Let’s just start by saying that this isn’t going to be a “battle of the bands” or “who wore it best” article. There’s no way we will be pinning multiple women-owned businesses against each other. However, there is a lot of information out there about period underwear; where to get it, how to use it, if it's worth your money, etc. So we have decided to ask the questions, gather the information, and share it with you so that you can make the best decisions for yourself and your body. I will openly admit a slight bias, as both myself and Reya’s founder, Dallas, use period underwear regularly and love it. Although we can’t speak for which brand is best, we will happily sing from the rooftops about period underwear being an incredible, environmentally sustainable, and really freaking comfortable alternative to disposable period products.
What is period underwear?
While there are many brands and styles to choose from, the basis of the product typically remains the same. Most period underwear use some type of absorbent, washable material to trap your blood flow, in similar function to a disposable pad. With added layers to prevent leaking and moisture barriers to keep you feeling dry, they act as a wearable, reusable pad for menstruation.
Why use period underwear?
I love this question because the reasons are endless and specific to each user. First and foremost, any disposable products that you can replace with reusable products (this goes for any item in your life) is a step in the right direction for our environment. It is estimated that the average mensrutrator uses up to 15,000 pads or tampons in their lifetime (Cleveland Clinic). That is a lot of waste, and although there is no shame in choosing disposable products if that’s what is right for you, period underwear is a simple and sustainable swap if you’re looking to ease up on your environmental impact.
Another reason, backed by the same astronomical amount of disposable products people buy in their lifetime, is that period underwear is more cost effective over time. I will be the first one to admit that committing to a $30 pair of underwear is a hard sell - but if you use them consistently in lieu of disposables, you’re saving money in the long run.
Period Underwear Brand Breakdown
A brand well known for their inclusive marketing and exclusive high-end products (for reasonable prices), Knix is one of Canada’s largest female-owned companies who make period and leak proof underwear for adults, teens, and postpartum parents. Knix offers their period underwear in 20+ styles, with options for light, medium, heavy or super absorbency.
Branded proudly as a company that is building a healthier world through sustainable solutions to menstruation, Thinx is on a mission to be an innovative leader in creating comfortable products for all of life’s leaks. They offer casual, comfortable period underwear for a range of sizes, flows, and styles.
With accessibility at the forefront of their brand, Period.co is an American period underwear and menstrual education company who prides themselves on having affordable and accessible options. Not only is their period underwear more accessible for those with lower incomes, but they have also recently introduced period underwear products with adaptive velcro side fasteners for those with varying physical abilities.
Founded in Vancouver, Canada, Period Aisle underwear are made with a multi-layered leak proof lining and built to absorb at least four tampons worth of fluid. One of their shining innovations has been the offering of gender neutral and traditionally “masculine” styles to further inclusivity within their brand (because remember, not all girls get periods, and not all people who get periods are girls).
So, what should I get?
Here at Reya, we have plenty of team members who use and love period underwear each cycle, and recommend giving it a try if it's an option you haven’t yet explored. Finding the right pair for you can be tricky, with different sizes, material preferences, and flows to take into consideration. We can’t tell you what will work best for you, but we recommend digging deeper into the styles that you like and starting with one pair (although we are confident you will be hooked). Let’s also have a mini dance break to celebrate the fact that products like these are being made across the globe and are becoming more accessible each and every day. With more mainstream conversations about periods and big businesses making big changes to include sustainability into the conversations, we are happy to see this topic become less taboo.
I hope your time of the month comes with comfort and maybe some chocolate. In the meantime, maybe start adding to your cart.