You've heard the debates over which type makes the better sanitary pad. Each side has its pros and cons, so let's dive right in and examine, point for point, how these two opponents measure up.
Which type keeps you clean and hygienic?
Cloth – Cloth pads need to be properly washed to prevent any build up of bacteria. However, they're often more breathable than disposables, making them less likely to promote infections.
Disposable – Because they're thrown away as soon as they're soiled, disposable pads carry less risk of being misused than their cloth counterparts.
What makes you feel secure and easy-going?
Cloth – One of the reasons cloths pads are becoming so popular is because they're more comfortable to the touch than disposables.
Disposable – Comfort is about more than just a tactile sensation. Women who prefer disposables often do so because they're less likely to leak, giving them greater peace of mind.
When you get right down to it, a pad's most important function is keeping menstrual blood where it belongs.
Cloth – For all the benefits of cloth pads, they often fall short of disposables in terms of leak prevention. Without a plastic backing, a particularly heavy flow can leak through the fabric, staining under and outer wear.
Disposable – This depends largely on the type of pad, as disposables are known for shifting out of place. As long as they stay in place, however, disposables will often prevent leaks better than cloth.
It's all about choice, so which one offers you more?
Cloth – Cloth pads can be made in just about any shape and size imaginable. Because they're often custom made, they can be designed exactly to the user's specifications.
Disposable – We all know how many different styles and sizes of pad can be found in the feminine hygiene aisle. While cloth pads can be made to order, there are so many disposable options that the two are pretty evenly matched.
Pads are expensive, so which kind can save you some green?
Cloth – If you've ever looked into cloth pads, you know they can be quite expensive. However, with proper care, they can last so long that they end up saving you money in the long run.
Disposable – Cloth pads may be a good investment over time, but if you don't have the money to spend at the moment, the cheaper disposable pads will save you money in up front costs.
The No Contest Categories
There's no point in debating either one of these clear winners.
Cloth pads are clearly the better environmental choice. They're reusable, biodegradable, and require relatively little water to clean. It's estimated that a cloth pad will save a whopping 200 disposable pads from a landfill.
There's no comparison between cloth and disposable in terms of convenience. Even though cloth pads can be thrown in with a regular load of laundry after a quick pre-wash rinse, that's still much more work and time than simply folding them up and tossing them away.
So which one is better? In the end, there is no single right answer. The pad that's best for you depends on your lifestyle and individual needs. Is dealing with the messy aspect of cloth pads a fair trade to help out the environment? Is the convenience of disposable pads worth spending some extra money every month?
No matter what cloth and disposable advocates say, only you know what's best for your body.