Introducing the menstrual cup reviews
The cups featured have been reviewed by a team of women and we have amalgamated the comments. Our aim in this is to focus on each cup rather than what suited individual reviewers, acknowledging that each woman’s body is unique, so what suits one may not suit another. Our team were menstruating women of all ages; some have given birth, and others have not. One woman was new to cups; another had used one brand regularly. One woman is keen on menstrual sponges; another favours washable pads. One woman has very heavy bleeding due to carrying haemophilia.
All our research has emphasised that it’s really important to get the right size and shape, as the cup could be uncomfortable if it does not fit. There is a really helpful and lengthy page on the Earthwise Girls website about fitting cups. It is also a good idea to allow a month or two to get used to a menstrual cup, since it is very different from other methods. We were very impressed by the support offered by different companies to help women with this.
Each cup has a stem that can be trimmed to suit the user, so the lengths stated in the reviews are for the cup only. All the cups tested are made from medical-grade silicone and come with a cloth bag for storage.
Both Lunette models are easy to fold for insertion, but the (smaller) Model 1 is softer than the Model 2. On the website there is a detailed list of considerations to help you choose your size, which we found helpful, and we liked the range of four bright colours plus clear. The cup is easy to fold and insert, with air holes to aid release.
Model 1 for light to normal flow. Length 47mm, diameter 41mm, capacity 25ml.
Model 2 for normal to heavier flow. Length 52mm, diameter 46mm, capacity 30ml.
Designed and manufactured in Finland, pretty satin bag. £23.35
We loved the packaging of the JuJu! The concertina-shaped box opens out to reveal beautiful artwork and information, making it an attractive gift for a first-time user. One of our testers found the shape, stiff rim and firmness of this cup worked really well for her. The butterfly logo is in raised motif around the base, which one tester found aided grip for removal. There is additional information on the website about anatomy, age and pelvic floor tone to help users choose the correct size.
Model 1 for women who have not had a vaginal birth. Length 46mm, diameter 40mm, capacity 20ml.
Model 2 for women who have given birth vaginally. Length 50mm, diameter 46mm, capacity 30ml.
Made in Australia, satin pouch in a choice of three colours. £31.35
We liked the combination of the smoothness but firmness of the Ladycup, which made it easy to insert and wash. The air holes are slanted and larger than many, which makes them easier to keep clean just by holding the cup under running water. There is a huge range of colours. With correct care this cup is supposed to last for 15 years.
Small for women who have not given birth vaginally or up to age 25. Length 46mm, diameter 40mm, capacity 21.2ml.
Large for women who have given birth vaginally or who are over 25. Length 53mm, diameter 46mm, capacity 34.3ml.
Made in the EU, pretty cotton bag. £22.99
4. Lily Cup and Lily Cup Compact
The Lily Cup has a longer shape than other cups tested, so it might not suit women with a low cervix. We found it to be silky soft, and the folded rim around the top helps prevent spills. The Lily Cup Compact is “the world’s first collapsible menstrual cup”. We really liked the way it folded down into a disc and packed into a little case, as this was small and discreet.
Size A for women who have not had a vaginal birth. Length 78mm, diameter 40mm, capacity 28ml. Compact: length 58mm, diameter 42mm, capacity 18ml.
Size B for women who have given birth vaginally or have a weaker pelvic floor. Length 78mm, diameter 43.5mm, capacity 32ml. Compact: length 58mm, diameter 45mm, capacity 23ml. Designed and developed in Sweden, manufactured in China. £24.95, Compact £24.95
The Sckooncup is wider at the base than most of the other cups we tested, more of a bell shape. This helps increase capacity. It has significantly raised grips around the base to aid release. The air holes are slanted and are right up by the rim (which tapers into the rest of the cup, making it very smooth). It’s comfortably smooth but firm, and it comes in a range of interesting colours.
Size 1 for women who have not given birth vaginally. Length 40mm, diameter 40, capacity 23ml.
Size 2 for women who have given birth vaginally. Length 50mm, diameter 45, capacity 30ml.
Made in the USA, soft organic cotton bag. £28.99
The Femmecup is soft and pliable, but firm enough to make insertion easy. Our testers liked that it was soft at the bottom but had a thick rim, which they found aided seal. The air holes are large and slanted horizontally for ease of cleaning. It is also available in a ‘Lite’ version, which is less durable and has a projected lifespan of only 12 months but might be useful for women who aren’t sure whether the Femmecup is for them and where initial outlay is an issue. There is a UK advice line.
One size, clear. Length 50mm, diameter 45mm, capacity 30ml. Made in the UK, cotton bag. £19.99, Femmecup Lite £9.99
The Mooncup has the thickest rim of all the cups we tried, with a ridge below it, which one of our testers found helped with the seal. It’s firm at the base, with raised lines to help with removal. There is an advice line run by nurses and a midwife who can answer questions by email or phone. One of our testers asked for some advice and was really impressed with the speed of response and depth of answers given.
Size B for women under the age of 30 who have not given birth vaginally. Length 50mm, diameter 43mm, capacity 28.8ml.
Size A for women aged 30 and over and all who have given birth vaginally regardless of age. Length 50mm, diameter 46mm, capacity 29.3ml.
Made in the UK, organic cotton bag. £19.99
The Organicup is very plain and smooth, but our testers found it to be excellent and functional. There are no bumps or seams, and the rim is incorporated into the cup without ridges. We liked the packaging made from recycled card. All the instructions are on the inside of the concertina box, saving resources. Advice is available by email.
Size A for women under 30 who have not given birth vaginally. Length 47mm, diameter 38mm, capacity 23cm.
Size B for women over 30 or who have given birth vaginally. Length 49mm, diameter 44cm, capacity 30ml.
Made in Denmark, organic cotton bag. £18.94
9. Ruby Cup
This is a ‘no frills’ cup that is simple but effective. It’s relatively firm, with air holes for easy release, and is available in three colours plus clear. We like the social awareness of Ruby Cup – when you purchase a cup from the website, another is donated to a schoolgirl in Africa, backed up by education. There is also information about the manufacturer on the website.
Small for lighter to medium flow. Length 46mm, diameter 40mm, capacity 24ml.
Medium for medium to heavy flow. Length 51mm, diameter 45mm, capacity 34ml.
Made in China, 100% organic cotton bag. £21.95
First published in Issue 45 (Autumn 2016) of JUNO: