Best Time Underwear, Cups, Pads & Products (2022)

When one afternoon I read in fourth grade, the girls were pushed away to watch a video about periods, pads and tampons. My public education about menstruation began and ended — a secret discussion that boys can’t keep secret. From that moment on it became ingrained in us that your menstruation is somehow embarrassing.

Of course not, and some of us at WIRED have talked at length about our period flow and habits. Long before pads and tampons became available, people would simply bleed into their clothes or use homemade flannel cloths if the flow was particularly heavy. Women often stuff the rags which are then washed and then reused (hence the phrase “stay on the rag”).

Now there are period underwear, monthly cups, reusable pads, applicator-less tampons for less waste, and even a subscription service to deliver products to your door every month. We’ve tested the best budget- and eco-friendly alternative methods, as well as a bunch of new products to make that time of month more comfortable. This is our favorite.

Updated January 2022: We’ve added more period underwear and monthly cups of our choice. We’ve added more information and updated prices across.

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Senior Associate Editor Adrian Soe and reviewer Lorraine Stramp also reviewed and contributed to this guide.

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Table of contents

Period underwear (and workout bottom)

Excluding your usual menstrual products can be scary, but if you want to change your routine, Period Underwear is a great place to start — I totally dropped the tampon and there were no leaks. It absorbs blood without feeling damp and it should not be transferred to your clothes if you wear the right absorption level. You can also wear them for mild incontinence, regular discharge, postpartum bleeding or sweating. There are even leakproof thongs and cute, lacy options.

Most period underwear isn’t cheap, but you can save money in the long run without having to stock up on so many tampons or pads. Start with a pair to see which style you like; Finally, you can get enough to finish your whole cycle. Period underwear is rated for absorption levels. Some brands express them with a teaspoon of liquid or compare them to the number of tampons they have replaced. We have mentioned them here.

Our favorite pair

Of all the period underwear in my dresser drawer, I arrive first for the Knicks ($ 23- $ 38). The nylon pairs are so silky smooth and cool, like you’re wearing fancy scissors, and they don’t dig anywhere. If you like cotton, the brand has them too. Even super-absorbent pairs don’t feel fat – they don’t even feel like a pad. I wear Dream Shorts ($ 38) to bed regularly, even when I’m not menstruating.

The brand has four absorption levels: light (1 teaspoon), medium (3 teaspoons), high (4-6 teaspoons depending on style), and super (8 teaspoons). There is also a postpartum collection and teen period kit.

The best budget pair

All Period Company standard underwear costs only $ 12 (boxers $ 22 and slipper shorts $ 24). For this price, you can spend your entire week almost without spending as much on the other brands on this list.

I have tried the heavier absorbent version which contains nine tampons worth of liquid, which is the densest of any pair I have tried. These may not sound weird, but if you wear them under tight clothing it will probably be uncomfortable (and look a bit funny). I love them for sleeping on my heavy days. There is a sporty line that has the same absorption capacity but is made of stretcher, a moisture-repellent fabric for sweat. There are also lighter versions made with a lower level of absorption, and those that are thinner and junior around.

More brands we like

I’ve tried a ton of underwear from different eras now and are confident there is something for everyone.

  • Modibodi ($ 19- $ 45) The brands I try have the most style and level of exploitation. Super light (half to full tampons), medium-heavy (2-3 tampons), maxi 24 hours (10 tampons) and level in between, you can find exactly what you need for each day of your period. It has isolated, maternity, swimsuit and active options.
  • Salt ($ 29- $ 39) Underwear is made up of three post-consumer recycled water bottles. It absorbs only two layers, light (1-2 light tampons) and regular to high (2-3 regular tampons), but the styles are beautiful with mesh and lace options. I recommend using other brands for your heavy day.
  • Bambody ($ 12- $ 19) There are also only two levels of absorption িক leakproof (for spotting or super light days) and absorbent (2 tampons) কbut with the above period company it is one of the more affordable options.
  • Evidence ($ 25- $ 43) There are more basic styles with four levels of absorption: light (1 tampon), medium (3 tampons), heavy (4 tampons), and super heavy (5 tampons).
  • Pure Rosy ($ 29- $ 32) Offers only three styles and one level of absorption (up to 2 light tampons), but they’re nice and have some lacy accents. The company says more options are coming in the spring of 2022. The company works with the DARE Women’s Foundation to provide her underwear to young Tanzanian girls, as well as food and water for the underprivileged community.
  • Cora ($ 30) There is only one style and level of absorption, so I hope the company will expand. But if you are buying the warming period balm mentioned below and want to try some underwear, then they are beautiful.
  • Adidas period-proof Shorts ($ 45) And Tights ($ 65) Expensive, but these are made with built-in period underwear. The brand recommends wearing these in addition to a tampon, pad or cup for extra protection, especially if you’re going to the gym or exercise for a while, but I’ve found it to be quite absorbent without anything else. The bike shorts I tried ($ 45) are still available from Nordstrom, at least for now (these are not available on the Adidas site).

Tampons and pads need to be changed frequently and are not great for the environment এ they are discarded after a few hours. Menstrual cups, however, are reusable, long-lasting silicone cups that hold blood and prevent leakage. Buy it once and it should last for several years. There is a learning curve, so try it on a day when you are at home and you may have to try a few before finding your perfect one.

To use a menstrual cup, you need to fold it (there are several ways to do this) and insert it into your vagina. Feel around to make sure it is fully exposed and creates a seal. When you’re ready to pull it out, pinch the base of the cup slightly to break the seal – it’s a weird feeling, but don’t worry, it shouldn’t feel like it’s being torn. Depending on your flow, most monthly cups can last for 12 hours, so you can go to the whole workday without emptying it in a public bathroom. This is a great resource to help you decide which cup might be best. YouTuber RawBeautyKristi also offers some great tips on his experience using a monthly cup.

Our favorite cup

I appreciate and see the professionals in all the cups I’ve tried for this guide, but I always like the other options. They don’t hurt, but I was very aware that I was using one until I tried the Lily Cup. Once it got in, I forgot it was there. I even slept comfortably in it.

The secret is its size and shape. It is angular, thinner and softer than most standard cups, so it folds shorter and feels more natural. If you’ve never used a cup, or like me, don’t get one of your favorites, give it a try. Like most cups available, there is one for those who have not given birth vaginally and for those who have given birth.

The most optional

If the Lily Cup doesn’t appeal to you or you need more options, the Meluna section is popular. There are different sizes, levels of firmness and type of stem to choose from and the company offers helpful tips to find the right fit.

A kit with a steamer to sanitize the cup is available ($ 56). Most people boil them to sanitize, but if you live somewhere where you don’t want to boil your period cups in the communal kitchen, this is a great idea.

We like monthly discs

Photo: Nixit

I think most people would like Lily, but there is no one-size-fits-all product for the period. There are more options available that we also like and mostly cheaper.

  • The Nixit Disc ($ 42) A shallow kind of cup, but otherwise, it works the same way. Wired reviewer Lauren Stramp has tested it and says it’s a good option if you dislike the feeling of sucking after removing traditional menstrual cups. Menstrual discs go further back into the vagina, which means you can have penetrating sex while using them.
  • Flex Disk (এর 11 for 8) And SoftDisks (জন্য 11 for 14) We’ve tried a few of them in the disposable version of the Nixit disk above and in the wired. If you hate regular monthly cups but never try a disc, you can get started here and then get a nixit if you decide you want a reusable alternative. There is a reusable version of Flex ($ 35) that we haven’t tried . These also work for no-mess period sex.

For some reason, the thought of a reusable pad seemed a little harder to wrap around my head than period underwear, but they’re basically the same thing. Adrian, Wired’s senior associate editor, therefore examined the following and said that they were all well-made and even intelligent. Their wings flutter instead of sticking around your underwear and depending on what you’re buying, there may be little pockets for extra insertion.

The idea of ​​carrying around a bloody used pad is uh, a little weird. But you can either use them when you’re at home or choose a dedicated carrying bag — our favorite pad, the Gladrags, has a few options for you to try. For home storage, you may want to get a small sealed bin where you can soak the pad in cold water and wash it off completely at the end of the day, or at least wash it off enough so that it can sit until you are ready. To do a load of laundry.

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