September 15, 2021 4 min read

High-quality reusable pads are a game-changer when it comes to how people all over the world experience periods. For many of those who have chosen this positive lifestyle change, it has brought about benefits like: 

  • Saving more money
  • Increased confidence and security during periods
  • Freedom from irritating and harsh toxic chemicals (which are common in disposable products)
  • And of course, getting to help Mother Earth!

At illum, organic cotton and bamboo pads are the only reusable pad types that we recommend to our customers. Organic cotton fabric is somewhat familiar to many; while bamboo generally isn’t. So in this guide, we will compare these two highly acclaimed reusable pad fabrics whilst lifting the veil of mystery regarding bamboo fabric and bamboo pads.

Let’s begin!

Bamboo leaves over bamboo fabric

What Is the Best Material for Reusable Pads? 

There are a number of factors to look into when it comes to choosing the best material for reusable pads. These include the following: 

  • Absorbency
  • Breathability 
  • Softness
  • Fabric durability
  • Hypoallergenic properties
  • Made of natural, plant-based materials

The reason why organic cotton and premium bamboo are the top fabrics of choice for reusable pads is that they tick all the boxes; they both have great absorbency, breathability, and softness which makes them highly comfortable when worn during one’s period. These properties also lessen the build up of moisture from sweat, blood, and sebum in the vulvovaginal area, thereby reducing the chances of irritation and infection

Both organic cotton and bamboo pads can also last for years when cared for properly. Finally, both of these natural fibres are hypoallergenic and suitable for sensitive skin. They offer such similar amazing benefits that it’s no wonder they are often compared to each other!   

However, bamboo pads outperform organic cotton pads in certain aspects. And these benefits lead to many concluding that bamboo, the rising star of reusable pads, is the best material to use. 

The Many Benefits of Reusable Bamboo Pads 

1. Bamboo Is Softer 

Whether you’re up and about or taking a trip to dreamland, wearing bamboo pads gives you optimal comfort because of their inherent softness. Some even consider bamboo to be softer than cotton. This is because of the way the fabric is created. The soaking process for bamboo ultimately produces bamboo viscose, which gives the fabric a softer and smoother feel. 

2. Bamboo Is Incredibly Strong 

Bamboo fabric is stronger than organic cotton. This is because of bamboo’s relatively thicker and stronger fibres. 

With proper care, both organic cotton and bamboo pads can last for many years in fact, three years at least. But with the same usage rate and care practices, bamboo fibre can and will outlast cotton. 

3. Bamboo Has Better Absorbency & Breathability 

Bamboo is three times more absorbent than most cotton fabrics and about 40% more absorbent than organic cotton fabrics. This says a lot considering that cotton, especially organic cotton, is already one of the most absorbent fabrics out there. 

Cotton is not only used for reusable pads, but also for reusable diapers, towels, bedsheets, t-shirts, and so on. However, we’re seeing a trend wherein most of these cotton products have bamboo fabric counterparts. And the main reason for that is the clear superiority that bamboo has when it comes to absorbency. 

So even amidst heavy periods or warm, humid weather, you can count on bamboo pads to keep you comfortably dry down there. Bamboo fabric does not readily stick to the skin and wicks away moisture fast, holding around three times more liquid than its weight

Just like cotton, bamboo is a highly breathable natural fabric. But considering its absorbency, it can feel a lot more breathable than cotton when it counts the most.  

Close-up of a reusable illum bamboo pad

4. It Is Easier to Keep Bamboo Clean 

Bamboo has some advantages when it comes to staying clean. Unlike cotton, bamboo has natural antimicrobial bio-agents called “bamboo kun”, which is said to be antibacterial and antifungal. How this bio-agent holds up over the years, after the bamboo fabric has been repeatedly washed, still remains to be studied in scientific research. What is clear though is that viscose, which is in bamboo fabric, inhibits bacterial growth.   

If you pair the above properties of bamboo fabrics with routine cleaning using probiotic laundry soap, imagine how deeply cleaned your bamboo pads will be! Probiotic laundry soap can also be used on organic cotton pads but bamboo, in this aspect, gets a head start.   

5. Bamboo Is More Sustainable 

Many say that bamboo is the most sustainable fabric out there, mainly because of these reasons: 

All-in-all, what can we say? When it comes to sustainability, bamboo is a life-saving miracle for Mother Earth. All of these above benefits are the reasons why bamboo is one of our favourite materials as we make reusable pads that you are sure to love for many years to come. 

A Comfortable and Premium Period Experience Awaits 

Gone are the days of dreading periods! With illum’s carefully designed menstrual pads, you can look forward to:

  • More security from leaks;
  • No more warping or twisting pads;
  • No more abrasions from tampons; and
  • Less skin irritation/odours thanks to unhindered breathability.

Whether you choose our organic cotton pads or our premium bamboo pads, you will still get to experience all of the above benefits. We also lovingly create our pads in many sizes and designs to accommodate the needs and preferences of each unique individual. 

Ready for more comfortable and more secure periods? Check out our collection of reusable pads on our online store today!

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