It’s that time of the month again-the first day of my period. (TMI for most, I know, but I am unashamed.) In between cramps, I realized that I long ago wrote my post introducing the idea of reusable menstrual products and one on menstrual cups and some of the benefits of ditching the disposables but never got around to doing one on cloth pads. Shame on me.
I’ve already talked about why I turned my back on disposable menstrual products forever in my previous posts, but now I’ll talk a bit more specifically on what it is about cloth pads that I simply adore.
Comfort: These things are so darn comfy. Not something one would typically say about those scratchy disposables most Westerners use. Seriously, it’s practically like I’m not wearing a pad because it feels so close to underwear. If you get flannel, minky, or valour then things get even cozier (though I still prefer cotton).
Looks: Another fun plus is the design. The pads can be absolutely adorable. I mean look! How many people do you know that have a Spiderman pad? Hmmm? Not many? That’s what I thought. I’ve gotten several new pads since I took this picture including a bright pink pantyliner with little forest animals on it, a dark blue overnight pad with foxes camping, and an everyday pad with poppies.
Customizability: Many of the pads are made by working at home moms (WAHMs for short in the online selling arena). As such, many of these lovely ladies are willing to customize their pads as much as possible if it is in their abilities/time allows. I’m not just talking about the print, sometimes they will made the back a bit longer than the front for overnight pads if you wish or line the wings if you tend to bleed a bit to the sides. I have never personally done this, but from what I’ve read many women have great experiences with customized orders that allows for a completely unique product that you won’t find anywhere else.
Green-ness: The real seller for RUMPs for many people is the fact that it means less disposables will be used. As such, less cotton (a plant that is unsustainable grown in many areas of the world) will need to be used, less plastics created and thrown away to sit in dumps, and so on and so forth for all of the harmful chemicals/materials used in disposable pads.
Now, there are some drawbacks. They aren’t a big deal to me, but could be to some.
Cleaning: If you are going to reuse a menstrual pad, then you better be prepared to clean it. If you want, you can just throw it in the washing machine with your clothes, but that could lead to staining. I personally have a bucket that I throw my pads in when I’m done using them and then at the end of my cycle I add a bit of soap and water to let them soak before I put them in a delicates bag and toss it in the machine with the rest of my laundry. This helps get much of the blood out before the actual wash. I’ve only had minimal staining and that was before I really got my system down.
Price: While in the long run using RUMPs will save money, there is a considerable upfront cost if you want enough pads to last an entire cycle. Generally the pads cost between $6-15. At first, building a stash costs more money that a box of disposable pads, but they last years so it will all even out or come out with you saving money. If you buy from WAHMs, many newer sellers can be cheaper than more experienced ones. The quality could be great or it could have uneven stitching or something like that. While there is a risk with cheaper pads, it’s not a big one and it is a great way to test the waters.
As I’ve said in previous posts, there is an overwhelming array of options. My favorites come from Yurtcraft, an etsy seller. I personally like them because they are of an amazing quality and the cut works really well for me. If you prefer something a bit straighter, Mimi’s Dreams is also really great. I have a few of her’s but I prefer the cut of Yurtcraft. There are many more amazing sellers on Etsy, so if you just search for cloth pads and pick ones that you think are cute, you should be good. I always obsessively read the reviews first though, just to make sure the quality is alright. Party in My Pants is a bigger company based out of Wisconsin that even offers a free sample panty liner. I think there pads are okay (I even won a free full-sized pad from facebook once), but they aren’t my favorite and they are a tad pricier than etsy sellers.
If I forgot to cover something or you have any questions, feel free to ask because I absolutely love talking about this stuff. Strange, I know, but it’s kind of become a passion of mine.