The Best Period Swimsuits Provide Peace of Mind so You Can Just Enjoy the Water

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Swim, float, and lounge carefree with these period swimsuits and bikini bottoms.

<p>Health / Brian Kopinski</p>

Health / Brian Kopinski

Historically, having your period meant that people who menstruate couldn't enjoy a day at the beach or dip in the pool without worry. But thankfully, advancements in fabric tech have started to give menstruators more freedom.

Period swimsuits can give you the freedom to swim just as long as the suit can meet the needs of your flow, says Christine Greves, a board-certified obstetrician and gynecologist in Florida. They’re also great for anyone who isn’t comfortable with tampons or menstrual cups just yet, like teenagers. And because period swimsuits can be used repeatedly in place of disposable period products or as a backup, they can help you spend less on period protection overall.

To help you find the best period swimsuit for you or your teen, we spoke to gynecologists about what to look for when shopping for a period suit. Then, we researched the most popular options on the market and analyzed their features such as absorbency levels, sizes, and price. We also tested popular period swimsuits in our product testing lab to check the absorbency, odor resistance, and comfort of the swimsuit material.

Best Overall : Savvi Wear Period Swimwear High Waisted Bottoms

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Why We Like It: Of all the period swimsuits we tested, this one had the best absorbency, plus the high-waisted design is flattering for many body types.

It’s Worth Noting: This is only a bikini bottom and not a full-coverage swimsuit.

Not only is this bikini bottom universally flattering with its high-waist design, but it's the most absorbent of all the swimwear we tested. We poured 6 ml of liquid (vinegar with food coloring) onto the gusset of the bikini bottom and the liquid did not spill over the sides or leak out from the suit before it was fully absorbed. Although the gusset was slightly damp after applying the liquid, it wasn't wet or saturated and we couldn't visibly tell it was damp. Even better, when we dabbed the interior of the bikini bottoms with a white towel, the liquid did not visibly transfer, so these bottoms will give you the discretion you want.

Some period underwear or swimwear can have a slight chemical scent, but these bottoms smelled like a typical swimsuit. And after washing them in the washing machine, the smell of the vinegar we applied during the test was completely gone.

We recommend these bikini bottoms because of how much discharge they absorb, but the fact that they're attractive and flattering for a variety of body types will make these swim briefs an option you'll feel good wearing at that time of the month—or maybe even more often! The bikini bottoms come in solid black, emerald green, or fuschia, so you have options for whatever top you pair with it. Note, that these are only bottoms, so you'll want to make sure you have a coordinating bikini or tankini top.

Price at time of publication: $33

Product Details:

  • Available Sizes: 3XS-3XL

  • Absorbency: 2-2.5 tampons worth

  • Style: High-waisted bikini bottom

  • Care: Machine wash cold, hang dry

Best For Backup Protection: Modibodi Recycled Swimwear Bikini Brief

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Why We Like It: The swimsuit comes in a classic cut and uses fast-drying, odor-resistant material.

It’s Worth Noting: The gusset feels a bit rough and scratchy.

These briefs from Modibodi offer light-moderate absorbency, so we like them as a backup for use with a menstrual cup or tampons. Or you can feel secure wearing them when spotting or on lighter period days.

Right off the bat, we loved the high-waisted, full-coverage style of these bottoms. And the material seemed high-quality, stretchy, and supportive. The classic style and black color mean they'll go with a variety of swim tops.

When we tested these briefs, we found that the 3 ml of the vinegar/food coloring solution absorbed fully into the gusset within 5 seconds. The food coloring didn't transfer to the white towel we pressed against the gusset, which impressed us. However, we were disappointed that when we submerged the bottoms in water, some of the blue food coloring seeped into the surrounding water. That's not an experience we'd want to replicate when we have our period at the swimming pool, which is why we recommend these bottoms as backup protection or for lighter days.

Another downside we found during testing was that the interior of the gusset is rough and scratchy, with a textured, mesh-like material. We don't love the idea of rough material near our sensitive areas.

We did appreciate that the vinegar smell completely disappeared when we washed the briefs, an indication that period odor wouldn't linger in this suit. Because of the basic style of these briefs, they can also double as light-day period underwear.

Price at time of publication: $43

Product Details:

  • Available Sizes: 2XS – 2XL

  • Absorbency: Light – Moderate, 1 – 2 tampons

  • Style: Bikini

  • Care: Machine wash on cold, hang dry

Best for Teens and Tweens: Knixteen Period Swim Sport One-Piece Swimsuit - Medium Absorbency

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Why We Like It: It has a playful one-piece design and flattering cut.

It’s Worth Noting: The straps are not adjustable, so some people may not get as secure a fit in the bust.

This swimsuit by Knixteen is our favorite for teens and tweens because it comes in fun colors, like purple and a green patterned option (in addition to basic black), and has a sporty, criss-cross pattern on the back. Besides the cute colors and style, the swimwear fully absorbed liquid during our testing. We found that the liquid disappeared into the fabric almost immediately and only a tiny amount of the food coloring transferred to the white towel.

Teens and tweens will feel secure being active at the pool or beach in the swimsuit's thick, durable fabric. The suit is a good option for a range of body types, including those going through puberty and changing quickly.

Despite the thickness of the fabric, we found it quite stretchy, soft, and comfortable during our testing. The only feature we'd add to this bathing suit is adjustability in the shoulder straps to offer a tighter fit and more support in the bust. Fortunately, the criss-cross design on the back will provide a secure fit for most users. We love that it provides full, supportive coverage for beach volleyball or water sports too.

Price at time of publication: $83

Product Details:

  • Available Sizes: XXS – XXL

  • Absorbency: Medium or 3 pads' worth

  • Style: One piece

  • Care: Machine wash and dry on low heat

Best Bikini Bottoms: Knix High Rise Leakproof Swim Bottom

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Why We Like It: These bottoms have a flattering cut and style, suitable for a variety of body shapes.

It’s Worth Noting: In testing, the gusset absorbed liquid well, but still felt damper than other options.

Besides worrying about leakage or a rogue tampon string when you have your period while trying to enjoy the water, you also don't want to deal with a brief that rides up your butt or rolls down your waist. This brief by Knix provides period protection and stays in place, perfect for someone who wants to log laps in the pool or ocean. The fabric of this suit felt very thick, supportive, and smooth, with a waistband that offers flattering (but not suffocating) compression.

When we tested the product absorbency with 3 teaspoons of a vinegar/food coloring solution, the liquid absorbed into the gusset with no visible signs of wetness. And when we pressed a white towel against the gusset, none of the food coloring transferred to it. However, the lining of the bikini bottoms felt wetter than the others we tested. If you're in the water, that wouldn't be an issue, but when lounging on dry land, the wetness may be uncomfortable.

Price at time of publication: $55

Product Details:

  • Available Sizes: XS – 4XL

  • Absorbency: 3 tsp worth

  • Style: High-waist bikini bottom

  • Care: Machine wash and lay flat to dry

Best Plus Size: Knix Leakproof Ultra High Rise Swim Bottom

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Why We Like It: It’s available in sizes up to 4XL with a ruched waist detail.

It’s Worth Noting: The waistline ends above the belly button which may be uncomfortable for some.

These period bikini bottoms by Knix offers the most inclusive sizing on this list, ranging from XS to 4XL. Besides coming in a wide range of sizes, these bottoms are flattering for a variety of body types, thanks to the high waist and flattering ruching. Besides being a solid option for larger-bodied swimmers, these briefs could be a good choice for postpartum individuals.

Knix's signature absorbent gusset is designed to hold up to three regular tampons’ worth of blood. The bottoms are also available in three universally flattering colors including black and muted red or blue shades. 

Price at time of publication: $55

Product Details:

  • Available Sizes: XS – 4XL+

  • Absorbency: Medium, 3 regular tampons’ worth

  • Style: High rise

  • Care: Machine wash cold, lay flat to dry

Best Budget: Beautikini Period Swimwear

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Why We Like It: It holds up to three tampons’ worth of fluid at a great price.

It’s Worth Noting: The thickness of the lining in the crotch is slightly noticeable.

Beautikini offers some cheap and cheerful bottoms that suit a range of body types and sizes. Because period products can financially add up quickly, we like that this brand provides quality products for an affordable price.

These styles have a bamboo and charcoal gusset. Both fabrics are widely known for being moisture-wicking, antibacterial, odor-reducing, and breathable.

These should hold up to three tampons’ worth of fluid, however, if you have a heavy flow, it's a good idea to use a tampon or cup as a backup.

Price at time of publication: $31

Product Details:

  • Available Sizes: 3XS – 2XL

  • Absorbency: Up to 3 tampons

  • Style: Low-waisted and high-waisted options

  • Care: Hand or machine wash up to 30°C

Best Water Sports: Knixteen Period Swim Freestyle One-Piece Swimsuit

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Why We Like It: It has a sleek and supportive design for aquatic activity and it’s effective at blocking leakage.

It’s Worth Noting: The thin straps may not be supportive enough for those with bigger busts.

Kt. By Knix has enlisted the design help of a former Olympic apparel designer for this swimsuit, and it shows. The sleek, yet sporty style has thin straps to support a wide range of motion so you can have your period and paddle board, freestyle or dive as much as you like.

The swimwear holds up to three regular pads’ worth of fluid putting it in the moderate-heavy absorbency category. It offers medium bum coverage and UPF 50+ fabric that will withstand the sun longer than any product created without UV protection.

Price at time of publication: $83

Product Details:

  • Available Sizes: XXS – XXL

  • Absorbency: Moderate, 3 regular pads’ worth

  • Style: Crisscross one-piece

  • Care: Machine wash cold, lay flat to dry

Best One Piece: Knix Balcony Cup One Piece Swimsuit

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Why We Like It: It’s designed in a minimal style that holds up to three regular tampons’ of fluid.

It’s Worth Noting: Those with bigger busts may prefer a V-neck or plunge neckline.

There’s a lot to like about this classic one-piece. The adjustable straps and scoop front and back mean that it should fit a variety of torsos and busts. Meanwhile, the full coverage bum gives bonus points for comfort. This swimsuit can hold up to three teaspoons of blood, which is roughly the same as three regular tampons’ worth. Plus, we love that it’s available in three colors to suit your skin tone.

It’s also available in a wide range of sizes and the plus sizes come with thicker straps and a removable cup for added comfort. People with bigger busts may, however, prefer to invest in a plunging or deep V-neck that won’t potentially flatten their chest.

Price at time of publication: $100

Product Details

  • Available Sizes: XS – XXXL+

  • Absorbency: 3 regular tampons, 3 tsp of blood

  • Style: One piece

  • Care: Machine wash cold, lay flat to dry

Best Swim Shorts: Kt. by Knix Period Swim Short

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Why We Like It: It provides additional coverage for those who prefer extra discretion.

It’s Worth Noting: Getting the fit right may be trickier than with a normal pair of briefs.

Swim shorts allow for an action-packed day by the water and create a greater sense of freedom for some. This pair has three layers of built-in absorbency, with an outer layer that keeps the water out and locks in the menstrual blood.

Swim shorts offer great coverage but may be a little trickier to fit than a bikini style. This is due to the leg band potentially cutting into the thigh. Kt. By Knix counter this with a generous 30-day return or exchange policy provided the original sanitary strip and original tags remain attached.

Price at time of publication: $50

Product Details:

  • Available Sizes: XXS – XXL

  • Absorbency: Medium, up to 3 pads’ worth of blood

  • Style: Shorts

  • Care: Machine wash cold, lay flat to dry

Best Full Coverage: AWWA Swim Recycled Hi-Waist Bottoms

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Why We Like It: It’s high-waisted for extra support and coverage.

It’s Worth Noting: It holds less fluid than other styles in this lineup.

This AWWA suit sits just under the belly button and includes three layers of absorbency made from recycled nylon, elastane, and polyester in a chic matte finish. A standout factor about this brand from New Zealand is that they are transparent about their supply chain and list the names of the factories they partner with. AWWA also donates 2% of total yearly revenue to charities committed to ending period poverty.

Though there are a lot of things to like about this suit, it should be noted that this particular option comparatively holds less fluid than some other styles on this list. This makes these bottoms perfect for those with a light flow or as a backup to your regular tampons or cup.

Price at time of publication: $45 

Product Details:

  • Available Sizes: XS – 4XL

  • Absorbency: Light, 1 tampon’s worth

  • Style: High waisted

  • Care: Machine wash on normal load

Best for Bigger Busts: Knix Leakproof Side Tie One Piece Swimsuit

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Why We Like It: It has a customizable fit available for cups A – G.

It’s Worth Noting: It has minimal options for smaller sizes compared to availability of larger sizes.

With a plunging neckline, built-in bust support, and a flattering side tie, this one piece swimsuit helps those with bigger breasts feel more comfortable by the water. The medium butt coverage and absorbency that holds up to 3 tampons further add to the comfort and overall peace-of-mind factor.

This piece also offers a sense of playfulness available in two colors alongside a classic black option. The absorbent gusset is made from a mix of polyurethane, polyester, spandex and nylon to wick moisture and handle odor while you relax by the water.

Price at time of publication: $95

Product Details:

  • Available Sizes: XS – 4XL+

  • Absorbency: 3 regular tampons, 3 tsp worth of blood

  • Style: V-neck one piece

  • Care: Machine wash cold, lay flat to dry

How We Tested and Selected

To determine the best period swimsuits, we researched the top options available today and spoke with obstetricians and gynecologists about which brands they recommend along with their insight on what shoppers should look for when choosing a period swimsuit.

The experts we spoke to include:

  • Christine Greves, MD, board-certified by American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology and resident at Orlando Health in Florida.

  • Jennifer Wu, MD, board-certified by American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology and resident at Lennox Hill Hospital in New York.

We also tested 8 popular period swimsuits and biking bottoms in our Testing Lab under the supervision and guidance of experts, including:

  • Dr. Adi Katz, the director of Gynecology and director for the Obstetrics and Gynecology residency program at Lenox Hill Hospital

  • Dr. Susan S. Khalil, director of the Division of Sexual Health in Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Science at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai

To test the period swimsuits, we first opened the packaging and smelled the suits to note if there was a chemical odor present and we examined the quality of the fabric. Next, we poured a mixture of vinegar and food coloring into the gusset or crotch area of each swimsuit. We noted how absorbent the gusset was, how quickly the liquid absorbed into the fabric, and if any liquid pooled or spilled over.

We pressed a white towel to the gusset to see if any of the food coloring transferred to the towel and we also submerged the suit in a bucket of water to determine if the food coloring would spread to the rest of the water. Finally, we washed the swimsuits in a washing machine and noted if any of the vinegar smell was present after washing.

What to Know About Period Swimsuits


Dr. Wu says that period swimwear is expensive when compared to regular swimwear, but her patients will usually need only one swimsuit. Typically, you can expect to pay around $40 for a pair of high-quality bottoms with budget options sitting at approximately $30. Meanwhile, a one-piece period swimsuit will set you back around $90 to $100. Our research showed that this is a relatively new product category so there are less high-quality options available than there are for period underwear.


The type of suit that works best for you depends on your needs and what you plan on doing while wearing the suit. Those with a bigger bust may like a one piece with adjustable straps and a deep V-neck and those who prefer more coverage could consider opting for shorts or high-waisted brief styles. The best period swimsuit is the one you feel comfortable wearing.

Flow and Absorbency

It almost goes without saying that flow and absorbency are some major factors to keep in mind when shopping for period swimwear. How heavy your flow is or where you’re at in your menstrual cycle may determine what you need. The majority of swimsuits available today are designed to have moderate absorbency. This may be perfect for your lighter days, or a great backup on heavier days if you also regularly use tampons or cups.


While care may vary per brand, most period swuimsuits require similar care. Firstly, it’s important to rinse your swimwear in cold water after using them. This could be once you take them off, or while you’re still wearing them. This removes excess sea salt and chlorine, and reduces odor build up if you don’t plan on washing them immediately after wear. Then put them through a cold wash cycle in your washing machine. Dr Greves says that you shouldn’t use fabric softener as it’ll impact the suit’s future ability to absorb blood.

Your Questions, Answered

How do period swimsuits work?

Period swimsuits generally have specialized fabric in the gusset, which is the lining and area that sits against your crotch. The lining is usually made from several layers of different fabrics that are designed to absorb fluid, wick away moisture and minimize odor.

How long can I wear a period swimsuit?

It’s often advised that period underwear should be changed every 10 – 12 hours, and this is a good rule of thumb for swimwear too. You may not need to change your swimsuit entirely while you’re enjoying a day at the beach or poolside. This is especially true if you plan on wearing a tampon or cup with your period swimwear. Another important factor to consider is how long you sit in wet bathing suits as that practice is known to exacerbate vaginal yeast infections.

Do I need to wear a pad or tampon with a period swimsuit?

Dr. Greves advises that whether or not you need an additional feminine product as a backup is very individual. It comes down to your personal flow, and each individual’s munstrual flow will be different. However, if your flow is less than three tampons’ worth, and the suit’s guidelines state that it can accommodate up to that amount, you may not need additional backup from a tampon or pad.

Who We Are

Isabella Ubaldi has 10 years of research and writing experience that includes covering how to shop for the best personal products online. Her curiosity about the world feeds her keen interest in helping people reduce the shopping noise and simply make better decisions. She has a personal interest in innovative products that solve problems and add to people’s sense of freedom.

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Read the original article on Health.