We’ve surely all heard it before: “Wear breathable underwear.” But why is this important for women? And why aren’t we seeing many healthy, breathable options out there? Besides the classic granny panty, of course.
Why your underwear needs to be breathable
For many women, yeast infections are quite common and typically very uncomfortable. While we don’t always know the root cause of these infections, it sometimes has to do with the fit and fabric of our underwear.
"Breathability is really important," says Alyssa Dweck, MD, an ob-gyn in Westchester County, New York. “Synthetic materials like polyester and nylon can be confining and non-breathable and can lead to irritation, rashes and infection, especially if you’re already prone to those things.”
Breathable fabrics you should look for
When it comes to the best fabric choice, natural fibers are key. Not only are these fabrics breathable (keeping your lady bits dry and feeling fresh), but they are also better for your health, since natural fibers are chemical free. Cotton has been the go-to fabric when it comes to breathable underwear. However, a few new fibers have surfaced that have proven to be softer and more breathable than cotton.
To ease your panty hunt, we’ve compiled a list of our favorite and most breathable underwear for women in a variety of styles. We also highlight the exact fabric composition, and a bit about what makes these panties so great!
1. Invisible Cheeky Thong 2-pack
Brand: Organic Basics
Price: $50 USD
Fabric: 82% recycled nylon, 18% elastane
Benefits: For that true seamless cut, this pair is great for under fitness leggings, and won't show the slightest trace of panty line.
The majority of the fabric is recycled, and uses an organic cotton gusset.
2. Cross Thong Underwear
Brand: Calita Intimates
Price: $28 CAD
Fabric: 93% TENCEL™ Modal, 7% Spandex
Benefits: A unique front cross, with an elastic free smooth fold-over waistband.
Derived from sustainably sourced tree bark, TENCEL™ is proven to not only withstand repeated wash cycles, but is also softer and more breathable than cotton.
3. Full Coverage Brief
Headquarters: United States
Price: $17.95 CAD
Fabric: 80% viscose made from bamboo, 13% nylon, 7% spandex
Benefits: Sits high on the waist. Great for all shapes and sizes.
Harvested in FSC-certified fields in the Sichuan Province of China, their organically-grown bamboo is used to create a soft and durable fabric.
4. The Bikini
Headquarters: United States
Price: $20 CAD
Fabric: 92% Supima cotton, 8% elastane
Benefits: A classic bikini cut, with a barely-there feel. No frills here.
Grown in the United States, Supima cotton is distinguished by its extra-long fiber length, which gives it more durability and a softer hand-feel.
5. Granny Knicker
Brand: Mighty Good Basics
Price: $15.43 USD
Fabric: 95% organic cotton, 5% elastane
Benefits: Smooth and comfortable all over coverage, with an elastic waistband for extra support.
Their organic and Fairtrade cotton supply chain is certified by both the Global Organic Textile Standard and the Fairtrade Labelling Organizations International.