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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.
What is period proof underwear?
What exactly are period pants? Well, 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! I’m not sure if the word “sturdy” is right for a pair of knickers, 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. This set is no longer available but you can create your own set and save up to 20%.
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.
Do Thinx work?
Admittedly, I hadn’t realised that Thinx are available in different absorbencies (total oversight on my part). 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. The Super claims to hold double the amount of blood so I would have gotten much longer wear out of them.
I didn’t get any leakage from the Thinx pants though, which is a miracle considering how heavy my flow is. After a while I started to feel a bit wet. This told me that I needed to change. I was convinced that I had spilled through at this point, but still NO LEAKS! Amazing!
How to wash period underwear
Washing is something you definitely need to consider before buying a product like this. I tend to be a disorganised mess when I’m on my period, so I did have to revert back to my cup for a day while I got into a washing and drying rhythm.
They are easy to wash, it’s just a little time consuming. I just threw them in on a 30°c wash the same way I would wash anything else.
Since I only had 3 pairs of Thinx I was needing to change them every few hours. It did feel like I was constantly washing them. They do take quite a long time to dry as well. I only had 3 pairs, but if I’d had more this wouldn’t have been such an issue.
I like to rest as much as possible during my period. The washing and drying cycle created an extra job for me to have to do, compared to using my Mooncup. I’d say they’re definitely a more high maintenance option that 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. It’s the equivalent of having to get undressed to go for a pee when you’re wearing a playsuit – y’know?
I don’t see that changing your pants in a public toilet as being as issue. 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 totally eliminates this common menstrual cup problem.
How much do Thinx cost?
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.