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Are Period Pants Disposable?

When you have super heavy periods and pads just aren't keeping you secure overnight, or when you are unable to get to the loo often during the work day it is useful to know there are alternative options so you can sleep easy or work with confidence.

Period panties can help with this. They hold many tampons or pads worth of blood.

In general, no, period pants are not designed to be disposable. Period pants are designed to be worn, washed and reused for a long period of time - years. Although there are some disposable period pant options, these tend to be more expensive and less sustainable.


Reusable period pants replace single use disposable period products in a similar way to menstrual cups and cloth pads. They will all help you to have a smaller carbon footprint, sending less waste to landfill.

With washable period panties starting from as little as £6 you will quickly recoup any money spent, and you will never run out. This compares to £3.40 for 3 pairs of Always disposable period pants.

"Cheeky wipes are a great company ! Cheeky wipes always deliver the orders promptly and customer service is very responsive. I use their reusable wipes, sanitary and toilet products as they are of high quality and cut down on disposable waste, I highly recommend them." Maggie, Aug '23 Trustpilot

Disposable vs. Reusable Period Underwear

Single use period pants are designed for those who have heavy flow periods to avoid menstrual leaks overnight. There are pros and cons to these products.


One pro is that they cover broad sizing so are ribbed to be able to stretch. 

In addition, disposable period underwear is similar to disposable sanitary pads and tampons. They are worn once and thrown away in your household waste.

However as they are aren't eco friendly at all. Because they are a bulky menstrual product they contribute significantly to landfill and your carbon footprint, much like an adult nappy would. Sort of like a period pull up!


One con is that as disposable period knickers are a single use plastic product keeping a stock of them can prove expensive.

In addition, disposable period panties have a long list of chemical ingredients including sodium polyacrylate, styrene-butadiene copolymer, Ditallowethyl Hydroxyethylmonium Methosulfate, PEG-6 Dilaurate, titanium dioxide, propanoic acid and more including added fragrance.

It is best to check that none of these will cause irritation. 

Whilst convenient in the short term they can rip when pulling them on - frustrating as then that pair can't be used.

Reusable period pants are made with a layer of moisture wicking organic cotton or bamboo next to your skin followed by absorbent layers of fabric then a TPU heat bonded waterproof outer layer.


Washable menstrual pants come in many different styles and designs to better match standard underwear. They are flattering and attractive - no need to hide and feel frumpy.

Washable period pants come in different absorbency levels and can be used for those with light flow, regular flow or heavy flow.

They look and feel like regular underwear with additional padding to match your period - thin for light periods and thicker for heavier periods. Cheeky pants have leak proof absorbent layers from the front waistband through to the back waistband for added security.

"So impressed!! I’ve been wanting to try period pants for a while, but was very skeptical. A friend recommended I try Cheeky Wipes, so I ordered a few pairs to try. From day one I was hooked.

They are so comfortable to wear and I felt protected all day. Will definitely be switching from disposable pads to more pants from now!" JJ Aug '23 Trustpilot

How to Dispose of Period Pants

When you have finished wearing your period pants you need to know what to do to safely dispose of them.


To dispose of your disposable pants wrap them in toilet paper or newspaper and place in your household bin. DO NOT flush single use period pants down the toilet, they will block your pipes, the outside drains and will contribute to fatbergs in our sewers, and can be damaging to wildlife.

Do not leave them in your bathroom bin for any length of time as they will breed bacteria and will start to smell.

Do not burn disposables as they will give off toxic chemicals which will be harmful to inhale.

When out and about you should NOT put used sanitary products in the general waste bin, they need to go in specialised waste disposal bins.


After use, rinse your period undies in cold water until it runs clear then wash cool along with your normal laundry avoiding fabric softener. Dangle dry inside out and then use again. And again. And again.

When cared for following our guidelines menstrual underwear can last for years and years.

If you want to dispose of your reusable period underwear, make sure it’s at the end of its life. If you change size or if your child outgrows their period pants you can sell them on. Facebook market place and cloth groups online are great places to sell preloved menstrual undies.

To dispose of your reusable pants they can be dismantled. All fabrics parts can be recycled in textile bins at the local tip leaving just the thin PUL layer to go into general waste.

Bestselling Reusable Period Pants:

If you found this blog helpful and would like to read more - 

The best period pants and reusable pads for heavy flow, clots and flooding

Which period pants or pads are best for endometriosis?

Can you prevent leaks on your period?

What period pants are right for me?

Can you wash period pants with other clothes?

Best type of underwear for your period

Common period myths busted




If you would like more help, please drop the team a line or use the website chat function. We all use the products ourselves and just LOVE to chat pee poo and periods, all day long. Nothing is TMI and we all love to overshare based on our own experiences.

About the Author: Kirstin on our customer services team loves spending her days helping customers with their reusable period product needs and advising cloth nappy using families. Kirstin lives with her three teenagers and loves walking and sea swimming year round in our beautiful bay.