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best-period-panties: Periodaisle

I’ve Tried Tons of Period Panties—These Are the 6 That Don’t Leak

Peace out, pads and tampons.
By Emily Cieslak
March 26, 2021
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Like any woman with a period, I have a love-hate relationship with pads and tampons. Not only are they absolutely horrible for the environment, they're also prone to leakage and can give you toxic shock syndrome or uterine tract infections if you don't keep on top of them. 

Enter period panties, an invention that sounds grosser than it really is. For those unfamiliar, period panties are underwear designed to absorb menstruation without a pad or tampon (though you can wear them as backup too). The absorbent layer is built right into the panty and comes in a range of absorbances. Like regular undies, they vary in silhouettes, colors, and materials and are meant to be washed and worn again. 

Mind-blowing, right? Even though I've known about period panties for a while, I've been too lazy (and a bit hesitant, TBH) to try them. But when I found myself spending all day at home during the pandemic without free menstrual products in the bathroom (oh, how I miss the perks of office life), I figured it's now or never. So I ordered a few pairs and tested them out through two cycles. 

First, let's get the obvious out of the way: Period panties don't look like diapers. Actually, they look and feel way better than slapping on a pad—because the "pad part" is built into the fabric, they are less bulky and much softer. This also makes them a great option for anyone suffering with discharge or bladder leakage.

I also found period panties to last much longer than pads or tampons (they hold a few tampons' worth of liquid), so I didn't have to change them out nearly as often. This made my time of the month feel integrated with my life, rather than an interruption that requires me to run to the bathroom every few hours for fear of bacterial infection. 

Depending on your flow level, most brands offer options that last 24 hours so you can wear them all day worry-free (just make sure to take them off at the end of the day). Once your underwear is full, simply rinse it in the sink, throw into the laundry machine, and let it air-dry. If for some reason you need to change it while you're away from home, many places also sell separate pouches to stow used pairs.

The brands I tried ranged from around $15 to $50 per pair and are built to last for a couple years. Compared to spending the estimated $13.25 per month on menstrual products or $6,360 in an average lifetime, that's a steal. 

And the best part? There's way less waste. According to the book Flow: The Cultural History of Menstruation, the average woman throws away up to 300 pounds of feminine hygiene related products (that's approximately 11,000 disposable pads and/or tampons) in a lifetime. Multiply that number by everyone on this planet that gets her period and that equals a substantial amount of waste. The worst part is that the plastic applicators and lining on pads/tampons can take centuries to decompose and end up sitting on beaches and landfills. Unlike disposable period products, period panties are hands-down the sustainable option.

But let's be real—despite the financial and environmental benefits, none of us are going to wear period panties if they don't feel and look good. So, I did the testing part for you and found the best ones for leak-proof protection and all-day comfort. Below, the period panties that I found to be tried and true.

period-panties-Modibodi Sensual Hi-Waist Bikini

1
Modibodi Sensual Hi-Waist Bikini

$26, modibodi.com

Out of all the brands I tried, Modibodi was my favorite. The bamboo blend was so soft on my bum and the merino wool lining felt like a dream. With so many styles and absorbances, including a vegan blend and swimwear and activewear lines, you can tell this brand is keen on providing the best fit for your unique body and needs. My favorite was the high-waisted bikini with a touch of lace for sweetness.

period-panties-Pure Rosey Lacy V Bikini

2
Pure Rosy Lacy V Bikini

$31, purerosy.com

I honestly forgot I was wearing a period panty when I wore Pure Rosy’s ultra-thin bikini. Laser cut edges and a lacy band lend a seamless look. Plus, it was perfect for those first and last days when my period could stop or start at any moment. In addition to the one I tried, the brand also sells a hipster and lacy brief version, as well as a zip pouch to hold extra pairs to change into. 

period-panties-Thinx Sport

3
Thinx Sport

$32, nordstrom.com

As one of the veterans in the period panty industry, Thinx has one of the most extensive range of styles, including lines for teens and bladder leaks. I enjoyed the more unique styles, like the sleek sport cut and the super light mesh airBikini. The brand also recently launched Thinx for All at Target, making their best-selling styles extra accessible.

period-panties-Bambody Leak Proof Bikini

4
Bambody Leak Proof Bikini

$9, amazon.com

If you are on the fence about period panties, Bambody is an affordable option to test the waters. Don’t let the cheap price tag fool you—this brand was actually one of my favorites in terms of look and feel. It may seem impossible but I actually felt sexy while donning the leakproof bikini thanks to the pretty lacy band. I also loved how the leak proof layer extended all over the butt, adding extra protection at night and preventing any uncomfortable crinkling. 

period-panties-Dear Kate Ada Hipster Mini

5
Dear Kate Ada Hipster

$38, dearkates.com

As a diehard bikini wearer, I was a little disappointed that Dear Kate doesn’t offer a pair in that style, but I was impressed with the Ada Hipster that I tried in both mini and full. The style has a lacy band and a thin seam to prevent panty lines. Despite using three layers of fabric, the panties felt seamless and lightweight. 

period-panties-Aisle

6
Aisle

$40, periodaisle.com

Coming from the brand that makes reusable pads and cups, Aisle undies offer a sporty take on period panties. There’s no lace or floral prints here, just bright colors and a stretchy waistband. I tried the bikini style and appreciated how the panty was made from breathable cotton compared to synthetic blends from some of the other brands. The pair also came with a “booster” that you can slip inside for extra absorbency. I was worried it would feel bulky and awkward, but it actually laid flat and offered the extra protection I needed.