This is a review of the top brands of period knickers (aka period pants) in the UK. I’ve tried out Modibodi, WUKA, FLUX, Floweret, and reviewed them all – in brutal honesty. I paid for all the products mentioned in the post myself, and no one asked me to write this (with one exception)! Warning – I’m talking frankly and honestly about periods here, so there are some pretty gross sentences in this post.
Disaster struck while I was waiting in line for my takeaway coffee last week. Yep, the thing I’d been most afraid of happening since I first started trying period underwear. A leak.
The reality of the disaster wasn’t nearly as bad as the imagined one inside my head as I hurriedly tied a jacket around my waist and escaped, cheeks burning, to waddle uncomfortably home. Even if the damage turned out to be minimal, the emotional turmoil of your period leaking while you’re out in public is something no woman wants to deal with! So I figured I ought to get my lazy butt in gear and finally write the period pants review I’d been thinking about writing for months!
I’ve been using Modibodi and WUKA period pants since last year and had grown confident. So confident that I’d decided to build up my collection in order to completely stop using other menstrual products. So confident that I’d bought a set of four from a cheaper brand. And that was when I discovered that not all period knickers are created equal. Sometimes, you get what you pay for!
- What are Period Knickers?
- Best Period Pants UK
- Which Period Knickers Would I recommend?
- The Honest Truth About Using Period Knickers
- Are Period Pants for You?
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What are Period Knickers?
Period knickers – also known as period pants, period underwear, or period panties if you’re from the USA – are exactly what they sound like. They are knickers designed to absorb your period flow, so that you don’t need to use tampons or sanitary pads anymore.
I realise that opening this post with the story of a leak probably isn’t the best way to sell you on period knickers! But it was the first incident since making the switch a year ago, and it was because I was wearing the wrong pants. This post is to make sure you don’t make the same mistake by showing what I think are the best period pants brands in the UK!
It’s also supposed to give an honest, warts-and-all account of what using these kinds of underwear is like. But despite the recent dramas, I REALLY love my period underwear and think everyone should give it a try. Here’s why:
One of the main reasons for switching to period pants is the eco-friendly aspect. Disposable products like tampons and towels are unsustainable and bad for the environment, so switching to any form of reusable product is a good thing. Other options include reusable washable pads* and menstrual cups*, but I much prefer a simple pair of knickers as my weapon of choice!
*affiliate links – read more
Another argument for making the switch is that it can be more cost-effective as you’ll never need to buy tampons or sanitary pads again. I’m not entirely convinced by this. If you consider that you might need 2-3 pairs a day, you probably want at least 6 to get you through a period (with a washload halfway through). And at £20-£25 a pair, the initial costs add up.
Say you’ve spent £130 on period underwear, and you’d normally spend £3 a month on sanitary products. It’ll take about 3.5 years for the underwear to pay for itself. I bought my first pair a year ago and they’re still going strong, so assuming these pants last years, then they’ll definitely pay off in the end.
For me, the main thing I love about using period knickers instead of normal sanitary products is the ease. I mean, it’s a simple as putting on a pair of pants – something I was going to do anyway! It does away with all the usual period faff – you literally just put a pair on and get on with your day.
There are some downsides to losing the benefits of single-use products – and I cover these in gross detail in the last section of this post. But on the whole, I much prefer period pants now. I’ve always found tampons too uncomfortable to use, and sanitary pads are a bit crap when you’re being active (and I find the big overnight ones soooo sweaty and uncomfy). It’s so much nicer to just wear a pair of knickers!
Best Period Pants UK
Alrighty, get ready for some oversharing in this post! I get pretty flipping heavy periods – especially the first one or two days. So I was dubious about making the switch to period underwear. What if they leak? What if they can’t handle my flow?
One year on – I can safely say I’ve found two of the UK’s best period underwear brands, and one that I’m much less confident on. Keep reading for individual reviews of Floweret, WUKA, and Modibodi…
Floweret – Affordable Period Pants
Let’s get this one out of the way first! Floweret – called Tulip Cup when I purchased in March – are a well-known menstrual cup brand. I’ve not tried their cups, but I’ve heard and read good things. So when I discovered that they also sell period pants – and that at £60ish for a set of 4, they’re more affordable than other brands – I was delighted to try them.
But these were the pants that leaked on me! Now, I put on a fresh pair right before leaving the house and walked to the coffee shop about 25 minutes away. It was a particularly heavy period day, but the Floweret period knickers are meant to be able to hold 15-20ml of fluid. So I was pretty shocked to find them leaking within half an hour of putting them on.
I’ve had them four months, with no previous issues, and I’ve followed all the care instructions, so I can’t say for sure what the issue was. Maybe I just had a moment of super-period, and the pants couldn’t take it. Maybe something was off with that particular pair. Who knows. But I will only be using these ones for my super light end-of-period days from now on!
What I will say is that I like the discrete size and shape of the Floweret period pants, which are smaller and less bulky than other UK brands I’ve tried. You can wear them with leggings or skinny jeans without anyone being able to tell.
And they have been working for me on lighter days when my flow isn’t strong enough to leak.
If you’re looking for a set of period knickers to use with a menstrual cup, these are a winner. They’re reasonably priced, discrete, and they certainly work for light flows. Just avoid using them as your only defence against a strong flow.
WUKA® Period Pants – Heavy Flow
WUKA is a UK-based period underwear brand founded by passionate environmental scientist Ruby. I really LOVE this brand – especially their ethical business model and the variety of body shapes on their site. And their products are Vegan approved, even better!
But let’s get down to the nitty-gritty – the pants. I use the WUKA® Period Pants – Heavy Flow, which are £24.99 a pair so a bit of a splurge.
UPDATE 2021: WUKA recently launched a more affordable range of mass-produced period pants. The Basics range starts from £12 per pair.
I’ve had my WUKA period knickers for nearly a year now and they work a dream. On the site, it says you can wear them for 4-6 hours on your heavy days. But I often use them overnight (so about 8-9 hours) and haven’t had any problems. They will hold at least 20ml of period flow, which is around 4 tampons worth.
I love the comfy, stretchy fabric which is super breathable. I also love that the fabric is carbon neutral!
Also – unlike many brands of period pants, WUKA pants can be washed at 40° instead of 30°. This means I don’t have to put on a special washload just for a handful of pants.
This is a great company, with good values, and a really good product. Definitely one of the best period pants in the UK.
The only bad thing I have to say about WUKA is that the pants feel a tad bulky. OK, quite a bit bulky. They are big midi-brief style pants, which gives good coverage and is obviously more protective than the skimpy Floweret ones above. But the padding, which does its job so beautifully, is pretty bulky, on the Heavy Flow pants at least.
To be fair, you can’t tell when I’m wearing them, especially if I stick to skirts and dresses. But I’m definitely much more conscious of them, and can really tell I’m wearing period underwear.
However, the heavy flow pants are IDEAL for overnight use because they’re so protective. And as long as you’re not planning to wear a bodycon dress they’re probably fine for daily use too.
WUKA Basics – new cheaper option
The WUKA Basics briefs feel a lot slimmer and more lightweight than the originals. I now have a pair of the Heavy Flow Basics briefs as well and they work just as well – but they cost less and feel slimmer.
ModiBodi – The Original Period Pants
Modibodi are the brand most people have heard of when it comes to period knickers. They advertise themselves as “the original period pants”, and they certainly seem to dominate the market. Which might have something to do with the fact that these pants are AMAZING.
Another good company with strong values and a nice, inclusive, multi-body-type site, Modibodi brings one thing to the table that WUKA don’t, which is more diversity of products. There are multiple styles, colours, sizes, and flow options to choose from. They even do period-proof swimwear! Not all the products are vegan, but they do have a vegan range.
I use the Classic Bikini in Heavy-Overnight absorbency, which is £22*. They are every bit as protective as WUKA, also absorbing 20ml or 3-4 tampons worth of flow – and have been working for me for over a year. But, despite offering the same absorbency, the padding isn’t as thick and the pants feel a lot less bulky. In fact, they almost feel like normal pants.
They’re made from a comfy, breathable material which feels soft and a little silky. The pants are dead comfy, slim, and they work a treat. I can usually wear them for about 6-8 hours at a time, although on heavy days I’ve sometimes had to cut it shorter.
Honestly, I don’t really have anything bad to say about my Modibodi period knickers. They work, they’re comfy, they aren’t too big or bulky, and there’s a massive range of styles to choose from. The only downside is that you have to wash them at 30° – while WUKA can be washed at 40°.
*You can also buy bundle packs to make it cheaper.
FLUX Undies – Ethical Period Pants
Recently, I was sent a free pair of period pants from FLUX Undies, in order to try them out and update this post.
Like Modibodi, there’s a huge range of products and different styles, so there’s bound to be a pair you like. And like the other companies, FLUX has strong ethics and seem like a really good company.
The pants are eco-friendly and are made from sustainable materials using ethical manufacturing. Not only that, but for every pair you buy, FLUX gives a reusable period pad to a girl who needs one as part of their campaign to fight period poverty.
They also have an Essentials range with a more affordable price-point, which would be great for people making the switch from disposables.
I have a pair of the Classic Bikini Period Pants in Moderate Flow (£25.95). Again, they’re a bit of a splurge (the new Essentials range is a tad more affordable).
But I have to say I LOVE the design of these. They have this cute lacy section along the top which makes them feel pretty instead of practical. They’re also quite thin and lightweight feeling, definitely less bulky than the WUKA pants, and so comfy!
I also love the material, it’s super soft and very breathable. My cheaper period knickers can feel quite hot and stuffy, especially on warm nights, these don’t feel any different to my regular underwear.
My pair are moderate flow, but the box claims the Classic Bikini pants can hold 3 tampon’s worth. They certainly lasted me a good half a day on my last period.
Oh – and you can wash these at 40° too!
I’ve only been able to try my new FLUX Undies out on one period, but I haven’t yet come across anything I didn’t like. Similar to the other pants featured in this post, the price point is quite steep as an initial investment. But there’s the Essentials range, as well as bundle sets, to make things more affordable.
Which Period Knickers Would I recommend?
If it’s not obvious from the above, or you just skipped ahead, the UK period pants brands I’d recommend are Modibodi and WUKA. I like both brands a lot, but Modibodi have a lot more choice and are a little less bulky, so I prefer them.
WUKA are my favourites for using overnight as they offer protection for longer, in my experience. They’re also a more ethical brand, with vegan products and carbon neutral products – check out their values to learn more!
Now that WUKA have their Basics Range, which is cheaper and slimmer, I think they might have the edge.
FLUX Undies are another strong contender – good brand ethics, an attractive slim design, and they work SO well.
The Honest Truth About Using Period Knickers
OK – so I love my period knickers, I really do. I feel good about not using disposable products every month, and I find them MUCH comfier than wearing a sanitary pad – especially at night. But are they the most practical things in the world? Maybe not.
For one thing, most can only be worn for 6 hours max on a heavy day. If you work a 9-5 outside of your home, or plan on going out for the day, that means that you’ll need to take a spare pair to change into during the day. It also means you’ll have to bring the dirty pair home with you to wash. And we’re talking about a thicker-than-normal pair of undies which are filled with your blood, a bit smelly, and possibly covered in some of that sexy period gunge that no one ever seems to want to talk about.
So you’ll want some kind of sealable plastic bag* to put them in – for hygiene and smell reasons. It’s certainly not as simple as switching tampons during the day. But it can be done, and once you’re used to it, it won’t seem like a big drama.
Also, speaking of all things gungey and smelly – be prepared to confront your periods a bit more. With a disposable product, you can wrap it and bin it nice and quick, pop in a fresh new one, and move on with your life. With period pants… less so.
You have to rinse them before you can wash them. This isn’t one of those care instructions you can ignore, either – you really do have to rinse them, thoroughly. And that’s the part I really hate, because day-old period blood is stinky – and because any, ahem, less liquid aspects of your period are pretty noticeable at this stage!
What I do is take the pants in the shower with me and let them rinse underfoot while I crack on with washing myself. This way I don’t have to get so close and the smell doesn’t bother me. Plus it wastes less water. Then I pop them in delicates bags, whack them in the machine on a cool wash, and they come out good as new.
Are Period Pants for You?
I’m not saying all this to put you off – it’s just to prepare you. You’re trading the ease and convenience of disposable products for a long-term solution which is more eco- (and possibly more wallet-) friendly.
It takes some getting used to, but it’s not as bad as it sounds. And if we can do away with unnecessary single-use products, so much the better.
If period pants don’t sound like they’ll work for you, you might want to consider using them in conjunction with a menstrual cup, or trying reusable pads instead. But if you want to start moving away from disposables, both Modibodi and WUKA offer a risk-free trial period for new customers. So you can try a pair and see how you get on, before splurging on a full set.
So, that’s my period knickers review! I hope you found it helpful – and feel free to ask me anything in the comments below.