sanitary pad alternatives

6 Best Sanitary Pad Alternatives

As we continue to make efforts to reduce waste and be more environmentally friendly, more and more women are searching for alternative menstrual products. Over the years, the menstrual product landscape has changed drastically. While pads have long been a staple of period care, more and more people are turning to sanitary pad alternatives. There are plenty of reasons someone might be interested in exploring their options, from reducing waste to increasing comfort. 

This post covers six of the best sanitary pad alternatives, including menstrual cups, period panties, menstrual discs, tampons, reusable cloth pads, and menstrual sponges.

6 Best Alternatives to Sanitary Pads

Menstrual Cup

Menstrual cups are bell-shaped devices made of medical-grade silicone or rubber. They are inserted into the lady parts to collect menstrual blood. Unlike pads, which absorb menstrual flow, menstrual cups simply hold the blood until it is time to empty and clean the cup. 

One of the biggest advantages of menstrual cups is that they can be worn for up to 12 hours at a time, reducing the need for frequent changes. Additionally, menstrual cups are reusable, saving money in the long run and cutting down on waste. 

While there is a learning curve to using a menstrual cup, many people find it more comfortable than pads and tampons. 

Period Panties

Period panties are underwear designed explicitly for menstrual use. They typically feature an absorbent layer that can hold up to two tampons’ worth of blood, depending on the brand. Period panties are a great alternative to pads because they are discreet and can be worn all day without worrying about changing them. 

They also cut down on waste and are often more comfortable than pads. To get the most out of your period panties, it’s important to choose a style and size that fits you well. Some popular brands of period panties include Thinx, Knix, and Bambody.

Menstrual Discs

Menstrual discs are similar to menstrual cups in that they are inserted inside you to collect menstrual blood. However, menstrual discs are shaped differently and sit differently in the body. Menstrual discs are typically flat and disc-shaped, with a flexible rim that sits against the cervix to prevent leaks. Many people find menstrual discs more comfortable than menstrual cups because they are less likely to cause discomfort or pressure. 

Additionally, menstrual discs can be worn during sex, which can be a big selling point for some users. There are a few trusted brands of menstrual discs on the market, including Flex and Softdisc.


Tampons are a classic sanitary pad alternative. Many people find them to be more comfortable and discreet than pads. Tampons are inserted to absorb menstrual blood. They can be worn for up to 8 hours at a time. Like menstrual cups, tampons come in various sizes to accommodate different bodies and flows. While tampons are convenient and effective, it’s important to change them regularly to reduce the risk of toxic shock syndrome (TSS). Some popular tampon brands include Tampax, Playtex, and o.b.

Reusable Cloth Pads

Reusable cloth pads are a more sustainable alternative to disposable pads. They are made of soft, absorbent fabrics like cotton or bamboo, and can be washed and reused for months or even years. Reusable cloth pads come in various sizes and absorbencies, making them a versatile option for period care. Additionally, many people find that reusable cloth pads are more comfortable than disposable pads because they don’t have the plastic backing that can cause irritation. Some popular brands of reusable cloth pads include LunaPads, GladRags, and Party In My Pants.

Menstrual Sponge

A menstrual sponge is a soft, squishy, absorbent sponge that collects menstrual blood. It is inserted into the lady parts, similar to how you’d use a tampon, and can be worn for several hours before being removed and cleaned.

The sponge absorbs menstrual blood; however, unlike tampons and pads, the sponge can be washed and used again. This means less landfill waste and less money spent on disposable products.

One of the main benefits of using a menstrual sponge is it reduces waste. Since the sponge is reusable for up to 12 months, it eliminates the need for disposable products and helps to reduce the environmental impact of menstruation. Additionally, many women find menstrual sponges more comfortable than traditional pads or tampons. The soft, flexible material conforms to the body’s shape, and the sponge is less likely to cause irritation or dryness.

So, there you have it, the six sanitary pad alternatives you can explore for period health. Which ones have you tried? What has worked for you?

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