Pads made of cloth are so much more comfortable than disposable pads. They really are worth a try! Ours are either topped with manmade fibres or natural fibres. The natural fibres are bamboo, silk, or cotton which are generally regarded as more breathable. The manmade fibres are plush and fleece which are regarded as more stain resistant. The centres of the pads are all made from natural absorbent fabrics (except Zorb which is a mixture of natural and microfibre fibres). The backings range from the manmade PUL and fleece to natural wool to some of our pads which have no backing. We recommend that buyers try a range of pads to see what suits them best!
To select pads from our store use the check buttons on the left. You can first choose the use of the pad you want for example for heavy or pantyliner or for postpartum. Then choose the length and so on until you bring up a selection of pads to choose from, that meet your requirements.
All our pads are made by work at home parents or in small cottage industries.
We regret that we cannot supply menstrual pads to customers in the USA due to FDA regulations.
1)Which pad should I start with?
If you are looking for pads only, I would suggest that you start with the heaviest pads of the make you are interested in that is not designed for nights. This would include the Eco Femme Day Pad, the Eco Rainbow Heavy pad , the Treehugger Heavy Pad, the Go With The Flo Standard or Shaped Maxi, the HER Ultimini pad, the Little Gumnut 13 inch pad, The GreenCycle Heavy pad, and the Wee Notions Heavy pad. Many women report lighter periods following the switch to cloth pads and this pad will either work for you as a heavy day pad or a night pad if your periods become lighter. I would also suggest that you buy at least one lighter pad or pantyliner for use at the end of your cycle. Some women like to buy 6 or so pads to start so they can try a variety. Others like to buy one per month! We have tried to keep our postage charges low so that it isn’t costly to buy in stages!
If you are looking for backup pads for menstrual cups or sponges, I would select Pantyliners in the ‘Use’ bar which will bring up a suitable selection of pads.
2)I have no knowledge of sanitary pads, for example what size is best?
Pads range in size from 6 inches long to over 17. It depends how tall you are and also your personal preference. I am very tall – about 5 feet 10. I prefer pads at about 11 to 12 inches long for day and 12 to 15 inches long for night. Most people go by the size of the disposable pads they have been using, measure them and use them as a guide.
3) What sort of cloth should I get?
It really does depend on personal preference. There are 3 parts to cloth pads – top against skin, centre absorbent bit and backing fabric. For the top the choice is between natural fabrics which are more breathable but easier to stain and manmade fabrics which are stain resistant but less breathable. The most popular natural is bamboo velour. The most popular manmade is plush/minky.
For the backing there are few pads with no backing but I would recommend you try pads with either water resistant or water proof backing. I would always suggest that women have at least one pad backed in PUL which is totally water proof unless the pad becomes totally sodden and then leaks round the side. Many people though prefer water resistant fabrics such as polyester fleece and wool. Of those wool is probably more breathable.
One other significant difference in cloth pads is whether they have absorbent wraparound wings or just small attaching wings on the back. The small attaching wings are loved by many as they make the pad less bulky to wear. But the wraparound wings provide better protection. I tend to wear the small winged ones on normal times and wraparound on heavy times and nights.
4)Which pads that you stock have more than one popper so that you can adjust them to fit different sizes of panties?
All Wee Notions and Homestead Emporium pads have 2 popper fastenings. It is important to note that European underwear comes in many different widths. It is best not to assume that the pads you buy will definitely fit but to measure across it and check against the measurements given in the pad description. This is especially the case with smaller pads which often have only one popper setting and are typically narrower than larger pads
5) Which materials in the pads are most absorbent?
There is no absolutely agreed opinion on this! It has always been thought that bamboo and hemp based materials are more absorbent than cotton based materials. Recently however a new fabric of microfibre and natural fibres has been produced called zorb which has built a very good reputation and is used in our pads made by Eco Rainbow, Little Gumnut and Treehugger. Many pads use a proven mix of materials i.e. not just one to make up the pads
6) Which is the most absorbent pad?
My first choice has always been the Megamax and Ultimax pads by Homestead Emporium. We currently stock the Ultimax with cotton/bamboo velour top and cotton/bamboo inner. They are very large but slim pads and cleverly designed to especially cope well with nights and postpartum. Regrettably we are getting no more Megamax stock but they are available direct from www.homesteademporium.com. I also now rate the Mega pad by Honour Your Flow as being equally good as the organic cotton is very absorbent – plus you can get PUL backed versions of this if you want whereas the Megamaxes and Ultimaxes come only in fleece backed which doesn’t cope with flooding quite as well.
7) Which is the best waterproof backing?
Preferences vary greatly. That is why we provide a range! PUL has always been agreed to be most waterproof and makes for a trim pad but some people find it a bit sweaty and less breathable. Some people think it is slippy and doesnt stay in place quite as well but some of our pads have a further cotton outer or cotton coating to address this. Windpro or polyester fleece works very well. It stays in place well but isnt quite as waterproof as PUL. Wool is extremely luxurious and comfortable and again not as waterproof as PUL. The most recent backing to be used is windbloc and polartec fleece which is fleece and has its breathability but is very dense and is regarded as as waterproof as PUL.
The Eco Femme purple pantyliners have no waterproof layer. Additionally the thong pads and pantyliners by Angelpadz are made without waterproof backing and need to be changed accordingly when necessary.
8) Which pads do you stock that are not backed by PUL?
The Moon Times pads, most Homestead Emporium pads except where stated, Go With The Flo which are all fleece backed or wool backed, all Angelpadz Thong pads and Pantyliners, the Eco Femme pantyliners stating they don’t have PUL, some of the Little Gumnut, some of the Honour Your Flow all Eco Rainbow except Night. Some of the Little Gumnut, Honour Your Flow and Go With The Flo pads are backed by wool. All the pad descriptions state the backing of the pad so you are clear what you are buying.
9)How many pads do I need?
It depends on how often you wash clothes and how often you need to change your pad. Most women who use cloth menstrual pads report having from between 12 to 20 pads. Some do have more but that is sometimes as they like to have a large collection to choose from!
10) Which of your pads are wraparound?
All our pads attach with poppered wings round underwear except a few pads that state they are wingless. Those with absorbent wraparound wings are Wee Notions, Angelpadz, Eco Rainbow , Moon Times, Treehugger, Honour Your Flow and the wrap pads by Homestead Emporium.
11) Which pad topping would be the best for me? How do I make a choice?
As per the choice of backing, preferences vary! The most stain resistant are the man made fabrics such as fleece, and plush (often previously called Minkee/Minky) . Some people are more comfortable with natural fibres against their skin and prefer toppings made of hemp, cotton, soy and bamboo. We get very good feedback on the comfort of velour fabrics. Some women choose fabrics with organic content which we stock in bamboo velour, flannel cotton and smooth cotton . We stock some pads that are undyed so that women have the choice of non dyed fabrics with organic content. Overall currently the best selling fabric toppings are plush, bamboo velour and cotton. I would suggest that you try these if you are having difficulty making a choice and also try a variety. If you have ever had issues with sensitivity to disposable pads or issues with thrush I would definitely suggest choosing natural fibres.
12) Are your pads suitable for incontinence?
Yes they are suitable for light incontinence use. I have in the past advised that PUL backed are likely to be more suitable but this is changing. All Little Gumnut pads are designed to be suitable for incontinence especially those with windbloc fleece backing as it is exceptionally dense. The Mega pad by Honour Your Flow is also designed for more heavy incontinence use.