The Best Period Underwear

The Best Period Underwear

Although a pair of period underwear can absorb up to two tampons’ worth of liquid—the exact amount depends on the model—our testers found the underwear cumbersome to change out of (and to then carry around) when they weren’t at home. Period underwear could also end up being prohibitively expensive, unless you’re willing to constantly wash and dry pairs: One of our testers once used more than $100 worth of underwear in just 24 hours.

Our pick

Dear Kate period underwear

Dear Kate period underwear

Superior comfort, plenty of styles

Dear Kate underwear tied with Thinx for absorption and bested that brand in comfort. Dear Kate undies come in a wide variety of styles, from high-waisted to thong, and in a range of colors, from pastels to brights.

Buying Options

Buy from Dear Kate
(starts at $32)

Dear Kate period underwear is the most comfortable and secure among eight brands we’ve tested, and it comes in a wide range of styles and colors—with many options available in sizes XS to 3XL. Dear Kate’s 3XL fits people with hip circumferences up to 58 inches (nearly 10 inches more than Thinx’s 3XL). Unlike most other period underwear we tested, Dear Kate’s doesn’t have a noticeable plasticky waterproof lining in the gusset. Instead, the crotch is lined with three layers of absorbent fabric, which helps to reduce leaks.

Beyond style and comfort, this underwear performed on a par with pairs from Thinx; it worked just fine on its own for light-flow days (or as backup with a menstrual cup, pad, or tampon). But we wouldn’t trust the Dear Kate underwear (or any period underwear) as a primary collection method on heavy-flow days or when you’re away from home. The company offers a 30-day return window, with free shipping for exchanges. However, if you want a refund, shipping costs are on you.

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Runner-up

Thinx period underwear

Thinx period underwear

Easier to return, run small

Though Thinx undies come in a range of styles and performed as well as the Dear Kate period underwear, they tend to run small and tight. The Thinx underwear’s waterproof lining is also more conspicuous, testers said.

Buying Options

Buy from Thinx
(starts at $32)

Thinx underwear absorbed just as well as Dear Kate’s, but testers didn’t find the Thinx underwear as silky or comfortable as the Dear Kate underwear. All Thinx styles come in XS to 3XL, though Thinx’s 3XL fits smaller hip circumferences (up to 49½ inches) than Dear Kate’s 3XL (up to 58 inches). Plus, even in a brand-suggested size, the Thinx undies run tight. Testers also found the Thinx waterproof crotch lining less comfortable than the fabric layers in the gusset of a similar pair from Dear Kate. Most pairs of Thinx cost a couple of dollars less than equivalent Dear Kate undies, though, and Thinx’s 60-day return window is double that of Dear Kate’s and includes free shipping.

Budget pick

Bambody period underwear

Bambody period underwear

Effective and inexpensive, not as durable

Bambody undies are as effective as Dear Kate and Thinx undies when it comes to absorbing menstrual fluid, but they start to fade and discolor after 15 or so washes. Like Thinx, they also run small and have a somewhat noticeable lining. Bambody undies come in fewer styles and colors than our other picks, but they’re less than half the price.

Buying Options

Buy from Amazon
(starts at $10)
$30 from Bambody

If you’re okay with buying something that will start to look raggedy after about 15 washes, Bambody is an effective budget period-underwear option. We found Bambody undies equally absorbent to those from Dear Kate and Thinx, and at $15 or less per pair, the Bambody underwear costs less than half what our other picks do. Bambody underwear comes in fewer styles and colors than underwear from Dear Kate and Thinx, though. And in our experience, Bambody pairs run small and show wear more quickly, fading or becoming discolored sooner than pairs from our other picks. Although some Bambody styles go up to a 4XL, the hip measurement for the largest size is around the same as for Thinx’s 3XL (up to 49½ inches—nearly 10 inches smaller than Dear Kate’s 3X hip size). Bought through Amazon, Bambody undies—which have a conspicuous, Thinx-like lining—can be returned for free within 30 days.

Everything we recommend

Our pick

Dear Kate period underwear

Dear Kate period underwear

Superior comfort, plenty of styles

Dear Kate underwear tied with Thinx for absorption and bested that brand in comfort. Dear Kate undies come in a wide variety of styles, from high-waisted to thong, and in a range of colors, from pastels to brights.

Buying Options

Buy from Dear Kate
(starts at $32)

Runner-up

Thinx period underwear

Thinx period underwear

Easier to return, run small

Though Thinx undies come in a range of styles and performed as well as the Dear Kate period underwear, they tend to run small and tight. The Thinx underwear’s waterproof lining is also more conspicuous, testers said.

Buying Options

Buy from Thinx
(starts at $32)

Budget pick

Bambody period underwear

Bambody period underwear

Effective and inexpensive, not as durable

Bambody undies are as effective as Dear Kate and Thinx undies when it comes to absorbing menstrual fluid, but they start to fade and discolor after 15 or so washes. Like Thinx, they also run small and have a somewhat noticeable lining. Bambody undies come in fewer styles and colors than our other picks, but they’re less than half the price.

Buying Options

Buy from Amazon
(starts at $10)
$30 from Bambody

Source: NY Times – Wirecutter

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