Best Panty Liners
Those with sensitive skin may find what they’re looking for in the TOM Organic Ultra Thin Day Panty Liners - they’re comfortable, gentle on your privates, and offer up help on days when you have a light flow.
Gentle on sensitive skin
- Value for Money2.6 (8)
- Causes Irritation Yes (2) · No (4)
As Carefree's thinnest panty liners (even having an option for G-strings) reviewers often pin their hopes of invisibility and comfort on these liners.
Ultra thin design
Usually felt inconspicuous
Glue is not sticky enough
- Value for Money5.0 (2)
- Causes Irritation Yes (0) · No (2)
The Carefree Breathable Liners have a drop absorbency rating of 2 out of 3, which Carefree states makes them suitable for light discharge and active lifestyles.
- Value for Money1.2 (5)
- Causes Irritation Yes (3) · No (2)
Carefree’s range of Original Liners offers the maximum available level of absorbency for discharge and spotting. It’s also the second longest liner range made by Carefree, given you wider coverage on your undies.
Latest review: It sticks to me as well and I get a really bad reaction to it, I’ve bought these before and I don’t think they used to be like that, never buying aga
Latest review: I have used these patyliners happily for years, but recently the type of glue has changed. My complaint is that they are very difficult to unwrap. You have to rip the wrapping off rather than just
Latest review: I obviously have too much time on my hands, but I have discovered an error in Odd Spot 258. The sentence (the quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog) does not include every letter of the alphabet.
Latest review: Too thin, I put another one on top of the first one to make it thicker which I still wasn’t comfortable with. It’s great if you’re looking for something thin however, it doesn’t absorb so you might
Latest review: These liners don't really stay stuck where they should. They bunch up and twist around and by the end of the day they are just plain uncomfortable. They are not scented, but that's no big deal, I
Latest review: Dear Tena, I'm breaking up with you. over the years you were a reliable friend, but recently you've changed. I don't know why but now you're a screw up and you wont stick around like I need you
Latest review: Not a great product for me because of the above problems, mainly because the cotton started falling apart into little stringy bits, which I didnt like at all. I wouldnt buy these again because they
What are panty liners for?
Panty liners are thin, absorbent pieces of material placed inside underwear. They’re similar to sanitary napkins, but are thinner and smaller.
Since they’re designed for everyday use, they’re made to mould to underwear and the shape of your body as seamlessly as possible, in order to be as comfortable as possible.
There are several uses of a panty liner, depending on who is using them.
What panty liners are good at absorbing
- Light vaginal discharge
- Spotting that occurs in the days before and after your period
- Discharge released after sex
- A back-up for extra protection when wearing a tampon, especially on heavy flow days.
- Urinary incontinence (there are specially-made panty liners for this purpose)
- Light postpartum flow, also known as lochia, which often occurs in the weeks and months after giving birth.
What panty liners aren’t good for
- Wearing on your period. They’re not absorbent enough for the days that you have a steady flow, and for this you need dedicated , instead.
- Wearing overnight or for continuous periods over 4 hours. Panty liners need to be changed at regular intervals, otherwise they can create the conditions for bacterial infections.
Is it OK to wear a panty liner every day?
While most panty liners are marketed as being safe to be worn daily, this may lead to a few uncomfortable situations. Here are a few reasons why.
Increased risk of infections
Wearing a panty liner creates a warm, moist environment down there. This added heat and moisture disrupts your vagina's natural pH balance, allowing bacteria to thrive and overgrow.
This creates the perfect conditions for a vaginal yeast infection, also known as thrush, which can cause itching and burning sensations. Other bacterial infections are also possible.
Some disposable panty liners are made with harsh chemicals, which are put in to enhance absorbency or to create fragrances for scented panty liners. These include polyolefins, pesticides, plastics, and even bleach - which gives disposable panty liners their pristine white colour. Your skin may absorb these chemicals, which can cause irritation or an allergic reaction in a sensitive area.
However, some people who do wear a panty liner everyday may not experience any unpleasant situations. This is the ideal situation, but may take a bit of trial and error to find the perfect liner that works for you.
Wearing a panty liner that’s natural and breathable, like an organic panty liner, may help to avoid some of these problems caused by daily use of panty liners.
Types of Panty Liners
Disposable Panty Liners
These are designed to be thrown away after one-time use. They have a soft upper layer that touches your skin, and an adhesive on the back that sticks to your underwear.
- A convenient option when you're out in public, as you can use and dispose of them in sanitary bins and be done with it.
- An ongoing expense compared to reusable panty liners.
- Often made using synthetic materials and chemicals that can irritate your privates.
- Natural, organic disposable panty liners are more expensive than resuable cloth panty liners.
Reusable Panty Liners
Reusable liners are made with a breathable natural material like cotton or bamboo. They’re made to be washed regularly so you can re-use them.
- More breathable than disposable liners, due to a more natural blend. This prevents the sweating and bacterial infections caused by synthetic materials.
- More comfortable and soft on skin than disposable liners.
- An eco-friendly option, as you’re not contributing to landfill. Certified organic materials are also free of chemicals and pesticides.
- Sit securely on your underwear. Instead of a glue that can become dry, reusable pads often have cloth wings that are fastened using buttons or Velcro under the gusset of your underwear.
- Cheaper than disposable liners, as it’s a one-off expense - and a good reusable panty liner should last you 2-3 years.
- Less convenient than disposable liners. When you’re out, you have to think about how to store soiled liners to take home and wash, like in a wet bag.
- Time consuming to store, wash and dry. Most require rinsing separately before putting them in a washing machine. It also means if you want to wear liners daily, you may need to buy 7 of them.
What else to look for in a panty liner
If a panty liner isn’t absorbent, you may as well not be wearing it. One that is absorbent, however, will help you feel clean and dry.
The level of absorbency varies between different panty liners, and what you’ll need depends on the specific purpose you’re sourcing a panty liner for. Most brands will state this on their packaging, and some, like Carefree liners, have a ‘drop absorbency rating.’
For example, light discharge will likely require a low level of absorbency. Thicker discharge or spotting may require more absorbency. If you are sourcing an incontinence liner for anything more than light drips (like spurts or streams), you’re likely to need something more heavy duty, like an incontinence pad.
Since panty liners are intended for everyday use, how comfortable you feel while wearing one is an important consideration. Comfort is influenced by the following:
- How the top layer feels: Some disposable panty liners are stiff, or feel like paper or plastic. This isn’t going to feel very comfortable. Cotton or bamboo are usually more safe bets when it comes to softness.
- How dry you stay: One of the main purposes of a panty liner is to remove unwanted moisture. Synthetic materials can cause you to sweat more, defeating the purpose of wearing a panty liner at all. This is especially important for incontinence liners, which can have elevated sides or gel technology, which is meant to trap urine inside the material to prevent leakages.
- How well panty liners stick: For disposable liners, a poor-quality adhesive will unglue the liner from your undies. This will cause the panty liner you’re wearing to shift around uncomfortably. Good quality glue is important, and reading reviews can help you figure out whether this is the case for a product. Panty liners with wings may help your liner to stay put.
- Size of the liner: If it’s too large or thick, it will feel bulky and uncomfortable.
The length of a panty liner affects how it will feel while worn, but also how effective it is.
You may prefer a longer panty liner, or an extra wide panty liner, if you prefer extra coverage for peace of mind. Longer liners can also be useful if you experience heavy discharge, are buying panty liners for incontinence, or are new to using tampons.
As well as extra-long liners, there are streamlined liners that offer a much more discreet size to match your underwear. This is the case for G-string liners, which some brands sell.
Reusable panty liners often have more to offer when it comes to a variety of sizes. This means you can select the most suitable size of panty liner, depending on the time of the month in relation to when your period is.
How much does a panty liner cost?
This depends on a number of factors. Disposable panty liners are more expensive than reusable options in the long-run, as you’ll have to keep buying new ones after throwing them out.
Choosing panty liners made from organic cotton will be more expensive than buying ones made from synthetic materials that use chemicals in the growing or manufacturing process. Here is an example to demonstrate.
All of the panty liners below are made to absorb light discharge, and are very thin.
Carefree Barely There
TOM Organic Ultra Thin Panty Liners
Natracare Organic Cotton Panty Liners
Hannahpad Cloth Panty Liner (reusable)
Cost per pack
Liners in a pack
Cost per liner
Cost per year (daily use)
$188.65 (for 7 liners*)
*Reusable pads like this Hannahpad Cloth Panty Liner are estimated to last 2-3 years. As a result, this represents a cost of $188.65 over either 2 or 3 years.
Ultimately, the right panty liner for you will be a personal choice. When choosing, consider absorbency and the comfort level a prospective panty liner offers. Other considerations that may be important include the materials used. You may prefer to source a liner with natural, organic materials to avoid irritating chemicals.
Lastly, consider how much time you're willing to put into caring for your feminine hygiene products. Disposable liners are throw-and-go, while reusable panty liners may be more cost-effective in the long-run, but more high maintenance.