REUSABLE sanitary pads and eco-friendly period products are talked about more now than ever before.
We are finally living in an era where period products are cool, chic and world-conscious – Aunt Flow and Mother Earth are finally getting along, and we are so here for it.
Period waste from disposable plastic products and tampons flushed down toilets can cause serious environmental consequences, and it’s estimated an average woman might use over 10,000 of these disposable products in her lifetime. That’s a lot of plastic going to landfill, or in our oceans – which are already choking with waste.
Reusable alternatives like washable sanitary pads aren’t just better for Mother Earth, but they can save you cash down the line, too.
Fans also like that reusable sanitary pads are made without any nasties – typically, these pads and liners are constructed from soft bamboo and microfibre, which are super-soft on delicate skin, and anti-bacterial.
No matter your menstrual cycle needs – whether you have a heavy or light flow, or prefer pads with wings – you can find a reusable option that suits you.
Another benefit of reusable sanitary pads? They’re gorgeous: choose from a range of colours, prints and styles that will put a smile on your face and take the stigma out of your cycle.
Do reusable sanitary pads work?
Absolutely! Reusable sanitary pads are designed to work exactly like your usual disposable pads, bought from the supermarket.
They’re designed to be super-absorbent and soft against delicate skin, as well as machine-washable and friendly to the environment.
Usually made from long-lasting cotton, they are stain-resistant, odour-free, leak-free and are meant to be reused time and time again.
This article and featured products have been independently chosen by Sun journalists. It contains links which are ads, and if you click a link and buy a product we will earn revenue.
- Best reusable cotton pads: bamboo, microfibre, machine washable cotton pads
- Our favourite eco living essentials
- The best period pants you can buy
Eco Lily Bamboo Charcoal Sanitary Towels
- Eco Lily® 6 Pack Reusable Cloth Sanitary Towels with Bamboo Charcoal, pack of 6 for £22.99 on Amazon – buy here
If you’re worried about absorbency, then Eco Lily’s reusable sanitary pads, which have a top layer of bamboo charcoal (to neutralise odours), three layers of absorbent microfibre underneath and a waterproof outer layer, are just the ticket.
The set includes six pads which are suitable for overnight or heavy flow use in a one size fits all design – in fact, some users like to use these for added security with a menstrual cup.
The set includes a waterproof pouch with two zipped pockets, but each reusable pad handily snaps shut, too.
These can be washed by hand or in the machine, and boast creating no plastic waste that ends up in landfill.
Rovtop Reusable Sanitary Pads
- Rovtop Reusable Sanitary Towels Pads, pack of 10 for £20.98 on Amazon – buy here
It doesn’t hurt when reusable sanitary pad designs are so appealing – just look at this set of 10 from Rovtop, which also includes two washbags.
The pads are made with bamboo charcoal fibre, microfibre and an outer layer, and have a fan-shaped design to provide protection to a wider area.
The set comes in eco-friendly packaging, too – and the designs truly take the shame and stigma out of periods and would be a fantastic starter set for young menstruators.
We are all here for making periods pretty.
Teamoy Reusable Sanitary Pads
- Teamoy Reusable Sanitary Pads, pack of 10 for £20.99 on Amazon – buy here
This handy starter kit comes with 10 pads in three different sizes – three which are 20cm x 18cm, four that measure 25cm x 18cm and three larger ones at 29.5cm x 23.3cm. to suit a range of flow days.
Made with an antibacterial charcoal bamboo layer with two layers of microfibre and a waterproof outer, they won’t irritate sensitive skin – fans repeatedly mention how comfortable and soft they are on the most delicate of body parts.
The range of sizes mean this is also a good intro pack to reusable sanitary products for teens, as well as adults.
Natissy Reusable Sanitary Towels
- Natissy Reusable Sanitary Towels, 6-pack for £31.97 on Amazon – buy here
Natissy’s reusable sanitary pads with handy wings come in a range of gorgeous prints and win users over with their soft, organic cotton design.
They’re also a lot more absorbent than they look, and the wings help users feel secure and comfortable knowing that their pad won’t slip and they won’t bleed through, or have any accidents.
Natissy boast that their reusable sanitary pads are completely chemical-free and claim that they will last for up to five years – that’s five years of not buying, and disposing of, one-use period products.
These pads can also act as discreet incontinence pads, as they can be washed over, and over again.
DAME Reusable Pads Set
- DAME Reusable Pads Set, £30.90 – buy here
DAME are renowned for making the period product world more green – they infuse their tampons with CBD oil for a cramp-free period, and promise plastic-free packaging in their Reusable Pads Set.
Their Reusable Pads Set contains pads perfect for both day and night – including a reusable liner, regular liner and thicker night-time liner for heavier flows.
They recommend changing their pads every four hours, and their Pads Set even comes with a DAME Dry Bag to help you take the pain out of the washing up.
Simply pop the pad into the DAME Dry Bag, fill it with water and leave overnight, empty the water then fling in the washing machine. Simple!
Bloom & Nora Reusable Panty Liner
- Nora Liner 3-Pack Lady Garden, £11.25 from Bloom & Nora – buy here
These are perfect for those just-in-case days where you’re not sure if you’re coming or going and would rather be safe, than risk being sorry.
Award-winning Bloom & Nora have released some gloriously patterned reusable panty-liners that are subtle, soft and so cute.
Their Nora Reusable Panty Liner sets come as a pack of three, and vow to being stain-free and leak-free.
They’re about 16cm in length and can be reused over and over again for up to 10 years – that’s a lot of boring, eco-unconscious pads going to landfill!
Eco-Femme Cotton Sanitary Pad – Night Pad
- Eco-Femme Cotton Sanitary Pad – Night Pad, £10 from Peace With the Wild – buy here
We’ve all been there, where it feels like you’re wearing a nappy in bed as your flow is so heavy – and you’re worried nothing is going to stop it.
Eco-Femme’s Cotton Night Pad is here to put that to bed, and you – literally. The organic cotton night pad is extra-long and has extra-width for better coverage when lying down.
It has seven super-absorbent layers to catch any leaks, and a hidden PUL layer for that last bit of extra protection.
It does good for the planet as it’s easily machine washable, and they are hand-stitched and ethically made in India by women’s collectives. Sign us up!
Honour Your Flow Northern Lights organic cotton velour Regular pad
- Honour Your Flow Northern Lights organic cotton velour Regular pad, £9 – buy here
Okay, so these super-hippy and trippy designs are definitely our favourites so far.
Honour Your Flow have released an inclusive variety of reusable pads, from those with light flows to extremely heavy ones – so there’s sure to be the right one for you.
Their Northern Lights in organic cotton velour Regular pad is by far our favourite – have you ever seen a period pad as pretty as this?
It’s super soft and super absorbent, and claims to be ideal for your average flow days.
It has two inner layers of thick organic cotton fleece, as well as waterproof PUL – and is backed up with a black organic cotton jersey.
Honour Your Flow claim it’s the closest you can get to a Vegan zero waste pad, and everything biodegrades except the PUL liner and the popper.
eco bravo Reusable Sanitary Pads
- eco bravo Reusable Sanitary Pads – pack of six, £21.95 – buy here
Okay, find us someone who doesn’t like flamingos. We’ll wait.
Seriously though, eco bravo’s head-turning Reusable Sanitary Pads come in a pack of six, and are so pretty – they’re not worth being discreet about.
They’re eco-conscious and anti-bacterial, as well as super soft on the skin. They promise to be up to four times more absorbent than your usual disposable pads, too.
The top layer is fleece with embedded bamboo charcoal to neutralise odours, the middle two layers are absorbent microfiber and the outer layer is a waterproof PUL fabric. What are you waiting for?
How do reusable sanitary pads work?
They work just like your usual sanitary pad, except they’re usually softer and more absorbent.
They’re not sticky like plastic disposable pads, but often come with a popper and wings that wrap and fasten around the crotch of your underwear to be secured into place.
How do you wash reusable sanitary pads?
You need to wash your reusable sanitary pad after every use.
Most reusable sanitary pad manufacturers recommend running the pad under cold water until it runs clear, then popping it into a wash bag, and throwing it in with your usual laundry – alongside the detergent and fabric softener.
When washed correctly, the pads could last you years – that’s years worth of plastic products going to landfill avoided!
How many reusable pads do you need?
It truly depends on your flow! We would recommend buying a mixture of panty-liners for those just-in-case days, regular pads for your average flow days, and a combination of thicker pads and night-time pads with secure wings for heavy flow days.
If you are new to the reusable sanitary pad scene, perhaps do some research into purchasing a starter pack and working out what is best for you.
How often to change reusable pads?
We recommend changing your thicker pads up to every four hours for maximum comfort and security against leaks.
Usually the rule of thumb is to change your pad every time you go to the bathroom if you’re on an average flow day, but if you’re experiencing a lighter flow, you could safely replace your smaller pads, or panty-liners, before bedtime.
If you are wearing a thicker pad overnight, we recommend removing it as soon as you wake up and having a refreshing shower first thing to remove any odours or excess leakage.
MORE FROM SUN SELECTS HEALTH
Enjoyed our round-up of the best reusable sanitary pads? Then you might like our selection of zero waste gifts, too.
We’ve designed Sun Selects to help you to find the best products that won’t break the bank.
Fancy some more eco-friendly products? These reusable cotton pads are just fabulous.