or a veteran in the period game, you’ve come to the right place.
As a long-time advocate and expert, I’m here to help you find the perfect pair of underwear for your needs. In this guide, I’ll provide you with a complete comparison chart and an in-depth look at the various styles available. You’ll be an informed and savvy shopper in no time! So let’s get started on your journey to finding the best period underwear for you.
Things To Consider Before Choosing A Brand
Period underwear are like regular underwear but designed to absorb menstrual fluid and provide leak protection. They can be worn alone, but also as backup protection with a menstrual cup, menstrual disc, pad, or tampon. They can also be used to help with incontinence, discharge, hot sweaty days, etc.
Choosing a shape you’ll feel good in is key to being comfortable. Typical options are thong, bikini (low waist), brief (mid to high waist), hipster, and boxer. Options also come with and without fun accents like mesh, lace, and sporty waistbands.
Brands are doing more and more to be truly size inclusive. Sizes will vary by brand but can be found in everything from 3XS to 8XL. Many of the XS and smaller sizes are great for tweens and teens.
There isn’t enough room to get into the fabric content of every brand and style, but once you narrow down the brands you’ll definitely want to consider this if you have a preference. Options range from natural fibers like cotton, hemp, and bamboo to synthetic performance fabrics (moisture wicking, water and leak-proof fabrics, etc). Many also have fabric differences from the body to the absorbent layer, so watch that as well.
Period underwear come in a wide range of absorbency levels from one tampon all the way to 10+ This makes them great for everything from backup to managing very heavy periods. If you need extra protection you can always add a reusable absorbent liner.
So, how do you find the perfect pair? We’ve put together a comparison chart of all of the period underwear brands (along with a few things to consider) to help you make the right choice!
Period Underwear Comparison Chart
Tap the top of each column to sort by brand, size, or underwear type.
🩸 = Spotting / Light Backup 🩸🩸 = 2-4 Tampons 🩸🩸🩸 = 5-7 Tampons 🩸🩸🩸🩸 = 8+ Tampons
Want your brand listed, or have a fav you’d like added? Please reach out and let me know!
|Brand||Min Size||Max Size||Absorbency Range||Thong||Bikini||Brief||Hipster||Boxer||Misc Info||Coupon|
|Pink / Victoria’s||XS||2XL||🩸🩸||X||X||X||X||⛔|
Period Underwear FAQ
How many pairs of period underwear should I have?
If you’re using them for backup, one per day of your period is the minimum you’ll want. If you plan to use them alone or know that you need to rely on them more I’d suggest at least two per day of your period at minimum. You can always add more to your rotation as you decide what styles and brands you like best and discover what you need to best manage your period.
How long can you wear menstrual underwear?
With the proper absorbency for your needs, most brands say they can be worn for up to 10 hours.
How much blood does period underwear hold? Are they good for heavy flow days?
This will depend on the brand and the style, but they can hold as little as 1 tampon worth and as much as 10+! If you want to use this as your only method of period protection I would suggest choosing a brand that can hold a little more than you think you need, just to be on the safe side. If you only need light protection, light flow options also double for protection from bladder leaks.
How do you wash period underwear?
Proper care is the important for the integrity of any clothing item, but this is especially true of period underwear. Period underwear can generally be machine washed and don’t require anything too crazy. Mostly it’s important to use a mild detergent (liquid detergents are best), cold water, and to never use harsh detergents, bleach, or fabric softener. Harsh laundry products can prematurely deteriorate the fabric and/or cause buildup that will lessen the absorbency. If possible rinse your period underwear after use (cold water), use the delicate cycle, and air dry or tumble on no or low heat.
If you’re looking for help with stains, we’ve got a whole article about removing period blood stains to help you out!
How often should period underwear be replaced?
The better you care for your garments, the longer they will last. With proper care quality period underwear and reusable pads should last 2-3 years, easily. If gentle care isn’t possible, I would estimate around a year (or less) before they may need to be replaced. Signs that your period underwear need replaced would be that they aren’t functioning as intended, layers have become stuck/melted together (certain waterproof fabrics), are wearing through, or are generally falling apart.
What about PFAS in period underwear?
News of the Thinx lawsuit settlement had the period underwear world in a frenzy over PFAS. PFAS chemicals are used to make products that resist heat, oil, stains, grease, and water — in this case, things like moisture-wicking athletic apparel and stain-resistant fabrics. Unfortunately, PFAS are essentially everywhere. They are in many of the products we use and come into contact with daily, like cosmetics, flooring, cookware, cleaning products, toiletries, food packaging, and the list goes on. Furthermore, there are a great many products that don’t intentionally contain PFAS but contain detectable levels due to PFAS found in “coatings or lubricants used on manufacturing equipment or in factories,” making them even more challenging to avoid.
My take is that you should do what feels right for you. If that means choosing brands that go the extra mile to reduce detectable levels — great! If that means accepting that they’re everywhere and using whatever period underwear you want — also great! I am all about reducing exposure, but without significant changes across all manufacturing types, PFAS aren’t going anywhere.
I also want to note that the real crux of the Thinx lawsuit was that they advertised their organic period underwear line as “organic, sustainable, and nontoxic,” which cannot be true if the allegations of finding PFAs are also true — whether intentionally added or not.
On a more personal note, I find the spin that some outlets and influencers are placing on this lawsuit to be crossing into sensationalism and fearmongering. The lawsuit is over potentially deceptive marketing, not PFAS (which, again, are found seemingly everywhere.) This resulted in period underwear brands of all sizes taking the lion’s share of the criticism and blame for a potential safety issue that is much bigger and more far-reaching than one’s choice of period protection.
We hope this guide has been helpful in finding your perfect pair of period underwear. With the right pair, you can enjoy all the comfort and convenience of period underwear without any of the stress!