Health & Beauty, Life & Style

Everything You Need To Know About Period Pants (But Were Afraid To Ask)

Intrigued by the idea of period pants but just don’t know if they are for you? I’ve got you covered with this guide on everything you need to know about period pants, including the questions you were just too afraid to ask, and the best period pants available in the UK right now.

In order to help support the running costs of Moral Fibres, this post contains affiliate links, denoted by *. Moral Fibres may earn a small commission, at no extra cost to readers, on items that have been purchased through those links.

Period waste is on the rise. An estimated 200,000 tonnes of sanitary products are estimated to end up in landfill in the UK each year. And, even more depressingly, sanitary products are the fifth most common item found on Europe’s beaches. This makes sanitary product beach waste more widespread than single-use coffee cups, cutlery, or straws.

With each pack of disposable sanitary towels containing as much plastic as the equivalent of 5 plastic carrier bags, it certainly makes environmental sense to ditch the disposables and try reusables where possible.

However, eco-friendly period products aren’t always the most accessible in terms of usage. Menstrual cups, for example, certainly don’t work for everyone, or suit everyone. Period pants are easier to use. However, with a pair of period pants costing upward of £12, these kinds of pants can be a pricey investment, and you’ll want to do your research before taking the plunge.

Everything You Wanted to Know About Period Pants

Image of four people wearing wuka period pants, with a blue text box that says everything you need to know about period pants but were afraid to ask.
Image used c/o Wuka

With that in mind here is almost everything you might want to know about period pants. I’ve been using mine for over three years now, so feel well qualified to take on your concerns.

What Are Period Pants?

Firstly, just what are period pants exactly? Periods pants are essentially absorbent pants that you wear when you have your period. The specially constructed gusset wicks away the blood and locks it away in between the layers of absorbent and leakproof fabric. I guess the best way to describe them would be the eco-friendly love child of a really comfortable sanitary towel and a pair of regular pants!

How To Use Period Pants

Unlike menstrual cups where the learning curve can be steep, I was delighted to find there is absolutely no learning curve when it comes to using period pants. When you have your period, simply put on a pair of period pants in place of your normal underwear, and then wear your regular clothes on top. That’s all there is to it – all that’s left is to get on with your day.

Are They Comfortable To Wear?

I personally have found period pants to be the most comfortable reusable menstrual product that I’ve tried.

Unlike standard sanitary towels, period pants do not rub or rustle. Nor do they feel like you are wearing plastic anywhere near you. In fact, they feel a lot more breathable than standard sanitary towels. They don’t feel bulky either – I promise it does not feel like you are wearing a nappy.

In particular, I love wearing mine at night. They don’t move about or ride up, so there is much less chance of leakage. And unlike standard sanitary towels, there is no chance of getting your pubic hair caught on the plastic tabs.

As such, I find it so much more comfortable than other sanitary options that can rub or chaff, or move and cause leakage.

How Long Can You Wear Them For?

In terms of how long you can wear period pants, I’m afraid there’s no real exact science. It all depends on the pants you have, how heavy your periods are, and where you are in your menstrual flow cycle.

When you are wearing your pants, they should feel dry as the absorbent core works its magic. You’ll know when it is time to change your period pants if you notice a wet, heavy, or full feeling. I’d suggest wearing them for no more than 12 hours, for hygiene reasons.

Can Period Pants Last All Day Or All Night?

sleep and period pants

Like the last question, it does really depend on a few different factors. I personally can wear mine all night. And certainly, at the start and end of my period, I could wear a clean pair all day. In the middle of my cycle, I find it more comfortable to change my pants at least once a day. Within one or two cycles, you’ll work out what works best for you.

Can Period Pants Work For Very Heavy Periods?

If you have very heavy periods then I would recommend buying a pair of pants specifically designed for a very heavy flow. Wuka, for example, offers super heavy flow pants*, that they say hold 12 regular tampons worth of flow. I would then suggest trying your period pants for the first time when you know you are going to be at home, to see how they handle your flow.

The other option for very heavy periods is to consider supplementing your pants with a menstrual cup or a sanitary towel – depending on your preferences. It could offer you extra peace of mind, and allow you get to get on your day without worrying about leakages.

Do They Ever Leak?

Personally, I’ve not had any leaks.  They are pretty tight (but not uncomfortably so) so do prevent leaks and are really very absorbent.  I would say that period pants are more absorbent than a standard sanitary towel, and as they don’t move about, are much less likely to leak. However, as with any period product, there is always the risk of leakage.

If you’re not sure about using a pair overnight, you could put a towel down on your bed during the heaviest days of your flow, to see how you get on.

Do They Feel Sticky or Wet When You Are Wearing Them?

My period pants never feel sticky or wet when I’m wearing them unless I’ve been wearing them too long and it’s time to change them. I swear it is some kind of magic. They seem to draw fluids away quickly and dry quickly.

Do The Pants Smell?

Because period pants lock the blood away in the core, then there is no smell associated with them.

Do They Absorb Clots?

Wearing period pants is similar to wearing a sanitary towel in this respect. They don’t absorb clots – you see them on the crotch of your pants when you go to the bathroom. When that happens you can just wipe it off with toilet paper. It’s no big deal.

Would They Work After Having A Baby?

It’s been a little while since I had my last baby (6 years ago), and those early days are a bit of sleep-deprived haze. From what I recall from the early days, you would probably want something specialist for at least the first week or two, before switching to period pants. I’m not too sure how it would work with caesarean sections.

I’ll update this section once I know more about both questions. If you used period pants post-birth, do feel free to let me know your experiences – either via email or in the comments below.

What About For Exercise?

Whilst you may not feel like doing any exercise on your period, which I think is totally valid, would you believe that some people do wish to exercise?

If you fall into the latter camp, then period pants are my favourite period product to exercise in. They don’t budge, so don’t rub or chaff, and are incredibly comfortable. They are also helpful if you have a little stress incontinence. I’ve found that the button on reusable sanitary towels can be a little uncomfortable when you are riding a bike – with period pants you don’t get that.

Which Are The Best Period Pants?

period pants from wuka

The best period pants I’ve found in the UK are from Wuka* (pictured above). This inclusive brand offers pants catering for 4 different flow rates – from light to super heavy. What’s more, their period pants cater for UK sizes 4 through to 28, in various different styles to suit your needs best. Prices start from £12.

I have only tried Wuka pants. However, there are other UK period pants brands or sellers, that I’ve heard good things about. These include:

  • Modibodi* – these period pants come in UK sizes 4 to 26, in many different styles, and varying absorbencies, from around £18. Whilst I haven’t tried them, I’ve heard only good things about these pants.
  • Marks & Spencer* – Marks & Spencer now offer period pants, coming in UK sizes 6 to 28. They come in three different styles and different absorbencies, and cost £12. The best part is that M&S often run promotions on their period pants. Right now you can buy 3 pairs of period pants and get the 4th free. I haven’t tried these pants, and haven’t heard much about them, so I’d recommend reading customer reviews before trying.

How Many Pairs Do I Need?

I think it all depends on how you plan on using them. If you have heavy periods and plan on using period pants as a backup in case of leakages of your menstrual cup, tampon, or sanitary towel, then you’ll probably only need one or two pairs.

If you plan on using period pants full time during your period, then it depends on how heavy your flow is, how long your usual cycle is, and how often you do laundry. Around five pairs works for me, but in a four-family household, my washing machine is in use at least every other day.

In terms of buying them, I didn’t buy five pairs of pants in one go. I bought a pair at a time when it was affordable for me to do so, using other types of period products when my pants were in the wash.

How Do You Wash Them?

Washing period pants is really easy. Simply rinse them with cold water, then toss them right into the washing machine with a dark load. Alternatively, store them in a wet bag until it’s time to put the washing machine on. You can wash them on a normal wash cycle, and then dry them on your washing line or by hanging them to dry indoors.

There is only a couple of no-no’s when it comes to washing them. Don’t use conventional fabric conditioner, as this can affect their absorbency. And never tumble dry them, as heat doesn’t agree with them.

If you don’t run your washing machine as often as I need to, then you can hand wash them. Just add some warm water to your sink and wash them with a little bit of laundry detergent or soap, before rinsing, wringing, and hanging up to dry.

What Do You Do At Work Or When You Are Out?

This is the area where I feel that period pants do lose their shine a little. Depending on what you are wearing, it’s not a quick and easy job to change your pants.

You need to carry a clean pair of pants in your bag, inside a wet bag. Then you remove whatever you are wearing on your bottom half, before changing your pants, and getting dressed again. It can be tricky doing that in a public toilet cubicle!

If you are wondering what to do with the used pair of pants, don’t worry. You can pop the used pair inside a wet bag, and then wash it when you get home.

If you are new to wet bags, these are waterproof and washable bags that are designed to carry used reusable sanitary protection or reusable nappies. Wet bags do come in many discreet designs, so the good news is that they don’t scream that you are about to go and change your pants.

Any Other Questions?

Got any other questions? Leave a comment below or drop me an email and I’ll be sure to add them to this post.

And period pants not for you? Check out my guide to eco-friendly period products for other suggestions which might suit you better.

Energy Saving, Home and Garden

How To Save Fuel While Driving – 10 Easy Tips

With fuel prices exponentially rising, we are all looking to save money and fuel. Try these 10 easy tried and tested tips on how to save fuel while driving to see how many more miles to the gallon you can get.

A couple of years ago I took an hour-long fuel-efficient driver training course. It had been two decades since I sat my driving test, and I remember I was so nervous about having someone sit in the passenger seat and judge my driving.

As I got in the car, my palms felt sweaty and my heart raced. I was certain the driving instructor was going to scold me for crossing my hands on the steering wheel. Or, my worst nightmare, ask me to parallel park in a tight spot on a busy street.

It turned out there was no judging and no tricky manoeuvres. Instead, we drove a circuit, whilst James, my friendly instructor, kindly pointed out some simple tweaks to my driving style, that could help improve my car’s miles to the gallon. I then completed the circuit again. When the hour was up, James calculated that I could save around 15% fuel from doing what I doing, just a little more efficiently.

The tips stayed with me, and I’ve certainly put them to good use. However, I never knew exactly how beneficial the course was, until, the end of last year. We bought a ‘new’ secondhand car. The dashboard displays how many miles to the gallon you currently get, based on your driving. Right now I’m getting 4.7 more miles to the gallon than the previous owner. If petrol prices do reach £2.50 per litre, then that’s some serious savings.

How To Save Fuel While Driving

Image of an open road, with a blue text box that says how to save fuel while driving

It goes without saying that the best way to save fuel is to avoid using your car when you don’t need to.

However, for journeys that you do need to make by car then adopting some fuel-saving techniques can help save you a considerable sum of money. In turn, it helps the environment too.

If you don’t have a fuel-efficient driving instructor, like James near you, that can teach you the fuel-efficient driving basics face-to-face, then all is not lost. Here are my easy tried and tested tips on how to save fuel whilst driving. These have helped, and continue to help me save big time.

1. Avoid Carrying Unnecessary Items or Loads

Are you the kind of person who drives around with a boot full of bottles, to go to the bottle bank, yet you keep forgetting to deposit them? Or a boot full of items for the recycling centre or charity shop, but you never actually get round to going? Or maybe, you are a golfer and you keep a set of golf clubs in the boot on the very off chance of an impromptu round of golf?

If you can relate, then perhaps it is time to rethink your ways. This is because anything that adds to the weight of your car will increase fuel consumption. Simply avoiding carrying unnecessary loads when you don’t need to will really help you to save fuel when driving, without even noticing.

2. Remove Unneccessary Hardware From Your Car

In a similar vein, you should remove any roof racks, roof boxes, and bike carriers from your car when they are not in use. This is because these types of hardware significantly increase air resistance, particularly when you are driving at higher speeds. This in turn increases your fuel consumption. Taking these things off your car once you are done with them can be fiddly. Yet the amount of fuel you can save by doing so is not to be sniffed at.

3. Check Your Tyre Pressure Regularly

Checking your tyre pressure regularly is a good habit to get into. This is because as well as being a safety hazard, underinflated tyres create more rolling resistance. More energy is required to overcome this rolling resistance. This, in turn, means more petrol or diesel is needed by your car.

Always check your tyre pressure with a gauge to ensure it is around the tyre pressure level indicated by your car’s manufacturer. A tyre with 25% of the air let out of it looks like a fully inflated tyre, so never trust your eyes.

Overinflating your tyres does not improve your car’s fuel efficiency, so don’t be tempted to overinflate. Stick to the guidelines, and you will save fuel whilst driving, without compromising your safety.

4. Drive Smoothly To Save Fuel

a car using eco driving techniques

Have you ever been a passenger in a car, where the driver zooms up at high speed to the traffic lights that are clearly going to turn red? The driver then has to come to a very abrupt halt.

I know I have. And whilst it’s not a great driving experience for passengers, it’s even worse for your fuel economy. This is because any unnecessary braking and acceleration all increase your fuel usage.

Instead, adopting a smoother driving technique is the way to go. As well as saving fuel when you are driving, it’s also a much less stressful style of driving.

To drive more smoothly, it’s simply a case of anticipating situations and other road users as far ahead as possible to help avoid any unnecessary braking and acceleration. So, for example, if a pedestrian is waiting at traffic lights to cross, it’s likely the lights might turn red. Ease off the accelerator a little, so that if you do have to stop, you will require less braking. As I have seen, little tweaks like this can make a big difference to your fuel economy.

Meanwhile, keeping a good distance from the car in front of you also helps you to save fuel. This is because you can ease off the accelerator to control your speed when necessary, rather than having to press on the brakes.

5. Don’t Linger In Lower Gears

Lingering in lower gears is one surefire way to unnecessarily use up a lot of petrol or diesel. This is because when you drive at high revs per minute (RPM), your car engine works much harder than it needs to.

To save fuel when driving, instead, when you are accelerating, shift up to a higher gear as early as possible. Aim to be driving at no more than 2,000 to 2,500 RPM before moving up a gear. It is also fuel-efficient to skip gears. So, depending on the speed you are planning to drive at, when you are accelerating you could skip from 3rd directly to 5th gear, to avoid sitting unnecessarily in 4th gear.

6. The Accelerator Isn’t Always Your Fuel Saving Friend

One of my favourite ways to save fuel is to simply ease off the accelerator. If you are driving downhill, you can remain in gear, but ease right off the accelerator as soon as you start going down the hill.

It’s a particularly good technique if you are driving in a 20 or 30 mph zone. This is because it avoids having to unnecessarily use the brake to stay within the speed limit. However, even on higher speed roads, if you have been driving at speed then your car should have enough momentum to get down the hill at a decent speed without using any fuel.

Remember, never coast down a hill in neutral. This is against the Highway Code because coasting can affect the steering and control of your vehicle.

Similarly, driving at excessively high speeds also increases your car’s fuel consumption. Drag resistance increases dramatically at high speed. Research by the Department for Transport showed that for a typical modern car, fuel consumption increases by around 14.9% between 60 and 75mph. This figure is double for vans. And driving at 80 mph, whilst also illegal, can use up to 25% more fuel than at 70mph.

Taking it easy on the accelerator means your wallet takes it easy too.

7. Don’t Be A Fan of Air Conditioning

When it comes to the bells and whistles of your car, air conditioning is probably the highest consumer of fuel. In fact, running your air conditioning could increase your fuel usage by as much as 10%.

While it probably isn’t practical to stop using your air conditioning, consider where you might be able to use it more sparingly. On hot days, parking in shaded spots for example could help keep your car naturally cooler. Meanwhile, opening a window when driving at lower speeds could help to keep your car cool without any impact on your fuel use.

8. Close Your Windows At High Speed

When driving in areas with a lower speed limit, it is more fuel-efficient to keep your cool by opening your windows. However, the opposite is true at high speeds. Keeping your windows open when driving at high speed on dual carriages or motorways, in particular, creates resistance. This is because an open window, even if it is just slightly open, adversely affects the aerodynamics of your car. The engine, therefore, has to burn significantly more fuel to overcome this resistance.

On a hot day, it’s, therefore, better to use the air conditioning to keep cool when driving at high speed. When you drive on to a slower road, you can then turn off the air-con, and crank open that window to help save fuel.

9. Save Fuel By Avoiding Idling

One no-brainer to save fuel is to turn off your engine when you are not driving. Avoiding idling when you expect to be stationary for more than 30 seconds, helps to improve air quality for everyone. It also stops your car from burning through fuel when you are not in motion.

10. Reverse Into Parking Spaces

Finally, my last tip to help you save fuel when you are driving is to try to reverse into parking spaces at the end of your journey, where possible. This is because a cold car engine consumes substantially more petrol than a hot engine, where the petrol is mixed with more air.

Reversing into the space at the end of your journey, on a warm engine, uses only minute amounts of fuel. Meanwhile, reversing on a cold engine is significantly more fuel-intensive. Leaving the car pointing the right way for its next journey significantly cuts fuel consumption, because setting off straight on a cold engine is much less work for the car’s engine.

Got any more fuel-saving tips? I am all ears! And if you are looking to save money on your heating costs too, then here are my easy ways to save energy and money in the home.