Why Use Cloth Menstrual Pads?
Cloth menstrual pads, also called "mama pads," are better for the environment, easy on the pocket book, and so much more comfortable than paper and plastic pads. No more sweaty, itchy, rashy, chafing paper and plastic pads!
Instead you can use comfortable, soft cotton, fleece, velour, or other soft cloth pads. No more adhesive sticking to your skin or hair. No more running out of pads at the worst possible time. You'll have a fresh set of comfortable, clean and ready to use cloth menstrual pads at hand with just a simple load of laundry.
Comfy Cloth Pads offers a wide range of products to meet your needs from stay-dry-fabric topped pads to organic hemp and cotton pads and everything in between. Whether you are looking for simple and organic or fun prints, you'll find a great selection of reusable menstrual products here.
If you menstruate for 33 years (age 12-45) and you use about 20-25 pads per cycle, you will throw away 8,000-10,000 pads! That's a lot of trash - and a lot of money and resources in the landfills.
Are cloth pads really more comfortable?
Reusable menstrual products are better for the planet - but they are also much more comfortable for you. I believe in saving the planet, but let's face it, I would not use cloth menstrual pads if they were uncomfortable. I am just not that dedicated. I am more of a "Save the Planet but I need a daily hot shower" sort of environmentalist. I became a cloth convert from the very first time I tried them. Why? Because cloth menstrual pads are so comfortable!
Cloth menstrual pads were not my first stop in the search for a better menstrual product. I tried several other products first:
- I tried the disposable menstrual cups. I have no idea who they were made for but it sure as heck wasn't me. Ouch!
- I tried sponge tampons. Way messy and they were not even close to sufficient for my heavy flow. I just don't have time to rinse out a tampon every hour. Not to mention the leaking when I sneezed.... While some of my customers swear by sponge tampons, they were just not right for me.
- Unbleached and biodegradable disposable tampons. Expensive and still not comfortable. I was shelling out big bucks for tampons that still caused overdrying and chafing.
I knew there had to be a better way. So when I heard about cloth menstrual pads I was intrigued but kind of grossed out. I couldn't imagine how comfortable they would be and it seemed like a lot of trouble to wash them--but I was really sick of the sweaty, itchy, chafing disposable pads and the real discomfort I was in at the end of a cycle with tampons.
So, I used some hemp, cotton flannel, and other nice fabrics I had available to make myself a couple of washable menstrual pads and pantyliners. Before the day was through I was sewing a few more pads to get me through the night. Those were so comfortable, and leak proof, that I decided to make even more so I could do laundry just twice during my week long period. I could not believe how comfortable these pads were!
Then I made a few for a friend who suffers from stress incontinence when she coughs or sneezes. She was soon back asking for more cloth pads as well. With the moisture proof backing I added to the reusable pads, she was able to relax knowing that her cloth pads would not leak - even during allergy season. Here is what my first tester had to say:
"It was such a relief to know I could sneeze without embarassment! I especially do not miss the adhesive on disposable pads that always seems to stick better to me than to my underwear!"
Today, after much testing and tweaking of patterns, Comfy Cloth Pads brand pads come in a wide variety of sizes and styles - all with great reviews from our customers. We also carry other popular brands of cloth pads and accessories so you can rest assured you will get the best cloth menstrual pads available.
Are cloth pads really better for the environment?
Any time we throw away something after one use we are throwing away resources. The average woman will throw away almost 300 pounds of disposable menstrual products in her lifetime. That is 300 pounds of chemicals, processed wood pulp and petroleum based plastic. The environmental impact goes far beyond just the landfills. We must also factor in the resources needed to haul all that stuff to a factory, waste created while the products are being made, packaging materials, and the fuel needed to haul those disposable products to a store - and the fuel and time needed to purchase them and take them home.
Tampons are no better than pads when it comes to the environment. Tampons clog plumbing (my brother is a plumber, he makes a lot of money clearing sewer pipes and household plumbing of those "flushed away" tampons). Tampons also contribute heavily to the sewage sludge problem that cities are dealing with all over the industrialized world. Sewage overflows lead to tampons and applicators washing up on beaches, in fact, tampon applicators are one of the most common sources of beach debris!
Cloth pads require only an extra small load of laundry or two each month and can last 5-7 years or more. Compare a dozen reusable menstrual pads to the mountain of tampons or disposables necessary for 5-7 years of use!
Producing cloth pads also requires less resource investment as there is minimal packaging, much lower fossil fuel cost for transportation to buy disposables, and far fewer chemicals and waste produced in their manufacture. Did you know that the plastic used in disposable pads or tampon applicators comes from petroleum? Using cloth menstrual pads is a step in the right direction at a time when our oil supply is causing so many economic problems.
Are reusable menstrual products healthy?
Disposable products may seem healthier at first glance. They look so white and pure. Appearances can be deceiving. You might be surprised to learn that there are many chemicals in those plastic and paper products, and we just don't know what those chemicals do when they are absorbed into our bodies. Those products are in close contact with some of our most sensitive tissues for about 1/4 of our lives during the menstrual years.
In addition to chemicals, tampon users are at risk of toxic shock syndrome (TSS). The risk is much higher with disposable products. This is why they are required to warn you on the label and on the instruction sheet inside the box. Experts agree that TSS illnesses are underreported, despite the fact that all states are required to report all cases.
Despite the bleached white appearance, tampons and pads are not sterile. They are not sterilized - no disposable menstrual products are sterile. Worse, the chemicals used to bleach that paper pulp white can be harmful to us and to the environment.
The FDA does not require disposable menstrual pad users to list the ingredients on the label so you do not know exactly what chemicals are being placed against your sensitive and absorbant tissues for several days each month.
Women have safely used cloth menstrual products for centuries. Women used to make their pads out of rags - thus the term being "on the rag." These days we have slim, reliable, easy to use cloth pads instead of folded rags. Thanks to modern washing machines and detergents, it is easier than ever to keep your cloth pads clean and sanitary. Properly stored and cleaned pads are safe and simple. Really, it is no harder to keep your pads clean than it is to wash your underwear.
Will cloth pads really save money?
Using cloth pads will save you money and time. If you have an average flow, you likely spend about $10-15 a month on disposable menstrual products. You will need from 6-24 reusable menstrual pads in your stash, depending on your flow. Most women use 8-12 cloth pads at a cost of about $120. With proper care, cloth pads will last from 3-7 years or more.
Average cost of 7 years worth of cloth pads: $60-240 dollars
Cost of 7 years of disposables at an average of $10-15 per month: $840-1260
Savings of $720 average for 7 years, or about $100 per year.
Cost of 30 years worth of cloth pads: $240-1,000
Cost of 30 years of disposables: $3,600-5,400
These savings can be much higher if, like me, you have a heavier than average flow or if you use panty liners daily. The savings for incontinence users are often much higher. I don't know about you, but I can think of lots of things I'd rather do with my money!
This information is provided for educational purposes only and is
not a substitute for medical advice. It is important to make your
own informed decisions about anything involving your health.