Active Clothing Bras and Undies

‘I’m a Gynecologist, and These Are the Only Types of Underwear You Should Be Wearing’

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We’re officially a month into the new year, which means if you haven’t already, now would be a great time to refresh your underwear drawer. And by that, I mean it’s time to (respectfully) toss those briefs you’ve had since college in the trash, thank them for their service, and make way for a new guard of good-for-you underwear that’ll help keep your vulva happy and healthy all year long.

We love a comfortable and cute pair (or pack) of underthings as much as anyone—but not every undie is created equal, as far as your vaginal health is concerned, according to gynecologists. So we asked them to share their professional opinions on what we should look for while panty shopping, and rounded up the best underwear worth stocking up on this year.

First things first, think of the fit

According to Katerina Shkodzik MD, an OB/GYN and medical adviser at Mira, the best underwear for your vaginal health are the ones that fit. “It’s important for underwear to not be tight,” Dr. Shkodzik tells us. “Besides the fact that [tight fitting underwear] may not be comfortable, it can lead to more moisture and heat, irritate skin, and make the vulva/vaginal area more prone to infections.” Comfort is key, in other words, so prioritizing fit is always a must.

Breathable is always better

When it comes to material, gynecologists across the board say the more breathable the fabric, the better. “Many types of clothing material can be irritating or difficult to wear for a variety of reasons, and the same is true for what you put in contact with down there,” explains Staci Tanouye MD FACOG, a board-certified OB/GYN practicing in Jacksonville, Florida.

Dr. Tanouye recommends going for cotton or linen. “They're breathable, absorbent, and can help keep you cool and dry,” she explains. Bamboo, modal, and hemp are also great breathable options. “Anything that’s truly not breathable will create a less than ideal environment for bacteria to grow,” says David Ghozland MD OB/GYN, a board-certified OB/GYN, President of the Los Angeles County Medical Association and Chairman of the Department of OB/GYN.

Moisture-wicking is major

Because excess moisture can cause an overgrowth of bacteria, and potentially lead to infection, gynecologists say to look for moisture-wicking claims while underwear shopping. “Ideally women should look for moisture-wicking underwear to help move perspiration to the outer surface of the fabric and away from the skin,” says Kecia Gaither, MD MPH MS/MBA, a double board-certified physician in OB/GYN and Maternal Fetal Medicine, Director of Perinatal Services/Maternal Fetal Medicine at NYC Health + Hospitals. “They also dry fast, so the fabric doesn't become saturated.” Which underwear strikes the healthiest balance of all the above? Scroll on to find out.

11 best pairs of better-for-you underwear

target auden underwear pack, gynecologist approved underwear on a light grey background
Auden, Women's 6pk Bikini Underwear — $10.00

Available sizes: XS-XL

At only $10 bucks for six pairs, this budget-friendly pack of undies from Target proves you don’t need to pay a premium for good underwear. The bikini cut style offers ample coverage, and is made of 95 percent cotton with the slightest hint of spandex—for a soft and comfortable fit. Plus, they come in a bunch of fun patterns and colors. Some reviewers have even said they’re a more affordable alternative to Victoria’s Secret panties.

Colors: 3

aerie ribbed boy briefs, a gynecologist approved underwear
Aerie, Ribbed Cotton Boybrief Underwear — $9.00

Get 6 pairs for $30

Available sizes: XXS-XXL

These Aerie Boybrief Underwear are made using the brand’s most lightweight ribbed material—which means they’re as comfortable as it gets. The 89 percent cotton undies are uber breathable, and have a concealed elastic waistband so you get that plush cotton all-over feel all. What’s more, Aerie shoppers love them too—they say the soft fabric and comfy fit make them a perfect everyday underwear option.

Colors: 10

cuup high waisted thong in fuschia
Cuup, The High Waist Thong — $20.00

$16 each when you buy 3 or more

Available sizes: XS-3XL

We love Cuup’s unlined bras, so we were psyched to learn the brand’s undies are made of modal, a super soft material beloved by gynecologists for its breathable and moisture-wicking feel. The high waisted thong offers the minimal coverage you’d expect from a thong style (which also means no pantylines) but with unprecedented comfort and softness that you really just need to feel to believe. It’s even fashioned with a bamboo lining for added moisture-wicking and antimicrobial benefits. Plus, we love the limited-edition fuschia color way the brand released just in time for Valentine’s Day.

Colors: 8

fruit of the loom coolblend underwear, a gynecologist approved set of underwear on a white background
Fruit of the Loom, Women's Coolblend Moisture Wicking Panties — $12.00

Available sizes: S-2XL

“Great options don’t have to be expensive, a personal favorite of mine are the Moisture Wicking CoolBlend by Fruit of the Loom,” says Dr. Gaither. Available in high cut and bikini styles, this affordable pack of Fruit of the Loom underwear touts a blend of breathable cotton with moisture-wicking polyester to keep you feeling cool and dry all day long. Even better, they have a whopping 15,000+ 5-star reviews on Amazon, so you know they’re good.

Colors: 1 (in 2 different styles)

model wearing the bombas modal brief, a pair of gynecologist approved underwear
Bombas, Women’s Cotton Modal Brief Underwear — $22.00

Available sizes: XS-2X

While you probably know the brand for its socks, Bombas has actually been making underwear since 2021. For every pair you buy, another pair is donated to the homeless community (FYI: underwear is the second most requested item in homeless shelters). This tagless brief style is made of a super soft modal (another gynecologist-approved fabric) and breathable cotton blend, offers full cheek coverage, and features a special, comfy waistband that doesn’t dig into your waist.

Colors: 12

boody boyleg brief in navy blue, a pair of gynecologist approved underwear
Boody, Lyolyte Full Boyleg Brief — $14.00

Originally $18, now $14

Available sizes: XS-XL

Next to cotton, bamboo is a natural material that gynecologists love for its breathability and gentle feel. And eco-friendly underwear brand, Boody, has plenty of options to choose from. These high-waisted boyleg briefs are a super comfortable, full coverage option—perfect for folks who like to lounge in their undies. They’re made of 68 percent bamboo lyocell fabric, giving them a lightweight, breathable feel that’s quick-drying. And according to the 200+ reviews, the Boody briefs have totally earned their near-perfect 5-star rating.

Colors: 4

lululemon bikini underwear, which are gynecologist approved, on a grey background
Lululemon, UnderEase Mid-Rise Bikini Underwear 5 Pack — $74.00

Available sizes: XS-XXL

If you’re a regular gym-goer, you won’t regret investing in a pack of Lululemon’s UnderEase underwear. They’re made of a stretchy and soft modal material—which gynecologists love for its moisture-wicking properties—that’s naturally breathable and quick-drying, making them a must for sweaty workouts. Factor in the flat seams that help prevent chafing and the smooth dig-free waistband, and they’re a true MVP (most valuable panty).

Colors: 3

model wearing knix cotton modal underwear in black, a pair of gynecologist approved underwear
Knix, Cotton Modal Essential High Rise — $22.00

Available sizes: XS-4XL

We love Knix’s size-inclusive underwear, and it turns out the fabric on the brand’s Essential High Rise undies are OB/GYN-approved, too. The cotton and modal blend makes these seamless underwear supremely soft and comfortable, but also incredibly breathable—perfect for everyday wear. What’s more, the gusset is made of a blend of modal and seaweed fiber, giving it added moisture-wicking and odor-resistant benefits.

Colors: 2

everlane cotton thong on a model, one of the gynecologist approved underwear
Everlane, The Cotton Thong — $15.00

3 pairs for $36

Available sizes: XXS-XXL

For a breathable, no-frills thong that’s also better for you, Everlane’s Cotton Thong is as good as it gets. It’s made of 92-percent Supima cotton—which is even more comfortable and more durable than regular cotton. The tag-free design and smooth waistband gives these underwear a seamless fit that’s so comfy, you’ll even forget you have them on, according to one Everlane reviewer.

Colors: 3

skims cotton cheeky tanga, a pair of gynecologist approved underwear
Skims, Cotton Jersey Cheeky Tanga — $20.00

Available sizes: XXS-4XL

Try as you might to resist, Skims underwear really is that good. Featuring high cut legs, a cheeky backside, and a high-ish waist, the brand’s Cheeky Tanga underwear are proof that functional, good-for-you underwear can be sexy, too! They’re made of 90-percent cotton and feature a touch of spandex for that covetable and comfortable stretch. And according to the 900 reviews, Skims shoppers say they’re a total must-buy.

Colors: 7

thirdlove hipster underwear bundle, all gynecologist approved
Thirdlove, Organic Cotton Hipster Bundle — $65.00

Originally $75, now $65

Available sizes: XS-XL

Made of 93-percent organic cotton, this bundle of Thirdlove underwear is well worth the splurge. The tag-free undies boast a fuller coverage, hipster silhouette that is still plenty breathable on your bits—per gynecologists’ recommendations. According to reviews, Thirdlove shoppers say the comfortable fit on these is unmatched, and that they don’t ride up throughout the day.

Colors: 2

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