Remember when we were just making choices between tampons and pads? And comfort-wise and in the interest of discretion, it was a no-brainer. We don’t miss those days. Now, we have a lot of better options for period care we don’t have to insert into our bodies, but are still discreet and comfortable. Best of all, these new solutions are much more sustainable. So, how do we know which to use now that both have so many benefits? We’re going to break it down into 4 criteria: Comfort, Usability, Washing and Lifestyle. Let’s get into it.
Comfort: Which is more comfortable?
Both period underwear and cloth pads seem like pretty comfy options. And generally speaking, both are. Cloth pads button to lock in place (so no sticky backing that you have to awkwardly rip off and replace,) and period underwear are shaped to your body so both options are a win in that regard. However, cloth pads do have one extra requirement that you don’t have to deal with when using period undies: you have to find the right underwear for them. Most of us know that feeling of having a pad in the wrong underwear – and it’s not a good one. For all the amazing differences reusable pads bring to the table, this is one thing that remains the same. The bonus of period underwear: they’re underwear made for your period. That protection isn’t going anywhere.
Usability: Which is easier to use?
Both are pretty easy to use. Slip on and go for up to 8 hours, depending on your flow. In our opinion, period panties win out here again due to ease of use. Especially when you’re out and about. If you’re out at dinner and notice your pad is full, not only do you need to have a fresh reusable pad with you, but you need to hold onto your used one to take home and wash later. Now, a lot of reusable pads come with cases to put this in to prevent any smell from leaking out, but there’s still the issue of carrying a used pad around in your purse. Of course, this issue could just as easily happen with period panties, but that’s why we recommend disposable (and biodegradable) period underwear. It’s the win/win solution of ease and sustainability.
Washing: Which is easier to clean?
A lot of cloth pad brands require you to soak your pad overnight before throwing in a hot wash cycle. Not all cloth-pad owners do this and it’s not 100% necessary for use, but it is recommended to keep your pads in their best and most sanitary shape. Unfortunately, a lot of period underwear isn’t any easier to wash. You have to rinse out the blood until you get clear running water and then wash your underwear in a special bag. Or you can go disposable and throw out your period underwear after use. But is that sustainable? It is if you go with a biodegradable panty. In fact, a lot of reusable period panties are made of materials like Nylon and Spandex, so when you do eventually throw them away for a new pair, they won’t biodegrade. The lesson to glean from this is that we can’t be perfect in our sustainability. Reusing is obviously sustainable, but then when you do get rid of them, they aren’t going to safely break down into our earth. That’s why we recommend going disposable. It’s easier and made to break down safely.
Lifestyle: Which is easier to do life in?
At this point, I’m sure you’re sensing a theme: we’re team period underwear. But we can’t lie, they’re just more convenient. Of course, there’s room for all kinds of period care in your life. Maybe you prefer to sleep in your Pretty Panty, but work from home in your cloth pad. Do what’s best for you. When compared side-to-side, we find period underwear to be an overall easier lifestyle choice – especially when they’re disposable. Slide them on in the morning or before bed, live your life and dispose of knowing the earth won’t be worse off for it. Don’t worry about a rigorous washing routine, coverage sliding around during your workout or finding the right underwear to fit your period products. There’s a solution to all of that: disposable period panties.