Anyone who knows me, knows that I am a menstrual cup girl first and foremost, but I absolutely had to take the opportunity to try something new when the lovely folks at Thinx sent me their period undies to try. I wanted to be able to give a comparison of the menstrual cup vs period underwear, so I decided to ditch the cup for my next period and give the Thinx a go. After using the Thinx for the duration of my period I've been able to give a full review of my experience.
What exactly are period pants? They're a type of underwear with a built-in absorbent layer for catching your menstrual blood. Think of it like panties with a built-in, reusable sanitary towel. They can be worn on their own or with a tampon or cup for extra protection. You simply wear, wash, dry and reuse.
My first impressions of these were amazing. They're so well made! To use the word "sturdy" for a pair of knickers might seem a little odd, but these are just that! They're a really good quality which I was impressed with. The fabrics are soft and the absorbent layer was nowhere near as bulky as I was expecting. I was sent the All-Star Set which includes 3 pairs of Thinx underwear in 3 different styles. I have the Hiphugger, the Cotton Brief and the Sport. You can check out my first impressions video here: https://bit.ly/2F2jtyI
As I already mentioned, these are really well made and so, so comfy! I honestly expected the gusset to feel quite bulky, since this is where the absorbent layer is, but wearing the Thinx just feels like a regular pair of pants. You know how sometimes when you've got a pad in and you're quite aware it's there? Well - Thinx don't feel like that at all. One of the reasons I gave up with disposable sanitary towels was that they would make me sweat, which in turn would lead to general uncomfortableness and itching, but I have found the Thinx pants are much more breathable so you don't get any of that.
Admittedly, I hadn't realised that Thinx are available in different absorbencies (total oversight on my part) and I opted for the regular absorbency when in hindsight I should have opted for the Super absorbency. I got about 3-4 hours wear out of a pair of the Regular on my heaviest days, whereas the Super claims to hold double the amount of blood. I didn't get any leakage from the Thinx, but after a while I started to feel wet, which told me that I needed to change. Even with this little oversight on my part, NO LEAKS! Amazing!
Something you definitely need to consider before buying a product like this - washing. Because I tend to be a disorganised mess when I'm on my period I did have to revert back to my cup for a day while I got into a washing and drying rhythm. They're easy to wash - I just threw them in on a 30°c wash with a couple of scoops of bicarb instead of washing powder. This isn't a necessity but my skin can be quite sensitive and bicarb is gentler than regular washing powder. Since I only had 3 pairs of Thinx, and I was needing to change them every few hours, it did feel like I was constantly washing them. If I'd had the more absorbent ones this wouldn't have been such an issue - but it's definitely something to think about. I like to rest as much as possible during my period, so this created an extra job for me to have to do, compared to using a menstrual cup.
Changing them was fairly hassle free, although I didn't quite consider the fact that I would have to take my trousers off to get the pants off. It's not really an issue, it just kinda threw me the first time I did it. I guess it's kinda the equivalent of having to get undressed to go for a pee when you're wearing a playsuit - y'know? Changing your pants out in public I can't see as being as issue either. You would need a wet bag to store the used pants in until you get home, but I don't consider that to be a biggie when it comes to period problems. In fact, one of the questions I get asked most often about the menstrual cup is how to clean it when you're using a toilet with communal sink area - using something like Thinx pants really eliminates this common menstrual cup problem.
I really liked wearing the Thinx, but I do feel like it's going to be more of a considered purchase than a menstrual cup or disposable towels. One pair of pants isn't going to be enough. In my opinion, ideally I'd have liked to have maybe 5 or 6 pairs on the go which is going to cost you around £140 for that number. That said - it would absolutely be worth the investment for someone who can't, or doesn't want to, use a menstrual cup. Since a pair of Thinx can last for around 2 years, it's an average of £5.38 per period. It's a bit more expensive than the £3-£4 you might usually spend on sanitary towels each month, but it's definitely worth it for the extra security and comfort they provide, and that's without considering the environmental benefits.
I plan on using my Thinx pants as a supplement to my Mooncup. There are some days when I don't feel like having anything inside me, so the Thinx will be ideal for days like this. I also plan to use them for the last day or so of my period where my flow is a lot lighter. I honestly can't fault the quality or the comfort of these pants - and if I ever had to give up my menstrual cup, these would be what I would opt for.
You can check out the Thinx website here: www.shethinx.com