The Best Period Underwear for Sports (2023)
18 July 2023 | Admin
Eurgh. It's tricky having your period when you're exercising or playing sports.
For some of you (like me) internal period protection such as tampons or menstrual cups just isn't comfortable or effective after having kids. Pads tend to move around.
Period pants however are perfect for wearing for sports. Depending on your flow, you can wear heavy absorbency pants for up to 12 hours.
Period knickers are also moisture wicking (including sweat) so will help keep you feeling comfortable too, even on heavy flow days.
Here at Team Cheeky, we're mostly a female team and have been since we started our 'Simple Reusables' way back in 2008.
Our team spans a large age range from teenagers to 50+. One thing we all have in common is that most of us like to keep fit in some way.
That ranges from Bev & Claire who cycle to work and walk their dogs daily. Sam, Helen & Kirstin who like to workout at the gym. Jo, who does online workouts at home. Lauren who is a gymnast & dancer.
Not forgetting Emma, our marathon running, Snowdon climbing strong woman. More from Emma later!
The benefit of this for you lovely reader, is that it means we have all tested our period underwear in a variety of sporting situations:
- We know where you absolutely DON'T want seams if you're a cyclist
- We know if you're wearing a leotard, that you don't want to see your period undies underneath
- We know when you're playing team sports and have heavy flow, that you want something super absorbent that doesn't make you feel too hot
- We know that absorbency to the front and rear waistband can be crucial for some activities
Kirstin, our customer services advisor explains why:
'I wore my mooncup instead of my period pants to Pilates and in retrospect that was a really bad idea. My period was super heavy. I had forgotten to get my prescription to lessen my bloodflow and I could hear blood literally sloshing around inside me - like a water cooler.
As soon as I lay down on my mat, I leaked. Out through my mooncup, onto my knickers, through my leggings and onto my gym mat.
If I had been wearing my cheeky pants, the absorbency to the rear waistband would have prevented what was a very awkward moment!'
Is period underwear good for sports?
Yes, period underwear is good for sports. If you're looking for reviews of period underwear for sports, we've researched the best brands and styles that we can find online and reviewed them for you.
Please note, there aren't any High St brands of period underwear in here. In our investigation, we found that the High St stores (such as Primark & M&S) didn't have any styles particularly designed for sports wear.
Instead, we've focused on the online specialists, who will have a bigger range of styles. The specialists offer more help and guidance too to help you make the switch, such as:
However if you're looking for period pants for general use, you can read our review of the top 10 period underwear brands here.
"I've had a bit of a restock lately and made the most of the sale buying both Feeling Sleek and also Feeling Hip.
I love them both.
If buying Feeling Sleek do follow the guidance to size down, I didn't so had to return and the service was excellent.
I was worried about feeling hip as it's fair to say I'm not the same shape as the model but they are a fabulous fit. Great for work and under leggings for the gym." Yvonne, via Trustpilot
What are the best period underwear for working out?
The best period underwear for working out will vary depending on the workout you're doing. Things to consider are:
- the cut (high leg is great under leotards etc)
- the style (high-waist or low-rise)
- absorbency area (absorbency to rear waistband is important for activities where you might be lying down)
Here's our reviews on the best period underwear for sports:
Style: Sleek Seamless
Available Sizes: 4 to 6, 22 to 24
Material: Nylon / Cotton / Elastane
Colour: Black, Almond
Absorbency: Regular, 2 tampons worth
Good for: These seamless pants are great in lots of situations as they are high waisted & have no VPL, perfect for both sports and non sports. As they come in an almond colour they can be helpful under paler coloured clothing too.
They're nylon though, so if you prefer cotton type undies under sports wear, these aren't for you!
Reviews: "My favourite pants are the sleek pants, I size down to a 8-10 so that they're super snug. I wore the sleek today when we climbed Snowdon with the dogs. Their first time - I feel like a proud parent!!
I wore sleek again for the wedding. The high waist and stretchy fit means there's no VPL under my dress either - love how multipurpose they are!. Plus no irritating seams." Emma G, Team Cheeky
Style: Puma Active Brief
Available Sizes: 08 (XS) to 20 (3XL)
Material: Wool and recycled fabric
Colour: Black / Green or Black / Grey
Absorbency: Light / Moderate, 1 to 2 tampons worth of flow
Good for: These briefs have a sporty cut with wide stretch waistband and mesh side panels to keep you cool whilst training. They're man made fabric, so if you prefer cotton type undies under sports wear, these aren't for you.
Reviews: None available
Style: Feeling Sporty Heavy
Available Sizes: 04 to 06 to 22 to 24
Material: Cotton / Elastane / TPU leak proof material
Price: £12.49 Moderate Flow / £13.49 for Heavy Flow
Absorbency: Available in moderate or heavy flow
Good for: Perfect sports period pants for teens or tweens. Also great if you prefer cotton type undies under sports wear.
High absorbency, with the absorbent layer coming to the waistband in both regular and heavy flow options, the sporty low rise of these briefs means you'll feel comfortable and secure, no matter how active you are or which positions you get into!
Reviews: "11 year old daughter loves these for her period. More comfortable than pads and gives her confidence. Size 4-6 fit perfectly.!!"
Style: Perform Active Brief
Available Sizes: 06 (XXS) to 26 (6XL)
Material: Recycled nylon and cotton
Absorbency: Available in light, moderate or heavy flow
Good for: These briefs are also seamless and a mid-rise. Super stretchy too and available in a variety of flow options. They're made from a combo man made fabric and cotton, so if you prefer cotton type undies under sports wear, these aren't for you.
Reviews: "Super comfy! Love that they are seamless and they don’t feel bulky! Love love love!!"
Style: Feeling Hip - High Leg
Available Sizes: 04 to 06 to 22 to 24
Material: Polyamide / Spandex / Cotton / Elastane/ Cotton / Bamboo Waterproof layer of Oeko-Tex certified TPU
Price: £6.49 for Almond, £12.49 for Black
Colour: Almond, Black
Absorbency: Moderate flow
Good for: The highleg style on these makes them perfect for wearing under leotards for dance or gymnastics. Super soft mesh side panels help keep you cool. Regular absorbency on this pair of period pants, although as with most Cheeky Pants, the absorbency comes to front and rear waistband as standard.
Reviews: "Fantastic. I bought the same style for me and my daughter. Period use for my daughter, period/pee for me . Neither of us would ever go back to disposable products after discovering Cheeky . Superb quality, great delivery/packaging, brilliant offers and we’re both more comfortable day and night no matter what our bodies throw at us !"
Style: Period Leggings
Available Sizes: XS to 6XL
Material: Recycled polyester
Absorbency: Moderate flow
Good for: No need to wear separate pants, these leggings have built in protection in the gusset area. Perfect for running and if you want to avoid a VPL
Reviews: "I love my leggings so much and the material is so cosy!"
Washing Workout Period Pants
After wearing workout period pants, we recommend rinsing in cold water immediately. Then wash in a max 30c washload without fabric softener as this can impact on absorbency.
"I ordered the seamless period pants - I am an experienced cloth user ( for my kids both for nappies, wipes and for me menstrual pads).
It was time to upgrade my underwear drawer and these pants are fab - comfy and absorbent and delivery was super fast. I personally think they are generous sizing so don't size up. In terms of being seamless i wear them under trousers and gym leggings and feel confident." Mrs Gill via Trustpilot
We hope this article was useful and interesting. If you enjoyed this, you may also like:
Can you still exercise while on your period
How to be more comfortable on your period
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, internal period protection such as tampons or menstrual cups were no longer an option for her and she went on to develop their range of 'Simple Reusables' to include period pants, reusable sanitary pads and period proof swimwear.
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.