We’re all concerned about the environment, and some of the items used regularly by many women are menstrual or maternity pads, tampons and pantyliners. It might not have occurred to you to seek out the best reusable pads out there, but in the interests of saving the planet – as well as some cold, hard cash – why not think about making the switch? If you want to replace disposable sanitary items with reusable, washable pads, read on to find out all you need to know.
Have a daughter who may get their first period soon, check out Helping Girls prepare for their first period
Unsure about the swap, read Cloth Bum Mum’s Journey with CSP
If you are unsure about reusable pads and would prefer to try something else, have you considered a menstrual cup, check out this Cheeriful Menstrual Cup Review
CLICK HERE to see our choice for the best reusable pads
|Livehitop||Heavy||Straight + wings||M, L, XL||Charcoal||7, 5, 5||Yes||£||9.5|
|Exqline||Medium||Straight + wings||One size||Various patterns||10||Yes + box||££||9.4|
|Hesta||Pantyliner||Slightly curved||One size||Brown||5||No||£££||9.3|
|Eco Lily||Various||Straight + wings||S, M, L, mixed||Lily print||6||Yes||££||9.8|
|Rovtop||Medium||Curved||One size||Various patterns||10||Two||££||9.9|
|Floating Lotus||Night||Straight + wings||M & L||Charcoal & Black||6||Yes||£££||9.7|
|Floating Lotus||Maternity||Straight + wings||XL||Charcoal & Black||3||Yes||£||9.6|
Why buy reusable pads?
Spending a little money now on reusable pads can save money in the long term, and it also means you’ll always have a supply of pads without having to remember to pick some up at the shops. It’s also so much better for the environment. Why not give the idea some serious consideration?
The packs of menstrual pads we list here cost an average of around £21. With the average pack containing 6 to 7 pads, they will cost just over £3 per pad – and these could last you for a very long time.
Surely we’ve all been there – getting your period and realising you have only a few or even no pads or tampons at all in the house. Having a permanent supply means that emergency dash to the shops or your bestie’s house becomes a thing of the past.
Can you honestly say that disposable menstrual pads and pantyliners are really comfortable to wear? Surely we’ve all had that tacky backing sticking just where it shouldn’t. The paper-based pads are not always the softest things to wear, either. By contrast, reusable pads are
made from super soft fabric that feels much more pleasant. The fabric may even be more absorbent, making this type of pad thinner than a disposable one.
Reusable menstrual pads are kinder to the environment as well as to your body. If you use around a dozen pads per month, for example, that’s 144 pads per year that might end up in landfill – far more if you use pantyliners all month long. Using an average of 2 pads per day totals 730 in one year. Don’t forget you have to pay for those, too!
What to look out for in reusable pads
The range of reusable pads out there is pretty comprehensive – which may be a surprise to those who haven’t considered this form of sanitary protection before. There are a number of factors to consider before making your first purchase.
Pads vary in shape. There are long, straight-edged pads – or like disposable versions, there are plenty that include ‘wings’. If you already have a preference, you may want to opt for something of a similar shape.
When do you plan to use the pads, and how heavy is your flow? Those who want to wear them as pantyliners might like a much thinner, lighter pad than someone who requires reliable protection during the heaviest day of her period.
Size matters because of your flow. If your periods are heavy, or you’ve recently given birth, then you may wish to opt for thicker, larger pads. Alternatively, if you simply want a pantyliner for daily wear you might choose a thinner, lighter pad. Perhaps a combination of both would be wisest.
What sort of underwear and clothing will you be wearing – will the pad fit seamlessly beneath? Do you imagine it be comfortable to wear? Is the outline likely to be visible, or to protrude beyond the edge of your briefs?
Many washable pads are made from bamboo, not cotton. This is an advantage, as this perhaps less familiar material is ultra sustainable, super soft and naturally hypoallergenic. Bamboo is also very cost-effective to grow, making reusable bamboo pads kind to your skin and bank balance as well as the environment.
You might as well brighten up the days by choosing something you’ll enjoy wearing. From plain black, grey or white to funky florals, appealing prints or geometric designs, there’s a whole world of shades and patterns to choose from.
Where will you keep your supply of pads, making sure you can find them when you need them? How about when you’re out and about? Many packs of pads come with a wet bag for this purpose. If, for example, you buy two packs and one bag is included with each, remember that you’ll then get two bags. This could come in very handy – one for home and one for away. One of our choices even includes two wet bags.
Our top pick reusable pads
Using a fine tooth comb (metaphorically speaking), we’ve carefully researched the range of pads on the market to save you the legwork. We’re confident that the following list includes a pack of pads for every need – and every preference.
The heavy duty pads
If you think reusable pads are just for those who experience a light flow, think again. These Livehitop pads are designed for post-birth as well as menstrual use. Their design has been very carefully thought out, with a skin-kind layer of bamboo fabric, an ultra absorbent microfibre core and a water-resistant outer layer to stop leaks. You can also choose from a variety of sizes, from medium to extra large.
View the Livehitop heavy duty pads HERE
The pretty pack of pads
Exqline’s pack of 10 pads gives you a more plentiful supply – and it’s a very pretty selection too. It you find black or dark grey drab, opt for this pack of pads in various cheerful prints. The manufacturers say they are suitable for continence as well as menstrual use, and they come in an attractive gift box too.
See a gift boxed pack of pretty pads HERE
The organic cotton pantyliners
Hesta’s hypoallergenic pantyliners are made from organic cotton and completely free from chemicals, bleach and toxins. Designed for use as a pantyliner rather than during your period, these pantyliners are breathable and protect against leaks. The makers say there will be no rustling sound and nor will they move around once in place.
Discover these organic cotton pantyliners HERE
The pad in four sizes
Eco Lily supply a great range of options when it comes to sizing. Their pads come in four choices – pantyliner/light, medium and heavy as well as a handy pack of 3 medium and 3 heavy for those whose flow varies. Whichever size you choose, the pads are chemical-free, ultra absorbent and come in a stylish, dark lily petal print.
Find out all about Eco Lily’s range of pads HERE
The pack with two bags
Revtop’s pack of reusable sanitary pads comes with a useful bonus – not one but two waterproof bags, meaning you have one for your bag and one to keep at home. 10 washable pads are included in a range of appealing bamboo print fabrics, and there’s even a gift box too. These pads are slightly curved, gradually forming into wings at the sides.
Read more about Rovtop’s 10-pack with 2 bags HERE
The overnight reusable sanitary pad
If you want the reassurance of a heavy duty pad for overnight use, this stylish pack from Floating Lotus ticks that box. Unlike other pads, these also have two popper fastenings to choose from, ensuring the perfect fit. The fabric looks super snug and cosy, while the charcoal and black colour scheme is highly practical.
View Floating Lotus overnight pads HERE
The post-partum pack of pads
Floating Lotus also offer a pack of pads aimed at new mums. Their extra large pads can cope with a very heavy flow, and like their lighter pads there are two popper fastening options. For cosy and reliable post-birth protection, these reusable maternity pads look very hard to beat.
See reviews and prices for these maternity pads HERE
Your choice of reusable pads
It’s your period, and entirely your choice – we just hope we’ve made your selection a little easier. Why not give reusable pantyliners or sanitary towels a go? Your skin might well thank you for it and your pocket certainly will. The more of us that make the switch, the better for the planet. As parents, it helps to ensure the brightest possible future for our children.