The majority of menstrual underwear available in Australia work well, but greener alternatives to tampons may not be suitable for everyone, a review by consumer advocacy group Choice found.
In an Australian first, Choice recruited 56 volunteers to test which underwear offers women the best value for money. The review, which tested 10 different pairs of the Bonds, Modibodi, Thinx, Eco Period and Love Luna brands, comes in response to what Choice sees as a “growing market” for blood-soaking intimates.
Modibodi Seamfree Full Brief (moderate-heavy) topped the review, with Bonds Bloody Comfy Period Full Brief and another pair of ModiBodi tied for second place.
Choice asked volunteers to test out the underwear on what they considered a moderate flow day.
The volunteers wore a pair during the day, switching to a more absorbent pair for the night. They rated the underwear on factors such as comfort, fit, absorbency, whether there were any obvious leaks or odors, as well as ease of washing and drying. Each pair has been tested at least 30 times, with a total of 328 items in the exam.
“What lowered the scores were the leaks or the absorption [issues]”Choice consumer expert Marianna Longmire said.” But overall they all performed pretty well. We ended up recommending eight of the 10 pairs of underwear we reviewed, so I wouldn’t say that. none of them had massive failure.
Choice also asked testers for their general impressions of vintage underwear.
âEven though they worked well, some people didn’t really like the feel of period underwear. They’re usually a bit thicker in the gusset, which just isn’t best for everyone, âsays Longmire. “But some people really liked them and wished they were an option when they were younger.”
Another factor for consumers to consider is the price. Although designed to be washed and reused, menstrual underwear typically sells for between $ 20 and $ 30 a pair, which makes it a higher initial cost than a box of tampons, especially if you buy one. for a week.
âIt’s hard to say for sure one way or the other if menstrual underwear will save you money. They can. But depending on the length of your cycle, you may need three or four pairs of underwear, âsays Longmire.
She believes the real selling point of menstrual underwear is sustainability, as consumers seek greener alternatives to traditional sanitary products.
âFinances can be a factor, but from what we’re seeing it’s a bit more of an environmental concern. And sometimes it’s just a comfort thing too.
Alexis, one of the volunteers, had never tried menstrual underwear before the trial, but now prefers them to sanitary napkins or tampons.
“I’m a complete convert,” said the 26-year-old. âI was very concerned about sanitary napkins and tampons and their effects on the environment. But I think the change was a lot easier to make knowing that they’re actually incredibly comfortable, for the most part, and doing what they claim to do to keep you dry.
Alexis didn’t mind having to report things like odors as part of the study. “It wasn’t too strange, as it was just fairly non-invasive after-the-fact investigations,” she says.
Longmire believes 2021 was a good time to start this review.
âVintage underwear isâ¦ in supermarkets now, it’s in department stores, it’s in drugstores,â she says. “Also publish [this review] can hopefully remove some of the stigma around periods. It’s a very natural thing, so the more you talk about it the better.
Really, she said, “it’s just blood.”