How to Get Started with Cloth Sanitary Pads

How to Get Started with Cloth Sanitary Pads

How to Get Started with Cloth Sanitary Pads

So you want to try them but you have now idea how to get started with cloth sanitary pads. Worry no more my friend, this is the post for you. I’m going to talk about the pros and cons, what you’ll need and how to choose the right ones for you.

Image of 3 cloth sanitary pads against a white marble-effect background. From left to right the first is a pad from pink Nightmare Before Christmas fabric, the second from balck, white, red and yellow Wonderwoman fabric and the last a green seahorse and fish pattern fabric. The pads decrease in length from left to right.
Three of my favourite pads. I love Nightmare Before Christmas, Wonderwoman speaks for herself and I think the fish and seahorses are cute.

Why might you want to get started with cloth sanitary pads?

Pros

Cheaper in the long term – once you have bought a reusable pad, they can last up to 5 years.

Better for the Environment – using reusable pads means that you’re not sending any disposables to landfill.

Huge choice – my favourite thing about reusable pads is the range of fabrics available to choose from.

Less irritating – they tend to be made from breathable fabrics.

Cons

Higher upfront cost – cloth pads do cost more per pad than disposables.

Will need to carry used ones with you when out and about – you’ll need to carry a wet-bag to store used ones when you change them when out of the house.

They need to be washed – reusable pads need to be washed after every use, so they’ll add another load to your washing every month.

It could take time to find the right shape, length and absorbency – it can take some time to find the right length, shape and absorbency to suit your needs.

If you want a bit more detail on the pros and cons check out my post from last week where I listed the pros and cons of all methods available.

What You’ll Need

It’s difficult to say just how many pads you will need to get started with cloth sanitary pads. It depends on how long your periods last and how often you change your pads. My periods last 5 days so I have 5 longer more absorbent pads to use at night. I have 15 pads and still need a few more. I still haven’t fully switched to cloth yet because I’m still building my stash bit by bit.

When you’re out and about you’ll need to carry a wet-bag to store your used pads until you get home. I use the wet-bag that came with my cheeky wipes starter kit as it’s quite small and fit’s into my bag.

Somewhere to store your used pads before washing them. I personally use a wet-bag that I used to use to store ragamuffin’s dirty cloth nappies while we were out and about. You could also use a nappy bin or a bucket with a lid. At the end of my period I wash them all in one load on their own.

Image of two wet-bags side by side against a marble effect background. On the left is a smaller bag which is white with a lilac cartoon penguin print. On the right is a bigger wet-bag which is white with orange, green, blue, red and brown dinosaurs printed all over.
On the left is my smaller wet-bag that I use when I’m out and about and the other is the one I use to store my used pads before washing.

How to Choose

Look for Cloth Pads that are similar to your disposables

When I began looking for cloth sanitary pads I looked for pads that closely matched my preferred disposable pad. Always Ultra were my pad of choice, although I never really experimented with them. So I went with the Cheeky Wipes starter kit as my first CSP purchase. This was for 2 reasons, their shape matched my disposables but also the kit came with several pads in different lengths and levels of absorbency. Buying a kit worked out cheaper than buying individual pads and it also came with a small wet-bag.

Experiment

After you’ve tried your first few pads think about what you did and didn’t like about them and try another brand, that addresses any issues you had. The Cheeky Wipes were a good all-rounder but I didn’t feel they offered me enough protection at the very front and very back. So I then chose some from Fanny Paddams which flare at each end.

Image of 5 cloth sanitary pads and a wet-bag. The wet bag is laying diagonally, with the top left corner to the left of the bottom left corner, partially underneath the pads. The pads are arranged in two rows. In the top row is a blue pad which is longer than the other pads, it is partially overlapped by a lime green pad which is partially overlapped by an orange pad. Below these pads are a bright pink pad which partially overlaps the blue and green pads and a purple pad which partially overlaps the pink and orange pads.
Cheeky Mama starter kit.

Where to find cloth sanitary pads?

Search Engine Search

Initially I searched for ‘cloth sanitary pads’ on Google which is where I found the Cheeky Wipes starter kit.

Etsy

A lot of my search engine results were for shops on etsy. There are some really fab cloth sanitary pad makers who sell there. Everything is made by hand and generally, buying from there means you’re supporting a small business.

Facebook Groups

I found a local reusable menstrual products Facebook group where everyone posts pictures of their pads and there are discussions on why people prefer different brands and shapes.

My favourite brands

Fanny Paddams are my absolute favourite brand right now. The range of fabrics in stock really appeal to me there are disney, game of thrones, nightmare before Christmas and loads more. The only theme missing, for me, is Harry Potter but the owner of the shop said she’s always on the lookout for Potter fabric but hasn’t found the right one yet.
Check out this listing for a Cruella DeVil pad like mine.

Image of 4 cloth sanitary pads side by side From left to right, the first pad is a purple Cruella DeVil print pad, partially overlapped by a black Game of Thrones print pad, partially overlapped by a red Game of Thrones print pad and then an orange Night Before Christmas pad.
My most recent additions to my cloth sanitary pad stash all from Fanny Paddams.

Red Queen Cloth is another etsy seller. The shape of these pads is similar to that of disposables, so this is likely to be a good place to check out when you’re looking to get started with cloth sanitary pads. They also have loads of fab fabrics in stock, my favourite is the rainbow fabric pictured.

Image of 3 cloth sanitary pads against a white marble effect background. From left to right the first is a rainbow print pad, next to a green pad with a butterfly and beetle pattern next to a stained glass window print fabric pad.
Three pads in a more traditional cloth sanitary pad shape all from Red Queen Cloth.

Cheeky Mama pads from Cheeky Wipes are where it all began for me. I think their starter kit is a great way to get started with cloth sanitary pads. You get a longer overnight pad, some medium length regular flow pads, a shorter lighter flow pad and a wet-bag. The cost of the starter kit is also cheaper than buying the included pads and wet-bag separately.

Pink text against a green background which reads 'How to Get Started With Cloth Sanitary Pads'. Below are two landscape images one above the other. The top one is an image of 3 cloth sanitary pads against a white marble-effect background. From left to right the first is a pad from pink Nightmare Before Christmas fabric, the second from balck, white, red and yellow Wonderwoman fabric and the last a green seahorse and fish pattern fabric. The pads decrease in length from left to right. The one on the bottom is an image of 3 cloth sanitary pads against a white marble effect background. From left to right the first is a rainbow print pad, next to a green pad with a butterfly and beetle pattern next to a stained glass window print fabric pad.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. If you buy through one of these links I will get a small commission at no extra cost to you. I only recommend products that I use or want to use in future.

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