The Best Period Underwear How it Works

Period Underwear vs. Pads: An In-Depth Comparison

When it comes to navigating the world of menstrual products the process can feel daunting, especially for new young women entering the world of menstruation. With an array of choices available, it's crucial to understand their differences to make informed selections.

Today, we delve into the comparison of period underwear versus pads: which reigns supreme? This comprehensive guide will dive deep into every facet of these popular menstrual products, helping you in selecting the optimal choice for your needs.

When it pertains to period management, comfort, convenience, and efficacy are at the top of the list for most. Traditional pads have been a mainstay for many, yet period underwear has surfaced as a groundbreaking alternative. Both possess distinctive advantages and disadvantages, and the choice hinges on personal predilections, lifestyle, and menstrual flow. This article will offer a thorough comparison to assist you in making the best decision.

Understanding Period Underwear

What is Period Underwear?

Period underwear resembles regular panties but is engineered to absorb menstrual flow. Crafted with multiple fabric layers, it can retain varying quantities of blood, contingent on the brand and style. The outer layer is typically moisture-wicking and leak-resistant, ensuring comfort and security throughout the day.

How Does Period Underwear Work?

Period underwear generally comprises three layers: a moisture-wicking top layer, an absorbent middle layer, and a leak-resistant bottom layer. The top layer keeps you dry, the middle layer absorbs the menstrual fluid, and the bottom layer prevents leaks. This design ensures you remain comfortable and confident during your period.

Benefits of Period Underwear

  • Comfort and Convenience: Period underwear is exceedingly comfortable, mimicking your everyday panties. There's no need to fret about pads shifting or the discomfort of wearing an external product.
  • Environmental Impact: Reusable period underwear mitigates waste, making it eco-friendly.
  • Cost-Effective: Despite the higher initial cost, period underwear can be reused for years, economizing in the long run.
  • Discreetness: Period underwear is discreet and can be donned with any attire without fear of visible lines or bulges.

Understanding Pads

What are Pads?

Pads, also known as sanitary napkins, are absorbent products worn inside underwear to collect menstrual flow. They come in various sizes and absorbency levels to accommodate different flow types and preferences. Pads have been a dependable choice for menstrual management for decades.

How Do Pads Work?

Pads are constructed of layers of absorbent materials, including a top sheet that remains dry against the skin, a core that absorbs and locks in menstrual fluid, and a waterproof backing to avert leaks. They come with adhesive strips that affix to the underwear, keeping them in place.

Benefits of Pads

  • Variety: Pads come in various sizes, thicknesses, and absorbency levels, offering options for every flow type and preference.
  • Ease of Use: Pads are easy to use and dispose of, making them convenient for those who prefer a hassle-free option.
  • Accessibility: Pads are widely available and can be found in most stores, ensuring easy accessibility.

Reusable Pads

There is also the option of double-sided reusable pads, which is a low-cost, eco-friendly alternative. Ruby Love's new reusable Double-Sided Pads are like two pads in one. They absorb from both sides and are machine washable. When one side gets full, flip the pad for double the use. 

Made with ultra-soft 100% cotton on the outside and 100% polyester on the inside for maximum absorbency. No leaks, stains, odors, or itchy fabrics, and best of all, no noisy crinkly wrappers! 

Comparing Period Underwear and Pads


In terms of absorbency, both period underwear and pads provide reliable protection. However, period underwear can retain a substantial amount of fluid, sometimes up to several tampons' worth, making it a suitable choice for heavy flow days. Pads also come in high-absorbency options but may necessitate more frequent changes than period underwear.


Comfort is a pivotal factor in selecting menstrual products. Period underwear excels in this category due to its resemblance to regular underwear. It's soft, breathable, and lacks the bulkiness that some pads possess. Pads, while also designed for comfort, can occasionally cause chafing or irritation, especially during prolonged wear.

Environmental Impact

Period underwear is a more sustainable choice compared to disposable pads. The reusable nature of period underwear significantly curtails waste, contributing to a lower environmental footprint. Pads, being disposable, generate more waste and require frequent repurchasing, which accumulates over time, unless you purchase reusable pads. 


Despite the higher initial cost of period underwear, it proves to be more cost-effective in the long term. A single pair of period underwear can endure for several years with proper care. Conversely, pads need to be purchased regularly, which can become costly over time.

Hygiene and Maintenance

Maintaining period hygiene is crucial. Period underwear necessitates regular washing to remain sanitary. Most brands are machine-washable, but it's vital to adhere to specific care instructions to ensure longevity. Pads are disposable, offering convenience for quick changes, especially when on the move. However, they need to be changed frequently to avert odor and discomfort.

Situational Use: When to Choose What

Active Lifestyle

For those with an active lifestyle, period underwear can be a transformative option. It's designed to stay in place, providing freedom of movement without fear of leaks. Whether you're exercising, traveling, or simply on the go, period underwear offers dependable protection. Pads, while effective, might shift or become uncomfortable during high activity levels.

Overnight Use

Both period underwear and pads offer overnight options designed for maximum absorbency. However, period underwear might provide more comfort and a better night's sleep due to its seamless design and high absorbency. Pads with wings can also be effective but might not be as comfortable for some.

Light vs. Heavy Flow

For light to medium flow days, period underwear can be worn alone or as a backup to other menstrual products. On heavy flow days, combining period underwear with a pad or tampon can provide extra security. Pads are versatile for any flow level but might require frequent changes on heavier days.

Addressing Common Concerns


One of the primary concerns with menstrual products is leakage. Period underwear, designed with multiple layers of protection, minimizes this risk. Pads also offer reliable protection but might shift, especially if not placed correctly. Choosing the right size and absorbency level for your flow is crucial in both cases.


Both period underwear and pads are designed to minimize odor. Period underwear uses breathable materials that help prevent bacterial growth, while pads often have odor-neutralizing technologies. Regular changing and proper hygiene practices are essential to avoid any odor issues.

Allergies and Sensitivities

For those with sensitive skin, selecting the right menstrual product is crucial. Period underwear is typically made from hypoallergenic materials, reducing the risk of irritation. Some pads contain fragrances or synthetic materials that might cause reactions in sensitive individuals. Opting for fragrance-free and organic options can help mitigate these concerns.

Expert Opinions

Gynecologists and menstrual health experts generally recommend experimenting with different products to find what works best for you. They emphasize the importance of comfort, absorbency, and personal preference in selecting menstrual products. Some experts suggest combining products, like using period underwear as a backup for pads or tampons on heavy days.

Ruby Love’s successful founder and CEO, Crystal Etienne, always knew that she wanted to create something that would empower women. She has played a pivotal role in revolutionizing the way menstruating individuals experience their periods. These products are meticulously designed to offer superior protection against leaks while also prioritizing comfort and sustainability.


In the debate of period underwear versus pads, there isn't a universal answer. Both products offer unique benefits and can be effective in managing menstrual flow. Period underwear provides comfort, sustainability, and cost-effectiveness, while pads offer variety, ease of use, and accessibility. The best choice ultimately depends on your lifestyle, flow, and personal preferences. By understanding the features and benefits of each, you can make an informed decision that best suits your needs.

For more information on menstrual health and product options, check out these resources:

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