The best menstrual pad for heavy flow

Ana Sanchez

It’s normal for some days of your period to be heavier than others. For many menstruating women, the first day or two of their period is heaviest. It’s best to be prepared for your heavy flow days with the right kind of pad so you’re not constantly running to the bathroom.

A menstrual pad designed for heavy flow gives you more time between pad changes and less worry about leaks. The most reliable ones feature extra-long coverage, like Stayfree Maxi Super Long Pads With Wings.

What to know before you buy menstrual pads for heavy flow

Super vs. super plus absorbency

For heavy flow days, buy pads with “super” absorbency, which are designated for heavy flow days. During a heavy menstrual flow, you can lose between 60 and 80 milliliters of blood. If you find you’re changing a regular absorbency pad every 2 hours or more, it’s time to switch to a super maxi pad. Some brands label their pads “heavy flow” instead of super, but they mean the same thing. 

Pads labeled “super plus” absorb even more than “super” absorbency pads. However, these aren’t as commonplace as super pads or even super-plus tampons. Super-plus pads typically fall between super and overnight pads in terms of absorbency but are much less popular. If your super maxi pad isn’t cutting it during the day, level up to a super-plus pad. 

Overnight absorbency

Overnight pads are designed to be worn while you sleep. They provide the maximum absorbency of all pads and can hold 10-15 milliliters of menstrual fluid before becoming fully saturated. They’re typically longer in length than all other pads to prevent leaks when you’re in a prone position. They tend to be thicker as well. 


Overnight pads are the longest pad, roughly 11-12 inches. Most super absorbency pads are longer than regular pads, whether or not they’re labeled “long.” Around 10 inches is the average length of super pads, which gives the wearer extra protection from leaks that can occur front-to-back on heavy flow days.


Although “ultra-thin” super absorbency pads claim to have the same protection as maxi pads, this isn’t always the case if your period is super heavy. Though ultra-thin pads are more comfortable to wear and don’t have that diaper-like feel of thicker pads, they can become overly saturated if your flow is steady. If your flow tends to wax and wane, an ultra-thin pad may be all you need for protection.  

Menstrual pad for heavy flow features


Many pads for heavy flow feature wings, which extend out from the sides of the pad and stick with adhesive backing around the crotch of the underwear. Wings provide more security and keep a pad from shifting as you move throughout your day. Be aware that wings are visible on the outside of your underwear. 

Scented vs. unscented

While odor associated with your period is quite normal, some pads offer scented pads to mask smells and neutralize odor. If you have sensitive skin, however, these synthetic fragrances may cause allergic reactions such as itching, rash and redness. Because manufacturers are not required to list the ingredients in their “fragrance,” you don’t know what potentially irritating or harmful chemicals are in your pad.

Most menstrual pads for heavy flow are unscented, which means they don’t contain fragrance of any kind. These are considered safer for the skin and the body. Some unscented pads feature odor neutralization if smell is a concern for you. 


Arguably the safest menstrual pads for your body are organic cotton pads. These are made from cotton that’s not treated with pesticides or other agrochemicals. They’re typically free of fragrance as well as dyes, chlorine bleach and other chemicals. Not only are organic pads nontoxic but they’re also eco-friendly. On the downside, they’re costlier than conventional pads made of rayon or non-organic cotton. 

Menstrual pad for heavy flow cost 

Super absorbency pads cost between $0.13-$0.64 per pad. Organic pads for heavy flow start at $0.44 per pad. 

Menstrual pad for heavy flow FAQ

Are there reusable menstrual pads for heavy flow? 

A. Yes. More manufacturers are making reusable menstrual pads that can be washed and reused. These are made from natural fabrics like cotton or bamboo, or absorbent synthetic fabrics. They secure to the underwear with snaps on the wings instead of the adhesive backing featured on all disposable pads. Eco-friendly pads come in heavy flow as well as overnight absorbency levels. 

How often should I change my heavy flow menstrual pad? 

A. Always change your pad when it becomes fully saturated to avoid leaks and overflow. Pads designed for daytime wear should be changed every 2-3 hours, or at a minimum of four times a day. Leaving a pad on too long can lead to odor as well as encourage yeast or bacterial growth.  

Which menstrual pad for heavy flow should I get?

Best of the best menstrual pad for heavy flow 

Stayfree Maxi Super Long Pads with Wings: available at Amazon

Our take: Not only are these maxi pads long, they’re also extra-wide for maximum coverage during your heavy flow days.

What we like: Quick-absorbing, cottony cover keeps you dry. Features 18 anti-leak channels that keep you covered both front-to-back and side-to-side. Unscented but neutralizes odor.

What we dislike: Adhesive backing doesn’t stick well for some consumers. 

Best bang for your buck menstrual pad for heavy flow

Always Maxi Super Pads with Wings: available at Amazon

Our take: Coming in a bargain pack of 60, these super absorbency pads guard against leaks for up to 9 hours. 

What we like: Affordable. LeakGuard core is incredibly absorbent. Pads securely fit in place with wings. RapidDry cotton surface keeps you dry. Long fit for extra coverage.

What we dislike: While these pads offer maximum protection, they feel thick to wear.

Honorable mention menstrual pad for heavy flow

Seventh Generation Ultra Thin Super Long Pads: available at Amazon

Our take: Free of chlorine bleach, these earth-friendly pads are gentle on your skin and are ultra-thin. 

What we like: Flexible thin pads allow for mobility and barely feel there. Wingless design stays in place. Doesn’t cause itching in sensitive users. Long length provides extra protection. 

What we dislike: Pad material is synthetic, and some users don’t like the plastic feel. 

Ana Sanchez is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money.

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