When you think of period pants, you may well conjure up an image of large, not-designed-to-be-seen Bridget Jones esque briefs that comfortably house a long, winged sanitary towel. But, period underwear as we know it has come a long way.
Today, many big brands stock lingerie lines designed for those menstruating. These bottoms masquerade as normal underwear, but come complete with a leak-proof inner layer built in. Goodbye, pads.
There are options for each type of flow, too. Labels including Modibodi and Marks & Spencer have created multiple styles with Modibodi's Maxi Absorbency briefs even holding the equivalent of 10 tampons worth of blood.
Cleaning them is a doddle. Rinse with cold water after use and then pop them in the washing machine in a mesh bag before being air dried. Many brands recommend ditching the fabric conditioner when washing your period underwear because it can interfere with the material.
They're not as cheap as 'normal' pants but over time they work out to be far more affordable than buying pack after pack of tampons and sanitary products - and they're far more sustainable.
Best period pants to shop in the UK
Modibodi Classic Bikini Maxi Absorbency | £25 from Modibodi
Made from breathable bamboo and Modibodi's maxi-absorbency technology, the Modibodi Classic Bikini can hold up to 10 tampons and are suitable for a very heavy flow. The absorbent technology is present all the way to the waistband for extra-heavy flow days and with hundreds of five-star reviews, these briefs are top-tier.
"I was pleased that on my heaviest flow night these do actually get me through the night without leaking!" one happy customer confirmed.
WUKA Ultimate™ Midi Brief - MediumMedium Flow | £23.99 from WUKA
If you've done a bit of research into reusable underwear, WUKA is a brand you probably would've come across. These WUKA Ultimate™ Midi Brief for medium flow will still last you up to eight hours and their selling point is a very breathable fabric. If you're on the go all day, these are the ones you'll want to get your hands on.
3pk Heavy Absorbency Period Full Briefs | £20 from Marks & Spencer
Mark's and Spencer's Heavy Absorbency Period Full Briefs come in a three-pack for just £20, making them one of the best value for money options on the market. Available to suit a range of different flows, these briefs offer a three-layered system of protection, including a layer to prevent odours and stains.
One pleased reviewer said: "I wasn’t expecting to genuinely be able to replace pads with these but they are incredible! I’ve worn a pair all day with a medium-heavy flow and I’ve been comfortable all day!"
Mame Kurogouchi AIRism Period Pants | £19.90 from Uniqlo
We can always rely on Uniqlo to bring us the style, and these Mame Kurogouchi AIRism Period Pants are no exception. The three-layer briefs are part of a collaboration with Japanese fashion brand, Mame Kurogouchi, who specialise in making women feel good within their bodies.
Each pair of period pants can hold the equivalent of one to two tampons and the fabric is laminated with water-resistant film.
High Waist Floral Underwear for Heavy Flow | £29.99 from Bodyform
This works in the same way as a pad, by absorbing in the same way that a pad would, but without the discomfort of it moving around. The brand's trademarked TriTech Performance means that its three-layered absorbency can handle anything your body sends its way, with 12 hours of protection.
Reusable Super Pad | £7 from LoveLuna
LoveLuna has a great range of period underwear and it's one of the only brands to also do Reusable Super Pad inserts. Suitable for a medium to heavy flow, the pads have five layers of protection and odour control. Plus, unlike pads the reusable option are much less bulky.
Thinx Briefs Super Black | £14.95 from Boots
The Thinx Briefs act as a "total replacement" for pads and tampons, with a range of different absorbencies available to suit your flow.
The reviews speak for themselves, with plenty of five-star reviews raving about the product. One person said: "I absolutely love these! They are comfortable, not too thick but not too thin. They absorb what you need to them and then you can wash and reuse! I can’t imagine how much money that will save in feminine hygiene products!!"