Modibodi review: period proof underwear + period swimwear.

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June 2021 update: this Modibodi review is the most popular post on my blog! This makes me very happy as I put a lot of work into it, and I’ve been using Modibodi since 2017 so I’m very experienced with them and still absolutely recommend their products. And I love love love that they’re using recycled materials in their range now!

Read on for the answers to all of your questions about period proof underwear and swimwear, in probably the most comprehensive review you’ll find online.

One of the first blog posts I ever wrote was about more sustainable and healthy ways to have a period. There are many reusable period products now, but my favourite is period proof underwear. They’re much more environmentally-friendly than disposable pads or tampons, and I find them more comfortable than menstrual cups and reusable pads.

I’m also an advocate for period proof swimwear now that they’re an option! I’ve given up using my cup completely since swimwear for menstruation became a thing. I never liked it much, and very pleased that there are more waste-free and healthy alternatives available now.

Me in Modibodi brushing my hair.

Just getting ready in our real-life bathroom, wearing my Modibodi period underwear.

Here I’ll answer all of your questions about period panties and period swimwear, with this detailed review from my experiences with the brand Modibodi. I know there are many period underwear brands available now and ones like Thinx and Ruby Love and also popular, but as I have only used Modibodi personally, they’re all I can comment about. Thankfully for me, they’re also awesome, so I haven’t had to shop around!

Modibodi sent me some of their period swimwear in return for my honest review. Below are all my own thoughts and my own words: I do not publish pre-written text or other people’s ideas, or seek approval from anyone before publishing.

Contents

Modibodi review #1:
leakproof period underwear reviewed

So I’ve been using menstrual cycle underwear from Modibodi for over four years now, both at home and while travelling overseas, and I’ve never been more confident having my period. They’re really easy to travel with, simple to care for, and I find them much more comfortable and easy to use than menstrual cups.

I recommend Modibodi in my Ultimate Sustainable Gift Guide too, along with many other ideas for gifts that reduce waste and are made ethically. Read on for how and why they’re so awesome, and check out the gift guide if you’re in need of some eco-friendly and socially-responsible inspiration!

How do period panties work? 

I believe all brands have the same idea, which is combining a reusable pad with knickers/panties to make them leak proof underwear. However, from my experience with several brands of washable menstrual pads, period briefs are really, definitely, SO MUCH more comfortable!

Modibodi have several different absorbencies, and they all have a moisture-wicking top layer, an absorbent middle layer, and a waterproof bottom layer which provides the leak-proof protection.

In over four years of using Modibodi for every one of my menstrual cycles, I have NEVER had a leak, so I can verify that they do their job well.

Can they be used for other reasons?

Yes, Modibodi’s period knickers are useful for bladder leaks, discharge, and as a back-up for other menstrual items like cups or tampons. Modibodi is an approved supplier in most Australian states for the NDIS, too.

If you need the underwear for leakage from other products, Modibodi are a safe and comfortable option. Some women who have very heavy flows like to use them this way and feel protected and safe from leaks.

What do they feel like?

Most of the absorbencies feel exactly the same as regular underwear. The heavy flow ones feel a bit more padded, but not as noticeably as reusable or even disposable pads. They are also soft and smooth, unlike disposable pads. And they’re more comfortable than they used to be, with flatter seams now too.

My old Modibodi heavy absorbency.

One of my first pairs of heavy absorbency Modibodi underwear. The absorbent layer is attached at the front and back but not the sides, and they’re comfortable to wear but the newer version is better. They’re still in great condition after more than 50 periods though!

My newer pair of heavy absorbency Modibodi.

My more recent pair of Modibodi heavy period undies. The sides are fully stitched now, and they’re even more comfortable.

Some women—including me!—felt a bit strange to free-bleed into underwear the first time. Especially if you’re used to tampons or menstrual cups, it definitely feels different. Now, I like the freedom of not having to be plugged up. To me, it feels more natural, but I understand that others find that cups or tampons feel safer.

Do you need to change reusable menstrual underwear throughout the day?

Not like a pad, no. On my heaviest days I use the heavy absorbency, and they last me all day or overnight. I do like to have a quick shower before changing into another pair after waking or after a whole day of heavy flow.

Modibodi’s heavy absorbency holds 20ml of fluid, which is equivalent to three-four tampons or four teaspoons. It doesn’t sound like much, but it has always been enough for me for a whole day or whole night throughout my heavy days. I have never changed mine in the middle of the day, or even wished I could.

Photo of four teaspoons

Four teaspoons of blood is an average heavy flow.

However, if you have a very heavy flow you might prefer Modibodi’s new 24 hour absorbency range, which holds up to 50ml or 10 teaspoons! These are also perfect for long travel days, and more frequent incontinence.

Do they get sticky on the top like a pad does?

Thankfully, no! The top layer wicks away fluids and keeps you feeling dry. If a particular area gets quite full after wearing them all day, you might start to notice a bit of fluid on the top, but they still don’t feel gross at that point like many pads do.

Do they smell? Even after wearing them all day?

No! The moisture-wicking layer fights bacteria with a non-toxic antimicrobial. I was concerned about that too, especially as pads do smell after awhile. But I’m happy to report that they really are sanitary underwear!

After a whole day of wearing Modibodi during a heavy flow, you will notice some blood when you take them off. But they do a great job of containing all odours, as well as containing fluids and perspiration.

Is period underwear very messy?

Not really, no. They don’t leak or get blood throughout your washing (I’ll explain how to care for them next). But you do have to rinse them by hand and touch some blood, as with all reusable menstrual products. Only with disposables are you able to not touch blood at all, but of course they have many other drawbacks for the environment and your health.

Menstruating is a natural bodily function, and it’s not disgusting or wrong to wash away your blood. Some people like to be able to see how much blood they are releasing, and I’ve found that I understand more about my cycle since using the underwear. But if you have haemophobia or a very high fear of blood, perhaps they’re not for you.

Do absorbent panties get stained?

None of mine have, after constant use for over four years. All absorbencies except for the moisture-wicking ones have a black layer in the gusset, regardless of the underwear colour. None of them have faded or and there are no stains on mine, even the heavy ones.

The inserts of some of my Modibodi colllection.

The inserts of some of my Modibodi collection. Yes, it feels a bit strange to be showing you inside the underwear I’ve been wearing for years!

How do you wash reusable period underwear?

It’s quite easy, you rinse them with cold water after use, and then wash them just like any underwear. Modibodi recommends washing in cold water, in a delicates bag. Never use fabric softener with them, and hang them on the line to dry whenever possible.

I usually rinse mine in the shower as it’s warming up, then throw them in the washing machine with my usual laundry. As all of the styles contain some polyester, I wash mine in this Microfibre Laundry Bag.

Do Modibodi period briefs shed microfibers?

Yes they do, as do all textiles that contain synthetic fibres. I recommend using a Microfibre Laundry Bag for washing them, to avoid microfibers entering waterways. And I still believe that they are better for the environment than disposable pads and tampons.

What fabric are Modibodi’s period underpants made from? Are they vegan?

There are several materials used, and a vegan range is available. Modibodi’s swimwear and active leggings are vegan, in addition to a range of bikini underwear.

  • Vegan:
    Outer – Bamboo/Spandex, Liner – Polyester Spandex & Polyester, Trim – Polyester & Nylon
  • Classic and Sensual:
    Outer – Bamboo & Spandex, Liner –  Merino, Spandex & Polyester (only Merino in Moisture-Wicking style), Trim – Polyester & Nylon
  • Seamfree:
    Outer – Polyamide Elastane, Liner – Merino, Spandex & Polyester (only Merino in Moisture-wicking style), Trim – Polyurethane
  • Contour:
    Outer – Polyester Spandex/Polyester, Liner – Merino, Spandex & Polyester, Trim – Polyester & Nylon
  • Maternity briefs:
    Outer – Bamboo & Spandex, Liner – Merino, Spandex & Polyester, Trim – Bamboo & Spandex
  • Activewear briefs:
    Outer – Merino Wool, Liner – Merino, Spandex & Polyester (Marino only in Moisture-wicking style), Trim – Polyester & Nylon
  • Recycled full brief and recycled seamfree bikini:
    Outer – 73% Recycled Nylon 27% Spandex, Gusset – Merino Wool, Polyester, Polyamide

How do you travel with period absorbing underwear?

I found it simpler than travelling with my menstrual cup. All I did was rinse the underwear after using them, and the kept the rinsed pairs in my wet bag until I had the chance to do laundry. They dry fairly quickly and aren’t as obvious as reusable pads on the clothesline too!

The lighter-flow options are fantastic for days when you think you might start your cycle, or if it seems finished but you’re not quite sure. And the moisture-wicking styles are handy for travel to hot and humid places if you worry about perspiration and odours.

During travel, I was especially glad to have leakproof panties. Sometimes a travel journey takes a lot longer than expected, and I always seemed to be in transit during my cycle.

I’ve worn them in a remote village in Northern Thailand for trekking to see elephants in the forest, and I’ve used them while volunteering to help sea turtles on Tioman Island too. I’ve worn them on road trips in Australia and tuk-tuks in Siem Reap, as well as buses, planes, and trains!

With Modibodi I always felt comfortable anywhere we were, and knew I was safe from leaks or an early-arriving period. This is on one of those journeys!

Do they make plus size period panties? 

Yes, Modibodi’s range goes up to 6XL or size 26. They also have suggestions for curvy physiques on their website.

Is their sizing accurate?

I have found all pairs I have tried to fit true-to-size, and have bought several different styles now: I have some sensual high-waist, boyleg, classic bikini and seamfree bikinis. The styles I haven’t tried are the new x-brief, or the maternity range, French cut, thong, and the classic full brief, but it’s safe to assume their sizing would also be true.

The seamfree styles feel firm at first, as they’re tighter before being worn. But even from the first wear they start to stretch to normal size, and they don’t keep stretching beyond their advertised size. I assure you that they’re comfortable, quicky!

My Modibodi seamfree bikini sits flat for no VPL!
My Modibodi seamfree bikini sits flat for no VPL!

Do they make underwear for your period for teens and tweens?

Yes, there is a range of period panties for girls now too. Adult underwear sizes go down to size 2 or 4XS, which is the equivalent of girl’s size 8-10. And Modibodi also has underwear specifically for youth called Red, which has some bright and funky boyshorts and bikini styles in girls sizes 8-16 or XS to L.

Can I return my Modibodi underwear if I’m not happy with them?

Modibodi offers a 60-day trial for first-time customers. That means you can wear a pair of menstrual underwear during two of your cycles, and if you aren’t happy with it, you can return it for a refund (minus shipping costs). This doesn’t apply to purchases made through external suppliers.

You can also request a refund, credit or exchange on fully-priced, unworn items. They must have the hygiene sticker intact and be in their original packaging. Bundle packs are not included as they’re already discounted. See more info on their returns policy webpage.

How long will my period proof panties last? Are they cost-effective?

Modibodi says they will last up to two years with good care, but in my experience, they will last even longer. I wore my original light absorbency and moisture-wicking panties for three years before I retired them, and they were in constant rotation each month.

I still wear some of original heavy underwear from 2017! As I only use them during my cycle and each pair only gets worm once a month, they have great longevity.

Me wearing Modibodi outside.
A pair of my Modibodi that were two and a half years old. They had lost a little elasticity but were still very wearable.

Modibodi are certainly cost-effective when you compare many years of wear with two boxes of tampons or pads for every period. Like all reusable products, they cost more initially, but over the long run, they’re far cheaper than their disposable counterparts.

What countries is Modibodi available in?

Modibodi is an Australian brand that can be shipped to many different countries from five depos around the world. As shipping comes at a cost, I suggest purchasing with other girls or women in your life to reduce the financial and environmental burden.

  • Period underwear Australia:
    Free shipping for orders over AU$100.
  • Period underwear New Zealand:
    Free shipping for orders over NZ$100.
  • Period underwear other Oceania:
    Modibodi Australia ships to the Cook Islands, Fiji, Solomon Islands, Samoa, Tahiti and Vanuatu.
  • Period underwear Asia, Canada and the Americas:
    Free shipping within the US for orders over US$75, flat rate shipping of $10 to Canada plus taxes and duties.
    Modibodi USA also ships to: Mexico, Bangladesh, Brunei, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Macao, Malaysia, The Phillipines, South Korea, Singapore, Sri Lanka, and Taiwan. All prices are in USD.
  • Period underwear UK and Northern Ireland:
    Modibodi UK ships within the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland only.
  • Period underwear Europe and Republic of Ireland:
    Modibodi EU ships to: Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Denmark, England, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Poland, Scotland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and Wales.

Is Modibodi socially responsible?

Modibodi also has their own Give a Pair program, which helps customers donate menstrual underwear to women in need across Australia.

They also offer a student discount to anyone registered with Student Beans, and they are registered with the NDIS in Australia to help people with a disability access leakproof support.

Where to buy Modibodi underwear?

Modibodi is available online and in a few selected stores. Please note that their 60-day risk-free trial only applies to order made through Modibodi’s own stores.

Is a Modibodi discount code available?

Yes! You automatically get a 10% discount off your first order with Modibodi, and if you know what you like already you can get discounts on multiple-purchase orders with their Mix & Match offer: 5% off for 5, 10% off for 7, and 15% off for 10 or more!

Occasionally Modibodi has bigger sales too: sign up for their email newsletters to stay in the loop.  I also notify my followers on social media when Modibodi is having a big sale so follow me @smallfootprintsbigadventures.

Pin this post for later:
Modibodi reviewed! Everything you want to ask about menstrual underwear/ period proof panties is answered here! I have tested mine well and provide detailed info and photos. #menstruation #periodproof #leakproof #panties #underwear #knickers #sustainable #reusable

Modibodi review #2:
leakproof period swimwear review

I began using Modibodi’s menstrual swimwear in 2019, and it’s still amazing to me that bathing suits can be period-proof! Modibodi’s menstrual underwear is definitely not for swimming in, but their swim technology is.

I tested them while on my cycle in the bath first, so I could move about in private and really see what was happening. I’ve also worn them in public and had no issues at all, so am confident in reviewing them for you. I’ll try to answer all of your questions about period swimwear now.

Emma sitting on beach in Modibodi bikini
Chilling in the first bikini I’ve worn for a very long time!

Can you go swimming on your period without a tampon?

Yes, you can use a menstrual cup or sea sponge, and now you can use period-proof swimwear too.

Modibodi’s swimwear is not designed to be used alone on heavy period days, but can be used on light-moderate days, and as a back-up to other menstrual options.

How does a period proof bathing suit work?

Modibodi’s swimwear uses their own Modifier Swim Technology, for which the details are a trade secret. I can tell you that gusset has a top layer which stops odours and fights bacteria, and the bottom layer is extra waterproof protection via water-repellent fabric.

The inside of my Modibodi bikini.
The inside of my Modibodi bikini.

Can they be used for other reasons?

Yes, Modibodi’s swim range is also suitable for discharge, light bladder leaks and spotting.

What do they feel like? Is it like wearing a menstrual pad for swimming?

No, not at all. The swimwear feels and looks just like normal bathers. There is no bulkiness or padding (except in the cups if you want padding there).

I find my Modibodi bikini to be very comfortable, and it fits well with no need to continually adjust it. I personally dislike halter-neck tops so was glad to see that both the bikini and one-piece bathing suit had proper straps.

And I haven’t worn bikini-style bathing bottoms for many years, as I really hate them riding up my bum! But these have good butt-coverage and don’t move around as I swim. They’re not high-cut around legs either, but the bikini is quite low around the tummy.

Modibodi also has a new swimwear range — made from recycled fibres, yay!! — that includes a hi- waist bikini brief, so if that’s more your style than low-riders or a one-piece, you’re in luck!

Emma wearing Modibodi bikini
My bikini is very comfortable to wear, and never exposes any areas by surprise!

Do you need to change leak proof swimwear while at the beach or the pool?

No. Modibodi’s swimwear is equivalent to two tampons, or 10ml/two teaspoons of fluid. That is why they’re only for light to moderate period days, so for heavier days it’s recommended to use another product as well.

I actually tested mine in the bath on a heavy flow day and had no leaks, and I see some other women also say their absorbency is greater than the recommendations. But Modibodi makes no guarantees for flows above ‘moderate’.

Do period panties for swimming smell?

Modibodi’s do not smell at all, due to the top layer which fights bacteria and odours. I’m not sure how exactly, but there was no smell coming from mine after they had been used.

I even – ahem – tested several functions while in the bath for you, and am happy to report that no odours were detectable! (the things I do for you guys!!)

Are swimwear for periods messy?

Just like menstrual underwear, they contain bodily fluids until you’re ready to wash them. There are no leaks or mess, but you have to rinse them in cold water after use.

Do period bathing suits get stained?

Nope, Modibodi’s are stain-resistant as well as odour-resistant. Both styles are black with black gussets.

The gusset of my Modibodi bikini.
The gusset of my Modibodi bikini.

How do you wash reusable period swimwear?

After use, rinse them with cold water, and then add to the cold wash cycle in a delicates bag, or wash by hand with mild detergent and line dry. Never use fabric softener with them.

As all of the styles contain some polyester, I wash mine in a Microfibre Laundry Bag.

Do Modibodi’s period bathers shed microfibers?

Yes, like all swimwear made from synthetic fibre does. I wash mine in a Microfibre Laundry Bag.

What fabric are Modibodi’s period swimmers made from? Are they vegan?

Yes, they are vegan! The regular bikini and the one-piece are comprised of:
Outer — Polyamide Lycra, Lining — Polyester, Trims — Polyester & Nylon.

The new hi-waist bikini is made from:
Outer – 78% Polyamide 22% Elastane, Lining – 84% Polyamide 16% Elastane, Gusset – 84% Polyamide 16% Elastane

Do Modibodi’s waterproof swimwear for periods have sun protection?

Yes, both the bikini and the one-piece swimsuit are rated UPF50+. You’ll still need a to cover up with a hat, rashie and/or quality sunscreen for full protection though! We choose reef-friendly, palm oil-free sunscreen that is made from natural ingredients.

Do they make plus size period swimmers?

Yep, Modibodi’s swim collection goes up to 3XL or size 20.

Do they make menstrual bathers for teens and tweens?

Yes, Modibodi’s swim collection starts at girls size 12-14, equivalent to ladies size 2XS/6.

Is their sizing accurate?

My bikini is accurate and fits well. Happily I have not experienced any riding up from my period swim bottoms! And my bikini top is comfortable and includes removable padding in the cups.

Emma wearing Modibodi bikini while walking.
My swimwear bottoms cover my butt well and do not ride up while moving around.

Can I just buy period bathing suit bottoms?

Yes, you can! Modibodi has the bikini bottoms for sale separately now. They’re great to match with your rashie or favourite swimming top, or even for wearing underneath other swimwear if you like.

Can I return my period swimsuit if I’m not happy with it?

Yes, if you’re a new customer to Modibodi, swimwear does qualify for the 60-day refund. So if you use them for two menstrual cycles and you’re not happy with their performance, you can get a full refund (minus the shipping cost).

Where to buy Modibodi period swimwear?

Modibodi is available online and in a few selected stores.

Is a Modibodi discount code available?

Yes! You automatically get a 10% discount off your first order with Modibodi.

Occasionally Modibodi has bigger sales too: sign up for email newsletters to stay in the loop.  I also notify my followers on social media when Modibodi is having a big sale so follow me @smallfootprintsbigadventures.

Final thoughts

I hope that’s answered all of your questions about menstrual underwear and period swimwear! I’m really happy with mine and glad there are such great options available for waste-free periods now.

If you have any further queries you can ask in the comment section below, or send me an email and I’d be happy to help.

Please don’t comment about my body though, negatively or positively. This is about the swimwear and panties, not how I look. They are suitable for all shapes and sizes, and I am trying to accept my body as it is and be ok with wearing so little in a very public way.

Less talk about appearance and more talk about new technology and sustainable solutions is what we all need!

Here are some of my other sustainable lifestyle posts:

Pin this post for later: 

Modibodi reviewed! Everything you want to ask about menstrual swimwear/ period proof bathers is answered here! I have tested mine well and provide detailed info and photos. #menstruation #periodproof #leakproof #bathingsuit #swimwear #sustainable #reusable
Modibodi reviewed! Everything you want to ask about menstrual underwear/ period proof panties and swimwear is answered here! I have tested mine well and provide detailed info and photos. #menstruation #periodproof #leakproof #panties #underwear #knickers #sustainable #reusable #swimwear

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6 Responses

  1. I can’t believe someone did not come up with period proof underwear sooner and I sincerely hope they will become an environmental game changer for women. I am pleased they can also be used for light bladder weakness 😉
    A brilliant post to add to #GoingGreen – offto share it widely now! Thank you.

    • Emma says:

      Thanks Rosie! I think they will be a game changer, as they’re just so easy and comfy. I figure why wash pads AND underwear if you can just deal with one (more comfortable) product?

  2. Marla says:

    Hi Emma,
    This is great. It is about time someone came up with period underwear. You did a good review on them and very thorough with your information. Thanks for such a good article. Congratulations on being featured on Going Green LInky.

    • Emma says:

      Thanks Marla! Yes, it is amazing that they hadn’t been invented earlier!! We’re lucky to have them and other zero-waste options now.

  3. Sarah says:

    Thank you for your review, especially the Modibodi Swim.
    I was looking for some reviews on that item, and now I just pre-order the bikini bottom ^^