From stomach cramps and bloating to irregular moods and cravings for chocolate, menstruation can be a real pain. On top of having friends spot-check your outfit and paying a fortune for tampons and pads, there’s the realisation that traditional menstrual products are far from sustainable.

While pads and tampons may seem a necessity, they’re not great for the planet. Traditional menstrual pads can often be made from 90% plastic and contain other harmful chemicals that contribute to tonnes of waste going into landfill every year. Globally, 45 billion menstrual products are disposed of every year. 


We’re all for saving Mother Nature here at Wise Living, and the good news is that there are lots of alternative, eco-friendly period products available, including:

  • Menstrual cups
  • Reusable pads
  • Sea sponges
  • Period pants

Period pants are one of the most popular eco-friendly alternatives to traditional sanitary products, and here we answer all your questions about what they are and how they work.

Period product alternatives to the best period pants uk
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What are period pants?

Period pants are pants you can wear on your period. Simple. You’re essentially bleeding freely into pants – no pads, tampons, or cups in sight. They look just like regular underwear, so you can remain stylish and comfortable without extra bulk, strings or wings to deal with. Even better, they’re reusable – you just wash and wear them again – saving a fortune on sanitary products.

Are period pants sustainable?

Period pants are a sustainable alternative to single-use pads and tampons. They’re reusable and should last a few years if washed and taken care of properly.

Many period pants are made from planet-friendly materials and reduce plastic in their packaging to help support the environment. According to WUKA, one pair of period pants can save 200 single-use plastic disposable products from polluting landfills and oceans.

If you’re in a position to do so, making the swap from single-use to reuseable period products can help towards fighting climate change.

How do period pants work?

Period pants consist of super-absorbent materials allowing you the freedom to ditch other period products. The absorbent layers are hidden in the gusset of the underwear, ensuring a bulk-free, leak-free period. The middle layers help lock in the blood, while the outer layers keep moisture away, leaving you feeling dry and secure. All the layers are breathable to help reduce the risk of infection and smells.

Can period pants be worn all day?

You can wear a pair of period pants all day, depending on how heavy your flow is. If it’s relatively light, you may want to wear the same pair from morning till evening, then change into a fresh pair for bed. If it’s heavier, you may need to change it during the day. It’s recommended to change them every 10-12 hours.

Do period pants smell?

Period pants don’t tend to smell if worn for no more than a day. Thanks to the breathable layers, any smells are reduced and trapped in the absorbent layers in the middle.

If they do start to smell, this is usually an indicator that it’s time to change into a fresh pair.

What are the best period pants

Our favourite period pants are from WUKA – which stands for Wake Up and Kick Ass. Their period pants fully absorb your period and don’t leak, allowing you to have a worry-free period. All feature a high and wide rise gusset for extra protection. (Sadly, they don’t prevent cramping, but here are our home remedies to ease period pain.)

WUKA period pants come in a wide range of styles and sizes, and you can select pants based on how heavy your flow is. Choose from a selection that includes:

Whatever your preferred activity, chilling on the sofa with bars of chocolate or exercising to fight the pain, there are period pants for all your needs.

How to wash period pants

Washing period pants is as easy, and they can be included in your normal laundry routine. All it takes is just three easy steps.

  1. Rinse your underwear: After use, rinse your pants in warm water. This helps remove excess blood for a more thorough clean. 
  2. Machine wash: Pop your pants into the washing machine with dark-coloured clothing and wash at 30 or 40 degrees, depending on the brand label guidelines. Use your regular detergent but avoid fabric softener/conditioner as it can reduce the absorbency of the pants over time. Alternatively, wash your period pants by hand.
  3. Dry: To encourage a longer lifespan for your period pants, air dry on a line either outside or inside. Avoid ironing and tumble-drying.

We recommend washing your period pants in a mesh wash bag to help prolong their life.

How to wash period pants - pants drying outside
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Are period pants suitable for teens?

Starting your period can be pretty unpredictable and scary as a teenager. Period pants are suitable for teenagers and can be a great alternative to traditional period products such as tampons and sanitary pads. Dealing with period products may sometimes be fiddly and stressful, but period pants help give teens a stress-free and hassle-free experience.

Best period pants for teens UK

WUKA have a range of period starter kits to help build teens’ confidence with their first periods. They come in different styles: hipster, bikini brief and boxer shorts. They also come with a wash bag and a book all about embracing your body.

They also offer period school sets for those who have already started their periods.

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