Which Period Undies Are Best
We recruited 56 CHOICE staff and supporters to each trial two or three different brands of period undies.
Each volunteer trialled two pairs for each brand one for daytime and a different pair for overnight . For more information, see how we test.
All 10 of the period underwear products we trialled generally performed well, and we’ve recommended those that achieved a CHOICE score of 70% or more.
The CHOICE score is made up of:
- Triallist overall score
- Ease of use .
The products are listed below from highest to lowest CHOICE score. For a full breakdown of each product’s performance, features and more see our period undies review.
- Overall comfort: 74%
- Ease of use: 77%.
Worn by triallists in the daytime, these briefs had the highest no-leakage score out of 34 triallists, only one reported a leak, and it was a small one at that. These also rated highest for performance, ease of use and ease of washing, and equal second highest for absorbency.
Some participants liked the material and style of the undies, commenting: “this soft, stretchy-silky material feels really luxurious and comfortable ” and “wasn’t bulky, felt like I was wearing regular underwear”.
But they had the equal second lowest score for fit, with some commenting that they found the sizing quite tight: “The sizing and cut of the pants weren’t particularly comfortable. They were extremely tight on the first wear, although they do stretch out.”
But they did score second highest for odour control.
How We Studied Period Underwear
For our study, we enlisted two groups of participants to tell us about their experience and score their brand of period underwear. We evaluated five brands: Dear Kate, Knix, Modibodi, Thinx, and TomboyX.
The first group of participants included 32 people who own period underwear and were currently using at least one of the brands we studied. These participants scored their underwear on a variety of factors including comfort, dryness and absorbency, and breathability. They also shared their experiences with respect to the convenience of the underwear, their typical usage, and more.
The second group included 17 people who said they were interested in trying period underwear but hadnt yet. They shared their impressions after exploring the websites of the five brands we evaluated.
The overall study included both women and nonbinary people. We found it harder to recruit nonbinary people who were current owners of period underwear, so there were more nonbinary people in our group of prospective users than experienced users. The two groups included people who identified as White, Black, Hispanic/Latino, Asian/Pacific Islander, and Mixed Ethnicity, and they ranged in age from 21 to 49.
CR did not test any period underwear in our labs, so we cant verify the brands or participants claims about the absorbency or lifespan of their products.
Tips For How To Sew Underwear
Underwear may be slightly more simple than bra making when it comes to lingerie design, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t tips and tricks to help you! This list of ideas for sewing underwear is perfect for those new to sewing and lingerie design.
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How To Buy The Best Period Underwear
Overall, for every pair of period underwear we trialled, there were participants who disliked, liked or loved them. So choosing the perfect period underwear for you may come down to a personal journey of trial and error of different brands and absorbency levels.
But there are some general things you may want to keep in mind.
Standalone vs backup
Consider whether you want to use the underpants alone as your menstrual protection in conjunction with a tampon or menstrual cup or on those days when you’re not sure exactly when your period will start. If you intend to use them in the latter two scenarios, you may only need a ‘light’ to ‘moderate’ flow pair.
Your period may be light, moderate, heavy or varied most brands offer a wide range of absorbencies to match. Generally, the options start from light or very light all the way through to heavy or overnight .
But different brands measure one tampon’s worth differently, which makes it trickier to compare products. Most brands offer comparisons to other menstrual products, such as pads or menstrual cups, to help you get an idea of absorbency. If in doubt, you may want to choose a heavier absorbency, or carry a tampon, pad or cup with you as backup.
You may want a longer gusset for added protection when wearing overnight or for heavier flow days. But this will also make the underpants feel a little bulkier.
How many pairs will I need?
How To Make Your Own Reusable Period Underwear
There are lots of materials out there that can be used for period underwear. The three main elements for the gusset, the piece that sits at the bottom, are:
- Top layer: This goes against the skin, so its best to go for a cotton jersey material. Youll also want to choose a darker color for this so you dont get obvious stains.
- Inner layer: The business layer! There are lots of different options for this and it depends on how absorbent you need it to be. Some people opt for natural fibers e.g. layers of quilted bamboo jersey/wadding. Or you can go for something like Zorb, a specialist fabric made to absorb lots of liquid, and quickly! This is often used in reusable nappies for babies.
- Outer layer: This is the waterproof layer that will sit on the outside against your clothes, which is why you need it to be waterproof! Again, theres lots of options for these, but most are polyurethane covered.
Now, thats a lot of layers, and its completely up to you what you use, but I wanted something that wasnt too bulky to wear under my clothes and also fuss free to sew up.
I went with the Zorb 4D Organic cotton dimple fabric which has all three of those layers already built in . The fabric is thick so be sure to test your machine with itI found my serger was happy to stitch through it but did not want to be cut with the blade.
Anyway, enough about fabrics and onto the pattern hacking!
1. Mark the Stitch Lines
2. Tape the Pattern
3. Draft a Custom Gusset Piece
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Choose A Leakproof Layer
In combination with an absorbent layer, a leakproof layer will keep you dry. Polyurethane laminateor PULfabrics are leakproof and often used for waterproof sewing. There are many different PUL-backed fabrics, such as terry cloth, but we used a lightweight nylon PUL in our samples. In the Flo instructions, we refer to the slick or shiny side of the fabric as the wrong side.
Best For Teens: Thinx Btwn Teen Period Underwear
Starting your cycle can be daunting at first, but with the help of Thinx BTWN Teen Period Underwear, teens can feel comfortable and secure. These period undies are specifically designed for developing bodies, so they come in smaller proportions for a perfect fit and to prevent leakage.
The teen period underwear comes in a range of colors and styles, including bikini, briefs and boyshorts. Each pair is made with organic cotton and can hold the equivalent of four to five tampons. Machine washable, tagless and odor-controlled, these period undies will provide reliable yet comfortable protection to make sure your teen is always prepared.
Customer Rating: 4.6 out of 5 stars with about 800 Amazon ratings
Standout Review: “My daughter is 12 and started her period a few months ago. She is also a competitive cheerleader, and wearing a thick pad wasn’t really an option. She wasn’t comfortable wearing a tampon I bought these, and my daughter said they fit so nice, are comfortable and it doesn’t feel like she is wearing a ‘diaper.'” N. Coombs via Amazon
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How Do Period Panties Work
Period panties guard against leaks either by offering extra absorbency, a waterproof layer or both. Some also have stretchy material that provides mild compression to help with cramps. Others have pockets where you can add a heatpack to soothe cramps. Most period panties are meant to give you peace of mind as back up against accidental leaks during your period. A few brands are designed to be worn in place of pads or tampons entirely. Check out our full article on how period panties work!
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carolinebelfon 746 4379
cosabella2031 5523 740
Thanks for sharing such an informative post! I love to collect stylish lingerie and I am having an amazing collection of Cosabella Italian lingerie. This is really a helpful post and I will keep it in mind. Nowadays, lingerie is available online but are expensive too. I just worried about the fabric and stuff of the lingerie otherwise everyone can make it good.
Crafty lady 007
Thanks for the tutorials. It is frustrating to see 5-7 pair of underwear for $25 or $45 for a bra considering how little fabric it takes to make and where they are made. I have both a serger and cover stitch machines. Both would be a plus in this application. The hard part is finding suitable fabrics. Any suggestions on where to get underwear cotton?
vanessaanissa 2768 421
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Best For Heavy Flows And Lounging
Bambody’s absorbent underwear is designed for both periods and postpartum. The full-coverage briefs I tried are made from bamboo, which made them so soft. I highly recommend this style for lounging when you just want to be comfortable, which is not always easy during your period.
This underwear also impressed me on price, with some styles coming in at nearly half the cost of other period underwear I tested without any sacrifice in quality or absorbency.
As a heads up, this bamboo fabric underwear ran small for me, so size up when ordering. Bambody says on its packaging that if you expect to have a heavy flow, you’ll want to use additional “sanitary wear” aka pads, tampons or a menstrual cup. However, you might not need them.
Advertised absorbency: Two regular tampons .
Test results: Despite the label warning me to use additional protection for a heavy flow, the Bambody briefs were a standout in the water test. They did a great job of absorbing the water right where I poured it, rather than flooding the entire gusset. That means you’ll likely feel much more dry wearing these than the others on this list, especially if you have a heavy flow.
Size range: XXS to 6XL
Price range: $14 to $39
How To Sew A Bra
When sewing lingerie, it can be very difficult to learn how to sew a bra. This particular type of lingerie is very complicated. This is why this list focuses on how to fix a bra you already own. Whether the bra has never fit quite right or the strap broke, these how to sew bra ideas will help you make a flawed bra your favorite undergarment.
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Sew Your Own Period Underwear
This is the first of a series of posts that I will besharing on sewing your own period underwear. Its a bit of a whopper!
Warning:this post contains frank and personal discussionsabout periods. Please feel free to scroll away if this you are not a fan ofTMI.
TMI intro what has led me to make my own periodunderwear
Periods and I have had a difficult relationship, even thoughweve muddled through together for nearly two decades. I used to absolutelydread it, because I would be curled up into a ball and drugged up for a day ortwo each month due to deliberating cramps. It was always an embarrassing thingto explain to my managers and colleagues as well. Now, after baby, my crampshave eased but Ive swapped them for hormonal migraines. Thejoy!
I could never get on with tampons at all, so have been a paduser for the majority of the time. I started using a menstrual cup a few yearsago, and after a dodgy start , Ive grown really fond of it. It has transformed my sleep, my exercise and made mefeel a lot better about sending less disposable products to landfill. I alsoenjoyed learning about my flow as well. However, on most days and at nighttime, I still used a pad as back-up for fear of leakage .
What Exactly Is Period Underwear
Period underwear are undergarments intended for you to wear during your period to take the place of disposable protection products like tampons or pads â although some women prefer to rely on period underwear only during lighter flow days, using them as backup during heavier flow days. Constructed to look and feel like regular underwear , period panties are made with extra layers and special fabrics in the crotch area to absorb menstrual blood. Wash them, re-wear them, and wash them again â these are a reusable option all cycle long.
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Make A Period Panty Pattern
There dont yet seem to be any free period-panty patterns available online, so youll have to make your own by tracing a favorite pair, or you can use a free pattern for regular panties as a starting point. If you screw up, remember that they dont use a whole lot of fabric, so you wont be out too much money.
One DIY period panty maker drew up her own pattern based on looking at pair of THINX she owned as well as some of her regular underwear that fit her well. Her finished product is actually pretty cute. What do you think?