Tips to Switch to Reusable Sanitary Products Plus Reviews on Specific Brands
We switched to reusable period underwear and menstrual cups years ago. When my kids started needing something they absolutely hated regular pads and much preferred period undies.
So I bought enough pairs for them and they feel so much more confident and happy with period underwear than any other options.
Personally, I have been using a menstrual cup as well which was so useful especially when travelling through countries such as the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu. I was conscious about leaving rubbish behind due to how small the countries are and also, found the cup way better when hiking and doing other activities I enjoy.
Reasons to use Period Underwear and Menstrual Cups
If you are thinking of making the switch but are unsure or have any questions, hopefully, this will clear things up. The following is based on our experience and that of some people I know.
This was the biggest factor for my kids and I can honestly say, I find period underwear much more comfortable than regular pads. Other than being a little thicker in part, they are just like regular underwear.
I use a cup mostly and prefer it as it is easy, long-lasting and I simply hated the feel of regular pads and tampons. My kids haven’t used a cup and don’t want to.
For all of us, when it comes to our lifestyle of travel, hiking, diving, sports and activities, period underwear and for me, the menstrual cup, was more comfortable, easier to move in and we didn’t have any leakage issues etc. We have had issues with regular, disposable pads and tampons before though.
The initial cost of buying period underwear puts some people off but it often goes on sale. And think about it, since you wash them, you don’t need heaps of pairs.
Many women use one for heavier flow overnight, then during the day 2 to 3 pairs. It depends on your flow and what you are comfortable with. 7 to 10 pairs suits most people I know.
When purchased on sale, we spent $10 to $15 per pair and we have 7 pairs each. A menstrual cup can be bought on sale for around $20 too.
Studies show pads and tampons cost around $10,000 over a woman’s lifetime or $250 per year. Our period underwear was approx $100 each and has lasted 3 years so far. If cared for properly, they are supposed to last 2 years. Sometimes the elastic might wear but that is the only issue we’ve had and that was with 1 brand.
This is one of the main reasons people switch, sustainability. Instead of sending packs of pads and tampons to landfill every month, we purchased underwear once and have used it for a few years.
Teenagers can be brutal. Period underwear has been more discrete for my kids and resulted in guys never knowing and therefore not teasing about their period. Other girls in their class have to endure horrid comments and behaviour from boys when they suspect a girl is on her period.
The girls have to discretely take pads etc to the bathroom and some felt pads were too obvious but tampons were uncomfortable. Period underwear removed all those issues for my kids.
They are much more comfortable, feel no one knows when they are having their period and as sporty kids, they feel more comfortable and confident doing sports.
FAQ’s about Period Underwear
Over the years, I’ve had various questions about period underwear and menstrual cups. Here are some common ones.
How Long do They Last?
Period underwear can last 2 to 3 years if cared for properly.
Menstrual cups are designed to last up to 10 years.
What if They Smell?
If properly cared for, washed properly after use and dried, this doesn’t become an issue. Soaking them in vinegar and water will help if you run into this issue though. Vinegar and water are great for other smells you find difficult to remove from clothes in general (e.g. body odour from footy gear…)
What Styles are There?
When it comes to period underwear there are various styles from g-strings (although we have never used those) to full brief and swimmers. You have quite a selection to choose from.
For menstrual cups, there are different sizes and the tab at the end can be trimmed to suit your comfort level.
How Often Should you Change Period Underwear?
Every 4 to 6 hours or as needed if your flow is heavier. You can wear one pair overnight (which is what we do). You should not be wearing the one pair all day as that is unhygienic.
Menstrual cups can be worn for up to 12 hours, depending on your flow.
Isn’t it Gross?
Changing period underwear isn’t any different to changing your regular underwear unless it’s been heavy then you need to be a little more careful taking it off. In general, no, it’s not gross. It’s a natural thing your body does, be hygienic and smart about it the same as your regular period.
Menstrual cups can be a little trickier. It might take a while to get used to inserting it correctly to seal properly so sometimes you will get leakage.
Taking it out requires a little practice too but once you are used to it, it’s easy. You wash your hands and it’s not much different to a tampon.
How do you Swim?
Period swimmers are preferable as period underwear will leak. In general, I use a menstrual cup when in the water as I prefer that.
Which Brands are Best?
Many girls I know prefer Bonds since most grow up wearing Bonds or similar and it is an easy transition for teens/preteens. I personally prefer Love Luna, a few friends like ModiBodi better. There are reviews on various brands below.
I don’t know what brand my cup is so can’t include them in the review. However, friends who have started using the cup because of me got theirs from Woolworths.
Bonds – Our Favourite
Bonds have a great range easily available in supermarkets plus often go on sale for 25% off. You can also select from heavy or light flow and full brief or bikini.
They have been the favourite among teens and many women I know by far. They are just like Bonds underwear but with some padding in the crotch. Soft, comfortable, same sizing as regular Bonds, available in Woolworths etc. All those things make them quite popular.
Plus, they are absorbent, we haven’t had any issues with smell or leaking either.
Love Luna – Super Soft and Comfy
Love Luna is also available at supermarkets. The fabric is softer and silkier than the cotton bonds which I prefer as it is more like my other underwear. My kids did not like the silky feel and preferred the cotton feel of Bonds.
Sizing was accurate for us, they are absorbent although Bonds did feel a little more absorbent.
Toms – Tighter than Others
Personally, we didn’t like Toms. While they did have the same cotton feel as Bonds, the fit was all wrong and the padding uncomfortable compared to all the other brands we have tried.
They are absorbent but my girls refused them and I only wear my pair if I absolutely have to.
ModiBodi – Decent and Larger Selection
The period underwear brand most people think of first is ModiBodi usually. They have mixed reviews from my friends and family. It seems they were much better quality when they first came out, went through a rough patch a couple of years ago and have come good again.
A few people I know had issues with stitching and things coming undone after only a couple of wears and being cared for as per the instructions. Customer service was rude and unhelpful with it.
They have the widest range and also sell incontinence underwear. If you are looking for size 14+ ModiBodi is your option. The other brands I have only seen 8 – 14 which is ridiculous considering the average size of women.
How to Make the Switch
We started with 1 pair each to see how we felt then bought more because we found we preferred them. This is the easiest option for most people because buying the packs is a significant outlay for something you aren’t sure about. Grab a pair and try them next time you need them.
Have you made the switch? What do you think of period underwear?
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