Menstrual Cups

My Comparisons and Ratings – Insertion & Removal

This is part of my comparison chart for the menstrual cups I have tried.
See here for the chart and links to the other individual sections explained.

Insertion (Ease)

This is looking at how easy the cups are to insert, how easily they fold into the “c” fold and how easy it is to keep them folded.

Diva - Slightly easier to keep folded than Lunette.
Keeper - Couldn’t test accurately
Femmecup – Slightly easier to keep folded than Mooncup or Lunette
Fleurcup - Slightly easier to keep folded than Lunette.
Lady Cup – Most flexible silicone. Easier to keep folded than other cups. Easier to insert
Lunette – Slightly harder to keep folded.
MeLuna – Old style are probably the stiffest (least flexible) of the cups, harder to keep folded (but also smaller than the other cups).  Newer style “soft” cups are soft and easy to keep folded
Miacup – Nice flexible silicone, easy to keep folded
Mooncup UK – Slightly easier to keep folded than Lunette.
MPower - Slightly easier to keep folded than Mooncup or Lunette
Yuuki – Nice flexible silicone, easy to insert

While not really very much difference, I found some cups were easier to keep folded and insert. The Lady Cup is the cup easiest to keep folded because of the lack of ridges and softer/more flexible silicone. The old style MeLuna was the stiffest cup, so harder to keep folded.  The newer “soft” cups are soft and easy to keep folded and the smooth outside makes them easy to insert.  Lunette seems to need more pressure to keep it folded than some of the other cups.  The other cups fell somewhere between.

So Score half a point to the cups that are slightly easier to keep folded and 1 point to the cups that are easiest to keep folded and most comfortable to insert. The Keeper I have with half of one side missing was not able to be folded up properly (as the top folded but the gaping hole made the bottom of the cup not able to fold – leaving a pointy bit sticking up, so was not easy to insert, remove or keep folded, so I can’t mark a score for it.

Insertion (Opening Up)

This was not scored on the table, but I have my comments here.  Using the same folding method (“c”), and the same insertion positions (essentially trying to keep everything the same), how easily the cups opened for me.  Keeping in mind that issues with the cup opening properly first time, can be due to many factors.  Often I’ve found a cup will open up fine one time, and not the next time.  Also some of the cups I have are small sizes, some are large. For the record –  I am a woman just over 30, who has been pregnant but not given birth vaginally (and does regular kegals). So this is one reason I didnt score this on the chart.

DivaA few more issues opening up than the other cups (small size)
Femmecup -
No problems opening up.
Fleurcup – No problems opening up.
Keeper - Couldn’t test accurately
Lady Cup
Occasional problems opening up with large size, small size opens fine
Lunette
Occasionally slight problems opening up.
MeLuna -
New “soft” version has no problems opening up
Miacup
Slight problems opening up.
Mooncup UK
No problems opening up (either size).
MPower - Couldn’t get it to fully open up, in the 2 tests I did.  Not sure why
Yuuki - No problems opening up (tested small size)

With insertion I found MPower and Diva to have more problems opening up. but I only tried them twice (Diva is the small size). So I needed to press against the vaginal wall to allow the cup space to fully open properly (after turning it and “Stirring” failed). Mpower didn’t even open fully with me pressing against the vaginal wall to give it room to open.  I’m not sure why.  Miacup required a little “stirring” to get it to open, but was easier than Diva.  I find the Lunette usually pops open with no problems, but occasionally needs me to push against the vaginal wall also. Lady Cup can have a few issues depending on the position I am in (because it is very flexible, so doesn’t have as much desire to pop open as the stiffer cups). Yuuki popped open without problems. For the original style MeLuna I could’t use the “c-fold” as it opens too quickly for me doing it that way, so I used the “punchdown” instead and it still popped open very quickly (perhaps due to the stiffness and the thicker rim). Which was uncomfortable.  The newer “soft” version I could use the same fold as the other cups, and it opened up normally, like the other cups (not too quickly).

Insertion (Comfort)

This is going by how comfortable the cups felt being inserted. Basically I found the more pronounced ridges to be slightly less comfortable than the smoother ones (obviously a smooth surface is going to feel less noticeable being inserted than a bumpy one). Not “uncomfortable”, more “noticeable”…Basically if there were 2 cups otherwise identical, I’d pick the smoother sided one. But it’s really not a big deal, since inserting the cup is all of a few seconds, but still….

DivaPronounced ridge around the top, slightly less comfortable.
Femmecup
Pronounced ridge around the top, slightly less comfortable.
Fleurcup – Smooth outside, more comfortable to insert
Keeper
-
Couldn’t test
Lady Cup
No ridge, softer silicone folds smaller, most comfortable to insert
Lunette
Less pronounced ridge around the top, more comfortable to insert than ridged cups
MeLuna
No ridge, comfortable to insert
Miacup -
Pronounced ridge around the top, slightly less comfortable.
Mooncup -
Pronounced ridge around the top, slightly less comfortable.
MPower – Less pronounced ridge around the top, more comfortable to insert than ridged cups
YuukiNo ridge (only a barely noticeable bump), most comfortable to insert.

With Mooncup and Femmecup I felt the ridge more than Diva – which in my sample has the more pronounced ridge also (I believe the new Divas have a lower profile ridge, almost similar to a Lunette, but I can only go by one picture I have seen of that) So I am judging this based on the cup I personally have. Yuuki, Ladycup, MPower and Fleurcup were most comfortable to insert, with no ridge and the Ladycup and Yukki being most comfortable with the more flexible silicone making it able to fold up better. My Keeper sample couldn’t be folded into a proper shape for insertion due to the hacked out side poking up, so was exceptionally uncomfortable to insert like that, so obviously cannot be scored because I don’t have a proper sample.


Removal(Comfort)

This is going by how comfortable the cups felt being removed. Basically I found the more pronounced ridges to be slightly less comfortable than the smoother ones (obviously a smooth surface is going to feel less noticeable being inserted than a bumpy one).

Basically it’s the same as insertion – the less bumpy cups feel nicer than the bumpier ones. The older style MeLuna, which has a stiffer rim, had 2 points deduced for being most uncomfortable – due to it’s stiffness, but the newer style was easy to remove. I can’t score Keeper because the sample I got was not complete., but being ridged, I imagine it would be the same as Mooncup UK.

June 11, 2008 Posted by | comparisons | , | 1 Comment

My Comparisons and Ratings – Cleaning

This is part of my comparison chart for the menstrual cups I have tried.
See here for the chart and links to the other individual sections explained.

Inside (Cleaning)

This is looking at what markings are on the cups (and their potential to collect blood and make cleaning harder). None of the cups were “hard” to clean, but some were easier than others…. so points given to being easier than other cups.

Diva – has their name in fancy font and they have “made in canada”, plus the size in raised numbers on the flat inside base, and measuring lines in mls and oz.
Femmecup – measuring lines.
Fleurcup - has nothing at all inside
Keeper – has “The keeper made in USA” in raised capitals all around the inside of the rim (I hate the typeface.. looks large chunky and less professional) and the size raised in the flat inside bottom. 2 rings around the inside. Not sure if they are measuring lines or not.
Lady Cup – has nothing at all inside
Lunette - has nothing at all inside
MeLuna – has nothing at all inside
Miacup – has their logo on the inside rim, nothing marked on the flat base inside the cup.
Mooncup UK – has their website in larger letters, their sizing in raised letters on the flat inside bottom and raised dots beside the size (not sure why). It also has the lines on the inside, marked mls on one side and plain lines on the opposite side.
MPower – has nothing at all inside
Yuuki – Has their name and the number “1” in slightly indented letters on the inside, with raised measuring lines marking 5mls and 10mls.

I found none of the measuring lines collected any blood really… not as much as I’d thought it would. Though it did make it a fraction harder to clean inside (one lazy wipe cleans the smooth inside cups and I had to wipe a bit more carefully to clean the others) – but rinsing with water seemed to clean them with the same amount of ease.

I noticed once that there was dried blood in the writing that hadn’t washed off properly when I’d rinsed it after use (oops). So the potential for blood catchment in the writing/markings is there, so having no markings is better than having the chance to be harder to clean IMHO… so score one point for smooth(er) inside that is easier to clean, half a point to Yuuki & Femmecup because the markings are only very slight.

 

Outside (Cleaning)

This is looking at what markings, ridges and writing is on the outside of cups (and their potential to collect blood and make cleaning harder). I found the more pronounced ridge (where the cup has the “stepped” sides near the top rim) to be slightly more likely to catch blood than the smoother sides.

Diva – Pronounced ridge around the top, slightly harder to clean there. No markings except lines around base for grip.
Femmecup – Pronounced ridge around the top, no markings.
Fleurcup -very raised ridges around bottom of the base for grip. No markings or ridge
Keeper - Pronounced ridge around the top, slightly harder to clean there. No markings.
Lady Cup – No ridge around the top, no writing or markings.  Slightly raised bumps around base for grip
Lunette – Slight ridge around the top, shallow indented writing and raised lines for measuring (wasn’t hard to clean).
MeLuna – No ridge around the top, no writing or markings.
Miacup – Pronounced ridge around the top, no markings.
Mooncup UK – Pronounced ridge around the top, slightly harder to clean there.
MPower -Slight ridge at top, however the silicone on the raised grip ridges is present, which can catch blood.
Yuuki – No ridge around the top, no writing.

Even though the Lunette has the lines and writing on the outside, they are so minimal that they haven’t collected blood for me. So score 0.5 for Lunette (since it’s still easy to clean) and 1 point to the other cups who have smoother outsides that are slightly easier to clean.  Mpower would have received a point for having a smooth outside, but the silicone in the grip ridges along the bottom of the cup is not smooth, so can collect blood.


Cleaning the holes

Diva – Very small holes, angled down.  Took a lot of effort to clean.
Femmecup – Holes cleaned ok
Fleurcup - Holes cleaned easily
Keeper - Holes hard to see given the colour of the cup, so it’s uncertain if they clean well or not.
Lady Cup – Large holes, easy to clean
Lunette – Large holes, easy to clean
MeLuna – Holes cleaned easily
Miacup – Holes cleaned easily, large enough to see into despite opaque cup
Mooncup UK – Holes cleaned easily
MPower -Very large holes, easy to clean
Yuuki – Very small holes – angled up, cleaned easily

The holes of the Diva really bugged me, and I only tried it twice.  They would not rinse clean for me, I had to get a pin and poke them clean. I imagine I would take to it with a heated metal skewer to enlarge them if I bought one and had to use a pin each time…. I tried putting my hand over the cup and squirting water out through them (my usual method) , and it doesn’t work to clear them (where it does for the other cups)….The Yukki holes are not much bigger and also angled, but those cleaned fine.  I don’t know if it’s because of the direction they angle in.

With the Keeper’s brown colour, you can’t see if the holes are dirty though, which is a big turn off for me – given the amount of gunk I’ve seen in the silicone cups holes, if you don’t see it, you might not clean it well enough to remove it…. and not all of us disinfect or boil the cups between uses….Lady Cup and Mpower’s holes were the easiest to clean, being HUGE, they didn’t even need the palm squeeze trick to clean them, they came clean with a rinse under the tap. Miacup’s holes while also opaque like Keeper, are larger so I can see through them, so I’m happy with them.

So I’ll give a 1/2 point each to the cups with easy enough to clean holes, 1 point to easier to clean cups, and minus 0.5 to Diva for its incredibly difficult holes to clean and to Keeper for the fact that while they seem to come clean ok, you can’t see clearly if the holes need cleaning or not….

June 11, 2008 Posted by | comparisons | , , | 1 Comment

My Comparisons and Ratings

————————————————————————————————————
This needs updating as I’ve tried more cups since I wrote this (the ratings are still accurate though)
————————————————————————————————-

I’ve tried most of the cups, and these are my thoughts to compare them. I tried to be as neutral as possible in my opinions – referencing back to how I find they feel/look/work compared to each other to see which I felt performed better in each category. And this was done not being influenced by the companies themselves (eg I didn’t rate a product higher if I liked the company), just their products.

Cups that are not rated, are not rated because I do not have a cup of that brand in which to perform the testing/comparisons. The companies have been shown this site, and a request for a cup has been made, but I was either refused or my request ignored.

By Ratings
What I’ve done is give points for features I liked, and remove points for ones I did not like. If I had no feelings either way, I gave/took no points. Where I felt a feature was exceptional, I gave more than 1 point. Where I found something detrimental, I removed more than one point. See the chart in the link below.

http://www.clothpads.org/Cups_chart.html

The top scoring cups in my table are (in order):
MeLuna
Fleurcup
Miacup
LadyCup
Lunette

This doesn’t necessarily mean they are the “best” cups… or that I would recommend them in that order. That total is based on adding up the positive attributes of the cups. However I probably would recommend these 5 cups over the others, as I feel their positive attributes make them worthy of more consideration than other brands.

See my detailed rundown in each section I’ve rated:

Stems & Wearing | Insertion & Removal | Cleaning | Visual Appeal

By Personal Preference
Everyone is different, and everyone has different needs and different preferences. So this is just based on what I would recommend to others based on what I personally would choose.

In a perfect world – my most ideal cup would be a Lunette or Fleurcup in the same purple silicone the LadyCup uses. I have always preferred the shape of the Lunette (and Fleurcup is perhaps just a fraction better because it’s more flexible and smoother on the outside), and I love that LadyCup purple. I love the Miacup colour purple too (and it’s flat tab stem. I would always pick a purple cup over other colours, and a purple cup would appeal to me more than a clear one. I admit I am swayed by colour!

Taking colour out of the equation, the next thing I look for is a tab stem. I have found these to be far more comfortable to wear (untrimmed) than the tube stems. My next choice over the tab stems would be Femmecup’s stem, which is a thin “stick” (solid).. and then LadyCup, as their stem was flexible enough not to be bothersome, even though it’s a hollow tube that I don’t especially like.

The other thing I look for is less ridges and markings on the cup – the smoother the cup, I find the nicer it feels. And the larger the air holes, the easier they are to clean. So cups with very small holes, I would avoid.

So… ignoring colours, and my personal feelings about the companies who produce the cups – My Rankings

Choice #1 – Fleurcup
Lunette has been my favourite cup from the beginning because of it’s shape and stem design. Fleurcup brings those same positive features but slightly improves them with a slightly softer silicone, a smoother outside (no ridge) and more pronounced grip lines on the base and stem. While I don’t think the grip is a point to sway me either way, I think it probably has enough slightly better features than Lunette. It also offers more colour options, putting it ahead of Lunette in that respect too. (However on a personal, and not included in this ranking, level – they refused to send me a cup to review, and their website is less professional than other companies – which would influence my decision on buying one).

Choice #2 – Lunette
As I said, Lunette has been my preferred cup due to it’s shape, until I tried the Fleurcup, which I have to admit, I do prefer a *tiny* bit more. However, Lunette still remains the cup I recommend to people (unless they want a specific colour that isn’t available with Lunette), because of other factors (eg I prefer them over Fleurcup as a company). Which I’m not including in the reasoning for my rankings, just the actual cup – which is why it ranks #2 here. Smooth outside, no annoying markings to make cleaning harder, and a tab stem. All the features I like in a cup.

Choice #3 – Miacup
This cup has a lot of positive features I love. (It’s purple) It has a tab stem, offers a money back guarantee, has fantastic customer relations and donates to charity. But it does have the more pronounced ridge that I prefer not to have on the cups, and I believe it is one of the most expensive cups, which drops it to #3.

Choice #4 – MeLuna
I had rated the old-style versions of this cup at about a #6. I think with the new softer silicone I’d put it here. While I do like a tab stem, MeLuna offers different types of stem, and that is a huge positive, which I think earns position #4, even though I personally prefer the Femmecup stem to the stems I’ve tried with MeLuna (older style ball and ring, and newer style stick). As I didn’t like their new stick stem as much (it’s thicker and I could feel it). I haven’t tried the ball or ring stem in their new design however. I have found the outside nice and smooth, and the new material they use is as soft as the silicone cups, so a vast improvement on the very stiff cups they first offered. (Of course the colour options, including glittered, which I’m not ranking on, would increase it’s appeal greatly ;))

Choice #4 – Femmecup
With the newly designed Femmecup, I think I would rank it here. The solid stick stem I find to be a more appealing option than the hollow tube stems, and the new cup has a nicer feeling silicone than the old one. Still with the pretty spiral on the stem, the silicone of this cup is much nicer to that of something like the Mooncup UK, which is yellowish.

Choice #5 – Lady Cup
Lady Cup is very easy to clean, easy to insert/remove and a stem that I found comfortable enough to wear untrimmed. However it does have a tube stem (which I don’t like as much as solid stems) – although it is bar far the most comfortable of all the tube stems.  I also found the softer silicone *ever so slightly* harder to get to open up. (However if I was considering colour, then the coloured cups would put Ladycup above a clear Femmecup…. and if we’re considering colour, the purple Ladycups are my preferred purples, so they rank very highly to be based on my love of purple :D)

Choice #6 – Yuuki
I did like the one I tested, however I have heard that they have replaced the solid stick stem with a hollow tube and have made the silicone firmer. Which in my opinion are both negative changes, which would lessen my recommendations of this brand. The new version may rank lower, but I have not tested it, so this is based on the one I have.  There is nothing wrong with this cup, but other cups have features that I feel rank them higher than this cup.

Choice #7 – Moon Cup (USA)
Although I didn’t try it, if it’s basically the same as the Keeper and Mooncup UK (eg the same shape/size), then I’d prefer it over the Diva and Mooncup UK (because I’d prefer clear to yellowish). The main problems I have with the Keeper are it’s colour, the fact it’s latex and the fact you can’t see the holes, which the silicone cup would solve. Since I’ve never seen one in person though, nor tried one, I don’t know if I can rate it any higher. And of course this is not including my personal feelings about the company (Their use of the “Mooncup” name) – as if it did, I would rank this lower.

Choice #8 – Mooncup (UK)
The Mooncup is marginally less attractive because of the yellowed silicone. yes, I am that picky. I can’t help it. I also found the stem to be more irritating than the other forms of stem. Based on the stem, I would choose other (softer stemmed) cups before this cup.  I also prefer the outside of the cup to have a flatter ridge.

Choice #9 – Diva
The holes are why I rank this cup lower than the others… they annoyed me… *a lot*.. Plus it’s longer length poked me more despite the short stem, and I like the longer stems to grip. I have heard that they brought out a new design with less ridge and larger holes, but I have not tested this myself, so I am not sure.

Choice #10 – Keeper
The fact you can’t see the holes, it’s brown and in my opinion unattractive …and that it’s latex mean I’d choose most other cups before this. But, I would still chose it over a tampon (unless I had a latex allergy)… so it isn’t all bad, it’s just that compared to the others, it wouldn’t be high in my list of choices. The latex does have the advantage that is is the most natural of the cups however, which I’m sure will be important to some women. I would choose the silicone “Moon Cup USA” over the keeper if I had to choose between the two, because of the brown colour and latex issues.

Choice #11 – MPower
Going purely by the one example I have – I would not recommend this brand to anyone. It will always be the very last in the list to recommend. It’s better than a tampon, sure, but I would choose *all* the other cups before this brand. (and that’s not taking into account the fact that there are disputes about whether the MPower was copied off the Lunette cup). The MPower cup I have is of such poor quality that I do not hold much faith in the quality of the brand. It’s completely unacceptable quality, and I find it worrying that my one cup has so many faults (one or two you can pass off as being an inevitable flaw in manufacture, but not so many and of the type they are) – It was given to me by a reseller – from normal stock, that would have gone out to other customers. My MPower, straight from the box, had:

  • 2 splits coming down from the holes, one fairly deep – This could have been caused by the cup being squashed in transit, however all of my cups have been though transit and none of them have been affected (with the exception of the Keeper having a slight oval shape rather than round, I presumed from being squished in the mail)
  • 1 hole has been partway drilled through then the hole shifts over about 1mm and then continues through
  • A brown speck is embedded in the silicone
  • Rough silicone around the rim, end of stem and in the outside base of the cup – basically looking like overflow from the moulding process, and I have heard other cups are “sandblasted” – presumably to remove this sort of stuff
  • The ridges on the tab stem are not attached properly – most are able to be lifted up as if they were an elastic band placed around the stem and only stuck on at a few points. One ridge has already broken and is hanging on only by a small point of attachment on the side.

June 11, 2008 Posted by | comparisons | , | 50 Comments

   

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