Alternative Menstrual Products Reviewed

Elizabeth from “Trenches of Mommyhood” is a stay-at-home, homeschooling mama to three little ones ages 6, 4, and 1.  She calls herself a “granola mom” because of the down to earth life she lives, which involves homeschooling, natural birth, breastfeeding, baby wearing, co-sleeping, and the like. She is just another mama in the trenches doing the best she can.  We will be welcoming several posts of hers in the near future!

My post a few weeks back about alternatives to traditional pads and tampons received quite a bit of attention. Many women expressed the desire to switch over to something more natural but didn’t know where to start or didn’t know if they could handle the alternatives. I was in the same boat.

Then I had the opportunity to review cloth menstrual pads from three companies. I was impressed with all the products when they arrived in the mail. All were so nicely made and the fabric was so soft. This was one month that I was excited to get my “monthly visitor.”

I had three different stlyes of pads to test. Panty liners, normal flow, and heavy flow cloth pads. From all three companies combined I received seven pads: two pantyliners, three regular flow, and two heavy flow pads. So this was not enough to last throughout my whole cycle, even with washing them several times, but they gave me an excellent idea of what these cloth pads are about.

I have to be honest upfront and say that I did not like them for my heavy flow days. I think that they worked just as well as the traditional store bought chemical laden counterparts, but I did have one leak and didn’t like them much for those days. I do think that with time I will get used to them for even the heavy days but right now I do not plan on using cloth menstrual pads on the especially heavy days. That may change in time.

Other than that, for the several lighter days I was impressed by them. The ick factor wasn’t much of a big deal…when I changed them I just rinsed quickly in cold water and then put them in an empty baby wipe container with cold water to soak in. Changing the water daily and washing every other day was fine and while changing the rinse water was a little gross it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be and even as the week progressed it was less and less gross to me.

The pads are comfortable. All of them have wings that snap around the panties so everything stays in place. The material ranges from fleece to cotton and they are all so soft. Nothing like the sticky diaper like material that store bought disposable pads are made from. I rate them a 10 out of 10 when it comes to the feel of wearing them. They are no bulkier than store bought pads either.

I love how cloth pads prevent waste going into the landfill. It is estimated that in America alone, women throw away 20 billion disposable pads and tampons a year. That is an astounding number and shows how much waste is ending up in the landfills. Cloth pads can prevent that. Cloth pads are also made to last around 5 years, so they are certainly cost effective. Good for the earth and your pocketbook!

My conclusion after testing these products out for a week is that I will use cloth pantyliners exclusively and that for at least half my cycle I will be using cloth menstrual pads. I think some day I will go to full-time but I need a bit more experience before making that jump. It really is easier than I thought so if you are even thinking about making a switch I encourage you to do so. Please visit the three companies below to check out their products!

Wee Essentials has such a variety of designs and styles. I liked the heavy flow pad especially as it really worked for my heavy flow days. The panty liner is thin enough that you don’t even notice you are wearing anything. I also recommend you check out their “Soap Bits”, which are tiny squares of soap that are a 99% natural way to make cloth wipe solution, cleaning solution, travel wash, or forming hand soap. What an innovative idea!
Moon Pads have the neatest fabric designs, they remind me of something retro. Made from organic cotton they are hand dyed with beautiful colors, dyes that are professional quality but made from the safest environmental dyes out there. They pair the brightly dyed cotton flannel with eccentric quilters cotton flaps. These are not only useful, but fun too! Oh so soft and absorbent.

Moon Loon pads are different from any of the other pads I tested as they have the pads with wings but also have inserts that you can buy so instead of changing the whole pad you can change just the insert. Which means you don’t have to invest in as many pads at one time, but just purchase more inserts. I found the inserts, while thin, were absorbent enough that nothing leaked through to the pad underneath. These would make for extra protection at night too. Such soft flannel material and while the tops of the pads and inserts are a natural color and I worried about ugly stains, so far they have come out bright and clean in the wash.

I hope that you will support these small businesses and try an environmentally friendly product at the same time!
Find this post on Elizabeth’s blog as well.

Comments

  1. 1

    I just started using cloth pads and I can tell a huge difference in my cycle length (3 days vs 6!) and I also swear I have not had nearly as much cramps as I do when using disposables. So I made the jump all at once and I will never look back!

  2. 2
    HardestyMom01 says:

    I love cloth pads and liners also! Just as Vanessa stated I can see the same difference she does along with no stinky smell (due to the chemicals used in liners) and no other adverse reactions. I am on my way to sew some more right now.

  3. 3

    Not sure how old this post is (can’t find a date) but try out Party in my Pants! I found from doing all my online research that though I think they are the priciest, they are really high quality and are the only one that uses breathable but waterproof nylon backing (kinda like goretex, I think?). I’m been impressed with them so far and can’t wait to use their cloth for my postpartum bleeding (in less than 2 months!) instead of those icky, itchy, uncomfortable disposable hospital pads… 😛

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