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.”
Well, let’s not get ahead of ourselves. You can 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.
Finally, there’s a new option on the period scene
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, seamfree, 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.
- 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.
Image via Ruby Love
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.
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. 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. However, even the recent reviews are not super positive, with women complaining about the sizing being off and customer service.
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?||Yes||Yes|
|Male line for incontinence?||Yes||No|
|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 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 superlight, light-moderate, moderate-heavy and heavy-overnight varieties, so you can find underwear with enough, but not too much absorbency.
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.
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Do we recommend Ruby Love or Modibodi?
I’m excited that these two period underwear brands emphasizes 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 Loves slimmed down approach?
- Is price the main factor for you or is our willingness to pay more elastic?
But right now, if I had to choose, Modibodi seems like a slightly better option given the introductory discount and risk-free trial. That said, it might be worth giving both a shot and seeing which suits you more.