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Do Period Pants Need to Be Tight?

Our Guide to Finding the Right Fit

Period pants are a superb alternative to single use period products and menstrual cups. They're made from multiple absorbent layers and are designed to be worn for up to 12 hours, then washed in the washing machine and reused.

As we explained in our last blogpost 'Why are my period pants leaking - and how to fix it', poor fit is probably the third most relevant reason that your period pants might be leaking. That's after:

  • Not Prewashing
  • Choosing The Wrong Absorbency

In this post we're going to look at whether period pants need to be tight and recommend different period pants styles for different body shapes.

Clothes sizing is ALWAYS a blooming minefield both for consumers and manufacturers. There is NO universal clothing size guides which is absolutely crazy. That's why an M&S size 10 is VERY different to a New Look size 10. It's also why we include a comparison guide which aims to help you know whether to size up or down in different styles of pants.

What makes it even more difficult is that when it comes to period underwear, in many cases, they contain some element of stretch. And the more stretchy, potentially the more you should size down rather than up.

"I've used a combination of period pants and pads for 14 years now from all kinds of brands. After looking through Cheeky's very informative website, I ordered a pair of bamboo period pants in my usual size which arrived promptly. Which is when I found that they weren't as snug a fit as I need (the materials and design are beautiful).

Great customer care in the form of a quick chat in the pop up from the website meant that I had next day delivery of the same pants, sized down, and a free pad to try too.

The smaller size works well for me and the pad was soft and 'leak free'. Which is exactly what I have been looking for. Thank you team Cheeky. I will be coming back to you again." Trustpilot Review

Period pants work best when they fit snugly and comfortably, with no gaps. But how tight should period pants be? Let's dive into the snug, comfortable world of period pants and find you the perfect fit for peace of mind.

How Tight Should Your Period Pants Be?

Finding that sweet spot between snug and 'cutting off your circulation' is key. Period pants do need to be snug, but not so tight that they become the bane of your existence for a week every month. Here's how to know how tight your period pants should be:


We’re not talking corset tight here. The waistband and leg openings of your period pants should hug your body comfortably. If they're leaving marks or you're spending the day pulling them out of places they shouldn't be, they're too tight.

Another point to note is that you have chunky thighs, it might be best to avoid pants which sit into the knicker line between your vulva and thigh. Go for high legged options or period shorts instead for a much more comfortable fit for you.

On the flip side, you don’t want them so loose that they're shifting around, which will definitely mean your period pants are prone to leaks from gaps where they don't meet your skin.


Your period pants should feel like a comforting hug – if you even notice them at all. You should be able to do your daily twirls, lunges, or whatever floats your boat without feeling like you’re wrapped in a boa constrictor. No chafing, no irritation, just smooth sailing.


Let's talk swampiness – or rather, let's avoid it altogether. Good period pants are made from breathable, moisture-wicking fabrics that keep you feeling fresh.

If wearing period pants means that your nether regions are feeling like a tropical rainforest, it might be time to reconsider your fabric choice. Look for bamboo period pants for optimum breathability.


Just like superheroes, period pants come with different powers of absorbency. The key is to match your pair with your flow. Light, medium, heavy flow pants – there's a period pant for every kind of day. Too much absorbency and you might feel like you're wearing a diaper; too little, and well, you know what happens.

How to Know If Your Period Pants Fit You 

Here's how to know if your period pants fit you:

Period pants should cover your entire crotch area without riding up or shifting

If your pants are going up your bum crack then your period pants don't fit well. For some people, this may well but a style issue. I can't wear Brazillian type pants or anything with a rear mid seam for example as my bum just loves to munch them.

They shouldn’t leak due to poor fit

To prevent leaks it's super important that your period pants fit well with no gaps for blood to escape from. In this picture above you can see that I have chosen pants which are too big for me and it has left a gap between my vulva and thigh. I should have sized down in this style of pants.

The seams should lie flat against your skin without digging in

If you're getting sore spots anywhere, particularly around the waist or in the thigh area, then you may need to choose another style.

We are ALL different body shapes. And that's absolutely fine! But it makes a difference when it comes to how period pants fit.

Some of us carry more weight around our middle. Some carry more on our hips. Some of us have thinner thighs than average. Or more chunky thighs. But all these things make a difference to how your period pants fit. Here's a few recommendations for styles which address these specific body types:

Shop bamboo fearless pants

Best period pants for mumtum bellies

If you're carrying weight on your tummy, you may find the high waisted nylon comfy or fearless too tight. Our sporty low rise period pants might be a better fit, or consider our bamboo fearless which are a high waist but made from super stretchy bamboo and great for heavy periods too, holding up to 6 tampons worth approximately.

Shop Sleek Seamfree Pants

Best period pants for wider hips

For wider hips, consider our sleek pants which are super stretchy and are seamless too. Alternatively, our boybrief style period pants might work well for you.

Shop Hip High Leg Pants

Best period pants for chunky thighs or thinner thighs

Avoid anything which fits into the knicker line between vulva and thigh such as our Sporty or Boybrief or Comfy. Our high-leg 'Feeling Hip' style would work well for you or our Cosy bamboo shorts.

Period pants are a game-changer, but only if they fit right. Remember, the goal is protection paired with comfort. Too tight, and you're in for a world of discomfort; too loose, and you'll be prone to leaks. So, take the time to find your fit, choose the right absorbency, and enjoy the freedom and comfort of the perfect pair of period pants.

"I find the website extremely easy to navigate and its absolutely full of really useful information, not only about the products but also hints and tips as well. Sustainable products normally come with a bit of a price tag however Cheeky Wipes regularly do deals to help make it affordable! I use the period pants and find them amazing! It's helped eliminate chafing and completely reduced my sanitary product waste as well ❤" Trustpilot Review

Check out our range of period pants for every flow and every body at Cheeky Wipes. From light days to those heavy-flow warriors, we've got you covered – comfortably and leak-free.

Got more questions? Please do contact us. The team all wear the pants themselves and love helping people make the switch. Nothing is TMI!  Alternatively if you'd like to read more, you may find these articles interesting:

About the Author: Helen Rankin founded Cheeky Wipes, the original reusable wipes kit back in 2008 after disposable wipes caused her eczema to flare up. 4 kids later, she went on to develop their range of 'Simple Reusables' to include period pants, reusable menstrual products and pads. Both she and the rest of the leadership team are now navigating menopause, with all the joys it brings!

The Cheeky customer services team pride themselves on providing honest, friendly advice and just LOVE to chat pee, poo and periods all day long, helping people make the switch to reusables! The Company was recognised for their hard work in developing environmentally friendly products with the Queens Award in Enterprise for Sustainable Development in 2021.