GladRags – Reusable Menstrual Cloth Pads

GladRags are possibly the best-promoted brand of reusable menstrual pads on the market. They’re handmade in the USA from soft, breathable cotton. It can be mindblowing for women who, up until discovering this product, believed that chafing and irritation from plastic products were just something they just had to put up with.

Unlike some other reusable menstrual pads, GladRags don’t have a plastic backing, which means less irritation. And they’re designed to last at least five years if taken care of properly.GladRags produces three varieties of cloth pads:

  1. Pantyliner. There’s the smallest size, Pantyliner, which women use as a backup for a menstrual cup or tampon, or for times of very light flow.
  2. Day Pads are for moderate flow and are also recommended for mild urinary incontinence.
  3. Night Pads are intended for use during the night time and during times of heavy flow. They’re also recommended for wear following childbirth when protection is needed. Just like with disposable pads, most women will want to have an assortment of sizes.

GladRags recommends three to six Pantyliners, six to 12 Day Pads and one to three Night Pads. With that assortment, you’ll be covered for your entire cycle.


Special Features

One standout feature of GladRags is that their pad doesn’t have a plastic backing on it as some other reusable menstrual pads have. There’s no plastic to allow for more airflow. GladRags also produces a line of organic cotton pads that are made from cotton that was grown without the use of pesticides or herbicides.

Benefits & Positive Feedbacks

  • Will save money over time
  • Soft, breathable fabric for less irritation and chafing
  • Kinder to the environment than disposables
  • Avoid the risk of Toxic Shock Syndrome associated with tampons
  • Avoid exposure to chemicals that are used on disposables
  • Comes in an assortment of cute styles

“LOVE, LOVE, LOVE these!! I have been using these for eight months and just ordered another package. When I decided to make the switch to cloth pads, I ordered three different types, and these are the ones I re-ordered. There is no comparison. They stay put during the day, you can customize your level of thickness depending on your flow, and they don’t leak. They also wash up wonderfully!”

The majority of customers give GladRags high ratings. Some comments include:

“Quiet. No crinkling sounds when you move in your chair or walk.”

“If you have a problem with rashing out from disposable pads, these solve that problem.”

“You don’t have to spend time at the store when you need a pad.”

“They are machine washable, so you can throw them in the laundry (which may take care of any stinky bathroom trashcans).”

Downsides & Negative Feedbacks

Some customers complain that the pads do get stained. Others state that these pads are only worth using if you have a very light menstrual flow. One user is concerned that the pads are large and would be visible when wearing yoga pants. Difficult to get clean was another complaint.

This company has been around for some time, and when you order from them, you know you will be getting a consistently high-quality product.

Where to buy

About the Company

Gladrags began as a home-based business in 1993 but quickly grew too big for the spare room it occupied. Based out of Portland, Oregon, they’re staffed by a small team who work diligently at fulfilling orders, answering questions and spreading the word about the advantages of reusable menstrual pads and menstrual cups. In addition to cloth pads, Gladrags is also a distributor of The Keeper and The Moon Cup menstrual cups. You can also buy a wide range of menstruation-related accessories from Gladrags.

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  1. Overall Score

    Gladrags were the first cloth pads I tried. They did not work for me at all as I leaked through the overnight/postpartum ones in under 60 minutes. There is no leakproof layer. I started using double the inserts (from my overnight and day pads) in the longer pads to try and make them work but they were then SUPER bulky and felt like I was using towels in my undies.

    I do like the carry bag I purchased from them that has a front snap pocket and zipper top pocket. It is made of oilcloth so is easy to wipe out.

    + PROS: Cute patterns
    - CONS: Leak through the overnight/postpartum very quickly Bulky feeling
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  2. Overall Score

    I have been using GladRags for 15 years. I still have my original ones from my first purchases. And i still use them.

    15 years ago, they were made more durably and with heavy duty fabric, so my newer ones are not looking to have the same lifespan with the softer, thinner flannel.

    Yes, i take great care of my pads. I soak for a minimum of 8 hours, and rinse thoroughly and dry, then launder them in a lingerie bag at the end of my cycle. It keeps everything together.

    They do stain after regular use, and occassionally, soak them all in a bucket with oxy clean, or bac- out, (from BioKleen) before washing keeps them fresh.

    Because they are 100% cotton, they will stiffen up a bit after a wash. They are still comfortable.

    I have a heavy flow and the night pads are my daily pad. They can be bulky under clothes, such as yoga pants, but i try to wear skirts and dresses during my cycle if possible. The smaller day pads don’t show as much.

    I am committed to using reusables. Get a nice bag from gladrags, it looks like a makeup bag, and fold them up, and carry to the bathroom for changing.

    My relationship to my cycle was dramatically changed by using these products. It forces me to slow down and embrace it, and care for myself. They are a costly investment up front, but they have saved me an incredible amount of money over the years. A good way to go is buying a few pads at a time, and supplementing with the disposable menstrual supplies you already have.

    + PROS: Durable, cost saving, economical, comfortable, practical
    - CONS: Bulky, will stain over time.
    Helpful(33) Unhelpful(3)You have already voted this
  3. Overall Score

    I found the liner inserts cumbersome, and they folded up and moved around a lot. They didn’t wash up well, they were quite stiff. By far the least favorite of several brands I have tried.

    Helpful(18) Unhelpful(5)You have already voted this
  4. Overall Score

    I took care of my Gladrags like a Level 1 college student; sometimes I soaked, sometimes I didn’t, washed in whatever load I was putting in that day, sometimes I bleached and every now and then I added fabric softener. STILL lasted five years. Who knows how long they would have lasted if I’d invested the time into caring for them according to the directions.

    LOVE: The softness, there is nothing like putting on a new one and feeling clean and comfortable. No plastic stickiness ! I *hate* being in a public bathroom or at a new friends house and worrying that everyone can hear the plastic, sticky sound of me changing a pad. And the colors are a fun little pick me up.

    LESS-THAN-LOVE: They can be bulky. Most of the time it doesn’t bother me, but if I’m wearing something pretty the extra-ness of the pad can take it down a notch. Initial investment was a b*tch. I bought a few here and there over the course of a year to make my first set. Still struggling to scrape up the money to buy a new set. (I know I can buy from Etsy sellers and have a couple of times, but who knows if their stitching is strong enough to last or if the fabric is good quality and in defense of manufacturers; The FDA requires they pay a hefty registration fee as “medical device” makers.)

    IT’S-NOT-THAT-SERIOUS: Everyone panics about having to transport them home in your purse. For real, it’s not that serious; They fold up, you buy a little zipper pouch and tuck them in there, it looks like a make-up bag, nobody knows. Washing them isn’t that big of a deal; No you dont have to wash them alone, no you dont have to soak them if you’re worried about a smell (Good god don’t soak them and forget about them.) Sure, you’ll get staining, but for heavens sake you’re bleeding on them and if you’re really worried about these things there are all-natural cleaning products for both the soaking bucket and the potential stains.

    I haven’t bought from many other sellers, but I definitely trust my lady-bits to Gladrags

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  5. Overall Score

    I received a free panty liner from GladRags and I liked it well enough. It is thin with a soft fabric, although after I washed and air dried it, it became stiff so I sprayed it with a little bit of water and put it in the dryer using the air fluff setting and that helped. I like that I can’t feel the pad and it isn’t noticeable through my clothing. I don’t mind stains but the panty liner didn’t have any after I washed it in the washer.

    Helpful(14) Unhelpful(4)You have already voted this

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