In this guide, we’ve taken a look at the best menstrual cups and ecological feminine hygiene products. Whether you’re looking for an alternative that’s healthier, greener, and in many cases both, then look no further. We’ve covered everything you need to know about the best menstrual cups, organic, and reusable feminine hygiene products to help you make the change to better.
The only guarantees in life are death, taxes, and periods.
Each month, half the world is subjected to several days of discomfort (to put it lightly) and forced to provide solutions for this unwanted yet incessant event.
We flock to the pharmacy, snatching overpriced cotton products by the box-load in hopes of not losing another beloved pair of ‘good panties’, but what do we know about these products?
It is widely accepted that the majority of traditional, disposable tampons contain glyphosate as a result of the pesticides sprayed on the cotton.
Tampon manufacturers have openly admitted to bleaching the cotton, which can result in trace amounts of dioxins in the tampon. And since the FDA has classified tampons as a medical device, manufacturers are under no obligation to share their ingredients.
Similar studies conducted on traditional pads and liners yielded the same results, but the tampon is especially terrifying for obvious reasons.
And let’s not forget the drastic environmental impact of plastic and other non-biodegradable waste that is being created monthly.
Armed with this information, we must make better choices. The good news is, we’ve got options.
This guide is your source to alternative options for menstrual care, with a specific focus on organic, sustainable, and biodegradable materials.
It sets the record straight on stigmas surrounding products like the menstrual cup and the reusable pad. And for the tampon enthusiast, it offers a roster of all-natural options that are made from certified organic materials free of chemicals and other toxins.
Consider this guide as the start of a healthy and enviro-conscious period regimen.
- 1 The Best Menstrual Cups
- 2 The Best Organic Tampons
- 3 The Best Reusable Pads
- 4 The Best Organic Pads
- 5 The Best Period Panties
- 6 FAQs and Tips
- 7 Conclusion
The Best Menstrual Cups
|LENA Menstrual Cup||9.2/10|
|Lunette Menstrual Cup||9.0/10|
|Dutchess Menstrual Cup||8.8/10|
|Blossom Menstrual Cup||8.8/10|
|Athena Menstrual Cup||8.8/10|
|DivaCup Menstrual Cup||8.6/10|
|Intimina Lily Cup Compact||8.2/10|
|MeLuna Menstrual Cup||8.0/10|
With all of this in minds, women are flocking to alternative solutions, and at the top of the list for healthier, more environmentally friendly alternatives are menstrual cups.
Mainly made from silicon, a menstrual cup is inserted like a tampon and will collect menstruation for up to twelve hours at a time, making it an excellent choice if you just want to get on with your day.
- Eco-friendly and doesn’t create waste
- Accommodates a woman on the go and can stay in for up to 12 hours, eliminating the need to address period-related situations in public bathrooms
- Reduces risk of toxic shock syndrome
- Known to alleviate menstrual cramping
- Easy to clean and reusable
- Finding the right fit can prove tedious and may require trying different brands until finding the perfect one for your body
- Women need to be educated properly about how to use them, and it isn’t always easy to figure out
- Many women have reported spills and messes during removal
- Menstrual cups can be expensive, ranging from $20 – $60
As menstrual cups have become quite popular, more and more brands are being released. Choosing a menstrual cup can seem daunting, however, there are clear differences between them. Some are more inexpensive, however, they don’t last quite as long. Others are created with a woman’s shape in mind. There are usually two sizes, the larger being meant for women who have given birth, and the smaller for women who have not. Here is a rundown of some of the most trusted brands in menstrual cups.
The Lena Cup is made in the USA and is FDA-approved. It is the most affordable of its kind, and is made of American medical-grade silicon and dyes, and is able to fit women of all ages and types of flow. It is bell-shaped and inserted like a tampon, offering a leak-free period while maintaining natural pH balance and moisture. Voted the best cup for first-time users, the flexible design offers comfort and protection for up to twelve consecutive hours and accommodates even the most physically active user. Many first-time users have turned to the Lena Cup, and report that it changed their life and will never go back to traditional feminine care products. The Lena Cup is also eco-conscious and is committed to reducing the environmental impact of periods. The cup itself is reusable, and the packaging is made from 100% recycled materials and printed with vegetable-based inks.
Customers who love the Lena Cup report that size matters and the Lena Cup can accommodate women of all sizes. The leak protection allows users to wear nice underwear with confidence, and the 12-hour protection allows users to insert and remove the Lena cup from the comfort of their own home, as opposed to throughout the day in public spaces. Seasoned cup users note that the Lena Cup is the best one for heavy periods. The design of the cup allows for optimal collection and easy removal with no leaks, spills or messes.Learn more about the Lena Menstrual Cup here.
The Lunette Cup is made in Finland with FDA-approved silicone. It has been around for over a decade and was recently awarded the Key Flag Emblem: a coveted Finnish designation offered only to products deemed first class. It has been approved by the FDA and also by Australian and Finnish standards organizations. It was designed by Finnish innovator, Heli Kurjanen, after she had trouble finding a menstrual cup that fit and worked well for her. The Lunette Cup is hypoallergenic and toxin free and boasts a 100% success rate in terms of fitting women of different shapes and ages. Materials used in the creation of the Lunette Cup are all-natural and without dioxin, bleach, or antimicrobials. There is no odour associated with the use of the Lunette cup, and removal is convenient and not messy.
The Lunette Cup comes in two sizes and absorbs up to twice as much as a super plus tampon. It can stay inserted for up to 12 hours and should be replaced after approximately three years to ensure optimal hygiene. Users report a well-designed stem that is easy for removal. Price-wise, the Lunette does skew higher than its counterparts, however, users report that it is worth the investment and this cup lasts longer than others.Learn more about the Lunette Menstrual Cup here.
Designed in the United States and made in China, the Dutchess Menstrual Cup comes in on the smaller side and is an excellent choice for women who have not given birth. One of the things we particularly appreciated here was that the Dutchess comes in a set of two, one of which is meant to stay at home, while the other is meant to be kept in one’s purse.
Completely safe to use and made with the same natural ingredients as a baby’s pacifier, the Dutchess’ medical-grade silicone contains no phthalates, latex, dioxins, or BPA. The two-pack offers one pink cup and one purple cup, both with a stem grip for easy removal and insertion, and a ridge-free body that is easy to clean.
Because it is a smaller cup, users are instructed to empty it out 2-5 times daily, which may be cumbersome for women on the go. However, due to its smaller sizing and shorter length. The Dutchess Cup is an ideal choice for women with smaller vaginal canals or a lower cervix.Learn more about the Dutchess Menstrual Cup here.
The Blossom Menstrual Cup boasts comfort and affordability. It is one of the most inexpensive cups on the market and is made in the US from FDA-approved, BPA-free silicone imported from Germany.
Available in a choice of two sizes, the smaller variant of the Blossom Cup is meant for women who have not yet given birth. The cup includes a satin storage pouch and detailed instructions and comes in three colors: pink, blue, and purple. Based on customer reviews as well as sizing specs, this cup is generally smaller in capacity than others, with a 20ml capacity as opposed to the industry average of 30ml, thus, women with heavier flows may want to opt for a different brand that can accommodate a heavier flow.
While there is not as much information about the Blossom Cup, its advantage is its price. It is, on average, about half the cost of the most well-known menstrual cups on the market today, and user comparisons confirm that there is not much difference between them, functionality-wise. The Blossom Cup longer in design, and thus may not be the best choice for people with a low cervix.Learn more about the Blossom Menstrual Cup here.
The Athena cup is one of the newer cups on the market, however, it has received hundreds of positive reviews since its launch in 2017.
In terms of price, sizing, and the fact that it is made in China, the Athena Cup is similar in quite a few ways to the Dutchess Cup and is made from BPA-free FDA approved food grade silicone.
Available in a range of colors, the Athena Cup also comes in two sizes, both tending to skew slightly smaller than the industry average, making it the ideal choice for women with a lighter flow.
Overall, the Athena is a great choice if you’re looking for a menstrual cup that is on the more compact side of the scale and has positive endorsement and testimonials from a lot of women who have used and speak highly of it.Learn more about the Athena Menstrual Cup here.
The Diva Cup is the most popular of its kind, and the only menstrual cup to be awarded the highly coveted ISO a certification pertaining to medical devices. It was the first menstrual cup to hit the market and has been the leader ever since, earning a long list of awards.
Widely recognized as the most trusted brand and leader in the industry, the Diva Cup is made from high-quality, food grade silicone and is free of latex, plastic, PVC, acrylic, acrylate, BPA, phthalate, elastomer, polyethylene, and free of colors and dyes. The Diva Cup has been tested and approved by the FDA, the Australian TGA, and was the first menstruation cup to be approved for sale in Canada. It is also the first menstrual cup to receive MDSAP (Medical Device Single Audit Program) certification. It also boasts an odor protection factor that can trap in the odor caused by menstruation.
The DivaCup has been featured in major publications worldwide, won countless awards, and is known as the cream of the menstrual cup crop. It comes in two sizes, one for teenagers and women who have not given birth, and the other for women over 30 and those who have a child. It is extra-durable for long-lasting use and features an easy-grip stem for simple insertion and removal.Learn more about the Diva Cup here.
The Pixie Cup is a newer brand on the market, coming on the scene in 2016. The company is based in the US, however, details are hazy as to where the cups are actually produced. The Pixie Cup’s claim to fame is its long stem, which has received mixed reviews from users. While having a longer stem makes for easier removal, it will inevitably be uncomfortable for some women, especially those with a lower cervix.
Like nearly all of the menstrual cups on the market, the Pixie Cup is made from FDA-approved medical grade silicone, however, some user reviews have indicated that this particular cup is way too soft, making it insecure and prone to leaks. One weird thing about the sizing of the Pixie Cup is that it is based on flow and not a woman’s sizing. The Pixie Cup is available in two sizes, but both tend to skew on the smaller side so this cup is not ideal for women who experience a heavy flow. Overall, the Pixie cup does not offer a lot of helpful information on their website, and the online reviews are not very positive.Learn more about the Pixie Cup here.
While most cups are made of silicone or rubber, MeLuna is the only menstrual cup on the market that is made from Thermoplastic Elastomer, also known as TPE, which is manufactured and tested rigorously by the medical device industry. Manufactured in Germany, this material is FDA-approved and often found in baby pacifiers. Some of the benefits of TPE over silicone include fewer allergic reactions, a smooth feel that doesn’t dry out as easily, and the ability to return to its original shape after being boiled in hot water.
The MeLuna Cup comes in 8 sizes – 4 of which are made for women who do not have a short cervix and 4 ‘Shorty’ sizes for women who do. They are also the only cup on the market that offers a variety of firmness options: Classic – which is a combination of soft and firm, Sport – which is the firmest cup on the market and made for the most active women, and Soft – which is for expert-level cup users.
And finally, the Me Luna offers three stem options: the classic stem, which offers a better grip for women who have a higher / longer cervix, the ring – for beginner cup users, and the ball, which is the most petite and popular stem option. Overall, the Me Luna is an excellent choice for women who would like to essentially customize their menstrual cup.Learn more about the MeLuna Menstrual Cup here.
The innovative design of the Intimina Lily cup allows users to collapse it completely flat for easy and discreet carrying. It is made from 100% medical grade silicone that is BPA and phthalate-free. It is also hypoallergenic and contains no dyes or bleaches. It is super soft and flexible for easy insertion, and many users report that they weren’t encumbered or aware of it throughout the day.
The Intimina Lily Cup is significantly smaller than other cups on the market, making it ideal for women who have lighter flows. Some users had difficulty getting it in place because of its collapsible nature, thus this cup would be better used by more experienced menstrual cup users.Learn more about the Intimina Lily Compact Collapsible Menstrual Cup here.
The Best Organic Tampons
|Cora Organic Cotton Tampons||8.6/10|
|Natracare Regular Tampons||8.6/10|
|Emerita Organic Cotton Tampons||8.2/10|
|Seventh Generation Organic Cotton Tampons||8.0/10|
|Organyc 100% Organic Cotton Tampons||7.4/10|
- When cotton is being grown, it is sprayed with pesticides and toxins to prevent pests from ruining the crop. Often, these pesticides remain after the cotton has been manufactured into tampons
- Tampons are also bleached to get their whitest, which creates dioxins in the cotton
- The FDA does not enforce any mandatory guidelines as far as the production of tampons
- Tampon manufacturers are not required to disclose the materials they use to make tampons, including ingredients and chemicals used in the process
- Most tampons are made from rayon, viscose, and wood fluff pulp; which all tend to shed and leave bacteria-causing particles behind
Tampons that have been certified as 100% organic are made with tightly constructed cotton that will not shed. They are made using organic cotton which grown without the use of pesticides, and is completely free of chemical dyes, bleach, or fragrances. They are also eco-conscious, and if they have an applicator, it is always made with biodegradable, recyclable material. Tampons are not only good for you, they are good for the environment. And while they are a bit more costly than traditional tampons, it is worth the investment to reduce the harm you could potentially create for yourself and the world around you. Here are some of the leading organic tampon brands on the market today:
Cora as a company has baked in important elements of feminism into their product line. Their certified organic tampons are made using 100% organic, hypoallergenic cotton that is biodegradable, compostable, and vegan. They come in the usual array of absorbencies and offer customers the option to have an applicator (which is made from biodegradable cardboard) or not.
All of their products are made using pure and ethically sourced ingredients, and their packaging is black and grey, straying from the typical overly pink, gender normative packaging. Their “Fearless Fit” design offers maximum absorbency, with the tampon expanding in an octagonal shape for peak protection. The woven cord adds another layer of protection and absorbency, and they were designed with the most active folks in mind.
Cora has revolutionized the way women purchase their feminine care and is based on a monthly subscription which delivers customized feminine care packages to women’s doorsteps on a monthly basis.Learn more about Cora Organic Cotton Tampons here.
Since 1989, Natracare has been manufacturing natural products as an alternative to traditional feminine care products. produced using 100% organic cotton and contain no plastic, rayon or chlorine, these organic tampons are available in the traditional variety of absorbency (regular, super, and super plus), and customers can choose between having an applicator or not (the applicators are also made using biodegradable cardboard).
Natracare has paid close attention to the risks associated with shedding fibers and use interlocking cotton to prevent it. While Natracare tampons generally receive rave reviews, some customers have reported a lack of proper absorbency as well as difficulties when using the applicator.Learn more about Natracare Organic Tampons here.
Emerita is a well-established brand that has been manufacturing all-natural wellness products since 1978. Owned and operated by women, Emerita is committed to women’s health and providing safe and effective products women need to survive.
Emerita tampons are manufactured using 100% certified organic cotton, free of any and all pesticide residues. They cleanse their cotton using a mild hydrogen peroxide solution that is bleach, chlorine, and chemical free. They feature a thin ‘security veil’ which keeps the tampons intact and eliminates the possibility of shedding or leaving behind unnecessary and often dangerous fibers. They come with a biodegradable cardboard applicator and are offered in various absorbencies ranging from regular to super. They are free of any rayon, perfume, and chlorine.Learn more about Emerita Organic Cotton Tampons here.
Seventh Generation has been creating plant-based products out of their manufacturing facility in Vermont for the past 25 years. They are committed to remaining eco-conscious at each stage of the product’s lifecycle, from creation to disposal. Everything related to the tampon, from its packaging to the applicator to the tampon itself is made from biodegradable materials. Seventh Generation uses certified organic cotton to create its tampons, and they employ an all-natural whitening process which doesn’t use chlorine. On top of this, thee organic cotton tampons are free of all dyes, chemicals, and fragrances, and offer a pure cotton product that is much safer than traditional tampons.
Available in the traditional range of absorbency levels, users can also choose between having an applicator or not. The string is coated with a water-repellent, all natural wax, and they are reasonably priced to ensure accessibility.
Seventh Generation tampons have received rave reviews for their all natural and eco-friendly approach to tampon manufacturing, however, there have been some noted complaints. Some customers have reported that the applicator doesn’t offer an easy grip, while others have mentioned that because the tampons don’t flare out like their more traditional counterparts, the absorbency may not be as good.Learn more about Seventh Generation Organic Cotton Tampons here.
Organyc tampons are made by Corman SPA, an Italian company that specializes in using cotton to manufacture would care and hygiene products since 1947. They sell their products to 26 countries and come highly recommended by pharmacists, dermatologists, and gynecologists worldwide – especially for women with sensitive skin and allergies.
The best thing about these tampons is that they’re 100% certified biodegradable and produced from organic cotton that has not been bleached with chlorine. In addition to these excellent green manufacturing creds, they also have an absorbent all-natural cotton core with a thin veil to prevent fibers from shedding internally during wear.
Customers can choose between having an applicator and not, and the price range is relatively inexpensive in comparison to other leading brands. The applicator is made from biodegradable cardboard; however, customer feedback suggests that it feels more like plastic, which tends to be the preference.
Bon Certified Organic
Following a health scare which resulted in doctor’s orders to switch to organic tampons, Ana Ames-Durey was unable to find an organic option that was right for her. So she found manufacturers and created her own line of certified organic tampons known as BON. BON tampons are made in New Zealand from 100% certified organic cotton and are free of fragrances, pesticides, and herbicides. They are tightly woven in order to ensure no particles are left behind after they are removed. Bon tampons come in a biodegradable canister and do not have applicators. They are a great economical choice and are available through an affordable monthly subscription service.
The Best Reusable Pads
In addition to the negative environmental impact, there are health concerns similar to that of tampons. Disposable sanitary pad manufacturers are not required by law to list all of the chemicals in pads, and many have been proven to contain harmful dioxins, chemicals, and synthetic fibers. Women are beginning to think twice about using disposable sanitary pads, and are flocking en masse toward reusable products. Given the market demand, there is now a wide variety of reusable pads available on the market. Here are some of our favorites:
GladRags are the most widely recognized brand of reusable pads on the market today. They are handmade in the US, using all-natural, soft cotton that is breathable and far less uncomfortable than the plastic-based disposable pads.
The GladRags range is available in the traditional variety of liners, day pads, and night pads, and they do not have the traditional plastic back in order to provide maximum breathability. They come in an assortment of cute styles and colors and are fully machine washable.
While they are more expensive up front than the disposable pads, customers will inevitably save money, in the long run, having washed and reused them.
Some recent customer complaints have alluded to the fact that GladRags are hard to clean and often stain, and can be ineffective for women with a heavy flow.Learn more about GladRags Reusable Pads here.
Lunapads are constructed in two parts: the winged base which fastens around the underwear, and the removable insert made using absorbent fleece. The base is leak resistant and can be kept in place all day, with users only needing to change the insert. This is one of the unique features of the LunaPad, as most other reusable pads require both the base and the inserts to be changed together, every time.
LunaPads are available in a wide variety of styles and sizes, including mini, maxi, long, overnight, and postpartum. LunaPads also makes reusable pantyliners available in an array of sizes, including thong, teeny, mini, and long. While the pads offer a leak resistant core, the liners do not, so it is important to use the pads on heavier days.
The brand has received few complaints, except for several customers who have mentioned that they are not necessarily ideal for wear during exercise and physical activity, as they may shift around.Learn more about Lunapads Performa Reusable Pads here.
The brand’s reusable pads feature a layer of charcoal fabric which absorbs liquids and odors effectively. The top lining is always a dark color, to avoid the showing of stains, and they are made as one piece so there is it is not necessary to buy extra inserts. Every pad is equipped with a leak resistant layer, and feature snap-wings which offer the perfect fit.
Customers have shared positive feedback about the HeartFelt brand, noting that the pads are breathable, soft, comfortable, and easy to wash. They also speak to the company’s excellent and responsive customer care team that’s on call to answer questions and help with use. Common complaints about the HeartFelt pads include the fact that they move around a lot and are best worn with tight clothing to help keep them in place. Other customers comment that they are slightly too thick and can come with a chemical smell when they are new.Learn more about HeartFelt Reusable Menstrual Pads here.
Hesta Organic makes all-natural, organic feminine care products, made by women for women. Their reusable pads are ideal for women with sensitive skin and skin allergies, and come in a variety of shapes and fun colors and patterns.
Hesta pads are made of pure cotton, with a coated waterproof layer for maximum protection. They feature five layers of organic cotton flannel and snap-wings to secure the pad in place.
Designed with versatility in mind, the pads have been constructed for fitting any body closely and providing optimal protection. Washing them is a breeze, and they are said to last up to five years if they are washed properly.
Most of the feedback has been positive, with women reporting strong protection, comfort, and easy washing. A few customers have complained that the pads are too short, however, there is an array of sizes available to accommodate different menstrual scenarios.Learn more about Hesta Organic Reusable Pads here.
The Love My pads are made from anti-bacterial bamboo fabric – a renewable resource that is as soft as cotton and other fabrics and also feature a charcoal layer for maximum absorbency.
The pads come in various colors and patterns and feature a waterproof outer layer as well as the charcoal absorbency layer. They come in various lengths, and all feature snap-wings to secure them in place.
Users have commented that the charcoal layer helps neutralize odors and minimize stains and that the Love My pads are easily machine washable. Negative customer feedback indicates that in spite of the thickness of the pads, they may not be absorbent enough for the heaviest days while some customers complained that the size variety is lacking and doesn’t accommodate everyone.Learn more about Love My Reusable Menstrual Pads here.
The Best Organic Pads
|Seventh Generation Maxi Pads||9.0/10|
|Rael Certified Organic Cotton Panty Liners||8.6/10|
|Natratouch Organic Cotton Sanitary Pads||7.6/10|
|NATRACARE Natural Curved Panty Liner||7.2/10|
|Organyc 100% Organic Cotton Panty Liners for Sensitive Skin||7.2/10|
Organic pads are made using all natural ingredients, and will eliminate exposure to harmful toxins and chemicals during your menstrual cycle. Women who have sensitive skin and skin allergies also benefit from organic pads, as they contain less irritants like fragrances and synthetic substances, if at all. Organic pads are also biodegradable, and can significantly decrease the amount of garbage and pollution that is a result of feminine care products. Companies are responding to these concerns and creating organic pads for women worldwide. Here are some of our favorites:
Seventh Generation’s Free & Clear fragrance-free pads are designed with the most sensitive skin in mind. Made in Quebec, these pads are made from Chlorine-free processed wood pulp and polyolefins, and are whitened without the use of chlorine.
The strong adhesive and PureFit design for flexible protection allows for optimal efficiency while mitigating leaks. They feature a soft, cloth-like cover and come in a variety of shapes and widths, depending on your flow.
Customers report excellent durability and effective adhesive, allowing for optimal protection during times of movement although some critical feedback stated that the pads were much too short, and could at times have a chemical smell.Learn more about Seventh Generation Organic Pads here.
Established in 2016, Rael was founded with the vision that women deserve products that are not harmful to us or the environment that surrounds us. Their organic pads are made of 100% certified organic non-GMO cotton from Texas, and are free of toxins, parabens, and chemicals.
These liners are built for durability and designed to prevent any leakages, while at the same time locking in natural moisture. Being both lightweight and absorbent, these pads are also completely biodegradable and use natural adhesive to secure the pad in place. The hypoallergenic, breathable layers allow for maximum comfort while preventing unpleasant odors from escaping, and come in regular and overnight sizes. It is relatively new to the market, so customer feedback is few and far between.
Comments found are all in praise of this product, and the company’s customer base is expanding at a rapid rate since the launch of their subscription system, which delivers a custom feminine care package to customers’ doors each month.Learn more about Rael Certified Organic Panty Liners here.
NatraTouch is a brand that is distributed by Apropos and is completely separate from NatraCare. The packaging says that the pads are made from 100% certified US cotton, however, the product is made in China and distributed by a Korean-based company.
The NaraTouch pads are ultra-slim, and come in various sizes, including small, medium, large, and overnight, and organic pantyliners in sizes regular and long.
They are affordably priced and free of chlorine, perfumes or dyes. Customers with sensitive and allergy-prone skin have noted that these pads do not cause irritation and discomfort like the traditional, chemical-laden pads have in the past, and they were impressed by the affordability.
One thing to bear in mind with these pads is that there have been several complaints about the adhesive backing not being sticky enough, and customers have also questioned the authenticity of the organic status, as the product is made in China and is not held to the same standard as organic products manufactured in the US.Learn more about NatraTouch Organic Cotton Sanitary Pads here.
For the past 30 years, Natracare has manufactured natural products, and are pioneers in the realm of alternative feminine hygiene products. The brand’s organic pads and pantyliners are made from cotton that is certified organic, and come in four sizes: ultra and ultra-extra, regular, super, and night long maxi pads, and thin pantyliners for lighter days.
Made in Sweden, Natracare pads feature an absorbent core made from cellulose pulp taken from fast-growing trees and has been ecologically certified.
The pads utilize cornstarch and non-toxic glue for the sticky backing and are whitened using oxygen rather than chlorine to avoid the potential for dioxin cultivation. Each pad is plastic-free packaged in biodegradable wrapping, and are 100% compostable.
Customers note that the pads are soft, breathable, and hypo-allergenic, however, there were several complaints pertaining to the efficiency of the pantyliners, saying that they wilt when they come in contact with moisture, and have to be changed more frequently than traditional pantyliners.Learn more about Natracare Organic Cotton Pads here.
Organyc menstrual pads are made in Italy and are sold around the world in 26 countries. The pads in the Organyc family come in various sizes, including Night Wings, Day Wings, Day Wings Thick, and pantyliners, and are geared toward women with sensitive skin and skin allergies.
Made from certified organic cotton with an extra absorbent core, these organic menstrual pads are completely free of wood pulp and Organyc whitens and sanitizes its cotton with hydrogen peroxide, skipping the bleach and avoiding the cultivation of dioxin. They are also free of synthetics and chemicals such as rayon and various absorbent powders, which many women report to be too dry and cause irritation and infection.
Customers rave about the softness of the pads and have also confirmed that they are an effective alternative for women with sensitive skin and skin allergies. Recent complaints included inconsistent manufacturing, with some customers receiving packages of pads in which only half featured the quilted top. Other customers have mentioned that the adhesive is not sticky enough and can shift around during movement.Learn more about Organyc Natural Organic Cotton Panty Liners here.
The Best Period Panties
|Hesta Women's Organic Cotton Period Panties||8.6/10|
|YOYI Bamboo Viscose Fiber Menstrual Leakproof Panties||8.4/10|
|EvaWear Menstrual Panties||8.0/10|
|NATRACARE Natural Curved Panty Liner||7.8/10|
These period panties are 95% certified organic cotton and 5% spandex, for optimal protection and mobility. They are made for sensitive and allergy-prone skin and feature both durability and comfort. If you’re looking for the best period panties which offer an environmentally friendly alternative to traditional, disposable pads and tampons, and feel great on the skin then Hesta’s range is up there with the best.
Available in black, white, and nude, the Hesta panties are also offered in a variety of shapes and cuts. Unlike other period panties, the Hesta brand has positioned these as an added layer of protection to be used in conjunction with another method of protection, such as a tampon or a menstrual cup. They are not meant to act as a standalone product. Customers report the panties as being comfortable, user-friendly, and easy to wash, while others have complained that the sizing is on the smaller side (especially the leg holes), and sit too low on the hips.Learn more about Hesta Organic Underwear here.
Intimate Portal offers full protection from leaks and a secondary measure f protection to be worn in conjunction with another feminine care product such as a pad or a tampon. The body is made from 95% cotton and 5% spandex, and the leakproof lining mas been manufactured using cotton and various synthetics.
Available in a variety of colors, the Intimate Portal protective briefs also come in three distinct styles: Sporty – which features a boycut style, Sensational – which features a fullback cut with lace accents for added aesthetic, and Practical – a traditional fullback panty design.
Customers love this brand because of its pleasing aesthetic and company mantra that not all period panties have to be ugly. Many report when using them as a back up to a pad, tampon, or cup, they were effective in protecting against leaks and spills. Other customers have complained that they are sized incorrectly and very much on the small side, and they also lack any stretch, making them quite uncomfortable to wear.Learn more about Intimate Portal Leakproof Protective Briefs here.
Made by LunaPads, Lunapanties are a hybrid clothing item that is part reusable cloth pad, part panty. They claim to be all-inclusive of the benefits of traditional feminine care products and thus don’t require a pad, tampon, or cup to be used in conjunction.
The built-in, super absorbent gusset (crotch-area) features an absorbent pad sewn into the lining, which has proven to result in fewer leaks than older period panty designs.
They come in a variety of colors and styles, ranging from styles that cover more area and are meant for heavier flow, to bikini-type fits that are most effective on lighter days. They contain no chemicals or glues and are made up of 95% cotton and 5% spandex. The waterproof lining is made from cotton fleece and PUL (polyurethane laminate), and the inserts are made using only cotton fleece. They are easy to maintain and can be machine washed at any temperature. Positive customer feedback points to the breathability and comfort of the design, as well as the overall protection against leaks. However, a few customers have complained that the panties are too thick and can be hot and uncomfortable to wear. They are also on the expensive end of period panties.Learn more about Lunapads Organic Cotton Lunapanties here.
Thinx Period Panties
Thinx are probably the most well-known brand of period panties on the market today and the secret to these period panties resides within their layers.
Thinx are effectively made up of four elements of technology that make them anti-microbial, absorbent, moisture-wicking, and leak resistant. The top layer fights bacteria and absorbs any liquid into the second layer, so you never feel ‘wet’.
Many users report that Thinx is able to withstand heavy flow days and protect against leaks for 12 hours. Other women did report feeling like they were wearing a wet bathing suit during their heavy flow, with some even going as far as to say Thinx leaked. Overall, much like the majority of other period panties, they should be used as a second layer of protection in conjunction with another care product such as a cup or tampon. Consider your flow: if it is lighter, Thinx will most likely work as a standalone solution. If it is quite heavy, you may want to think of Thinx as a replacement for panty liners. In terms of sizing, these panties also tend to fit smaller, so size-up for ultimate fit and comfort. Learn more about Thinx Period Panties here.
Ideally used as an extra form of protection, these panties are designed to be used along with a pad, tampon, or cup and can also be useful in situations of incontinence and post-partum bleeding. The Yoyi leakproof panties come in an assortment of bright colors but offer one cut style.
Maintenance is relatively simple, as these panties can be machine or hand washed, however, they must not be put in the dryer or else they will be ruined.
Customers have been relatively satisfied with this product, however, customers have complained that they do not mask odor or wick moisture, and their sizing skews much smaller than normal, so be prepared to order a larger size than you would normally.Learn more about Yoyi Bamboo Viscose Leakproof Panties here.
EvaWear Period Panties offer a more stylish design and super absorbency. They are breathable, hypoallergenic, stretchy, and are able to wick moisture effectively. They are available in multiple sizes and colors and can be used with or without a pad or tampon. They are made of nylon, cotton, and spandex, and offer a soft, comfortable feel with excellent protection.
Customers report that these period panties are effective if you have a light to moderate flow, and they generally fit as expected. Others noted that these panties are best used in conjunction with another feminine care product such as a cup or a tampon. Other customers have complained that they are not stretchy enough, causing them to be terribly uncomfortable and ill-fitting.Learn more about EvaWear Period Panties here.
FAQs and Tips
What to Expect on Your First Try
Menstrual cups can seem daunting, however, once you get used to them and learn proper insertion techniques, they can be an exceptional alternative to pads and tampons. Choosing the right size is fairly simple as most cups come in two sizes: one geared towards women who have given birth and one for those who have not. Here are a few tips and tricks for effective use:
1. It’s all in the fold
The good news is all cups are made of soft, flexible material, so you don’t have to hastily insert the wide cup at peak circumference. The most effective method of insertion involves a 2-step folding technique. First, take your index and thumb finger and press the cup together between your fingers, making it as flat as possible. Next, push the outer edges of the folded cup together, so it is now flatted and folded completely in half. Reposition your fingers so you can maintain this fold in one hand and insert the cup like a tampon
2. Don’t be afraid to lube
Lubing the rim of the cup – especially for first-time users – can help ease the insertion process. Many manufacturers suggest that simply wetting the rim of the cup is sufficient, however, if you are looking for optimal results, try your favorite water-based lube. Note: It is extremely important not to use silicone-based lubrication on your cup, as it will counteract with the materials and potentially damage or compromise the cup.
3. Angle of Insertion
The cup is best inserted at a 45-degree angle. To achieve this, the most common approach is to sit over the toilet the same way you hover when using a public washroom. Holding the folded cup pinched between your thumb and forefinger, aim the cup toward your lower back (not the top of your vagina) like you would a tampon, and push it in. Your fingers will go in a bit at the beginning, so it is always a good idea to wash your hands thoroughly prior to inserting your cup. Once the full cup is inside, let go of the top allowing the cup to pop open. Push the end of the stem to ensure it is secured in place. Once you have pushed it in, grab the bottom of the bulb and gently twist it to ensure it is all the way inside as well as create a suction.
4. Start again if you’re uncomfortable
Much like a tampon, the menstrual cup should feel comfortable and almost non-existent when positioned correctly. If it is uncomfortable in any way, remove it and insert it again.
5. Menstrual Squat
Many users report that doing 3 -4 squats after insertion will help ensure the cup is secured and won’t move around throughout the day. Make your squats quick and bouncy, and get as low to the ground as you can. Again, if your cup begins to feel uncomfortable, remove and start again.
It is imperative that you remove your cup over the toilet or in the shower for obvious reasons. Give your hands a good scrub, take a seat (or a squatting position if you’re in the shower), relax your muscles, take a deep breath, and yank on the stem.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I know my size?
Most brands offer two sizes of cups: pre and post-natal. Meaning, if you have yet to give birth, chances are you need a small cup. And it is probably best to opt for the larger cup if you have had a child. If you have a low cervix, then you should opt for a cup that is shorter in length than the other ones. Al of this being said, we are all unique individuals with very different body shapes and sizes. Your best bet is to give a few models a try in order to find the best fit.
Can I use a menstrual cup with an IUD or contraceptive ring?
Yes! The cup will not disrupt either of these contraceptives, however, it might be best to consult with your doctor at your next check-up to make sure there are no issues.
How often should I replace my cup?
The answer to this question is specific to the manufacturer, however, the rule of thumb is to replace every 2 – 3 years. Consult your cup’s instruction manual for an exact timeframe.
Can I have sex while wearing the cup?
Oral sex: yes. Vaginal / penetrative sex: no. There is a chance the cup may be brushed or squeezed, causing it to shift and subsequently leak.
Can I use the cup if I am allergic to latex?
Yes. Most menstrual cups are made from medical-grade silicone, which will not affect or ignite a latex allergy.
Can I use the cup as a contraceptive?
No. The cup will not prevent pregnancy, and it also does not prevent sexually transmitted infections. Think of its functionality the same way you do other feminine care products: strictly for period-related use.
Can I use the cup if I periodically pass large clots?
Yes, you can. Typically, the cup will suffice for a 12-hour period, however, through trial and error, you will learn the length that works best for your body. The rule of thumb is that the cup holds at least twice as much as a super tampon can absorb.
How do I empty the cup in a public restroom?
The same way you would in a private bathroom – remove and empty it. Many women opt to carry a bottle of water in their purse, so they can rinse the cup over the toilet before reinserting it. If this is the case, remember to wash your cup in a more thorough manner upon returning home.
Can the cup get lost inside of me?
No. The way women are shaped would not allow for this to be a possibility. The bell shape of the cup is designed to fit comfortably against your vaginal walls without touching the cervix.
Can I use the menstrual cup during post-natal bleeding?
No. Because there are internal open wounds healing during this time, there is a heightened risk of infection, especially when there are foreign objects around. Wait until your doctor gives you the green light to begin using internal menstrual products before resuming cup use.
Cleaning and Care
Most menstrual cups come in packs of two, allowing for seamless rotation throughout your period. During your cycle, wash your cup after each removal with warm soap and water, and let it air dry. Medical-grade silicone is a material that does not collect or harbor bacteria, so a simple wash throughout your cycle is more than sufficient.
Once your cycle is finished, you should practice a more rigorous method of cleaning. Here are some options:
1. Boiling – because each cup is different, consult the instruction guide for best practices when it comes to boiling. Generally, five minutes in a deep pot of boiling water is sufficient, but since products vary, it is wise to consult the instructions.
2. Vinegar wash – mix 1 part vinegar and 9 parts water and swirl the cup in the solution for two-three minutes
3. Denture tablets – while these are made specifically for your grandparents’ dentures, tablets are often very effective in cleaning your menstrual cup. Fill a ten-ounce glass with warm water and dissolve the tablet. Drop your cup in and let it sit for 30 minutes.
Do not use any of the following materials to wash your cup:
- Oil-based soap
- Hydrogen peroxide
- Oils of any kind
- Rubbing alcohol
- Antibacterial soap
- Hand sanitizer
Frequently Asked Questions
How long do reusable pads last?
If cleaned and cared for correctly, reusable pads can last up to 5 years.
Do reusable pads smell?
Since their fabric breathes, moisture evaporates. The less moisture there is, the fewer bacteria is produced which reduces the likelihood of unwanted smells. Cloth pads have a tendency to stay fresher than disposable pads.
How many cloth pads will I need?
Think about this in relation to your cycle: if you are heavier, you will need more cloth pads than if you are lighter. Use the following list as a good place to start, and add more if need be:
- 3-6 pantyliners
- 6-12 daypads
- 3-4 overnight pads
How do I plan for pad changes if I’m not at home?
Most cloth pads are designed with snap wings that can be used to fold the pad neatly up into a square. Many women will carry plastic or Ziploc bags with them during the day to safely and hygienically transport the pads home.
Do cloth pads stain?
Sometimes they do, especially if they are white or a lighter color, however just because a cloth pad is stained doesn’t mean it is unclean.
Can I wear reusable pads while swimming?
Cleaning and Care
Cleaning and care for reusable pads is simple: simply toss them into the washing machine. Any detergent is fine. Avoid using hot water as that may set the stain, and also avoid fabric softener, as it will compromise the absorbency. Additionally, it is not recommended that you use bleach on your pads, and it might break them down and affect the absorbency. You will achieve optimal results by soaking the pads in cold water prior to washing them, or using the prewash setting if you have one on your washer. You may then either air dry the pads or tumble dry on a low setting. Avoid rigorous machine-drying, as it can ruin the integrity of the pad.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I wear period panties without any other form of feminine hygiene products?
Generally, the answer is no. Most period panties are designed to be an added layer of protection to act in conjunction with a pad, tampon, or cup.
Is there a risk of toxic shock syndrome with period panties?
Since period panties are worn externally, there is no risk of toxic shock.
I am prone to yeast infections; can I wear period panties?
Yes. Since they are made of breathable material, period panties should not trigger a yeast infection or contribute to an increase in yeast.
How long do period panties last?
Most period panties will last as long as regular panties, as long as they are gently washed and air dried.
How many pairs of period panties do I need?
The general rule of thumb is to own one pair to cover each day of your period.
Can I wear period panties in the pool?
No. They are not designed to be swimwear.
Cleaning and Care
Since every brand is different, it is important to consult the instructions on your specific pair. The majority of period panties can be machine washed, however, they should always be air-dried as opposed to being put in the dryer, as it will compromise the absorbency. For the same reason, it is also best to avoid fabric softener.
We, as women, must take our choice of feminine care products as seriously as we do food. We innately understand the risks and problems associated with ingesting toxins and chemicals, yet we are okay with using risky and potentially harmful products during our period.
Additionally, we must begin to consider sustainable alternatives when selecting the period products we use, in order to eliminate exuberant amounts of waste. As we evolve and innovation ascends, our choices become seemingly limitless. We are no longer bound by limited selections and forced to choose between toxins and other toxins. Consider this list as a collection of environmentally, fiscally, and hygienically responsible options to consider. We have much more at our fingertips than traditional, toxin-filled, waste-causing products. Choose wisely!