I’ve had mixed success with my menstrual cup, with some leaks of varying severity. And I HATE pads, so for me they’re not an option even for extra safety. So, these reusable period panties I see plastered all over Facebook seem just the thing. I love they’re an eco-friendly alternative to pads and tampons too.
And so, because reviewing is what I do, I bought pants from Modibodi, Thinx and Flowette (previously Tulip/Floweret) to test, compare and share my feedback.
How I test
I’m quite particular about what makes a good pair of pants. So, for each pair I explain why I chose the style. Then I look at the overall quality of fabric, finishing and how well they wash and wear over time.
Next, I describe how comfortable and secure they feel, and how flattering they look.
Then, it’s how well they perform. I share my feedback over several months of daily wear during my period. I test both as a back-up with a menstrual cup and on their own, reporting back on absorbency, wicking and dryness, and any dreaded wiffs or leaks.
In this period panties comparison review:
Choosing your pants
It’s very important you choose a period pant style you’ll feel comfortable in and that fits well. So, it makes sense to choose a familiar style. But not everyone wants the same. So, what choice is there?
Flowette started out with a simple black low-leg brief, but have recently extended their range. They now have their original Classic comfy cotton pants, 24 hour full briefs, gym active knickers (all in black), and cotton stretch comfort bikini pants (in red or green). Sizes range from UK 6 up to UK 26. These pants started out super-cheap, but gradually the prices rose. However, they are still some of the most affordable you can buy online and they’re very good value. Get 5% off a 3 pack bundle and 15% off a 6 pack bundle.
Both Modibodi and Thinx have several style options, fabrics, colours and absorbencies. Generally, the higher absorbency and fuller coverage pants are more expensive. Some pairs cost up to £35! So, these brands are a considerable investment, especially if you want enough pairs to wear throughout your period.
Modibodi pants features merino wool fibres in the gusset to combat odours. But they also have a vegan alternative. You can choose cotton, microfibre, bamboo and silky fabrics in various flattering styles. I especially love the slinky seamless pants. Set bundles in 5, 7 or 10 packs save you some cash, but the style/colour/absorbency combos are limited.
Thinx don’t have a seamless option but the Air style is super-breathable and light. You can choose from organic cotton, silky or mesh materials, in several flattering styles. Their saver sets save you a little. And I love that you can build your own bundle too; save 10% on 3+ pairs, save 15% on 5+ pairs, and save 20% on 7+ pairs.
To test and compare I bought these styles and absorbencies:
x3 Modibodi Seam free full briefs, x1 Sensual Hi-waist, moderate/heavy
View Modibodi deals
Thinx Hiphuggers After Dark set, moderate days
View Thinx bundles
🇬🇧 🇦🇺 🇺🇸
Flowette/ Tulip/ Floweret period pants, 15ml absorbency, 4 pack
View Flowette deals
You can learn how to choose absorbencies and how many pairs you need here. Now, let’s get stuck in to the specifics!
Tulip/Floweret pants are basic but ok. The pattern and construction of these simple pants copies Thinx Hiphuggers.
I like the soft, quality cotton. There’s a decent amount of stretch, but not as much as Thinx around the gusset area. The seams, waist and leg elastic are well-finished but not as soft as the others. Overall, the finishing is good, and what you’d expect from everyday pants.
But Tulip/Floweret pants lack the detail and precision that goes into Thinx and Modibodi pants.
To start, as well as cotton options, their materials are varied, quality and tactile. I like Modibodi’s super-soft bamboo sensual hi waist with lace and love the slinky seam free material. And Thinx Hiphuggers have the best of both with a dual layer construction; a slinky outer and soft, comforting cotton inner.
The finishing from both Modibodi and Thinx is excellent too. They have strong, smooth seams and stitching, no loose ends, ruffles or pulls. Their shapes are symmetrical and flattering. The lace is soft, stretchy and not itchy. There’s much more care and attention than goes into a pair of everyday pants.
Wash & wear
All these pants wash and wear very well.
After 7 months of use with around 14 washes per pair, all are still intact, colours bright and fabrics stretchy. And the gussets on all are stain-free and smell fresh.
Modibodi and Thinx pants’ size and shape remains true. Thinx Hiphuggers crinkle after a wash, but soon smooth out to the perfect shape over my butt. The Tulip/Floweret pants have shrunk a little overall, and feel tight after a wash. But they soon stretch out once they’re on.
TIP: One pair of pants bobbled because I washed them without a delicates bag. These really help care for the pants in the wash!
‘Gusset’ is now firmly in my top 10 favourite words. I like to say it how I imagine the Queen says it.
That aside, let’s understand gusset thickness and construction with each brand.
Modibodi’s is the thickest gusset at 3 to 4mm thick. It has 3 layers. The woven top layer wicks away moisture and is antibacterial to fight odours. The middle locks away fluid and the outer is breathable and waterproof to stop leaks. It’s made from antibacterial merino fibres, polyester and spandex.
Thinx has a surprisingly thin gusset of 3 layers. The first against your skin wicks moisture and controls odours, then super-absorbency and more odour control, and finally stopping leaks on the outside. It’s made from either cotton and elastane, or Polyester and elastane, with Agion® anti-odour treatment, and polyester laminated with Poly Urethane plastic (PU). There’s a full explanation here.
The gusset layers start higher at the front than a regular pair of pants and extends quite far up the back of the pants. There’s an arc of tiny stitches securing it on the inside of the pants. Then, the top gusset layer extends and narrows right to the waistband of the pants. This means business.
Tulip have 4-layers with a very similar description to Thinx. The first layer wicks moisture, then odour control, then super-absorbency and finally stopping leaks on the outside. They’re made from cotton and spandex. Tulip don’t elaborate on the anti-odour/anti-bacterial or waterproof characteristics of the materials they use.
All layers of the gusset extend up the back of the pants to the waist band.
So, Thinx and Tulip seem similar with a surprisingly thin gussets. However, the precision and finishing on Thinx is superior. Modibodi is different with a robust, thick gusset. Will you feel and see it? And which is best?! Keep reading…
Fit & comfort
Let’s start with Tulip/Floweret.
Tulip/Floweret pants are basic, but comfortable enough. They feel like regular snug cotton pants, with no itchy bits or digging in. However, I dislike that I can see them under tighter clothes. There’s also less stretch around the bum because of the extended gusset layers. So, they feel just a bit too low at the top of my bum (problem now solved – see below 👇!). Also, occasionally when moving about I must reposition and pull them up because they slip down. But they’re comfy enough for lounging and sleeping in.
Hurrah! All Tulip/Floweret pants now have an extra 2 inches for a high rise fit, so they feel even more comfy.
Thinx pants fit like a glove. And they look much better on than off! The precise design and stretch fits my curves perfectly for super coverage and a flattering look. I like the leg seams because they’re thin and just slightly visible under tight clothes. The stitching and lace are soft against my skin and cause no irritation. They’re snug and mould to my body because the gusset is thin and thoughtfully positioned. They feel like super-secure engineered period protection, the closest I’ll probably ever come to tailored underwear. They don’t slip, twist or gape. They’re very comfortable for day or night and I forget I’m wearing them.
Then there’s Modibodi, which are basically a hug in pants form. You’ll catch me smiling as I put on the seam free full brief because they’re BIG and comfy, have a silky second-skin feel and I know they’re going to take care of me. I find the thick gusset reassuring. It gapes a bit around my bum, but I can’t feel it once it’s on and it’s invisible under clothes. So, the seam free are a good day time choice.
The sensual hi-waist feel lush and soft, comfy and secure too. I love this style for lounging and sleep. They’re like regular pants crafted for ‘can’t feel them’ comfort, and happen to look good too. Modibodi are my favourite here.
Do they work?
First, here’s a quick reminder of my test pants absorbency:
|Brand||Absorbency category||Absorbency tampons & ml|
|Modibodi||Moderate/Heavy||2 to 3 tampons or 15ml|
|Thinx||Moderate days||2 tampons or 18ml|
|Tulip||-||2 tampons or 15ml|
To wear the pants as my sole protection, I worked out I needed 3 pairs of pants per day to absorb my heaviest flow. That means changing the pants every 8 hours or so. This is fine during the day and is long enough for me to get a good night’s kip too.
So, over the course of several periods I tested each brand on all days of my period. I regularly visited the loo to check them, and I kept a simple diary to record my thoughts. Here’s my feedback.
Just the pants
I’m very impressed with the excellent absorbency and performance of Modibodi pants. I felt dry, comfortable and confident all throughout each 8 hours of wear. The gusset is super-absorbent so on loo visits I see only a small amount of blood; the rest is below the surface. I also experience no nasty wiffs nor leaks. I feel very confident and could maybe wear them a little longer during my heaviest flow if necessary. But this routine works for me.
Thinx’s thin gusset is impressive too. It feels dry and comfortable for several hours. I notice a small amount of blood during toilet stops. Also, the gusset material darkens as it absorbs blood. This dark patch then spreads, absorbing along the gusset. You can see it working!
But it doesn’t leak or spread onto the outside fabric. However, close to 8 hours of wear I feel a slight crotch dampness. And I can detect a faint smell with a close-up ‘sniff test’ during a loo visit. So, 8 hours of wear during my heaviest flow feels the right time to change these pants.
Tulip pants do a decent job too. Like Thinx, the gusset material darkens and spreads as it absorbs more blood. On loo visits there are often small pools of blood. So, whilst they do absorb my flow and never leak, I feel the absorption isn’t as efficient as Thinx and Modibodi. They also feel quite damp and have a faint wiff about them when I take them off. Therefore, although I’m confident they won’t leak, changing them every 6 or 7 hours is more comfortable for me.
There’s a surprising amount of blood when I rinse each pair and they take a few minutes of squeezing until the water runs clear.
I occasionally have a ‘second-wind’ later during day 3, so I continue with 3 pairs per day. Then, from day 4 for my lighter days, I switch to one pair during the day and another for night. All the pants perform very well.
Menstrual cup back-up
First, I like to wear the pants when I’m due on because there’s no worries about staining my everyday knickers if I’m too late with the cup. It’s much less stress and faff.
With my cup, it’s rare I have an overflow scenario, but sometimes the position just isn’t right and I leak without knowing. For this, all the pants do a super job as back-up.
I like the simplicity to wear a pair during the day and another throughout the night. I feel confident and comfortable with all of them. And I prefer to wear just the pants on my ‘transition’ days (4+) when my period is almost gone. I love not faffing about with a cup on these days. There’s little blood anyway but the pants catch the dregs and discharge. Once it stops, I switch to my regular knickers.
I love the extra reassurance and confidence these pants give as back-up.
Pants cost comparison
There’s not much difference in price between the premium pants from Thinx and Modibodi. I think they’re expensive, and Tulip are much more affordable. Here’s a comparison cost table, based on the number of pants you could buy. I calculate the cost per wear by dividing the total cost by the likely lifetime of 24 washes you’ll get from each pair.
How many pairs you need depends if you want to test with just a few first, and if you’ll use them as a back-up or as sole protection throughout your period. You can learn how to choose absorbencies and how many pairs you need here.
|Brand & style||Approximate cost||Cost per wear*|
| Modibodi Seam free full brief
|3 pairs @ £72||£1|
| Modibodi Seam free full brief
|5 pairs @ £120||£1|
| Modibodi Sensual Hi-waist 5 pack
|5 pair set £108 (was £120)||£0.90|
| Modibodi Seam free full brief
|7 pairs @ £168||£1|
| Modibodi Seam free bikini 7 pack
|7 pair set £135 (was £150.50)||£0.90|
| Thinx hiphuggers After Dark set
|3 pair saverset @ £72||£1|
| Thinx hiphuggers
|5 pairs (15% off) @ £108 (was £135)||£0.90|
| Thinx hiphuggers
|7 pairs (20% off) @ £152 (was £190)||£0.95|
|Tulip||5 pair set @ £35||£0.29|
|Tulip||8 pair set @ £59.99||£0.31|
* based on 24 washes per pair
DON’T FORGET: Orders from SheThinx dispatch from the US and are subject to UK import tax, and other international fees & taxes. So, your final cost is higher and is paid to receive the item from the Post Office. Modibodi & Tulip/Floweret are not subject to additional taxes.
So, are Modibodi and Thinx worth the extra investment?
I think this depends on what is most important to you. I much prefer the extra choice in absorbencies, fabrics, colours and styles. Also, I find them more flattering, comfortable and absorbent than Tulip pants. So, to me they’re worth it, especially for confident daytime wear when you’re out and about.
But Tulip pants do work. And if you want a cheaper option, are happy with black cotton and if they fit you well, I think they’re exceptionally good value. I happily wear these for loafing around the house and sleeping in.
However, unlike Modibodi and Thinx, Tulip don’t offer a money back guarantee or returns and refunds. They will send out a different size if you need them (there’s an admin fee of £3/$3 plus postage costs). But, if you don’t like them you can’t get your money back. So, it’s worth considering if you’re happy with this or want the reassurance of a refund from Thinx and Modibodi.
So, which period pants should you buy?
The good news is all these pants work!
I love the styles and options with Modibodi. And because they’re designed to catch bigger wee leaks as well as period flow, I feel extra reassured and confident in their protection. I think the fit and quality are excellent, but they are very, very expensive. I’m glad I have a few pairs that are invisible under clothes, but don’t think I’d invest in many more.
Thinx are very absorbent and comfortable despite being a rather low style. I’m really impressed with the technical and thoughtful design, attention to detail, and the very thin absorbent gusset. These feel super secure and look flattering too. I’ll continue to wear them day or night. But again, they’re pricey so I won’t invest in any more.
And finally, Flowette pants. They’re decent quality, the fit is good and comfy, and they work. Wearing the basic cotton pants I do feel the need to change them slightly more frequently than Modibodi and Thinx. But I’ve since invested in the 24 hour wear full brief and these offer longer wear and better protection. And I don’t mind the only colour option is black – this means I can wash them all together in a single dark wash once my period is done. Easy.
|Pee & period-proof||Period-proof||Period-proof|
| Moderate absorbency pants*
From per pair:
🇬🇧 £21 | 🇺🇸 $24 | 🇦🇺 $27
5 pairs from:
🇬🇧 £108 | 🇺🇸 $139 | 🇦🇺 $150
| Moderate absorbency pants*
From per pair:
🇬🇧 £28 | 🇺🇸 $34 | 🇦🇺 $48
5 pairs from:
🇬🇧 £115 | 🇺🇸 $144 | 🇦🇺 $205
| Moderate absorbency pants
🇬🇧 £18.99 | 🇺🇸 $25 | 🇦🇺 $35
🇬🇧 £35.00 | 🇺🇸 $46 | 🇦🇺 $64
🇬🇧 £59.99 | 🇺🇸 $79 | 🇦🇺 $109
|Size: XS to 6XL||Size: XXS to 3XL||Size: XXS to 6XL|
|A variety of beautiful, stretchy & breathable fabrics, with excellent quality finishing that’s secure & strong. Keep their shape and wash well. Reassuring 3 to 4 mm gusset.||Soft, stretchy, breathable & comfy materials with superb technical-like, precise & strong finishing. Keep their shape and wash well. Surprisingly thin gusset.||Basic cotton, stretchy knickers with decent finishing. They wash ok, but shrink a little. They stretch and reshape once on. Surprisingly thin gusset.|
|Several flattering styles & coverage options for day & night comfort, including no VPL big knickers! Second-skin forget you’re wearing them comfort.||Very secure, snug & comfy fit, with different coverage & style options. All day or night comfort.||Just one low-leg, mid-rise knicker style in black. Fit is soft & comfortable enough not as stretchy as others so they sit low on the butt and occasionally slip down a bit.|
|Excellent, most absorbent gusset with the driest, cleanest feel. No leaks or smells.||Very good absorbency, feels dry and no leaks. Slight smell when time to change them.||Good absorbency and no leaks, but feel damp and slight smell when it’s time to change them.|
|30-day money back guarantee on one pair||60-day money back guarantee on whole order||No money back guarantee|
|Fast & free shipping, no taxes|| Free shipping on first order
UK import taxes to pay
|Free worldwide shipping, no taxes|
| 30-day returns for refunds & exchanges on unworn items
Must pay return postage
|60-day free returns for refunds & exchanges|| Size exchanges with admin fee of £3/$3 per item plus £3.99 shipping
No returns or refunds
*Prices based on Thinx hiphugger and Modibodi sensual hi-waist
I’m happy I now have period-pants in my life. I prefer wearing them as a cup back-up during my heavy flow because I feel cleaner. But I love the flexibility they give. It’s less worrisome to just pop on a pair when I’m due on, or to manage the dregs when I’m almost done, without the faff of a cup.
I recommend all these brands, but you can check out the full Modibodi review here if you need more information. If you’ve decided and are ready to buy, please shop via the links below. I earn a small commission but your price stays the same.