12 cool and sustainable period products to help manage your flow

Pads and tampons got you down? These products offer a more eco-friendly approach to dealing with your period.

The average woman has approximately 450 periods in their lifetime, which means they go through A LOT of (typically) single-use products. Not only is that a lot of trash, but it also doesn’t help that the standard period-care options are expensive, usually made from harsh chemicals or plastics and are limited in terms of options. Thankfully, the last few years have seen a wave of new menstrual products that not only lighten the burden on the environment but also give women an array of better-for-you (and your wallet!) choices. Here are a few of our favourites:

1. Sustainable pads and tampons

Say goodbye to harmful chemicals and fragrances, and hello to clean, organic ingredients.


colourful boxes of period products on white background

Photo: Courtesy of Only

These biodegradable pads and tampons are made only from organic cotton and don’t contain any rayon, plastics or synthetic fibres that are typically found in these types of products. The reusable tampon applicator can be used with applicator-free tampons, and it comes with a nifty AirPod-like carrying case. From $9, getonly.ca


vignette of tampons and boxes on pieces of wood

Photo: Courtesy of Joni

Ultra-thin pads are made with super absorbent (and compostable!) bamboo, while the applicator-free tampons are wrapped in a compostable package and are 100 percent cotton. Bonus: free shipping with no minimum spend! From $6, getjoni.com


blue box of natural tampons

Photo: Courtesy of Natracare

This women-owned company has been creating plastic-free period products since 1989. In addition to organic cotton tampons and compostable pads and liners, they offer plant-based maternity pads and biodegradable incontinence pads. From $4, well.ca


reusable black pad next to burgundy box

Photo: Courtesy of Aisle

These reusable pads are locally made in Vancouver from a combo of cotton, spandex, polyester and nylon with snaps to keep them in place on undies. Choose from a range of absorbencies (the Super Pad claims to hold up to 14 tampons worth of blood!) and then toss them in your washing machine when you’re done. From $16, periodaisle.ca

2. Menstrual cups

You’ve probably seen these disk- or funnel-like objects in the feminine hygiene aisle and wondered, what the heck do I do with this? Similar to a tampon, these nifty cups are typically made of medical-grade silicone and can be folded and inserted into the vaginal canal to collect menstrual blood. Instead of ending up in the landfill, they can be cleaned and reused time and time again.


vignette with boxes and period cups displayed

Photo: Courtesy of Aisle

This silicone cup comes in two sizes and can be worn up to 12 hours. $40, periodaisle.ca

Bfree cup

three sizes of red period cups

Photo: Courtesy of Bfree

This naturally antibacterial cup does not need to be boiled between wears meaning you can simply empty and rinse the cup before reinserting. It claims to be reusable for up to 10 years. $40, bfreecup.com

Flex Cup

black period cup with carrying bag

Photo: Courtesy of Flex

This cup holds two to three tampons worth of blood and has an easy-to-pull tab that breaks the suction and comes out similar to a tampon. Choose from two different sizes. $49, amazon.ca


menstrual cup with patterned pouch and box packaging

Photo: Courtesy of Nixit

This disc-style cup is made from super soft silicone and a one-size fits most model. Claiming to be easier to insert than traditional funnel-shaped cups with no suction upon removal, it offers up to 12 hours of protection (up to four tampons worth of period blood.) $54, nixit.ca

Flex Disc

brown box of disposable period discs

Photo: Courtesy of Flex

The disc offers a single-use option if you’re not quite sure about using a cup. Claiming to hold more than five tampons worth of blood, the disk can be worn for up to 12 hours, is said to reduce cramping and works well during sex. $19/12 disks, amazon.ca

3. Period panties

While these may require the biggest upfront investment, they’re probably one of the easiest (and most genius!) ways to manage your period.


pink thong

Photo: Courtesy of Knix

When most people think of period panties, they think of Knix. One of the OG Canadian brands, the super leak-proof thong can hold up to six tampons-worth of blood and are machine-washable. $32, knix.ca

Bfree cup pantys

red briefs with mesh sides

Photo: Courtesy of Bfree

From the makers of the Bfree cup, these stylish hot pants are made in Brazil and offer protection without compromising look. Designed for heavy flows, they have the look and feel of regular underwear with an integrated pad that’s about a third of the thickness of a traditional pad. $58, bfreecup.com

Aisle underwear

person wearing black boxer-briefs

Photo: Courtesy of Aisle

Aisle offers a variety of styles of underwear, from boxer to bikini to thong. With varying levels of absorbency, they can be worn as a backup to a cup or tampon or to hold a heavy flow. From $38, periodaisle.ca

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