Period underwear is a viable alternative to pad and tampons. Leak proof undergarments can really be a lifesaver. Worn during that time of the month, or for everyday use, period protection underwear have many great benefits. This extensive review covers popular brands of reusable period panties with details about protection, comfort level, and price points.
For the sake of review, I purchased leak proof underpants myself without any compensation and this post is not sponsored by any of the companies mentioned (except for Proof, who sent me items as a sample). All opinions are my own.
This article originally published October 26, 2020 and has been updated and republished with a new date.
What is Period Underwear?
Period panties are leak proof undergarments. They have absorbent fabric to collect period blood or can be used for everyday wear to replace regular panties.
How Do Period Underwear Work?
Period underwear have a specially designed, absorbent gusset to hold excess fluid. They can be used to catch menstrual blood, urine leakage, vaginal discharge or sweat. Materials in a variety of different brands and styles for coverage of light flow to heavy. Look for different absorbency levels to fit your specific needs.
Why Choose Period Undies versus Regular Underwear?
There are several valid reasons to choose leakproof underwear versus disposable menstrual products.
During menstrual cycle – Can be used replace or supplement the use of feminine hygiene products. Easier and less invasive to use than menstrual cups or tampons. Period underwear are also free of the toxic chemicals that are present in some disposable period products.
For urinary issues – More economical in the long run compared to disposable underwear or wearing sanitary pads every day. And leak proof underpants are by far more comfortable and sleeker than “adult diapers”, am I right?
When to Wear Leakproof Undergarments?
These reusable underwear can be worn as the sole protection during a period. Period underwear can also be used for extra protection. Many use them as a backup to tampons or menstrual cups. There are additional reasons to wear leakproof underwear, keep reading!
Who Should Try Period Panties?
Period Panties and leak proof undergarments are ideal for people of all ages. Period underwear comes in a wide range of sizes so it’s also appropriate for all body types.
Even if you are no longer having a period, you may find that these panties are ideal for catching pee or sweat. These are some of reasons to try reusable period underwear:
- 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. Leak proof underpants are great to put inside of a Teen Period Kit.
- Those who hate the bulkiness and shifting of panty liners in the crotch area, or that “diaper” feeling with disposable pads.
- Women who may have post-sex leakage or extra vaginal discharge.
- Pregnant mama-to-be with occasional bladder leakage.
- 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 people who cannot make it to the bathroom in time.
- Those 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 lacy thongs, there’s a period panty in every style. Sleep shorts and yoga pants may even have a leak proof gusset (another name for the fabric crotch in underpants).
What Kind of Fabric is Used in Period Pants?
One of the key features of period panties is that the gusset is moisture-wicking and offers high absorbency. Period underwear brands will outline the approximate absorbency, offering a guide to how much liquid each pair holds in regards to leak protection.
As far as the rest of the panty, breathable fabric is always important. Stretchy fabrics are a must, especially if you experience period bloating. The review will outline some of the best period underwear, including style and fabrics used.
How Much Menstrual Fluid Does a Pair of Period Underwear Hold?
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’ worth, so you may be able to go leak free for an entire day without having to change.
Brands may refer to the number of teaspoons of liquid each style can hold. Or the brand may include menstrual terminology, including different flows (ie: light, heavy, or super). Read the details I have about each brand for more information about the best option for your needs.
Why Did I Decide to Try Period Panties? My Personal Story
As a peri-menopausal woman in my late 40s, my periods were irregular and more frequent in recent years. Instead of my usual 4 day long period every 28 days, I was sometimes getting my cycle twice a month (what a drag, right?)
I was getting tired of ruining normal 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.
This review and article came about as a result of my independent testing. I highly recommend clicking through to the website for each brand to see which pair of underwear will work best for your body!
Products – In addition to leak proof underwear, Knix also offers bras, anti-chafing shorts, activewear, loungewear and swimsuits. There is also a youth line called KT by Knix for teens.
I purchased two pairs of leakproof high rise and a pair of bikini cut from Knix for review.
Images – The Knix website features women in all colors, ages and sizes, so you can really picture yourself in these leakproof undergarments. Models are un-retouched which adds extra realism in the way of stretch marks and squishy areas.
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.
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 Knix 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 $24-38 each. There is a bundle and save option.
I purchased the high-waisted briefs, which are a little too high for me (I’m short-waisted). The bikini was a better fit.
The thin nylon/spandex 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.
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.
DISCOUNT – USE CODE KNIX10 for $10 off your order when shopping through the Knix website.
Products – One of the most popular brand of period underwear. THINX also has a tween/teen line called THINX Teens, as well as a line of panties specific for bladder incontinence (THINX for All Leaks). I ordered several of all three brands for this review. Underwear, including sleep shorts for overnight protection, are the extent of THINX line.
Images – The website shows people in all shapes, colors and sizes with unretouched images. Models are wearing the undergarments to give a good idea of 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 Thinx 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, which definitely helps to prevent leakage. Some styles absorb up to 5 tampons’ worth, great for more heavy absorbency.
The gusset on all THINX period underwear is black, which is designed to show less staining over time.
Price – Price varies between style, between around $17-38. Teen version costs less. The more you purchase, the better the cost.
Of all the leak proof underpants I reviewed, my personal favorite is the Thinx 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.
If you’re on the fence about trying period panties, THINX is a great one to start with. They offer a 45 day return policy and a free pre-paid return label. No questions asked so it’s truly risk-free.
DISCOUNT – 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.
THINK Teen Period Panties Review
While my 16 year old teenager wasn’t entirely excited to discuss, they did say that the THINX Teens has worked well during their period.
My teen says they change twice a day on heavier flow days. They did report that on days with a heavier flow, there have been some leakage. No complaints about discomfort in these and my teen has worn them on non-period days as well.
Products – 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.
Images – Most underwear is shown flat lay, with only a few photos show on bodies. Would like to see the underwear shown more often on a model to get a better idea on the fit and cut.
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 nylon/spandex blend. A new collection 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 $14.99-24.99 depending upon the style. A pair of the teen period panties runs around $15 each. The Ultimate Collection boxes and bundles help save on cost when you purchase in bulk.
Ruby Love Review
Ruby Love has a large and extensive website. It’s a great place to purchase a large variety of period panties, swimwear or period sleepwear.
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!
DISCOUNT – Use code HELLO10 for 10% off your total on the Ruby Love website. Shipping is free for any order over $65.
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.
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.
Products – The EvaWear period panty can be used in place of pads or as a backup with a tampon or cup.
In addition to these leak proof underpants, 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 more fashionable than the high-cut beige-colored briefs (even though that’s the style I often wear).
I went with the tie dye EvaWear Boyshort period panty. 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!
Images – Shown mostly either lay flat or on a slender young model. This is a difficult brand to imagine the actual fit, unless your figure looks like the model.
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 extra layers, the gusset is actually still quite thin and very comfortable without any bulkiness.
Price – A pair of Anigan underwear costs between $12-24.95 depending upon the style, on Amazon.
Anigan EvaWear Review
Sizing on the Anigan underwear are 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.
Products – 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.
Images – Shown either flat lay or on a young, thin model. There is a video showing movement on their Amazon home page.
Price – Budget-friendly leak proof underwear. I found Bambody on Amazon for $20 each. Some styles are as low as $11 each. Multipacks save even more on the cost.
The Bambody leak proof underwear is another pair that I reach for even when not on my period. I like 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 Bambody are great for heavier days with minimal odor.
Products – Proof offers selections of underwear for periods, maternity, postpartum, workouts and bladder protection. This brand offers a range of styles, all in black, sand, navy, blush, or wine color.
Their teen line has additional colors and youthful styles. Proof also sells an everyday bra.
Images – The Shop Proof website features models in a variety of shapes, sizes and colors, as well as flat lay product.
Fabric – The moisture wicking liner and antimicrobial fibers inhibit odors. I found my Proof period panties to be breathable and comfortable with a super-soft nylon-spandex fabric.
Leak proof pad – A variety of styles that offer protection from light to super heavy. The sand colored panties I received have the same color gusset lining. This means you’ll be able to see any leaks. Consider choosing one of the darker fabrics or panties with a black gusset if you prefer not to see spotting.
Price – Between $25-43. Build a bundle to save up to 20%. Free shipping for orders of $50+.
If you’re thinking about trying leakproof panties for the first time, Proof is a good company to start with. They offer a 60 day return guarantee on your first order. There is a 30 day return policy on subsequent orders.
I have received several pairs of Proof underpants, including the Proof high-waisted smoothing brief. These underpants were comfortable right out of the package, no stretching out required (some other brands have required multiple wears and washes to relax).
The high waisted style I chose smooths over my stomach with a light compression that stayed put all day. Extremely comfortable fit and fabric!
The super light version was perfect for my first period day and I experienced no moisture or odor whatsoever. The styles on Proof are sexy and styling – nothing “grandma” here! I’m looking forward to add more Proof to my underwear drawer!
I also ordered the Proof Everyday Comfort Bra. I’m not kidding, this is THE most comfortable bra I’ve ever worn! The seamless style is smooth fitting under clothes. No wires to poke and comfy straps means this is the perfect bra for all day, every day wear.
Can you say, “No more sweaty under-boobs”?! Soft moisture-wicking fabric removes sweat and keeps me cool. This Stay Dry Comfort Bra pairs nicely with the rest of the line of leakproof undergarments from Proof.
Other Period Underwear Brands to Try
Saalt – Products include leakproof underwear in multiple lines, including seamless, cotton, and mesh. A foolproof guarantee means you can try with confidence. Saalt will send a refund or new pair in another size within 60 days of the original order date.
Dear Kate – Minimal line of just period underwear, sold in a range of styles. They are touted as the most “breathable” underpants.
FAQ About Leakproof Undergarments and Period Panties
What Makes Leak Proof Panties actually “leakproof”?
Each brand has their own proprietary products for leakproof protection. Just as the brands vary, so do individual bodies. Each one of us has our own flow and period patterns. What might be leak proof 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.
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 geared towards young women in the fabrics, cut and size available.
Budgeting for Period Panties
Yes, leakproof undergarments definitely have 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!
- Period underwear can be purchased with money in a HSA (Health Savings Account) or Flexible Spending Arrangement (FSA).
- Use the bundle feature on many of the websites to save when multiple pairs are purchased at once.
- Sign up for the website’s email newsletter. Special sales emailed throughout the year can save on the cost.
How Many Pairs of Period Underwear Do You Need?
Figure on at least one pair of leak proof underpants for each day of your period, with a few extras if you want to change mid-day.
How to Care for Period Panties
What is the best way to wash and dry period underwear? Read the fine print for each brand, but this is a general care guide.
- I’d recommend spraying with OxyClean before washing to remove stains before they set.
- Clean on the delicate cycle in the washing machine with cold water.
- Consider using a laundry bag for cleaning. This will allow you to easily separate the menstrual underwear from the rest of your wash load.
- Skip the bleach and fabric softener, which can affect the absorbent material.
- Lay flat or hang on a laundry rack to dry.
Most brands say that with good care (and not placing in the dryer), the panties should last up to two years.
A Few More Tips About Buying Period Panties
Measure before shopping – 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.
Full coverage offers more complete protection – To be expected, thongs don’t offer the best leak proof protection.
Be familiar with fabrics – Brands offer different materials to fit your body. Some styles are softer and stretchier than others.
Review the brand care – Read the washing and care instructions before purchase to ensure that your leakproof panties can be machine washed and aren’t “hand wash only”.
Read the return policy – Some websites selling leak proof underwear are non returnable once opened from the package. Other brands allow exchanges for size only. Read the fine print on the return policy before you place a large order!