Style

Does period swimwear work? I bravely put it to the test

There wasn't a leak to be found.

Knix period swimwear Credit: Knix

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Nothing ruins a summer vacation faster than getting your period. Putting on a swimsuit while bloated, crampy, and bleeding? Yeah, no thanks. As someone with a relatively heavy flow, normally I’d just sit out trips to the pool or the beach. However, when I traveled to Hawaii last month, there was no way in heck I was going to miss out on that.

Before my trip, I was determined to find a leakproof bathing suit that would protect me from any bloody blunders. After a quick Google search, I came across Knix.

Knix is best known for its period underwear, which are panties with a gusset that absorbs liquid so you can live your life sans tampon or pad but also sans leakage. But the brand also now has period swimwear, which does the same thing but in water-friendly form. There are two bathing suit styles: the High-Rise Leakproof Swim Bottoms for $55 and the Leakproof Classic One-Piece for $105. Both swimsuits come in women’s sizes S to XXXL.

I decided to try out the Knix bikini on a recent trip, which was timed, of course, with the start of my period. Turns out it's a game-changer.

How does period swimwear work?

Knix claims that its period bathing suits can hold up to three teaspoons of fluid—which is the equivalent of about three tampons. The gusset of the bottoms is made with three layers that absorb your flow and prevent it from leaking through. "Our swimwear features the same Patented Leakproof Technology as our period underwear with an additional thin layer of waterproof material for extra protection," Knix explains. While designed to wear without any other protection, you can wear the swimsuits while wearing a tampon or menstrual cup, too, as an extra layer of protection.

The swimsuits are also chlorine- and salt-resistant and have 50+ SPF to help protect your skin from the sun's rays. To clean, all you have to do is machine-wash on a cold cycle and lay flat to dry.

What I like about Knix period swimwear

Knix
Credit: Reviewed/Casey Clark

I chose the black leakproof bottoms with a matching bikini top.

I tried the leakproof bikini bottoms in my usual size XXL and found them to fit true to size. They're comfortable and high-waisted, hitting just above my belly button. Because of this, they cover the bloat in my lower stomach from my period—which is something I'm often self-conscious about—and create a nice smoothing effect. The nylon/spandex material also dries quickly. Within 30 minutes of getting out of the pool, my suit was completely dry to the touch.

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My favorite thing about the Knix period swimsuit, however, is that I was able to enjoy my time by the pool without worrying about my period. Normally, I’d be constantly checking to see if I was leaking or stressing about when I would need to change my tampon—that doesn't exactly make for a fun time. But with this swimsuit, most of my anxiety was eliminated because I felt protected, thanks to both the gusset and the black color.

While swimming, I didn’t leak at all, and even afterwards, when I was lying out, there was no issue. I made it back to my hotel room two hours later without any stains or spotting—to say I was impressed would be an understatement. The swimsuit made me feel a lot more confident, and I was able to spend my vacation stress-free.

What I don’t like about Knix period swimwear

For as comfortable as the bathing suit bottoms were, they weren't exactly the most stylish. They serve their purpose for being leakproof but they aren't something I'd buy for looks alone. I also tried the scoop bikini top and was disappointed. It lacks structure, so my breasts didn't feel supported and I struggled with the padding—it wouldn't stay in place so I took it out.

The other thing I don't like about Knix period swimwear is the lack of variety. There are only two style options to choose from—bikini bottoms and a one-piece—and both only come in black. Knix does offer other swimsuits in bright colors and patterns, but they're not leakproof.

Is Knix period swimwear worth buying?

Knix
Credit: Knix

The leakproof swimwear comes in bikini bottoms or a one-piece.

Despite the fact that I don't think it's super stylish, I would buy the Knix bikini bottoms again for the protection alone. They do what they claim to: prevent leaks and keep you worry-free for hours. At $55, the bottoms are comparable to other higher-end separates you'd find at Nordstrom or Summersalt. And being able to enjoy the pool or beach while on your period without worrying about any embarrassing wardrobe mishaps? That’s for sure worth the money, if you ask me.

One note: I would skip the top, though, and snag a cuter, more supportive one from another brand instead—given that the Knix bottoms are solid black, they'll coordinate with anything..

Shop period swimwear at Knix

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Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.

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