Which menstrual cup is best?
While menstrual cups aren’t as commonly used as tampons or pads, they may be a better alternative for that time of the month. They’re reusable, which means after an initial expense, there is no more spending money on sanitary products. And because they’re long-lasting, menstrual cups are also eco-friendly. What’s more, they can be worn for up to 12 hours, and they have five times the capacity of tampons, which is great news for women with heavy flow.
The Lunette Menstrual Cup is perhaps the easiest to use (and easiest to clean) menstrual cup.
What to know before you buy a menstrual cup
There are many benefits to using a menstrual cup over tampons and pads. Comfort is a big one. Many women find menstrual cups more comfortable than tampons. In terms of insertion, if you’re comfortable inserting a non-applicator tampon, you’d probably be comfortable inserting a menstrual cup. Active users find them less likely to leak during sports and exercise, too.
Not only are menstrual cups better for the environment, they’re also potentially better for your body, as they contain zero fragrances, chlorine, bleach or other chemicals found in tampons and pads. Menstrual cups are non-irritating to women with skin sensitivities and conditions. Most are made from medical-grade silicone, which is great news for those with latex allergies.
Choosing a size
Menstrual cups generally come in two sizes: small and large. However, some manufacturers offer them in three sizes. For those under age 30 and who haven’t given vaginal birth, the smaller size is recommended. Those over age 30 or who have given vaginal birth usually should choose the larger size. If you have a heavier flow, though, you may want to consider the larger size because of its greater capacity.
The average capacity for a menstrual cup is between 20 and 30 milliliters. To put this in perspective, most women shed 30 to 120 milliliters during an entire cycle. If you have heavy periods, you might want to consider a cup with a capacity of 40 milliliters. If you have light cycles, you might want to consider a cup with a capacity of 10 milliliters.
Your lifestyle is also a factor in choosing the right capacity. For instance, if you have a job where you can’t use the bathroom at your leisure, you might consider a cup with larger capacity.
What to look for in a quality mentrual cup
Menstrual cups vary in firmness. Firmer cups have a tighter seal once inserted, which means less chance of leaking. They are also more likely to open properly once inside. However, some users find firmer cups uncomfortable and difficult to insert. When in doubt, purchase a menstrual cup with medium firmness as a compromise.
Menstrual cups come in different shapes. Some are bell-shaped, some are spherical, and some are shaped like a champagne flute. Most are comfortable, and women tend to prefer whichever shape they first use. However, if you know that you have a low cervix or a cervix that sits low during menstruation, try a shorter model.
Some menstrual cups come with a small bag or pouch for storage and transport. This is a bonus feature that provides protection as well as a discreet way to carry your menstrual cup in a purse or bag.
Menstrual cups are often sold in singles. However, for consumers who prefer to have an extra cup or two on hand, packs with two or three cups are available.
How much you can expect to spend on a menstrual cup
Women spend an average of $120 on tampons and pads a year. A menstrual cup runs you $10-$40 upfront and can last a lifetime.
Best menstrual cup FAQ
How do you empty a menstrual cup?
A. You can safely wear a menstrual cup up to 12 hours before having to empty it. Normally, menstrual cups are emptied in the sink, then rinsed before reinsertion. If you’re using a public restroom and don’t feel comfortable using the sink, you can empty your cup in the toilet bowl and wipe the cup out with toilet paper (or rinse it with bottled water, if you’re carrying some).
Wash your hands before going into the stall for this process.
How long do these cups last?
A. A well-manufactured menstrual cup can last a lifetime. Cups constructed from thermoplastic elastomer have the longest shelf life, though silicone cups also last a long time. If your cup splits, becomes sticky, or starts to leak, it’s time to replace it.
Clear cups will become discolored from use, which is not an indication that they need to be replaced. If this bothers you, purchase a colored cup.
What is the stem at the end of the cup?
A. The stem is simply there to help you remove the cup. If you feel it’s too long or not necessary, you can trim it with scissors. Just be careful not to nick the cup itself.
What’s the best menstrual cup to buy?
Top menstrual cup
What you need to know: It sits higher on the price spectrum, but this menstrual cup is worth it for its ease of cleaning and of use.
What you’ll love: It’s rated as being one of the most comfortable menstrual cups on the market. It is also highly rated for its easy-to-clean design.
What you should consider: It’s twice the price of more economical models, but most users say it is worth the expense.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Top menstrual cup for the money
What you need to know: You get two cups for less than the cost of some single cups, but in spite of the budget price, it retains its quality of construction.
What you’ll love: Users appreciate how soft and flexible they are while still holding up to continued use.
What you should consider: The cups have a shorter stem that may make removal a challenge.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Worth checking out
What you need to know: This popular model is both high in quality and affordable at its mid-range price.
What you’ll love: It’s designed to be worn overnight and has a reputation for being easy to use and comfortable. It receives top marks for not leaking.
What you should consider: Like all menstrual cups, this comes with a learning curve. This model in particular lacks clear instructions.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
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Ana Sanchez writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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