Ah. The moment you’ve all been waiting for. My *probably too honest* THINX period underwear review.
Yeah, that’s right. PERIOD UNDERWEAR. Underwear you wear during your period, that catches all the blood. Instead of using other things.
If you are grossed out by blood…don’t read this.
Okay, now that that’s out of the way.
I have been DYYYYYYING to try these for months and months and months. I have been looking for not-scary alternatives to the bleached out, expensive, soggy-diaper-like pad for a very long time. Long time. Like since I was ten year’s old. When no ten year old was thinking about periods at ALL.
Yes, we women all want to use products that are safe for the environment and safe for our bodies (and save us money). If you don’t care about these things, then you should. I’ll save my rant on that for its own post. In this one we are honouring the first of the period underwear. And I can’t wait to tell you about them.
They arrived in their CUTEST EVER packaging on the last day of my period, two cycles ago. BUMMER. I was so bummed. (I’ve never been disappointed to not have my period before. Oh wait. Do pregnancy scares count? haha. Anyway…) My period came early (shocker) and the package arrived late. So no go that round. I got to fantasize about how sexy I’d look without pants on while ALSO bleeding. That has maybe never happened to me in my life.
It helped that they were cute. And black. The beige were all sold out at the time of ordering. But let’s be honest… do you really want beige period underwear? A blessing in disguise.
I’ve had two cycles since. I wanted to give them a real honest go before writing a review. After all, I’ve been using the Diva Cup for 15 years. I could review the hell out of that (and will). So I had to try these more than once.
And now…the moment you’ve all been waiting for. Even YOU, male dudes — looking for strange but helpful holiday gifts for your lady friends.
What do I REALLY think of these things? Well…to put it bluntly… I THINK THEY’RE FUCKING AMAZING!!!!!!
AAAAaaaand I also think they’re not ALL they’re cracked up to be, in some cases.
Let me explain…
Let’s start with why I think they’re AMAZING:
CUTE: Yep…they are cute. They’ve put a lot of thought into the design. (And branding. And packaging.) Like I said above… I’ve only ordered the black versions so far. And three designs. Hip Huggers, Sport, and Cotton Briefs. As far as cute goes, Hip Huggers win. They’re lacy and keep in the side-bloat.
CONFIDENCE: It sure is nice to feel like you can go to work…whether you’re using them as a what-if-I-get-it-early, a back-up, or your only blood-catching device. I don’t want to feel like things are going to go awry when I’m out and about. I don’t need to wear WHITE while I’m bleeding, but it is nice to know I don’t HAVE to wear black. I honestly didn’t believe it at first. I must have run to the washroom a dozen times in the first two hours of wearing them, to blot my underwear and see if there was blood everywhere being masked by the black. I was so paranoid. But nope. All good. CRAZY.
**And it must be said: “Sexy-time” no longer feels like the most UNSEXY time of your life. (Sex on your period is a future blog post btw.)
SMELL: Okay this category goes in both the AMAZING and NOT AMAZING sections. I’ll start with the amazing part. You see, one of the reasons there is less odour when using tampons and period cups is that the blood hasn’t hit the air yet. Blood smells. Or it can. And there is really nothing you can do about it. Everyone’s PH is different. And it also depends on HOW much blood there is. But avoiding odour entirely is not easy. THINX do a pretty decent job. They use the right material and leave you feeling okay about things. But there was an odour that came round for cycle number two of trying THINX. So my tried and now true trick? I sprayed a bit of vinegar and water on them before throwing them in the wash cycle. And BAM. Worked like a charm. (The residual blood was the issue in this case.)
CONVENIENCE: Wow wow wow. I cannot believe how amazing these are for the unknown days. What I mean by “unknown days” is: I have no clue when the hell my period is coming OR I have no clue when things are going to get heavy-duty OR I have no idea if my period is REALLY gone or if it’s just faking being gone.
You see…it is brilliant to use them as a back-up. Or as an actual panty liner or light pad on the days when my flow is reducing to or starting from nothing. YOU JUST HAVE TO WEAR UNDERWEAR. (THINX specifically, but…) Amazing. I love it.
COMFY: They are JUST LIKE UNDERWEAR. And that’s what they feel like. Period. You do not feel like you are wearing a vagina diaper. Period. I would definitely say my cotton pair are the most “breathable”. If you are prone to things like yeast infections, I would stick to those. They are fairly new, and must have been created for their breathable demand. They also look like briefs and feel really nice on. (Period.)
(Do you like my injection of the word “period”? I can’t help it…)
Size is also important. READ THE SIZING CHART. Take out a little measuring tape and measure your hips. I’m serious. There is no way in HELL I would have ordered XS. Believe me. Maybe S. Possibly M. But I would not have ordered XS and I’m sure glad I did because they fit perfectly. (If you’re wondering how the hell I am XS it’s because I have hips like a boy. Lame. I used to wear boy jeans in high school. Not cute. No hip hugger jeans in the 80’s and early 90’s.)
COST: Again, this goes in both the AMAZING and NOT AMAZING sections. These are not INexpensive. However, they save you a ton of money in the long run. A box of pads or pantry liners or tampons cost a LOT of money. Especially over the course of a lifetime, when you need them a quarter of your life. Especially because I refuse to buy the scary, bleached-out versions you find at the drug store. So in this way you save.
They also have a couple other ways you can save when you order:
**Savings #1: Use THIS LINK and receive $10 off your purchase.
**Savings #2: The more you purchase, the more you save. 10% off for 3+ pairs. 15% off for 5+ pairs.
EASY TO CARE FOR: For the whiners out there… you won’t appreciate this. But I personally find them incredibly easy to care for. They are wash and go. Kinda. Rinse with cold water when you take them off. Wash with your regular laundry. Hang to dry.
I haven’t worn mine out yet, from too much washing. So perhaps that’s a thing eventually? But so far so good.
HEALTH: No more bleached out, scary, I don’t know what is inside my body fear. Because no one is getting Toxic Shock Syndrome from underwear.
ENVIRONMENT: Need I say more?
Now…what makes them NOT AMAZING:
THINX STINKS: Or they can. I actually stole the “thinx stinks” from a blog post that had nothing good to say about them. haha. (But I haven’t read it yet. I haven’t read ANYONE ELSE’S review yet. Because I didn’t want to be influenced. I just wanted to go into it unbiased. I’ll read them once I hit publish. haha.) But I addressed this above. I think they likely have the potential to smell REALLY bad if you’re not caring for them properly. But that is no different than a cloth diaper (which I used for my babies) or a cotton pad (which I will be reviewing here eventually).
COST: Again, I mentioned this above. For me the cost is worth it. But the cost is what kept me from ordering for a long time. They are an American company and can only be ordered online. So I knew I’d be paying american dollars and american shipping prices. (Which turned out to not be that bad, actually.) You are going to pay $30 – 40 a pair (unless you use the discount options and buy three ore more at once.) Use THIS LINK and receive $10 off your purchase. (They have a money-back guarantee, though. And that includes free shipping. Which is kind of awesome.)
NOT ABSORBENT ON TOP: They say it wicks away the wet, but that’s kind of b.s. It wicks away the blood and moisture initially. But then it doesn’t soak it up anymore. And the “solids” that come out of your body are a real thing. You release blood, but ALSO mucous and clots. The solids do not absorb or go anywhere. They just sit there.
Once the THINX are to their blood-filling capacity, it feels a bit like a wet bathing suit. Or worse: a soaking wet pad. Shiver. Gross. And if you’re out and about this can be extremely unpleasant. (Especially if you know it’s blood sitting there.) Even if you come prepared with a back-up pair and a plastic baggy… who wants to carry around a pair of bloody, wet underwear all day? I mean…
NOT ENTIRELY LEAK-PROOF: THINX DO fill, which means they are as NOT leak-proof as they claim. I’ve only had one experience with this. And I am going to take the blame here. I was pushing the envelope. I was seeing how far I could go with my very first THINX experience. And it was my heavy flow day. I was wearing a Diva Cup already. But to be fair, you can’t hold in the ocean with a beaver dam. There is no “keeping in”…if you know what I mean.
Some of the THINX pairs are meant to hold 2 regular tampons worth of blood (or 1 large) — which they say is 2 tsp worth (on what planet I do not know). Some only hold 1.5 or 1 tampon’s worth. They claim that if your flow is heavy, they are meant to be used as a back-up only. Fair enough! I need triple back up on my heavy flow day(s). Or to hang out by the bathroom over the course of 4 hours where I empty a diva cup and large pad every 20-30 minutes. (Yeah, lucky me. Good thing I don’t have a job. Yes, I do.)
Every woman is different. And I bleed during my period like it’s my job. So yeah, the THINX couldn’t hack it the day it leaked. But nothing ever does. I may as well just stand in the shower, and feel like I’m bleeding to death, and knowing I’m getting more anemic by the minute. And that’s it.
But the rest of the period, my life was glorious…thanks to THINX. And that’s the honest-to-god truth.
My friend Susan has kindly offered to write a PART TWO review of THINX for the RED DOT DIARIES. She has a light flow and exclusively uses them during the bleeding part of her cycle. And LOVES them.)
Okay two more things.
First: Think about it. PERIOD UNDERWEAR? It’s too good to be true, right? Well, it kinda is. Sorta. Your expectations can’t be over the top. You have to understand that it’s a really cool idea that works wonderfully for some people, and for others only some of the time. Take any review with a grain of salt. What will work for one of you, another one of you will hate. I’ve been using a period cup for over 15 years and it’s changed my life (review coming for that definitely) but I know women who think this was an invention designed by the devil. So there you go.
Second: I had already ordered my THINX underwear, before I began to hear the rumours. The “this company is actually terrible” rumours. So like I said above…I wanted to give them an honest and unbiased go before I really looked into all of that. I now have. So as soon as I hit publish, I can begin my online, likely-bias, research and I’ll let you know…
My final review is this: THINX are fantastic as a back-up for a heavy flow — and as a replacement for a very light flow. They cannot be counted on 100% of the time. But I feel they are definitely worth the bother. I love supporting innovative ideas created by women. I am happy I invested in them, and will likely buy more in the future.
Let me know what YOU think of them. Or whether you intend to try them. Comment below. Happy bleeding.