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- Best period underwear for a heavy flow: Modibodi Classic Bikini
- Best period underwear for everyday wear: Bambody Period Panties Hipster
- Best period underwear for tweens and teens: Knixteen Leakproof Proof Underwear Bikini, RED by Modibodi Hipster Bikini
- Best gender-neutral period underwear: Aisle Boxer Brief, Modibodi Classic Boyshort
- Best period underwear for overnight wear: Knix Super Leakproof Dream Short, Aisle Hipster
- Best period underwear for swimming: Ruby Love Swimwear
- Best period underwear for postpartum bleeding: Knix CoreLove Hi-Rise
- Best period underwear for thong lovers: Knix Leakproof Thong
Do your favorite undies look like a crime scene thanks to a period mishap? Pads that shift, tampons that don’t do the trick, and menstrual cups that runneth over are just a few of the reasons so many people are making the switch to period underwear.
We’ve rounded up the best period underwear based on reviews, different menstrual needs, and prices.
Period underwear is underwear designed specifically to absorb menstrual blood.
Period underwear looks and feels like regular underwear, but it has hidden absorbent layers of protective material in the gusset, or in some cases all over, to help prevent leaks.
Depending on the underwear and your flow, period underwear can be worn on its own or used as a backup with tampons and other period products.
We chose our picks based on the following:
- Absorbency. We all have different flows, so we wanted to include absorbency options for every flow.
- Materials. Some feel and, let’s face it, smell better than others.
- Comfort. We all deserve to be as comfortable as can be on our periods, so we looked at reviews for how people felt while wearing them.
- Specific uses. Some activities need extra period protection, like sleeping, working out, or sitting in class.
- Customer reviews. We combed through and evaluated the good, bad, and ugly customer reviews.
- $ = under $25
- $$ = $25–$40
- $$$ = over $40
Whether your period is heavy one day or all period long, these options are designed to handle it all.
Best period underwear for a heavy flow
- Price: $$
- Absorbency: up to 3–4 tampons’ worth
- Pros: absorbent enough for heavy days, longer gusset
- Cons: longer drying time after washing
Modibodi’s Classic Bikini takes honors as the company’s most reviewed high absorbency underwear. It can be worn without any backup on moderate to heavy flow days. Freedom!
It’s comfy and its liners are odor-fighting, moisture wicking, and stain resistant. The gusset goes all the way up the back to the waistband, which is perfect for people who sleep on their backs. No more waking up to stained sheets!
Best period underwear for everyday wear
Period underwear for everyday wear and an average flow should be seriously comfortable. We’ve found a few options that fit the bill and are comfortable for work, play, and everything in between.
- Price: $
- Absorbency: light to medium flow
- Pros: affordable, comfortable, breathable
- Cons: sizes run a bit small
This bamboo period pantie has everything you want in daily undies. It’s made of breathable bamboo, it’s comfortable, and it’s affordable.
Based on reviews, it’s an all-ages fave for people with light to medium flow. A leakproof layer extends all the way from front to back, so you get lots of protection no matter how you sleep. The pantie offers good coverage without compromising style.
Best period underwear for tweens and teens
Comfort and cuteness can be just as important as avoiding the kind of period mishaps that’ll make you dread walking across the quad.
These are the crème de la crème of period underwear for tweens and teens.
- Price: $
- Absorbency: 1 to 3 teaspoons
- Pros: seamless, comfortable, affordable
- Cons: standard gusset length doesn’t offer extra back or front protection
Knixteen is Knix’s teen-friendly line, and it’s awesome. Word has it they really do let you move and do your thing, all while looking cute.
The panties are seamless and insanely comfortable so you can wear them under anything. Based on reviews, they’re easy to wash and dry fast.
The absorbent gusset is roughly the same length as a regular liner, which can be a pro for some, but not for overnight protection if you sleep on your back.
- Price: $
- Absorbency: 2 to 3 tampons’ worth
- Pros: affordable, available in different absorbencies
- Cons: some users say they can feel a bit bulky when soaked
Yay for options! Modibodi also has a line of cute, comfy period underwear for younger menstruators.
They look and feel like regular underwear and come in moderate to heavy absorbency. This is especially important because puberty often means all-over-the-place periods with ever-changing flows.
They’re mainly made of organic cotton so they’re super breathable.
Best gender-neutral period underwear
You probably already know that menstruation products can be a bit — OK, a lot — gender-centric. An increasing number of companies are starting to offer more gender-neutral styles.
- Price: $$$
- Absorbency: up to 4 tampons’ worth (or up to 8 with absorbency booster)
- Pros: super absorbent, option to double absorbency with booster insert
- Cons: some people say they can feel the front and back seams
This crowd favorite is a basic boxer brief that comes in neutral colors with a lined leakproof inner panel and a reusable insert pad.
They hold up to four tampons’ worth of blood. If you need more protection, you can purchase absorbency boosters for a whopping eight tampons’ worth!
They fit like a true boxer brief and stay put whether you’re chilling or working out.
- Price: $$
- Absorbency: up to 3–4 tampons’ worth
- Pros: neutral style, breathable, gusset extends up the back
- Cons: reviewers say these dip a bit low in the back over a bigger bottom
This basic boxer brief style is snug but stretchy, allowing for all kinds of movement. It’s a moderate to high absorbency option in a gender-neutral style that feels like you’re wearing nothing at all, according to reviews.
It’s made mostly from bamboo viscose. The gusset goes all the way up the back to help protect against dreaded sitting and sleeping leakage.
Given the quality, they’re pretty affordable, too.
Best period underwear for overnight wear
The key to picking the right period pantie for sleeping is to look for something with extra coverage and enough stretch to be snug but comfortable.
For a better night’s sleep, these should do the trick.
- Price: $$$
- Absorbency: up to 3 tampons’ worth
- Pros: 4-way stretch, comfortable, full coverage, absorbent
- Cons: some users reported the panties roll up over the thighs
These super-absorbent sleep shorts do double duty as period underwear that can be worn under your jammies or sleep shorts that you can rock as they are.
They have a built-in pad that’s extra long for added protection while you snooze. Being seamless and having snug-but-comfy four-way stretch means you could probably get away with these by day under your clothes.
- Price: $$$
- Absorbency: up to 4 tampons’ worth, or 8 with the absorbency booster
- Pros: super absorbent, option to add absorbency booster insert
- Cons: pricier than other brands
People love these for sleep and everything else because they’re so comfortable. Even though they’re a hipster, you get plenty of side and rear coverage. The breathable fabric and nonelasticized leg openings make them ideal for sleep.
As far as protection from nocturnal nastiness, they hold up to four tampons’ worth — or up to eight if you add one of their absorbency boosters.
Best period underwear for working out
Raise your hand if you’ve skipped a workout because of your period!
The right period underwear can make or break your workout. These options let you move your body and bleed free without leaving anything more than sweat behind.
Best period underwear for swimming
Can we take a moment to give thanks for period-proof swimwear? What a time to be alive.
- Price: $$$
- Absorbency: up to 3 tampons’ worth or up to 6 tampons’ worth with extra liner
- Pros: absorbent, lots of style options, inserts for extra protection available
- Cons: pricey, some reviewers found the liner bulky
Ruby Love has a huge selection of period-proof swimwear, including bikini bottoms, sets, and one-piece suits.
As far as leak protection, they seem to excel there, too, holding up to three tampons’ worth of blood. Plus, you can add liner inserts for additional coverage.
Best period underwear for postpartum bleeding
Bleeding, bladder leaks, and discharge are standard fare after giving birth. While those mesh undies and ginormous hospital pads are functional, they’re, well, hideous.
Most high absorbency period briefs will do for postpartum bleeding, but there’s one pair that seems to stand out.
- Price: $$
- Absorbency: not specified
- Pros: absorbent, tummy and low back support
- Cons: compression bands can create a “lumpy” appearance
These are made specifically with postpartum life and leaks in mind. They’re made from a nylon and Lycra combo with gentle, velvet compression bands to support your tummy and low back.
There’s also an extra-long, leakproof liner for extra protection no matter what you’re doing.
Best period underwear for thong lovers
A thong and your period may seem like a disaster waiting to happen, but as long as your flow isn’t too heavy, these options should work just fine.
- Price: $
- Absorbency: light flow
- Pros: affordable, lots of style options
- Cons: some users report that sizing runs small
The Knix thong is seamless, fast-drying, and ridiculously comfortable, say reviews. Adaptive four-way stretch lets them move with you no matter what you’re up to.
Some reviewers even report working out in them during lighter-flow days.
|Modibodi Classic Bikini||$$||3–4 tampons’ worth||works on heavy days, longer gusset||takes long to dry|
|Bambody Period Panties Hipster||$||light to medium||affordable, comfortable, breathable||sizes run a tad small|
|Knixteen Leakproof Proof Underwear Bikini||$||1–3 teaspoons||affordable, seamless, comfortable||standard gusset length, protection doesn’t extend to front or back|
|RED by Modibodi Hipster Bikini||$||2–3 tampons’ worth||affordable, different absorbency options||feels bulky when soaked|
|Aisle Boxer Brief||$$$||up to 4 tampons’ worth, or up to 8 with absorbency booster insert||gender-neutral style, good for heavy flows, absorbency booster inserts available for extra protection||pricier than other brands|
|Modibodi Classic Boyshort||$$||3–4 tampons’ worth||gender-neutral style, full back protection||may sit low in back on bigger bottoms|
|Knix Super Leakproof Dream Short||$$$||up to 3 tampons’ worth||4-way stretch, comfortable, extra-long pad||rolls up over thighs|
|Aisle Hipster||$$$||up to 4 tampons’ worth, or up to 8 with absorbency booster insert||good for heavy flows, absorbency booster inserts available for extra protection||pricier than other brands|
|Ruby Love Swimwear||$$$||up to 3 tampons’ worth, or up to 6 with extra liner||lots of options, can add an extra liner for more protection||pricey, bulky liners|
|Knix CoreLove Hi-Rise||$$||not specified||for postpartum bleeding, gentle tummy and back support||compression bands can be “lumpy”|
|Knix Leakproof Thong||$||light flow||affordable, lots of colors and pattern options||sizing runs small|
When wearing period underwear, it important to follow the manufacturer’s insurrections about how long you can wear them and how often to wash them.
While multiple layers and moisture wicking fabric keep blood (and odors) trapped beneath the surface, it’s important to wash yourself as needed, as well.
One safety concern to keep in mind is the fabric and materials used to make period underwear.
Currently, period underwear company Thinx is in legal trouble after reporter Jessian Choy discovered that her pair of Thinx contained PFAS, or per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, “especially on the inside layers of the crotch,” NBC News reports.
PFAS are known as “forever chemicals,” and exposure to them has been linked to serious conditions like thyroid disease and cancer.
In response to the lawsuit, Thinx released a statement declaring that no PFAS have been added to their products, but the company will settle claims through a settlement. Prior to this, Thinx had marketed their underwear as “nontoxic” and “certified organic,” which begs the question—is period underwear safe?
According to the New York Times, period products, in general, are not highly regulated before they are put to market.
Items like menstrual cups, tampons and pads are considered low or medium-high risk medical devices meaning that they do not have to be rigorously tested, and manufacturers are not mandated to disclose all materials used to make them.
Shopping for period underwear is personal with a capital P, and at the end of the day, it comes down to your preferences and what feels best for you. That said, there are a few considerations to keep in mind that can help you narrow your choices down.
Consider these factors when shopping for period underwear:
- Your budget. There’s no sense in wasting time on $$$ options when your budget will only allow for $. You can save money by getting on your favorite brands’ email lists and following their socials for sales info and discount codes.
- Your flow. Flow matters, especially if yours leans to the heavier side. Are you hoping to swap out your usual protection for period underwear, or do you just want some backup for your period products? If you have very heavy periods, consider that period underwear alone may not be enough to accommodate your flow.
- Your lifestyle needs. Are you super active? Do you often leak overnight? Some are better than others for meeting certain needs.
- Your comfort. Some styles are bulkier than others, and that’s an important consideration if you like to wear form-fitting clothes, have a petite frame, or just can’t stand the feeling of bulk *down there*. You’ll also want to look at features like the rise and width of the gusset because, well, wedgies.
Once you’ve found the perfect pair, make them last by following the manufacturer’s washing instructions. Most recommend using cold water and mild detergent. While machine washing seems to be fine for most, the delicate cycle is preferred.
Machine drying is a no-go, so lay flat or hang to dry depending on what the tag says.
As for stains, most period undies are stain resistant, but soaking them in cold water as soon as you take them off can give you some extra reassurance.
Is period underwear comfortable?
Like with any underwear, comfort comes down to choosing a cut and size that fits you properly. Think of it as your favorite jeans; some brands and styles just feel better than others. Samesies for period panties.
Different brands absorb differently as well. You may find that one feels a little wet sooner than others, in which case, aim for higher absorbency.
How do you clean period underwear?
Always follow the care instructions on the tag, but typically, all you do is rinse them under cold water when you take them off and toss them into the washing machine. Many brands recommend against machine drying period panties, but some brands are dryer-friendly.
Does period underwear really work?
They really do work. Thousands of people who wear them are happy to shout it from the rooftops. That said, bodies are different and so are periods, and what works for many doesn’t necessarily work for all.
If you have a very heavy period, then period panties might be better used as a backup to other period products.
Period underwear is a great option for those who are looking for a reusable menstrual product.
While not everyone will be able to use them (if you have a very heavy flow, for instance), they are definitely worth a try on their own or as a backup since they can provide more comfort and security. And anything that can make your period more comfortable is a huge win, right?