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Which menstrual underwear is best? 

Whether you are a menstruating individual who needs an added layer of protection, or you simply want to find an alternative to tampons and pads, menstrual underwear are a great option. 

The best menstrual underwear offers ample style choices such as thong, high-cut, bikini, boyshort or brief. They should also work reliably each time you wear them. If you want to try this product, the top choice is Hiphugger Menstrual Underwear by Thinx.  

What to know before you buy menstrual underwear

Panty style basics

It is essential to know the difference between basic panty styles when shopping for the best menstrual underwear. 

  • Briefs: Briefs give your backside full coverage and are available in high-rise, mid-rise or low-rise.
  • Boyshorts: Boyshorts cover your rear and upper thigh. They tend to land at your hip. 
  • High-cut panties: High-cut panties cover your backside. The leg opening lands high at the top of your leg. They are available in high-rise, mid-rise and low-rise.
  • Bikini:  Bikini underwear cuts across the apex of your backside and lands at or below your hips.
  • Thong: Thongs do not provide any coverage for your rear and often land at or below your hips.

How menstrual underwear works

Menstrual underwear looks like regular underwear. However, it can absorb your menstrual fluid without the added use of tampons, pads or anything else. The amount of liquid these panties can hold is unique to each pair.

As with regular panties, menstrual underwear includes a gusset, the added layer of fabric sewn into the crotch. However, the gusset on the best menstrual underwear contains several layers. The top layer absorbs fluid and draws it down into the middle layers to keep you dry. The middle layers hold the fluid, and the bottom layers repel it to prevent it from leaking onto your clothing. You should think of this gusset as a type of menstrual pad without the bulk. The larger the gusset, the larger the area of protection from leakage.

Read the fine print

The best menstrual underwear should be able to withstand direct bleeding. It should not be limited to leak protection. Be sure to read the fine print under “recommended use” before you purchase your period panties. Some sellers use language like “serves as leak protection,” which  can be a bit misleading.  

What to look for in quality menstrual underwear


Every menstruating person experiences their period differently, so it only makes sense that the best menstrual underwear should give you several absorbency options, just as pads and tampons do.  

Generally, absorbency levels start at light and incrementally go up to super. Light should give you the protection of a single tampon, and super should give you about five tampons worth of protection. While each brand is different, be sure to choose the absorbency level you need.  

Brands and style

The best menstrual underwear brands have several different panty styles available. If you want to try a different style of panty, it’s less of a gamble to try a pair from a trusted brand than a whole new brand.  

How much you can expect to spend on menstrual underwear

You will pay between $13-$35 per pair of the best menstrual underwear, depending on brand and style.

Menstrual underwear FAQ

How should you get started with menstrual underwear?  

A. Most period panty manufacturers suggest that you try out your first pair in the comfort of your own home so you can see how they work in a stress-free environment. 

How will you know when it’s time to replace your menstrual underwear?  

A. Even the best menstrual underwear has its limits. You should replace your period panties when the odor protection weakens and they become less absorbent. 

What’s the best menstrual underwear to buy?

Top menstrual underwear

Thinx Hiphugger Menstrual Underwear

Thinx Hiphugger Menstrual Underwear

What you need to know: With super absorbency, these menstrual underwear give you hours of stress-free leak-protection. 

What you’ll love: These can hold up to 5 tampons worth of fluid with its multi-layered technology that also controls odors. They come in a variety of styles, colors, and absorbency levels. Available in sizes XS-3XL, they are machine washable in cold water. 

What you should consider: Line dry these underwear and they can last up to 2 years.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top menstrual underwear for the money

High Absorbency Period Panties by 4period

High Absorbency Period Panties by 4period

What you need to know: These are incredibly affordable compared to other menstrual underwear, and you will not need to use them with other period products.  

What you’ll love: These are the best menstrual underwear for those who need affordable period support. They have the absorbance of 4 super-plus tampons. The gusset runs halfway up the front and covers the entire backside. Several panty styles are available, and they come in sizes XS-4XL.  

What you should consider: The product description does not mention odor technology. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

LeakProof Hipster by Shero

LeakProof Hipster by Shero

What you need to know: These panties use innovative technology to prevent leakage, fight odors and keep you dry without the help of other period products. 

What you’ll love: These are some of the best menstrual underwear available for those who need ultra-thin period protection. They are available in sizes XS-2XL at an affordable price. They use zinc oxide infused fibers to fight odors and bamboo charcoal-infused fabric to control moisture.  

What you should consider: These are only available in bikini, hipster and thong with absorbances between 1-2 tampons. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon


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Ella Scott writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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