How Many Cloth Pads Do You Need?

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I have been asked this several times by readers and it’s not a cut and dry answer. What is the ideal stash for me isn’t the same as it would be for someone else. Also I use a menstrual cup on my two heaviest days and nights when someone else may wish to be mama cloth exclusive.

Related: Which cloth pad fabric is best for you?

Last month I did my best to use just my pads to get a better idea of the number of pads someone would need for a cycle but I have a very heavy flow and had to give in and use my cup at the end of my first heavy day. Below is the number of pads that I used for my entire cycle without washing in between, so you could certainly manage with even half this amount if you don’t mind washing them mid-cycle.

Mama Cloth - how many cloth pads do you need? #mamacloth

Since everyone’s cycle is different, a good rule of thumb is to determine how many disposable pads you’re using. You would need about the same amount in cloth pads though the sizes you prefer for certain days will take a little experimentation. Cloth pads are just as, if not more absorbent than their disposable counterparts.I am

How many cloth pads are used in a typical cycle

  • Three 12″ ultimate overnight pads
  • Five 11″overnight pads (two wide width, three regular width)
  • Four 10″ heavy pads (wide width)
  • Five 9″ regular pads (wide width)
  • Six 8″ light pads (wide width)
  • Four 7.5″ pantyliners (wide width)

If you have a more typical flow then I would go down an inch on the sizes that I used. If you don’t mind washing every two days or so then you should only need the following:

  • Two overnight pads
  • 10-12 day pads in your preferred size (9″-10″ is good for most women)
  • 4-5 pantyliners
  • a medium-sized wet bag to hold your pads until wash day.

It is also helpful to have a few extra of each size to lessen the wear and tear on your pads. Truthfully, you may not need more cloth pads than this but you will probably want more because they’re so pretty and make that time of the month a little more pleasant. Check out all of the pretty cloth pads. Love.

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Mama Cloth - how many cloth pads do you need?
Mama Cloth - how many cloth pads do you need?

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  1. Do you make pads for urine leakage? Are there ones made with organic fabric and have the repellent fabric on the outside? Çost, sizes,thickness

  2. I am having a really hard time figuring out which are wide and which ones are normal while trying to shop online. They all seem to be the same width to me :/ How can you tell which pink lemonade ones are wide and which are regular?

    1. Hi Diane, in the past year she has mostly discontinued the regular width pads except in the 6″ size, I believe. So all of the pads on her site are going to be what was once called wide width since they were far more popular.

  3. I just switched to cloth-LOVE it! There are too many chemicals in disposable tampons and pads. Cloth is so much more comfortable, and there is no skin irritation when I use cloth. (Unlike disposables).

  4. I would be concerned about the fabric! Most textiles are manufactured with many chemicals in the dye that can be harmful for your skin, let alone more sensitive parts of your body. What do you know about this?

    1. I am not an expert in fabrics and dyes, but it makes sense to me that it would be much better for you than the chemicals and fragrances in tampons and disposable pads.

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