I Tried Reusable Period Pads for a Week.
Sustainable period products
This was the product in my sustainable period products series that I was not looking forward to the most. I’ve always hated pads, even when I was an early teen just starting out her period. I hated the ‘nappy’ feeling, I hated that they would sometimes rub against my inner thighs, I hated the smell of them, and I hated that ‘waterfall’ feeling when one stands up on their period. I never felt clean when I was on my period and used disposable pads. Overall, I’ve had pretty negative experiences with pads. So I’ve been really hesitant to try these. (Hence not writing a #thegreenperiod article for a while!)
However, the experience wasn’t as bad as I expected. Wasn’t my favourite, but it wasn’t a nightmare either.
What are Reusable Period Pads?
Reusable period pads are made out of cloth and simply snap onto your underwear. There’s none of those sticky wings and taking the pad off it’s protective cover, which I remember trying, and failing, to do extremely quietly in public bathrooms. They’re much more discreet than disposables, much prettier, and don’t have that awful pad smell. As always with reusables, you save yourself a whole lot of money and the environment at the same time! To wash them, you simply put them in the washing machine and let them air dry.
I have to say, I was pleasantly surprised that they didn’t feel like I was wearing a nappy. This is probably because they’re obviously made out of cloth so they can shape and bend more. However, they did feel a little bit bulky. This was something I got used to overtime, but it did feel a little unnatural at first, especially when I’m so not used to wearing pads. But oh my god, are these things comfortable! Like seriously, they feel so much nicer on your skin than the disposable ones I have no idea why anyone would choose those horrible things! In comparison, these reusable ones felt like a cloud. But no amount of comfort will get rid of that feeling of blood leaving your body, and that’s a feeling I absolutely hate. While the pad didn’t feel moist (which was surprising) I was very aware that I felt like I was sitting in my own blood. Which is a bit graphic, but that’s how I felt. The thing I struggled with most with these pads is figuring out how long to wait to change them. I’m so used to leaving in my menstrual cup in for 12 hours, but you can’t do that with a pad.
Very comfortable compared to disposable. I didn’t experience any painful rubbing like I did with disposable ones.
Saves you money in the long run. They are certainly an investment which could save you hundreds of pounds if you use reusables for the rest of your menstruating life!
Discreet and easy to use.
No nappy feeling.
If you’re quite heavy on your period and find that you have to change your pad every 2 hours, you will have to buy quite a lot of them. It will take you a bit of trial and error to figure out how many you need (If you’re not used to wearing disposable pads like I’m not)
More washing. Whilst they do produce less waste, you are having to use your washing machine more. Which of course uses more electricity and water. Whilst they are better for the environment than disposable pads, I wouldn’t say they’re the best solution if you don’t have enough to get you through your whole period without washing any.
It gets pretty warm down there, especially if you’re doing anything active. In summer, I can imagine that it could get pretty unbearable.
They don’t just absorb blood. They also absorb sweat. Not ideal for when you’re working out or if it’s a hot day.
You can’t wear them swimming or with a bikini, so you will have to find other alternatives for your holiday.
Would I recommend them?
Yes… But it wouldn’t be my first recommendation, and I wouldn’t recommend using just reusable pads either. In my opinion, they’re great for lazy days in the house when your cramps are so bad that you just want to sit on the sofa in your PJ’s and wallow in self-pity for a little bit. They’re also good for when you’re coming off your period and you’re very light and can’t be bothered with the hassle of putting a cup in. But to use them all the time? Not for me. You’d have to buy a lot of these guys, and in summer when it’s extremely hot and you’re on holiday the last thing I would want to do is to put one of these on. They wouldn’t be the first thing I would recommend, but for people who don’t want to use a menstrual cup or prefer pads, then these would be good for you.