When we think about periods, the first few things that often pop into our mind are – discomfort, cramps, and mood swings.
What if we tell you, there are things out there that can make your periods feel better? (And by things, we don’t mean chocolates.) And by better, we’re talking about eco-friendly period products that will not only make periods slightly bearable but will also help save the environment.
You heard that right! There are sustainable alternatives to all the period products you’ve been comfortable using.
Why should you switch to eco-friendly period products?
The answer is simple – choose sustainable products for you and the planet.
Recent studies have found harmful chemicals like phthalates, bisphenols, parabens, and triclocarban in feminine hygiene products.
These chemicals fall under the category of endocrine disruptors. They could lead to hormonal imbalance, cancerous tumors, or fetal development issues.
Moreover, single-use or disposable period products such as tampons and pads create a lot of waste for people who menstruate. Here’s an example.
According to a study by National Geographic, a single person may use 5,000 – 15,000 pads or tampons in their lifetime. Sadly, these period products end up in landfills as plastic waste. (Most menstrual products aren’t recyclable for sanitary concerns.)
They eventually break down into microplastics that then pollute our oceans and rivers. If one person uses about 15,000 period products in their life, imagine how much waste is actually being created.
Not just this, let’s also consider how much we spend on period products. If one menstruates 450 times (on average) in a lifetime, it would cost you $3,150 (approximately). Yes, the pink tax is real y’all.
Most sustainable products are a bit heavy on the pocket. But each menstrual cup costs just $30 and lasts between 5 – 10 years (depending on the brand). In comparison, a box of disposable tampons costs around $7 that can last up to two months only.
So, new tampons will need to be purchased every few weeks. Now, do the math!
Switching to sustainable period products will surely help the environment. It will also be easy on your bank account.
Eco-friendly period products that are worth a try
Let’s check out some amazing eco-friendly products that will make you forget about disposable ones. (And the discomfort that comes along with them.)
Reusable pads have transformed over the years. They are just as light and thin as your regular pads. Instead of the plastic peeling on the back of the pads, reusable period pads have a snap at the wings to attach themselves.
1. Aisle pads
For: Light to super-heavy flow
Aisle pads, (previously known as Luna pads), offer reusable pads in three sizes – mini, maxi, and super. All of them hold up to FOUR TAMPONS worth of fluid.
Cleaning them is as easy as tossing them in the wash – we’re not kidding. You just have to run the cloth under cold water first and then pop it in the washing machine.
These pads are great even on your heaviest flow days and feel super comfortable. The colorful prints can help make the period feel tolerable.
The company promotes inclusivity; hence, all their products come in neutral (but too cute!) prints and designs. We think that’s pretty cool!
We recommend choosing the product based on the fit as per your lower body size, rather than the flow. This is because some reviews mentioned leak problems which were solved after sizing up.
If you don’t know where to begin, you should try their Matchmaker Quiz. It suggests products based on your cycle and needs.
2. Rael organic pads
For: Light to medium flow
What sets Rael apart from other brands is that they use certified organic cotton for their reusable pads. They keep you fresh while preventing irritation and alleviating odor.
These eco-friendly pads are made with five moisture-wicking layers that are free from harsh chemicals and carcinogens.
You can choose from four size options – petite, regular, large, and overnight. They also come with added benefits of wings that give extra coverage to prevent leaks.
However, people with heavier cycles might need to change the pads more often, which in our opinion, takes away some convenience.
In addition, some reviewers stated that the pad might need extra straps to keep it from shifting.
Rael mentions that you can wash and use these sanitary pads up to 120 TIMES! We bet these can last even longer, if we take good care of them.
Period panties are exactly what they sound like! They look and feel just like your regular underwear. However, they have extra unique layers that don’t allow blood to seep through your clothing.
They don’t feel bulky at all. In fact, most period panties can hold two to three tampons worth of blood. And, oh, they are easily washable. Sounds good, doesn’t it?
1. Thinx period panties
For: Medium to heavy flow
Thinx’s period panties were one of the first brands to go mainstream. They use a signature technology to develop the underwear for periods and bladder leaks for every age group.
The sustainable brand has created period panties for every style, ranging from high-waist to boy shorts. In fact, they even have a PERIOD THONG!
There’s a style for every mood and flow. The Thinx Super Hiphugger is perfect for heavy days as it absorbs as much as 5 Tampons can!
These period panties are an absolute favorite for reviewers because they’re insanely comfortable and last for hours.
Oh, and yes! You can get:
- 3-to-4 pairs at 10% off,
- 5-to-6 pairs at 15% off,
- 7+ pairs at 20% off.
2. Bambody period panties
For: Light flow
The founders of Bambody wanted people to have an affordable option for their periods.
Period panties can be expensive; this brand seeks to improve its range. That, of course, makes it both budget-friendly and high-quality.
You will find a variety of options from bikini to maternity to sporty briefs – all in one spot.
This eco-friendly version of a tampon is primarily made with organic materials like cotton or bamboo. Just to put it out there; the tampon itself is not reusable. It’s the applicators that are reusable and plastic-free.
1. DAME reusable applicator set
For: Light to medium flow
This award-winning reusable applicator set by DAME has been the talk of the town for quite some time. Some reviewers even call it the best and the easiest period product they have ever used.
The hygienic applicator is made with medical-grade, antimicrobial materials, and can last for over 3,000 uses. We think that’s absolutely amazing!
Our favorite part, however, is that it fits all tampons from lite to super plus and works with any non-applicator tampon. This means you don’t need new applicators for different sizes of tampons (Phew!)
All we need to do is – place the unwrapped tampon in the applicator; insert the applicator; push the tampon in and remove the applicator. Easy, right?
In this pack, you get a reusable applicator, 3 regular DAME organic tampons, 3 super DAME organic tampons, a travel wallet, and a DAME bathroom storage tin.
2. & Sisters organic cotton eco-applicator tampons
For: Light to medium flow
Meet the 100% organic, plastic-free, and vegan period care brand, & Sisters. This is another reviewer’s favorite product that we like. Here’s everything we love about it.
The core and thread of these tampons are made with sustainably sourced 100% Soil Association Certified organic cotton.
With absolutely zero synthetics, chlorine bleach, dyes, or perfumes, these are hypoallergenic; a win-win for sensitive skin. It is also super easy to insert and remove them.
What makes this period product so special is its Contour Fit™ design, which gives maximum absorbency and leak-free protection.
The eco-applicator, made of biodegradable cardboard, and 100% recyclable outer wrapping, makes this tampon good for you and the planet.
It did take users a little while to get used to the cardboard applicator. Though, most reviews do say that, once you get a hang of it, there’s no looking back!
Menstrual cups are a no-brainer when it comes to sustainability. Thanks to the fact that a person can reuse them for 10 years easily.
What’s not to love about these cups? They are durable, soft, and flexible. They don’t give you that wet, uncomfortable feeling.
All you have to do is empty the cup, rinse it off and reinsert it.
Our favorite part is that, unlike tampons, a menstrual cup can last for 12 hours before it needs to be changed.
1. Diva Cup
For: Medium to heavy flow
The Diva Cup is one of the largest manufacturers of menstrual cups. Made of medical-grade silicone, the Diva Cup is the best menstrual cup made. Period!
They are slightly bigger than other brands, and that’s why it’s no problem for those whose cervix is high in the vagina.
This brand offers three sizes based on your age, flow, and whether you have given birth vaginally.
Please note: It might take some time to get used to inserting the menstrual cup. Some reviewers mention that they like to insert or remove the cup in the shower, as the warm water acts as a lubricant.
The Diva Cup is slightly hard when you fold it. If you are looking for softer options, you will surely love our next recommendation.
Related Articles: How Switching To A Menstrual Cup Changed My Life
2. Lena Cup
For: Medium to heavy flow
Like the Diva Cup, the Lena Cup is made from 100% medical-grade silicone and comes in various sizes.
This menstrual cup has gotten popular as the best ‘starter cup.’ We love that the brand has a ‘sensitive model’ – it was created for more sensitive anatomies or sensitive bladders.
Author of The Ultimate Guide to Menstrual Cups, Jackie Blen, said, “I personally love the ‘sensitive’ model because it doesn’t give me cramps like some of the stiffer ones. It’s easy to insert and remove, and doesn’t leak for me.”
Before making any decision, consider your lifestyle, flow, and preferences. If you have been a pad user, then making a shift to reusable pads might be much easier than opting for a menstrual cup.
Also, factor in the cost before swapping to one of these eco-friendly period products. See which option would be the most economical and suitable for you. After all, your comfort comes first; happy period equals happy you.
Don’t forget to tell us which one of these eco-friendly period products you switched to.
Here’s to more comfortable periods!