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Thanks to some seriously innovative companies, “period underwear” has taken on a whole new meaning. A term that used to mean the grungy, bottom-of-the-drawer underwear reserved for wear during your cycle has now evolved into something brilliant. Today’s period underwear (also called period panties) fit like regular undies, but are equipped with extra layers of fabric in the gusset that absorb menstrual blood so you can skip the tampon, pad or cup. That’s right: The best period underwear can be worn without any other period protection.
Modibodi makes period and leak-proof activewear in a huge range of styles and sizes.
If you’re new to period underwear, it can be a difficult concept to grasp, especially if you’ve been using traditional methods of period protection for years. But once you make the switch, you’ll never go back. Of course, you want to make sure you’re choosing the best period underwear to avoid any messy consequences. From cotton briefs to lacy thongs, these leakproof underwear will have you covered, from those “just in case” times to your heaviest flow days.
Knix was created with a goal of transforming an underwear market with “too much frill” into a line of intimates (and beyond) with function. Knix’s Leakproof line features period underwear in four different absorbency levels—light, medium, high and super. The underwear absorbs between one and eight teaspoons of menstrual blood, depending on which level you choose. For reference, a regular tampon holds about one teaspoon of blood.
You can choose from a range of styles, from a lacy thong to a high-rise brief. Or, in lieu of individual undies, you can also purchase period kits that include five pairs of underwear of varying absorbency levels (the options are light flow, heavy flow and mixed flow).
Australian brand Modibodi has every type of period underwear you can imagine. With eight different styles, from thong to boyshort, and six absorbency levels, from moisture-wicking to 24-hour protection, you’ll be covered so you can go with the flow (yes, that was a bad period joke). The super light period underwear holds 0.5 teaspoons, while the heavier flow options can handle up to four teaspoons.
Modibodi’s period underwear also have Modifier Air Technology, a moisture-wicking, odor-fighting lining that keeps you feeling—and smelling—fresh. In addition to period underwear, Modibodi also makes period leggings and running shorts, so you can feel extra protected when you’re active. The brand also has leak-proof lines for teens and men (who may be looking to avoid sweat and chafing or leaks post-op).
Saalt is a period-focused company that seeks to transform an industry where single-use disposable products, like pads and tampons, are the norm. Its period underwear line, officially called Saalt Wear, comes in five styles—hipster, mesh hipster, high-waist brief, thong and bikini—and two absorbency levels. Light flow holds about one teaspoon, while and regular/heavy flow holds about two to three teaspoons.
You can also build a custom period bundle, where you can mix and match three to seven products, including period underwear, cups and a pH-balanced cup wash, to purchase simultaneously and save up to 20%.
Thanks to social media, Thinx may be the most well-known brand of period underwear—and it’s one of the most versatile too. Thinx has a classic line that features nine underwear styles, including short, French cut and cheeky, as well as an organic cotton collection with four basic styles from light (which can hold 1.8 teaspoons of flow) to super (which can handle 9.1 teaspoons) absorbency.
The moisture-wicking layer in the gusset of each pair of underwear also has an application of antibacterial silver, which is commonly used in performance active wear and medical devices (it’s non-migratory, so it stays on the underwear and doesn’t affect your delicate pH). In addition to period underwear, Thinx also offers leggings, sleep shorts and leotards, among other leakproof apparel.
Proof was developed by three sisters on a mission to create expertly-constructed products that allow women to live—or at least go through their cycle—worry-free. The leakproof underwear line has eight styles, from everyday undies to a lace cheeky that makes you feel sexy and protected. The absorbency ranges from super light (meant to replace a panty liner) to super heavy (which can hold ten teaspoons of flow).
Depending on the style you choose, you get light, moderate or full coverage. The moderate coverage styles are ideal for everyday wear, while the fuller coverage options protect against leaks during sleep and exercise. The period underwear also wicks away sweat and protects against odors.