Having suffered with chronic period pain as a teenager, getting to a good place with my menstrual cycle has been a long, trial-and-error-filled process. And it goes without saying that itchy, uncomfortable pads and tampons that constantly needed changing did anything but help me to feel my best.
So what was a life-changing revelation for me? Period pants!
Thankfully, we are getting to a place where we can have honest conversations about periods. It’s no longer a hush-hush subject that women are expected to silently struggle with. And that’s in part due to many of these innovative brands who are openly talking about menstrual health.
As well as encouraging inclusivity and breaking down cultural taboos, period underwear is also non-toxic, better for the environment, and will save you money in the long run (what’s not to love?!). So if you’ve been thinking about making the switch but aren’t sure where to start, then I encourage you to go ahead and give one of these excellent companies a try. Let’s find the best period pants for you!
My Top Picks
Here are the best period pants in the UK
But for now, let’s take a look at some of the best period pants currently available to purchase in the UK.
I’ve made sure to prioritise brands with an ethical, environmental and animal-friendly approach. Plus, these are all companies that make a point of giving back and opening up important conversations, so you can feel good about supporting any of them with your hard-earned cash.
- Certifications: B-Corp, Vegan Society, PETA-approved, Carbon Neutral+, GOTS, BCI & OEKO-Tex certified
- Sizes: UK 4-26
- Ages: Teen & adults
- Styles: Bikini briefs, boxer shorts, high waist, hipster, lace, maternity, midi briefs, postpartum, swimwear, thongs
- Absorbencies: Light, medium, heavy, super heavy
- Packs: 3 & 5 packs available
WUKA stands for Wake Up Kick Ass and from the very beginning we have been passionate about smashing taboos and innovation in sustainability and menstrual health.
Founded in 2017, WUKA are a female-led startup pioneering reusable and leak-proof period pants, with a focus on empowerment, sustainability, affordability, and social responsibility. Crafted from eco-friendly materials like GOTS organic cotton, BCI cotton and recycled nylon, you’re bound to find the perfect pair of pants with their inclusive range of styles and sizes.
Boasting an impressive range of certifications, WUKA’s period underwear is animal-friendly, eco-conscious, and is made in a factory that provides fair wages and health insurance for its workers. They also give back via various educational programs and charitable donations, with loads of period tips and advice on their blog to help bust societal taboos around the subject.
Most of their underwear is available in plain black – a practical choice by WUKA so that they can keep the amount of dye to a minimum and produce essential, long-lasting products. I own a pack of their Medium Flow Bikini Briefs and would recommend them for a comfortable fit!
- Certifications: GOTS & OEKO-Tex certified
- Sizes: UK 4-26
- Ages: Teen & adults
- Styles: Bikini briefs, boxer shorts, high waist, hipster, lace, maternity, midi briefs, seamfree, sports pants, swimwear, thongs
- Absorbencies: Moisture wicking, super light, light-moderate, moderate-heavy, heavy-overnight, maxi, incontinence
- Packs: 2, 3 & 5 packs available (not enough black options!)
Born in Australia, Modibodi was the brainchild of Kirsty Chong. Whilst training for a marathon and experiencing light incontinence, she realised that the only solution available was disposable, inconvenient and uncomfortable female hygiene products. What started as a small range of revolutionary leak-proof underwear has since grown into one of the most recognisable reusable period underwear brands on the market.
When you buy from Modibodi, you’re supporting a company with a strong social impact. They give back a percentage of their profits towards charitable causes like period poverty and girls’ equality, and have so far donated 165,000+ pairs of period pants to underprivileged communities. They also publish impact reports and emphasise fair working practices.
If you’re vegan, just be aware that some of their garments do use merino wool, so you’ll want to ensure you opt for organic cotton, recycled nylon and TENCEL™ options.
- Certifications: OEKO-Tex certified
- Sizes: UK 4-22
- Ages: Teen & adults
- Styles: Bikini briefs, boxer shorts, high waist, hipster, midi briefs, sleep shorts, sports pants, thongs
- Absorbencies: Lightest, light, moderate, heavy, super
- Packs: 3 packs available, or create a custom set of 3+ styles & save 20%
The visionary team here at Thinx Inc. is deeply committed to changing the narrative around menstrual health and bladder leaks by creating a solutions-oriented future that moves beyond taboos.
Meghan Davis, CEO
With the aim of creating underwear that champions bodies from teens through to menopause (and all the leaks in between), Thinx have been empowering women since 2013 with their sustainable period solutions. From animal and eco-friendly fibre choices like Supima Cotton, Tencel™, polyester, and nylon, to ethical manufacturing practices at their Sri Lankan facility, this is a brand that cares about their impact.
Giving back has always been of central importance to Thinx. Through their partners GiveRise, every purchase advocates for sustainable solutions to ending period poverty. You can also rest assured that your underwear is completely safe and non-toxic, with a strict zero PFA policy in their supply chain.
Although orders ship from the USA, you’ll receive your order in the UK in just 3-7 business days, with all taxes and duties included at the checkout.
- Certifications: B-Corp, Ecocert, PETA & OEKO-Tex certified
- Sizes: UK 6-22
- Ages: Adult only
- Styles: Classic bikini or full brief
- Absorbencies: Light-moderate or moderate-heavy
- Packs: Singles only
I’m a big fan of Boody, whose eco-friendly everyday basics are made from super-soft organic bamboo. With the look and feel of normal underwear, these breathable and reusable styles will prevent leaks and keep you comfortable throughout your period.
As a material, bamboo is much more sustainable than cotton and other process-intensive materials. It grows astonishingly quickly with just rainwater, and any water used in the manufacturing process is endlessly reused. Boody’s factories also use tech-savvy computer knitting machines for maximum efficiency – which has the added benefit of keeping fabric wastage to a minimum.
Whilst there are only 4 styles to choose from, I love their minimalist offering. Browsing some period underwear websites can quickly feel overwhelming with all the ranges and styles on offer, so it’s actually quite refreshing if you’re just looking for some simple, classic, black period pants!
- Certifications: Carbon Footprint Standard, PETA & GOTS-certified
- Sizes: UK 6-26
- Ages: Teen & adults
- Styles: Bikini briefs, boxer shorts, boyshorts, high waist, hipster, midi briefs, seamless, sleep shorts, sports pants, thongs
- Absorbencies: Ultra light, light, moderate, heavy, super
- Packs: Singles only
Bringing the first reusable period underwear to the UK, Fluxies (previously FLUX Undies) was founded in 2017 and has been making waves in the industry ever since!
This is a fully vegan and cruelty-free brand that also cares about its environmental and social impact. Incorporating an earth-first approach to the full design and manufacturing process, Fluxies are committed to using sustainable materials like GOTS organic cotton, TENCEL™ Modal, and recycled nylon from post-consumer waste.
Since they launched, Fluxies have stopped 40 million disposables from ending up in landfill, prevented 3,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions and saved 288,000 gallons of water! They only work with family-run factories that adhere to strict standards and ethical working practices. Plus, they also donate to charitable organisations dedicated to combating period poverty, with 5% of Earth Day sales going to WWF.
Period Underwear FAQs
How does period underwear work?
Period pants are specially designed with multiple layers of fabric that absorb your menstrual flow. Generally speaking, they consist of a moisture-wicking top layer, an absorbent middle layer, and a leak-proof bottom layer. The fully-lined gusset locks in the fluid to prevent leaks, keeping you dry all day long.
Do period pants completely replace the need for pads and tampons?
Yep! You don’t need to wear tampons, pads or a menstrual cup with your period underwear. Just make sure to buy the right absorbency for your individual needs and change your pants as regularly as required.
How often should I change my period pants?
It depends on your individual flow, but one of the great things about period pants is that you don’t need to change them anywhere near as frequently as pads or tampons. In fact, for most flows, you can wear them all day or night (for up to 12 hours) before they need to be changed.
If we’re getting specific, then period pants can generally hold anywhere between 1-5 tampons worth of fluid (that’s approximately 35ml).
However, if it starts to feel at all damp, then that’s generally a good sign that it’s time to change into a fresh pair. You should get more of an intuitive feel for this once you’ve been through a few cycles.
Is period underwear suitable for a heavy flow?
I get it… this is something you definitely don’t want to get wrong! So it’s totally normal to feel a little nervous to begin with.
Period pants are suitable for heavier flows and you can buy different absorbencies based on your needs. For a heavier flow (or towards the start of your period) I’d advise investing in some max/super flow pants. And, if you’re worried about trialling them in public, give them a go in the comfort of your own home at first. After a few wears, you’ll soon gain confidence and get a better idea of how often they need changing.
For super heavy flows, you may find that a menstrual cup is a more suitable option – more on this in a bit.
How do I wash period pants?
Whilst you can throw your period pants straight in the wash after use, I prefer to give them a quick rinse with cold water until they run clear. Then, pop them on a normal wash with your regular laundry load.
If you wash your period pants separately or at a high temperature, not only does this hugely increase their environmental footprint – you also run the risk of them shrinking or becoming misshapen. Take care not to use fabric softener or bleach, as this can affect their absorbency. It’s also best to avoid tumble drying to maximise their lifespan.
How many pairs will I need?
Many brands advise investing in 3-5 pairs, but if you’re going to use them throughout your period and wear them overnight too, then I’d personally purchase at least 5-7 pairs. This way, you won’t have to worry about washing them too frequently.
Can I go swimming in period pants?
You can purchase period pants from most brands that are specifically designed for swimming. Just look out for the swimwear category.
Are they suitable for teenagers?
Period pants are a GREAT option for teens. I remember feeling so self-conscious and uncomfortable at school when wearing sanitary products. Period underwear has the look and feel of normal underwear and should easily last the full school day, so there’s no need to worry about changing pads, playing sports, or going about your daily activities as normal.
Many of the options listed above sell teen ranges, with some even offering specially designed starter packs.
What about other types of reusable period products?
I should mention that there are other types of reusable period products that you may want to consider before splashing out on period underwear. For example, a menstrual cup or reusable pads and tampons.
I say, whatever works best for you – go for it! All options are infinitely better than disposable products, so it ultimately comes down to personal preference.
Menstrual cups can take a bit of getting used to, but the pros are that they can cope better with heavier flows and are cheaper than investing in period pants.
My personal preference is period underwear because it’s so comfortable – I therefore decided it was worth the initial investment for a lifetime of nicer periods. But if your budget is tight or you don’t get on with period underwear, try other options and see how you get on!
Don't Let Your Period Cramp Your Style: Get Yourself Some Period Pants!
I hope that this post has given you the confidence to try out your own set of period underwear! As women, we’re far more likely to be encouraged to go out and buy a new lacy number, but I promise you that this is a much more worthwhile investment. There is absolutely no need to continue struggling with disposable pads and tampons, which aren’t only uncomfortable – they’re terrible for the planet, too.
Making an initial investment in period underwear may feel like an extravagance – but in my eyes, they’re a necessity for a comfortable and empowering period. Besides, they’ll have paid for themselves and be saving you money in just a few months!