Disposable menstrual products contribute significantly to the plastic pollution crisis, with 20 billion pads and tampons entering North American waterways and landfills annually. This waste can take hundreds, if not thousands, of years to decompose. However, there is a sustainable and cost-efficient alternative: reusable period pads and sustainable period underwear.
Using a circular approach to managing nature’s cycles, the best reusable menstrual pads provide a sustainable, safe, effective, and hygienic option. They are not only better for the environment, but they also offer health benefits for menstrual flow. Additionally, using reusable period pads can save an average of $150 per year. In this article, we will explore the benefits of reusable period products and the best options available on the market.
The Best Reusable Pads, Period
When it comes to menstrual hygiene, reusable pads are a sustainable and cost-effective alternative to disposable pads. Here are some of the best reusable pads available in the market:
Rael offers organic cotton reusable pads that are highly rated by customers. These pads are lightweight, super absorbent, and can be reused up to 120 times. They come in four different sizes and are made with a five-layer organic cotton body that wicks away moisture. The snap closure for your underwear is 100% cotton with nickel snaps. Rael also offers reusable pantyliners for a lighter flow.
2. The Period Company
The Period Company offers affordable, absorbent, clean, and comfortable reusable pads made with organic cotton. Each pad absorbs 10 tablespoons, or 8-10 tampons, worth of blood and pads come as one size fits all. The pad body is 95% organic cotton with 5% spandex jersey, the absorbent layer is 100% polyester, and the leak proof layer is 100% polyester PUL. The fabrics are all rigorously tested by a third-party company to ensure they’re compliant with industry standards and best practices.
GladRags offers whimsically patterned 100% organic reusable pads with wings. Each pad features a three-part design that can accommodate 1-3 of their absorbent inserts according to your flow. These pads are designed to fit all kinds of organic underwear—including a reusable thong pantyliner. They are guaranteed to last at least five years, which totals thousands of disposables saved from our landfills and hundreds of dollars saved in your wallet.
Aisle makes menstrual pads reusable and able to absorb up to 8x as much as the average disposable pads. Aisle reusable pads come in three sizes with wings for your body type or flow and they use TransDRY® Technical Cotton for their organic cotton cover, which bears OEKO-TEX certification. The absorbent core is made of GRS-certified recycled polyester. Our favorite is their Maxi Pad, which provides leakage protection, has no bunching effect, and is 10 inches long for a heavy flow.
Hannah offers OCS-certified reusable cotton period pads and works to combat period poverty by donating products on three continents. Their large certified organic cotton reusable pads are praised for their leak protection and absorbency without a bulky feeling. They are ultra-soft, super absorbent, and easy to wash.
Padtastic offers reusable pads made of bamboo fabric. These pads are comfortable, absorbent, and easy to clean. They come in different sizes and designs, and are perfect for light to medium flow.
Smartliners offers reusable pads made with 100% organic cotton. These pads are designed to fit all kinds of organic underwear and are available in different sizes. They are super absorbent and easy to clean.
8. Bloom Pads
Bloom Pads offers reusable pads made of organic cotton and bamboo. These pads are comfortable, absorbent, and eco-friendly. They come in different sizes and designs, and are perfect for heavy flow.
9. Princess & Pea
Princess & Pea offers reusable pads made of organic cotton. These pads are comfortable, absorbent, and easy to clean. They come in different sizes and designs, and are perfect for light to medium flow.
10. DIY Reusable Menstrual Pads
For those who prefer to make their own reusable pads, there are many tutorials available online. Making your own pads allows you to customize the size, shape, and absorbency to your specific needs.
Overall, reusable pads are a sustainable and cost-effective option for menstrual hygiene. With so many options available, there is a reusable pad out there for everyone.
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How the Best Reusable Menstrual Pads were Chosen
Choosing the best reusable menstrual pads was no easy task. The team prioritized sustainability and focused on several key criteria when evaluating the products.
Firstly, the materials used in the pads were a crucial factor. The team looked for pads made from organically grown cotton or hemp, as these materials are free from harmful chemicals. Organic bamboo made with non-toxic solvents also passed the team’s flow test. Pads that used PUL for extra absorbency were only considered if the material was food safe and never used for the layer in contact with the skin.
Certifications were also taken into account, with Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS), Organic Content Standard (OCS), and OEKO-TEX being the preferred certifications.
In addition to materials, the team also considered the supply chain and green practices of the brands. The team looked for pads made from fabric sourced from fair trade certified farms and factories with safe working environments and above-living wages. Brands that implemented waste reduction practices, recycled packaging, renewable energy, and other measures to reduce their environmental footprint were also preferred.
Certifications such as B Corporation (B Corp) and fair trade were also taken into account.
Overall, the team’s evaluation process prioritized sustainability, health, and safety, with a focus on natural materials, eco-friendliness, and quality. The chosen reusable menstrual pads were chosen for their absorbency, breathability, odor control, leak-free design, and high-quality construction. Some of the additional features that were considered included prints, waterproofing, double-sided design, and travel pouches.
Final Thoughts on the Best Cloth Pads
After considering the pros and cons of reusable menstrual pads, it’s clear that they are a great choice for those looking to reduce waste, save money, and prioritize comfort. The environmental benefits of using cloth pads cannot be ignored, as they are biodegradable and do not contribute to overflowing landfills. Additionally, many users report feeling more comfortable and experiencing less cramping and bloating while using cloth pads.
Cloth pads are also convenient for travel, as they can be easily washed and reused. While there may be some initial discomfort or adjustment period when switching to cloth pads, many users find that the benefits far outweigh any discomfort.
Overall, choosing to switch to reusable menstrual products, including cloth pads, period underwear, and menstrual cups, is a great way to prioritize both personal health and the health of the environment.