The best alternative period products
Sick of your usual tampons and pads, or looking to try something eco-friendlier? Then look no further…
By Faith Richardson
Many of us will spend most of our lives dealing with periods in one way or another, and for most of us, we were really only given two options – tampons or sanitary pads.
Thankfully the world has moved on from the days of uncomfortable tampons or pads that move about during the day, and there’s a huge range of alternatives available to us now.
We’ve rounded up some of our favourite alternative products to help you find something that works for you.
Flex Menstrual Disc – £13 for a 3-month supply
Neither a tampon nor a menstrual cup, the flex disc moulds to the shape of your body and can hold up to five tampons worth of fluid over a 12-hour period, so you don’t need to worry about pulling some yoga-worthy shapes in a public bathroom to change it during the day. It’s also the only inserted menstrual product that carries zero risk of TSS (toxic shock syndrome) and has even been proven to reduce cramps in 70% of users – definitely a winning combination.
Allowing you to enjoy everything from exercise to sex without budging or being felt, and providing 60% less waste than tampons, this is definitely a product we’ll be trying.
Modibodi Pants – prices vary depending on the style
We don’t know about you, but every time we get our period, we’re suddenly nostalgic for the time when we just had underwear on. Pads bunching up, being afraid to sneeze and constantly worrying that we’ve leaked are all just some of the problems and worries we have when it’s that time of the month. Luckily, Modibodi has answered all of our prayers with their amazing range of underwear designed for everything from periods to breast milk leaks.
Ideal for anyone who hates the feeling of wearing any form of sanitary product or finds inserted devices uncomfortable or painful, you can buy pants for day wear, overnight heavy flows, incontinence and weak pelvic floor muscles. Even better is that they don’t look like “period pants” – they come in a huge range of colours, cuts and styles, and you’d be forgiven for thinking they were anything other than just regular underwear – they even have a vegan range. Just give them a wash once you’ve worn them and they can be reused again and again.
&SISTERS Nüdie Period Cup Medium – £24.95
An eco-friendly alternative to tampons, the &SISTERS Nüdie cup catches your flow instead of absorbing it. Don’t worry if the idea of these sends you into a panic – most women are worried at the thought of using something that seems like it might spill at any moment. It can be worn for up to 12-hrs a day and is easy to remove, empty and clean without any spills or leaking. Simply fold it up and insert, and it will unroll to fit the shape of your body, prevent any danger of leaking.
These also help maintain a health PH balance, so you can avoid infections, dryness and irritation that usually comes with traditional pads or tampons. They even have different sizes, so whether you’re just starting your period journey or have given birth and need something with extra security, they’ve got you covered.
Wear ‘Em Out – Prices Vary Depending on Product
If you’re comfortable using traditional pads, but are looking to make the switch to something a little kinder on the environment (a single pad can take a horrifying 800 years to break down!) then Wear ‘Em Out reusable pads are going to be your new best friend. They cover all kinds of flow, from light to mega, and even have a range for post-birth. You can even buy starter packs or a bumper pack that allows you to mix and match the products you think you’ll need.
Each pad is extra secure and breathable to help avoid infections, and all you need to do is wash them at 40degrees with your usual wash load (without fabric softener), or hand-wash as you go (they suggest taking them into the shower with you) and allow to air dry. When cared for correctly, each pad can last up to four years – far better than using two to three a day.
Ohne Organic Tampons – Prices start at £5.40
Just like with pads, some of you may be super comfortable wearing a tampon but are looking to do your bit for the environment, which is where Ohne steps in. All of their tampons are 100% biodegradable, so you don’t need to worry about how long it’s going to sit in landfill. You can order completely naked or with a plastic-free applicator, and a box of 16 naked tampons costs just £5.40 with completely free shipping.
They even have their own range of oils to help soothe cramps or regulate your hormones, so you can have a stress-free period every month.
Dame Reusable Applicator – £17.99
One of the biggest hazards to the environment from sanitary products is the disposable plastic applicators that come with many brands. Dame has created a reusable applicator which can work with any tampon to allow you guilt-free use every time. It’s even self-sanitising, so you don’t need to worry about washing it on the go.
It can take a couple of uses to get used to it, however, once you’re comfortable with it you’ll never return to the single-use plastic kind. With a life-span of approximately 10-years (even longer with careful use), this is a real game-changer when it comes to more eco-friendly periods.
If you’ve decided to make the switch to more eco-friendly products and have unused tampons or pads lying around, or if you’ve tried an alternative period product and decided it wasn’t for you and have any unused items lying around, consider donating them to The Red Box Project to help end period poverty around the world.
Find out more about The Red Box Project.