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A review of Thinx and Knix (from a household of ladies!)

Ok, obviously Mr. FG lives here too, but he doesn’t have a use for Thinx. 😉

It’s just the rest of us that do!

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. 

A purple pair of Thinx undies with the tags attached.

I was initially a little hesitant to blog about this, but when I mentioned Thinx in passing, some readers asked for more info.

So.

I am here to serve.

What are period underwear?

A side waistband of a pair of purple Thinx 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.

A card with Thinx care instructions printed on it.

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.

Two Thinx period panties tags.

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?

A sales tag from a pair of Thinx undies.

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.

The elastic waistband of a purple pair of Thinx underwear.

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.

A close-up view of a pair of purple Thinx underwear.

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 $15/$50 at Knix

Click the button below to get $15 off your first purchase of $50 or more.

Can you return period underwear?

Thinx, yes, Knix, no.

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: no underwear returns

Knix does returns on their other items (bras, for example), but not on underwear.

A pair of underwear with the tags attached.

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 since Knix doesn’t do returns, here’s what I suggest for period underwear newbies.

FIRST buy a single pair of Thinx; your first pair is really cheap if you use my discount link, and this way you can try a single pair to see how you feel about period underwear.

OR buy a single pair of Knix. That’s going to be more pricey, but it is an option to consider.

THEN

If you like period underwear after trying Thinx, come back to this post and get your $15/$50 discount and buy a set of five Knix. That’s definitely the cheapest way to buy them, and then you’ll have plenty to get you through each month.

In summary:

  • 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!

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Tam

Friday 24th of September 2021

My daughter uses these and loves them! She is trying to get me to try the incontinence underwear. I have a horrible time with the paper products for incontinence, as I did when I used them for my periods. Not only are they uncomfortable they make me sore. Has anyone tried the incontinence underwear?

Diana

Saturday 3rd of July 2021

Great review, and I hadn't heard of the issues with the chemicals so I was interested to read the link. I found the gussets in particular didn't last long in my period undies (Thinx & Modi Bodi) but the level of comfort and reassurance they gave me, alongside a cup, during a difficult perimenopause was worth every penny spent (to be fair I was wearing them everyday). Even with the fabrics used I found they helped control any dampness and sweat which made life so much more comfortable. Can't recommend them enough and wish they'd been around when I was younger!

Jessy

Friday 2nd of July 2021

I use a brand of period underwear called bambody that I got on Amazon and I love them. They aren’t as pretty as the other brands like Thinx but considering what they are for I don’t think that matters as much and they are cheaper. It’s just personal preference on my part really. I wear them with pads on my heavy days because then I don’t have to worry about the pads leaking, especially at night, but the rest of the time I just wear the underwear. Never had any leaks and since pads make me itch after about three days these help so I don’t have to wear pads longer than necessary.

Emily M

Thursday 1st of July 2021

Interesting that you don't feel comfortable using them for what they're meant for?? I have worn thinx for over a year now and I love them! I actually only had to buy one pair (for my heaviest day), then I do black underpants and (occasional) pads on the other days, but I think I'm going to buy a few more pairs to eliminate pads. On my heaviest day, it definitely stands up well. My biggest selling point is that there's no more equipment - just wear underpants like normal. I think they're super great.

Kristen

Thursday 1st of July 2021

Maybe the problem is that I don't have any that are the super-duper high absorbency ones; the ones I have would not do the trick for a day at all!

And I need them for multiple days too. You only need a product really for one day? Lucky!

Julie

Wednesday 30th of June 2021

I'm a big fan of the Diva Cup and the reusable pads/liners. I bought a set (like someone else commented earlier) from Amazon years ago and they've been great! It's exciting to see the number of period products available now vs 20 years ago!

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