How do period pants and cloth sanitary pads work?
Most period pants or pads contain 4 or 5 layers of material which work together to keep you feeling dry:
Believe it or not, there's no magic ingredients like fairy dust or extra absorbent unicorn mane fluff necessary. It's simple, actually. However unlike lots of supermarket / High St brands, Cheeky Pants protection layer runs from the front to rear waistband on our period pants, rather than being just in the gusset.
Whether it's pants or pads, you just bleed on them, wash, and reuse. Exactly as if you would wash your knickers if your period arrived a few days early (yep, looking at YOU perimenopause...). But it's not like you're sitting in a puddle of blood for the day, our period pants and cloth sanitary pads come with a couple of extra elements to keep you feeling fresh as a daisy all day long.
Inner (against your skin) layer
- The layer which lays against your skin is usually cotton or bamboo, just like your regular knickers. This wicks away wetness, keeping you feeling dry
Absorbent layer (s)
- In our period pants, this is cotton / elastane which gives absorbency without bulk. As we said above, our period knickers have absorbency to the front and rear waistband as standard, which makes them great period pants for heavy flow, sleeping and being active. In our cloth sanitary pads, it's either cotton or microfibre in our bamboo / plush pads. These are our most absorbent option, so if you've got very heavy periods or suffer from endometriosis, these are best for you.
- This is the crucial anti-leak layer, made from TPU (lamination) of the outer layer. A very fine film, it isn't noisy or crinkly, but simply stops leaks, meaning that you're safe and secure all day.
Breathable outer layer
- Our outer layers vary in fabric but are all breathable which makes sure that you feel comfortable wearing them.
Can I use period pants without additional protection?
Yes, in line with your flow, on our lighter days we quite happily wear the period pants without additional protection - you know your body and will quickly learn when to change. On our heavier days, we would normally change our period protection at lunchtime - it's nice to feel fresh. And it can be a bit of a faff to change your period pants at lunchtime in a cubicle at work. For that reason, on our heavy days we tend to wear a cloth sanitary pad in addition, as it's much easier to whip out a pad and take it home to wash than it is to change your knickers. That's why our reusable period protection kits come with pants, plus day pads so you can see which option works best for you. If you flood or have clots, the pants are still a great option, opt for one of our more absorbent styles but our moderate flow pants work well and just need changing more regularly!
What about pads, which are the best reusable sanitary pads for me?
Firstly, if you want some tailored advice, talk to our team and complete the tailored period questionnaire. But generally, if your periods are 'normal' or light, then go for the reusable cotton sanitary pads. They're slimmer than our bamboo plush pads but still very absorbent and the absorbency improves with washing too. We tend to use these with our period knickers on our heavy day, but they can of course be worn with normal knickers too.
If you're looking for products for heavy period flow, or you're looking for reusable maternity pads for post-natal use, the bamboo plush cloth sanitary pads are made of lovely soft plush and the top is either bamboo terry or a bamboo / fleece / charcoal mix. They're both super absorbent, the main difference being that the charcoal one is darker in colour, so less likely to stain. The bamboo / terry top feels slightly cooler against your skin but people who use the charcoal topped pads swear by them! If you suffer from heavy flow periods, they feel secure, comfortable and absorbent, with the bonus being that they don't need to be changed as often as disposables.