Last Updated on July 20, 2023
A zero waste period is something I get a lot of questions about, so I’m sharing the best period panties and cloth pads that I’ve found.
Cloth pads for periods are reusable, cotton pads you use, rinse out, wash, and then reuse later on. The body-friendly material and lack of single-use waste keeps both your body and environment happy! In my search for eco friendly period products, I’ve found the best cloth pads, period (get it?) for anyone who isn’t interested in a menstrual cup or disc. Reusable pads for periods are a comfortable, approachable way to a zero waste period!
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There are so many ways to have a healthier and less wasteful period. Last time, we talked about menstrual cups, but menstrual cups aren’t for everyone or for every situation.
In fact, a lot of people wear panty liners with their cups too.
If you don’t feel comfortable inserting anything, you should check out Luna Pads. They have a huge selection of panty liners and cloth pads for periods.
Luna Pads also offers organic cotton underwear which is very comfy. They use multiple layers of 100% cotton fleece stitched into the lining of the crotch, making them super absorbent.
These are great for light days and spotting. But, for heavier days, you can add an insert into the underwear. This is a game-changer, and not just because I really like multifunctionality. This unique two-part system makes these the best period panties! It’s so much easier if you have a long day ahead of you. You don’t have to switch out the entire thing, just the insert. It’s really adaptable no matter your flow.
They also carry pads specifically for postpartum.
how cloth pads for your period work:
Cloth pads work similarly to disposable pads. With just a little more work, cloth pads for your period eliminate single-use waste, period plastics, and harmful chemicals.
They have wings that snap together and they absorb your flow throughout the day. They don’t have adhesive like disposable pads. I was initially worried that it might move around, but it didn’t. It was locked in place all day and all night!
After the pad is full, rinse it and wring it out under cold water. If you’re doing laundry right away, you can throw it in the wash.
If you’ll be doing laundry a little later, hang it to dry. You don’t want it to mildew up your laundry.
They say the pads can be thrown in the dryer, but I really like hang drying. It saves energy and makes your clothes last a little longer.
cloth pads for periods are better for you:
“Disposable pads are made primarily of bleached wood pulp or viscose rayon, made from wood cellulose. What makes these products perform so effectively is the use of high-tech chemicals such as super-absorbent acrylic polymers (SAPs), surfactant-laced gels, and leak-proof plastic backings. The long-term health and environmental impact of these ingredients is contentious and largely unknown, but they pose the risk of cervical cancer, endometriosis, infertility, ovarian cancer, breast cancer, immune system deficiencies, pelvic inflammatory disease, and toxic shock syndrome.” (Source)
Luna Pads are made with organic cotton. You never have to worry about fillers. You know exactly what will be up against your body. Plus, they are wayyyy more comfortable than disposable pads.
and better for the environment:
20 billion pads are thrown away annually in the US alone. Beyond just creating a lot of waste, think about all of the production that goes into making pads. Think about turning a tree into a fluffy synthetic pad. Think about how many chemical baths it has to go through.
How do you dispose of all that wastewater? Why not just avoid the whole situation in the first place? By switching to a reusable, you’re saving all the resources used in the creation process. It goes beyond just the end result of being in a landfill.
And, Luna Pads has thought about the whole process. Even their packaging is 100% compostable. If you need to have the products shipped to you, they’re really conscious about that. But, they will also be in a Target near you very soon. So, you might be able to go to the store and just pick them up!
(I get so thrilled when I see eco-conscious and zero waste become mainstream!)
reusable pads for periods are better for your wallet:
The average period goes through 20 pads a cycle. Over five years, the cost will range anywhere from $225 (generic) to $480 (organic). That is a lot of money.
Luna Pads last 5-10 years. They have these awesome starter kits already prepped at a discount — the regular starter kit costs $75. This means the switch to reusable pads for periods leaves you with at least $150 in savings. Think about all the chocolate or mason jars you could buy!
This is probably my favorite aspect of this company. For every pad, pantyliner, diva cup, and starter kit sold, they donate an AFRIpad to girls in Uganda. AFRIpads are also made in Uganda, providing valuable jobs to the women there.
are period panties and reusable pads as effective as disposable pads?
Yes! Just be sure to check with your manufacturer so you’re aware of each product’s capacity. Many absorb just as much (or even more!) without all of the harmful plastics.
do reusable pads smell?
I find that my reusable pads smell better than my old disposable ones did, actually. There’s no trash can in your bathroom filling up with used pads because you rinse them out immediately once they’re full. Plus, without all of the chemicals, they react to my body chemistry less, and I notice less odor while actively wearing reusable pads as well!
Have any of you tried cloth pads? Do you have any tips or recommendations?