Tuesday, August 27, 2013

{review} A Green Menstrual Alternative

Warning – If you do not want to read about lady related problems (aka “that time of the month”) please stop reading now :)

Disclaimer - I received a day pad and a pantyliner from GladRags to try out. The opinions I have written are based on my experiences after using these products. My opinions were not influenced because I received these products in exchange for my review.
 Last January (2013) we switched to cloth diapers. I love them. They save us money, they help save the earth, and they keep harmful chemicals away from my baby’s cute little bum. When people ask why I switched I always tell them it’s better for my baby, better for our wallet, and better for the environment :) So when I pondered switching to cloth menstrual pads I decided that it couldn’t be any worse than changing a baby’s messy diaper. It must have been meant to be because about a week after making the decision (I still hadn’t done anything about it though) GladRags offered to let me try a couple of their reusable pads. Perfect timing! Then they got here the day before my period started – Happy Dance!

The first thing I noticed is the cute little box they come in and that they are not wrapped in wasteful plastic! Next I saw how colorful and fun they are. Plastic disposable pads are far from pretty so this was a nice change. Then I wondered is how are they suppose to keep the umm ... fluid from soaking through without any sort of plastic shield. So with still some doubts I tried them............... drum roll......... and I love them! I will never go back to disposable!

They are very comfy! I used to buy the Always Infinity disposable pads and every time my poor husband would gawk at the price tag, I would tell him that they are the Cadillac of pads. I thought they were 10 times more comfortable than the regular Always pads and the other brands. However reusable pads are 100 percent more comfortable than any plastic, papery, unbreathable, feel like a diaper, disposable pad! Why? Because they are made from cloth and feel just like my normal underwear.

The pads look relatively thick, but honestly I didn't notice. It didn't feel like I had a huge wad of fabric between my legs. I also did not have any problems with leaking. I think leaking would only be a problem if I were to forget about it and wear it way too long, but I would have the same problem with disposables.

I have always hated “that time of the month”. Not because of the ick factor, or the fact that it lasts a full seven days. But because for a whole week, everything down there burns and itches and feels raw. (sorry if TMI!) But I didn’t have this problem with cloth pads! Right in the middle of my cycle, on a super heavy day, everything started itching like crazy. Then I realized that I had put on a disposable because all of my cloth pads were hanging up to dry. By this time they were dry and I switched it out and within 30 minutes everything felt normal again!

They are also a lot cooler than disposable pads. I hate being hot so this was a big bonus.

I absolutely love that the cloth pads attach using wings that wrap around the underwear and then snap together to hold the pad in place. One of my pet peeves about disposable pads is that the adhesive is so sticky it almost always leaves some of the sticky stuff on my underwear and it doesn’t wash off.

I have been spending about $10-$15 per month on girl products, depending on if I have coupons or can get them on sale. So reusable pads are saving me money! I don't think a newby like myself needs to run out and spend $150+ on reusable pads (unless you have extra money just laying around and you don't know what to do with it). A three pack of day pads costs $39.99 from GladRags.com, one night pad costs $19.49, and a three pack of pantyliners is $29.99 (as of 8/27/13). So for $89.47 you could get enough pads to last for an entire cycle (especially if you hand wash them like I do). I only have 4 pads and I hand wash them between uses, and I manage for a whole week long cycle! Another option is to get a reusable menstrual cup, but that is a topic we'll discuss another time :)

I’m sure some people might be thinking about laundry and stains - It really wasn’t bad. I only had 4 pads (two from GladRags and two that I tried to make myself) so I would wash them in the sink with a little Dr. Bronner’s unscented liquid soap and hang them up to dry between uses. Then at the end of the week, I put two of them in a bowl of cold water, and the next day, I threw the soaking ones and the rinsed ones into the laundry with my other clothes and all of them came out clean with no stains.

GladRags come in three sizes – pantyliner, day pad, and night pad. GladRags are constructed a little different than the way I envisioned cloth pads. Both the daytime and nighttime pads consist of a holder and two inserts; the inserts slip into the holder like an envelope and the user can choose to use one or two inserts depending on her needs. The inserts for both sizes are made with a layer of terry cloth sandwiched between two outer layers of cotton flannel. The daytime holder is made with two layers of cotton flannel. The nighttime pads are longer and wider than the day pad and the holder also has a layer of terry cloth to make it more absorbent. The pantyliners are shorter than the day pads (they are a lot shorter than I imagined them, but they work perfect for a liner) and have a layer of terry cloth sandwiched between two layers of cotton flannel, but they are all one piece and do not have an envelope holder.

My overall opinion is that I LOVE reusable pads and GladRags are awesome! Please tell me your thoughts!

P.S. I just wanted to tell you something awesome I found on the GladRag FAQ page. You can use GladRags for postpartum! I never thought of this before, but I think it would be great to have something soft against my skin instead of plastic after the trauma of giving birth. Also I read that some people dip one of the inserts in witch hazel or a homemade healing herbal tea to use after delivery! That sounds so much better than the conventional way! Next time I have a baby, I’m going to try this!

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.


  1. This looks like a great alternative to disposable pads!

  2. I had no idea that they made these, sound like a great alternative

  3. This does sounds like a good idea environment wise. But, honestly, I don't think I could bring myself to use them.

  4. Just so you know if you use Hydrogen Peroxide on any blood stain you can generally get them out.

  5. I remember my mom saying that "back in the days" they actually used cloth and it was so much better. I can certainly see why environmentally wise. Not sure if I can bring myself to using these though. I've been spoilt by Always as well.

  6. Hmmm, I might have to give these a try, it makes sense, I just was not aware that they existed! Thanks for the review!

  7. I didn;t know such a product existed - thanks for sharing! The fact that shorelines are overflooded with plastic applicators is pretty gross! I love your warning too! lol

  8. […] I used. I have used pads that do not have a PUL layer, but they were a lot thicker (See my GladRags review). Think maxi pad thickness vs. regular pad thickness. You could leave the PUL off and maybe use a […]

  9. I have been buying from Lunapads for a couple years now and would never go back. The feel is so much better. I have yet to "wear out" a pad, so that means I don't have to spend money on feminine hygiene products anymore. I like that I don't have to throw away used pads and tampons anymore either. No one wants to see that stuff in the garbage.