Reusable Period Pads vs Period Pants

11 April 2024  |  Admin

Finding Your Perfect Match

If (like me) you grew up in the 80's, 90's or 00's when you hit your periods you had two choices of menstrual products - tampons or pads. Well, maybe three, as you could choose between applicator and non applicator tampons.

Thankfully the world has moved on as people are more aware of the impact of our 'throwaway' society and are looking for reusable alternatives.

Menstrual cups are a great alternative to tampons. But if you're not a fan of internal protection, you've got two fantastic options as alternatives to disposable sanitary pads: reusable period pads and period pants.

But which one deserves a spot in your underwear drawer (or maybe both do)? Let's compare and contrast these eco-savvy alternatives to help you make an informed choice tailored to your needs.

Shop Period Pads

What Are Reusable Period Pads?

Reusable period pads are the eco-conscious cousin of the disposable pads you probably grew up with.

Made from soft, absorbent materials like organic cotton or bamboo with a feel dry top layer, these pads attach to your underwear via snaps, ready to tackle everything from light spotting to heavy flows. They're washable, reusable, and incredibly kind to the planet.


  • Eco-friendly: Say goodbye to heaps of waste. Reusable and plastic free
  • Cost-effective: Reusable sanitary pads are cheaper than period pants, starting from £3 to £4. Low pay back time!
  • Comfort: Gentle on skin, without the chafe or itching caused by disposables.
  • Variety: Available in sizes and absorbencies for every flow.
  • Longevity: Reusable menstrual pads can be washed and reused for a LONG time. Jo here at Team Cheeky has some which have been making the rounds for NINE years! (Pictured above hanging to dry!)
  • Can double up as incontinence pads if you suffer from mild / sneeze incontinence
  • Safe: Reusable period pads are safe to use 


  • Maintenance: They require washing (but think of the eco-points!). Cold water washing in the washing machine is best (avoid hot water as it can 'set' bloodstains.
  • Initial Cost: A bit more upfront investment than single use pads or disposable period products

Shop Period Pants

What Are Period Pants?

Period pants are your trusty undies with a twist – they have built-in layers to absorb menstrual blood, offering a comfortable, leak free alternative to period management.

From sleek period thongs to comfy boyshorts, there's a style for every preference and level of absorbency required, including heavy flow period pants.


  • Simplicity: Just different undies you wear when you have your period. BRILLIANT for youngsters starting off.
  • Leak Protection: Designed to keep you dry and confident.
  • Eco-friendly: Reduces single use products and waste, protects our planet.
  • Discreet: Looks like regular underwear, no one need know you're on your period
  • Comfortable: Made from breathable bamboo, cotton or organic cotton, period pants are super comfy, no chafing, no irritation
  • Safe: Cheeky Period Pants are safe to use, containing no silver, PFOS or PFAS
  • Easy Care: Period Pants are easy to wash, remember the golden rule, cold water washing (or rinsing first)


  • Drying Time: They can take longer to dry than pads (Top tip, dry inside out!)
  • Upfront Cost: Like pads, there's an initial investment and period underwear is more expensive than period pads with some brands charging £25 a pair. Cheeky Pants start at just £6 per pair!
  • Personal Preference: Some might prefer the flexibility of separate pads.
  • Convenience: Changing on the go requires a little bit more planning. Thankfully our double pocket wetbags and pants with detachable side snaps make this easy!
  • Longevity: Period Pants won't last as long as pads.  Just like knickers they wear out over time and you'll probably need to replace them after 100 wears

Shop Wetbags


Pads vs Pants: Which One Should I Choose?

Choosing between pads and pants often comes down to personal preference, lifestyle, and specific needs. Here are a few factors to help you decide whether you should choose pants or pads:

  • Absorbency & Flow: Consider how heavy your flow is on different days of your cycle. Pads might be easier to swap during the day, while pants offer hassle-free protection, especially overnight.
  • Activity Level: For active days or workouts, period pants might offer more security and comfort.
  • Cost & Lifestyle: Evaluate the upfront cost versus the long-term savings and convenience.
  • Sustainability Goals: Both options are eco-friendlier than disposables, but your personal lifestyle might sway you towards one more than the other.

Why not try pants AND pads?

You don't need to wear a pad with period pants, but you might choose to.  Choosing between reusable period pads and period pants doesn't have to be an either/or decision.

Here at Team Cheeky, most of us use a combination of both as our period protection as it gives flexibility throughout our cycle.

It's easier to pop a pad in your period pants first thing and remove it at lunchtime for that fresh knicker feeling than it is to change your knickers in a toilet cubicle.

And for people who wear two pads at once due to super heavy periods, endometriosis or adenomyosis, they might find that a combo of bamboo pads and period pants works best.

Leah explained this well in a recent Trustpilot review: "Bought a starter kit with pads and knickers and I'm so happy. Worn them on a heavy day and they've worked brilliantly. The pads feel like a night disposable sanitary pad, but they mould to the body quickly so you can't really feel them.

My favorite aspect of the pads is that you can rearrange them! You know that pain of popping in a disposable pad with the sticky back, but it doesn't sit right and you need to pull it up or down but you don't notice that til you've stood up and set your clothes right?

And it's a pain to sit back down, and the pad never sticks well again. Well with these, you simply reach down and rearrange, pull back or forth, and then the pad will mould to the body and keep in place.

The knickers are cosy. I had highwaist. Love that it's complete coverage from front to back! Now gonna buy the bigger kit!"

Embarking on a sustainable period journey is a personal and impactful choice. Whether you lean towards the flexibility of reusable pads or the all-in-one convenience of period pants, you're making a decision that's good for you and the earth.

P.S. Explore our range of reusable period products here. Whether you're a pad person, a pants enthusiast, or somewhere in between, we've got something that'll make you feel like a period pro.

Got more questions?  Drop us a line.  The team all use the products themselves, nothing is TMI and they just love helping people make the switch.  Alternatively, you may be interested in reading more:


About the Author: Helen Rankin founded Cheeky Wipes, the original reusable wipes kit back in 2008 after disposable wipes caused her eczema to flare up. 4 kids later, she went on to develop Cheeky Pants, their range of 'Simple Reusables' to include period pants, reusable period kits and reusable sanitary pads. Both she and the rest of the leadership team are now navigating menopause, with all the joys it brings!

The Cheeky customer services team pride themselves on providing honest, friendly advice and just LOVE to chat pee, poo and periods all day long, helping people make the switch to reusables! 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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