A direct visual comparison between a liner and a pad, focusing on their respective shapes and sizes. The liner features a spot of discharge, while the pad shows a spot of blood in its absorbent region.

When it comes to intimate care products, one common dilemma many of us face is figuring out when to use panty liners and when to wear pads. Join us as we unlock the secret to their differences so that you can choose the right one for each stage of your cycle.

What sets pads and liners apart? If you've ever found yourself standing in front of the aisle and scratching your head for an answer, trust us, you're not alone.

Understanding the difference between liners and pads can be tricky, especially if you’ve just entered puberty or if your intimate care needs have shifted. It can feel like stepping into a whole new world with many options to choose from. So where do you begin?

Don't sweat it, we've got your back. In this handy guide, we'll walk you through the key differences between pads and liners, so you'll never have to second-guess which one to reach for. Let's get started!

Pads vs panty liners


Period pads, sanitary towels – whatever you want to call them, chances are you're familiar with these classic period products . They’re your trusty sidekick for days when you’re actively on your period. This is due to their larger size and stronger absorption power, making it easy to handle menstrual blood and even those pesky blood clots.

What's more, many of these pads come with wings – those nifty sticky flaps on the sides that help to keep the pad securely in place on your underwear. They’re also available in different sizes, like regular or long, so you can pick what suits you best. With so many options to choose from, it’s worth experimenting to find the one that feels the most comfortable for your body and flow!

Panty liners

On the other hand, liners are specially designed to deal with all the other flows that occur during your menstrual cycle , whether that’s vaginal discharge, spotting , or irregular flows , and many go beyond your cycle, also covering sweat, after-sex fluids, or even light trickles of pee.

At first glance, it might not be obvious what the difference is between period pads and liners – when in doubt, remember that period pads are there to support you through your period, and liners are there for everything else your cycle might come up with.

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Differences between panty liners and pads

1. Panty liners are for light flows outside of your period

As a rule of thumb, liners are best for use outside of your period. Whereas, sanitary pads or towels give you reliable protection during your period, especially for days when you have heavier menstrual flow.

Your flowLinersPads
Vaginal Discharge
Irregular flows
Menstrual blood
Trickles of pee

A close-up view shows hands opening a new liner, getting ready to replace the used liner that's stuck inside the underwear.
Vaginal discharge

Liners help manage vaginal discharge by providing an absorbent barrier, keeping you feeling fresh and dry throughout the day.

A few dots of blood on the liner.

As spotting can happen unexpectedly, wearing liners can help absorb that light bleeding and protect your underwear from any stains. 

A person doing yoga.

Liners can help absorb excess moisture from sweat and act as a barrier between your skin and underwear, keeping you fresh for longer. 

2. Panty liners are thin compared to pads

Although liners may look similar to pads in the beginning, they're slimmer and slightly different in shape. You can think of them as your trusty daily wear companion – giving you an extra layer of protection against any unexpected flows or excess moisture from sweat.

There are many different types of liners available, so you’re sure to find one with the right absorbency, fit and style for you. No matter what you’re looking for, Bodyform has got you covered with a variety of liners that suit your needs:

  • If you’re looking for liners to give you a boost of daily protection, then our Bodyform Regular Daily Fresh Liners are here to save the day. You can wear them daily on their own or as a backup when on your period if you use tampons or menstrual cups.
  • Or, if you’re after that barely-there, light-as-a-feather feeling, our Bodyform So Slim Liners might be an ideal choice to help you stay fresh and confident all day long.
  • Need versatility? Our Bodyform Multistyle Liners are designed to blend seamlessly with any style of underwear you choose to rock.
  • And yes, we've even got string Liners to match your thongs and string underwear, making sure that you're covered no matter what you wear.
  • If you adore dark colours, you might like to try our Bodyform Black Liners, ready to perfectly complement your black underwear collection.
  • And if you’re looking for powerful protection from all fluids, no matter if it’s discharge, blood, pee or anything else in between, then our Bodyform All Fluid Protection Liners are the ones.

3. Pads come in many absorbency levels — from light to super heavy

That's right! Pads are incredibly versatile when it comes to managing your period blood. Whether you experience starty-stoppy flows, clotty-clumpy surprises, or even sudden gushes – they work in sync with your menstrual flow.

They are designed to be particularly absorbent, ready to tackle all kinds of flow intensities. So whether you're experiencing a lighter flow at the beginning or end of your period or dealing with those heavy flow days , pads have got you covered. Some even come in different lengths to fit different body shapes and occasions, extending further up the back of your underwear to ensure maximum protection.

Pads are trusty companions not only on the days of your period but also the nights. With their combination of mighty absorption and length, night-time period pads offer extra protection and comfort. So whether you're a restless sleeper or experience a heavier flow during the night, you can be rest assured to get a peaceful and worry-free night's sleep during your period with pads like our Libresse Goodnight Ultra X-Large Sanitary Pads with Wings

Panty liners vs. pads – which intimate care product is right for you?

When it comes to choosing between liners and pads, it's all about understanding your flow, specific needs and finding the perfect fit depending on the phase of your menstrual cycle. If you're unsure about the phases of your cycle, using a period tracker might be a good idea. It will help you better understand when to expect what so that you can prepare with the right products. Keeping a specific record of your period and how much flow you have each day can also be helpful when deciding which period protection will work best for you.

In a nutshell, liners are perfect for days with very light or unexpected flows, spotting, discharge, and sometimes, even light trickles of pee. They are thin, flexible and help keep your V-Zone (this refers to everything to do with our vagina, vulva and the V-shaped front of your body) fresh throughout the day.

On the other hand, pads are your go-to option for menstrual flow, especially on the nights of your period. With their higher absorbency, larger size, and extended coverage, the right pads make periods much more manageable. And remember, if you’re unsure, you always have the option to try out a few different products to discover what works best for you. At the end of the day, the decision is completely yours!

Want to find out more? Why not explore what period products are right for you and our top tips on how to use liners?

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