Anyone who has ever had a period knows a particular kind of dread: Glimpsing a red spot on your bed sheets when you wake up — or worse, on the back of your pants. Especially if you have a heavy flow, pads and tampons sometimes aren't enough to prevent leakage during that time of the month, which is why period underwear have gained serious traction during recent years. With built-in absorbency, menstrual underwear helps prevent bloodstains, and you can wear them alone or with another period product for extra protection.
The only thing is, the underwear can come at a relatively steep cost. While it's reusable — unlike the pads and tampons you have to stock up on each month — the initial cost to buy a few pairs can feel prohibitive. Many popular brands cost upwards of $30 for a single pair. That's why shoppers have instead turned to Bambody High Waist Period Panty (Buy It, from $15, amazon.com), which they say are just as good as well-known brands at a fraction of the cost. (Related: I traded tampons for Thinx period panties — and menstruation has never felt so different)
Available in a pack of three for $40, Bambody's panties begin at just $15 per pair, and they can be worn for both period and postpartum leak protection. They're made with bamboo fabric, which is naturally cooling, plus spandex for stretch, and they have an absorbent layer that can hold up to two tampons' worth of liquid. Depending on how heavy your flow is, that can make them a great option for wearing overnight or as a back-up layer of protection with a tampon or menstrual cup. Plus, they can be machine-washed with your other delicates and air-dried.
And just because they're more budget-friendly doesn't mean they're any less effective. More than 3,700 Amazon shoppers have given the panties a five-star rating, with 81 reviewers directly comparing them to Thinx underwear. Some say that they're even more absorbent than the highly regarded OG brand.
"I have endometriosis and fibroids, and periods are hell for me," wrote one shopper. "I am amazed at how much the undies can hold, and they never get bulky like pads. They've kept me dry and leak-free overnight, as well as during the day."
Other reviewers have remarked how comfortable Bambody's period panties are. "My period is much more of an exclamation point than a period," said another shopper." I am constantly worrying about leaks no matter what I use. "These work! I wore them today without a pad or tampon. No leakage! They were saturated when I got home after an eight-hour shift at work, but I didn't feel wet or uncomfortable."
If you have heavy periods, you know that the threat of leakage is just one more stress on top of cramping, headaches, and other symptoms that can make your cycle especially terrible. So for many shoppers, Bambody's underwear offers a mental benefit, too. "The extra peace of mind is so nice," noted a reviewer. And while you can't put a price tag on that feeling of relief, if you could, it would probably be these $15 Bambody period panties from Amazon.