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.
* 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. *
Why might you want to get started with cloth sanitary pads?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
You may also enjoy: