All Cloth Pads are Not Created Equal
This blog is intended to be “fluff and crunch free” meaning that you’ll never come across a DIY furniture project or dish soap recipe on this site, ever! With that said, because cloth pads and cloth diapers are so closely linked (and I have even heard of some moms using cloth pads as incognito bed-wetting protection for their little ones), and because my early experience with cloth pads was just as confusing as beginning to use cloth diapers was, I had to create this review of my favorite cloth menstrual pads.
And when I say favorite, I mean these pads are miles ahead of their competitors. And I know from experience, as I’ve tested several other brands over the years before I found Tree Hugger Cloth pads and FINALLY could throw my disposable pads and tampons away.
How It Was Rated
I rated these cloth pads using the same criteria that I judge cloth diapers on. These are: absorbency and effectiveness, adjustability and fit, prints and fabrics, support and warranty, and price and availability.
Here’s a look at how Tree Hugger Cloth pads earned their Cloth Diapers for Beginners star rating:
1. Absorbency and Effectiveness
Tree Hugger Cloth pads start with a top layer of bamboo velour, minky, or cotton, placed over layers of Zorb (except for panty liners, which have no Zorb), and sandwiched together with a final layer of water-resistant fleece on the bottom. You can read more about Zorb in this article where I interviewed its manufacturer. All you need to know here though, is that it’s incredibly absorbent.
I actually find my Tree Hugger pads absorb more than the equivalent absorbency of disposable pads. When I first started using Tree Hugger Cloth Pads I was in a postpartum period and didn’t have that many, so I was interchanging them with my leftover disposables. I had less leaks in the Tree Hugger postpartum pads. In fact I can’t recall any, though I did have leaks every single time using the disposable pads even though they were larger.
One thing I feel makes Tree Hugger Cloth pads way better than other brands of cloth menstrual pads is the water-resistant fleece backing. Not only has it never leaked on me, but it does an amazing job of holding the pad in place on your underwear. One of my major complaints about other brands is that they shift around when walking, which just causes leaks. These don’t move when they’re in place even at night, and sometimes I can sleep like a toddler getting their diaper changed, so that’s saying something.
2. Adjustability and Fit
Tree Hugger cloth pads come in a variety of sizes. Here’s a quick video with Crystal, the owner of Tree Hugger Cloth Pads, explaining the different sizes and absorbancies available:
If pressed, this might be the one area that I think Tree Hugger could do a little better. All of their cloth pads by default come with one snap and in the dozen or so standard lengths. While I find the lengths to be pretty great, and even enjoy the square edging now (it did take a while for me to warm up to the rectangle shape instead of rounded ends, I don’t know why, and it seems silly now) I do wish they came in different widths.
That said, shortly after I began ordering Tree Hugger pads, I discovered that you CAN get an additional snap added to any pad (except the night/postpartum pads because of their design). I’ve done this several times now. This extra snap really helps you customize the fit to your own underwear as they make them about 1/2″ narrower.
Getting the extra snap free just involves adding a note at checkout in the “Comments and Special Instructions” box. Crystal from Tree Hugger has a great blog post about the second snap explaining it all here.
My advice is that if you’re never ordered Tree Huggers before, get the second snap on one and give it a try because even if you don’t use it, that second snap won’t be a big deal either way.
3. PRINTS AND FABRICS
Cloth pads, like cloth diapers are available in a number of fabrics, sizes, and absorbencies. Luckily, Crystal from Tree Hugger did an amazing job of differentiating what each type of fabric is for in yet another short video:
My personal favorite is minky, though it can be a little warm in the summer, it is so incredibly soft and never stains. In the summer, I do enjoy the cotton a bit better, but find it does stain easily. That said, I’m very lazy about stains and washing, so I’ve never tried using their stain stick or any stain treatment. I also don’t bother preaching my pads in any way, so these stains would probably be easily avoided by anyone willing to take a few minutes to treat them properly.
As for prints, you really couldn’t ask for a wider and cuter selection. From classy prints (like chevron and damask) , to cute prints (like unicorns and fairies), to sassy prints (like shark week and angry uterus’s). Several times a year, including Black Friday, TreeHugger’s biggest sale, there are also limited edition prints released. The limited edition prints are usually super unique and fun.
4. SUPPORT AND WARRANTY
The amount of support the owner Crystal gives her community is phenomenal! I literally can not think of another company I have seen that will go to the lengths that she will to keep her customers happy. I have had to email her a few times with special requests (changing the address on my free shipping for life membership, and of course adding additional snaps when I forgot to include a note) and even though both of these things seemed to happen leading up to and during the Black Friday events, which are incredibly busy for Crystal and her family, I was never disappointed.
I honestly can’t count the number of Facebook posts I’ve read on their Facebook group, Tree Hugger Cloth Pads Tree House Chat, that have been about Crystal going completely above and beyond when it came to any small issue or concern about her pads. She is incredibly active on social media, and open an honest with her fans and customers.
The integrity of Tree Hugger Cloth Pads is also second to none. A few years ago, when I’d just joined Tree Hugger Cloth Pads on Facebook (I just checked, and it was a month after I joined their group in 2016) there was a surprise sale. It turned out that while picking up some pads from her local sewers (or something of the sort), Crystal dropped a bin of pads and they landed in a puddle. Rather than just washing and selling them, she washed them and sold them for a discount, making sure that everyone knew what had happened to them. The “puddle pad sale” was so popular and fast you had to be on the edge of your seat to get some. Everyone was super happy if they managed to score some. I was sadly not fast enough.
Basically, after a few years of following Tree Hugger Cloth Pads, it no longer feels like buying pads from a company. It starts to feel like buying things from a friend who will chat with you about them online and do anything to make sure you’re happy with them. It’s incredible and rare.
Beyond the incredible support and warranty offered by Tree Hugger Cloth Pads, Crystal and her company go above and beyond when it comes to social responsibility. Rather than going to China, or even finding some local factory to do her sewing now that Tree Hugger Cloth Pads is pretty popular with cloth pad users, Crystal instead has her pads hand sewn by local stay-at-home moms.
Not only that, but Tree Hugger Cloth Pads also plants one tree for every single pad sold.
5. PRICE AND AVAILABILITY
Just like cloth diapers, when you first see the price of cloth pads, there is some sticker shock. One pad, depending on the size, can cost about a month’s worth of disposable pads or tampons. With that said, cloth pads last for YEARS! And I do mean years! Unlike diapers, where you’re getting 2-3 years out of each one normally, you can get… well, to be completely honest I don’t think anyone really knows yet how long they last because I have yet to hear of any wearing out! I’ve had mine for four years at the time of publishing this post. My pads look and feel like the day I purchased them.
Crystal Burton the owner says they last for about 100-200 washes. But with no elastic to wear out and no PUL to get damaged like diapers, I sincerely think they could last much longer than that.
She recently sacrificed one of her own used pads and it’s super intresting to see what she found on the inside. Here’s that video if you want to check that out:
To help my readers feel confident in their decision to buy or pass on a product, I always try to find other reviews and opinions on the internet to share and link to.
For most of the diapers, accessories, and training pants I review, finding other credible reviews is often a challenge, but finding Tree Hugger Cloth Pads reviews was easy. In fact, there was so many, I decided it limit the reviews I included to video reviews. Even still, I was able to find nine video reviews to share with you, and incredibly, not a single one of them is negative.
Here’s what I could find:
“I will probably buy from her again. Crystal, the lady who owns Tree Hugger, she’s lovely–I sent her a message– her pads are really good.”“
–Precious Stars Pads
“I’m just really happy with Tree Hugger. I will definitely be ordering more from them, in fact I have ordered more.”
“I went with minky. Oh my gosh; think of a soft minky blanket, and that’s what these bad boys feel like on your vagina. They are amazing.I love, love, loved these pads.”
“They’re just so soft, and squishy, and wonderful.“
“Honestly, I loved them. Super comfortable. I didn’t have any leaking issues, at all — and I really tested them to the limit, and left them in longer than I would a normal pad, and nothing leaked.“
“I have tried cloth pads from Amazon, and I really wasn’t happy with them. And I thought, you know what, I don’t think I’m going to be using cloth pads, these just suck, they stink and everything. I was just really unhappy with that purchase of just the regular Amazon ones– you can get a whole bunch for a small price.
But when I got these Tree Hugger pads I was so pleasantly surprised. They don’t stink at all, they wash really nicely, and they’re so much more comfortable than the stuff that I just bought randomly on Amazon.”
“I just want to say, thank you Tree Hugger for making these pads, they are amazing, I love them so much, so thank you!”
–HEY It’s Annika!!!
“I contacted a friend that I knew was into cloth diapers… she said all of her friends recommended Tree Hugger Cloth pads, so I ordered my first set, and I fell in love.
I haven’t turned back, and if anything I’ve developed an addiction to them.“
Whether or not you’ve tried other brands of cloth pads in the past, I highly recommend you give Tree Hugger Cloth Pads a try if you are interested in cloth menstrual pads at all. These pads will just make you feel good:
- You’ll feel good in the pants, because you won’t have crunchy, sticky, and rough paper, plastic, and chemicals stuffed down them one week out of the year. Instead, you’ll have soft minky, bamboo, or cotton layers, fluffing up your underwear;
As the Tree Hugger Cloth Pads slogan says, these pads are “fluffy pillows for your vagina”;
- You’ll feel good about your wallet, after months and then years of never purchasing another box of disposable pads, ever;
- You’ll feel good about supporting work-at-home moms (vs. the management of some overseas sweatshop somewhere);
- You’ll feel good about supporting this amazing family business. Once you get to know Crystal, her husband, and all the amazing folks in the Tree Hugger Cloth Pads Tree House Chat, you’ll feel like part of a fun group of friends who just happen to have never met;
- You’ll feel good about your impact on the environment. Not only will you be eliminating your period waste, but you’ll be able to count the trees Tree Hugger Cloth Pads will plant for your purchases (one pad = one tree planted);
- You’ll feel good about your coverage, because unlike other cloth pads, Tree Hugger Cloth Pads stay in place;
- You’ll feel good about your protection. Unlike slick disposable pads, cloth pads don’t let the wetness move around before it’s absorbed. Wetness is just sucked right in;
- You’ll feel good every time you look at your pads, because they are frickin’ cute!
But you don’t have to take my word for it; go check out what Tree Hugger Cloth Pads has to offer:
April DuffyApril is the founder of Cloth Diapers for Beginners and author of The Cloth Diaper Wash & Care Handbook. Since 2015, April has helped well over 75,000 parents and caregivers cloth diaper their children through this website, her book, her YouTube Channel, and the Cloth Diapers for Beginners Facebook Group.
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