Did you know it takes 500-800 years for a sanitary pad to decompose? Yes, that’s quite a long period. So if you’re making the change to plastic-free and eco-friendly living, then what better way than to trade those disposable napkins for reusable ones!
Reusable sanitary pads aren’t just eco-friendly, they’re much safer too! They don’t contain any chemicals or synthetic materials that could affect our health in the long run. In today’s article, we’ll be discussing some tips on how to choose a reusable sanitary pad just for you.
Why Use a Reusable Sanitary Pad?
If you stop and think about it, we spend a lot of money on sanitary pads and pantyliners. Investing in a set of washable sanitary pads or reusable menstrual pads would mean long-term savings. Generally, these can last from around 3-5 years depending on how you use and care for them.
Those disposable pads you buy in the grocery contain plastics and synthetic fibers which may cause skin rashes and infections. Reusable cloth pads are breathable and much more sanitary than you think.
Most importantly, it’s not just healthier for you but also for the environment, but you already knew that.
How to Choose a Reusable Sanitary Pad in the Philippines – Buying Guide
Depending on your menstrual flow and preferences, there are different pads for the job.
Choose a Type of Reusable Sanitary Pad According to Usage
There are different types of sanitary pads, so let’s check out their advantages and disadvantages.
All-in-One Pad – The Easiest to Use and Maintain but Takes a While to Dry
This is the most common of all the only one that widely available online in the Philippines. The absorbent part and waterproofing (if any) are sewn directly onto the pad itself. You use it similarly to how you would a disposable one.
Waterproofing will ensure no leakages and also will allow the flow to be distributed throughout the absorbent part. However, because everything is sewn together, it takes a significantly longer time to dry.
Holder and Insert Pads – Best if You Need to Change Your Pad Several Times a Day
This pad’s absorbent insert and base aren’t sewn together, so you’ll have to attach the insert every time you want to use it. It’s great if you change your pads regularly throughout the day, as you won’t need to take off the whole pad. You can just change the insert for a clean one. This works better if the insert has some waterproofing on it.
You can also stack the inserts if you tend to have a heavier flow. We do have to warn you that there is a high chance you can bleed into the straps, but that nothing a little washing can fix.
Choose a Pad Size According to Your Flow
This isn’t much different from purchasing a regular disposable pad. Generally, reusable sanitary pads come in three sizes which differ in absorbency level. The smallest size is basically a pantyliner, which is used for very light flow at the beginning or end of your cycle. It’s also great for everyday use.
The regular size is a daypad for moderate flow. The largest size is an overnight pad that can be used for a heavy flow. It’s longer than the smaller sizes so it prevents leakage at the front or back of your pads. Other brands can also offer more sizes, so its best to check out their websites.
Top 7 Best Reusable Sanitary Pads to Buy Online in the Philippines
Let’s take a look at some of the best pads available online.
7. 140mm Feminine Women Reusable Washable Cotton Cloth Menstrual Mama Pad
Cheap & Cute Pantyliners for a Light Flow
This small sanitary pad is great for the start or end of your cycle when your flow is light. They’re also great for everyday use. Some reviews have noted how the pad may be a little too wide (8cm), so make sure to measure your underwear first.
6. Moderate To Heavy Reusable Cloth Menstrual Pads
Uniquely Shaped Pads and with Colorful Designs
These pads are designed to be used printed side up and plain side down. Yes, it’s a bit strange, but also smart in a way as some prints can mask the color of your blood, which makes it perfect if you don’t exactly like seeing it. You can also opt to have it waterproofed (₱135), just don’t forget to select that option before checkout.
|Size||Moderate (22 cm)|
5. Cotton Sanitary Napkins Day Use Feminine Sanitary Pads Moma
Breathable Holder with Adjustable Straps
Sometimes it’s hard to find the right fit when you’re buying online, but since this sanitary pad’s holder is designed with two snap-on fasteners on one side, it’s easy to adjust its size. It also comes with two liners, which is perfect if you need to change pads twice in one day.
|Type||Holder and Insert|
|Material||Organic Cotton, Bamboo Fiber, Thermoplastic Polyurethane (waterproof coating)|
4. Pack of 6 Washable Reusable Cloth Mama Pads Menstrual Sanitary Napkin
Bamboo Charcoal for Odor Absorption
Aside from being very absorbent thanks to its microfiber layers, it also uses bamboo charcoal cloth which is great for odor absorption. It’s also comfortable and hypoallergenic. The snap-on fastener just might be a bit tight for underwear with wider bases.
|Type||Bamboo Charcoal Cloth, Microfiber, PUL (waterproof coating)|
|Size||Liner (22.5cm), Regular (25cm), Overnight (31cm)|
3. Reusable Menstrual Pad Set Waterproof Sanitary Cloth
Affordable Reusable Sanitary Pad Set Perfect for Beginners
This set is great to start out with since it comes with two holders and 5 absorbent liners. The liners come in two shapes, an oval one and a rectangular one. They’re made of polar fleece which is easy to clean, while the holder has a waterproof coating that prevents leaks.
|Type||Holder and Insert|
2. Charlie Banana Reusable Feminine Pads (Super) Lavender
Reusable Pads the Stay in Place
The first problem most women will face when starting out with reusable pads is that it won’t stay in place. These pads are designed with two snap-on fasteners instead of one which solves that problem. It comes in a pack of three which makes it a pretty good deal for quality sanitary pads.
|Size||Liner (16.5cm), Regular (20cm), Super (25cm)|
1. Hannahpad Mini Beginner Set
Biodegradable 100% Organic Cotton Pads
These pads are only made from high-quality materials. The top layer is 100% certified organic cotton, unbleached and undyed, which is harvested from India under fair work standards. The waterproof coating is made of a type of plastic that’s used in the medical industry.
It’s leakproof and super absorbent, so you won’t have to worry about accidents (just make sure you get the right size). You can get these individually or in different sets too. Most importantly, they’re breathable and comfortable to wear throughout the day.
|Material||Organic Cotton, Thermoplastic Polyurethane (waterproof coating)|
|Size||Liner (21cm), S (21cm), M (27cm), L (33cm), XL (36cm), 2XL (42cm)|
How Often Do I Have to Change Pads?
You will need to change your reusable pads just as often as you would your disposable ones. If you’re not quite sure, then change your pad every time it starts to feel wet against your skin.
We all have different menstrual cycles, so the exact number of changes you will need in a day will depend on your flow. A light to moderate flow would need 1-2 changes, a moderate to heavy flow would need 3-4, and a super heavy flow would need 5-6.
How Many Pads Will I Need?
Since everyone’s menstrual cycle is different, the number of pads you will need may differ. It will depend on how long your period lasts and how heavy your flow is, but as a reference, you will most likely need 3-6 pantyliners, 6-12 daypads, and 1-3 overnight pads.
How to Care for Your Reusable Sanitary Pad
Before using your pads for the first time, remember to wash them. This enhances the fabric’s absorbency and removes and fabric sizing (when starch is used to stiffen fabrics).
To be able to clean your pads thoroughly, soak them in cold water overnight to get out any dried blood before washing. It might depend on the manufacturer’s instructions, but you either hand wash them or toss them into your washer–just avoid using hot water which can set stains. Then just hang them to dry.
You can use any detergent, but avoid fabric softeners and bleach as it may ruin the fabric’s absorbency. You can also use all-natural detergents if you want to stick to being eco-friendly.
Other Alternatives to Disposable Sanitary Pads
You can go for organic sanitary pads that use 100% organic cotton and are free of synthetic materials or chemicals. These aren’t as eco-friendly as reusable pads since you’ll still be producing trash, but they’re a good start.
The other alternative is something you’ve probably heard of–menstrual cups. We know, we know, it sounds kind of disgusting, but hear us out. You do have to insert menstrual cups down there, so they come in different sizes. Did we mention they’re also easier to maintain or clean? But only try this if you’re comfortable coming face to face with your own blood.
Last but not least, there are padded panties. They’re exactly what you think they are–a pad and panty in one. Padded panties have an absorbent liner built-in to them, which makes them perfect to wear when you aren’t sure your cycle has ended.
Reusable sanitary pads may seem like a hassle at first, but the benefits do outweigh the cons. They’re eco-friendly, hygienic, and healthier! Just remember to choose one just like you’re choosing your regular pad, and you’ll be all set.
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