Menstrual products are a world apart from what was available even twenty years ago. But it can be difficult to determine which product is right for you—a decision that may be influenced by lifestyle, physical activity, comfort, fit, cost, and many other factors.
That’s why we’re publishing a series of menstrual product reviews, written by the staff here at Clue (and a few of our loved ones) to show you how we used these products, and how they worked for us. Check out all the reviews here.
Full disclosure—many of these products were sent to us free of charge, for the purpose of reviews. These are the unbiased opinions of the folks who used the products.
Rael Organic Cotton Disposable Menstrual Pads
Manufactured in South Korea
Prices vary (depending on location)
“They are soft and comfortable to wear, and I will definitely be purchasing these pads in the future.”
My flow is: light-to-medium
I’m looking for: comfort and something environmentally friendly
On their website, Rael says their pads are made with 100% organic cotton, and that's definitely the first thing you notice when you touch them. They’re really soft and feel gentle on the skin.
I wore the pads both during the day and at night. My first impression was that they were a bit longer than the ones I regularly use. The first time I used them overnight, I was impressed by how dry the blood was in the morning, and there was no odor. They were extremely soft and comfortable to wear during the day or the evening. I felt dry at all times and didn’t experience any leaks.
Rael has been part of the How2Recycle organization since July 2018, and they label their packaging with clear instructions on how to recycle it. This way it’s easier to know which parts of the pads and packaging are recyclable, which is great because I’m an environmentally conscious person.
Rael pads are more expensive than the regular pads sold at supermarkets or drugstores, but in my opinion they’re totally worth it. If you live in the US, you can even subscribe to get them delivered every 1, 2 or 3 months, saving 10%, which seems like a great deal! Because I live in Germany, I can get the pads on Amazon (they also ship to Canada, the United Kingdom, France, Spain, Italy and Japan).
I would prefer for them to use more inclusive language on their website, plus actual red liquid to represent blood, instead of the unnatural-looking blue liquid used in their demonstration video.
In conclusion, I’d say that Rael pads are made with quality materials, are soft and comfortable to wear, and I will definitely be purchasing them in future.
—Sofia, Android Engineer
“While I was walking in the street, I didn’t feel like I was wearing it”
My flow is: Medium-to-heavy
I’m looking for: Something environmentally friendly
I’ve used pads my entire life, but I’ve never tried organic ones. Exploring their website, I learned that not only are Rael’s pads organic, but their adhesive is also biodegradable. I like this, because it shows me that they care about the environment.
They offer three different types of absorbency: regular, overnight, and large, all of which have the same price. I tried the regular pad on the first day of my period, when I normally have a medium flow. I was certain that this would be enough for the first day of my cycle. I wore it for a couple of hours, and it felt comfortable. While I was walking in the street, I didn’t feel like I was wearing it (thanks to the fact that it wasn’t thick) and once I came back home I could see that the absorbency worked well for me.
I think that, for people with medium flows like me, this particular size of Rael pads are a good, environmentally-friendly alternative. I would like to try their large pads for my heavy days too.
—Ilaria, Support Agent
“Their absorption is perfect for the last days of my period when the flow is not so heavy.”
My flow is: Light to moderate (thanks to the pill)
I’m looking for: A environment-friendly solution that will allow me to not worry about my period
I used Rael disposable liners, and they were a big plus for me because not only are they made out of cotton, they’re also fragrance free. Their absorption is perfect for the last days of my period when the flow is not so heavy. However, I would not use the disposable liners again, because I am trying to look for more sustainable and environmentally friendly solutions to deal with my period.
—Kate, Senior iOS developer
“There were no leaks, and I wore these pads on my heavy days so I put it through a tough test.”
My flow is: Two days heavy, three days light
I’m looking for: Menstrual products that are environmentally-sustainable
The packaging for the Rael pad was soft, and I appreciated that most of it was made from a thin fiber (I’m assuming cotton), instead of some loud crinkly plastic. The middle section of the packaging was still made of plastic, so it wasn’t completely noise-free.
The pad itself was soft against my skin, though bulky. It had no “fresh fragrance” which I really appreciated, I hate those fake perfumes that are sometimes on feminine hygiene products. Wearing the pad wasn’t uncomfortable, but I never forgot it was there. I’m lucky that I don’t have allergies or sensitivities to products, but I know many people do, so I think for them, this would be a great product.
Temperature was a problem for me. I found that the pad never fully became the same temperature as my body, and when I moved, I could feel cold spots—yuk. The worst part was after going to pee—when the pad was only half full of blood. The feeling of pulling up my pants and … ugh… my lovely warm vulva shudders as the cold wet pad hits me between the legs. The worst feeling ever, but I don’t think it’s Rael’s fault, it’s just the nature of the product.
Did they work? Yup! There were no leaks, and I wore these pads on my heavy days so they were put through a tough test. But would I buy them again? Probably not. I don’t think they fit my lifestyle, as they need to be changed often and are quite bulky, which makes me feel self-conscious.
—Nicole, Science Editor
“The Rael pad had a tendency to come unstuck and bunch up as I wore it.”
My flow is: very light and irregular because of my hormonal IUD I’m looking for: a convenient, environmentally sustainable way to manage my period on the few days that I get one.
Rael’s Regular Pads are disposable, adhesive pads with wings. I usually use period underwear instead of disposable pads to reduce my waste, but I took the Rael pads with me on a 10-day trip and the pads turned out to be really convenient for travel. It was nice not to have to wash out my period underwear in the hotel sink.
I was surprised that one of my favorite things about the Rael pads was their wrapper, which is soft and white instead of being brightly colored plastic like many brands. Since I was sharing my hotel bathroom with my two brothers, I appreciated that the wrapped pads looked like tissues instead of advertising that the trash can was full of used pads.
I’ve always preferred winged pads to protect my underwear and keep the pad in place. Unfortunately, even with the wings I found that the Rael pad had a tendency to come unstuck and bunch up as I wore it. I didn’t get any stains, but this was a big drawback.
In addition to the bunching, I was disappointed that when I read the pads’ ingredient list I found that they are made with plastic. Only the pad’s top sheet is 100% organic cotton, which is great for sensitive skin but doesn’t make them biodegradable. Since environmental impact is a big consideration for me, the fact that Rael’s pads are made with plastic was a dealbreaker. —Nicole, Marketing
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