The Economics of Cloth Pads

When we asked the GladRags community what their #1 barrier was for getting started with reusables, we heard a variety of reasons, like: “Just getting the courage to try them! I finally had a breakthrough when a cloth user said: ‘Do you throw your undies out when you don’t catch it in time or overflow?’” and “Getting over the idea of washing cloth. Then I had kiddo (and had been planning forever that I’d cloth diaper him) and realized it was silly to be squeamish about my body and not his.”

But by and large, the #1 reason folks hesitated about switching to reusables was the cost of getting started.

Most are well aware that reusables save a boatload of money in the long run. But since we like math, we broke it down so you can see for yourself!

cloth pads vs disposables: the Cost Breakdown

With proper care, GladRags are made to last at least 5 years. It’s likely that they will last much longer than that, but in this case, we’ll look at cost comparisons for a 5-year span. For the disposables, we’ll take tampons as our example, with the assumption that they’re being changed every 6 hours.

5-Day Cycle

GladRags splurge: 1 Deluxe Cloth Pad Kit (should cover your whole cycle, might include a wash day in the middle) = $199.99

GladRags on a shoestring: 5 Day Pads (will need to wash throughout your cycle) = $74.95

20 tampons = $5

5 Years

1 Deluxe Cloth Pad Kit = $199.99

5 Day Pads = $74.95

1,200 tampons = $300

Wow, look at those savings! Plus, we didn’t even factor in potential additional costs with disposables, like buying pantiliners to use as tampon backup. Switching to cloth is a clear win: whether you choose to go with fewer pads and wash them more frequently, or opt for a larger purchase that can cover most of your cycle, you’re still coming out on top after 5 years. With just a handful of Day Pads, you’re already pulling ahead after less than 1.5 years!

Making it work

We know, you’re still thinking, “Sure, cloth pads will save me money in the long run…but I still can’t afford them right now.” We hear you. And you’re not alone. Here are some wise words from others who have been right where you are now:

“A lot of companies offer a free pad if you’re a new customer, and you just have to pay shipping. I got 4 pads this way, so was able to try them out. Then I bought a starter kit from GladRags! So worth it.”  –Megan V.

“Collect items one at a time. Watch for sales!”  –Tibby P.

“I started out small: my first purchase was pantyliners. That way I could try them out, the cost was lower, and I figured even if I didn’t go any further in my reusable lifestyle change that would be a good chunk of trees and money saved over the long run.”  –Ashley R.

“Bought one or two a year, eventually had enough for a full cycle and have used them for almost 10 years.”  –Stephanie T.

Takeaways? Buy one pad at a time for gradual savings. Start with a smaller and cheaper size, like Pantyliners. Take advantage of sales, giveaways, and first-time-customer offers, using social media to see when brands announce them. Buy in bulk when you can, since value kits have savings built in. Ask for cloth pads as gifts!

Last but not least…GladRags would never leave you hanging! To get you started, here’s your first cloth Pantyliner for just the cost of shipping. And if you follow along on Facebook and Instagram and subscribe to our newsletter, we promise to let you know when there are chances to build up your stash for less!