Menstrual Cups

Food-grade Vs Medical-grade silicone

One of the theories I had about the cheap Chinese cups, was that they could be made using cheaper silicone, perhaps food-grade, rather than medical-grade.

While most of the listings for the cups state they are medical grade, there are a few that say they are made from food-grade silicone.  Which is a concern.  If some of them are, then it is possible that others are.  You are really only relying on what a product listing says to know what it is made from.

It could also explain why most of the cheap cups are also very soft/squishy.  It could be because there are more softeners added, but it could be because they are made from different silicone.

For example, Blossom Cup’s website claims the cup is FDA approved (which is false), and that it is made from FDA approved medical grade silicone.fda_blossom

Yet their Amazon listing says the cup is made from Food-Grade silicone:


If it is made from food-grade silicone, then not only is their website fraudulent, but if the other similar cups (Charlene, Dutchess etc.) are in fact the same cups too (just rebranded), then those would all be food-grade not medical grade too… and those claim they are medical grade.

Another example is the cups being sold by Zhida Xintai, those list food grade silicone as their material.


What is the difference?

I really can’t say if food-grade silicone is going to be worse for a cup to be made from than medical grade.  However something that is safe for contact with food, may not necessarily be safe for skin-contact inside your vagina for days.

Medical grade silicone is designed for products that are used inside the body, and it is therefore tested on animals.  Now, while we might not like that fact, it is done to make sure that the material is safe to have in the body.  Food-grade silicone does not undergo those tests, as it is designed to have contact with food only.  Not for being used on or in the body.

So while food-grade silicone may be perfectly fine to use, there is no guarantee it won’t cause reactions, because it has not been tested for that use.


March 24, 2015 - Posted by | news |


  1. Hello I need some advice/input. If I were do file down the grip rings on my cup, would it still be safe to use? Would the damaged areas be more prone to bacteria? I’ve tried Googling it and some say that it would be completely safe, while others say that the microscopic abrasions on the filed down areas would be a breading ground for bacteria. What I’m most concerned about is of course the possibility of TSS. Where can I get this information? I think it would be valuable for all cup users. Thanks.

    Comment by Renata | April 21, 2015

  2. I honestly don’t know.

    I have heard cup companies (specifically Femmycycle) say or imply that the smoothness/slipperiness of a silicone cup is what prevents bacteria adhering to the surface.

    So it does sound possible that abrading the surface could potentially give the surface more texture that would give somewhere for bacteria to stick to.

    I’m not sure though if that would be the case, and how likely that would be to happen.

    TSS is complicated, and they still don’t exactly know what conditions lead to it.

    There have been studies done which seem to show that cotton tampons are less likely to cause TSS than rayon ones – which would indicate that it is something in the actual fibre used, and not because it is a porous item. But also studies to show that cotton has the same or more chance of TSS.

    The only way to know for sure I guess would be if someone did clinical tests on abraded cups compared to non-abraded ones, and see if it does make any difference.

    Comment by obsidian | April 21, 2015

  3. Interesting research. I’m wondering if there are any known menstrual cup makers who make safe surgical grade silicone cups. Should not all other ones be outlawed?

    Comment by Think Emoji | February 11, 2018

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: