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    Which Underwear Is Best for Periods? Period Underwear FAQs

    Updated 18 March 2020 |
    Published 08 January 2020
    Fact Checked
    Reviewed by Tanya Tantry, MD, Obstetrician & Gynecologist, Medical Consultant at Flo
    Flo Fact-Checking Standards

    Every piece of content at Flo Health adheres to the highest editorial standards for language, style, and medical accuracy. To learn what we do to deliver the best health and lifestyle insights to you, check out our content review principles.

    Periods can be frustrating and difficult for some women. There are several products available, such as tampons, pads, and diva cups. But what about period underwear? If you’ve never heard about this underwear designed to absorb your menstrual flow, then read on. We’ve outlined the top brands, how they work, and what they cost. 

    Which underwear is best for periods?

    Although there’s medication and period products to give you more mobility and less pain when you’re on your period, those items can be expensive — for your wallet and the environment — in the long term. They can even present some risks to your health if used improperly. 

    Many women are concerned about the waste period-related products contribute to landfills every year. Some women can’t use those products due to skin allergies. That’s where period underwear comes in. Switching to period-proof underwear can save you money in the long run. 

    The best type of underwear for your period is layered cotton. Cotton is breathable on your body and also absorbent. Some brands have created underwear to replace pads and tampons, with added layers of fabric that function as extra protection. 

    Whether you use period underwear, pads, or tampons, cotton is the fabric of choice. But just how do period panties work? 

    How does period-proof underwear work?

    Period-proof underwear is a blend of old methods and new technology. Each company that creates period underwear has its own unique patented technology, but the formula is similar across the board. 

    Underwear designed to manage and absorb menstrual flow usually consists of the following:

    • Breathable cotton material — This is generally what most of the underwear will be made of. It’s easy on your skin and comfortable. 
    • Moisture-wicking layer — This layer is designed to absorb period blood and sweat, keeping your skin dry and comfortable even on your heavy flow days. 
    • Odor-controlling layer — Menstrual blood can have a strong odor once it’s exposed to the air, so a layer is usually added to absorb the odor and give you peace of mind.
    • Leak-resistant layer — The final layer is usually the leak-resistant layer, which acts as a barrier between your menstrual blood and your clothing. 

    Different companies layer these technologies differently and use different materials, so check carefully if you have skin sensitivity and choose a brand that caters to sensitive skin. 

    The underwear can hold on average between 1 and 2.5 tampons’ worth of period blood. Some of the newer options can hold up to 4 tampons’ worth. 

    Period panties come in various styles, so you can find something similar to the style of underwear you wear now or try something new. They range from classic briefs to boyshorts and thongs. Some brands have also branched out into period-proof swimwear and leggings.

    How much does period underwear cost?

    Depending on the brand, you can expect a pair of period-proof underwear to cost between $20 and $50. Here are the approximate costs from three top period underwear brands. 

    • Thinx — $25–$40: Thinx has 13 styles of underwear, so you’re sure to find your favorite fit. Some styles are designed for heavy days and others for moderate or light days.
    • Knix — $23–$38: Knix has 7 different styles, all with a seamless design so they’re invisible under leggings.
    • Lunapad — $40–$42: Lunapad has 4 different styles but also offers adjustable absorbency and organic materials. You can use extra inserts in this underwear to handle your heavier days. 

    Even though period-proof underwear can be more expensive initially, it can save you lots of money in the long run. You can also wear these with tampons or pads if you need extra protection or have very heavy flows. 

    Unfortunately, not everyone can afford this type of underwear — or any other safe, hygienic period product, for that matter. Women and girls in India are especially at risk of going without any period-related products. Because of a lack of resources, many of these women cannot go to work or school easily and can even develop health issues. 

    That’s why Flo has launched a charity campaign to help raise money for women and girls in rural India. Flo’s goal is to help women of all ages be able to manage their periods safely and hygienically so they can continue to work and go to school. Get on board to help fight period poverty in India. 

    Is period underwear hygienic?

    If you’ve never tried period-proof underwear, you may have some questions. You may be wondering if it’s hygienic to wear underwear that you’re bleedi