Period pants, otherwise known as absorbent menstrual underwear, are a fantastic alternative to tampons, sanitary pads, and reusable cups. They're comfortable to wear, protect your body from the questionable chemicals found in many disposable products, and help the environment too by reducing waste.
In this article, we'll help you choose the best period pants for your menstrual flow and lifestyle. We've picked our ten favourite pairs from Amazon, eBay, John Lewis, and ASOS, ranking them according to value for money, absorbency, and comfort. Our reviews feature pants in all shapes and sizes from popular brands like Modibodi and Thinx - we hope you'll agree that they're bloody brilliant!
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Table of Contents
Deciding which absorbent knickers to buy can be difficult, as there are quite a few styles to choose from. In this section, we'll break your decision down into smaller chunks, so you can easily find the best pair for your needs.
First up, it's essential to think about the fabric your period pants are made from, as this will affect both your comfort level and the absorbency of the briefs. Below, we'll run through the benefits and drawbacks of materials that are commonly used for this type of underwear.
Synthetic materials like nylon, rayon, and polyamide are popular too. These are cheaper to produce than cotton but are just as long-lasting, even through regular hot washes.
Lastly, many of the products we've chosen to put in our ranking contain elastane and spandex. These stretchy fabrics are ideal for sporty types who still want to stay active while Aunt Flow is visiting. Definitely opt for pants featuring one of these fabrics if you plan to move around a lot - they give you the freedom to leap, wiggle, and bend!
Synthetic materials like polyester may also be layered together and used for the gusset part of the pants, as they're highly absorbent. Again though, they're sadly not waterproof so might not be suitable for everyone.
For minimal leaks, try pants with a crotch area that's treated with polyurethane laminate (PUL). This is basically a hyper-stretchy, waterproof fabric that will be sewn onto one side of the briefs, preventing any drips from getting through to your clothing.
Next, it's important to check how much liquid your period underwear can absorb. This all depends on your flow - if you tend to have a lighter period, then a pair of pants that can retain 1-2 tampons' worth of fluid should last you a whole day.
For heavier periods though, you should look for more absorbent knickers that can hold several tampons' worth of blood. Or, for added protection against leaks, consider using pads or tampons alongside your chosen pants.
Knickers with a medium waist usually come up to just below your belly button. They're a good everyday option, as they stay in place without rolling down and feel a bit less stifling than high-waisted briefs.
Low-waisted pants can be worn with sportswear or revealing outfits, protecting you from leaks while you're on the move without any fuss. You might find them a bit too low for wearing with tights or trousers though.
A multi-pack of period pants is always a good idea - no matter how absorbent your new underwear is, you'll want to put on a clean pair after a shower or before getting into your pyjamas at the end of the day. Plus, on a heavier day you might need to change your knickers more than once.
So, rather than splashing out on several separate pairs of pants, we recommend snapping up a multi-pack instead. This will keep you feeling fresh all day long and it's better for your budget too!
You're going to want to wash your new period pants fairly regularly, especially if you're starting with just one pair to see how you get on. In order to take care of them properly, check the washing instructions on the label.
While all menstrual underwear can be washed by hand, most of the sets on our list can be popped into the washing machine too. Some are suitable for washing at 40 degrees, while others may require a cooler temperature.
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High-Waisted Period-Proof Briefs
Seriously Comfy Pants That Look Stylish Too
High-Cut Period Pants
Figure-Hugging, for a Relaxed Period
Sensation Leak Proof Menstrual Underwear
A 3-Pack of Lacy Pants In Pretty Colours
Hip-Hugger Period-Proof Briefs
Chic, Stretchy, and Highly Absorbent
Sport Period-Proof Briefs
Breathable Briefs That Are Ideal for Sports
Period Pants for Heavy Flow - 3 Pack
Fun Yet Practical Polka Dot Pants
Menstrual Period Pants - 3 Pack
Best Worn With Tampons or Pads
Leakproof Cotton Period Underwear - 3 Pack
Sporty-Style Pants That Lock in Liquid
We love these pants by Thinx because as well as being ultra-absorbent, they're also rather snazzy to look at! The high waist keeps your tummy tucked in and warm, while the sheer panels on either side ensure that your skin can breathe.
The extra-thick gusset rises up high at both the front and back so you don't have to worry about leaks when running, riding a bike, or just rolling around in bed. Yes, the price tag is high for one pair but we promise that these pants are 100% worth it!
The best thing about these trendy looking pants is the fact that they come in a pack of five and are actually cheaper than some single pairs on our list! Holding around 2 tampons of blood, they allow you to get on with life and ditch the disposables for good.
These pants are designed to be figure-hugging and have a high-cut leg, making them easy to move around in. Washable at 30 degrees, they can be air-dried and worn again the next day as needed.
It's always nice to find menstrual underwear available in colours other than black. Plus, these cheeky pants are embellished with frivolous lace, to help you surf the crimson wave in style! Intimate Portal is a top manufacturer of period pants with hundreds of amazing reviews online, so you know you can trust this set of knickers to do the job.
Absorbent enough to hold around 2 regular tampons' worth of liquid, these pants are guaranteed to keep you feeling fresh regardless of whether you're out and about or lounging around at home.
Who says period pants have to be depressing? These sleek briefs have a jazzy zigzag pattern around the stretchy waistband, which fits securely too. Holding up to 2 tampons' worth of blood, they're suitable for slightly heavier days.
These pants are bestsellers and we can see why - they're chic, highly absorbent, and extremely durable. Whilst they're at the pricey end of the scale, we Thinx they're worth it!
These sporty little pants by Thinx aren't as bulky as many other menstrual underwear options, so they really let your skin breathe. Designed for medium flow days, they can hold around 1.5 regular tampons' worth of blood.
Made from nylon blended with elastane, they're extra stretchy - great for keeping active even when it's your time of the month! Unfortunately though, they do need to be washed by hand before they can be popped into the machine with your regular laundry load.
These cheerful polka dot pants come in black, white, and grey. The wonderfully soft cotton gusset can hold 1-2 regular size tampons' worth of liquid, but the manufacturers suggest wearing them with other menstrual protection in order to prevent leaks.
If you like to feel sucked-in and safe during your period, these knickers will be right up your street! The high waist and slightly lower-cut leg seam not only look stylish but also mean that your body is comfortably covered up.
These pants are generally recommended for use alongside other menstrual products, as they have a lower level of absorbency than other briefs on our list. Luckily, there are 3 pairs in a pack if you do want to wear them alone on a lighter day.
We love the colours that these knickers come in: deep burgundy, dark grey, and midnight blue. The high, thick waistband makes them extra comfortable to wear, especially if you suffer from bloating and cramps during your period.
These cool pants echo the iconic sporty look made famous by Calvin Klein - though they're in no way affiliated, or as costly! This pack is fantastic value for money as you get 3 pairs in different styles.
The leak-proof gusset is reinforced with PUL, so you can guarantee no drops will escape and ruin your clothes. These briefs only hold around 2 tampons' worth of fluid though, so you will need to change them regularly if you have a heavier flow.
Everyone deals with their period differently - you might find that you need a combination of menstrual products to get through the day. Check out the links below to see the best eco-friendly tampons, reusable cups, and other helpful accessories to make your time of the month a bit more tolerable.
Once you've switched to period pants, you won't look back! We think our choices are bloody marvellous and we hope you'll agree. With one of our recomendations, you can enjoy a comfy period that's kind to the planet and better for your body too.
Author: Annie Hopkins
No. 1: Thinx｜High-Waisted Period-Proof Briefs
No. 2: Intimate Portal｜High-Cut Period Pants
No. 3: Intimate Portal｜Sensation Leak Proof Menstrual Underwear
No. 4: Thinx｜Hip-Hugger Period-Proof Briefs
No. 5: Thinx｜Sport Period-Proof Briefs
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