Periods are not exactly fun, from the discomfort that most of us experience to the taboos that continue to generate much anxiety, all the way to the matter of menstrual products. Many are expensive or ill-suited to our active lifestyles, and some are downright dangerous to our health. Chock-full of noxious chemicals, conventional tampons and pads are simply unacceptable, and that’s without even touching upon the ecological disaster these plastic-based products represent. This sad realisation has encouraged several brands to want to revolutionise periods by creating their own collections of period underwear.
So, what is period underwear, exactly? Period panties are a whole new generation of menstrual products unto themselves. Similar to menstrual cups and reusable pads, they make it possible to forgo disposable alternatives. Yet, menstrual cups mandate a little… practice. As for washable pads, they tend not to stay in place perfectly well and can easily become uncomfortable to wear. Period underwear doesn’t require you to shift your routine when compared to regular underwear. The only difference is that it absorbs period blood and prevents any stains from making it through. When your period rolls around, just put on a pair of period panties instead of your usual lingerie, and that’s it! All you need to do is change it every 12 hours. Now that’s real freedom.
The hype is such that options have flourished and we are now completely spoilt for choice. How to navigate the world of period underwear? Don’t fret: Here are the top 10 brands we have found to be the most convincing!
1. Elia Lingerie
Our absolute favourite brand is Elia Lingerie, which turns making and selling period panties into a genuine commitment in favour of women, as well as the environment. Elia selects materials that respect both the planet and our bodies (GOTS, Oeko-Tex- certified cotton thread sourced from Turkey). The products are all made in France and the brand never compromises when it comes to the quality of its period panties.
Elia Lingerie is extremely inclusive, with a very wide range of sizes, from 10/11 years all the way to an EU size 60. The products come in a variety of designs, such as classic briefs, thongs, high-waisted pants, hip huggers, etc. Elia Lingerie period pants are available in 4 different levels of absorption, including one developed specifically for menorrhagia (very heavy menstrual flow), for flawless protection. As multifaceted as they are refined, Elia products combine comfort, effectiveness, and aesthetics. They even have a line of menstrual bathing suits!
Prices vary between €35 and €50 per pair.
Respectful and inclusive, Elia Lingerie’s commitment to communicate on such topics as endometriosis and to offer suitable menstrual products for people who suffer from it is also what truly makes it shine.
A perfect score!
2. Petites Culottées
Launched in 2018, the brand Petites Culottées creates lovely, environmentally friendly period pants. Their aim is to lower their carbon footprint as much as possible without sacrificing comfort. Using only plastic-free packaging, Petites Culottées have based their manufacturing process in France for a more sustainable production cycle. The company also donates some of its proceeds to student associations and breast cancer research.
These creative period panties range from a size 10 years to an EU size 48 and come in an array of shapes (9 in total). Whether you prefer simple briefs, high-waisted cuts, thongs… Petites Culottées period undies offer three levels of absorption.
The price for Petites Culottées period underwear ranges between €40 and €60 per pair.
Another brand that respects the planet and body diversity, which absolutely deserves its place on the second step of our period underwear podium.
Réjeanne’s wide line of period pants makes it stand out. Launched right after a successful crowdfunding campaign on Ulule in 2008, this well-established brand also has its products sewn in French workshops using GOTS and Oeko-Tex-certified cotton.
Réjeanne supports several associations, such as Action Santé Femmes and Règles Elémentaires.
This brand offers 20 different designs of period underwear in total, available in 4 levels of absorption and 13 colours. And if you’d rather wear shorts, hip huggers, or even period-proof leggings, Réjeanne has you covered as well. Sizes range from 10 years to EU 50 and, as you might have gathered, this is another brand that caters to every body type.
As for prices, Réjeanne period underwear typically goes from €34 to €55.
Here again, quality, diversity, and sustainability are core values, for a brand that fully deserves to be third on our list.
What sets Plim aside is the various options they offer when it comes to reusable period products. In addition to their period underwear, they also carry washable pads and panty liners, as well as menstrual cups. Yet what makes them so special is undoubtedly their IZI line which, thanks to an ingenious clasp system, allows you to swap out your period pants without having to take off your clothes! This solution is ideal for persons with reduced mobility or if you often need to adjust the size of your underwear (very useful during pregnancy!)
Plim also uses Oeko-Tex-certified materials, and the products are all made in France. Various designs are available and come in several colours, ranging from a size 12 years to EU 54, with 4 levels of absorption.
The price for a pair of Plim period underwear hovers around €40.
In an effort to offer clever and unique alternatives to traditional period products, Plim even has DIY kits so you can create your own period pants, laundry nets to wash your lingerie without damaging it, and many other accessories.
Adopting the opposite approach, Bertyne is refreshingly minimalistic. Launched by two women who wanted to show an unfaltering commitment in favour of sustainability, this brand is Sloweare-certified, and uses Oeko-Tex organic cotton and Tencel. Made from eucalyptus wood, this material is particularly respectful of the environment and makes it possible to avoid resorting to synthetic fabrics. The dye used in the manufacturing process contains no chemicals either.
Bertyne has two different period underwear designs: period briefs for medium flows, and hip-huggers for heavy flows, both only available in black. This brand is perfect for those who prefer no frills and a product that meets all their standards. Sizes range from 10/12 years to EU 50/52.
The price for a pair of briefs is €34.90, whereas the hip-huggers are priced at €39.80. However, bundles can help you save a few euros.
Super-committed and to the point, Bertyne only wants one thing: to offer a reliable menstrual product, which protects both your body and the environment: simple, but without compromise!
With its fun, trendy approach and its colourful lingerie, Fempo also promotes values of respect towards humans and the Earth. Designed for active people with periods who don’t want to miss out on any of the fun, Fempo’s collections include briefs, boxer shorts, hip-huggers and bathing suits in various cuts and colours.
Boasting several products aimed at teens, Fempo doesn’t hesitate to gravitate towards very sporty models, but also adds glitter to your everyday. Sizes range from 9/10 years to EU 52 depending on the models, with 3 levels of absorption.
Prices for Fempo period underwear start at €29 and can go up to €55 for shorts.
Fempo use Oeko-Tex-certified cotton and have their products crafted in Portugal, Tunisia, and Morocco. The brand invites its customers to join its friendly community for taboo-free chats!
7. Perdième Lingerie
For Perdième, periods shouldn’t be associated with boredom and austerity. This brand distances itself from the ubiquitous black period panties, favouring remarkably elaborate designs. Floral prints, geometric designs, and even a fabric adorned with parrots… Perdième lingerie allows its true personality to shine.
Offered for the single price of €39, Perdième period pants are suitable for medium to heavy flows and range from an EU size 34 to a size 44.
Perdième period underwear is made from a GOTS-certified poly-cotton blend, which is eco-friendly and non-toxic. By sourcing its materials from Europe and housing its manufacturing process in Portugal, the brand also makes a strong commitment towards the environment as well as every person on the production chain.
8. Sisters Republic
Joyful and simple, the brand Sisters Republic wants to put a beautiful smile on every face, even during periods. With no taboos, and a will to preserve the planet and our bodies, it creates comfortable, reliable, and sustainable period underwear.
Sisters Republic’s 3 designs for adults are available in 8 sizes, ranging from a size 34 to 48, and 3 levels of absorption. Their briefs will cost you €32, and a pair of boxer shorts €36. As for teen period undies, they come in 4 different designs, from a size 10 years to a size 18 years, for a price of €29.
In addition to their organic cotton period underwear, Sisters Republic support 3 associations that work to combat period poverty and destigmatise periods in Europe and in the rest of the world.
Thanks to their stitch-less technology, Smoon menstrual pants undoubtedly count among the most comfortable. They also happen to be invisible even under your leggings and feel like a second skin.
Straightforward and effective, yet beautiful and comfy, Smoon period underwear is also Oeko-Tex-certified. Available in several designs and in many colours, for teens or for adults, it ranges from a size 10/12 years to an EU size 46, with 3 levels of absorption.
The brand offers various bundle options (including a mother-daughter bundle), with prices starting at €29 for teen period undies, and about €35 for adult period panties.
Gentleness and minimalism are a good way to describe Jho period underwear. This brand, which supports many associations in their fight to help women across the world, advocates for positive global change.
In addition to their period underwear which comes in sizes between 12/14 years and EU 46, Jho offers disposable period products made from organic cotton which you can purchase as a subscription. An interesting concept that will keep you from ever forgetting to restock!
As for quality labels, Jho period undies are Gots and OCS-certified.
How Does Period Panties Work?
In order to protect you effectively throughout the day (or night), period panties have a triple-layer lining. The first directs the flow towards the inside of the underwear, the second, which is highly absorbent, is designed to hold it there, while the third layer prevents it from getting back out. The result? No leaks, no wet feeling, and complete confidence at all times.
Incredibly discrete, period underwear looks every bit like the regular kind and gives you the impression that you are just wearing your everyday lingerie, even while on your period.
Since it is reusable, this period product protects the planet, and thanks to clean, healthy materials, it also respects your body, supporting you through this sometimes-difficult time of the month.
How to Choose the Right Period Panties?
Beautiful, nice and convenient to use, eco-friendly, cost-effective… there are many ways to describe period undies! Click here to find out more about the various brands on the market.
But when it comes to selecting the one that’s right for you, it is best to start with the materials that your favourite ones are made from (the goal being to avoid nanoparticles). Be sure to read the fine lines and to look for certifications.
Depending on your needs in terms of size, some brands may also be more suitable than others.
Don’t forget to check what levels of absorption are available and to choose a design that fits your flow.
Price is another key factor, though it is always interesting to consider such a purchase in the context of the product’s lifespan. Most brands promise that their products will continue to be reliable for 5 years. Others go as far as 7!
Finally, if a brand’s social and ecological commitments are important to you, check which associations it supports, how the materials are sourced, where the products are made, etc. In this regard, the closer the better.
How to Wash Your Period Underwear?
There is nothing easier than washing a pair of period pants!
* After each use, rinse out with cold water.
* Then, you can continue washing by hand using regular laundry detergent (no natural or Marseille soap, which would clog the fabric’s absorbent “pores”) or machine wash at 30°C. No need for fabric softener either.
* Just hang your period underwear on a clothesline and allow it to air dry (no tumble dryer, which would destroy the fibres of the fabric).
* And you can wear it again as soon as you need to.
How about you, will you swap your disposable period products and adopt period pants instead?