How do you wear reusable pads? Are reusable pads worth it? Do cloth pads smell? These are just some of the most common questions which surround reusable period products. Today we dive into them.
Are reusable pads worth it?
This is a very personal choice to decide if reusable period pads are “worth” the switch. There are a few different things to consider like the actual cost and how they might fit into or change your lifestyle when you’re on your period.
- Reusable period pads do have a higher initial cost, but as long as you care for them, then you’ll end up saving money in the long run. You’ll have to consider how many you want to buy and how often you want to wash them during your cycle. You could get enough to supply your whole cycle and wash them at the end, or you could get enough for two days (or so) and plan to wash them halfway through.
- Reusable period pads do require some more effort and maintenance than single-use period products. You have to wash them, make sure they dry completely, and have a clean place to store them when not using them. You also need to have well-fitting underwear to help the pad stay in place.
- It’s important to be aware of what types of materials reusable period pads are made of in case you have any skin sensitivity. Also consider how comfortable and secure reusable period pads would be with your underwear, trousers, and activities.
Are reusable period pads safe and hygienic?
As long as you take care of your reusable cloth pads as directed, they should be perfectly safe to use. It’s important to know if you do have any skin sensitivities to any cloth materials though, as your vulva is a sensitive part of your body. Otherwise, washing and drying them is pretty straightforward. And as with any other period product, it’s important to switch to a clean one if you start to feel wet or after a certain amount of time. A bonus of using reusable cloth pads is that the materials are usually safer and more natural than many single-use period products!
How long do reusable period pads last?
This will differ amongst brands, materials, and how well you care for them. Often, reusable period pads can last 2-5 years with regular use – meaning using a pad once or twice for each cycle. Make sure you know how to care for them to get the longest use out of them.
How do you use reusable period pads?
You can use reusable period pads just like single-use period pads. The only difference is that instead of having a sticky side, reusable pads will have wings that snap together around your underwear. You still need to change them every 4-6 hours depending on your flow. Once you’ve used them, you can wash them right away or store them in a dry place to wash at the end of your cycle.
Where can I buy reusable period pads?
Lilypads UK sells reusable period pads online! There are a few other brands like Lunapads that also sell online. If you want to support individual makers, there are lots of sellers on Etsy (great place to find really fun prints and a variety of materials too!). If you’re keen to make your own, check out tutorials on YouTube.
Do cloth pads smell?
Reusable cloth pads should not smell any more than any other period product you use. Again, it’s important to change when needed (more often during a heavier flow). Even if you store them for a day or so, they shouldn’t have much of a smell before you wash them. Be careful if you want to use scented laundry detergent when washing them, as this may irritate your vulva.
How many reusable pads do I need?
This will be different for everyone and every period. Typically, it’s suggested that you change your period pad every 4-6 hours (maybe more often depending on your flow). So that would mean 3-4 period pads every day of your period, and then 1-2 for overnight (overnight pads are widely available). Periods can range from 4-7 days (generally). So this means you would need approximately 15-30 pads for one cycle. That sounds like a lot! But, you can also get enough for a day/day and a half and have time to wash and fully dry your pads throughout.
If you’re using reusable period pads as a backup for a menstrual cup or tampons, you would need even fewer.
If you’re considering switching to using reusable cloth pads, I strongly suggest trying only a few at first to make sure they work for you. That way you can decide which styles you prefer and are the most comfortable.
How do you wear reusable pads?
You can wear reusable period pads just like single-use period pads. The main difference is that they have wings that will snap around your underwear instead of having a sticky side. Make sure you know which side is “up” and which is “down” since most reusable pads will have a waterproof layer on the bottom to stop leaks.
Tip: wear reusable period pads with well-fitting underwear and trousers to make sure they don’t slide around.
How often should you change your pad?
As with any period product, it’s important to know how often to change it to avoid feeling wet or experiencing irritation. For most pads, single-use or reusable, it’s suggested to change it every 4-6 hours or if you start to feel wet (it’s going to depend on your flow). Like I mentioned before, there are overnight pads that are specifically designed to be safe to wear all night.
All of this information is based on my personal experiences using reusable period pads and doing research while choosing what styles I like to use.
Please share your own experiences with reusable cloth pads below!
Have more questions? Ask below and I’ll include them in another FAQ blog 🙂
Written by Morgan Ludington
May 9th, 2021
Edited by Lilypads UK
Full range: reusable sanitary pads for day and night
Looking for a comfier period and ready to jump in? Yay! Our full range of reusable period pads is a great place to start. Our pads are designed to be high quality, fitted to your body, more absorbent, more discreet and more comfy than alternatives.
The full range contains 2 reusable night time pads, 2 reusable liners and 4 standard size reusable pads (or 4 of your choice).
You can choose between:
- The Superstar: A standard reusable period pad that is comfy, absorbent and fitted to your body.
- The Back-up pad: The pad to prevent leaks and a perfect pad to go with a menstrual cup or tampon. The pads are comfy, discreet and absorbent.
- The active pad: For those who experience bladder weakness. This pad is soft, discreet and absorbent helping you feel confident.
We listened to you – our pads now have black fabric on top (instead of grey) – new photos coming soon.