Last updated on July 20th, 2021 at 11:55 pm
When it’s time for our periods, we use the same products women have been using since the switch from homemade fabric contraptions to manufactured, disposable absorbent materials. Nothing has changed much over time, apart from endless varieties of tampons, pads and pantyliners and the occasional “wings.”
But very recently, innovation has finally brought some new products to the scene – including menstrual cups and period underwear. As women are finally becoming more open to discussing their period, a new crop of entrepreneurs is stepping up to find better solutions.
I’m going to compare two small companies making period underwear: Ruby Love and Modibodi. If you think about the fabric women used in the past, companies like Ruby Love and Modibodi are taking a tip from their method—but turning it into a new version that modern women are willing to wear. Modern materials and better design go a long way to improve the “period experience.”
We’ll try to help you decide for yourself if you’re up for wearing period panties after you read about all their features in this review. I’ll also break down the pros and cons to help you choose the best brand for you.
But, we’ll start by explaining our experience using period panties.
Period Panties – From a Skeptic to a Convert
At first we didn’t expect to like using period underwear. And while they aren’t as sleek as a normal pair, they can really be a lifesaver. Plus, it hasn’t been a problem throwing them into the wash (and it seems more environmentally friendly vs a pad or tampon). Here are some of the times that we now think they are indispensable:
- When you expect your period to start, but aren’t quite sure when it will happen – period underwear can give you the backup you need. For example, we were driving to Santa Barbara for the weekend… and of course, my period was due to start sooner or later. So I used a pair of my RubyLove’s and didn’t really worry during the drive.
- At night – we think they are a great option if you don’t want to wear a tampon all night.
- As insurance – some days of the month, for me, can be heavy flows; having this as extra protection is GREAT.
What I don’t love is 1) how it’s not super easy to find the right sizing 2) it can feel a bit damp; not uncomfortable, and no worse than wearing a pad, but still 3) they aren’t as sleek as regular underwear; obviously worth it, but still, something to consider.
And right now, I’m a bigger fan of Modibodi – in particular, the heavier flow ones. First of all, because Ruby Love seems to be out of my size a lot (Modibodi did send a few free pairs for this review, so thanks for that! We purchased our own RubyLove period panties to review; no free samples from them, although we’d love some if anyone who works there is reading this!). Secondly, while our experience purchasing their product was 100% fine, we’ve gotten enough people writing into us complaining about Ruby that I’d lean toward Modibodi.
Finally, there’s a new option on the period scene.
Image source: Modibodi
At first, period underwear was sold basically as a backup to the usual arsenal of period products you use month after month. That’s a great idea—special pairs of underwear you can wear during your period without ruining your regular ones, plus extra protection to catch leaks before they end up on your pants/skirt/sheets.
Over time, the design got even better and they were no longer just a backup – women started using them without any other product. Period underwear evolved to absorb the same amount of flow as a certain number of tampons (depending on the variety).
Both Ruby Love and Modibodi sell the type of period underwear that’s meant to be a replacement to tampons or other period products. It’s great as another option in your period supplies and for people who can’t use tampons or menstrual cups, or for women who just want a tampon alternative.
Of course, this underwear could also be used as a backup to prevent leaks, so you could choose to wear it as extra protection along with a tampon or pad, especially on heavy days. And it’s a great thing to give you peace of mind on days when you’re not sure if your period is going to come yet or not, which is one of the main selling points for teens.
Ruby Love and Modibodi each sell a variety of products you can choose from depending on your underwear preferences and how you want to use the products.
- Ruby Love has bikini, hipster and hi-cut styles of underwear. It also sells sleepwear and double-sided fabric pads that can be inserted into the underwear. Ruby Love has different colors and patterns to choose from.
- Modibodi has many more options of underwear styles and features. Its underwear styles include classic, sensual, seam-free, vegan, contour and curvy, and it sells different absorbency levels from super-light to heavy-overnight. It also sells maternity wear. Modibodi has different colors and classic or lace options. Thanks to the company for sending us a couple of pairs to try out for free!
- Both companies sell swimwear and activewear, and both have a teen line. Also, both sell underwear bundles where you buy multiple pieces and save on the price per piece.
Another benefit of period underwear is the health consideration of the materials used. Standard period products in the store often contain questionable plastics and chemical compounds, whereas these feature natural materials and no plastics. Ruby Love uses organic cotton, while Modibodi uses bamboo, sports merino wool and microfiber.
How do Ruby Love and Modibodi products work to stop leakage?
Both Modibodi and Ruby Love’s underwear lines have layers of absorbent material, eliminating the need for pads and tampons. You simply wear the underwear during your period, and feel as free as you would on any old day. Ruby Love also sells a double-sided pad that can connect to the period underwear to provide an extra layer of protection if desired.
Period underwear is reusable so you can wash and wear them again. Its recyclability makes it sustainable for environmentally conscious people (which we all should be these days), plus it gives you cost savings because you could skip or greatly reduce the significant cost of buying period products every month. Modibodi’s site says that the average woman uses 15,000 disposable products for menstruation throughout the course of her life, so period underwear could potentially reduce a lot of waste.
Period underwear has multiple layers. Ruby Love has an absorbent liner beneath an organic cotton layer. On top is dri-tech mesh that helps prevent leaks on the sides, front and back, plus it optionally holds one of the company’s sold-separately double-sided pads. Modibodi has an absorbent layer and a moisture-wicking/bacteria-fighting layer.
In fact, both of these companies’ have customers who appreciate their underwear for more than just menstruation. The underwear is designed to absorb liquid, making it useful for incontinence and excessive sweating.
Do period panties actually work?
If you’re like me, you’re hesitant about the thought of trusting this underwear to get you through the day. Do they really work or will you end up trusting them only to have embarrassing leaks? Full disclosure: I haven’t tried them yet. And I’m really only one opinion anyway. So let’s be more scientific take a broad look at what women on the internet have to say about period panties and Modibodi and Ruby Love.
Modibodi and Ruby Love Reviews
So what are the reviews – do women like these period panties? Paisley Gilmour wrote about her experience with Modibodi for Cosmopolitan. She said she had no leaks when wearing them during the night, to work and even to work out. She even wore them during her heaviest flow with success. That’s a pretty positive experience and review for Modibodi. A lot of other personal experience articles out there show that women seem to have a lot of success with period underwear.
As for these specific brands, Modibodi’s heavy absorbency bikini has 72 percent 5-star reviews and 20 percent 4-star reviews on Amazon. Ruby Love had poor reviews on Trustpilot, where 19 percent said they’re excellent but 72 percent said they’re bad, with complaints about poor fit, the products not working and poor customer service.
But it’s hard to compare online reviews for these companies, because many are for PantyProp, Ruby Love’s slightly different type of underwear before it changed its company.
Ruby Love vs Modibodi: Which one is better?
The following chart breaks down Modibodi vs Ruby Love so you can do a side-by-side comparison of their offerings. You’ll see that the Ruby Love starts at a lower price of $17.99, but doesn’t have a clear introductory offer like Modibodi’s discount on the 1st order and 30-day risk-free trial.
The two companies have different size options for your period panties, so that’s an important consideration. Finally, we lay out the absorbency levels by product in the chart:
Period Underwear Comparison: Ruby Love vs Modibodi
|Price||Starting at $17.99 per pair||Starting at $19 per pair|
|Introductory Offer||None clearly stated||Discount on first order; 30-day risk-free trial|
|Shipping||Free shipping on $45+ orders in U.S.; Discount on international shipping on $45+ orders||Free shipping on $75+ orders in U.S.; Different rates on international shipping depending on region|
|Sizes||Extra-small sizes, regular sizes and plus sizes up to 3x||Extra-small sizes, regular sizes and plus sizes up to 6x|
|For Incontinence too?||✔️||✔️|
|What about for Men?||✔️||✔️|
|Accessories available||Double-sided pads||Wet/dry bag; laundry bag|
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What’s the difference between Ruby Love and Modibodi?
As you can see from the chart, these brands sell very comparable products, and you can get iron-clad period protection from either. They each boast a wide range of styles and sizes, as well as a separate line for teens. Nonetheless, there are some noticeable differences between the two companies’ panties.
You’ll save a small amount on each pair with Ruby Love, but overall the difference is small. Ruby Love also offers free shipping, which may be enough to sway penny pinchers. Although Modibodi limits free shipping to orders above $75, they do offer a discount first orders.
Sizing is another factor that could make a difference. If you need a larger size, Modibodi’s sizes go up to 6x while Ruby Love only goes to 3x. Thus modibodi is the clear choice for the bigger boned. The thing that probably stressed me out the most about ordering period underwear was getting the sizing right. I’d like to offer you advice on how to find the best fit for you, but I really think this is going to come down to your particular body’s shape. You don’t want it too small, so that it will give you the coverage you need – but FOR SURE you don’t want it too big, because if they are too loose, then you’ll get leaks. Thankfully, my orders ended up being the right size for both brands and I really can’t imagine my period without them. And I haven’t had issues with the underwear looking ridiculously bulky under my clothes, although I’m also not wearing anything too crazy. But you can probably put these under most normal clothes and not really have to think about it – which is kind of the point, right?
The other main difference is absorbency. Ruby Love’s protection is as strong as 2-3 tampons with any type of underwear you choose, which is convenient. Modibodi allows you to choose from super-light, light-moderate, moderate-heavy and heavy-overnight varieties, so you can find underwear with enough, but not too much absorbency. In the pairs of period underwear that we purchased from RubyLove, there is also a little “pocket” where you can put an additional pad. We’ve never had to use this, but it is an interesting option if you are worried about a really heavy day.
What do they look like?
Ruby Love Swimwear and Modibodi Swimwear
I know, I know, this is an article on period panties – but it turns out that both Ruby Love and Modibodi have period swimwear (or period proof, depending on how you want to phrase it…) But what’s the difference between each companies’ swimsuits? Turns out – quite a bit!
Both companies offer one pieces, swim bottoms and bikini sets. But the selection and pricing are quite different. Modibodi’s swimwear pretty much only comes in black or navy – and is advertised as being for light to moderate flow days. On the plus side, the pricing is a lot more affordable, with the cost of the one piece coming in under $80, and sometimes on sale for a lot less. Ruby Love’s swimwear set is pretty extensive – there are many different patterns, colors and they even have off the shoulder, one shoulder and period skin suits! On the other hand, the prices are a lot higher – we’ve seem them on sale from $79 to $150+. Both companies also have packs of bottoms. We haven’t tried either’s swim sets yet. Let us know if you try them!
Is Modibodi any good?
As you can see from the picture of the panty that Modibodi mailed to us, it’s well made underwear. And the absorbent cloth inside should help you deal with your period with less mess. And they are particularly great for sleeping in, especially during the times of the month when the flow is less strong.
As we said earlier, we preferred the heavier flow versions for a couple of reasons. First, the way the pad ends for the moderate flow version isn’t as comfortable to sit on as the heavy. Secondly, we think the heavier ones actually look better under your clothes.
We really love these now, and surprisingly couldn’t imagine NOT having them. We definitely recommend you try period panties if you haven’t yet.
A quick note on Ruby Love’s history
Ruby Love used to be called PantyProp, and rebranded in June of 2019. The company rebranded at about the same time that it raised a big amount of venture capital funding, and said it was going to use the capital invest in brand expansion, product development and brand-campaigns. So if you see reviews for PantyProp, that is the former incarnation of Ruby Love.
We’ve seen some pretty negative reviews of their customers service. When we ordered our period panties from them, we had no problems – the correct sizes showed up in our mailbox the same week.
We also thought that our fit and the protection that they offered were good, so we don’t have any complaints. However, you should scroll down to see some of the issues other women are mentioning; there is a comment section at the end of this review.
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The Verdict: Do we recommend Ruby Love or Modibodi period panties?
I’m excited that these two period underwear brands emphasize protection and think each is very appealing, whether for use regularly or just for emergency backup. Both promise a better experience for teenage girls and women alike, but which do we ultimately recommend?
Ruby Love has features designed to provide extra protection for leaks. Their offering is simple and almost one-size fits all. You can attach a pad for extra protection on the heaviest flow days, but ultimately aren’t overwhelmed with choice or modifications.
Modibodi gets points for promoting body positivity by featuring models in a broad range of shapes and sizes. Also, they sell a much larger variety of period panties than Ruby Love, and are more transparent about the specific fabrics used for each underwear selection. While Ruby Love panties are made of ambiguous materials like “interlock twist yarn blend” and “dri-tech mesh”, Modibodi’s underwear are arguably more wholesome: bamboo, Merino wool, polyester, nylon and Spandex.
Although you can’t really go wrong, the important questions that only you can answer are:
- Do you like the styles of one over the other?
- Do you like Modibodi’s wide variety, or Ruby Love’s slimmed down approach?
- Is price the main factor for you or is our willingness to pay more elastic?
Right now, if I had to choose, Modibodi is the way I’d go. We like the discount and risk-free trial. Plus, we found them to have a greater selection of sizes in stock. And we have had a number of people write in and complain about RubyLove, and like us, everyone seems to be happy with their Modibodi experience.