What’s the (real) deal with period underwear?
By Lauryn Berry
Yes, yes it does sound scary, and too good to be true. Just normal underwear? No pads, or tampons, or menstrual cups needed? It’s good for the environment as it reduces massive amounts of waste and it’s the more economic choice? Might it be the perfect period solution for busy students on a budget? It can’t be true… can it?
According to Statista, it is estimated that people who menstruate in the UK use an average of twenty-five or more pads every month! This statistic is worrying, especially when considering the amount of non-recyclable plastic that is used in producing and packaging many period products.
We wanted to find out, so we tried two innovative brands of period underwear, Thinx and Modibodi. Here’s our review!
Thinx is an underwear company from the USA that offers a variety of models, with Thinx for period underwear, Thinx (BTWN) for teenage period underwear, and Speax for bladder leaks. Whatever your needs are, Thinx has you covered.
Thinx have a history of advocating for the end of period poverty, and take all groups and individuals into consideration when designing their product, students included!
Whether you’re a period underwear pro, or a newbie like me, Thinx will not let you down. Aside from neat and space-saving packaging, Thinx provides you with all the information and instructions you need (and if you’re still considering it, you can find out exactly how they work on their website).
Now onto what really matters… does period underwear really work?
Yes! Now, naturally, these companies would not exist if their products did not work, but Thinx really is as amazing as it promises they will be.
Thinx offers a variety of models, depending on your specific period needs, flow, and personal preference. They also provide underwear in sizes XXS-3X, making them a truly inclusive brand. We were lucky to get sent a pair of the Super Hiphugger model, which offers maximum absorbency, and is not only comfortable, but classy and stylish too.
What does it feel like? Well, it is almost as if a pad is built into the underwear, but without being bulky or uncomfortable. Thinx‘s period underwear molds to your body just as any pair of regular underwear, making it comfortable and easy to wear under different types of clothes.
Now, I must admit, it felt strange for the first hour or so, not because I was physically uncomfortable, but because I felt so comfortable that I was constantly expecting a period accident! Nonetheless, nothing happened, and Thinx followed through with their promise of keeping you clean, comfortable, and confident throughout a wear.
Once you’re done with a pair, all you need to do is rinse it thoroughly under cold water and then pop it in the washing machine for your next wash.
The Super Hiphugger sells for £29.08 on the Thinx website, but you can also find a variety of models at Selfridges. Now, as students, £30 for one pair of underwear might seem pricey. However, when you consider that this underwear will last you months, in opposition to other single-use period products, Thinx stands as the more sustainable and economic choice!
Modibodi is the UK’s biggest period underwear company, and they too offer an amazing variety of styles to satisfy all of our needs. Modibodi‘s underwear is both period and leak-proof, and includes swimwear as well as underwear!
Modibodi sent us two lovely pairs of underwear that demonstrate their range, with one Classic Full Brief and one Classic Bikini – which, respectively, have heavy-overnight and moderate-heavy absorbance.
Both models are light, comfortable, and feature vibrant designs which make them perfect for both daytime and nighttime wearing.
They don’t feel bulky at all, you can put them on in the morning and forget all about your period for a couple of hours!
We experienced no problems at all with Modibodi‘s underwear, and so they are highly recommended additions to your new period underwear collection! The instructions come on the back of their Eco-friendly paper packaging, and also on their website.
After wearing a pair, rinse them thoroughly under cold water, machine wash, and leave to dry for the next time!
Modibodi‘s prices vary, from around £25 to as low as £14, and you can also purchase packs of underwear so that you can use period underwear throughout your cycle, without having to compensate with traditional period products.
If you needed any more reasons to support this pioneering company, then you should know that Modibodi launched the #ThisTaxIsPants campaign that urges the government to cut the ‘period tax’ on period underwear!
Both Thinx and Modibodi are innovative, exciting, and ethical companies that want to support those of us who have periods, as well as make a positive impact on the environment.
So what’s the verdict?
Let’s review the benefits:
- Comfortable, effective, leak-proof and odor-controlling.
- Can be used as an extra back up for traditional period products.
- Elegant, available in many sizes and styles.
- Offer clear and detailed product care instructions.
- Are sustainable and re-usable.
The downside? There isn’t really one! If you find that using period underwear exclusively is too expensive, that’s okay. Just by using one or two pairs of period underwear per cycle, you are already saving money on products and reducing your overall waste.
Note: remember that as with any other period product, it’s important to follow instructions and ensure you’re not exceeding the advised wearing time!