The Best Pads for Heavy Periods 2023

5 Comments15 August 2023

Believe it or not, I have just managed my period on a holiday to Greece with just THREE reusable period pads. At any one time, I was wearing one, drying one and one spare!

I also had one pair of period pants for their front waistband to back waistband absorbency which I need overnight.

I went with our side snap pants so I could open them out for fast drying. They all dried in no time on my hotel room balcony. No leaks, no panics all week.

My period wasn't due but I dropped these into my case at the last minute just in case . Thank you perimenopause!

It made me think - what would I have bought if I was caught out? The thought of having to buy disposable pads or tampons just fills me with dread as my periods are super heavy and I am prone to clots and flooding.

At Cheeky we've been specialising in 'Simple Reusables' since our launch in 2008. Washable period products have become so popular, which is great for the environment and our bodies.

However there are more companies joining the reusable cloth sanitary pad market. It comes down to personal preference which brand of menstrual product you choose!

At Cheeky we have nothing to fear from comparison with our competitors. We know you have Google, just like we have! We believe in our products and want you to help make it easy for you to compare. Here's our list of the best sanitary pads for heavy periods:


Cheeky wipes organic cotton non slip pads

These pads are unique in having a non slip silicone backing to help keep them in place in your knickers. They're also made from multiple thin layers of organic cotton, so are discreet to wear rather than bulky.  Definitely the slimmest pads we tested.

Most Absorbent Pad:  We recommend the 'night / maternity' pad for heavy flow or mild to moderate incontinence.

Fastening: Single popper

Size: Night / maternity pad 28x6cms

Washing instructions: Rinse on removal, soak or dry pail til washing at 30 degrees avoiding fabric softener and direct heat

Material: Outer 95% organic cotton 5% elastane, lining 95% organic cotton 5% elastane, middle absorbent layers 80% Polyester 20% nylon, breathable TPU

Price: £6.99 (also available as multibuy, mix n match 5 and get cheapest free ) free shipping over £50

Trial Period100% Happiness Guarantee, weekly and monthly offers

Company trust pilot rating: 4.7 on trustpilot from 8254 reviews

Customer Review: 'I've loved these pads, they are so soft and comfortable. I happily wear them during the day on heavy days because I like the sense of security I get knowing there so be no leaks. I use a cup as well and when there's an overflow it can be a bit extreme but these pads were up for it. I like how quickly they absorbed any liquid. I've had other cotton pads where it just seems to run across the surface even after lots of washes, but I felt dry in these almost immediately.'

Other available products - many different types of pads in cotton and bamboo for light bladder weakness along with period pants, breast pads, wetbags, reusable wipes, cloth nappies and accessories.


Nora reusable period pads (formerly Bloom and Nora)

Nora Period Pads come in a couple of pretty designs and have an elastic to help keep them folded closed.

Most absorbent pad: Maxi Reusable Pad

Fastening: Single popper, elastic loop to close used pad

Size:  Maxi 31cm

Washing instructions: rinse (no need to soak) after use and keep them moist within your cloth menstrual pad bag to prevent staining. Then pop in with your normal laundry load (without fabric softener) or wash separately, within 48 hours.

Material:  Outer: 100% Recycled Polyester with PU Coating Core: 100% Polyester Inner: 53% Recycled Polyester 47% Polyester

Price: £10.95 (also available with multibuy savings)

Trial Period: None, free cup with orders over £40, free pad for £2.95 p+p

Company trust pilot rating: 4.7 on trustpilot from 877 reviews

Customer Reviews: "I've had one of the heaviest periods yet, and I have had zero leakage through. I cannot tell you the relief! I was super apprehensive because of previous experience with other companies but I didn't need to be. When I need to replace these a few years down the line, I will be buying Nora again!"

Other available products: Period pants, breast pads, menstrual cups, wetbags, sister brand to totsbots nappies


TC's Eco

TCS Eco are a small UK company who offer a unique 'build your own pad' for anyone wanting something special for their periods!

Most Absorbent Pad: Extremely heavy flow

Fastening: Single popper

Size: Extremely heavy flow 11"&12"

Washing instructions: Wash in a washing machine at 30 degrees, or by hand wash. Preference is to dry store and at the end of cycle, do a cold wash in my washing machine to get rid of any unwanted waste and then transfer to a 40 degree wash with dark clothes, no fabric softeners.

Material:Top Fabric: Cotton Jersey Core: Hemp/Organic Cotton blended fabric (55/45%) Zorb 3d organic cotton blended fabric (Regular/Heavy/Night) Backing: Soft-shell, some come with Windpro different amounts / types of absorbency for different flow

Price: £33 for 3 heavy / night pads 

Trial Period: None, but buy two packs for 25% off

Company trust pilot rating: 4.9 on trustpilot from 88 reviews

Customer Reviews: "Great product, great small company. Great product, my daughter is happy to have a starter pack of eco friendly sanitary pads for when she needs them."

Other available products: Bralettes, everyday pants, period pants, wetbags


Hey Girls

Hey Girls are a social enterprise based in Scotland who donate one period pad to charity for everyone bought. Their bamboo night pads come as a pack of 5 with a wetbag too.

Most Absorbent Pad: Night / Heavy Pads

Fastening: double popper

Size:  Medium length pad

Washing instructions: One of the best things about our reusable pads is that they can be washed by hand or machine! Be sure the water isn’t hotter than 40 degrees and let them air dry too.

Material: Sustainably sourced bamboo and certified organic cotton, TPU coated polyester

Price: £39.30 for 5 night pads and a wetbag

Trial Period: None, but you buy one they donate one

Company trustpilot rating: 2.9 on trustpilot of 5 reviews

Customer Reviews: 'Comfortable easy to use and wash. So far no leaks. Bought a set for myself daughter and daughter-in-law as we all care about the environment and are trying to reduce our plastic use'

Other products available: Period pants, cups, plant based tampons, biodegradable disposable sanitary pads


Cheeky Wipes Bamboo Plush Pads

Also from Cheeky Wipes are our bamboo pads which come with a choice of natural bamboo top, or bamboo charcoal top. The bamboo charcoal doesn't show stains, but is warmer against your skin - something to consider.

Most Absorbent Pad: These are our highest absorbency pads. Both pads have wings and the day pads are designed for heavy flow days. The overnight pads are amazing, highly absorbent to keep you secure and dry all night long.

Fastening: Double popper

Sizes: Day pad 22x7cm, night/maternity pad 28x7cm

Washing instructions: Rinse on removal, soak or dry pail til washing at 30 degrees avoiding fabric softener and direct heat

Material: Either natural bamboo top layer, or bamboo charcoal. Both types have plush TPU backing and bamboo core.

Price: £5.49 for a day pad, £6.49 for night pads (also available as multibuy with other pads - mix n match 5 and get cheapest free )

Trial Period: 100% Happiness Guarantee, weekly and monthly offers

Company trustpilot rating: 4.7 on trustpilot from 8254 reviews

Customer Review: "Great pads for seriously bloody days and nights!! Nothing else keeps my super heavy endometriosis bleed under control. Soft, comfortable, absorbent and wash well.  Help keep moisture injury, odor and cramping all to a mimimum. Total life savers. Highly recommend." Lauren trustpilot Aug '23

Other available products - many different types of pads in cotton and bamboo, including a kit for heavy periods, period pants, breast pads, wetbags, reusable wipes and accessories.


Eco Femme

Eco Femme is a women-led social enterprise founded in 2010. Eco Femme create beautiful washable cloth sanitary pads, with pads being donated alongside menstrual education to girls in India for every pad or pack of pads sold here in the UK.  The pads are available at specialist online retailers in the UK.

Most Absorbent Pad: Night pad

Fastening: Nickle free double poppers

Sizes available: Day length: 23.5cm ; Width (button fastened): 8cm; Width (wing to wing); 16.5 cm and night - Length: 32 cm ; Width (button fastened): 10.5 cm/ 11.5 cm ; Width (wing to wing); 22 cm

Washing instructions: Rinse on removal, soak or dry pail til washing at 30 degrees avoiding fabric softener and direct heat

Material:  Top layer: cotton flannel in undyed natural cotton colour, Inner layers: layers cotton flannel in undyed natural cotton colour, Back layer: 100% cotton dyed in natural indigo with the leakproof layer

Price: £9.75 for single night pads (also available as sets)

Trial Period: None but have pad for pad initiative for rural Indian women, cotton pads are hand made in a womens collective

Company trustpilot rating: 4.0 on trustpilot of 4 reviews:

Customer Review: "Love Eco Femme pads - they are very good quality, soft with leakproof layer and GOTS organic certification... and they are beautiful too, now I smile when I go to change my pad (something that never happened with disposable pads, ha!)

Feels extra good knowing that Eco Femme also works with other girls and women from low income backgrounds to provide menstrual health education and cloth pads... so my choice is not only good for myself and the earth, but also for others... eco sisterhood in action " Lauren Trustpilot Mar '22

Other products available: Breast pads, nappy covers, cups and carry pouches.

Whichever pads you opt for, switching to reusables is good for you and for the world. They are an eco friendly alternative to disposables and avoid harmful chemicals near your skin.

If you would like to read more of our blogs - 

Reusable period products and toxic shock syndrome

Top six reusable sanitary pads

If you want to more information about switching to reusable pee and period products, feel free to contact the team. You can drop them a email or use the online chat. The team all use the products themselves and nothing is TMI. We all happily overshare our own experiences.

About the Author: Kirstin loves sea swimming and lives with her three children by the seaside. As part of Cheeky Wipes customer service team she spends most days talking about periods, poo, and pee.

Kerri Kelly
27 November 2023  |  23:13

I am looking to outfit 14 girls and two women in Tanzania. The girls are underpriviledged but are lucky enough to attend this school. The women are teachers there. I am wondering if I can get some sort of deal for them. Since you offer a % off when a particular quatity is purchaseD, i am wondering if we can apply that. Also, since I am in the States, it may be more efficient for you to send directly. I would pay up front of course. Also, I would not know which products would be best and would rely on you to choose them. I am 72 years old so haven't ever had the chance to use reuseable pads. All of the girls are very thin and range between 13-18 years of age. I know you probably get requests like this all the time, I am just hoping that you will be able to help. Thanks so much, Kerri Kelly

28 November 2023  |  10:33

Hi Kerri, we'd be happy to try and find a way to get some of our pads and pants to Tanzania. Could you email me at and we can hopefully sort something? Best wishes, Kirstin

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