Long gone are the days when your period kept you poolside, worrying about errant tampon strings or surprise leaks. The last few years have brought an array of period swimwear brands, transforming our summers with seamless swim pants, bloat-friendly designs and inconspicuously lined gussets. Judging from Team R29's inboxes, there’s a new one joining the lineup every day. How are you meant to cut through all the retail noise and find the best brand for you?
This is where we come in. We’ve tried and tested six of the best period swimwear brands on the market. Whether you’re a period pants novice or a regular user, searching for a brand that sizes up to a UK 30 or one with extensive customer reviews, we’ve got you covered.
Size range: XXS-2XL (UK 6-8 to UK 16-18).
WUKA impressed us so much that we dedicated an entire review to the brand’s Period Swimsuit, £49, and Swim Bikini Brief, £21.99. The one-piece is simple but stylish: black, sporty and with a little more coverage around your crotch area. It’s designed for your light to moderate flow days, holding 15ml blood (around two small tampons’ worth), and we found it kept us secure and leak-free for several hours doing laps of our local lido.
The bikini briefs are for your lighter days; when you’re still spotting a little blood but not enough to warrant a tampon. They’re designed to be slightly higher cut on the leg so you can wear them underneath your favourite cossie and they currently have a five-star rating on WUKA's website, with reviewers raving about their comfort.
Size range: 2XS-3XL (UK 6-UK 20) depending on the product.
Aussie brand Modibodi has been leading the charge on the period pant front for a while now. It's our go-to for fun, beautiful and seamless designs, a wide colour range and huge choice of period pant options and styles (including maternity, teen, activewear and menswear lines). On the swim front, it’s the same story: you have two one-pieces and four bikini variations to choose from. What's more, the colour options make for a refreshing change in a sea of black. Just like its period pants, Modibodi’s swim range puts comfort first, and there are plenty of five-star reviews to prove it.
Size range: XS-XL (UK 6-8 to UK 16-18).
Right now, these bikini bottoms are the only swim option available from Flux Undies but they’ve got a lot going for them: namely a more accessible price point and the fact that they're designed for a moderate rather than a light flow (holding approximately three tampons' worth of blood). As an added bonus, 5% of the profits from the brand's swim collection is donated to The Ocean Cleanup, which works to clear plastic from rivers and oceans.
The limited size range is far from ideal but with several of Flux Undies' period pants available in sizes XXS to 4XL, we have high hopes that its swimwear will soon follow suit.
Size range: UK 4-6 to UK 22-24.
Holding up to two tampons' worth of blood, Cheeky Pants’ one-piece is designed for your lightest days and the tail end of your period, when your flow is easing up. This is the cheapest one-piece on our list and offers a snug, more covered up fit thanks to the adjustable straps, scooped neckline and removable breast pads.
Size range: XS-3XL (UK 2-4 to UK 24/26).
Period swim styles on offer: A range of options (most styles designed for moderate flow).
Taking the gold medal for choice is Ruby Love, a US brand that has been making period swimwear since 2015 and clearly knows what it's doing. Here you have the freedom to choose whatever swim style suits you best, rather than thinking about your period first. There are string-tie bikini bottoms, £37.35; swim dresses, £83.01; skinsuits, £83.01; and rash guards, £65.58*. All are designed for a more moderate flow, holding up to three tampons' worth of blood.
Size range: XS-XXXXL+ (UK 4-6 to UK 30).
Period swim styles on offer: A range of options (most styles designed for light to moderate flow).
The prize for the best size range goes to US brand Knix, whose lineup of chic one-pieces and bikini bottoms ranges from XS to XXXXL+. Each design holds about three tampons' worth of blood so you can wear it on your moderate flow days.
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*Prices based on the conversion rate at the time of publication