The Best Period Underwear

Amazon / Bustle

Whether you’re tired of buying pads and tampons, or you’re just hoping to score some added leak-protection, period panties can help. While you’ll probably want to try out your new undies before tossing all of your other menstrual products in the trash, some of the best period underwear can hold as much menstrual blood as two super tampons combined. The picks featured below represent a wide range of flow types, sizes, and styles, and they’re all highly rated on Amazon.

No matter what kind of flow you're dealing with — from super heavy to barely there — there’s a period underwear to fit your needs. That said, not all period panties are designed to do the same thing. Some of the picks below, like the Bambody High Absorbency Period Panties, can handle heavy flows all by themselves and might eliminate the need for a tampon, menstrual cup, or pad altogether. But others, like the Hesta/Rael Organic Cotton Period Panties, are meant to be used for backup protection against leaks, or to be worn alone on only the lightest days of your flow. For those who aren't ready to take the leap into wearing just undies on their heavy-flow days, a leakproof panty (paired with your go-to menstrual product) is a way to prevent stains and have some added peace of mind.

While period panties reasonably put function before beauty, that doesn’t mean they can’t be sexy. Whether you prefer a classic bikini cut, a colorful brief, or lacy hipsters, the best period panties come in all kinds of cuts, colors, and designs — even a thong! Additionally, all the picks below are made of breathable materials, like cotton, bamboo, and rayon.

1. The Best High-Absorbency Pair

These high-absorbency period panties promise to hold up to 25 milliliters of fluid, which is quite a lot, considering regular tampons typically hold about 5 milliliters of fluid. However, although these promise the most absorbency, reviewers note that the protection doesn't extend to the rear and are best used in combination with a tampon or menstrual cup or on lighter days. This period hipster undie is made of a breathable and stretchy bamboo/spandex blend, and Amazon shoppers give it 4.3 stars.

What fans are saying: “I. Love. These. They are so soft and comfortable! … I only had one 'emergency' towards the end of the work day on my heaviest flow day, but I was prepared. These are also great for added piece of mind if you are using a menstrual cup. Comfortable and sexy, not granny panties at all. (No offense to the sexy grannies out there!) Much more reasonably priced than other brands! You'll figure out your rhythm, but I use one pair during the day, another overnight, wash those two in the morning, using the third pair during the day. It's a little extra laundry, but there's always something to launder with two kids! Just buy these. So worth it!”

  • Available sizes: X-Small - X-Large

2. The Best Bikini Brief

This organic period panty pick is specifically designed for providing extra protection against leakage while wearing a pad, tampon, or menstrual cup, but some reviewers report using them sans any other period products. So if your flow is light, you might be able to wear these by themselves — but even if your flow is heavy, these should make for great backup protection on your heaviest days and nights. These bikini undies are made of 95 percent GOTS-certified cotton and 5 percent spandex for added stretch and comfort, and Amazon shoppers love them, giving them a four-star rating and hundreds of positive reviews.

What fans are saying: “I'm happy with these, and I've had them for about three periods now. I'm in my thirties and wish period panties had been a thing for the last 20 years! … There is complete front and back coverage. They are soft and don't make a crinkly sound (or any sound) when you move. I still use a tampon on heavy flow days, but the panties absolutely prevent leaks from getting to your sheets or clothes. It gives me a lot of peace of mind. I ordered the black because I don't want any visible stains, and so far they're holding up great. In fact I'm back to order a second set.”

  • Available sizes: X-Small - 4X-Large

3. The Best Value Pack

These period undies are excellent for added protection against heavy flows, but it’s not a bad idea to pair them with a tampon, pad, or menstrual cup if you’re worried about leaks. If your flow is light, you can probably get away with wearing these alone. This multi-pack of period briefs is made of 95 percent breathable bamboo viscose and five percent spandex for comfy wear. They’re available in black or multicolor five-packs, as well as smaller two-pack options, and Amazon shoppers give them 4.4 stars and over 500 reviews.

What fans are saying: “These are really great in terms of value for cost. For light to medium flow days, I can use these alone. However, you would need to change panties during the day if it's a medium flow, because eventually these will start leaking. They are great as a backup system, too. I highly recommend them!”

  • Available sizes: X-Small - 3X-Large

4. A Sexy Retro Pair With Plus Size Options

This pack of period undies offers four protective layers and promises to hold up to 20 milliliters of fluid as well, which is about the equivalent of two tampons. The mid-rise hipsters might be the sexiest period panties detailed here. They feature lace trim and come in a variety of colors, including emerald green, mystic blue, black, and fuchsia. They also feature a 100 percent cotton crotch, while the rest of the underwear are made of 95 percent rayon and five percent spandex. Also, Amazon shoppers love these, giving them a 4.1-star rating.

What fans are saying: “These are great! I have very light periods and it's very annoying and uncomfortable to have to wear a pad or tampon, but if not, ruined undies. I just wore these for my period and they worked like a charm. I also felt much more attractive in these than my normal period underwear. I bought the ones with lace and they looked pretty and retro, as opposed to granny panties. The absorbent liner did feel a little weird, but still so much better than a pad. I will be buying a few more pairs. For reference, I would say that my flow is a little less than one regular tampon, or pad per day.”

  • Available sizes: X-Small - 4X-Large

5. The Best Period Thong

This moisture-wicking pick is recommended for backup protection since it includes an extended protection layer, but some reviewers noted it worked just fine for lighter days or shorter periods of time, like a quick jog (really!). Made of 95 percent recovered, organic cotton, they're also a good choice for anyone with sensitive skin.

What fans are saying: “Extremely happy with these. Cute yet extremely functional. My first pair of period underwear and I am sold. Look and feel similar to normal underwear on and best of all do not smell and are easy to wash.”

  • Available sizes: Small - Large

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