How Often Should You Buy New Underwear?

three pairs of underwear

Still wearing the same underwear from high school?

You’re not the only one, we promise! It can sometimes be harder than you think to get rid of old reliables like bras and underwear. This is especially true if the bras and underwear have managed to stay in good condition, with little to no holes or damage. 

Hey, we like these for a reason! They’re probably super comfy and stretchy and everything you look for in a bra or a pair of underwear. 

But when is it time to let go of these beloved bras and underwear? It may be harder and sooner than you may like it to be. If you’re on the fence about if it’s time for a trade-in or not… then this article is for you.

Here’s everything you need to know about buying new underwear and how and why to get rid of the old. 

Does Underwear Have an Expiration Date? 

Yes… and no. Underwear can’t really “expire” in the way that you may think, but there definitely comes a time when you need a trade-in, and this time could be different for every individual. 

It’s usually advised to toss your underwear once there are holes in them or the main elastic breaks. No matter how beloved your underwear may be, these two factors mean it’s time to retire. 

Some experts say six to nine months is the ideal time to toss the undies, but it truly is different for every person. Some may consider that an excessive number, considering they wear a freshly washed pair of underwear each day, and that may be true for them. 

Focus on the functionality and fit of the underwear, not necessarily a specific timeline. But if a specific timeline is what you need to keep your underwear clean and safe, then, by all means, use one! It is really up to you.

Many health experts (specifically experts that deal with sexual health and well-being) say that you should replace your underwear “when you want or need to,” which could mean a lot of different things. But, again, it is ultimately your call on the quality of your underwear.

Are There Health Risks if My Underwear Is Old? 

While there aren't any direct health risks associated with old underwear, there can be some health risks when it comes to repeat-wearing of underwear or even wearing an old, poorly washed pair. The only main health risk to an old pair of underwear can come if the underwear doesn't fit anymore. 

If the underwear is far too tight downstairs, there is nowhere for the moisture or even the air to go. This can lead to yeast infections and other health conditions if not treated properly. So, while this has nothing to do with the underwear being inherently “old,” worn-out or unfitting underwear can open the door to future health problems. 

Naturally, underwear can be an easy place for bacteria buildup and other not-so-fun stuff. So it’s crucial to wash your underwear thoroughly and with care. Underwear helps protect your private parts and all other close and intimate parts of your skin.

It’s important to keep this area clean and well cared for to avoid problems in the future. Your underwear does the same. Keep your daily underwear washed and cared for, and you may just see a world of a difference in how you feel down there and every day. 

How Often Should You Buy New Underwear? 

Well, the short answer is you need to buy new underwear when you need or want new underwear.

Underwear doesn’t magically “go bad” at six months, but that doesn't mean that you shouldn't be actively washing and taking care of your favorite pair up to this point. Properly washing your underwear and storing it properly after a wash can help ensure that you don’t need to buy new underwear all the time, only when needed or wanted.

Also, there is more than just one type of underpants; you’ll want to stay up to date on all the different styles and brands and what they are all used for. The way that you wash and store lingerie is probably vastly different from the way you wash and store your favorite boxers.

Keep all this in mind when planning your next underwear-shopping trip!

Period Underwear: The Basics

If you get a period, there is a type of underwear made specifically for your time of the month. Made for light flow days, the built-in leak protection offers a more breathable alternative to traditional pads or tampons. 

At TomboyX, our leak-proof period underwear comes in sizes from 3XS to 6X and in classic styles like the hipster, boxer brief, and trunks, and in colors like black, plum, and night sky. No matter what your day calls for, there’s a size and style for you. 

You’ll probably want to toss your period underwear in the hamper when you feel the wetness, but you generally don’t want to wear a pair for more than 12 hours. Wash period underwear after every use and replace them as you would with other undergarments. 

How Often Should You Wash Underwear?

It’s recommended to wash your underwear after every wear or even every single day. Your underwear protects such a sensitive area that it’s easy for bacteria and other things to get trapped in there and just be able to grow unless taken care of properly. 

Granted, you likely won’t get immediately sick or anything if you wear your underwear more than two days in a row… but this can just open doors to future illnesses and infections. You probably will feel a little bit itchy, which is never fun for anybody. 

Wash your new or used underwear in hot soapy water to ensure all that bacteria is washed away. Also, whether you are hand washing your underwear or using a mechanical washing machine, ensure that the tools you use, your hands or the washer, and even the soaps and detergents you use are high quality and clean themselves. 

What Is the Best Material for Underwear? 

When shopping for new underwear, look for underpants that are made with organic cotton or linen. This is the best option in terms of sustainability, comfort, and accessibility.

Cotton is a lightweight and breathable material — two things that promise an overall satisfying experience from a pair of underwear. When cropped organically, cotton is the best. Add in performance materials like polyester, Spandex, lycra, and more, and there’s nothing your clothes can’t do. Other beloved fabrics include TENCEL™ Modal, which is made from sustainable beechwood and is twice as soft as cotton!

Sustainability is significant when shopping, but especially for underwear. Underwear as a product can sometimes be delicate or hard to narrow down in terms of fabrics, brands, etc.

At TomboyX, we are B Corp certified to ensure that every step of the manufacturing process is sustainable and ethical. We are proud of our use of TENCEL™ Modal and the OEKO-TEX certification on all our products. So…Now What? 

There is an underwear style or shape for just about anything. Make sure that you’ve got extras of the stuff you love, and don’t forget to treat yourself once in a while. You deserve to feel sexy in some new underwear too! 

If, after reading all this, you think it’s time for a refresh on your underwear, then it probably is. Go ahead and gather all your old underwear together. Depending on the material, you may be able to recycle some and keep them from a landfill. 

If you still have unopened, new packs of underwear that are no longer the right size or style for your needs, consider donating them to a nearby shelter or resource center. 

Now comes the fun part. With the old underwear gone, it’s time to treat yourself to some new pairs. Figure out what style and cut you prefer of underwear, and don’t be afraid to stock up on it.

Underwear can be a funny thing sometimes and hard to narrow down, so do your research to ensure that the pairs you are getting will help you look and feel confident and comfortable.

Thanks for taking the time to read this, and have fun revamping your underwear drawer! 


How Often Should You Get New Underwear? | Health 

How often should you change your underwear? Experts react to 9-month rule | NZ Herald 

Vaginal Yeast Infections (for Teens) | Nemours KidsHealth

What Is Period Underwear and Does It Work? | Cleveland Clinic