Review – Sckoon Cup
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.