What are Period Panties?
Period panties are underpants that have a specially designed gusset to hold excess fluid. They can be used to catch menstrual flow, urine leakage, vaginal discharge or sweat. Many women use them as a backup to tampons or a menstrual cup. These underwear can be worn as the sole protection during a period.
Definitely more economical in the long run compared to disposable underwear or wearing pads every day. Easier and less invasive to use than menstrual cups or tampons. And leak proof underpants are by far more comfortable and sleeker than “adult diapers”, am I right?
Period Panties and leak proof underpants are ideal for women of all ages. Even if you’re no longer having a period, you may find that these panties are ideal for catching pee or sweat. I’ve also included review on teen period panties, based on my child’s reaction to how these worked for them.
Who Should Try Period Panties?
- Fitness buffs or those in warm weather who want to wick sweat and moisture.
- Newly menstruating people with irregular periods who don’t want to be caught off guard.
- Teens who don’t want to experience an embarrassing accident. Leakproof panties are great to put inside of a Teen Period Kit.
- Pregnant mama-to-be with occasional bladder leakage.
- Women who may have post-sex leakage or extra vaginal discharge.
- Postpartum women experiencing bleeding and discharge.
- People with heavy flow that require back-up while still using a tampon or a menstrual cup.
- Those who experience occasional bladder leaks or light incontinence when coughing, exercising, sneezing or laughing.
- Peri-menopausal women with irregular periods and in-between bleeding.
- Menopausal women experiencing hot flashes that need moisture wicking fabrics.
- Elderly women who cannot make it to the bathroom in time.
- Those who hate the bulkiness and shifting of pads, or that “diaper” feeling.
- Looking for a reusable option that results in less waste and cost than tampons and pads.
Which Type of Leak Proof Underpants Are Best for You?
Whether you’re opting for bikini, hipsters, French cut, high waist or yes, even thongs, there’s a period panty in every style. Sleep shorts and yoga pants may even have a leakproof gusset (another name for the fabric crotch in underpant). The gusset in period panties is moisture wicking and highly absorbent.
Breathable fabric is always important. Stretchy fabrics are a must, especially if you experience period bloating. Depending on your flow, you’ll want to pay attention to the absorption level on each brand/type of panties. Some hold a larger amount of liquid, up to 4 tampons so you’ll go leak free for an entire day without having to change. Read the details I have about each brand for more information about each style.
Why Did I Decide to Try Period Panties? My Personal Story
As a peri-menopausal woman in my mid 40s, my periods are irregular and more frequent. Instead of my usual 4 day long period every 28 days, I am sometimes getting my cycle twice a month (what a drag, right?). I was getting tired of ruining underwear when a “surprise Aunt Flo” showed up! And of course, after having 3 children, my bladder isn’t always the strongest. Occasional leaks happen with the errant sneeze, oops!
I started wearing a light pad daily, just in case. This was uncomfortable and starting to add up, cost-wise. Also not very sexy, if we’re honest! Having panties that didn’t look super padded or like “Grandma” would wear was important to me.
Yes, leakproof underwear are definitely a more expensive upfront cost. However, when you add up the regular monthly cost of pads or tampons (and replacing ruined panties), the price balances out. You’ll also gain confidence knowing that you aren’t going to have embarrassing leaks! I’m including my personal reviews of the following brands. As I try more companies, I’ll continue to add to this post.
The Knix website features women in all colors, ages and sizes, so you can really picture yourself in these undergarments. Models are also un-retouched which adds extra realism in the way of stretch marks and squishy areas! In addition to leak proof underwear, Knix also offers bras, anti-chafing shorts, activewear, loungewear and swimsuits. There is also a teen line called Knixteen, which I’ve not purchase yet. I purchased two pairs of leakproof high rise and a pair of bikini cut from Knix for review.
Fabric – Panties are sold in mostly solid tones. Love that the wide range of nude colors are offered to match a variety of skin tones. There are some limited edition prints released throughout the year. The thin fabric can shift a bit, causing wedgies. I don’t know if this was a result of my personal mid-sizing or that the edge of the fabric doesn’t have the tight elasticity of other brands. Knix leak-proof panties also come in an elegant lace-back design and a core version to hold in your tummy.
Leak proof pad – The pad is only in the natural gusset area. On my heaviest flow day, I was able to wear a single pair all day. For those with a much heavier flow, the lower pad may not be enough protection. On the plus side, there is nothing bulky about these panties. They are lightweight and sleek, even with the triple-layer protection.
Price – Between $23-28 each.
I purchased the high-waisted briefs, which are a little too high for me (I’m short-waisted). The bikini cut was a better fit. Since the fabric on the Knix panties is light weight I did notice dampness on warm days. There was also a slight odor when wearing the period panties for a full day (I’d recommend changing mid-day, if possible).
Otherwise the Knix period panties were extremely comfortable for all-day wear without any bulk. No panty lines are a plus. I appreciate that there are coordinating items to match, including bras. I also purchased the WingWoman wireless contour bra and have been happy with the fit and comfort-level!
Knix are a great everyday underwear that wicks away moisture on hot days and during workouts. They are extremely comfortable, so I even wear my Knix when not on my period. USE CODE KNIX10 for $10 off your order when shopping through the Knix website.
This most popular brand of period underwear, THINX also has a tween/teen line called THINX (BTWN) and a line of panties specific for bladder incontinence (SPEAX). I ordered several of all three brands for this review. Underwear including sleep shorts are the extent of THINX line. The website shows people in all shapes, colors and sizes wearing the undergarments to give a good idea on what each style looks like on a body.
Fabric – A large variety of solids and some prints, with stretchy mesh panels, micromesh, and soft organic cotton. I chose a traditional hi-waist with mesh side panels, organic cotton brief and the Air Hiphugger.
The hi-waist with mesh panels is comfortable, with a light tummy panel in front. I like the wide elastic waistband on the cotton brief, though they are thicker and therefore more warm to wear. The Air Hiphugger is very lightweight micromesh and extremely breathable. The Air is perfect to wear during workouts.
Leak proof pad – The gusset on THINX run higher in front and back than some of the other brands. Some styles absorb up to 4 tampons’ worth, great for those with very heavy flows.
Price – The more you purchase, the better the cost. Price varies between style, between around $24-42. Teen version costs less.
If you’re on the fence about trying period panties, THINX is a great one to start with. They offer a 60 day return policy and a free pre-paid return label. No questions asked so it’s truly risk-free. Mix & match (even between the three brands), to receive up to 20% off your order. I was able to stock up for myself and my teenager. THINX also offers FREE SHIPPING on your first order.
Of all the period panties I reviewed, my personal favorite is the Air Hiphugger by THINX. It’s truly lightweight and cool, without any bulkiness or odor. I wear these often, including on non-period days. The entire line of THINX are comfortable and high-quality made. I’ve not personally experienced any issues with leakage or odor, even on heavy flow days with THINX.
THINK (BTWN) Teen Period Panties Review
While my 16 year old teenager wasn’t entirely excited to discuss, they did say that the THINX (BTWN) has worked well during their period. My teen says they change twice a day on heavier flow days (with a heavier flow, there have been some reports of leakage). No complaints about discomfort in these and my teen has worn them on non-period days as well.
Ruby Love (formerly called PantyProp) sells period panties as well as leak proof swimwear, active wear and sleep wear in women’s and teen sizing. I purchased two briefs for myself and two pairs of teen underwear with additional pads for my 16 year old.
Fabric – Trends more towards a younger crowd, with the larger stock of designs in the bikini and hipster styles. Tons of colors and fabric choices if you like having a good variety to choose from. They only have one material for their underwear, a knit/spandex blend. A new collection, called Bliss, offers a seamless panty.
Leak proof pad – 5 layers in the gusset which includes a dri-tech mesh that’s intended to stop the flow of front & back leaks. Unlike other brands the Ruby Love panties can be paired with a sanitary or reusable pad. The padding is a bit thicker than the other period panties I tested. However it was not uncomfortable and still a far cry from traditional menstruation pads!
Price – A pair of women’s size costs between $18-25 depending upon the style. A pair of the teen period panties runs around $18 each. The Ultimate Collection boxes and bundles help save on cost when you purchase in bulk.
Ruby Love Review
Ruby Love has the largest and most extensive website so it’s a great place to purchase a large variety of period panties, swimwear or period sleepwear. Would like to see the underwear shown more often on a model to get a better idea on the fit and cut.
I liked the mesh-type fabric that seemed to keep me cooler on hot days or during workouts. Ruby Love had minimal odor, even after a full day wearing on my heaviest day. However these panties do have leg bands and they were a bit on the snugger side for me. Definitely not uncomfortable though and the panties didn’t shift or move around.
The elastic seemed to loosen after the second wearing.
These underwear are also more on the bulkier side, especially with the addition of the optional pad insert. They aren’t a pair that I wear on a non-period day. However the Ruby Love are what I reach for on the day of my heaviest flow, as I know I’ll be well protected!
Ruby Love Teen Period Panties Review
My teen was able to tell me that these teen period panties worked well. It took them a few times of using before they figured out the best method of use on these. However they did say that while the underwear was uncomfortable around the leg bands at first, the panties seemed to have stretched a bit and fit much better now. I had the same results with my Ruby Love as well.
Anigan EvaWear Period Panties
The EvaWear period panty can be used in place of pads or as a backup with a tampon or cup. In addition to the panties, Anigan also sells menstruation cups. Anigan EvaCup is ideal for those with light to regular flow. Super Jennie menstrual cup is appropriate for those with a heavy menstrual flow.
Fabric -Some of the Anigan EvaWear period panties look more stylish than others. Lace edged hipsters and tie dye boyshorts look less obvious than the “old lady” high-cut beige-colored briefs (even though that’s the style I would usually wear). Because I didn’t want the commentary from my husband about Grandma panties, I went with the tie dye EvaWear Boyshort!
The nylon, cotton and spandex blend was very soft and comfortable. No riding up or shifting during the day and the fabric was extremely breathable. Keep reading on why you should size up with this brand!
Leak proof pad – Ideal for those with a heavier flow, the Anigan EvaWear offers 4 layered protection in a front to back gusset that will hold 2 tampons worth of fluid. Despite the four layers, the gusset is actually still quite thin and very comfortable without any bulkiness.
Price – A pair of women’s size costs between $29-31 depending upon the style on their website. However I found Anigan EvaWear on Amazon for about $5 less per pair, with free shipping.
Anigan EvaWear Review
Sizing is on the small side so it’s recommended to go up one size. While I usually wear a medium (I’m a size 6 pants), I sized up to a large after reading some reviews. Good thing I did because the leg openings on these boy shorts were snug.
Not too tight but definitely more fitted than I’m used to. After wearing for a while, I didn’t notice it anymore. After washing and wearing several times, the fabric has stretched into a more comfortable fit. Also the rise is a little lower than I’m accustomed too and the back was particularly low. Odor was almost undetectable and moisture wicks away nicely, even on a heavier flow day.
Another recommended brand, Bambody has sales around the world. They offer fewer style options than some other sites, mostly in a more sporty-looking style. I’m not wild about having the brand-name typed around my waistband so I went with the more discrete solid-black Bambody High Waist Panty.
Fabric – Bamboo fabric is very soft and extremely comfortable! It’s a thicker weight but still very breathable and not constricting.
Leak proof pad – Triple layer gusset is extended entirely from front to rear, to hold up to 2 tampons worth. For those who have had issues with leaks in front or back, Bambody might be good to try.
Price – Budget-friendly leak proof underwear. I found Bambody on Amazon for $14.90 each.
The Bambody leak proof underwear is another pair that I reach for even when not on my period. I love the thick waistband that doesn’t budge through the day. The bamboo/cotton/spandex blend is highly absorbent and they are perfect for wearing during exercise to wick away excess moisture.
The leg openings were a little snug at first but have relaxed with wearing and washing. Read sizing before ordering as I went up a size and they are now a perfect fit. Thicker fabric means it’s not seamless under clothing but they are great for heavier days with minimal odor.
FAQ About Leak Proof Underwear and Period Panties
What makes Leak Proof Panties actually “leakproof”?
Each brand has their own proprietary products for leakproof protection. But just as the brands vary, so do individual bodies. Each one of us has our own flow and period patterns. What might be leakproof for me, may not be for someone else. The websites have more details in regards to each brand and style with the approximate fluid levels that each pair of panties holds.
What about odor?
Just like with menstrual pads, change your period panties when you notice an odor.
How many pairs should I have on hand?
Figure on at least one pair for each day of your period, with a few extras if you want to change mid-day.
What is the best way to wash and dry these?
Read the fine print for each brand, but you should be able to machine wash cold. Knix sent me a complimentary laundry bag for cleaning, which was a welcome bonus. Most brands say that with good care (and not placing in the dryer), the panties should last up to two years. I’d recommend washing in a laundry bag and laying flat to dry.
Is there a difference between tween, teen and woman’s period panties?
Fit and style is the big difference between the varieties. The tween and teen period panties are definitely geared towards young women in the fabrics, cut and size available.
A Few More Tips About Buying Period Panties
- Just like all clothing, each brand and style are going to vary. It’s very important to take your measurements and compare them to the charts on each website.
- To be expected, thongs don’t offer the best leakproof protection.
- Some websites selling leak proof underwear are non returnable once opened from the package. Other brands (like Ruby Love) allow exchanges for size only. Read the fine print on the return policy before you place a large order!
- Read the washing instructions before purchase to ensure that your leakproof panties can be machine washed and aren’t “hand wash only”.
What is your favorite feature about period panties and do you have a favorite brand?