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What is Period Underwear?
Period underwear is underwear that looks and feels just like normal underwear but contains special absorbent technology in the gusset to absorb your menstrual flow.
That means, you can bleed straight into the period underwear, without needing to use any other product like a pad or tampon.
The absorbent technology is designed to wick away moisture, kill bacteria and smells, and keep you feeling fresh and dry.
Period underwear is reusable, so after wear they can be rinsed, washed and dried, ready to use again and again (and again).
Depending on the manufacturer’s guidelines and how well they are cared for, period underwear can be worn and reused for 2 or more years.
How Does Period Underwear Work?
Although there are a number of different period underwear brands available now, you should find most work in a similar way.
Designed with a multi-layer absorbent technology in the gusset (or crotch) of the underwear, period underwear absorbs the menstrual flow, wicking it away from the top layer to be absorbed into the middle layers. The bottom layer then adds additional protection to ensure no leaks escape to the outside.
Look for a period underwear brand that mentions their fabric is odour-fighting and antimicrobial.
After wear, period underwear is rinsed under cold water until the water runs clear.
Here is an example of how the period underwear absorbent layers work, from Bonds:
How Do You Wash Period Underwear?
Washing period underwear is actually quite simple. There are three easy steps, which I have outlined below. But I have also written a detailed post about how to wash period underwear here, so I highly recommend you read that too.
These are the three easy steps to wash period underwear:
Step 1: After wearing period underwear, take them off and rinse under cold running water until the water runs clear;
Step 2: After rinsing, put them in with your next cold machine wash load. Yes, they can be washed with other clothes. Don’t use any fabric softeners or stain removers.
Step 3: Hang to dry. If you have sun, hang them in the sun for an extra sun-kissed freshness. Do not tumble dry as this can cause the absorbent technology to break down.
You might have other questions about washing period underwear, you will find the answers in my detailed post about washing period underwear here.
Does Period Underwear Really Work?
Yes! Period underwear really does work. I am a devoted period underwear wearer myself (read: I’m period underwear obsessed) but there are also thousands of period underwear reviews online that support just how good period underwear really is.
Some common themes you will find in the reviews of period underwear are quotes like this:
“Best invention ever!”
“Those pants changed my life literally! No more stress, no hassle”
“Gamechanger!” “Didn’t leak”
“I will never go back to pads” “I’m converted”
“Wow they actually work!”
How Often Does Period Underwear Need to be Changed?
How often you will need to change your period underwear will depend on what absorbency level the period underwear is and how heavy your flow is.
If you wear a pair of period underwear that is absorbent enough for your flow, then you may be able to wear one pair all day.
There are heavy to overnight absorbency that I wear all night and wake up feeling fresh and dry.
How Absorbent is Period Underwear?
Most period underwear brands will have a range of different absorbencies.
Modibodi for example have a great range from Super Light, which can hold up to 1 tampons worth, all the way through to Maxi 24 Hours, which can hold up to 10 tampons worth (Yes, TEN!!). This is the most absorbent on the market as far as I am aware.
I have summarised below the different absorbency levels available in the Modibodi Period Underwear collection and how much each can hold in mililitres and tampon equivalent.
|Super Light||5ml / 1 tampon||View Range|
|Light – Moderate||10ml / 2 tampons||View Range|
|Moderate – Heavy||15ml / 2 – 3 tampons||View Range|
|Heavy – Overnight||20ml / 4 – 4 tampons||View Range|
|Maxi 24 hrs||50ml / 10 tampons||View Range|
The Final Wrap on Period Underwear
In my opinion, period underwear is a great addition to any underwear drawer. You can go all in and use them to fully replace all other period products. Or you can use them in conjunction with other period products. The choice is yours.
Either way, they’re super useful and one of my favourite products for a better period.
If you’re already using period underwear let me know how you’re finding them in the comments below!
If you want to give them a go, I recommend trying out Modibodi. Modibodi are a leading brand of period underwear, available worldwide available and they usually always have a discount available on their products. Period underwear is not super cheap, so be sure to click this link to find out what Modibodi discount codes are available before you make your purchase. You won’t be disappointed with their products!
The Better Period
Ellie Heasman is a period blogger and founder of The Better Period. Ellie helps people on their journey to a better period through introducing them to the world of menstrual cups and period underwear, and sharing knowledge about the menstrual cycle and fertility awareness. You can join in the better period conversations on Instagram @thebetterperiod_ or find out more about Ellie here.