In recent years, dozens of brands and styles of period underwear (aka “period panties” - we’re not wild about this term, however respect that others may know them this way) have become widely available. So what is period underwear? And how does a comfort-seeking, eco-conscious (they are reusable after all!) person choose the best period undies for your body, your values, your lifestyle and the planet?
Firstly, what is period underwear?
Aisle undies are a complete replacement for pads, tampons and cups. On their own, a pair of Aisle underwear will absorb four to eight tampons’ worth of blood, and the accompanying booster adds an additional two tampons’ worth of absorbency.
Allow us to share our top tips on how to find the perfect pair of underwear for your period and incorporate them into your monthly routine.
Fit and Comfort
Getting your period can be incredibly inconvenient, so you might as well be comfortable. Here are some tips to help you choose which style of period underwear will work best for your flow, lifestyle and size.
- Just breathe! Period underwear should not feel sweaty or like you are wearing a bathing suit bottom. Most brands of underwear use highly synthetic (ie: petroleum-based) textiles that are less breathable and hence less comfortable. Aisles’ Boost line features a luxurious blend of planet friendly 100% organic cotton and plant-based Tencel that feels like regular cotton underwear, but with gusset protection you can count on.
- Size (and fit) matters. If the brand offers is a full size range, check the reviews to make sure the style of period panties you have chosen works for your body. Beware of brands that expand their “straight sizes” using sloppy grading to offer Plus sizes. Quite often those plus size underwear miss the mark on how your body is shaped, resulting in a poor fit. Aisle proudly did an extensive amount of fit testing on multiple plus-sized models to ensure our underwear will provide the fit and comfort you need (as reviewed by Allure). With a generous size range from XXS - 5XL, we want people to feel good in their bodies during their period. A plus customer favourite: the full-coverage, high-waisted Brief style.
- Work it! Thanks to their all-in-one design, BASE period underwear are less likely to shift around than pads while you’re working out. For folks who prefer minimal fabric under yoga pants or other workout gear, try bikini, shorty or thong underwear from Aisle’s BASE line or the Boost Thong.
- Laissez faire. Our favourite thing about period underwear is that they let you be lazy, which–let’s face it–-is exactly how many of us feel when we’re bleeding. When cups feel too laborious and pads feel like one too many things to think about –forget about it and simply pull on a pair of period underwear. Our pick: the tried-and-true Bikini.
Performance and longevity
An uncomfortable truth about most period underwear is that you are literally sitting in your period blood all day, or you will need to go to the washroom and change the entire pair out. What happens if they become full and you’re not at home? So glad you asked! Now that we’re heading back out into the world more and more, comfort and versatility are some other qualities to look for in period underwear.
Aisle’s BOOST period underwear solves the worry of sitting in bloody underwear all day. Each pair comes with an absorbency boosters that can easily be swapped out when you’re on the go without having to change your period underwear. Using boosters will save money too!
Sleep tight: Nobody likes period leaks, especially overnight – we need rest, people! Period underwear should be cosy, breathable and soft, with ample gusset coverage for your wild dreams. Our picks: our Period Boxer or Shorty: neither have leg elastic, for extra comfort.
Choosing the right style and knowing how to care for your period underwear is important but we also want you to consider sustainability, as in: what fabrics are the period underwear made of?
Aisle period underwear is made from a sustainable blend of breathable organic cotton and Tencel™ Lyocell. The absorbent gusset features Truetex™ technology that combines organic cotton and recycled polyester. This blend of hydrophilic and hydrophobic fibres creates an inherently wicking and absorbent material, all without the need for chemical finishes that wash out after multiple wears.
These fibres have multiple properties that make our undies high performance powerhouses — wicking moisture, absorbing blood and generally creating the super-comfy experience we want for all periods. Read more about our commitment to making sustainable period underwear with high standards here.
Trust and transparency
In a marketplace increasingly filled with cheaply-made ‘fast fashion’ period underwear using unknown labour practices, the price tag may be attractive. Given that we are in an era of climate emergence, we also want you to consider “who made my clothes?” High quality reusable products will go the distance, and their price tags are usually reflective of what makes them different.
Aisle is a B Corporation, so we make our products using fair wages, sustainable fabrics and solid construction in order to provide better value in the long term. It’s hard to consider clothing ‘sustainable’ if it falls apart after a few washes, or was made by poorly-paid workers.
How do you wash period undies?
So you’ve taken the plunge, tried a pair or two, they’ve done their job and it’s laundry time. It’s easier to clean your period underwear than you might think!
- Before adding to your regular laundry, thoroughly rinse the gusset and any boosters in cold running water until it runs clear
- Machine wash with your regular detergent. Avoid bleach, fabric softener & scent boosters - they'll decrease the performance and lifespan of your underwear
- As with any other garment, wash your period underwear with like colors
- Hang to dry where possible - it saves energy & prolongs the life of your undies! Otherwise machine dry on low.
Looking for teen period underwear?
Don’t worry - we’re here to help! Follow the link above for some of our most frequently asked questions about Aisle for Gen Z menstruators - and how we can help set them up for a lifetime of waste-free periods.
❤ For more period science, hacks & tips