For light flow days or extra coverage, a panty liner is a thin pad that’ll protect your underwear from stains and leaks. Most panty liners are disposable but there’s a growing market for eco-friendly ones that can be washed and reused.
All panty liners offer a light absorbency level, but there is some variation between them. If you’re looking for a liner that offers extra protection, opt for one with wider coverage such as Always Xtra Protection Regular Daily Liners.
Panty liners are ultrathin pads that offer either light or very light absorbency. Panty liners are designed to wear inside the crotch of underwear to absorb vaginal discharge or light menstrual flow or spotting. Some consumers use panty liners to protect against urine leakage. Wider and thicker panty liners provide extra security, though not as much as a regular menstrual or bladder control pad.
Panty liners come in a variety of lengths. “Extra long” liners are typically 8 inches in length. “Long” liners average 6–7 inches in length. “Regular” liners are generally 5–6 inches long. The longer the liner, the more coverage it’ll offer. Many consumers find that regular liners offer enough coverage for their needs and prefer their barely-there feel.
The cheapest panty liners are disposable and made from synthetic materials, like polyester and rayon and cellulose. More users are opting for panty liners made from 100% cotton. Washable panty liners, which have snaps instead of sticky adhesive to secure them to underwear, are made of natural, eco-friendly fibers such as hemp, cotton or bamboo. You can also find reusable panty liners made from cheaper synthetic materials.
Most panty liners have a pad-like shape designed to fit into the gusset of women’s bikini underwear. You want a panty liner that will fit the entire width of the crotch section of underwear, and you may need a wider or narrower liner to do so. For instance, brief-style underwear requires a wider liner. For thong underwear, select a thong-shaped panty liner, which select brands offer to fit into the narrower gusset of thongs.
Some panty liners are scented with fragrance intended to keep you smelling fresh. Others offer odor neutralizing features. However, these masking fragrances are synthetic chemicals that can irritate the vulvar region and cause redness, itchiness and even increase your risk of yeast infections. Many panty liners are available unscented, which means they contain no synthetic fragrance or scent at all. Select an unscented liner if you’re sensitive to fragrance or chemicals or if you’re prone to yeast infections.
While wings are a feature you’re more likely to find on menstrual pads, some disposable liners also feature wings. Thong panty liners always feature wings with sticky adhesives to help secure the liner to the narrow strip of fabric. All reusable liners feature wings with snap closures to keep the liner in place (in lieu of sticky adhesive).
If you’re opting for a cotton panty liner, you may also want to consider an organic one. This means that no chemical pesticides, herbicides or fertilizers were used on the cotton crop. While this may add a few bucks to the price tag, many health-conscious consumers find it worth it because of the potential health risks of agrochemical exposure.
Panty liners range in price from $0.04–$0.24 per liner. Purchasing liners in bulk will lower the per-liner cost.
A. You can as long as you change the liner every three to four hours, or when it becomes excessively moist. You may want to check with your ob-gyn to see if there is a serious underlying cause for your frequent need for liners.
A. You may see the “chlorine free” designation in addition to an organic label on some panty liners. This means that the cotton liner has not been bleached with chlorine, which is a chemical with a byproduct dumped into waterways. For a completely nontoxic panty liner that’s good for you and the environment, opt for both an organic and chlorine-free one.
What you need to know: This thin panty liner keeps you dry and features extra coverage.
What you’ll love: This panty liner is 25% wider than regular liners, giving you more coverage without feeling bulky. The sticky adhesive runs edge-to-edge so this liner stays in place and won’t bunch. A special LeakGuard core wicks moisture away from your body.
What you should consider: The ultra-thin liners aren’t absorbent enough for some consumers.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
What you need to know: Carefree’s scented liner will keep you smelling fresh all day while you’re on the go.
What you’ll love: The individually wrapped liners can be discreetly slipped into a purse or pocket. The fresh scent offers eight-hour odor control. The liner is flexible and won’t bunch, which is ideal for wearers with active lifestyles.
What you should consider: The sticky adhesive doesn’t go from edge-to-edge. The added fragrance can cause itching for some.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
What you need to know: This long panty liner is made from organic cotton and doesn’t contain fragrance.
What you’ll love: On the more affordable side of organic menstrual products, these organic cotton liners are chlorine free. The liners are individually wrapped for sanitary on-the-go protection. The long length provides extra coverage while being flexible and comfortable to wear.
What you should consider: These liners can come unstuck and bunch up.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
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Ana Sanchez writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.