Some months ago I was poking about the internet and looking at cloth pads, and then I had a sticker shock moment when I saw exactly how much the gear I was looking at actually cost. Being fairly broke at that point in time (a recurring condition) I decided that since I'd been whipping out the needle and thread fairly often lately, I should engage in some DIY.
I folded a soft old washcloth in thirds, found some underwear I was willing to sacrifice to the cause, and stitched the washcloth to the underwear. It worked better than I had expected, and I made some more. At first I soaked them prior to washing, but then I got lazy. They do stain, but I have not needed to do anything out of the ordinary in my laundry routine* just to get them clean.
I still have some of the newfangled space-age thin super-absorbent pads, which I use on occasion when I know I'm going to be out a long time and there's a chance of jellyfish, because the sewn-in nature of the washcloth pads mean that I chuck the whole pair of underpants in the wash when the pad is in need of changing, but for light flow, at home, and overnight, they are more comfortable than anything else I've used, disposable cup included.
* I have a washer/dryer combo launderizer in my apartment, so I do not have to have dirty laundry sitting around becoming unpleasant. If I had to take my laundry out to wash, I might reconsider the soaking thing.