Cup Lee has some great looking coloured cups – including PURPLE
A long awaited review
Way back near the end of 2011, I was sent an e-mail, asking if I would be willing to try their prototype cup to give them my thoughts – but I was sworn to secrecy, so wasn’t allowed to give out any of the details of the cup or the company making it. It turned out to be Sckoon who were making it. A company I’d known for a while, because they make organic cotton pads. Over the next year and a bit, I had a few discussions with them over the design and colours, as they were very keen to try and make the best cup possible. I think it is really great that they took so much time and effort to speak with cup users like myself (other cup reviewers I know also got the prototypes to sample).
Starting out I love the shape! Slightly different to the other cups on the market, and I think it is a lovely shape. I found the stem design originally was a bit too slippery, with the bumps not really adding enough grip. So we discussed that issue and they ended up changing the stem to the smaller one with raised grip lines, and they increased the grip on the base of the cup by raising and thickening the lines and adding an additional line in. You can see the changes in the pic below.
Here’s a photo of the 4 samples I have from them, where you can see the changes made from the first prototype:
- The first (left) shows the first prototype they sent me – a small cup, in a sample (opaque) silicone. The stem on that had small bumps in it.
- The clear one is the second prototype, in a large size. The stem design is slightly different to the original prototype and the pattern on the base is raised and has the brand name in it.
- The Orange one, I can’t remember now if it was another prototype or if it was a finished design (I can’t remember if I got it before or after the clear one – probably before?). The silicone on that one is semi-translucent. Not as transparent as the finished product turquoise one, but not completely opaque like the first green one. It is slightly smaller than the prototype one. You can see that the grip lines on the base of the cup have a slightly whiteish look – it seems like the silicone there is slightly bubbled or something, which it isn’t on the final design large cup. The lines might be a fraction thinner too.
- The last one (right) is the final design in large. The only difference I can see with the final design (coloured) cups and the clear prototype is that the tip of the stem of the prototype is flat, whereas the tip of the final version stem is rounded (also the silicone may be slightly softer in the large final version than it is in the clear).
So, my thoughts.
I found the small size fit well, I had no leaks, it was easy to insert and remove. The large size I found also very comfortable to insert and remove (the lack of the protruding ridge a lot of the cups have, means it feels more comfortable [to me] to insert and remove the cups). I did however have the slight issue that I have had with the other soft large cups – in that they don’t fully open on their own, and I need to press my finger against the vaginal wall to push it out a little, to give the cup room to open out. I put this down the the fact that while I am 35, I had a caesarian delivery, so perhaps my muscle tone is good? :) as it only ever happens with the large cups. I don’t consider it a big problem though, I’d prefer that to a cup that is harder silicone.
I tried both the small and large sizes with my period and I didn’t have any leaking with either of them, even wearing them all day. Though I don’t know how much of a measure that is, as I’ve never had leaking with a cup except when I’ve let a cup overfill on really heavy flow days (where it’s filled above the rim), and when I tried the Diva cup sample – but that had a hole punched in it, presumably affecting the seal.
I find the stem to be very comfortable – I can’t feel it at all. So it’s better feeling than a tube stem (other than the Ladycup stem, all the other tube stems I can feel poking into me), and slightly more comfortable than a tab stem (I can feel the tab stems slightly, but I don’t find them uncomfortable). However I find that it stretches when you pull on it, so its effectiveness is less than a tube or tab stem in that regard as those have enough rigidity to be able to pull the cup down with the stem, whereas these stems stretch rather than allowing the cup to be pulled down – I found this more pronounced in the large cup size than the small (because as I said, the large one seems to fit more snugly than the small).
This is a similar problem to the JuJu which has a similar thin solid stem. The JuJu stem likewise I find stretches and is slippery making it very difficult to use the stem to pull the cup down, so the Sckoon cup has a lot more grip on the stem, but it is still stretchy. However, the Femmecup also has a thin stem a bit like these cups, but theirs is about half the length and more rigid so it doesn’t stretch and can easily pull the cup down.
However, where this cup differs from the Femmecup and JuJu is the base of this cup, which has a good amount of grip. So while I may not be able to use the stem to pull the cup down, I’ve found that I can grip the bottom of the cup and pull it down easily that way. Femmecup has some grip on the base of the cup but not as much as Sckoon. JuJu has a butterfly design on the base of their cup, but it’s barely raised at all so I don’t really consider it adds any grip at all
– Now I know that some cup manufacturers usually say that the stem is not for pulling the cup out with (though realistically, that’s what you do, and they know that – otherwise there wouldn’t be a need for a stem ;)) – but I find because my fingers are short, it’s easier for me if I pull the cup down a bit lower, where I can more easily reach up to break the seal, and I do tend to pull the cups out by the stems. Where cups have a stretchy stem like this, or no stem, I find it slightly more difficult to use because I can’t pull the cup down as easily as I can with a tab or tube stem. But I find most of the tube stems really uncomfortable, so that is why I prefer the tab stems.
The airholes are nice and large, so cleaning I have found is easy. Likewise with no lettering or markings on the inside out outside rim, means it’s very easy to clean this cup.
I love that they have brought them out in colours – A lot of cup companies are doing coloured cups now which is great – cups don’t have to then be a medicinal thing and can have a sense of individuality and style :) It’s a shame they didn’t bring out purple *cry*, especially since my poll results that I did for them showed that as being the most popular colour…. but the colours they have brought out are very nice and bright, and appear to have a good level of colour (not too pale).
The silicone feels less soft in the small size than the large (as is usually the case). The small one feels about as squishy as a large Lunette. The large slightly softer. Softer than a Mooncup UK, but not as soft as a Fleurcup. I think it is a good level of softness… You don’t want them too soft or they can have trouble opening, and too hard can be hard to keep folded.
There are some small marks in the silicone of the last 3 samples I received. Which don’t show in the photographs, and are obviously just cosmetic blemishes in the finish of the silicone. The silicone still feels smooth, so it seems to be in the silicone. Almost like flat (non-raised) waterdrops. It’s hard to describe what they look like….. but interestingly the cups have a line near the base where the silicone changes from a sort of frosted look to a slightly shinier (but still frosted) look, and it is in that shinier section where the blemishes are. The inside of the cups are not frosted at all, and are not marked with these blemishes. So I assume it is part of the frosting process causing the blemishes. I have had blemishes in MeLuna cups as well – neither of which are bad as having specks of dirt or something in the MPower cup I got :/
All in all – I’m impressed. I’m impressed with the effort the company went to while designing it, and I love that they took some of my suggestions on board. I love the fact Sckoon is already a company interested in sustainability and has added this product onto their already successful line of cloth pads (and baby products) – I also discovered recently they do padded underwear, so you can buy undies with a built in pad with leak resistant layer for cup backup, which is a great idea.
So the only negatives I can see are the stems (which I am picky about, moreso than other cup users, as I do like my cups to have tab stems), and the slight blemishes in the silicone – which don’t bother me personally. So if you don’t think the stem issue would be a problem (if you like to cut stems off for example), then I would definitely recommend this cup.
Well it seems us Aussies have even more choice now, with the coloured Lunette cups being available in early march for sale in Australia!
Also, they have been able to do a price reduction, dropping the retail price from around $57-$60 to around $49-$55.
Mooncup (UK) recently blogged about why their cup will never be coloured.
“Call us boring(!), but we’re not willing to compromise our ethical status for a non-essential additive with a dubious health and ethical history.”
Which sparked some discussion on the topic here: http://menstrual-cups.livejournal.com/2742047.html, given that part of their reasoning included the use of non-vegan things as food colours (despite the fact cups aren’t consumed and some of their examples aren’t actually used as food colours anyway)
JuJu has the following in their FAQ:
“Does JuJu come in any other colour?
At this point in time, JuJu is only available in a clear/semi-opaque colour. Until such time as we are able to gain an accurate understanding of the effects of the addition of dyes on our bodies, we have chosen to manufacture JuJu without any colour additives.”
But it is an interesting topic.. I have e-mailed the cup companies (Iriscup, CupLee, Ladycup Lunette, MeLuna, Miacup, and Shecup) to ask them about the colours and see what they have to say on the matter, and I’ll update this post when I’ve heard back from any :) In the meantime, feel free to discuss!
– edit —
I’ve heard back from a couple of the cup companies.
They of course said the colours are safe :) but sent me several pdf files of their test results, which shows the testing of both the colours (first file) and the general cup material. Interestingly, I believe it’s saying that the plastic the cups are made from was tested on animals (presumably as part of checking the plastic is safe for use with people), as is referenced in the last file. I’d never thought about that being a component of testing, and I wonder if the other cups have been likewise tested.
Meluna_Masterbatches_Safety sheet – Info on the colours – they are food safe (though that doesn’t mean they are “food colours” like you’d use to make a cake blue)
THERMOLAST_M_englisch – Information on the plastic material the cups are made from (from the manufacturer I presume)
TM4MED_ISO10993-5 -Seems to be a certificate of a testing where the material was left in contact with the equivalent of human tissue and checked to see if it was reactive (it shows no reaction, whereas latex showed reactions).
TM4MED_USP661 – Information on a few tests that were run (I admit, I don’t really understand most of it heh)
TM4MED_USPVI – Test result certificate
Said they would get back to me in a few days
Said they will issue a public statement on it, and that they would contact me again in a few days – which they did, saying they have forwarded my e-mail to their head office. They say they realise it’s an important issue, so they are gathering information from their experts and will get back to me.
Secret Cup company (who are bringing out the new cup)
Said that as far as they know, the colours they are polling people on (see this post) plus clear and grey are the only colours that are already tested and approved by FDA… and that other colours (like purples and whatnot) would need to go through the process of testing and approval.
Arrived today! it’s very pretty!
The pouch has a glittery finish to it as well, which is quite cute
So it’s a slightly more pinkish purple to the colour of their Lilac. I have 2 of the Lilac cups. I think the darker one is the usual one (I got it when they first brought it out), and the lighter one was one of the batch of cups that was defective (they split). I assume the lilac they still produce now is the darker shade. Anyway – this plum is the one on the left.
I don’t know which I like better actually…
Normally I prefer a blue-purple to a pinky-purple, but they are both incredible cool and deep colours, I love them both!
And compared to other purple cups
(the lighting is terrible, – it’s inside, at night – so take that into consideration)
Miacup, Lunette Cynthia, Plum Ladycup, Lilac Ladycup#1, Lilac #2, Fleurcup
(the fleurcup looks un-coloured compared to the others!)
Now that I have a purple Fleurcup to photograph, for all the purple lovers out there – here are your options:
Now, different monitor settings will show different colours, so what you see on screen might not be the same as it is in real life, but it can help with comparisons…
Miacup is the most “pink” of all the purple cups (and is opaque)
Lady Cup is the most “Purple” of the cups
MeLuna is a sort of colour blend of Miacup and LadyCup
Fleurcup is a very pale “lavender” type colour
The LadyCup is by far my favourite colour of all the cups. I love the good deep strong colour of it. The Fleurcup is the most pale of all the coloured cups I have – so much so that sometimes you can only tell it has a colour by comparing it to a clear cup or something white (but it is a very pretty shade)
Country of origin: Spain
Composition: Medical Grade Silicone
Sizes: 2 sizes, “S” and “L”
Dimensions: Size “S” = Inside length 45mm, Outside length (including stem) 65mm, Inside diameter 30mm, Outside diameter 40mm. Size “L” = Inside length 50mm, Outside length (including stem) 65mm, Inside diameter 36mm, Outside diameter 45mm
Capacity: Size “S” = 15ml, Size “L” = 20ml
Stem: Hollow tube
Measuring Lines: Unknown
Cost (RRP): 27.00 €
Been around since: Unknown (early 2010?)
Other Details: They call the silicone “Platinum Silicone”. I’m not sure if that is a translation thing or if that is a particular type of silicone. The cups come in both a translucent white and a pink.
Country of origin: India?
Composition: Medical Grade Silicone
Dimensions: 44mm diameter, 54mm without stem, 59.5mm with stem
Capacity: 16mls to airholes, 28mls to rim
Stem: Small ball (“knob”)
Measuring Lines: yes
Cost (RRP): INR 695
Been around since: Unknown (early 2010?)
Other Details: Only pink cups available
People asked me to take some comparison photos of the MeLuna, and since I also got the Yuuki cup since taking photos, I figured I’d go on a bit of a photo spree.
see many more pics by clicking –> Read more »
I e-mailed MeLuna and asked if they had any pictures of the coloured cups. They replied back straight away, and sent me several pictures! Including pictures of the cups next to tampons, which is a great visual reference for people who have never seen a cup in real life. They are also sending me samples, so I will be able to include the MeLuna in some photos with other cups! So here they are.
Country of origin: France
Composition: Medical Grade Silicone
Sizes: Small & Large
Dimensions: Small = 41mm diameter, 47mm long without stem (23mm stem length) Large = 46mm diameter, 52mm long without stem 18mm stem length)
Capacity: Small = 20mls to holes 25ml to the rim. Large = 29ml to holes and 35ml to rim
Stem: Flat tab
Measuring Lines: No
Cost (RRP): € 26.99 [Currency Converter]
Been around since: Unknown (early 2009?)
Other Details: Comes in clear, pink, purple, orange and black. The website has great animated images of the folds
Country of origin: Germany
Composition: FDA approved TPE (thermoplastic elastomer) Which is apparently a (BPA-free) plastic that is used to make medical equipment such as catheters, as well as other products such as baby bottle teats and some vibrators. It may also be the same material as Insteads disposable cups are made from.
Sizes: S (small) and L (large) (With an XL coming out shortly)
Dimensions: S = 40mm diameter, 46mm long with ball end, or 55mm long with stem (40mm body and 15mm stem) L = 45mm diameter, 51mm long with ball end, or 62.5mm long with stem (45.5 body and 17mm stem)
Capacity: S = 11mls to holes 16ml to the rim. L = 17ml to holes and 22ml to rim
Stem: Flat tab, ball, ring or no stem
Measuring Lines: No
Cost (RRP): € 12.00 [Currency Converter]
Been around since: Early June 2009
Other Details: Colours available: red, pink, blue, green and purple. With the website mentioning glittered and gold and silver options as special editions, and a poll offering options of various colours, including black. First cup manufacturer to offer the additional ball/ring or no stem options
I thought I’d do a post about coloured cups, as I know some women are really enticed by colours. There are some great coloured cups on the market – which shows the cup manufacturers are thinking about their customers needs for visual appeal too.
Cup Lee - Offers pink, green, blue and yellow
Fleurcup – Offers pink, purple, orange and black
IrisCup – Offers a translucent pink
LadyCup – Offers translucent Pink, Blue, Purple, Orange, Yellow and Green. And limited editions “lotos” (pinky/orange), Turquoise, “Green Meadow” (grassy green)
Lunette - Offers translucent blue “Selene” and green “Diana” versions
MeLuna - offers red, orange, black, blue, green and purple. With the website mentioning glittered and gold and silver options as special editions.
Miacup – Offers an opaque (non-see through) purply-pink as their standard colour cup.
Shecup- Offers a translucent pink cup
The sample they sent is a proper cup – no hole punched in! So that was very nice of them. First impressions were “ohh wow – it’s bendy!” It was a softer feeling silicone to the other cups, so a lot more flexible. However, I later found out that the cup they sent me as a sample was made with a thinner silicone than the cups they normally sell. So I got another sample, the smaller size this time, and the silicone on that is as the ones they sell. Which is still softer/ more flexible (squishier) than the other cups. I was surprised at the 2 rows of holes, and the fact the holes are quite large. Its also the plainest cup, with no writing or markings inside or out – except the small bumps on the bottom to help grip (where some of the other cups have lines/ridges). Because there are no ridges on the outside of the cup, it is much more comfortable for insertion. Not that any of the cups are “uncomfortable”, but it’s a noticeable difference.
It does look a little more “budget” than the other cups – as several people have commented on (I don’t think it looks “cheap” but if you were to line them all up and ask someone which was the cheapest, I’m sure they would pick lady Cup) – with the lack of writing and the lack of the ridge near the rim… In my opinion the writing on the cups is pointless though…you generally know what cup it is without it having to tell you – most people only have one (and even me with my lot of samples can tell them apart without having to read any of them) and without writing it’s easier to clean… and the lack of ridge makes the cup more comfortable to insert. So I think the plainness is actually a bonus, and I’d prefer a plain cup over some of the others.
Testing it out - Folding it and inserting it was easier than the other cups. The thinner sample cup was incredibly easy to keep folded due to its softer silicone, but the tradeoff for that was it didn’t pop open easily once inside. The softness of the silicone in that thinner sample cup meant it didn’t want to pop out violently like the others. I was able to get it to open, but it took a bit of poking and about 5 “stirs” (putting my finger to the rim and moving around, pushing the vaginal wall out to let the cup open) to get it to open properly. When I e-mailed the Lady Cup people to give them my thoughts on it, that is when they told me that the sample I received was the thinner silicone, so I asked for another sample, which they generously did. Which I had no problems getting to pop open. The silicone on the proper cup is less flexible than the thinner sample, so has the same “pop” that the other cups do, but it is still soft and easily folded.
Cleaning was easy – the easiest of all the cups. The blood stayed in the holes on removal – like it does in all the cups, but washed away when I rinsed the cup. I didn’t need to actually clean them at all. So it’s the easiest cleaning cup I’ve tried yet. The stem is more comfortable than the other tube stems because of the softness of the silicone, I’d probably be able to leave it untrimmed without too much complaint. Its not as frosted as the other cups, so it looks clearer.
Gear - My first one (the thinner sample) was sent in a small box surrounded with shredded paper in a packaging box… so it was very well packed. It came with an apricot coloured cotton pouch, a sachet of lubricant and 2 milton steralising tablets. The second one (the proper cup) was in the apricot bag, inside a plastic bag (as you would expect for display) in a mailing bag. The coloured cup samples were again all proper saleable products (I believe), packaged in individual boxes with the colours marked on the sides, packed into a mailing box with padding.
Personal observations – A lovely company to deal with. They actually e-mailed me to tell me of their product when they started out, so I asked for a sample which they provided. I also suggested some changes to the way things were said on their website due to some translation problems, so I’ve had a few e-mails back and forth with them. The correspondence I’ve had with them was quite positive. And, not only did they send me a sample in the first place (without a hole punched in it too), which is very much appreciated, but they also sent me a sample of their proper cups, so that I would have one of the proper products to be able to compare, and they have sent me each of their coloured cups as well! All e-mails have been very friendly and personalised to me (not your standard automatic responses), so I’ve been extremely impressed by this company.
My love of purple is fairly well known…. and while I have always been a huge fan of the Lunette because of it’s design, I have to say the new purple LadyCup has really become a favourite. Infact all the colours are great. I’m not normally a fan of orange, but the orange LadyCup is really nice too (sort of reminds me of tropical mangos or something), and the colourful bags are a nice touch, with the cup name on a tag on the side of the bags, and the ribbons matching the cup colours. They seem to put a lot of effort into little touches like that.
There has been a few problems with some of the coloured cups. It would seem that some batches are prone to splitting. The company is replacing split cups, and have sold off remaining cups from those batches as “trial” cups, only guaranteeing them to last one use (although some women get more than that). As a way to let women try cups inexpensively. I bought 2 of these “Trial” cups, and found the silicone to be lighter in colour, and also stiffer than that of the non-faulty ones I have.
I do not know if the new colour for these cups is the more transparent/lighter versions, and all cups will be this new colour or if this lighter coloured cup is only from the defective batches, and only the defective ones are this light.
Country of origin: Finland
Lifespan: Claims will last up to 10 years
Composition: Medical Grade Silicone
Sizes: 1 & 2 (1= under 20, not had sexual intercourse. 2 = over 20/had sexual intercourse)
Dimensions: Size 1 = 4.1cm wide, 4.7cm Long, with 2.5cm stem. Size 2 = 4.6cm wide, 5.2cm long and 2cm stem
Capacity: Official capacity – Size 1 = 25mls, Size 2 = 30mls. My Test – Size 2 = 26ml to airholes, 34mls to level with rim
Stem: Flat (solid) tab
Measuring Lines: Yes (on outside) marks (though it doesn’t show what they are) 7mls and 15mls
Cost (RRP): $39.99 USD [Currency Converter]
Guarantee: None (prefer to try and worth through problems than just refund)
Been around since: “Autumn” 2005
Limited edition blue version called the “Selene” brought out in late 2008
Country of origin: Czech Republic
Lifespan: Claims will last up to 15 years
Composition:Medical Grade Silicone
Sizes:S & L (S = Women under 25/not given birth, L = Women over 25/have given birth)
Dimensions: S= “Small” – 4cm wide, 4.6cm long, 1.9cm stem. L=Large – 4.6cm wide, 5.3cm long, 1.3cm stem.
Capacity:S = 15.5ml, L = 26ml
Stem: Hollow tube
Measuring Lines: No
Cost (RRP):$24.99 Euros[Currency Converter]
Guarantee: Exchange for wrong size, 2 year on materials.
Been around since: January 2008
Other Details:Available in translucent coloured versions too. First cup company to bring in coloured cups.