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.
In this article, 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 are poised to improve the “period experience.”
Well, let’s not get ahead of ourselves. You can decide if you’re up to 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 see if one company’s a better fit for you over the other.
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 you buy in the store often include questionable plastics and chemicals, whereas these pairs of underwear 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?
Both Modibodi and Ruby Love’s underwear lines have layers of absorbent material, so the other products–like pads and tampons– aren’t needed. 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 you want it.
Period underwear is reusable so you can wash them and wear them again. This feature makes them 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.
Both companies also sell their underwear for the separate purpose of incontinence. The underwear is designed to absorb liquid, making it useful as an incontinence solution. Ruby Love and Modibodi also have activewear products that can help with sweating.
Do they 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:
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As you can see from the chart, these brands have comparable products, so you could get similar period protection from either one. They both have a range of styles and sizes, and they both make teen lines.
Nonetheless, there are some noticeable differences between the two companies’ period panties that might make one stand out over the other for you personally.
Ruby Love will save you a small amount of money per pair, yet the difference isn’t so drastic that it’s necessarily a deal breaker if you’re interested in Modibodi. At the same time, you’ll also get free shipping from a lower-priced order with Ruby Love, so that might swing the pendulum in Ruby Love’s favor if cost is your main consideration. But also keep in mind that Modibodi gives a discount on your first order of period panties.
Sizing is a 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.
The other main difference is the absorbency. With Ruby Love, you’ll get the same protection as 2 to 3 tampons with any type of underwear you choose, which is convenient. With Modibodi, you choose from superlight, light-moderate, moderate-heavy and heavy-overnight varieties.
Some people might find it nice to have different varieties, but for others like me, it actually seems like more of a hassle to buy separate options for each type of flow and to figure out which one’s which when you’re trying to find a pair to put on. Again, this feature comes down to your personal preferences and flow.
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 I recommend Ruby Love or Modibodi?
I’m excited about period underwear as a new type of period protection and think it’s a great option whether you use it by itself or as backup. It could definitely make life better for teen girls and women on periods. Either one of these companies will give these benefits, and it’s wonderful to see Ruby Love and Modibodi innovating to help women have better lives. But which do I recommend after doing the research?
Ruby Love has features designed to provide extra protection for leaks. Also, it could be seen as a positive that you could wear the same pair for different flows, instead of getting a pair for a light flow, a pair for a moderate flow and a pair for a heavy flow like with Modibodi. You can also attach a pad for extra protection on the heaviest flow days, which might be the company’s biggest positive.
I like that Modibodi’s brand promotes body positivity with models in a broad range of shapes and sizes. Also, this company has a lot more options. Modibodi gives more information on the specific fabrics used for each underwear selection, whereas Ruby Love includes some uncertainty through terms like “interlock twist yarn blend” and “dri-tech mesh” in addition to the fabrics you know like cotton and Spandex. Compare that to the recognizable names on a pair of Modibodi underwear. These include a mixture of bamboo, Merino wool, polyester, nylon and Spandex.
Overall, I think this is a personal choice. Do you like the styles and choices of one over the other? Is price the main factor for you? Either way, you get a great new option in your period product arsenal.
But right now, given the introductory offer and risk-free trial, Modibodi seems like a slightly better option.