The Perfectly Packaged Guide to Period Products

Periods - you never know what you’ll get! Sometimes she shows up early (guess those cute undies are done for), sometimes she brings extra baggage (um a heavy flow this month, really?) and sometimes she packs gifts (cramps, cravings and mood swings, oh my!).  

Being prepared for that time of month is a MUST and that means having your preferred period care products on hand! The market is full of options, so we thought we’d break it down for you in an easy guide outlining five of the most popular period products out there & our favorite brands! 

 

The Revamped Reusable 

Menstrual cups have been around for ages, since the 1960s to be exact. However, they are making a comeback and are more popular than ever, mainly due to various cool new companies selling trendy, comfy and colorful reusable silicon versions. 

Our favorites:

  • Saalt: This simplified menstrual cup is easy to use and 2% of all revenue is donated to regions in need of period care.

  •  The Hello Cup: We love the smooth design making this cup as comfortable as a “slipper for your vagina.”

 Period Care Report Card:

  • Activity Level – Perfect for everything from swimming to dancing to couch sitting.

  • Cost – The price varies from around $15 - $45. But, if taken care of properly, one cup can last for many years (though we know you’ll want one in every color).

  • Reusable – Yes! Just be sure to follow the care instructions to a T. 

  • Safe for Sex – Unfortunately, it is not safe to use during intercourse. 

  • Max Hours – A menstrual cup can be inserted for up to 12 whole hours. Game changer!

  • Usability – While the insertion can be tricky at first, it’s easy to master. However, cleaning and caring for the cup can be a tad time-consuming.

 

The Crowd Favorite

It’s become somewhat of a rite of passage for young girls to use tampons. Everyone has a story about using one for the first time, remember yours? Tampons have evolved drastically since their first conception. Now, we tend to reach for the ones that are organic and environmentally friendly!  

Our favorites:

  • Lola: Made from organic cotton and coming in a variety of leak proof sizes.

  • Blume: The tampons are one of many sustainable period products available on the site (gotta try them all!).

Period Care Report Card:

  • Activity Level – You basically can do whatcha gotta do, and perfect to swim in!

  • Cost – A standard box costs around $7

  • Reusable – Use once and toss!

  • Safe for Sex – We do not recommend! Having sex with a tampon in may cause discomfort, difficulty retrieving or a foul smell. 

  • Max Hours – Try to change every 4 hours, but the max is 8 hours (avoiding Toxic Shock Syndrome over here). 

  • Usability – Once proper insertion is mastered, you’re a pro for life. 

 

The OG

Similar to tampons, we’re all familiar with pads. Did you know that pads are more popular in the U.S. compared to tampons? According to market research company Euromonitor, American women aged 12 to 54 bought, on average 111 maxi pads and only 66 tampons in 2014.

Our favorites:

  • The Honey Pot Company: These pads come equipped with essential oils to soothe cramps.

  • Rael: You can use the environmentally friendly organic reusable cotton pads 120 times! 

Period Care Report Card:

  • Activity Level – Keep on carrying on, but beware if the pad is wingless. Check for leakage!

  • Cost – Not too steep, around $7 for the average box.

  • Reusable – Depends on the pads you buy (read that fine print, babe).

  • Safe for Sex – N/A 

  • Max Hours – Change every 3 – 4 hours to prevent bacteria growth (done! you had me at bacteria).

  • Usability – Real simple, just stick it on and move on!

 

The Magic Man

Alright, period proof underwear must have come from some mythical, magical land. They can hold more than 2 tampons worth of flow. These panties do it all! They control odor, wisk moisture, prevent leaks and absorb that flow. WOAH!

Our favorites:

  • Thinx: Dare we say these are sexier than normal undies.

  • Dear Kate: The leggings are just as good as the underwear.

  • Ruby Love: We’ve been dying to try their period swimsuits!

Period Care Report Card:

  • Activity Level – Letting your flow well, flow may feel weird at first, but once you trust the leak guard powers, move that body freely.

  • Cost – More expensive than most pairs of undies, but hey they have magic powers

  • Reusable – You betcha! They last for up to two years.

  • Safe for Sex – N/A 

  • Max Hours – Some people pair with other period care products, so the length of wear varies. Typically, they can be worn for up to 24 hours depending on your level of flow.

  • Usability – I mean can it get any easier? You don’t even need to think twice once they are pulled on.

 

The Newcomer 

The Menstrual Disc is a somewhat newer invention. It is comparable to a menstrual cup because it collects instead of absorbs your flow. However, there are a few notable differences including its one time use policy, its resting location and it can be left in during sex! 

Our favorites:

  • Flex: Chic, sleek and it stays in place! Also, you forget it’s even there.

  • Softdisc: Currently obsessed with their mission to create “body-positive, life-changing experiences.”

Period Care Report Card:

  • Activity Level – This guy will catch everything while you do anything, leaving little to no room for leakage.

  • Cost – While not the cheapest option, the other benefits are worth it. 

  • Reusable – These are a one-time use ONLY.

  • Safe for Sex – YES! Finally, a period product that can be left in with no risk to your or your partner. 

  • Max Hours – Just like a menstrual cup, you can leave this baby in for up to 12 hours. 

  • Usability – Resting further up than a menstrual cup, a disc can be challenging to insert. Trust the process, you got this.

 

Time to Welcome Your Guest 

Finding a period product that works best for you may take a bit of trial and error. And with the uncertainty of what each month brings, each cycle can require different or multiple forms of care! We hope this guide preps you for a better visit from your monthly guest! 

The next time your homegirl stops by for a visit, you’ll be ready for whatever she brings along! 

 

Sources:

https://kidshealth.org/en/teens/supplies.html

https://uthealthaustin.org/blog/period-products

https://www.raleighob.com/feminine-hygiene-products/

https://youngwomenshealth.org/2013/03/28/period-products/

https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/engineering/feminine-hygiene

https://helloclue.com/articles/culture/a-short-history-of-modern-menstrual-products

https://www.plannedparenthood.org/learn/health-and-wellness/menstruation/how-do-i-use-tampons-pads-and-menstrual-cups