Menstrual Cups

Sckoon knockoffs?

Browsing through AliExpress today, I discovered these cups.  While they have tried to disguise the stems, you can see the telltale flower design on the base of the cup.  They look to be copies of the Sckoon cup.

femcup_skoonhttp://www.aliexpress.com/item/2015-Hot-Sale-Reusable-Medical-Grade-Silicone-Menstrual-Cup-Lady-Cup-Feminine-Hygiene-Product-for-Femcup/32284308638.html

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ladycup-sckoonhttp://www.aliexpress.com/item/2015-Hot-Sale-Wholesale-6-Colors-Choose-Reusable-Medical-Grade-Silicone-Menstrual-Cup-Lady-Cup-Feminine/32282819348.html

Also from Rockbrook (the makers of iCare), called a “Anytime”

anytime_colours

http://www.aliexpress.com/item/2015-Anytime-Brand-Wholesale-Reusable-Medical-Grade-Silicone/32288941057.html

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Since one of them shows it with a “femcup” box, and the “femcup” brand cup looks very similar to the other Chinese copies/rebrands, I wonder if it Femcup also a rebranded cup?

femcup

February 17, 2015 Posted by | comparisons, news | , , | 4 Comments

Squish Test Results

People often want to know how squishy a cup is compared to other cups.  Which is sometimes hard to judge.  This “squish test” of often done by taking 2 cups and pressing them together, like this:

namelessmoon-squish

This shows that the cup on the top has flattened more than the cup on the bottom, so the top cup is presumably made from a softer silicone, because it compresses more than the other cup.

However, holding the cups on top of each other like that, is not an accurate test.  I have noticed in doing this myself, that if you have 2 cups with a similar degree of squishyness, the bottom cup will always flatten more.  It seems there is more pressure on the bottom cup than the top cup.  Also when you squash 3 cups together, the centre one squishes more.

So to get a more accurate indication of which cup is softer, you really need to compress 2 cups, from the sides.  So that there is a more even pressure on both cups.  Like this:

clari_squish-sckoon

It also has some degree of human error – as you could press more on one side than the other, or press in different areas of each cup (eg more towards the rim on one, and more towards the body on the other)

To take away any human error…. and be able to get results a bit more “scientifically” – I tried to work out how I could measure the amount of force needed to compress the cups, to calculate the softness that way – but finding an inexpensive way to test that way was not possible.  So I decided that I would do the side by side squish test using a caliper to hold the cups in place.

CupCalipers

This does the same thing as holding the cups in my hand, but should have a more even pressure on both sides, since the cups are being placed between the arms of the caliper.  I have also locked the caliper to 50.00 millimeters between those arms, so that each cup test is compressed by the same amount each time.

As you can see in the image above, when compressed to 50mm, the Miacup (right) does not compress as much as the Brandless Moon-stem cup (left).  So this shows that the cup on the left is made from softer or “Squishier” silicone.

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My Squish Test Results

To be able to compare the relative squishyness of the cups to make a list, without having to test every cup against all the other cups, I have measured all the cups against one cup – the Lunette.

As in the picture above, all these test results are done by setting calipers to 50mm, putting a Lunette and one other cup together between the arms of the caliper, and measuring how compressed the rim of the cup I’m testing against the Lunette is (measuring from the outsides of the rim, to account for the fact the cups have different thicknesses of rim).  This compressed rim measurement is in brackets after the brand name.

So the cups at the top of the list, with the smaller number in brackets – are “squishier” or “Softer”.  Cups towards the bottom of the list, are “Firmer” or “Harder”

Now, this is not a perfectly accurate reading, I do have to try to hold the cups straight while in the caliper, and that can make it possible for a slightly inaccurate reading – but I think it’s about as accurate as I can get with a home-made measuring system.  However it can be used to give an indication of relative “squishyness” of the brands.

(If anyone has any particular requests as to which cups to compare together – of cups that I own [are in this list], comment here and I can compare them for you.)

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Large Sizes
All Large size cups (except the Luv Ur Body, which I used the “medium” size since it was closer in size to the Large sizes of other brands, and the single sized cups) tested against a Large Lunette.

  • Aneer (18mm)
  • (Nameless ebay moon stem cup) – (20mm)
  • Gaia Cup (21mm)
  • Lunacup (21mm)
  • Miacup [old] (21mm)
  • Sibell – (21mm)
  • Cup Lee (22mm)
  • Juju (23mm)
  • Mami Cup (23mm)
  • Sckoon (23mm)
  • OrganiCup (24mm)
  • Fleur Cup (24mm)
  • Lena Cup (24mm)
  • Lily Compact (24mm)
  • Vcup [one size] (24mm)
  • Mooncup UK [new] (25mm)
  • Ruby (25mm)
  • Claricup (25mm)
  • Eco-Cup (26mm)
  • Femmecup [new] [one size] (26mm)
  • Luv Ur Body (26mm)
  • Anytime (27mm)
  • Lady Cup (27mm)
  • Lily Cup (27mm)
  • MeLuna [Classic] (27mm)
  • Mpower (27mm)
  • Femmycycle (28mm)
  • Lunette (28mm)
  • Mooncup uk [old] (29mm)
  • Yuuki – [new] (30mm)

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Small Sizes
Tested against a Small Lunette – using all Small, or single size cups.

  • iClean (23mm)
  • Cup Lee (24mm)
  • Si-bell (25mm)
  • Keeper (26mm)
  • Diva [old] (26mm)
  • Luna cup (26mm)
  • Femmycycle (26mm)
  • Luv Ur Body (27mm)
  • Sckoon [prototype] (27mm)
  • Juju (27mm)
  • Lunette (27mm)
  • Claricup (27mm)
  • Yuuki [new] (27mm)
  • Lily compact (27mm)
  • Femmecup [new][one size] (27mm)
  • Bassrose [one size] (28mm)
  • Eco-cup (28mm)
  • Lena Cup (28mm)
  • Vcup [one size] (28mm)
  • Femmecup [old] (30mm)
  • Mooncuk uk [old] (33mm)

My “new” MeLuna was from 2011, I assume it is a “Classic”, but it’s HEAPS softer than their old cups.  The “new” Yuuki I’m not sure which version it is, probably the “classic”

 

— disclaimer —
Now, I would like to mention that when I get new cups in, I have to compare them to the old cups I have to know where to rank them, and I’m not sure if silicone changes softness over time (when stored in a dark box and not used – as my samples are). So that may affect my ratings.

Cups apparently get softer the more they are used (particularly through repeated boiling) – so my cups that are used once or twice then put in a storage box, will probably not be as soft as a cup that is used by someone regularly.

Please note that I can only test the cups I actually have – so this is a list of the cups I own.  Please do not ask me to test any cups not on this list!  I can’t rest what I don’t physically have.

I will update the list whenever I obtain a new cup.

February 13, 2015 Posted by | comparisons, reviews | , | 8 Comments

Cup Comparison Photos

I have a few more cups since the last time I did a cup photo shoot…   So it was time to do another!

www.clothpads.org_allcupsgrass260115

Small sizes

www.clothpads.org_240115_smallcups

Large Sizes

www.clothpads.org_240115_largecups

I tried to use all clear cups where I had a clear or coloured version of the cup.  You can see my Yuuki and MCUK have yellowed with age, even though they were only worn for 1 period then washed well with soap and added to my collection…

January 24, 2015 Posted by | comparisons, photos | Leave a comment

Cup Brands By Style

I thought it might be convenient to people if I had a list of all the cup brands by the style/shape/stem.  To make it easier to compare and find brands by their type.

I will link the brands to the page of information I have on them, rather than to their official websites, as some of the cups don’t have official websites.

Ball Stem Cups

LunaCup

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Flat Tab Stem Cups

These stems are flat, long and narrow.  See also Similar and Rebranded cups.

Melodysusie

* These cups appear to be the same or very similar design.
^ These cups appear to be very similar (if not the same) design.

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Flat Wide Stem Cups

These stems are flat and wider than the “flat tab” stem.  They can be short or long.

flatwidestem3

* These cups appear to be very similar to each other, and may be “copies” or rebranding of the same cup.

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Hollow Tube Stem Cups

These cups have a stem that is a hollow tube. Some have a thicker wall (smaller opening) than others, some have longer or shorter stems.

misscup

* These cups appear to be the same design just given different names.

Long Thick Stem Cups

MeLuna_stem

These stems are the same sort of shape as the “hollow tube” stem, but are solid.

* These cups are manufactured by the same company but called different names for some reason

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Long Thin Stem Cups

These stems are long and thin.  With or without grip lines/bumps.

JuJu

* All these cups appear to be very similar.  I have heard that Si-Bell sold their design to other manufacturers, so these appear to be all from that same design.  Liberty and Natu both have “natu” embossed into the cup and have a slightly different stem design than the others.

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Ring Stem Cups

These stems have a “ring” or “loop” type of design.

MeLuna_ring2

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Short Thick Stem Cups

These stems are short and thick.  Either solid or hollow.

stem-shortthick

* All these cups appear to be the same design.

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Short Thin Stem Cups

These stems are short, thin and solid.

stem_shortthin

* All these cups appear to be the same design.

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 Other Stem Cups

stem-other

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 Unknown Stem Cups

January 23, 2015 Posted by | comparisons, The Cups | | Leave a comment

Similar or Rebranded Cups

Now… this isn’t intended to be any accusations of any brands doing the wrong thing.  This is just an observation that there are several cups that that look quite similar (if not exactly the same) to other cups.

There may be a few reasons that cups may look similar or identical to another brand.  These could be:

  • Re-branding – Where a business may be buying cups from a supplier and reselling them under their new brand name, rather than selling them under the existing name, (if the cups had a “brand” name).  Either as is, or by creating new packaging for them.
  • Manufacturer selling to multiple sellers – Where the cup manufacturer is selling their cups to more than one buyer (maybe without the primary business knowing)
  • Sharing/Selling Designs – Where one cup business has sold the rights to reproduce their cup design
  • Copying/stealing designs – Where a business makes an exact copy or a slight variation of someone elses cup, without the permission of the original business.

If you want to make sure you are getting a cup that is an “original” rather than a copy, look to see when the brand was established, and look to see how their overall website/business appearance is.

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For more information on the issue of rebranding – see here (or scroll down)


Similar looking brands

This is a list of cup brands that have the same specific features.  This is not meant to imply that any of these brands are “Copies” or “Rebranding” – it is merely a comparison to highlight cups which appear to be the same shape and/or design.

Diameter measurements (Small/Large) for the brands are also given when known, for easier comparison.  The slight (eg 1mm) difference between some brands that otherwise seem identical may be due to measuring errors or rounding up/down (eg a 41.5mm measurement may be rounded up or down by the brand/manufacturer), or may show the cup is actually a different size to another – I don’t know.

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Short thin stems

Cups that feature short rounded “stick” stems, with rings around the base of the cup and rings around the “ridge” area:

aneer-bandedridge

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Short thick stems

Cups that feature grid-like grip lines around the base of the cup with shorter thick stems that have grip rings:

aneer2b

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Narrow Flat Tab stems

Cups with a tab stem that features 3 grip lines and have colours and overall look to the silicone that looks very similar to each other. Often with a slightly bent stem:

cheapcup_14

* different sources give different measurements

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Wide Flat Tab stems

Cups that have a flat wide-tabbed stem, sometimes with low profile ridge (usually only on the small size) and sometimes without.

cheapcup_15

Brands of cup that appear to be this same design:

 

Other stems

Eco-lybera

Spiral grip line on the stem, both made in Italy, with same measurements and are available in the same clear or pink colour.  I have heard that this is the same cup, just given different names when being sold online or in stores.

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cheapcup_13b

Cups that have a tab stem with a heart or moon shape on the end, usually where the heart is used for the small size, and moon for the large.

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sibell

Cups that have a long “stick” stem with bumps on it (I have seen someone speculate that that Si-bell sold or licensed their design, so other companies may be allowed to make their own brand from it, or not – I don’t know).

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amulette

Cups that have a long “stick” stem with grip lines on it (unlike the “bumps” of the above cups)


Rebranding
While rebranding is only one reason cups may look similar, I wanted to address this issue, as it seems to be relevant in some cases, and I wanted to make consumers aware of this possibility.

You can buy a menstrual cup, in bulk, for as little as 50c to $1 per cup (including shipping!)

cheap_50ccheapcup_99cThese cups are often the designs in the list of similar cups.  Some seem to be offering to print logos and box designs for you:

cheap_50c_detail(note “silicone, Food grade or medical grade” – a bit of a worry)

Making it very cheap for someone to purchase these cups in bulk and resell them.  Even if they get their own boxes printed – if they are reselling them at $20 or even $10 per cup, that still looks cheap to customers compared to some of the other brands, and gives them a HUGE profit, without having to actually design or manufacture a cup themselves.

Buying at wholesale pricing and reselling is common – and the large cup brands offer wholesale pricing to stockists.  But there is a difference in buying at wholesale price and selling the item in its original packaging with its original name, or buying wholesale then implying that the product you are selling is your original creation by creating a new name and new packaging for it.

It does make it harder for consumers to know which cups are being manufactured by the company selling them, and which are just rebranded cheap cups.

Now that isn’t to say there is anything wrong with the cups themselves, the issue is that is it fair for someone to buy a cup for 50c and then sell it again for about $20 or $30, claiming that it is their own brand of cup that they have developed?  It is misleading customers into paying more for the product, because they assume what they are getting is different from what they could get cheaper elsewhere.

It is going to be difficult to tell the difference between copies, rebranding and originals :(  Some of the established cup companies have their branding on their cups, but some don’t.  So while one way to tell if you are getting a cup that was specifically made for that company, is to look to see if it had branding on it – that won’t always work.

The other issue with rebranding of cheap cups is that some people rely on a cup looking “legitimate” by having nice boxed packaging and a website – where they may not have purchased a cup from AliExpress or other similar websites over concerns about the safety of those products.  Rebranding can disguise the origins of a product and make it appear more “legitimate”.  See also my Cheap Cups Safety & Ethics post.

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If you want to avoid purchasing a cup that may be a rebranding, then your best bet would be to select a cup that is unique in design and/or specifically not a design that is available as unbranded cups sold very cheaply on websites such as AliExpress or ebay.  If a brand has the name or logo imprinted into the cup, and/or has been established for several years –  that is also a fairly good sign that it is a unique or original design and not a rebranding.

Another thing to look out for is the use of pouches or packaging that look very similar. For example many cups are being sold with the same satin pouch:

femicup-s  comfycup4femalecup

Femicup | Comfy Cup | Femalecup

cheapcup_04 Eve_Cup_Display naturalmama_pouch aneer2

Unbranded | Eve Cup | Natural Mama | Aneer

..and dark pink pouches, some with ribbon drawstrings, some with cord drawstrings

aneer4  cheapcup_06

Aneer | Unbranded

prettywoman aliexpress1 cozycup3

Pretty Woman | Unbranded | Cozy Cup

Some of the bulk cups don’t come with pouches or packaging, so resellers would have to (or could choose to) make their own pouches, so not having a pouch like these doesn’t mean it’s not a rebranding, but if it does have a pouch like this, and the same style of cup is available on AliExpress, then chances are very high that it is a rebranding.

January 15, 2015 Posted by | comparisons, news | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Updated the Cup charts

I need to  updated the size-comparison-charts.  Please check back later

November 9, 2011 Posted by | comparisons, news | 8 Comments

Ridges

In my reviews and talk of the cups, I mention the “ridge” of the cup (or lack of).  The “ridge” is what I call the section of the cup near the top rim.  Where the cup  “pokes out” more.

If you look at this photo below:

The Diva, Femmecup, Keeper, Miacup and Mooncup have what I consider a defined “ridge” – theirs pokes out more, and is more obvious.

Lunette and Yuuki have what I call a “less defined” or “smoother” ridge – theirs doesn’t poke out as much, and is flatter and less “bumpy”

Ladycup, MeLuna and Fleurcup have no ridge – those cups are smooth right up to where the rim goes thicker.

I find that the cups with more of a ridge are slightly less comfortable (though not “uncomfortable”) to remove and insert – due to that more “bumpy” ridge.  The smoother sides cups are by comparison more comfortable, as they don’t have that bumpy outside.

So that’s what I mean by “ridge”  :)

August 6, 2011 Posted by | comparisons, The Cups | Leave a comment

Updated Comparison & Ratings guide

Since I’ve now tried the new Femmecup and MeLuna, I’ve updated the comparison guide.

https://menstrualcups.wordpress.com/2008/06/11/my-comparisons-and-ratings/

I’ve also taken out the table that was an image, and made one on a page (so I can edit it more easily)… and I’ve changed how I rank the cups in my personal preferences, removing colour from the equation… basing it on just the cup design.

June 23, 2011 Posted by | comparisons | 2 Comments

Cup Size Comparison Charts

I’ve made a list of all the major Menstrual Cup brands (that I have measurement information for), listing things like measurements, capacities, stem type, material, Country of origin etc.

Cup Charts as a (more frequently updated) online file:

 (If sharing these, it might be best to share this page rather than the direct link, in case the links change)

* Please be aware that capacity measuring is a guide only.  Different brands may be measuring differently.  For example a “to airholes” measurement could (should) mean to just under the airholes (the maximum your cup could fill before it may leak) or to level with airholes (where you may leak).  The “to rim” measurement may be taken as being level with the rim, or as much as the cup can hold before spilling (which usually domes just above the rim).

Positioning of the airholes (higher or lower up the cup) can be quite different from brand to brand.  Which is why the measurement to airholes can be very different in 2 cups of the same capacity to the rim.  The size of the airholes may determine if a cup will leak once filled past the airholes or not (larger holes are more likely to leak).

For this reason there is a section for info on the holes.  Showing the number of holes, the size of the holes, the distance of the holes from the rim and the angle of the holes – which is marked as a \ for holes that are higher on the inside and angle downward from the inside.  Or / for holes that are higher on the outside, and angle up from the inside.  Holes that are straight through or horizontally angled are marked with –

View as an image file [last updated 1st Feb 2015]: 

www.clothpads.org_MenstrualCupComparisonChart_th
(Yes it’s HUGE… so.. you’re welcome :P)

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 I’m missing some information, I don’t know the capacity or lengths for all the cups.  So I’ve done the best I can.

August 19, 2010 Posted by | comparisons | | 34 Comments

More Cup Photos

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 –> Continue reading

July 23, 2009 Posted by | comparisons, photos, The Cups | 10 Comments

Fleurcup – My Thoughts

I only found out about these recently, and I was excited to see new cups available, and in colours!

I e-mailed them to ask for a sample, and unfortunately they refused, saying they are only interested in the European market.  (I asked them to reconsider, as European people do read my website too – but again no).  A shame, since I would have liked to include the Fleurcup with the other cups I have in photographs, be able to tell people more about it  (it’s look, feel and so on) and promote it more.

(They are actually the first cup company to deny my request for a sample)

So all I can comment on is that they look pretty :) and that their website is a little less professional looking than the other cup brands. Unfortunately there are no immediate plans for an English version apparently (it will come later), but you can use google’s page translator to translate the page from French to English.

July 3, 2009 Posted by | comparisons, The Cups | | 4 Comments

New cup pictures

I took some new pictures of the cups I have.

cuppics0309_icon

Continue reading

March 10, 2009 Posted by | comparisons, The Cups | 16 Comments

Miacup – My thoughts

I first heard of this brand when they e-mailed me to let me know they had set up their online store with a coupon for me to obtain a free cup…… which I was very greatful for! Having a look around their site I was very impressed with the amount of information on there – they appear to be genuinely interested in helping women with the product…. and of course the cup’s colour seemed very appealing, being one of the only cups available in an opaque coloured cup (since the Keeper is technically a “coloured” cup, brown being a colour afterall). I thought the cup was pink, as is shown in the main pictures on the site, but looking at their video on folding, the cup looked purple. I was excited to get the cup so I could see just how purple it was.

Because Lunette has always been my favourite for a few reasons, mostly being lack of writing and the tab stem, the Miacup also having these features is what first drew me to the cup… It is very similar in shape to the Lunette. The colour as well is a huge bonus for me, given that I am a purple nut!

Testing it out – It has the same more defined rim as most of the other cups, which makes it different to the Lunette, but otherwise, they are basically the same. The Miacup silicone is a little softer than the Lunette, and my Miacup is indeed purple. A pinkish purple, but more like the colour shown in the video, rather than the pink looking one shown. The colour is similar to the colour they use in their headings and buttons. The colour isn’t completely uniform, it has the occasional speckle/grain of lighter colour, which doesn’t bother me at all as the surface is perfectly smooth. I like that there is no writing on it (they have the Miacup logo on the inside rather than any writing). My only issue with an opaque cup is that with the Keeper’s holes you can’t see if they are dirty or not, but the Miacup holes are larger, and you seem to be able to see through the holes enough to see if they need cleaning. Also if you are interested in measuring your flow, and seeing the contents of the cup, an opaque cup is not the best choice. On the other hand, I do like the fact that an opaque cup won’t discolour like the silicone ones do. As with the other rimmed cups, I felt this cup more with insertion and removal, and a little blood got caught under the rim, so the outside needs marginal more cleaning than the smoother outer cups. But the flat stem is comfortable like Lunette, and overall I very much like this cup.

Gear – I got sent a very attractive boxed version, which I assume is not how normal customers would get their cups, but I’ll show what I got anyway. It came in a box that was sealed with sealing wax and cord, and even had a ribbon inside so that when you lift the ribbon all the leaflets etc. came out of the box easily. I was extremely impressed :) It was like a nicely wrapped gift!

The pouch is satin with their logo embroidered on, and a satin lining. It is by far the best made and most elaborate cup pouch I’ve seen. They provide a small booklet that gives instructions on use. Which is the most informative instructions any of the cup manufacturers provide (second would be Mooncup (UK) who sent me a little booklet in several languages). I also got some leaflets and business cards with a 5% discount code on them. I like the minimal themeing on their printed matter – looks like recycled paper with just the pinkish purple and a dark grey writing. Nice and subtle.

Personal Observations – I’ve been very impressed with this company. Their FAQ section shows they have been looking around to see the sorts of questions women want to know and provide answers, and their forum will enable more discussion which is great. When I’ve suggested some ideas for the website I got back positive replies (and straight away!), which shows that the company seems to be interested in what people have to say. I like that the company donates money from each sale to charity (and encourages customers to donate as well), and is concerned with environmental issues.

Ratings

I’ve rated all the cups I’ve tried. They can be found here: https://menstrualcups.wordpress.com/2008/06/11/my-comparisons-and-ratings/

July 10, 2008 Posted by | comparisons | | 3 Comments

Pink Cup – My thoughts

Basically this is just a pink coloured version of the Lady Cup, so see my thoughts on that here here

While pink isn’t my favourite colour, I think I prefer the pink over the clear cups (and certainly more than the yellow Mooncup (UK) or brown Keeper).  Its quite a nice subtle pink, just enough to let you know it’s not clear, without being overpoweringly PINK  if that makes sense.  It is still completely transparent, so the pink tone to the cup has not affected the ability to see into the holes.  To me it makes the cup appear a little less “medical” and a bit more like an accessory.  I think it’s fantastic to see a cup brought out in a colour, and hope to see more colours available in the future.

Comes in it’s own pinkcup bag, they seem to be essentially marketing it as a different product (much like Keeper Inc. doesn’t just market the Moon Cup (USA) as a “silicone Keeper”)

July 10, 2008 Posted by | comparisons | Leave a comment

Femmecup – My Thoughts

—  Note — this is based on the old Femmecup design.  They have redesigned the cup in a new silicone with a new stem

See the new cup https://menstrualcups.wordpress.com/2011/03/09/new-femmecup-pictures/

The cup itself seems virtually identical to the Mooncup (UK). The only difference I can see is the Mooncup has rings around the base and stem to grip with and the Femmecup has a spiral instead (which I do like). The Femmecup has a clearish white silicone, which is much more appealing than the yellowish Mooncup.

It feels thinner than the Moonkup (UK), and I was sent 2 samples, one of their newer versions which have larger holes and a slightly softer silicone… their silicone still feels slightly different to the others to me…. it’s almost like the silicone is more plasticky than the more rubbery feel of the other cups.. but I think it’s easier to get/keep folded than Lunette and Mooncup (UK)… and about the same as Diva. The stem seems to be thicker (it’s the hollow tube kind) than Mooncup (UK), so untrimmed it feels a bit pokey (like most of the other cups). The holes were tiny, probably the same size as the Diva, and as with the Diva, putting my palm over the cup and trying to squirt water out didn’t do anything…. but in the newer sample I have, the holes are larger.

Its got the website address in raised letters on the inside, and 2 measurements 15mls and 7.5mls inside. Flat bottomed but no size marking (since it comes in one size only – which appears to be the same as the small Mooncup). Nothing on the outside except the spiral and the thick ridges and the thicker ridge rim (like Mooncup).

Testing it out – I tried it once for a “dry run” and once with my period. I found no leaking, it opened up fine…. same slightly more uncomfortable insertion than Ladycup or Lunette because of the rim being more bumpy, but it’s only in comparison to flatter cups. I’d expected the holes to fill up with blood as they had done on the Diva, but they didn’t. I don’t know if that was just luck or something different with my blood that cycle, not sure, but I was happy about that, since cleaning was then easy. I did get some blood collecting around the writing on the inside, which I hadn’t noticed until next time I went to use it and saw the dried blood there… so I need to do more than my lazy rinsing methods that work for the Lunette.

Gear – The bag it comes in is like a lighter weight version of the Mooncup bag (unbleached cotton). I also got a stack of (very nice) flyers to hand out. Mine was sent in a padded envelope, with the cup in it’s bag, inside a plastic display type packaging with cardboard top (like you’d expect to have a hole punched in so it can hang in shops). With it’s instructions. My newer sample came with a (flat for postage) box in their pink and blue colour theme so that I had an example of that packaging.

Personal observations – One of the nicest of the cup companies I’ve dealt with. Not only did they send me a sample in the first place (without a hole punched in it!), but they also sent me an updated sample when they changed the cup slightly, and the new packaging, so that I would be updated with their product. All e-mails have been very friendly and personalised to me (not your standard automatic responses), I’m quite impressed with this company.

Ratings

I’ve rated all the cups I’ve tried. They can be found here: https://menstrualcups.wordpress.com/2008/06/11/my-comparisons-and-ratings

July 10, 2008 Posted by | comparisons | , | Leave a comment

Lady Cup – My Thoughts

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.

newladycup1

newladycup1b

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.

Update:

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.

ladycupsaples“Trial” Lilac cup, “proper” Lilac cup, “Trial” Blue cup, “proper” Blue cup (small size)

June 26, 2008 Posted by | comparisons, photos | , | 13 Comments

Mooncup (UK) – My Thoughts

I have both the size “A” and size “B”

Testing it out – I felt the ridges more inserting it… more than the Diva….and a lot more than Lunette or Lady Cup. Not uncomfortably so, I just felt the ridges more…. I tried inserting it while on the toilet and while lying on the bed… I felt it a lot more when on the toilet. The actual rim of mooncup is thicker than the other cups, which may be what it is…but its only a thing I noticed because of trying all 3, and it certainly wasn’t Uncomfortable… just less comfortable than the others. The stem (when untrimmed) pokes quite a lot…. its very annoying when you go to the toilet as it gets in the way of wiping (it pokes out of the vagina on me), and sitting was painful, as it jabbed me more. I wear the Lunette untrimmed as I don’t need to trim it, I could at a pinch wear the Diva untrimmed, though I would trim it to make it more comfortable… but I would absolutely trim the Mooncup stem as it’s too annoying and uncomfortable to use with the full stem….. but most people trim the stems anyway. So apart from the stem, it felt no different in wearing than the other cups. The outside collected more blood in that rim part than the Lunette does (the same as the other cups with pronounced rims). The holes weren’t as hard to clean as the Diva, they came clean quickly. The bottom of the inside was not as easy to clean as I’d thought a flat bottom would be, but easier to get into than the Diva, because the Diva is quite narrow at the bottom. The smaller Mooncup (“B”) didn’t feel noticeably different to the larger (“A”) at all. I tried cutting the stem in half on my extra sample (they accidentally sent me 2 lots), and it wasn’t uncomfortable after that. So I’d be pretty happy with it cut in half to 2/3 off… though I still prefer the flat tab stems. I find the yellowed colour of the silicone a bit offputting…. it resembles that old stickytape….

Gear – they come in a cotton pouch – looks like calico or some unbleached natural cotton with their logo on, and different coloured ribbons for the size of cup. I believe bought versions come in a recycled cardboard box. With a small booklet of instructions in different languages, and I got pamphlets, which are nicely presented.

Personal observations – I haven’t had all that much correspondence with Mooncup, I asked for a sample, and they sent it. I have on one other occasion e-mailed them (over something with their website), and had a pleasant response.

Ratings

I’ve rated all the cups I’ve tried. They can be found here: https://menstrualcups.wordpress.com/2008/06/11/my-comparisons-and-ratings

June 26, 2008 Posted by | comparisons | , | 3 Comments

Diva Cup – My Thoughts

Its a small size – “1”, as that’s what they sent…. feels no different when worn to the large Lunette – apart from the stem, which I left intact and it does poke…. I got used to it after about an hour – as it wasn’t exactly uncomfortable, but not exactly comfortable… When I got used to it I didn’t seem to feel it when walking around, but could feel it when sitting if I thought about it (if that makes sense). Slightly easier to bend into the C fold than the Lunette (it takes less pressure to keep it folded). I had some issues getting it to pop open properly, that I first figured was just a random thing that occasionally happens with the Lunette too, but it did it the second time I tried too… The end of the stem was a little higher up than the Lunette – as the Lunette is overall a touch longer when the stem is not cut. I actually don’t like the short little stem of the Diva – I like to be able to hold the stem to pull the cup down…. so it felt like it was disappearing up there. I might have had a bit of leaking – hard to tell because there is a hole punched in the cup (not sure if it was leaking because the cup wasn’t sitting right or fitting properly or because of a hole punched in it) but the hole is up high near the rim and it wasn’t filled to there yet. The hole probably effected suction, though the small Mooncup UK didn’t leak.

The Diva has an extra part of the rim, and the blood collected under that rim bit and was harder to clean off than the Lunette, it took more than just a vague wipe that I can do for the Lunette. Also the holes took a *lot* of effort to clean. They are tiny and on an angle, so they are long… The filling it with water – hand over the cup and squeezing to squirt water out the holes didn’t work well (I had the punched hole covered, and had the necessary suction, I think the holes are just too small for the water to squirt out properly). I had to use a pin to clean them out. That would annoy me massively. And both test runs I did of the Diva I had the same problem.. though I spent a lot of time trying to squirt and rinse, I managed to get all but 2 holes cleared… but still needed the pin. I was thinking the flat base of the inside would be easier to clean than the non-flat Lunette, but since the flat bottom has writing on it that collects the blood in it, it takes as much effort if not more to clean as the Lunette’s curved inside. Plus as it’s longer and narrower, it was just that little bit harder to get to the bottom of the cup to clean it. I also managed to get some blood inside the hollow stem, which did rinse out ok, but doesn’t happen with the Lunette… and I imagine if it was to dry in there (I hadn’t worn the cup as long as I’d wear the Lunette) it would be harder to remove.

Gear – they apparently include a pouch and pin/brooch with the cup when you buy it, which sounds cool. They didn’t send a pouch or anything with mine. Just the cup (with a purple ball chain through the hole – almost like it was a keyring LOL which I removed and then lost) and the flyers I’d asked for.

Personal observations – I haven’t had all that much correspondence with Diva, I asked for a sample, and I believe I got a prompt e-mail back saying yes… (it was before I wrote this page, so I wasn’t paying enough attention). I get a bit sick of seeing most people buy a Diva because it’s cheaper

Ratings

I’ve rated all the cups I’ve tried. They can be found here: https://menstrualcups.wordpress.com/2008/06/11/my-comparisons-and-ratings

June 25, 2008 Posted by | comparisons | , | 3 Comments

Lunette – My Thoughts

I have this as my personal cup (as well as having a sample so I can take it around to show people [don’t want people holding/playing with the cup I actually use] I only have the larger size. I’d love to have a sample of the smaller Lunette to add to my cup collection, but I can’t justify buying one.

Testing it out – I find the stem to be very comfortable. At first, when I was new to the cups, I could feel it – not uncomfortable, but just aware it was there…. but I find that because it’s flat and thinner than the hollow tube stems, it just flexes and bends with your body, so I don’t get poked by it at all. So I happily leave it untrimmed. I like to use the stem to pull down on the cup when getting it out, so I really do like to use the stem, and I’ve found the short Diva stem and trimmed other stems to be not ideal for me. The only thing that I don’t like about the Lunette stem over the others is that it’s too flexible to be able to hold the stem and turn the cup (if you do, only the stem turns :)) But since I used the Lunette first, I’ve learned not to use the stem to turn the cup (You can turn the cup to help it make a seal by the way)…. just hold the base of the cup, or not turn it at all. The stem being solid also means no blood can go up into the stem, so that’s a cleaner aspect. I’ve never had a problem with Lunette. I often have it fill past the rim (I have a very heavy flow, and tend to leave it in all day) without leakage.

I also like the smooth sides. The smoother, no ridge top makes it slide in/out easier than the bumpier other cups, which I like, and there is less areas to collect blood. While you have to remember what the 2 lines for measuring actually correspond to (they are unmarked), I like that they are just lines and not writing too, as it’s all less places to collect blood…. and I don’t bother measuring flow anyway since I normally just let it fill up. Unlike the other cups that have the name/website on them in raised letters, Lunette’s are in slightly indented larger letters, so again, less chance of catching blood in the lettering.

Gear – The one I bought came in a green/yellow synthetic material pouch, with a ribbon drawstring… but the fabric is very stiff and doesn’t close as nicely as a cotton does. I really don’t like it…. I immediately made my own bag for it, and unfortunately threw out/lost the original one (I’d like to have kept it for the sample). I think this it was in a plastic bag like you’d see hanging on display in a store. The sample I received I think was just put in a plastic bag, (no pouch). But I do find their flyers pretty with the floral stuff.

The sample I received.


This is the bag I got with my personal cup.

Personal observations – I haven’t had all that much correspondence with Lunette, I asked for a sample, and I believe I got a prompt e-mail back saying yes… (it was before I wrote up the reviews, so I wasn’t paying enough attention)… though I have had quite a few correspondences with Henna from kuukuppi.com/leastore.com who is very friendly and lovely to deal with, if you’re buying a Lunette I do recommend getting it through those stores (they are run by the same person)

Ratings

I’ve rated all the cups I’ve tried. They can be found here: https://menstrualcups.wordpress.com/2008/06/11/my-comparisons-and-ratings

June 25, 2008 Posted by | comparisons | , | 8 Comments

Keeper – My thoughts

Unfortunately their normal hole punch was lost, so they hacked out a chunk of the side of my sample… :/

Though it does look like it’s laughing… (see the other cup icons I made from it)

So as a result of the cut, I can’t really test it properly. So much of the cup is missing, it not only doesn’t fold properly, but it probably wouldn’t keep the suction enough to see if it works at all. Rating this particular sample is troublesome since it’s not an intact sample. but I’ll do my best where I can.

Testing it out – Its a size “B” (small). In a dry run I found it difficult to insert due to the cut bit of the cup making it impossible for it to fold up correctly. I can’t compare on cleaning as it wasn’t worn during bleeding. Though it is very similar in shape and size to the Mooncup UK, the stem is slightly more comfortable than the Mooncup UK and prehaps the Diva – even though it is longer.. not sure why…… but it still pokes. It, like the Mooncup UK , pokes out of my vagina slightly, and thus pokes into my labia. The outside base is smooth, so there are no ridges to help you get a hold on the cup if you’ve cut the stem off. I’m concerned about a potential latex allergy (I’ve read that you can develop them from exposure to latex), and as I’m allergic to elastic, so I may be more susceptible… so I wouldn’t buy this cup for that reason, and I must admit, I find the brown colour less appealing than the clear silicone – but I guess you won’t notice discoloration (as the clear silicone cups can get), which is an advantage of the brown. (and I probably find the brown Keeper more appealing than the yellowed silicone of the Mooncup UK – but that apparently gets less yellow if you soak it in a hydrogen peroxide solution – which I don’t have and wouldn’t use).. Its got basically the same ridges on the outside rim as Mooncup UK does, and also it has some on the inside for some reason… both of which in my little dry run had collected discharge, so that would be equal to blood it would probably have collected… making it harder to clean than the Lunette and Lady Cup which don’t have that pronounced rim (I’ve seen a photo of a newer Divacup that also has a less pronounced rim)

Gear – Mine was sent with a black satin pouch that has a lacy trim. Quite fancy, though very flimsy (the “drawstring” was by way of a ribbon passed through the lace. But the Goth in me finds it appealing. I also got some photocopied leaflets and instructions. A little cheap looking I must admit, though at least they used purple paper to make it a bit more fancy and it’s in coloured ink). I’ve seen several references to the fact the Keeper’s instructions are just photocopied (and early on the Moon Cup USA ones were just keeper instructions with “Keeper” crossed out and “Moon Cup” written in….) But still, they are functional.

Personal observations – Its no secret that I hold a grudge against this company over the “Moon Cup” name for it’s silicone version…. however I’m mostly reviewing the product here and I have nothing against the product itself. I do have to give them credit for being the first successful cup, and for paving the way for the other cups. Also, when they saw the need for silicone cups they did bring out a silicone version, which (despite its name) I think was a very good move. Solving not only the latex issue but also the unappealing brown cup one. Giving consumers a choice is always a good thing!

However the lack of response to my 4 requests for samples and/or advertising materials does not make a good impression. Not even a “no, we don’t give out samples”….. I would have been happy with just some flyers! (or even an e-mail saying no – some sort of communication would have been nice) I’d even pointed out that I had all the other cups that were available (whose companies had gladly sent me samples), so I was able to show them to potential customers and wouldn’t be able to show their cup since I didn’t have one (and pointed out that since the Keeper is the only cup us Australians can actually buy here, it was important to have one to show!!).  Still no response.   Luckily their distributors are more approachable than they are, so contacting one of their distributors was how I eventually got the sample. So based on that alone, considering that other cup manufacturers have gone out of their way to be helpful to me and provided me with samples (and in some cases more than one sample) and advertising materials when Ive asked for it, I think customer service aspects put all other cup manufacturers far ahead of Keeper. Personally I don’t like to give my business to companies who have terrible customer service. If you’re buying a keeper, I’d go through a reseller, since you’ll probably get better customer service that way.

Ratings

I’ve rated all the cups I’ve tried. They can be found here: https://menstrualcups.wordpress.com/2008/06/11/my-comparisons-and-ratings

June 25, 2008 Posted by | comparisons | , | Leave a comment

My Comparisons and Ratings – Stems & Wearing

This is part of my comparison chart section for the menstrual cups I have tried.

See here for the chart & links to other rating sections

Stems

Even though you can cut the stem to the most comfortable length, I’ve tried these with the stems as they are when they are shipped to you.

Now, while you’re not supposed to use the stem for pulling the cup down, so theoretically no cup should need a stem – a lot of us find the cup sits up higher than we can reach, so need to use the stem to pull down the cup down so that we can reach up to the rim to break the seal for removal.  So I find I do need a stem on the cups for ease of use.

So these are my thoughts on stems:

  • Aneer/iClean – Tab stem I find is a very comfortable stem style
  • Bassrose – Long hollow stem with marble ball (valve to empty the stem with).  Because of the length and rounded end, it didn’t seem to poke and was actually comfortable.
  • Claricup – Long thin stem, with grip rings.  Great amount of grip, not stretchy.  Couldn’t feel it. Most comfortable stem style
  • Cup Lee – Hollow tube, although the silicone is very soft, so this is one of the softest hollow tube stems.  Still slightly uncomfortable.
  • DivaSmall stem, but still a little uncomfortable
  • Eco-Cup – Hollow tube stem with spiral.  I find long hollow tube stems uncomfortable
  • FemmecupOriginal was as uncomfortable as Mooncup’s stem.  New stem is a smaller solid ‘stick’, and much more comfortable
  • Femmycycle – Large ring stems, I found I couldn’t feel them at all, and they provided a great amount of grip.
  • Fleurcup – Tab stem I find is a very comfortable stem style
  • Gaia Cup – Stem is very short and thin.  While it felt comfortable it was very difficult to grip.
  • Juju – “Stick” stem, comfortable but no grip lines mean it’s slippery and harder to use.
  • Keeper – Longest stem but slightly less uncomfortable than Mooncup’s stem… still uncomfortable though.
  • Lady Cup – Softer than the other tube stems, so not as uncomfortable, though I would trim small cup stem.
  • Lily Compact – Hollow tube.  Smaller and softer than Lily Cup.  Good grip
  • Lily Cup – Hollow tube.  Stiffer than some other hollow tube stems, but also shorter.  Good grip
  • Luna Cup – Ball stem, I found harder to grip than tube/tab stems.
  • Lunette – Tab stem I find is a very comfortable stem style
  • Luv Ur Body – Leaf shaped tab stem.  Not as much grip as some tab stems, but had a good grip.  Comfortable design.
  • Mami Cup – Tab stem with great grip rings.  Comfortable and grippy.
  • MeLuna – Comes in 3 choices of stem! Though I prefer others.
  • Miacup – Tab stem I find is a very comfortable stem style
  • Mooncup – Most uncomfortable of all the stems, but once chopped halfway is about even with Diva’s stem.  Old style was a smooth stem with 2 rings up the top of the stem.  New style has grip rings running down the length of the stem.
  • MPower – A very comfortable stem style, however the silicone on the stem is literally falling off.
  • OrganiCup – Thin “stick” stem, with good grip lines.  Stem wasn’t too stretchy, so removal was easy.  Most comfortable.
  • Ruby Cup – Tube stem was flexible enough not to be too uncomfortable, but very narrow and hard to clean.
  • Sckoon Cup – “Stick” stem, comfortable, but slightly harder to use due to less grip and stretchyness.
  • Si-bell – Long thin stem, with grip rings.  Great amount of grip, not stretchy.  Couldn’t feel it. Most comfortable stem style
  • Yuuki – The version I have is the old style, with a solid stem. I found it more comfortable than the other tube stems (except Lady Cup) – However they have now changed to a tube stem, so I presume it would be as for the tube stems.
  • Vcup – Ball stem.  I find these are more comfortable than the hollow tube, but are harder to grip

Scoring
The Claricup, Si-bell and OrganiCup get 2 points each for having stems with great grip, easy to clean and not being able to be felt.  MeLuna gets 2 points for giving women the option of the different types of stem, and the innovation of a ball, ring or no stem!… even though I personally prefer to have a good stem to be able to hold. Femmycycle gets 2 points for having a great ring stem.  Bassrose gets 2 points for having a stem that feels comfortable and allows the cup to be emptied while the cup is being worn.

Tab stem cups each get a point for being the second best stem – flexible, easier to grip, can’t fill with gunk and flat for a much lower profile with less poking.   Lily Compact and Ladycup gets 0.5 point because the shortness of the cup meant I couldn’t feel the stem, despite it being a hollow tube, and it was just long enough to still be able to grip.

MPower would have received 1 point for having a tab stem, but will lose 2 points for the fact it’s defective (See the individual MPower listing here) – which is disgraceful.

Ruby loses 0.5 point because while the stem is quite soft and not too annoying to wear, it’s a very narrow hollow tube, which I found was harder to clean out if it got blood in it. Gaia Cup loses 0.5 point because while their stem is comfortable, I found it wasn’t long enough to grip properly, making it a little pointless. Juju loses 1 point and Sckoon loses 0.5 point because their stems are slippery/stretchy and aren’t as useful for removal as other stems.

More detailed info on my stem ratings:
I would have to trim the hollow tube stems for comfort. I actually prefer the longer stem so I can use it to pull the cup down, so I don’t like the shorter Diva stem as much as I do the longer ones….. however the Mooncup stem was very uncomfortable unless cut in half. I also like the solid (tab) stems better as it can’t fill with gunk, and its more flexible/softer – and has ridges for gripping.

Ladycup stems are so soft the tube squishes flat when grasped, so I found it just as comfortable as the tab stem.  Yuuki stem (old style) at first I could feel, but then as it settled further up and I got used to it, I stopped being able to feel it at all – it doesn’t seem to poke, perhaps because the end is rounded and the tube stems have a flat end. Their newer stem I can feel more though.  The Femmecup changed stem to being a thin “stick” style which is more comfortable to wear, but slightly more difficult to use.

Lily cup stems I could feel a bit when I first put them in.  Lily compact stems I couldn’t feel, probably because they are also a bit shorter cups.

MeLuna offers various options for stem, however I found the (original) ball stem to be too slippery to work properly (though very comfortable, couldn’t feel it). The (original) ring stem was great though, providing enough grip without being protrusive. I haven’t tried the newer ring stem that is more solid (might be a bit more uncomfortable?) The old “stick” stem I couldn’t feel at all, but didn’t offer much grip, the new “stick” stem was not uncomfortable, but I could feel it which was annoying (especially while walking). Until it had been in for an hour or so…and then it settled into a better position or I got used to it… but it offers a lot more grip.

  .

Grip (base)

I’ve mentioned the stems and their grip properties, so here I’ll just focus the grip on the base of the cup – useful to know if you’re going to cut off the stems or to grasp the base of the cup for removal (like you’re meant to)

  • Aneer/iClean – Grip rings around base
  • Bassrose – not that you need to grip the base, since you can’t cut the stem off, but it has grip rings.
  • Claricup – No grip lines around the base, however the cup does have indented lines running up the sides which has a slight amount of grip.
  • Cup Lee – Raised rings for grip.  Pretty good grip.
  • Diva – Raised rings for grip.  Pretty good grip.
  • Eco-Cup – Very slight grip rings
  • Femmecup (old) -Raised spiral, not quite as much grip on the base of the cup, but good on the stem.
  • Femmecup (new) – Spiral less raised than old version, so a bit less grip, but cup is “stickier” which helps grip
  • Femmycycle – no grip lines
  • Fleurcup – Quite well raised broken rings for grip. Good grip
  • Gaia Cup – Raised rings for grip.  Good grip.
  • Juju – Pretty butterflies, but not raised enough, barely there, but cup is a little “sticky” which helps grip
  • Keeper – Nothing at all.
  • Lady Cup – Very slight bumps, barely anything, but cup is slightly “sticky” which helps grip.
  • Lily Compact – No grip lines, but the fold up design means there is extra texture there.
  • Lily Cup – No grip lines.
  • Luna Cup – Pretty leaf design on 2 sides, would have more grip if pattern was raised higher and on all 4 sides.
  • Lunette – Raised rings on base, good grip
  • Luv Ur Body – Has raised flower designs.  Not as raised as other cups grip rings, but unique and provides a small amount of grip.
  • Mami Cup – good sized grip rings
  • MeLuna (Old) – Nothing at all.
  • MeLuna (new) – Very raised rings, good grip
  • Miacup – Raised rings, good grip
  • Mooncup – Raised rings, good grip
  • MPower – Very slightly raised rings,barely there.  Silicone that is rough from the mold actually provides more grip than the lines.
  • OrganiCup – Slightly raised ring around base
  • Ruby Cup – Low profile rings around base, could be raised more for better grip.
  • Sckoon Cup – Really clever use of using their name and a flower design with ring lines to make a very textured base of the cup.  Lines are high enough but are thin so they feel a little flimsy.  Good grip
  • Si-bell – No grip lines around the base, however the cup does have indented lines running up the sides which has a slight amount of grip.
  • Yuuki – Raised rings on base, could be raised more for better grip
  • Vcup – base of the cup is made from a slightly “stickier” silicone, one grip ring further up the base.

.

I’ll score Sckoon 3 points because they have a great practical and beautiful way of providing grip – the best of all the cups I’ve seen.

2 points for Fleurcup because it’s got the next highest/most grippy grip lines on the base

1 point each to the other cups with “good” grip..

0.5 point for OrganiCup and Eco-Cup as it has grip rings, but they aren’t as grippy as some other cups.

0 points for Luv Ur Body – it has grip, but not raised enough to provide much grip, but better than not having anything.

1 point removed for MeLuna (Old), Lily Cup and Keeper for no grip on the base at all

0.5 points removed for Claricup, Si-bell, Juju, Lily Compact, LadyCup, Femmecup (new) and Vcup – who have something there, but barely enough to make a difference.  I’ll take only 0.5 off for Femmycycle since it is unlikely people would cut the stem off, so it doesn’t need grip, and it has a “sticky” silicone to help grip.

June 11, 2008 Posted by | comparisons | , | Leave a comment

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 & other individual sections.

This is looking at:

  • How easily the cup pops open
  • How comfortable it feels for insertion & Removal
  • How comfortable the cups were to use while you are actually wearing them
  • How well they worked (if they leaked or not)

Not all of these aspects have been used on the Rating chart because some of them have different variables that makes it unfair to actually score them against the other cups.  But I have described my findings here, which you may find useful.

Insertion (Opening Up)

This was not scored on the cup ratings table, because it seems some days I can have troubles with cups that don’t give me troubles on other days….

Using the same folding method (“c”), and the same insertion positions (seated on the toilet, as I figure that’s the usual way people would insert them) essentially trying to keep everything the same, how easily the cups opened for me.

Now I will point out here that I am in my late 30s, I had a child via caesarian delivery, I am a dancer and I reasonably regularly do kegal exercises.  So take that into consideration.

Basically speaking I found the very soft cups in the large sizes usually require me to use my finger to stretch out the vaginal wall enough to give the cup room to open properly.  Sometimes I find different positions (like lying on my side on the bed) make insertion much easier and give less problems, some days just sitting on the toilet to insert is fine. The hard and very hard cups I sometimes find pop open too quickly on their own, which can give me cramps, so I have to make sure I release the fold gradually to let it open slowly (which is hard to do, especially since I have a weak grip).

Keeping in mind that issues with the cup opening properly 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.  I find the large ones sometimes have trouble opening when the small ones don’t, and I also don’t find the small ones leak – so I believe the cups I have trouble opening I should be using the smaller size.

So this is one reason I didn’t score this on the rating chart, because there are too many variables so it’s not really fair to score.  However I will comment on how each cup performed.

  • Aneer/iClean – While I only tried them twice each, both the small and large sizes would not open up for me.  I think they are just too soft for me.
  • Bassrose – No trouble opening up (only comes in a small size)
  • Claricup – Large has slight problems opening up, small was fine.
  • Cup Lee – Large has slight problems opening up, small was fine.
  • DivaA few more issues opening up than the other cups (small size)
  • Eco Cup – Large has slight problems opening up, small was fine.
  • Femmecup No problems opening up.
  • Femmycycle – Shape means it was difficult to tell if it opened properly.
  • Fleurcup – No problems opening up.
  • Gaia Cup – Had slight trouble getting it to open, no smaller size available.
  • Juju – Large has a few problems opening up, small was fine.
  • Keeper Couldn’t test accurately due to the sample being cut
  • Lady CupOccasional problems opening up with large size, small size opens fine
  • Lily Compact – no problems opening up
  • Lily Cup – Slight problem with large size first time I used it.
  • Lunacup – No problems opening up
  • LunetteOccasionally slight problems opening up.
  • Luv Ur Body – I wasn’t able to get the large one to open at all, not even close.  The medium I had slight problems opening.  The small opened up fine.
  • Mami Cup – I only have the large, and that seemed to open up ok.  It felt like it hadn’t, but when I ran my finger around to check, it seemed fully open and didn’t leak.  Ideally I’d like the small size though, just to make it quicker to insert so I don’t have to worry about checking.
  • MeLuna New version has no problems opening up, old one popped open a bit too quickly.
  • MiacupSlight problems opening up.
  • Mooncup UKNo problems opening up (either size).
  • MPower – Couldn’t get it to fully open up, in the 2 tests I did.  Not sure why
  • OrganiCup – Large has slight problems opening up, small was fine.
  • Ruby Cup – No issues opening up
  • Sckoon cup – A few problems with large cup opening (small was fine)
  • Si-bell – Large has slight problems opening up, small was fine.
  • Yuuki No problems opening up
  • Vcup – No problems opening up

Mpower (which is quite stiff) and iClean (in small size) didn’t even open fully with me pressing against the vaginal wall to give it room to open.  I’m not sure why.

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.

For the original style MeLuna I couldn’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 (caused cramps).  The newer 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”, just more “noticeable”…Basically if there were 2 cups otherwise identical, I’d pick the smoother sided one, but I probably wouldn’t let the ridge put me off a cup I otherwise liked.  It’s really not a big deal, since inserting the cup is all of a few seconds, but still, it is an important factor to think about….

  • Aneer/iClean – Less pronounced ridge, more comfortable than ridged cups
  • Bassrose – No ridge, smooth outside
  • Claricup – Smooth outside, more comfortable to insert.
  • Cup Lee – very slight ridge, more comfortable than ridged cups
  • Diva – Pronounced ridge around the top, slightly less comfortable.
  • Eco-cup – No ridge, smooth outside
  • Femmecup – Pronounced ridge around the top, slightly less comfortable.
  • Femmycycle – Smooth outside, more comfortable to insert.
  • Fleurcup – Smooth outside, more comfortable to insert
  • Gaia Cup – No ridge, smooth outside
  • Juju – Less pronounced ridge, more comfortable to insert than ridged cups
  • Keeper Couldn’t test due to the cup being cut
  • Lady Cup – Smooth outside, more comfortable to insert
  • Lily Compact – Has a bumpy outside due to the fold-up style, but it’s quite soft so I didn’t feel it.
  • Lily Cup – completely smooth outside.  No ridges
  • Lunacup – Less pronounced ridge, more comfortable to insert than ridged cups
  • LunetteLess pronounced ridge, more comfortable than ridged cups
  • Luv Ur Body – Had a rounded “ridge” a little further down the cup than where the other cups have their ridge, but is nice and smooth. More comfortable than ridged cups
  • Mami Cup – very slight ridge, more comfortable than ridged cups
  • MeLuna – Smooth outside, more comfortable to insert
  • Miacup Pronounced ridge, slightly less comfortable.
  • Mooncup Pronounced ridge, slightly less comfortable.
  • MPower – Less pronounced ridge, more comfortable than ridged cups
  • OrganiCup – Smooth outside, more comfortable to insert.
  • Ruby cup – Less pronounced ridge, more comfortable to insert than ridged cups
  • Sckoon cup – Smooth outside, more comfortable to insert
  • Si-bell – Smooth outside, more comfortable to insert.
  • Yuuki – Smooth outside, more comfortable to insert
  • Vcup – Very slight, more comfortable to insert than ridged cups

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. 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.

So for the scoring on my Cup Rating Chart, I’ve combined the comfort of insertion with the ease of keeping it folded (because it’s more comfortable to insert something that isn’t fighting to pop open :P). I’ll give 2 points to the cups in section 1 for being both fairly easy to keep folded and smooth outside for more comfortable insertion. 1 point to the section 2 for also having a smoother outside, but some need a bit more pressure to keep them folded.

So on insertion/removal I’d rank the cups:

  1. Aneer, Claricup, Cup Lee, Femmycycle, Fleurcup, Gaia Cup, iClean, Ladycup, Lily Cup, Lily Compact, Mami Cup, MeLuna (new), OrganiCup, Sckoon, Si-bell, Yuuki.
  2. Bassrose, Eco-Cup, Juju, Lunacup, Lunette, Luv Ur Body, Rubycup, Vcup
  3. Diva, Femmecup, Keeper, Miacup,
  4. Mooncup, Mpower, MeLuna (old)

Wearing – comfort while in use & leakage

In actual wearing (once they are in and not considering the stem issues) they all felt exactly the same…No difference in feel for the different sizes or cups with a smooth outer or pronounced ridge.

I had a little leakage (slight spotting) with the Diva, but it was the small size cup (by age and the fact I’ve been pregnant, cup companies usually say I should wear the large size), and having a hole punched in my sample cup may have effected it (though the mooncup sample also had a hole punched in it and didn’t leak and the Diva hole was up high in the rim so I hadn’t worn it long enough to fill to there).

I couldn’t try letting the cups fill to the rim with the Diva or Mooncup as they have holes punched into them…so I couldn’t test that obviously. I did get slight leakage with the large size Lady Cup when it was filled past the holes and did the “bubbling” feeling… and I occasionally get that with Lunette when it’s filled past the brim too. I haven’t tested the other cups filling past the airholes.   The sample Keeper with half its side missing I didn’t bother trying during my period at all.

So I won’t rate this for any of the cups, because some of the cups are samples with holes punched in which can affect whether they leak or not, some are small and some are large – So I can’t accurately tell which performs better, and they all feel the same once they are in.

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 sections.

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 those without anything inside were slightly easier to clean and/or have less potential for being difficult to clean….

  • Aneer/iClean – No markings
  • Bassrose – No markings
  • Claricup – No markings.
  • Cup Lee – No markings
  • Diva – Raised name, country, size & capacity lines.
  • Eco-Cup – No markings
  • Femmecup (old) -Website, capacity lines.
  • Femmecup (new) – Very slight capacity lines
  • Femmycycle – No markings, the anti-leak spout part means you can give the cup a good shake/swish to help cleaning inside.
  • Fleurcup – No markings
  • Gaia Cup – Has the brand name on the top of the rim and also down near the base in slightly raised handwriting type font.  Also the Size marking.
  • Juju – Very light indented name & size
  • Keeper – Name, country and capacity lines?
  • Lady Cup – No markings
  • Lily Compact – No markings.  The base of the cup does go down into a small recessed section, which may make cleaning more difficult, also has the slightly bumps from the folding design.
  • Lily Cup – No markings.  Does have the lip which will require a little more care when cleaning to ensure it is clean under there.
  • LunaCup – No markings
  • Lunette – No markings
  • Luv Ur Body – Brand name on top of rim, measuring lines on the inside and a size marking.
  • Mami Cup – Brand name, “made in Italy”, size marking and measuring lines on the inside.
  • MeLuna – No markings
  • Miacup – Name.
  • Mooncup UK – Website, sizing, logo around the inside rim.  Pattern on the base and capacity lines with 6mls and 12mls markings.
  • MPower – No markings
  • OrganiCup – No markings
  • Ruby Cup -Raised name and capacity lines on both sides.
  • Sckoon Cup – No markings
  • Si-bell – No markings.
  • Yuuki – Name, size and capacity lines.
  • Vcup – Very slightly raised logo and measuring lines

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 2 rings around the inside. Not sure if they are measuring lines or not. 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). Some of the cups use indented writing, which seems less likely to catch blood than smaller raised lettering.

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 (which is how I normally clean the cups between use) seemed to clean them all 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 cups with a smooth(er) inside that is easier to clean, half a point to Juju, Lily Cup, Lily Compact, Yuuki Femmecup (new) & Vcup because the markings/details are only very slight.

Outside (Cleaning)

This is looking at what markings, ridges and writing is on the outside of cups (excluding grip lines on the base of the cup) 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 (and other vaginal secretions) than the smoother sides.

  • Aneer/iClean – very slight ridge, no markings.
  • Bassrose – No Ridge, no markings
  • Claricup – No ridge, no markings, slight indentations up the sides.
  • Cup Lee – Very slight ridge, no markings
  • Diva – Pronounced ridge, no markings.
  • Eco-Cup – No ridge, no markings
  • Femmecup (both)- Pronounced ridge, no markings.
  • Femmycycle – No markings, no ridge
  • Fleurcup – No markings or ridge
  • Gaia Cup – No ridge, no markings
  • Juju – No ridge or markings.
  • Keeper – Pronounced ridge, no markings.
  • Lady Cup – No ridge or markings.
  • Lily Compact – No ridge or markings, does have bumps from the foldable design.
  • Lily Cup – No ridge or markings
  • Luna Cup – No ridge, size mark and raised capacity lines.
  • Lunette – Slight ridge, indented writing and raised capacity lines.
  • Luv Ur Body – Slight rounded ridge, with grip patterns all over the cup.
  • Mami Cup – Very slight ridge, no markings, slight lines up sides of cup.
  • MeLuna – No ridge or markings.
  • Miacup – Pronounced ridge, no markings.
  • Mooncup UK – Pronounced ridge, no markings
  • MPower -Slight ridge, no markings.
  • OrganiCup – very slight ridge, brand name in raised writing, measuring lines.
  • Ruby Cup – Slight ridge, no markings.
  • Sckoon Cup – No ridge, no markings.
  • Si-bell – No ridge, no markings, slight indentations up the sides.
  • Yuuki – No ridge, no markings.
  • Vcup – very slight ridge, No markings.

Score 2 points to the cups who have no ridge and no markings. 1 point to cups with slight ridge and no markings.  0.5 points to cups with no ridge and markings.

 

Cleaning (and info on) the holes

This is going by how large the holes are and how easy they are to clean (or how likely they are to get full of gunk).  I’ll describe the holes as “tiny”, “small”, “regular” and “large”.  Some holes are punched through on an angle (so the holes are longer) and some are straight through.  I don’t know how much difference this makes to cleaning, but an angled hole has more surface area so may be slightly harder to clean (especially if the holes are small)

  • Aneer/iClean – 2 “small” straight holes, 7mm (small) ans 8mm (large) from rim.  iClean cup had 1 of the holes not punched out properly, and I had to pull off the extra silicone.
  • Bassrose – no holes due to the valve stem
  • Claricup – 4 “regular” straight holes, 7mm from rim.  Some not neatly punched through.
  • Cup Lee – 4 “regular” straight holes, some not as neatly punched.  7mm from rim
  • Diva – 4 “tiny” / angled holes, 7mm from rim (small). Took a lot of effort to clean.
  • Eco-Cup – 5 “small” \ angled holes, 8mm from rim.  Some holes not punched cleanly.
  • Femmecup (old) – “Small” straight holes cleaned ok
  • Femmecup (new) – 4 “Large” horizontal angles holes, 17mm from rim.  Easy to clean
  • Femmycycle – no holes
  • Fleurcup – 4 “regular” horizontal angled holes, 7mm from rim (large).  Easy to clean
  • Gaia Cup – 6 “regular” \ angled holes. 5mm from rim.
  • Juju – 4 “regular” straight holes, 8mm from rim (small & large).  Easy to clean
  • Keeper – 6 “tiny” straight holes, 17mm from rim (small). Given the colour, hard to see if clean or not.
  • Lady Cup – 6 “large” \ angled holes, 17mm from rim (large & small).  Easy to clean
  • Lily Compact – 4 “small” straight holes, 6mm from rim.
  • Lily Cup – No holes
  • LunaCup – 4 “regular” straight holes, 11mm(small) 8mm (large) from rim.  Easy to clean
  • Lunette – 4 “regular” straight holes, 7mm   from rim (small & large).  Easy to clean
  • Luv Ur Body – 4 “regular” straight holes, 7mm 9small), 8mm (med), 9mm (large) from rim. Easy to clean.
  • Mami Cup – 4 “small”  horizontal slightly angled holes. 6mm from rim.
  • MeLuna (old) – 2 “regular” straight, easy to clean
  • MeLuna (new) – 2 “small” straight holes, 9mm (large) from rim.  Easy to clean
  • Miacup – 4 “medium” straight holes, 11mm (large) from rim.  Cleaned easily, large enough to see if clean.
  • Mooncup UK (new) – 6 “small” \ angled holes at the edge of the ridge, 11mm from rim.
  • Mooncup UK (old) – 6 “small” straight holes, 16mm from rim (small & large).  Easy to clean
  • MPower – 4 “huge” straight holes, 8mm from rim.  Very easy to clean
  • OrganiCup – 4 “large” slightly horizontally angled holes, 8mm from rim.  Easy to clean.
  • Ruby Cup – 4 “small” straight holes, 13mm from rim.  Easy to clean
  • Sckoon cup – 5 “medium” \ very angled holes, 6mm from rim (small & large).  Easy to clean
  • Si-bell – 4 “regular” straight holes, 7mm from rim.
  • Yuuki – 4 “tiny” \ angled holes, 6mm (small) from rim.  Cleaned easily
  • VCup – 2 “tiny” straight holes. 17mm from rim

The holes of the Diva really bugged me, and I only tried it twice.  The only holes I really had a problem with.  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?  Diva holes angle down, Yuuki holes angled up.

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…. The larger the holes obviously the easier to clean them.  The large holes 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 2 points to each cup with no holes or “large” (or “huge”) holes, 1 point to “regular” holes.  No points for “small” holes and minus 0.5 for the “tiny” holes.  While Yuuki cleaned easily for the, the Diva had incredibly difficult holes to clean, so it’s a potential problem for that size holes….. and -1 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….

A few cups don’t have the airholes fully punched through, leaving either a thin skin of silicone over the holes, or a piece of displaced silicone sitting beside or over the top of the hole.  Some of these I noticed can gather blood and be harder to clean.  They also detract from the look of the cup, so I’ll score -1 point for any cup with 1 or more holes that are not fully clear.  So for example ClariCup would get 1 point for easy to clean size of holes, but loses 1 point because some of the holes have this issue.

June 11, 2008 Posted by | comparisons | , , | 2 Comments

My Comparisons and Ratings – Visual Appeal

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

Visual Appeal

This is somewhat subjective…. everyone has different likes and dislikes… but I figured I’d also rate these things as well..

  • Aneer/iClean – “Sticky” shiny silicone, pale colours.  I personally find this type of transparent shiny/sticky silicone to look and feel very “cheap” and I don’t like it.  The “purple” is too close to a pink.  Has Seams
  • Bassrose – Has a fairly unique shape (though similar to Sckoon), silicone is a whitish-clear “sticky” feeling silicone that looks a bit “cheap”.  Has seams
  • Claricup – Dark blue soft silicone, shape is appealing, some may not like the colour.  Has seams.
  • Cup Lee – Slightly transparent “sticky” shiny silicone.  Good vibrant colours.  The surface of the silicone has some small marks on it that almost look like it is greasy.  Doesn’t feel as “cheap” as something like the Aneer, but doesn’t feel as nice as some others.  No seams.
  • DivaFrosted silicone, looks appealing.  No seams.
  • Eco-Cup – Nice frosted silicone,  Pink version has a good depth of colour.  Clear version has a slight “white” look.  No seams.
  • Femmecup (old) Whiter silicone with a slightly shiny look, which felt a tiny bit more plastic and “cheap” than the other cups.
  • Femmecup (new) – Very clear silicone.  Cool spiral on the stem.  Slightly sticky feel. Very slight (barely there) seams
  • Femmycycle – Very clear silicone, “sticky” feel to the silicone.  Has a very unusual shape.
  • Fleurcup – Frosted silicone, looks appealing – available in several (albeit pale) colours.  Has seems.
  • Gaia – White, almost opaque frosted silicone.  No seams.
  • Juju – Very clear silicone, pretty butterfly grip on stem.  Has a slightly sticky feel. No seams.
  • Keeper Brown rubber, does not look appealing.  Goes kinda sticky with age.
  • Lady Cup – Clearer silicone with a slightly shiny look, without markings (plain), doesn’t look as appealing.  However they have coloured cups available which I do find very appealing.
  • Lily Compact – Really smooth and lovely feeling “peach skin” silicone. Feels really nice and soft.  No seams.
  • Lily Cup – Really smooth and lovely feeling “peach skin” silicone. Feels really nice and soft.  No seams.
  • LunaCup – White frosted silicone with pretty leaf design on base. feels soft. Slight seams visible.
  • LunetteFrosted silicone. Slight seams.
  • Luv Ur Body – White frosted silicone with flower designs.  feels soft and nice. Seams are raised and obvious.  I don’t find the shape of the cup as appealing as a bell shape though.
  • Mami Cup –  Frosted translucent silicone outside, shiny on the inside.  Has Seams.
  • MeLunaSeveral coloured versions, and nice deep/vibrant colours, including glitter!! they do not quite have the same look as silicone however.  Has seams.
  • MiacupLove the purple! It is very different to the other cups, being a solid colour. However the exact colour can vary between cups, so it is not a consistent colouring.  No seams.
  • Mooncup (new) – Frosted whitish silicone, looks much more appealing than the old one.
  • Mooncup (old)Yellowed silicone, doesn’t look as appealing. No seams.
  • MPower – Has a similar “cheap plastic” look and feel to the old Femmecup, which isn’t as appealing.  The cup I have also has several faults.
  • OrganiCup – soft whiteish frosted silicone, appealing shape.
  • Ruby Cup – Frosted silicone, feels nice and smooth.  No seams.
  • Sckoon – Has a line where around the base of the cup it’s not frosted and the rest is.  Faint seam in non-frosted area.  Frosted area has strange patterns in it (like water drops or stretch marks).  Pretty flower design on the base.
  • Si-bell – shape is appealing, Soft whitish frosted silicone.  Has seams.
  • Yuuki (old)A very clear silicone, but without the shinyness of the Lady Cup and Femmecup.
  • Vcup – White frosted silicone, interesting contrast between the stickier clearer sections and the more frosted section.

.

The “frosted” cups usually have a feeling people describe as “peach skin”.  Some feel nicer than others.   Sckoon cup has a frosted finish about the same as Diva but has an odd finish and feels a little “stickier”, whereas the other frosted cups have a smoother feel and don’t have the same odd finish.

The silicone used in both Lily cups is really soft, smooth and really lovely to touch.

Juju and Femmecup (new) are the clearest of the cups, then old Yuuki, then LadyCup. Juju is the “stickiest” feeling of the cups.

While I don’t like the feel of the sticky cups, I imagine that could actually provide better grip than the soft/smooth feeling frosted cups, so I won’t add or detract points for stickyness or smoothness – because they could be both positives or negatives.

I personally find the frosted look to be nicer than the clear cups, though that is down to personal taste I guess.  So I’ll give 0.5 points to all the nicely clear/white frosted cups.

Cups that come in more than 1 colour option can get 2 points each for bringing out cups in a colour that is solely designed to increase it’s visual appeal.   Luv Ur Body can have 2 points because they do offer a couple of colours and the coloured flower design options. Both Lily cup and compact can have 2 points for the lovely feel of their silicone.  Miacup and Eco-cup will get 1 point because while they offer a colour it’s only 1 colour, so the others get an extra point for offering multiple colours  Aneer/iClean likewise get only 1 point because the colour difference is not great enough. MeLuna gets 3 points for adding not only coloured, but also glittered cups!  Claricup would get a point for having a colour too, but I’m not sure it is as appealing as other colours, so I’ll remove half a point for the unusualness of that colour.

MPower loses a point for each (4) for the flaws in the cup I have (being the silicone is literally falling off the stem; there are rough parts around the rim, stem and base of the cup; there is a brown speck embedded in the silicone; and one of the holes has been drilled twice).  Keeper loses half a point for being unappealing in it’s brown colour.

Accessories & Packaging

The packaging is also something that isn’t really important, but I’m mentioning it anyway.  The accessories are things like the pouch and anything else the cups come with.

  • Aneer/iClean – Some come with a satin pouch, some don’t.. some come in a chiffon pouch.  Pretty cheap.
  • Bassrose – comes with a cotton pouch that has the rose logo printed on the strings.
  • Claricup – Came with a black plastic storage/steralising container, with the brand name on the side.  No pouch.
  • Cup Lee – comes with a (linen?) pouch
  • DivaMine came with nothing, as it was a sample, but I’ve seen the bags they normally come with – a pretty bag and pin. Very nice!
  • Eco-Cup – comes with a plain green pouch
  • FemmecupPlain bag like Mooncup, but thinner fabric and a bit cheaper looking. Ribbons are in keeping with the colour theme though, and the box/packaging is bright and colourful without being too cheesy. Nice.
  • Femmycycle – Comes with a pouch that is made from the same sort of synthetic fabric that reusable shopping bags are made from, which isn’t as attractive as other cup pouches.  But it does come with a CD that gives information on the cup and how to fold.
  • Fleurcup – I chose one without a bag, so it came just in a ziplock bag, which is pretty boring… but I do like the fact that you can chose to have it without the pouch and without wasteful packing.
  • Gaia Cup – Comes with an interesting pouch with flat bottom with custom printed fabric!
  • Juju – By far the prettiest and most outstanding packaging!  Beautiful box that opens up like a flower, with satin pouches with lining.
  • Keeper Mine came with an interesting bag (black satin with lace trim), was pretty… but rather flimsy.  I’ve seen ones online that are better made, but I’ve also seen the keeper packaged in just a plastic bag looking very cheap.  They claim to be against wasteful packaging so that is why they don’t do fancy packaging – which I do respect!
  • Lady Cup – Colourful cotton bag with co-ordinated ribbon.  Quite nice (some say one of the most attractive bags for the cups)
  • Lily Compact – Came with a little storage case.  I love the concept of being able to fold it up and pack it away.  The cup was sealed in a plastic pouch.
  • Lily Cup – Came with a lycra pouch. The cup was sealed in a plastic pouch.
  • LunaCup – Like the Yuuki, this came in a tin, which makes a convenient storage place.  The bag was nothing fancy and the instructions were not in English.
  • Lunette The first pouches they had were very stiff, but the new ones they have are a nice soft satin.  Their product packaging is lovely – in a pretty box, which you might be able to reuse.
  • Luv Ur Body – The pouches aren’t fancy but made from a pretty floral cotton, with beads on the ends.  The plastic bag packaging they come in looks nice and professional.
  • Mami Cup – Comes with a plain coloured cotton pouch
  • MeLuna – My first one came without packaging, but with a blue suede-like pouch with printed silvery design, which is nice.  The Soft glitter cup I got came with a purple pouch (something soft suede/jersey like), which is very nice – with a nice double drawstring.
  • MiacupComes with a lined satin pouch with embroidered logo – very swanky indeed! In a box.  Packaging is probably overkill but looks impressive.
  • MooncupComes in probably the plainest cotton bag, but I do like the more natural look..makes it seem more environmentally friendly.
  • MPower – Came with a very stiff denim pouch that has only 1 ribbon drawstring, so it can’t stay closed – the worst of all the pouches I’ve seen.  The design on their box packaging was nice though.
  • OrganiCup – Came with a well made but very stiff/thick cotton pouch,
  • Ruby Cup – Unbleached cotton pouch with the logo on it.
  • Sckoon – The most “retail” type packaging, in a clear box, which would look good on a shop shelf and makes it seem special.  Their pouches are quite pretty and the ribbons have Sckoon on them.
  • Si-bell – one cup came with a cotton pouch that wasn’t very well sewn and a bit basic.  The other came with a silicone pouch that gathers dust and feels weird.  So both bad :(
  • Yuuki (old)Mine came without a pouch, not sure if the regular ones you buy include a pouch, but it did come with a sturdy cardboard tube which you could use to store the cup in.
  • Yuuki (new) – Came sealed in plastic bags, with storage/cleaning plastic containers.  No pouches.
  • Vcup – Came with a few different goodies – cleaning cloths, hand sanitiser and soap strips as well as the pouch.

Juju gets 3 points for their amazing packaging.  It really does make it special to open.  Vcup gets 3 points for the extra accessories that other cups don’t provide.

From what I’ve seen online, Diva gives a nice pouch and the pin is a nice touch (I’m not sure if they still give out a pin?) So it gets 2 points (though I reserve the right to bump them down in points if I find out they no longer give out the pin).  Miacup’s pouch is very well made and plush, so it gets 2 points too.  Ladycup gets 2 points because they have put effort into their pouches so that each coloured cup has a different pouch (usually with matching colour ribbon). Sckoon gets 2 points for the professionalism of the box and the printed ribbons on the pouches being a bit more special than others.  Claricup and Yuuki (new) get 2 points for the storage container.  Lily Compact gets 2 points for being packed nicely and coming with a storage container.  Gaia cup gets 2 points because their pouch is also quite fancy.

Lunette gets 1 point because they have the nice satin pouch and lovely boxes. MeLuna gets 1 point because their pouches are that bit extra fancy compared to other brands.  Keeper gets 1 point because I appreciate that they made the choice not to do fancy packaging for the environmental impact.  Lily Cup gets 1 point because of the nice packaging they have that includes having the cup in a plastic sealed pouch.

I don’t know if Yuuki (old) came with a pouch or not (I didn’t get one), but I’ll give it and LunaCup 0.5 points because while they aren’t fancy packages or pouches, the tube packaging is useful to store the cup in.    Femmycycle gets 0.5 point for the inclusion of the CD.  Luv Ur Body can have 0.5 point because they have a printed bag with bead ends, which is a bit different to other cups.  Bassrose gets 0.5 point because they have the rose design on the ribbons.

MPower gets minus half a point because I don’t think the pouch is any good at all, since it’s so stiff and has only one drawstring, so it can’t actually be drawn closed. (honestly, I’m not trying to be mean, but they couldn’t make the cup or the pouch properly *sigh*).  Aneer and iClean also lose 0.5 point because they come with no packaging and less appealing pouches.

Innovation

While most menstrual cups are similarly shaped and don’t offer much more than a slight change to the design.  A few of the cups offer something more innovative, so I’m giving points for that.

MeLuna gets 2 points because they were the first company to offer multiple stem types, multiple softness options, multiple colours and even glitter.

Lily Cup gets 2 points because of the addition of the anti-spill rim around the inside of the cup and a really nice feeling silicone and elegant shape.

Bassrose gets 2 points, because while there was a valve stem cup before them (Victoria Love), the Bassrose has a better valve system, and the valve stem design is fairly unique.

Lily Compact gets 3 points because it is a cup that can fold up and be stored in a compact form.

Femmycycle gets 3 points because of the flip out anti-spill lip

Ruby gets 2 points because they donate a cup to schoolgirls in Africa for every cup sold.

Luv Ur Body gets 1 point because it has a different shape to the others and has a raised flower design over the whole cup, with the option of that being coloured.

June 11, 2008 Posted by | comparisons | | Leave a comment

My Comparisons and Ratings

I’ve tried some of the cups, and these are my thoughts to compare those I’ve tried.  I’ve pretty much only tried the cups who have sent me samples for reviewing…  I don’t really have the budget or desire to buy a bunch of cups just to review here… so that’s why there are lots of brands whose cups I haven’t tried.  (If you’re a cup brand and want me to review your cup, I’d love to!)

I have 2 methods for rating/ranking the cups I have tried.  One is by personal preference – so this is just which cups I “like” the best.  I have also done a system where I award (or remove) points to make a score based system.  This gives a ranking for how good the cups are “on paper” (as the phrase goes), but are not necessarily a reflection of how much you may like the cups in actual usage.  But I feel that ranking system can be helpful, since a ranking based on my personal “likes” is very subjective.

By looking at both (and my comments about why things are scored where they are), this might help you in your cup shopping endeavours :)

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Cup Rankings based on personal choice | Cup Rankings by Score


Cup Rankings By Personal Preference
While a score based ranking system shows which cups are “best” when scored for particular things, it doesn’t necessarily reflect what I would personally pick as my favourite cups.  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 Fleurcup or Claricup in the same purple silicone the LadyCup “Lilac”, with the same soft silky feel as the Lily Cups, and a silicone firmness of the Fleurcup.   I prefer the shape of Fleurcup because it’s a bit smoother (and prettier) on the outside, I prefer the Claricup stem, and I love that particular shade of LadyCup purple.

Taking colour out of the equation, I look for a tab stem. I have found these to be a good balance of grip and comfort. My next choice over the tab stems would be a “stick” stem so long as it has enough grip – the Claricup and Organicup stems being a great example (and perhaps my favourite of all stems).  The best of the “hollow tube” stems I’ve found was the LadyCup’s stem, as their stem was flexible enough not to be bothersome, even though it’s a hollow tube that I don’t especially like.  I have not tried the “wide” flat tabs, I suspect those would be good too. The other thing I look for is less ridges and markings on the cup – the smoother the cup, I find the nicer it feels.

Personal Choice (Including Colour)
If I allow colour to influence me, then I would score some cups differently, this is the order of my preference.
Personal Choice (excluding Colour)
If I ignore the colour aspect and rank the cups I’ve tried based on physical features alone, this is the order of my preference.
  1. Lunette
  2. LadyCup
  3. Mami Cup
  4. Claricup/Si-bell
  5. OrganiCup
  6. MeLuna
  7. Fleurcup
  8. Lily Compact
  9. Miacup
  10. Luv Ur Body (small)
  11. Lily Cup
  12. Sckoon/ Ruby Cup
  13. Femmecup
  14. Cup Lee
  15. Eco-Cup / Yuuki
  16. Gaia Cup
  17. Femmycycle
  18. Luna Cup
  19. Vcup
  20. Juju
  21. Mooncup UK
  22. Divacup
  23. Keeper
  24. Mpower
  1. Claricup/Si-bell
  2. OrganiCup
  3. Fleurcup
  4. Lunette
  5. Mami Cup
  6. Lily Compact
  7. Miacup
  8. Ladycup
  9. Luv Ur Body (small)
  10. Lily Cup
  11. MeLuna
  12. Skooncup / Ruby Cup
  13. Femmecup
  14. Cup Lee
  15. Eco-Cup / Yuuki
  16. Gaia Cup
  17. Femmycycle
  18. Luna Cup
  19. Vcup
  20. Juju
  21. Mooncup UK
  22. Divacup
  23. Keeper
  24. Mpower

Cups I won’t Rank (and why)

Aneer/iClean I had trouble getting the cups to open since the silicone is very soft, so I wasn’t able to give them a proper review to compare them with other cups.  Also, since I personally wouldn’t recommend them anyway (since I am wary of very cheap cups),  I really don’t know where I would rank these.  I find the colours are not as good as the colours in other brands, and the silicone softness is not a good match for me.  Yet I acknowledge that they could be good cups for someone else.  They do have the tab stem I find more comfortable, and the soft silicone appeals to some people.

Bassrose is a difficult cup to rank, since I personally would not choose to buy this cup, and I don’t know how to recommend it.   It has some good features that would rank high (stem was comfortable, the size and silicone stiffness was a good match for me), and it has some aspects that would prevent me buying one (I don’t need a cup that can be emptied in place like that).  As far as the comfort and ease of insertion/removal aspects go (ignoring the negatives), I would probably rank it about a #3.  However given the negatives, if I think about which cups I would prefer to use before I would use a Bassrose, I’d have to rank it down near the bottom of the list.  But then some people may like the idea of a cup you can empty without removing.  So since I don’t know how to rate it, I will leave it off the personal rankings.


Detailed info of the rankings for my personal choice can be found here:

https://menstrualcups.wordpress.com/2008/06/11/cup-rankings-personal-choice


Cup rankings based on Score

What I’ve done here is considered different areas for rating the cups.  Where a cup performed better than average, I awarded a point (or more than 1 point if it was exceptional in that area). Points were deducted when a cup performed worse than average in an area. In some areas a cup will have scored no points and had no points removed – which means there was nothing either particularly good nor bad about that cup in that area – it was just average.   So low rated cups may be low because they had no features that particularly stood out against the other cups, not necessarily because there was anything wrong with them.

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A detailed rundown of what I was looking at, what properties each cup had in that area, and how I scored each one – is found below:

Stems & Grip | Insertion & Removal | Cleaning | Visual Appeal | Accessories | Innovation

Cup Ratings Chart
(See the updated online chart here)

Rankings:

  1. Sckoon (14)
  2. MeLuna [new, “classic”] (13)
  3. Femmycycle (12)
  4. Bassrose (11.5)
  5. Fleurcup (11.5)
  6. Lady Cup (11.5)
  7. Lily Cup (11)
  8. Claricup (10)
  9. Lily Compact (10)
  10. Aneer (8.5)
  11. OrganiCup (8.5)
  12. Lunette (8)
  13. Si-bell (8)
  14. Gaia Cup (7.5)
  15. Cup Lee (7)
  16. Luv Ur Body (7)
  17. iClean (6.5)
  18. Juju (6.5)
  19. Miacup (6.5)
  20. Eco-Cup (5.5)
  21. Luna Cup (5.5)
  22. Mami Cup (5)
  23. Vcup (4.5)
  24. Yuuki (4.5)
  25. Ruby Cup (4)
  26. Femmecup [new] (2)
  27. Diva (1.5)
  28. Meluna [old style] (1)
  29. Mooncup UK (1)
  30. Femmecup [old style] (0)
  31. Keeper [damaged] (-1)
  32. MPower (-2)

Please take into consideration that some of the first cups I tested and reviewed were done from 2008 onwards – so some aspects of the cups I’ve tried have since changed. Yuuki, Diva, MeLuna and Femmecup for example have made changes to their design since I rated them.  Some of these new cups I have been able to test as well as the older versions, some I only have the older versions.

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

Measurements

The measurements for the cups

Smaller Sizes:
Divacup – 4.1cm wide 5.7cm long (7cm including stem)
Femmecup – N/A
Keeper – 4.4cm wide?, 5.4cm long (7.9cm including stem)
Lady Cup – 4cm wide, 4.6cm long (6.5cm including stem)
Lunette – 4.1cm wide, 4.7cm Long, (7.2cm including stem)
Mooncup (UK) – 4.3cm wide, 5cm long (7.5cm including stem)
Mooncup (USA) – Suspect same as Keeper

Larger Sizes:
Divacup – 4.5cm wide, 5.7cm long (7mm including stem)
Femmecup – 4.5cm wide, 5cm long to base of cup. (7.3cm including stem)
Keeper – 4.6cm wide, 5.4cm long (7.9cm including stem)
Lady Cup – 4.6cm wide, 5.3cm long (6.6cm including stem)
Lunette – 4.6cm wide, 5.2cm long (7.2cm including stem)
Mooncup (UK) – 4.6cm wide, 5cm long (7.5cm including stem)
Mooncup (USA) – Suspect same as Keeper

June 11, 2008 Posted by | comparisons | Leave a comment

   

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