Please note: this post is gonna talk about period products. If that squicks you out or you think it’s inappropriate to talk about or anything along those lines, consider yourself warned.
If you keep reading and you end up hating this post, (and I mean this next bit as gently as possible) your discomfort will be your fault and not mine.
I was initially a little hesitant to blog about this, but when I mentioned Thinx and Knix in passing, some readers asked for more info.
I am here to serve.
(If you just want the conclusion: we like Knix better!)
What are period underwear?
Period underwear are washable, reusable, and are meant to replace various other disposable period products.
They’re way thinner than cotton pads or disposable pads, which means that they have the potential to be way more comfortable.
What products do they replace?
I know that some people use them to replace tampons or pads, but I have never done that.
Honestly, I personally would not trust them as a stand-alone product, unless you have really light periods, or you wear them as a stand-alone product on lighter days.
I think they serve best as a backup product for a menstrual cup.
Is it hard to take care of period underwear?
Nope. You just throw them in with your regular laundry and then line dry them.
How many pairs do you need to get through a period?
I think four pairs is about the minimum, since they need time to line dry: one pair for the day, one for the night, and then you throw them into the wash and let them dry while you wear your other two pairs the next day and night.
Do period underwear save money?
This is a hard one.
The average woman spends $159/year on period products, so we’ll use that as a comparison point.
A menstrual cup (about $25-$35) pays for itself in a jiffy; you only need one, and it completely replaces tampons. Two periods in, you’re money ahead. Plus, a menstrual cup lasts for years.
Period underwear are not such a clear money-saver.
For starters, you really need about four pairs, which will cost about $120 with Thinx.
(You can get a five-pair set of Knix starting at $115.)
Then there’s the fact that period underwear are probably not going to last as long as a menstrual cup.
And if you are just using them as a replacement for pantyliner, as I do, well…pantyliners don’t cost that much!
It would take me a long, long time to spend $120 on pantyliners.
So. If you are able to use period underwear as a replacement for pads or tampons, I think you could be money ahead.
But if you just use them to replace pantyliners, I think you’d have to look at it as an environmentally-friendly investment, not so much as a money-saving investment.
Cloth menstrual pads are most definitely a bigger win in the money-saving department.
Are Thinx safe?
There has been some controversy over the material that Thinx are made out of.
However, Thinx has done recent independent testing of their products that seems to indicate that they are safe.
You can read all about that here.
And here’s the Sierra Club article with details about the testing issues.
Of course, disposable period products have their own safety issues.
My person-who-is-not-a-scientist guess is that Thinx are likely not riskier than disposable period products.
But, of course, they are probably not as safe as using something like organic cotton washable menstrual pads.
Are Knix safe?
Knix period underwear are not chemically treated for absorbency improvement, rather they are made of cotton, woven with carbon and spandex, with tiny holes for more absorbency.
So, these are significantly more likely to be safe than Thinx.
(Here’s a Fast Company article about Knix.)
Are period underwear durable?
We have had all of ours for less than a year, so I will have to report back in the future.
Knix and Thinx are both made of sturdy fabric, though, and even the lace-waist ones seem like they will last.
You know how the lace on most underwear waists rips in short order? The Thinx lace is the sturdiest lace I’ve ever seen, so I am hopeful that it will stand the test of time.
Are period underwear comfy?
They are definitely more comfortable than pads! And the wearing experience is surprisingly dry.
We give Knix a slight edge on the dry-wearing-experience, though.
Do period underwear smell funky?
As long as you do prompt washing, no. But I would say that Knix are more consistently fresh-smelling than Thinx.
Thinx and Knix discounts
Get $10 off your first pair of Thinx
If you shop through any links on my blog, you’ll get $10 off your first pair.
Get $10 at Knix
Click the button below to get a $10/$100 discount on your first purchase at Knix, or use code THEFRUGALGIRL_KNIXLOVE
Can you return period underwear?
Edit: Knix now allows returns within 30 days!
Thinx: 60 days
Thinx has a really good return/exchange policy: exchange or get a refund to your original payment method within 60 days!
I think they understand that people have some apprehension about trying such a new-ish product, so they want to make you feel free to try it out.
Knix: 30 days
Knix allows returns or exchanges on underwear within 30 days of purchase.
Should you get Thinx or Knix?
Overall, we give Knix a bigger thumbs up than Thinx for comfort, leak-proof-ness, and odor control.
But you could try both pretty inexpensively.
Click here or below to get your $10 discount on Knix. The discount should apply automatically, but you can also type code THEFRUGALGIRL_KNIXLOVE in the discount box.
- Period underwear reduce trash output, but may not save you money
- Period cups or cloth pads will save you more money
- We like Knix better than Thinx for many reasons
Have you ever tried period underwear? Or is there another non-disposable period product you’d recommend?
P.S. I’m sorry I only have photos of Thinx. I didn’t have any brand new pairs of Knix to photograph, and while I am a fairly open book, I draw the line at photographing worn undies!
Tuesday 2nd of May 2023
Thank you for your tasteful article on a sensitive subject . I want to know how you wash them ! I don't mean actually in the washer but more like do you put them , rinsed out , in a ' diaper pail ' arrangement ? I would Not wash bloody garments with my clothing . On top of the yuck factor it would stain everything ! So , would you save up a week's worth and run a washer ' load ' for 6 or 7 panties ? I can think of no solution that isn't wasteful . I could use your best ideas !
Wednesday 3rd of May 2023
Yeah, if you don't want to throw them in with the rest of your laundry, you can soak them in a bucket of water for a few hours and then rinse them out before adding them to the washing machine.
But surprisingly enough, it does also work to throw them into the wash; you can do them with a dark load, and since there's soap and water in there, it's not like dumping fresh blood onto your other laundry. So staining is not an issue.
Some people also rinse each pair out after they use them, hang them to dry, and then throw them into a hamper to go with the rest of the laundry.
Sunday 3rd of July 2022
*oops! Typo- That’s Air DRY! Not Fry! lol
Sunday 3rd of July 2022
I think both products will be in the news for being unsanitary. Cold water air fry doesn’t kill bacteria, They may look clean but are teaming with bacteria, or fungal germs. News flash: “Vaginal infections common among women using period underwear. Vagistat sales spike!”
Friday 18th of March 2022
I’ve been using Thinx for several years. I have not tried Knix (newer brand?). I like these. They definitely work and do not leak or feel wet. Very nice material, and thick. They are great as a backup or by themselves. They’ve never leaked. I also think these could give young girls or teens who are new to the routine of periods/leaks piece of mind. I feel totally safe when I have them on. More safe than a pad with regular undies. As far as hygiene safety mentioned in the review, well that’s interesting. I’d say, they are much more breathable than pads. You feel free wearing these. Also, it’s not your every day underwear, just a few days a month.
Sunday 13th of March 2022
Hi the knix link isn’t working :(
Sunday 13th of March 2022
Ohh, nuts! Something must be wrong on their end, because the link is correct.
Can you try using code FRUGALGIRL10? That should give you the $10 discount as well. And I will reach out to Knix to figure out what is going wrong with the link.