One afternoon when I used to be in fourth grade, the ladies had been whisked away to look at a video about durations, pads, and tampons. That’s about the place my public training on menstruation started and ended—a secret dialogue that boys could not be aware about. It was, from that second ahead, ingrained in us that it’s one way or the other embarrassing to get your interval.
It is not, in fact, and a few of us at WIRED talked at size about our interval flows and habits. Long earlier than pads and tampons had been out there, folks merely bled into their garments or used do-it-yourself flannel cloths if flows had been significantly heavy. Women typically stuffed rags that had been then washed and reused later (therefore the phrase “being on the rag”).
Now there’s interval underwear, menstrual cups, reusable pads, applicator-less tampons for much less waste, and even subscription providers to get merchandise delivered to your door each month. We examined a bunch of recent merchandise to search out the very best budget- and eco-friendly different strategies, in addition to ones that simply made that point of the month extra comfy. These are our favorites.
Updated January 2022: We’ve added extra interval underwear and menstrual cups we like. We’ve additionally added extra info and up to date costs all through.
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Senior affiliate editor Adrienne So and reviewer Louryn Strampe additionally examined and contributed to this information.
Table of Contents
Period Underwear (and Workout Bottoms)
It could be scary to ditch the menstrual merchandise you are used to, however interval underwear is a superb place to begin if you wish to change up your routine—I’ve just about given up tampons solely and have not had a leak. It absorbs blood with out feeling damp, and it should not switch it to your garments should you’re sporting the appropriate absorption stage. You can even put on them for slight incontinence, common discharge, postpartum bleeding, or to soak up sweat. There are even leakproof thongs and cute, lacy choices.
Most interval underwear is not low-cost, however it can save you cash in the long term by not having to top off on so many tampons or pads. Start out with a pair to see what types you want; ultimately, you may get sufficient to final your entire cycle. Period underwear is rated for absorbency ranges. Some manufacturers state these by teaspoons of liquid or examine it to the variety of tampons they change; we have famous them right here.
Our Favorite Pair
Of all of the interval underwear in my dresser drawer, I attain for Knix ($23-$38) first. The nylon pairs are so silky easy and cool, such as you’re sporting fancy skivvies, and they do not dig in wherever. If you favor cotton, the model has these too. Even the super-absorbency pairs do not feel thick—they do not even really feel like a pad. I put on the Dream Shorts ($38) to mattress recurrently, even when I’m not on my interval.
The model has 4 absorbency ranges: Light (1 teaspoon), Medium (3 teaspoons), High (4-6 teaspoons relying on type), and Super (8 teaspoons). There’s additionally a postpartum assortment and teen interval kits.
The Best Budget Pairs
All of the Period Company’s normal underwear prices simply $12 (the boxers are $22 and the Sleeper Shorts are $24). For that value, you possibly can outfit your complete week with out spending almost as a lot as for another manufacturers on this checklist.
I attempted the Heavy absorbency variations that maintain 9 tampons value of liquid, that are the thickest of any pairs I attempted. They do not feel odd, however should you put on them underneath tight garments it will most likely be uncomfortable (and look a bit humorous). I like them for sleeping throughout my heavy days. There’s a Sporty line which have the identical absorbency however are fabricated from stretchier, moisture-wicking cloth to account for sweat as effectively. There’s additionally Light variations made of 1 much less layer of absorbency, and that are due to this fact thinner throughout, and Juniors.
More Brands We Like
I’ve now tried a ton of various interval underwear and am assured there’s one thing for everybody.
- Modibodi ($19-$45) has essentially the most types and absorbency ranges of the manufacturers I attempted. From Super Light (half to a full tampon), Moderate-Heavy (2-3 tampons), to Maxi 24 hours (10 tampons), and ranges in between, you will discover precisely what you want for daily of your interval. It additionally has removable, maternity, swimsuits, and lively choices.
- Saalt ($29-$39) underwear is fabricated from three post-consumer recycled water bottles. It solely provides two ranges of absorbency, Light (1–2 mild tampons) and Regular to High (2-3 common tampons), however the types are cute with mesh and lace choices. I like to recommend utilizing different manufacturers to your heavier days.
- Bambody ($12-$19) additionally solely has two absorbency ranges—Leakproof (for recognizing or tremendous mild days) and Absorbent (2 tampons)—however it’s one of many extra inexpensive choices, together with the Period Company above.
- Proof ($25-$43) has extra fundamental types with 4 absorbency ranges: Light (1 tampon), Moderate (3 tampons), Heavy (4 tampons), and Super Heavy (5 tampons).
- Pure Rosy ($29-$32) solely provides three types and one absorbency stage (as much as 2 mild tampons), however they’re cute and have some lacy accents—the corporate says extra choices are coming in spring 2022. The firm works with the D.A.R.E. Women’s Foundation to offer its underwear to younger Tanzanian women, in addition to meals and water to communities in want.
- Cora ($30) has only one type and absorbency stage, so I hope the corporate expands. But should you’re shopping for the warming interval balm talked about beneath and need to give some underwear a strive, they’re good.
- Adidas Period-Proof Shorts ($45) and Tights ($65) are dear, however they’re made with interval underwear built-in. The model recommends sporting these along with a tampon, pad, or cup for added safety, particularly if you are going to be within the fitness center or at apply for some time, however I discovered it absorbed sufficient with out anything. The Bike Shorts ($45) I attempted are nonetheless out there from Nordstrom, at the very least for now (they are not out there on the Adidas web site).
Tampons and pads require frequent altering and aren’t nice for the surroundings—they’re made to be thrown away after a couple of hours. Menstrual cups, nevertheless, are reusable, long-lasting silicone cups that maintain blood and forestall leaks. Buy it as soon as and it ought to final a number of years. There’s a studying curve, so strive it on days you will be dwelling, and you could have to strive a couple of earlier than you discover your good one.
To use a menstrual cup, you will have to fold it (there are numerous other ways to do that) and insert it into your vagina. Feel round to verify it utterly unfolds and creates a seal. When you are able to take it out, pinch the bottom of the cup barely to interrupt the seal—it is a unusual feeling, however don’t be concerned, it should not really feel prefer it’s being ripped out. Depending in your circulation, most menstrual cups can keep in for 12 hours, so you possibly can go a complete workday with out having to empty it in a public toilet. Put a Cup In It is a superb useful resource for serving to you identify which cup could be finest. YouTuber RawBeautyKristi additionally provides some good tips about her expertise utilizing a menstrual cup.
Our Favorite Cup
I recognize and see the professionals in all of the cups I’ve tried for this information, however I at all times most popular different choices. They do not damage, however it was like I used to be very conscious I used to be utilizing one, till I attempted the Lily Cup. Once it was in, I forgot it was there. I even slept in it comfortably.
The secret is in its form and dimension. It’s angled, thinner, and softer than most traditional cups, so it folds up smaller and feels extra pure. If you have by no means used a cup, or like me, did not discover one you really liked, do this. Like most cups out there, there’s one for many who haven’t given delivery vaginally and those that have.
The Most Options
If the Lily Cup does not attraction to you otherwise you want extra choices, MeLuna is standard within the class. There are a number of sizes, firmness ranges, and stem varieties to select from, and the corporate provides useful suggestions for locating the appropriate match.
There are kits out there, too, together with one which comes with a steamer for sanitizing the cup ($56). Most folks merely boil them to sanitize, however should you stay someplace like a dorm the place you do not need to be boiling your interval cup within the communal kitchen, it is a good concept.
Menstrual Discs We Like
I believe most individuals will just like the Lily, however there is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all product with regards to durations. There are extra choices out there that we additionally like, and most are cheaper.
- The Nixit Disc ($42) is a shallower sort of cup, however in any other case, it really works the identical method. WIRED reviewer Louryn Strampe examined it and says it is a good choice should you dislike the suction feeling after eradicating conventional menstrual cups. Menstrual discs return additional within the vagina, which suggests you possibly can nonetheless have penetrative intercourse whereas utilizing them.
- Flex Discs ($11 for 8) and Softdiscs ($11 for 14) are disposable variations of the Nixit Disc above, and a couple of of us at WIRED have tried them. If you hate common menstrual cups however have by no means tried a disc, you can begin right here and then get the Nixit should you determine you need a reusable choice—Flex has a reusable model ($35) as effectively that we have not tried. These additionally work for no-mess interval intercourse.
For some purpose, the considered a reusable pad appeared a bit more durable to wrap my head round than interval underwear, however they’re principally the identical factor. WIRED editor Adrienne So examined the next pads and says they’re all well- made and even sort of cute. Their wings snap round your underwear as a substitute of adhering, and relying on which you purchase, there could also be little pockets for added inserts
The concept of carrying round a bloody used pad is, uh, a bit unusual. But you possibly can both use them if you’re dwelling or go for a devoted carrying bag—our favourite pads, GladRags, have a couple of choices so that you can strive. For storing at dwelling, you could need to get a small sealed bin the place you possibly can soak the pad in chilly water and both totally wash it on the finish of the day, or at the very least rinse it sufficient so it will probably sit till you are able to do a load of laundry.