Dame is to the reusable period products world what Tampax is to the single-use tampons space: almost synonymous and incredibly popular. And our testing showed us why they are chosen by so many women looking for reusable sanitary products. The pads were surprisingly thin, discreet and stayed in place after being secured using the poppers, plus the absorbency wowed us for a day-long fresh feeling. This set comes with three sizes – liner, regular and night – so every base is covered. We especially liked that this kit came with the dry bag included, meaning it is ideal for when out of the house from day, to night. It’s worth keeping in mind, however, that one kit won’t see you through your whole period, so you’ll need to buy some extra pads separately. But we’re sure you’ll be glad you changed from your usual single-use products to these Dame alternatives.
Since about half the world’s population is female, periods are a healthy and normal part of life for countless people across the globe. But the plastic waste so often associated with menstruation products has to go.
Those who have periods will typically use more than 11,000 disposable menstrual products in their lifetime. Each year, more than 3 billion single-use products are used by the UK’s menstruating population alone. The resulting disposal equates to some 200,000 tonnes of waste a year.
Single-use menstrual pads are among the worst offenders, as these can contain up to 90 per cent plastic, thanks to a leak-proof base, synthetics that absorb moisture and, of course, packaging.
There are, however, reusable alternatives that pad devotees can use, and the good news is they will remain reliable for many years. The even better news is they are designed for comfort, too.
Besides the obvious benefits for the environment, they could also help you save hundreds of pounds, with the one-time cost of reusable products whittling down the estimated £18,000 people spend on periods over a lifetime. It’s time to ditch those single-use period products and opt for the more-sustainable, reusable alternatives. Here’s our guide to help you make the switch.
How we tested
We rounded up the best reusable sanitary pads and tested each over a cycle. Comfort is queen, so we rated each on how comfortable they were and how confident we felt wearing them. We also paid particular attention to absorbency, design, the materials each is made with and any extra accessories that were available to make each period a little easier.
The best reusable sanitary pads for 2023 are:
- Best overall reusable sanitary pad – Dame reusable pad set with dry bag: £35, Ocado.com
- Best reusable sanitary pad for light flow – Bloom & Nora bloomers single reusable pads: £5.25, Greenbaysupermarket.co.uk
- Best reusable sanitary pad for medium flow – Nora moderate reusable pad, three pack: £23.95, Livebynora.com
- Best reusable sanitary pad for heavy flow – Regn reusable sanitary pads, six pack, heavy flow: £18.99, Regn.co.uk
- Best reusable sanitary pad for working out – Imse small black workout period pads, three pack: £19.95, Earthwisegirls.co.uk