Do Period Pants Actually work? Our Verdict

2 December 2021  |  Admin

Yes, period pants do actually work. It almost seems like magic or science fiction doesn't it?

You've got your period. But instead of bulky, irritating plasticky sanitary products, or intrusive tampons or menstrual cups, you're just wearing what look like regular underwear.

And you aren't leaking.  

You don't smell bad.

You're just comfortable and going about your day. The only time you really remember you're 'on' is when you wipe at the loo and it comes away bloody.

Seriously seems like magic. 'Game-changing'.

At Team Cheeky, we've been doing 'Simple Reusables' for 13 years now so we're well versed in helping people ditch disposable, single use plastic-laden period products such as pads and tampons and make the switch to reusable period pads and period pants. Here we're sharing some of the questions we get asked most often:

How do reusable period pants work?


How do period pants work? Find out here.

Here's how Reusable Period Pants work:

  • inner moisture wicking layer against your skin, normally cotton or bamboo which leavs you feeling dry
  • absorbent layer or layers which can be cotton, bamboo, microfibre or even wool and will absorb up to 4 tampons worth of blood
  • waterproof layer - to prevent leaks
  • outer layer which often contains lycra or elastane for a good stretchy yet snug fit, which is important

It's important to know that period pants should always be washed in cool or cold water to avoid 'setting' the stains. There's more info in our period pants washing & care instructions.

Don't Period Pants smell bad?

No! Not at all. Period Pants don't smell bad because menstrual blood is sterile when leaving your body. It sometimes smells a bit metallic but often the smell that people associate with period blood is actually due to the chemicals used in disposable pads. 

Period knickers are super absorbent and *can* be worn all day, however if you like to feel fresh, we recommend changing at lunchtime on your heavier days.  

This might be a bit of a pain in the bum if you're at school / changing in an office cubicle, so if this is you, consider wearing a reusable sanitary pad in addition to your pants, which you can whip out at lunchtime to leave you feeling fresh as a daisy.

High-Waisted Extra Asorbency Period Pants for Heavy Flow

Can you leak through period pants?

No, you shouldn't leak through period pants because the absorbent and waterproof layers trap and hold the blood. The only reason you can sometimes get leaks is if you're:

  • wearing them for too long
  • wearing regular absorbency pants when you need heavy flow period pants
  • got the wrong fit. Period underwear needs to be snug fitting. Baggy pants = leaks

At Cheeky Pants, it's reassuring to know that if you have any problems with your period pants, our team of experts are on hand to help resolve your issues - we LOVE to chat pee, poo and periods!

'Was quite happy to be ordering period pants that looked normal.  When they arrived I opened them up was a little disappointed in the fact they looked a little bulkier compared to how they look online and also a little rustly, however once I had tried them on I realised they don't actually feel bulky on and under clothes you honestly can't tell the difference and you don't hear the rustle once there one either.

I usually use period pants with a liner or tampon in the day and pad at night as extra protection but I decided to give these a try without anything else as i was home all day. I choice the teal in the feeling sassy to wear in the morning and I had no problems with them absorbing etc I wore these for around 9 hours before they had just started to leak through at the seam (heavy flow) so all in all I found them pretty effective. So whether they are being used on their own or with other products I would definitely say you could go out for the day and feel sure that you won't have any leakage.' Jade, via Trustpilot


Do period pants feel like sanitary towels?


Are period pants bulky under clothes? No not at all!

No, period pants don't feel like sanitary towels. Obviously, there are additional layers to the period knickers than regular pants. However they're not bulky at all, which is one reason why they are so comfortable to wear. 

To prove it, that's my bum in tight fitting sports leggings above, wearing my period underwear. Not even a VPL in sight!

How to choose period pants

There's lots of different brands of period underwear out there, from supermarkets to High st, to specialist online retailers so how do you tell the difference between them all?  

Here's what to consider when you're choosing period pants:

  • Absorbency
  • Money back trial
  • Helpful advice


Especially if you suffer from heavy menstrual cycles. Firstly, we'd say compare the absorbency on the pants. 

Many retailers only have absorbency in the gusset of their pants, which is fine if you have light periods and only wear them when you're standing up! 

Cheeky pants have absorbency to the front and rear waistband as this makes them much more leak proof, the perfect period pants for heavy periods.

Money Back trial

This is one area where buying from a specialist online retailer is worthwhile because they often offer a free trial period which means if you don't get on with the pants, you'll get your money back.  

It's reassuring when period pants cost significantly more than a pack of pads or tampons with a higher upfront cost.

Helpful advice

Again, for many people, making the switch to reusable period underwear is a bit of a leap of faith. It's just different to your usual habit of picking up a pack or two of tampons or pads every month. 

Whether you've got a teenager with light flow, or are looking for high waist Bridget Jones style for yourself and you just really want period underwear that works, it's worth buying from a specialist.

Cheeky Pants understand that you might have lots of questions about how many pairs you'll need, the best absorbency for you etc. That's why we pride ourselves on fantastic customer services to help you make the switch which could stop you making an expensive mistake.  

It's also worth checking out a few different online brands and comparing their Trustpilot reviews before making a decision.

Why is period underwear so expensive?

Period underwear doesn't need to be expensive. As we've already said, there's lots of different retailers selling period pants which means that there's a sliding scale for what you can pay. 

Some High St retailers sell them for £6 to £12, however some of the specialist online brands can be upwards of £25.  At Cheeky Pants, we want to help people 'Ditch Disposables' and make reusables mainstream which is why our period pants and pads are fairly priced, starting from just £11.50 per pair which is comparable to supermarket / High st brands.

Why buy Cheeky Pants?

At Cheeky, we've been doing 'Simple Reusables' for the last 13 years, being recognised with the Queens Award in Enterprise in Sustainable Development this year as a result.  

Our pants have absorbency to the front and rear waistband as standard across most of our product range, so you can relax knowing that they're leak-free.

What you get also from us is expertise!

We've got helpful questionnaires which will give you a tailored recommendation as to what you need.  Our Customer Services team all use our period pants and pads themselves so are well versed to answer any questions you might have and hold your hand to help you or your child make the switch. 

Drop us a line today, we're happy to help!

About the Author:  Helen Rankin is a Mum of 4 who founded Cheeky Wipes, the original reusable wipes kit, back in 2008 after disposable wipes caused her eczema to flare up. She went on to develop their range of 'Simple Reusables' to include reusable period pants & pads in the UK and reusable makeup removing pads. Her customer services team pride themselves on providing relatable friendly advice and just LOVE to chat pee, poo and periods all day long! The Company was recognised for their hard work in developing environmentally friendly products with the Queens Award in Enterprise for Sustainable Development in 2021.



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