UNIQLO released AIRism sanitary shorts not too long ago.
And out of curiousity, we thought we'd put them to the test to see how they work and if they even work.
According to its description, UNIQLO's AIRism sanitary shorts is made of three layers:
– A quick-drying and odour control layer that keeps the surface against the skin comfortable
– An absorbent layer that can hold up to 30ml to 40ml of liquid
– A water-resistant layer made of laminated water-repellent fabric
Before we get to the review bit, just want to add a disclaimer that this isn't a sponsored post but SAYS was sent the item upon request.
Like most things in life, we won't know how well it works until we try it out for ourselves.
And though I love providing good honest reviews, no period cycle between women is the same. So it's only fair that different women, who use different types of feminine hygiene products, each test it out for themselves.
We got eight Malaysian women of different ages, sizes, and careers to put the sanitary shorts to the test. Here's what they think:
"I wasn't sure if they would make me feel secure enough during my period... I was surprised. Everything stayed in place very well, secure enough for me to move around without the bocor paranoia."
Tabby, who usually wears pads, says, "Not going to lie, I was a little worried before trying on these sanitary shorts because I am familiar with UNIQLO's AIRism undergarments and yes, it's comfortable but I wasn't sure how well these sanitary shorts would hold and if they would make me feel secure enough during my period.
"So I decided to try it on a not-so-heavy flow day with a pad (just in case) and I was surprised. Everything stayed in place very well, secure enough for me to move around without the bocor paranoia. It was also very comfortable to sleep in. Next cycle, would definitely, confidently wear it on my heavier days."
"Plus, the fact that it says it has an absorbent layer and water resistant layer, that sense of security can definitely be felt when you put on the shorts. Definitely thick enough to maybe eliminate wearing pads / tampons (if you dare) and panty liners — environmentally friendly pros there.
"Cons would be it's a little bit too high-waisted for me (I usually don't wear high-waisted clothes 'cause it can be uncomfortable) but it's still comfortable enough to wear (for long hours too). And for the price, I'm not sure whether I would buy more to replace regular undies I already have in my drawer — it's still something for me to think about." — Tabby, 32, talent manager
"I didn't need to worry about the issues that normally come with using disposable pads — like it moving around and leaving stains everywhere, or the extra thickness which makes you feel like you're walking around with a diaper"
Alyssa, who tested the sanitary shorts without any other feminine hygiene product, says, "As someone who has only ever used pads, the sanitary shorts feel like a huge game changer. Initially I wasn't sure if it would actually work, because the shorts have the look and feel of typical seamless underwear, though with extra layers and an already sewn in reusable pad.
"After the initial anxiety over whether it will leak through or not, eventually I enjoyed the hassle-free experience it gave me because I didn't need to worry about the issues that normally come with using disposable pads — like it moving around and leaving stains everywhere, or the extra thickness it comes with wearing one which then makes you feel like you're walking around with a diaper.
"The absorbent part of the shorts worked really well, and it didn't leave any uncomfortable heavy weight like how materials do when they absorb water."
"TMI ahead: you do occasionally need to wipe away some of the clotted bits of blood from the shorts, since it does not get absorbed into the layer. Its sleek feel means that it can pass as seamless underwear, and I even wore a dress while on my period — something I normally avoid doing during that time of month. I typically wear XS/S underwear, and the S-sized sanitary shorts were a rather snug fit for me." — Alyssa, 26, senior copy editor
"Not great for wearing under tight fitting clothes like workout leggings as you can see the various outlines, including VPL. Potentially can get away with it if wearing dark colours or patterns."
Fitness instructor Agnetha, who normally uses pads / tampons during her workouts, tested by wearing just the undies without any other feminine hygiene product.
"Initial impression putting it on: felt very bulky and big. The area at the crotch is like 10cm wide (way wider than my lady bits). It felt like it was bunching, but after a while you don't really notice it anymore.
"Gives me MAJOR camel toe. It's not even my actual body doing it but the thickness and width of the crotch area that gathers and folds in a camel toe-like shape at the front.
"Hard to tell how much the panty has absorbed 'cause it's black. I can't easily see a contrast to know if it’s 'full' or not and whether I should change it yet. Maybe cause I don't have very heavy flow periods?
"Not great for wearing under tight fitting clothes like workout leggings as you can see the various outlines of the absorbent layer including VPL. Potentially can get away with it if wearing dark colours or patterns."
"Overall, it stays put well and doesn't move around a lot, did a few squats with it and it felt secure.
"Final thoughts: I would wear it for night use and perhaps on days where I'm wearing loose fitting clothes. I do find it comfy." — Agnetha, 31, fitness instructor and group head at an advertising agency
"I tested it on a full-on activity day... and I still felt 'fresh' towards the end. But it can get quite hot in this Malaysian weather."
Sooky, who normally wears pads, says, "When I first put on the UNIQLO undies, I was quite excited lah because I've never tried or bought premium undies before so it was a 'fuyoohh is this how premium undies feel like' moment.
"First impression was really good, I like how it fits onto my hips area very well. Felt like it gives a nice shape also because of the fit and I did feel 'protected'.
"I tested it on a full-on activity day, so I used it throughout the whole day and I must say that I'm very impressed that I don't 'smell' after a long day of usage and I still feel 'fresh' towards the end of the day.
"One thing though, because the material is thick and premium — it can get quite hot when I was outside in this Malaysian weather but in air conditioning I didn't feel the heat as much so it's still good. :)" — Sooky, 28, business owner
"I have a heavy flow but the sanitary shorts soaked up any leakage without seeping through to my clothes throughout my cycle"
As a menstrual cup user myself (this article's writer), I have a pretty heavy flow. And I leak easily, even when wearing liners or pads on top of a menstrual cup, so the UNIQLO sanitary underwear really works for me.
I like the size of the padded area, which I find is large enough so nothing spills over. When I leaked while using the cup, the sanitary shorts held up the leakage without seeping through to my clothes throughout my cycle. Yet, it didn't feel like I was wearing a thick pad all day... you know, that diaper, itchy feeling?
To prove how it didn't leak, here's a video on a sample UNIQLO sanitary shorts piece we were sent:
On top of that, the panty itself is super comfy (periods are already so uncomfortable so this is a GREAT plus point). I tried hand washing it and it dried overnight, so you could own just one or two pieces and keep washing and reusing them throughout your cycle.
I think even if you're wearing it on non-period days, it helps with discharge or spotting so you don't need to keep switching panty liners (save the Earth!) or get worried if you've leaked through to your outer clothes.
Overall, I felt pretty confident to walk in public with just the cup while wearing this. Usually I would feel the need to double up by wearing a pad/panty liner and a cup when going out because I'm still new to the menstrual cup and getting used to it. — Tamara, 27, lifestyle editor
"The perfect product for a pad user who wants to opt for a more eco-friendly option but not quite ready to try a menstrual cup yet"
Suli, who uses a menstrual cup, says, "Pleasantly surprised at how absorbent it is! No spills! I think it is the perfect product for a pad user who wants to opt for a more eco-friendly option but not quite ready to try a menstrual cup yet.
"As a cup user, it pairs perfectly as a replacement reusable 'panty liner' in case of any overflow or leakage on a heavy bleeding day. I only wish the padded area was in a different colour so I can be sure that it is 101% clean after washing." — Suli, 35, baker
"Surprisingly quite a dry feeling even when I knew I'd definitely bled maybe 15ml into it directly"
Joni, who also uses a menstrual cup, says, "It's a bit warm for a non-pad user on hot days but worth it 'cause it's more convenient as a liner or when I don't know if there'll be any surprises.
"I tried washing by hand and also machine. Seems easy enough. Hung it to dry in front of a fan when I hand washed. Two pieces seem enough for a full cycle if you're diligent to wash and dry one at night.
"I tested it out on my first day without the cup and it was surprisingly quite a dry feeling even when I knew I'd definitely bled at least 15ml into it directly. Hate feeling wet so this one worked out quite well actually.
"Used it on first and last day without anything else, to test it properly. Sat on a white sofa in a dress. All good, safe.
"My menstrual cup was full but I left it as is for a few more hours just to see if the shorts would hold the leakage well if I was in public and couldn't find a toilet. It did. I'm impressed." — Joni, 35, makeup artist
"The material is stretchy but tight enough to ease worries about potential leakages"
Tiffany, who uses pads, says, "They were really comfortable to wear when out and about. I wore them on the second day of my period when my flow was the heaviest. I had a pad on because I didn't want to deal with an overflow, but to my surprise, I had none (sometimes my flow is too heavy and leaks)!
"The material is stretchy but tight enough to ease worries about potential leakages, and it was also convenient to wash. Honestly, I would wear it again on my next period without a pad, and I bet it would be enough to prevent 'accidents'. No more having to ask my girlfriends to help me 'check'!" :p — Tiffany, 22, student
If you want to try them out for yourself, the sanitary shorts come in multiple sizes and four colours: purple, black, brown, and dark green
Each piece retails for RM79.90 – pretty steep but if you think about it, disposable pads and liners cost between RM10 and RM40 per month, so if these shorts last a year or more, that's quite a bit of saving.
They are currently sold out on UNIQLO's website but you can find the sanitary shorts at UNIQLO outlets in Fahrenheit88, 1 Utama Shopping Centre, and Mid Valley Megamall.
Contraception does not have to be a taboo topic either. Here is all you need to know about birth control in Malaysia: