Whatever your reasoning, it’s quickly becoming apparent that menstrual cups are here to stay. Originally introduced in the mid-1900’s, these devices have come a long way from their origin and are now viewed as being not only safe but also economically viable and environmentally friendly. When we did our testing we found that the Luna Cup Menstrual Cup offered the most versatility for the average woman. There’s a variety of colors, shapes, and sizes that put most of the other brands on the market to shame.
Of course, everyone’s body is different and that means that you can rest assured that there’s something out there which will fit you perfectly. Let’s take a look at our top five and then we’ll help you decide which is the best for you.
The Luna Cup set was the top pick as far as we’re concerned. They’re suitable for a wide range of builds and it comes with two sizes at a great price, giving you a great chance at finding the one that fits.
Top 5 Menstrual Cups
|Name||Sizes Available||Stem Type|
|Luna Cup Menstrual Cup||2||Standard||Check Price|
|Super Jennie, Top-Quality||2||Ball||Check Price|
|LENA Menstrual Cup||2||Long Standard||Check Price|
|Diva Cup Model 1 and Divawash||2||Standard||Check Price|
|Blossom Menstrual Cup||2||Standard||Check Price|
1. Best Overall Menstrual Cup
Luna Cup Menstrual Cup
Of all the cups that we took a look at, this set of two was our absolute favorite. They’re thin and supple, while maintaining a tight fit. Most people who’ve used these claim that you really don’t feel them.
On top of that, this set comes with one in each of the sizes which is available, allowing you to make sure that you have the right fit without having to spend a whole lot of extra money.
It also comes with an attractive case for both of them as well. They’re reputed to be among the easiest for someone new to using menstrual cups as well to use, and it’s really hard to lose with this option.
These aren’t advised for use if you have a low cervix, however, but other than that most women have found them to be close to a miracle.
Pros and Cons
- High-quality, medical grade silicone construction
- Well thought out pouches for storage
- Set comes with both sizes
- Very soft and supple
- Too soft for some people
- Not great for those with a low cervix
2. Runner Up for Best Menstrual Cup
Super Jennie, Top-Quality, Reusable Menstrual Cup
Of the ones that we took a look at, the Super Jennie was one of the best although it can’t quite compete with the Luna Cup in sheer value. It’s a bit expensive, but it comes in two sizes and a wide variety of colors.
It has a thin construction which most people say they can’t feel and a ball on the stem to make it a bit easier to pull out. It also, for those it fit perfectly, seemed to have one of the best “grips” of any of the cups tried.
Several people swore up and down that they couldn’t feel it at all, no matter what they did. It’s a bit large for some women however, and some complained it felt awkward to remove.
If you’re looking for a high-quality single cup, then you may want to try the Super Jennie. Just make sure you have the right size going in and are aware it’s not the best if you have a narrow vagina.
Pros and Cons
- Super high-quality
- Tons of color options
- Easy to clean
- Very supple construction
- Not suitable for narrow vaginas
- Can be a bit hard to remove
3. Best Cup for Wide Vaginas
LENA Menstrual Cup
If you’ve got a wide vagina, then the LENA cup may be your best bet. It comes in a before childbirth and postbirth set of sizes and is quite wide and bell shaped. It has a turned back rim as well, which allows a great amount of suction.
LENA actually makes cups for just about every size, but we focused on this particular size for its unique benefits. They also make extra thin cups for those who are particularly sensitive if you happen to fall into that category.
The entire brand is actually quite well-done. They’re high capacity as well, which is always a nice touch although some people complained about the longer stem being felt too much while moving around.
LENA produces a ton of great menstrual cups, but their best are definitely those made for women with wide vaginas. Take a look and see if any of them appeal.
Pros and Cons
- Turned back rim for better suction
- Extra long stem makes removal easy
- Supple enough for most folds
- Wide range of cups from the brand
- Longer stems irritate some women
- Not the best brand for smaller women
4. Best Package Deal
Diva Cup Model 1 and Divawash
The Diva Cup is pretty much synonymous with menstrual cups. In the US it’s by far the best known brand and it’s not uncommon for women unfamiliar with these devices to actually know them only by the brand name.
The Diva Cup is also one of the largest cups out there, and not every woman finds them comfortable. For those with a deep vagina, however, they’re a miracle worker and they have an amazing capacity which is suitable even for those with high flow.
This package deal comes with a wash which is specially made for the cup as well as the cup itself. All of this together adds up to a great deal, although the initial cost is higher than most.
If you want the full package and want to be sure that your soap is safe right from the outset then this package may be just what you’re looking for, those with shallow vaginas may not benefit however.
Pros and Cons
- High-quality brand
- Comes with specially formulated wash
- High capacity
- Great for deep vaginas
- Not suitable for shorter vaginas
- Rather expensive
5. Best Budget Menstrual Cup
Blossom Menstrual Cup
The Blossom Menstrual Cup is cheaper than any of the others on our list, and is, in fact, the only cheap brand which we would actually trust. It’s made of medical grade silicone and is actually pretty great overall despite the low price.
Most of the women who’ve used either of the sizes have found it to be pretty awesome. It’s not without issues, but the cost is low and nothing too serious has popped up.
The issues are mainly that it’s a bit stiff and it can be hard to turn it once it’s inside to get a good seal against the cervix. On the other hand, not everyone had issues with this, as with all menstrual cups it’s a very personal matter. The one constant we could find was that they don’t seem to last quite as long as some of the others we reviewed.
If you’re just looking to try a menstrual cup out but aren’t yet ready to commit to a higher dollar purchase, give the Blossom a shot. Even if it doesn’t fit properly it will make for a cheap introduction to these female hygiene devices.
Pros and Cons
- Great price
- Comes in many colors
- Seems to fit most women well
- Made of medical grade silicone
- Too stiff for some women to use comfortably
- Not as durable as more expensive options
What is a Menstrual Cup?
Menstrual cups are a product which is inserted into the vagina in order to catch the blood which comes during a normal period. They work by forming a seal against the cervix.
Almost every modern cup is made of medical grade silicone, which means that it won’t interact with your body. There are actually a surprising number of toxins in regular tampons, including the dioxins left over from the bleaching process used in natural cotton tampons.
The cup is then folded and inserted into the vagina, where ideally it will unfold and create a tight seal, catching all of the fluid and blood which comes out of the uterus. It can then be removed, cleaned, and used again although it’s recommended that you ensure that you sterilize it through boiling in between periods.
Why Use a Menstrual Cup?
Despite the traditional taboo against a woman’s period, and especially the blood involved, there are quite a few advantages which are offered by menstrual cups. While they’re still most popular in Europe, they’re beginning to catch on in both the US and developing countries around the world.
Some of the advantages which these female hygiene devices are touted for include the following:
- Over time, many women have found that they save a lot of money. While the upfront cost of a menstrual cup is higher than a box of pads or tampons, they can last for years and the savings add up immensely over time.
- Cups produce much less waste material than with traditional disposable paper products. This is quite a big advantage for those who are ecologically minded.
- You’ll make a lot less trips to the store with a cup, since they can last for anywhere from one year to several years.
- They contain no chemicals or anything that will interact with the body. They simply catch fluids. In practice, this means that things will be healthier, since vaginal flora and pH levels won’t be affected by the insertion of the cup.
- Since they simply catch fluids, things won’t get dried out in your genitals. Tampons can also produce microtears by creating a dry environment through which harmful bacteria can enter the bloodstream.
- Once you learn to use one, they’re virtually leak free. There’s no real chance of the cup getting saturated and dripping which can help to avoid embarrassing accidents.
- They hold more fluid than even the most absorbent tampons due to their construction. This means you’ll need to pull it out and wash it much less frequently than you’d need to change tampons or pads.
- If you need to measure your menses for medical reasons, a cup is the most practical way to do it and avoids subjective measurements like “a lot.”
Overall they’re a pretty great way to handle that time of the month. That’s not to say they don’t have a few disadvantages:
- Menstrual cups have a higher upfront cost than pads or tampons.
- They can be a bit messy if you’re not careful, especially when you’re first learning to use them.
- They’re not generally compatible with IUDs
- Cleaning them can be a bit of a pain when you’re using public restrooms, you either need to rinse them in the sink or carry water and soap with you to clean them in the restroom stall
- Finding the right fit can take a few tries
- There’s a bit of a learning curve to learning to insert and remove your menstrual cup.
Overall, many of the women who have tried these devices out have quickly found them to be a great alternative to the more waste-prone methods such as tampons and pads. As long as you’re careful about making sure you get one that fits properly in the first place, and take some time to learn how to use it, they make a great alternative to more old-fashioned ways.
What to Look for in Your Menstrual Cup
While they’re relatively simple devices, their positioning in an intimate spot of your body and their ability to hold menses is going to be dependent on your body. We’ll get into the sizing factors below, but for right now you should make sure of all of the following.
Medical grade silicone is the way to go. Nearly all cups are made of this material anyways, but you should double check if you go off the list. There are a few brands which are made of rubber, which should still be non-reactive but isn’t in quite the same league there.
Any materials other than those two really aren’t recommended.
How firm of a cup is comfortable for you to wear is going to depend a lot on your personal anatomy. You should be able to fold a cup and it will “pop” open once inserted in order to create a seal and catch the fluids.
There are several different ways to fold cups, but the real differentiation seems to be in finding one which is just the right firmness for your own body. Tighter or looser vaginal walls will make a big difference in how easy it is to create a good seal.
Texture and Color
In our tests we found that those cups with more of a textured surface were a little bit more difficult to clean but not enough for it to be a big concern for the average person. This includes raised ridges and the like.
Color also didn’t seem to matter much, except for the fact that lighter colors and clear silicone cups will tend to stain much more quickly. While this is just a cosmetic blemish, it can certainly affect how some people perceive their cups so if you’re easily squicked we recommend looking for a colored model.
There are a lot of $1-$3 cups out there that might be tempting to snatch up if you’re on a tight budget.
Of course, most of them don’t seem to tell you what they’re made of either, which is a big minus. When looking at the extremely low end of the price range we quickly found that it’s almost impossible to tell what they’re made of and the pricing is likely to be too good to be true.
In addition to possible risks posed by unknown materials, reviews told us that many of these cheap cups fell apart quickly once they’d been subjected to boiling for sterilization purposes.
Most of the reputable cups ran at least $15 and as high as $30 in some instances.
Remember that you’re going to have to deal with a higher upfront cost in order to save some serious money over the years.
Choosing the Correct Size of Menstrual Cup
Finding that magical cup which fits perfectly inside your lady parts can be a daunting task. Vaginas come in a wide range of shapes and sizes, and most women aren’t quite aware of it. For most people an educated guess is about as good as they’re going to get.
There are a few things that you can do when you’re looking to pick up your cup in order to minimize the amount of false starts however.
- The finger test is the best way to determine whether you’ll be more comfortable with a long or shorter cup. Insert a finger into your vagina, with a lower cervical wall you may only be able to fit your finger to the first knuckle or just past, with a higher one you may not be able to feel it at all with the whole finger inside. It’s best to do this during your period since things have a tendency to change during that time of the month.
- The general guideline for width is whether or not you’ve had a child, but athleticism also plays a part in the width of the cup you need. Use common sense here, rather than the age guideline which sometimes pops up.
There also some tests offered by online which are designed to help you pick the right cup. Some of these tests have had a remarkable amount of thought put into them and seemed to work quite well for our reviewers.
Chances are you may have a couple shots in the dark to start with, no matter how much preparation you do, even if you end up going through a couple of different cups to start with the savings will add up quite quickly.
Cleaning and Sterilizing Your Menstrual Cup
This is the part which keeps many women away from using these devices. The whole procedure is actually relatively easy once you get it down thankfully enough.
For cleaning we recommend using an antibacterial soap and rinsing it off, although some women insist that bottle sterilizing solutions are the best way to go about it. You’ll need to rinse the cup each time you empty it.
Make sure you’re careful with your choice of soap. Fragrances, dyes, and other additives can cause problems when the cup is reinserted. There are quite a few soaps formulated specifically for menstrual cups which may be a good idea to pick up.
Since women with a light to average flow most often only need to empty their cups twice per day it’s a relatively simple process to take care of at home. Those with a heavier flow may need to empty the cup multiple times per day.
This poses a problem in public bathrooms, but most women who are savvy with their cups recommend that you carry a bottle of water with you in order to be able rinse it in the stall itself.
Sterilization should occur after your period ends. The easiest method is simply to clean and then boil the cup for a few minutes. Many women recommend placing it in a whisk in order to avoid problems with contacting the hot metal.
Don’t boil it for too long, however, as this can cause the silicone to break down more quickly than it would otherwise.
Staining will inevitably occur, of course, but it can easily be taken care of with a soak in hydrogen peroxide overnight. It’s not recommended that you do this too often, however, as it can cause the silicone to break down if done too frequently.
You should replace your cup if the silicone starts looking ragged or you notice cracking. Most women seem to end up trying a new cup before the lifespan of their menstrual cup is up, however, and a good one can last for upwards of five years.
Moving to a menstrual cup may not be the easiest thing in the world, but if you find the right one it’s definitely worth the time and effort spent to make sure that you find the right one. It’ll save you money, it helps the environment, and is generally a way to do things a bit more naturally than most modern, disposable methods.
We stand by our recommendation of Luna Cup Menstrual Cup, but it’s a personal choice.
Free yourself from the cotton chains with a good menstrual cup and you’ll never look back.