Through a woman’s lifetime, she has more than 400 periods. Imagine all the tampons and pads we dispose of monthly. Our landfills are full of feminine hygiene products. Don’t you wish there was a way we could decrease our waste and also spend less money?
Drum roll, please… cue the menstrual cup! Menstrual cups can completely change the way you view your period, save you money and help save our planet.
A menstrual cup is a flexible rubber or silicon vessel that a woman places inside her vaginal canal during her period to catch the flow. The cup collects blood from the menstrual flow for you to dump out in regular intervals instead of absorbing blood from the normal not so eco-friendly feminine hygiene products —tampons or pads.
The use of menstrual cups could help the environment by reducing the number of feminine products in our landfills since you can reuse the same cup for up to 10 years.
Our menstrual cup comparison is meant to help you find alternatives to tampons, pads, sponges, etc. The basic shape of them reminds us of a wine glass (minus the base/foot) — you’ve got the rim, bowl and stem. No matter which best period cup you purchase, you’re going to run into these pros and cons.
There are often different sizes of cups available from menstrual cup brands. Paying attention to these sizes is important. Typically there’s one for women who have given birth vaginally and one for women or girls who haven’t. Take this into consideration.
You can trim the stem for comfort, so it’s not poking you anywhere. Some women remove the entire stem while others keep the whole stem or part of it — this is entirely up to you and depends on your comfort.
Most menstrual cups are made out of silicone, which is why you can’t feel them inside you. They adapt to your body’s temperature and form to your body’s shape to fit comfortably.
The color of your cup is ultimately up to you and your preference, but we’ll add our 2 cents here. Using a period cup that is dyed with chemicals to give the silicone a particular pigment sounds riskier than using an un-pigmented cup.
The skin of your vaginal walls is sensitive, which is why we recommend avoiding additional, unnecessary chemicals. If the chemicals do not bind properly, they could disperse into your body.
Huffington Post demonstrates the cost of a period perfectly. They say on average a woman has her period for 3-7 days and menstruates from age 12-51, meaning she has 456 periods over 38 years.
She could easily spend $1,773.33 on tampons and $443.33 on panty liners over her lifetime — that totals $2,216.66. You could significantly reduce this cost by purchasing a tampon alternative like a menstrual cup.
The lifespan for these cups is unreal — these aren’t a disposable menstrual cup. Most last over a year! Can you imagine not buying pads and tampons for a year? (Take a look at those numbers above, not cheap!) This would save you so much money!
Since the wear and tear of these cups can vary by user, you’ll want to pay close attention to the material of your cup. If it splits, becomes sticky or has any change in shape you’ll want to replace it.
There are different ways to fold your menstrual cup. Each menstrual cup brand may recommend a certain fold—ultimately this is up to you. Read the instructions that come with your cup to learn any tricks or tips.
Our Tip: We suggest running some water over your cup before you insert it to help position and secure it.
It’s important to clean your menstrual cup after every cycle. Look on your menstrual cup brand’s website to learn the best way to clean yours.
Victoria Zimmerman from FemmeHead offers some great tips for using and cleaning your menstrual cup.
There are so many things to love about the Lena Cup. First of all, you can use it for up to 12 hours at a time, so you can get through your workday without worrying about changing your cup in a public place (depending on how heavy your period is). It’s made in the USA and FDA-registered.
It has a long lifespan and has lots of great feedback from its users. Finding cons for this cup was tough and finding pros was simple.
I’ve personally used this cup for over 2 years and love it. The rubber isn’t too flimsy or too stiff, so it’s easy to insert and remove. (Some other users stated the cup was stiff, but I disagree.) I used this before giving birth to my son, and I use it after as well (I had a c-section and use the same size cup). I use this cup over any other cup I have tried out.
- Price: $24.90
Our favorite thing about Ruby Cup is that they donate a cup to a girl in East Africa for each one bought online. How awesome is that?! So when you’re making a purchase, think of it as BOGO (buy one get one free), and you’re helping someone in need.
Finding cons for Ruby Cup was pretty challenging, the only one we could “find” was that it was a little pricier than some other cups, but it’s still affordable.
I have tested this cup out personally, and for the most part, I liked it. I did experience more leaking than I have with other cups (still very minor), but that can vary based on the woman’s anatomy.
- $32.33 MSRP
I purchased my MoonCup (MCUK in the U.S.) in February of 2014. Why did I choose it over other menstrual cups? It was the cheapest at the time, so that made my choice quite simple. When I did my research, I saw that these cups had very few differences and overall did the same thing.
I purchased it for $30, and today it is still only $30. Sometimes it can even be found for less on Amazon. I noticed at first that it is hard to fold and keep folded for insertion since the rubber is thick. While this negative feature helped it pop open after insertion, it was difficult to insert the first few times.
I used it for over 2 years and loved it. It became discolored, which is completely normal and doesn’t harm you in any way. Overall I loved my Moon Cup and would recommend it to anyone.
- Price: $21.58
Women are raving about their Lily Cups. It is the first collapsible menstrual cup that fits into a compact case. You can use it discreetly and easily put it in your pocket or hold it in your hand without anyone noticing.
The downside is that this isn’t the best option for women with heavier flows. We recommend this to young girls who want to try a period cup out for the first time. The silicone is soft, and with the compact size, it’s easy to take anywhere.
- Price: $20.90
Michelle, another member of Earth’s Friends team, has used the Diva Cup since May 2015 and has called it “life-changing.” She loves that she can swim any time of the month and not worry about being on her period.
The Diva Cup is easily the most talked about menstrual cup and is readily available at many pharmacies and other stores. It doesn’t last as long as some other menstrual cups which is why it’s not in our top 3, but we do think it’s the best menstrual cup for beginners.
- Price: $25.39
For the most part, people love their Lunette Cup. When you first use the Lunette Cup, you may have difficulties getting it to “pop” open once you’ve inserted it. However, if you’re an experienced period cup user, you may know how to work around this.
It is on the pricier side, costing about $40 MSRP (but you can typically get it for much less on Amazon). Overall there are other options just as good for less money, which is why it didn’t make our top 3 for the best menstrual cup.
- Price: $22.11
SoftCup is a non-reusable menstrual cup. It is meant to be used for up to 12 hours then discarded in the trash. Do not flush your SoftCup down the toilet; it can cause damage to plumbing.
The other menstrual cups in this article are meant to be reused, so we don’t really get the concept behind SoftCup. It just replaces your tampons/pads. Why wouldn’t you purchase a reusable one and save yourself the money and pain of having to carry these around with you?
- Price: $10.99
What’s your preferred feminine hygiene product and why?