Period Swimwear VS. Traditional Menstrual Products: Which Is Better For You?

If you’ve ever struggled on a beach trip or during your regular swimming exercise because of your period, you’ve probably been trying to find the easiest solution that can still let you enjoy the water. Deciding which is better when comparing period swimwear vs menstrual products may feel like a tricky task, so to help you determine which option will suit your lifestyle best, we’re putting both choices to the test.

To evaluate which option is better, we’ve compared period swimwear vs traditional menstrual products in five key categories: comfort, convenience, effectiveness, cost and sustainability. Will traditional products win, or does period swimwear edge ahead overall? Read on to find out. 


Comfort is ultimately a very personal thing, and there are several individual factors that will determine which you prefer to use when swimming. That being said, there are some objective facts when looking at period swimwear vs menstrual products. Why are pads not ideal for swimming?

  • They can swell up
  • They don’t stay adhered to your swimwear when exposed to water 
  • They also can’t absorb much blood or discharge once they get wet since they’ll quickly reach their maximum absorbency

Tampons perform slightly better, but they can be uncomfortable at the best of times — even more so when you’re swimming, moving around or navigating skimpy-cut bikinis. 

On the other hand, period swimwear is designed to fit snugly for a waterproof seal, but the sensation is not dissimilar to a racing-style pair of swimmers, and moisture wicking technology works to keep you dry and comfortable when you’re out of the water.

The winner: For our money, we’re handing this victory to period swimwear — unless you find tampons easy to insert, super comfortable and you just have to hit the beach in your Brazilian bikini — in which case, go for it!


Traditional menstrual products may be marginally smaller to carry around. However, once you’ve gotten into the water, you’ll need to navigate to a bathroom to replace your tampon or pad and still have wet swimwear to transport. 

Period swimwear, on the other hand, doesn’t need to be changed or replaced during your beach trip or swimming session. Plus, it creates a moisture-proof barrier so you can stay in your swimmers after getting out of the water without worrying about leaks until you’re ready to put them in their waterproof pouch. 

The winner: Frankly, this one’s not much of a debate. With no need for replacements mid-trip, a comfortable dry feel when you get out of the water and the stressful crab walk to the public toilets all removed, we’re awarding period swimwear the winner of this category.   


As we’ve discussed, pads are absorbent, but this doesn’t exactly work in their favour when you’re swimming. On this count, they’re definitely the lowest-rated effective solution. Even reusable period pads vs period swimwear aren’t much of a debate because of this issue. 

Tampons are slightly more effective, with a regular tampon holding around 5ml of liquid. Of course, while there’s less of an issue with water absorbency than with pads, anyone who swims laps with a tampon can attest that some water leakage is possible. If you’re swimming in chlorine water, this fact may also be a little off-putting. 

Period swimwear can hold up to 6ml of liquid, according to independent testing. And due to its tri-layered design that creates a waterproof barrier, you won’t have the issue of water leaking into your swimwear or period blood leaking out. 

The winner: This one’s close, but once you factor in the slightly higher absorbency and leakproof protection factor, we’re again handing the crown to period swimwear. 


As anyone who’s weighed up pads and tampons against reusable menstrual products knows, there’s a trade-off with items like period swimwear: a higher initial outlay that will pay off over time from multiple uses. 

The winner: Deciding whether period swimwear vs menstrual products are cheaper for you will ultimately depend on how often you swim and what you’re willing to spend to feel comfortable when swimming during your period. If you swim laps for fitness and fun or like to frequently visit the beach or the lake during summer, period swimwear quickly pulls ahead on a cost-per-use calculation.  

Environmental impact

As consumers become increasingly aware of our environmental impact and the choices we can make to be more sustainable, traditional menstrual products have rightfully been subjected to little more scrutiny. They’re a single-use, non-recyclable product that uses cotton for absorbency — a notoriously water-intensive crop that has seriously impacted the natural world. 

Period swimwear, on the other hand, is a reusable product that can be worn and washed again and again. At Azure Belle, we prioritise using sustainable and ethical manufacturing methods and materials. 

Our range is certified to Oeko-Tex Standard 100 standards for its skin-safe fabric, which is fluorine-free and doesn’t contain any potentially harmful PFAS and PFOS ‘forever’ chemicals. Plus, we use recyclable packaging to close the loop on our environmental packaging.

The winner: Far and away, period swimwear wins in the environmental impact category. It’s made from lasting, environmentally friendly materials, is fully reusable and saves on packaging to boot. 

The result in the period swimwear vs traditional menstrual products debate

Overall, on price, sustainability, comfort, absorbency and convenience, there’s no doubt that period swimwear is the better option for trips to the beach or pool. If you’re ready to enjoy the easier way to swim during your period, shop the range of women’s menstrual swimwear and teen period swimwear from Azure Belle. 

Still not sure which choice of period swimwear will work best for you? Talk to our team to find out more about the benefits of period swimwear and how to choose the best design for your lifestyle. 

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