We Tried Knix’s Super Leakproof Period Underwear

I wanted to see if I could cut pads out entirely with these period-proof undies.

If you’re someone who relies on disposable menstrual products, like pads and tampons, you know exactly why period underwear is such a big deal. They’re made to look and feel like normal underwear, so you can say goodbye to the discomfort of pads and not worry about carrying around tampons. Plus, if you need to be extra cautious on heavier days, you can pair period undies with another product for extra leak-proofing (RIP white jeans, I should have known day 2 was too soon for you).

Aside from the comfort factor, switching to period undies is a great way to lower your period’s environmental impact. From tampon applicators, to pad wrappers, to pads themselves, standard menstrual products result in a lot of waste. According to UK-based organization Friends of the Earth, a person who menstruates is predicted to throw out about 400 pounds of waste from these products over their lifetime. And while tampon applicators are only used for a few seconds, plastic takes years to degrade (if ever).

(Related: Everything You Need to Know About the Arm Implant for Birth Control)

These are the reasons I was excited to try Canadian brand Knix’s Super Leakproof Period Underwear; I care deeply about the environment and plastic pollution, but I also want to be comfortable during what are usually the most uncomfortable 5-7 days of the month. Going on the birth control pill calmed my monster-periods and I barely bleed enough to justify a tampon. So, I’ve been stuck with pads and pantyliners, which, unlike underwear, you never forget you’re wearing.

Period underwear all work the same way: there’s an absorbent gusset (the part of your underwear that covers the genitals) that soaks everything up. Knix’s product claims to hold eight tampons worth of blood — their triple layer technology is designed to keep you “fresh, dry, and protected,” says Joanna Griffiths, CEO and founder of Knix. “The anti-odour top layer wicks away moisture from your skin using natural seaweed fibre that leaves you feeling dry; the middle-layer absorbs the liquid and locks it in; and the leak-resistant outer layer keeps any liquid from spotting your clothes.”

The underwear is designed for low maintenance and hygienic use. To wash your period underwear, “you can throw it directly into the washing machine, on cold water, with dark colours or you can rinse them beforehand,” says Griffiths. “Just make sure to lay them flat to dry.”

They’re also designed for more than just for periods, she adds. “Bladder leaks, sweat, you name it,” Griffiths says. “They can be worn to keep you dry and fresh during a workout and they can also help with incontinence.”

(Related: Everything You Need to Know About Taking Care of Your Pelvic Floor)

period underwear review | knix's period undwewear on a peach backgroundImage Credit: courtesy of Knix

Those are some high expectations. But I found there was a lot to love about Knix’s Super Leakproof Period Underwear. First, it was a gamechanger to be able to exercise on my period without feeling that uncomfortable pad chafe. Next, I loved just how easy it all was. No more weird squat to insert a tampon. No more loud plastic crinkling as I unwrapped my pad (though, this hasn’t been a problem since transitioning to WFH life). Best of all, clean-up was so simple: I just needed to toss them in with the rest of my laundry (I did rinse them off first, just in case).

I started with the brand’s low to medium flow product, which did feel like wearing normal underwear. Though the gusset did a good job absorbing blood, I wished that it was a bit longer, as I did have a leak into the front of my pants. On my second day, traditionally my heaviest, I tried their Dream Shorts, which is a boy short-style underwear that’s designed for heavy flow or overnight wear. The gusset fit better, but the shorts rolled up my thighs and I could feel the edges bunching up under my pants.

Despite some of my problems with fit (though this might be temporary—Knix’s website says the fabric is designed to be snug at first but relax with wear and wash), I’m definitely going to continue wearing my leakproof underwear when I’m on my period. I’m glad to have a product that’s perfect for my low-flow life, and I’m more than happy to just toss them in the wash. Plus, and maybe most importantly, you can’t beat the positive impact it has on my environmental footprint.

Knix Super Leakproof Period Underwear, starting at $27, knix.ca.

Next: The Honest, Expert-Backed Truth About Having Sex While on Your Period

Originally Published in Best Health Canada