Menstrual Cups

Review – Casco Cup

I am really sorry I haven’t reviewed this sooner.  I’ve had a challenging couple of months (lets just say) and haven’t been able to get the review done.  Also I wasn’t sure how I felt about it, so I wanted to wear it over 2 periods to test it out more.

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March 2, 2017 Posted by | reviews | , | Leave a comment

Review – Menstro Cup & Blossom Cup

I’m sorry I’ve not posted this sooner, I’ve been really busy.    I was given the small and large Menstro Cups and Blossom Cups to try out.

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July 15, 2016 Posted by | reviews | , | Leave a comment

Lena – review

I’ve been excited for the release of this Lena cup for a while now, after being involved in the development process and having tried out prototypes of the design…. and having to keep tight-lipped about it until it was officially released 😀

With the package Lena sent, they also sent me a little card thanking me for my help and support!  Awwww 😀

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I’m always very impressed when cup companies have spent in contacting people like me to get feedback and discuss cups with them.  To me it shows a company is trying to do as much research as they can, to try and bring out what they believe to be a great cup.

Even a little sticker on the back 😀

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The boxes they come in are really lovely and unique.  They have an interesting feel to the box, it’s hard to explain…. almost sort of suede-like… almost like the “peach skin” texture cups have.  The boxes are 100% recycled and printed with vegetable ink!  Environmental win!

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The boxes are sealed with a little clear sticker, so you would be able to see any tampering.  Tampering or knowing if the box is factory sealed is not something I would have thought of, but it’s something I have seen people comment on, so I thought I’d mention that.  Removing the sticker on both my boxes destroyed the sticker.  So I imagine any tampering would be evident on the sticker.

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The booklet gives the standard instructions you’d expect, but an interesting addition is a diagram of the positioning of the cup for both a high and low cervix.  Explaining that if your cervix is high you may not need to trim the stem, but if it is lower you may need to.  I don’t recall any cup instructions specifically talking about cervix position before.

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The cup has a flat tab stem with a rounded bottom, good grip rings on the stem and base of the cup.  Overall a smooth sided cup (no ridge or protrusions), in “peach skin” sort of feel.

Currently only available in pink, which is a sort of rose pink with a touch of apricot.  Hopefully it will come out in other colours (like purple) in the future 😉  (I love purple cups!)

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The inside of the cup has a slight ridge and has “Lena” in slightly raised letters.  4 large airholes, horizontal with a slight downward angle.

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(My camera isn’t detailed enough to show the inside ridge properly)

The silicone is reasonably soft – In my squish test, the small measured 28mm (the same as Eco-cup), and the large 24mm (the same as Fleur and Lily Compact).  The silicone feels much the same in squishyness between the rim and the body of the cup.

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Since I tested out the prototype, I already know that I really like this cup – I love the tab stem, I am unable to feel the stem while the cup is in place, and I find the smooth outside cleans easily and is more comfortable to insert (than cups with a pronounced ridge).  As with a lot of softer cups, I did have to use my finger to push against the vaginal wall to make the large size cup open fully, but the small cup opened up without any trouble.

I’ll write up a more in-depth review in a month when I’ve had a chance to test it with my period.

 

Unfortunately at the moment they are sold through Amazon and not able to be shipped Internationally, however Precious Stars in the UK does sell them, and ships Internationally.  Hopefully once the cups have been out for a bit longer, International shipping will be available.

If anyone in the US would like to try out this cup, I’ve been given a discount code OBSIDIAN that can be used for a 15% LENA purchase discount from http://amzn.to/1MYBOEP

http://www.lenacup.com

July 14, 2015 Posted by | photos, reviews | , | 8 Comments

Mami Cup – Review

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This cup has a frosted silicone, in a more “peach skin” type feel.  The sides of the cup do have very obvious seams, and there are also raised lines up the opposite sides that aren’t seams (they are only half the height of the cup) – I’m not sure what those are for, maybe to give extra rigidity to the cup?  I can’t feel the seams on cups, so that isn’t something that affects me – but I know some people are sensitive to seams on cups, so this may be an issue for them.

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Inside the cup, around the rim it has “made in Italy” and the Mami cup name, also the size marking.  There are also 2 measuring lines inside.

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The airholes (4 of them) are punched through cleanly, and are horizontal with a slight diagonal.

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I must admit, when I have seen pictures of this cup online, I didn’t think the looked like the stem would be comfortable, since it almost looked like a serrated knife 🙂

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But the grip lines around the stem are pretty much like the other cups, just a little more pronounced and that gives even better grip.  The stem I found to be very comfortable, I couldn’t feel it, and I like this high grip stem a lot.

Even though this cup is actually quite large, a little larger than some of the other large size cups (and I normally find the smaller sizes fit better), I did find this cup opened up ok.  It would feel like it hadn’t opened up, since the bottom of the cup still felt a bit squishy.  But when I felt around the top of the cup to check, it did seem to be fully open and I didn’t have any leaks.  I didn’t get a small cup to try that size out.  But I was happy with the large size.

In the “Squish test” it measured 23mm.

This blue colour my cup came in has a good amount of colour to it (not too pale and a pretty shade of blue).  The “lilac” I’ve seen photos of sometimes looks a bit grey, that I don’t like the look of (like the photo above), and sometimes looks good.  So I assume this photo below is a more accurate picture of the colour?

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All in all, I really liked this cup – I would have liked to try a small size to see how that felt and to see what the size comparison is, but I found the large size was fine for me (I just wasn’t sure if it had opened up fully or not).   I like that they come in purple 😀  I also quite like this tab stem as it has a lot of grip while still being nice and soft and flexible so I couldn’t feel it.

This cup would have to be up there with my favourite cups!

This cup was kindly donated to me by Coppetta Mestruale for review.  Thank you 🙂


See my detailed review & comparisons with other cups here.

May 11, 2015 Posted by | reviews | , | 2 Comments

Eco-Cup (Lybera) – review

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The cup I have tried is the “Eco-cup”, but I am assuming it is the same as the Lybera, so if that is true, then this review would be the same for both.

I got the large size in pink and the small size in clear.  The cups have a nice “frosted” sort of “peach skin” silicone.  While I don’t like the colour pink, I do find this darker, almost magenta pink that some of the cups have to be quite pretty.  So I’d probably pick that coloured one over the clear one.

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The holes on both cups weren’t punched all the way through.  Basically they were punched through right up to the outside edge, so that there was like a thin film of silicone covering the holes, with like a pin prick through the film.  The clear (small) one only had 1 hole that was affected, the larger one had 2 and a half holes affected (5 holes in each cup).  When the holes are not punched out fully like this, the blood can get trapped in there, so they need to be manually cleared.

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The large cup also has a little flaw in the silicone  along the rim at the top – where there is often a line around the rim, in the pink cup it almost looks like there was an airbubble in the silicone there?  You can sort of see it in the photo below.  They are otherwise good looking and feel nice to touch.

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The stems are a hollow tube with a spiral pattern on them.  As with most of the hollow tube stems, I found the stem irritating to wear, so I would have to trim the stems off/down.

The grip around the base of the cup has “Made in Italy” and a roman numeral for the size marking (I = small and  II = large)

In “Squishyness”, The small measured at 28mm and the large at 26mm.  (“Squish test” info here)

The small size cup I had no trouble getting to open up.  The large size cup did have a few issues – where I had to press against the vaginal wall to give it space to open up.  Both cups did not leak and felt comfortable to wear and insert, other than the stem issue.

These cups were kindly donated to me by Coppetta Mestruale for review.  Thank you 🙂


See my detailed review & comparisons with other cups here.

May 11, 2015 Posted by | reviews | , | Leave a comment

Gaia Cup – Review

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The Gaia Cup pouches are a bit different to the other pouches – they have the brand name on a clear plastic tag on the side, and they have a flat base!

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The Gaia Cup comes in 2 sizes, but according to the measurements, there is only 1mm difference between the sizes, so I’m really not sure what the point of having both sizes is…..

Both cups look identical, it’s only the writing inside that tells you which size that lets you know.  If you put them against each other, you can see the rims are the 1mm difference, but it’s such a small amount.  Though their website only seems to have the large size now, so maybe they don’t offer the smaller one any more?

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The silicone has the “peachskin” sort of feel to it.  Very soft, my “Squish Test” measured it at 21mm compression – the same as the Si-Bell.  It has a nice feel to it.

Because I like having a good stem to grab onto, I found this short little stem to be quite slippery and not have enough grip – even though it does have grip lines on it.  I found it quite difficult to remove because of this.  But, on the plus side – I couldn’t feel the stem, so if you’re someone who normally has to cut stems off, then this might be a good compromise.

As with all the softer cups – I have to push against the vaginal wall to give the cup enough space to open up fully.  Because there was no smaller diameter version to try, this would be a problem for me, as normally a softer large cup has trouble opening but the smaller sizes are usually ok.  So I personally prefer a firmer cup.

The outside is smooth, no ridge, so it is comfortable for insertion and removal.  The inside rim of the cup has the brand name and size.  The airholes are a good size for cleaning.

These cups were kindly donated to me by Coppetta Mestruale for review.  Thank you 🙂


See my detailed review & comparisons with other cups here.

April 25, 2015 Posted by | reviews | | 4 Comments

Bassrose – Review

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This cup is interesting because it has a hollow stem, with a marble ball at the end that forms a stopper.  So that you can push the ball back up the stem to release the “valve” and let the cup empty without needing to remove it.

At first it seems really long.  But it isn’t actually much longer than some of the long cups.  Shown below with a small size LunaCup and DivaCup. The body of the cup is quite small too.

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In the stem you can see there is a larger rounded part – this is where the ball is pushed to, when the cup needs to be emptied.  The ball is then pushed into the narrower part of the end of the stem to seal the stem off again.

The silicone is the more “sticky” kind, and about a medium level of softness.  When measured in my “Squish test” it compressed to 28mm.  Making it one of the firmest small cups I have.  There are no airholes in the cup, but I had no trouble with leakage or removal.  There are no measuring lines or markings on the cup.

To be honest, I don’t really see this design as being as much benefit as it gets advertised as – I don’t think cups are that difficult to remove for cleaning, and there are some issues with the design.  But I can see it being of benefit if you are out of the home and don’t want the hassle of having to empty a cup.  I imagine it would be difficult to tell if the cup was emptied properly while you are wearing it though.  I only tested it by removing the cup and emptying it – so that I could see how well it emptied and cleaned, so I could better review it.  I haven’t yet tested emptying it while still inserted.

I also would be worried about the ball dislodging and the cup emptying while you are wearing it. While it seems that it needs a decent amount of force to get the ball dislodged to empty the cup, I do still worry if it is possible it could dislodge by itself and allow the cup to leak. I would only feel confident wearing it if I had a pad on – but that is partly because I am already paranoid about leakage thanks to a white-pants-tampon-mishap back in my teenage years 😛

I was also worried about the ball falling out while cleaning – but I’ve actually tried to push the ball out of the stem, and you’d have to really try hard to do it.  I did try while it was dry, so maybe when it’s wet it could be easier, but I wasn’t able to get the ball out through the end, but if I really tried hard I could push it up the stem towards the body of the cup (I don’t recommend doing that though, it’s difficult to get it back into place again :P)  and the cup does come with a spare ball just in case it did somehow manage to fall out.  But I don’t think that would be likely.

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I tried it a couple of times, and I must say – I was pleasantly surprised.  I actually found the stem more comfortable than some of the hollow tube stems!  I barely felt it.  Because it is longer, and rounded on the end, I think it pokes less than a shorter stem with a straighter end.  I also did not have any troubles with the ball moving or the stem leaking.

One of the things that I have seen discussed with this design of cup (and also the Victoria Love, which is a similar design), is that menstrual blood is thick and sometimes clotty – so we wondered if it was possible for it to flow out of the stem easily.  The Victoria Love design seems to have smaller holes on the sides of the end of the stem, whereas the Bassrose has a larger hole right at the end of the stem.  So out of the 2, it seems like the Bassrose design will work better for clots or thick blood.  I don’t know if I had any clots when I tried it, but it emptied fine – I did have to sometimes press the stem a bit to move the ball back up into that larger section, but no blood seemed to get stuck in the stem.

To better show people how the valve/ball works, how easily it emptied and how it doesn’t seem to leak when the cup is full – I have a photo and a video of the cup containing menstrual blood, to show you how it actually works.   Yes, actual blood 😛   I will put the links here so you can choose to look at them or not, if you think it’s gross, just don’t look.  I won’t be approving any “eww that’s gross” comments either, you can keep those thoughts to yourself 🙂

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Click at your own risk 😛

Bassrose Cup with blood Photo | Bassrose Cup emptying/cleaning Video

April 25, 2015 Posted by | reviews | | 7 Comments

Anytime – Review

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This is one of the Sckoon “knockoffs” (potentially copied design)  – it came without a box, and with a pouch marked “Lady Cup”.  I basically just got it to see if it was an exact copy of the Sckoon, or if it was different at all.  It does have a couple of very slight differences, but it is essentially a copy.

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The Anytime stem is longer, it doesn’t have the Sckoon branding around that flower base.  It also doesn’t have that frosted silicone band or the strange “water drop/stretch marks” effect the Sckoon has. The body of the cup appears to be the same though, and the flower grip pattern on both cups appears to be exactly the same.

The Anytime cup has messy airholes.  They have obviously been drilled from the inside out (Sckoon’s appear to be from the outside in, and are higher and neater), since 1 of the 5 holes doesn’t break through to the outside at all and the remaining holes aren’t fully punched through.  There is also ‘damage’ (for want of a better word – where the silicone is marked) around the edges of the holes on the inside.

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The Anytime is a little firmer than the Sckoon, and it is not as translucent.

While I don’t like to recommend a “knockoff” cup, nor the very cheap Chinese made cups of any brand… If you like the shape/style of the Skoon but want it a little firmer, then (airhole/legal/safety issues aside), this cup may suit better, since it is identical in shape/size (other than the longer stem)

April 25, 2015 Posted by | reviews | | 15 Comments

iClean – Review

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My iClean came with no box, a little instruction leaflet and a really poor excuse for a pouch – one of those organza bags you usually find jewellery or something like that put into.  Not really suitable for a menstrual cup pouch – but these are very cheap cups, so you can’t expect much.

The holes weren’t punched through as neatly as other cups, with some displaced silicone on the outside and inside of the cup.

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I got this one in the small size, so that I could see what it was like compared to the large Aneer I bought – since they look identical.  In look and feel, they do seem to be in the same silicone and basically from the same mold. The only difference I can see is that the Aneer stem is slightly more rounded on the very end, and has a slight more of a lean to it.

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I thought that this cup, being small, would be able to open up (since I had trouble with the large Aneer opening up), but I did have trouble with it too.  I did only try it once,so things could be different if I tried it again, but I fiddled around for a few moments trying to get it to open and it didn’t.  So I think it’s just too soft for me.

I know I’m supposed to be impartial and give all cups a go, but I don’t really trust the safety of the silicone of the ultra-cheap cups, so I really got it only for visual comparisons, and so that I had one of this brand for my collection – rather than to actually test the cup out by wearing it.

April 25, 2015 Posted by | reviews | , | 4 Comments

Cup Lee – Review

Cup Lee has been one of the cups I’ve wanted to try for a while.  They were a cup brand available in colours quite early on – and they have a purple 😀

Cuplee_1The packaging I got has a (folded up) sheet of something (in Russian) as the top of the bag.  Which is an interesting way of doing it – but the problem was that unless you use a staple remover, or remove them carefully, you can tear that.

Cuplee_2The instructions came in English and Russian.  The pouch it comes in has a sort of linen look/feel to it.  The cup is a pinky-purple (magenta sort of colour), a bit more pink than I like my “purple” to be.  but it’s still pretty.  Some of my photos make it seem slightly more pink than it actually is, the photo above looks right to me.

The silicone is the more “sticky” kind of silicone, which in some ways doesn’t feel as nice as the more “peachskin” ones, but it does give a bit better grip I think.  The stem is a hollow tube, with raised grip rings. I usually find the tube stems can feel a little uncomfortable when they are not trimmed, so I could feel the stem of this cup, and I don’t find the tube stems have as much grip as a tab stem.

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The cup has a low profile ridge area around the top rim, which I find makes it more comfortable to insert and remove than cups with a more defined ridge.No writing or markings on the cup at all.  No branding, no measuring lines and no size markings.

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“Squishyness” wise, it’s very soft…. In my “Squish test” the large compressed to 22mm, which makes it firmer than Sibell (21mm) but softer than Juju/Sckoon (23mm).

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I found that as with the softer cups, with the large size I had to press against the vaginal wall to help it open up.  But it did not seem to have as much trouble opening up as some of the other soft cups have.

All in all, I was quite happy with this cup.  As I say in most of my reviews, I prefer other stem types, but other than the stem (and that I personally prefer a more blueish-purple colour), I did like the shape of this cup.


See my detailed review & comparisons with other cups here.

April 25, 2015 Posted by | reviews | | Leave a comment

Review – OrganiCup

Organicup-box

The OrganiCup box has the instructions printed on the inside of the box – which is cool.  The pouch it comes with is a very stiff feeling cotton.  Almost like a canvass.  I wonder if it will soften up with washing?  But I guess it will be durable 🙂

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These cups came squashed to fit into the box , but bounced back into a round shape after a few minutes of being free.

They have a stem that is a little thicker than the long thin stick stems of cups like the Sckoon, Si-bell, Juju etc.  But not as thick as the tube stems.  They have really thick grip lines on them.

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Testing them out

I found the stem design was very comfortable, I couldn’t feel it at all.  It’s also not stretchy (like some thin stick stems can be), so pulling down on the stem brought the cup down, without just stretching the stem.   Because the stem is a bit shorter than other cups, in the smaller cup in particular the stem was about at the limit I could easily reach up, so for that aspect I preferred the larger size because it was a bit easier for me to reach.

The smooth outside was easy to clean and comfortable for insertion/removal.  White frosted “peachskin” type feeling silicone.  Quite squishy. The slightly firmer silicone on this cup made it open slightly better than the Si-bell and other softer cups.  Overall I like this cup a lot.


See my detailed review & comparisons with other cups here.

March 14, 2015 Posted by | reviews | , | 2 Comments

Review – Si-Bell

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One of the Si-bell cups came in a cotton bag, the other came in a silicone (I assume) bag.  I have to say though, the silicone bag feels AWFUL!  It’s just a disturbing type of feel to it, hard to explain but not nice to touch at all.  It also picks up all manner of fluff and dust.  I dropped it on the carpet by accident…. and lets just say…. I have 2 cats….. that pouch got very furry, I had to wash it off 😛

But anyway…. the cups are nice 🙂

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They are indeed identical to ClariCup

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Although Si-bell has slightly softer silicone

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Testing it out

When I tested out the ClariCup I was really impressed with it, it was the first cup I’d tried with a thin “stick” stem that gave a good amount of grip.  So since the ClariCup seems to have been made with the Si-bell cup mold, they are obviously the same in how they feel when worn.  The smoothness of the outside of the cup makes for easy cleaning and comfortable insertion/removal.  The stem is excellent, I can’t feel it at all when it is in, yet it also has great grip.

The Si-bell airholes are properly punched through, when ClariCup holes were a bit messy.

It has a white frosted look to the silicone.  A “peachskin” type feel, it feels nice to touch.

Conclusion

I personally prefer a coloured cup to a clear one, because I don’t like the golden colour cups get and a colour is more fun to me….. and I prefer the slightly firmer silicone of the ClariCup – so since the Si-bell and the ClariCup are identical in design, I would choose ClariCup over Si-bell.  But if you don’t like the blue colour of the ClariCup, then Si-bell would be the better choice, as it seems to be slightly better made.  You’d probably want to get a new pouch for it though 🙂


See my detailed review & comparisons with other cups here.

March 14, 2015 Posted by | reviews | , | 2 Comments

Review – Aneer

I thought I’d better get an Aneer brand cup, to see what it was like.

AneerNo box, just those in a mailing envelope.  I purchased it off ebay.

I see a lot of Aneer and other Chinese tab stemmed cups with bent stems, and when mine arrived, the stem was squashed into the corner of the bag – so I wondered if that is what causes it – but when it came out of the bag, the stem was pretty much straight, just a little lean.

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This is supposed to be the “purple” colour…. I don’t have a pink one to compare it to, but looking at it on it’s own, I’d call it pink not purple, so it must be only very slightly more purple than the pink one.  Which is a shame 😦

The silicone is the more “sticky” kind, that some cups have.  It feels ok though.  I find some of the frosted silicones can feel a bit “plastic” so I think I prefer a “sticky” silicone to one of the “plasticky” ones.  It has 2 very small airholes.

I don’t have a large Diva to compare it to (Since this Aneer is large), but it does seem to be a cross between a Diva and a Lunette in style.

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Compared with my (small, old style) Diva, you can see if does closely resemble that shape.   It’s a bit taller and narrower than the Large Lunette.  Also the ridge area is longer on Aneer – so it is more similar to a Diva, but with a tab stem.   I have heard Diva changed their rim from the more pointy to a smoother one too (Diva refused to send me a new one, so I’m only able to go by what I’ve heard)

Testing it out

Since this one didn’t have a chemical smell to it (like my moon stem cup), I felt more confident trying it out to see what it was like.  It is *VERY* soft, the softest of all the cups I have.  in hindsight I should have realised that it was going to be very soft and bought the small. So unfortunately since I have trouble getting the soft large size cups to open, I wasn’t able to get this one to open up at all.  No matter what I tried.  I imagine if I had the small size, I’d probably be able to get that open, so it’s a shame I didn’t get a small.   I guess I’ll have to get a small size and try that out and update this.

But, I wore it for a few mins not being opened fully, so I could see how the stem feels, and I was not able to feel the stem at all.  So in that respect, I think the very soft silicone is good for stem comfort.   Though I do find the tab stems to be a comfortable design anyway.  It is a quite long stem, so even if you have a high cervix you may need to trim some of the stem off.

Conclusion

As I’ve made pretty clear, I’m hesitant to recommend very cheap cups, because I do wonder if the quality of the silicone is as good as the more established and more expensive brands.  But other than the difficulty of opening for me (which I do have with a lot of soft cups), and a potential difficulty cleaning airholes that are so small…. there is nothing else really wrong with this cup, style/design wise.

Stem is comfortable, it has good grip, the silicone doesn’t feel any “cheaper” than other similar (“Sticky”) silicone cups…. there were no defects – in fact I’ve had Lunette and other brands of cups that have a little rough silicone around the seams… whereas this one is perfectly smooth all over.  All in all, it looks pretty good.


See my detailed review & comparisons with other cups here.

March 14, 2015 Posted by | reviews | | 4 Comments

Review – Yuuki (new)

Since Yuuki redesigned their cup, and I hadn’t tried the new one, so I asked them to send me one.  Then I realised they have different versions now, and I’m not sure which one they sent me.  I assume the “Classic”?

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They came with containers you can use for storage/soaking the cups, which is nice.  Other than the Lily cups (which came in special printed packets), these are the first cups I’d received where the cups were packed in plastic bags.

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For some reason my old Yuuki, which I only used for one cycle to review it, turned golden.  So apologies for that in the following comparison photo between the old and new…

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They seem to be the same shape, except the old cup had smaller holes and the new cup has larger ones, and the old stem was a filled tube with rounded end, and had more grip.  Here’s the original Yuuki cup before it yellowed.

I must admit, I preferred the old one.  The newer silicone is a bit more frosted, but it feels a bit more “plasticky” to me, and doesn’t look as nice IMHO.  The older one was a bit more of the “sticky” sort of feel, but I prefer the feeling of the older one.  I also prefer the solid stem, since there’s less chance of blood getting caught inside.

I assume this is the “Classic”?  as the silicone feels about the same as the old one I have.  I know Yuuki now offers an economy and a soft version too.  But I’m not sure how those feel in comparison to this one.

Testing it out

I’ve been testing out a lot of softer silicone cups lately, which usually require me to push against the vaginal wall with my finger to give it space to fully open up.  So I must say, I did appreciate testing this out and having it pop open perfectly without me needing to do anything!  I’d forgotten how much easier the firmer silicones are able to pop open for me.

I can feel the hollow tube stem more than I could feel the solid one (and more than I feel tab stems) – I think perhaps because the solid stem was rounded on the end, whereas the hollow one is cut straight across.  I still prefer other stem types, but I like the rest of the shape of this cup.


See my detailed review & comparisons with other cups here.

March 14, 2015 Posted by | reviews | , | Leave a comment

Review – Luv Ur Body

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When I got the package I was very surprised by how thin the box was!  But I suppose it is far more eco-friendly to minimize packaging where possible, and possibly cheaper to post too.

Inside the box the 3 sizes of cups were in separate bag packaging

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To keep the packages flatter, the cups have plastic tags (the ones that attach price tags to clothing) through the airholes, to hold the cup folded.  Which is quite clever!  It does mean the cups are a bit more oval than round when you first open them, but they seem to bounce back to fully round if you squish them the other way.

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The cups are fairly large.  The small one is only a little smaller than a large cup in other brands, and the large cup is very large.  Here’s a comparison with the Large Lunette and Large MeLuna

LUB_3lunette LUB_3meluna

The cups have a frosted look to the silicone, with raised flower designs all over the outside of the cup.  Medium level squishyness – to me they feel quite good.  The stems are little leaves which are cute, and they are very flexible. They seem to be designed so that you can cut the leaf part off, leaving a small ball if you wanted to.  The base of the cup has small flower designs for extra grip.

The small cups have the option for the flower designs to be coloured.  I’m not sure what they use for this, or how they do it, but those coloured raised sections feel the same as the rest of the cup, and scratching it with my nail doesn’t affect it at all.

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Using the Cup

I tried the large size first, but I found it way too large for me.  I couldn’t get it anywhere near opening up.  So then I tried the medium.  I was able to get it open, but the longer length of the cup meant that it felt annoying, as the base of the cup it was almost at the entrance of my vagina, with the stem poking out.  The small cup however, I found to be the right size for me.  With the small size I wasn’t able to feel the cup while being worn at all – I couldn’t feel the stem.

I had no leaking with the small or medium sizes.

Cleaning was easy, the airholes are big enough that they don’t stay clogged, and the raised design on the outside didn’t seem to make cleaning any more difficult.

Conclusion

I didn’t like the large or medium sizes, I felt they were much to big for me, and I wonder if there are many women who would find those sizes better than the more standard sizes for cups (though I suppose it is good to have options for longer and wider cups).  But I did like the small size.  I think the flower designs on it are very pretty, though I do wonder what they are made from and the safety aspect of that.  I like the leaf stems, they are comfortable but also give a good grip.


See my detailed review & comparisons with other cups here.

March 14, 2015 Posted by | reviews | , | 16 Comments

Claricup – Review

I got one of each size, plus the “Clarigyna” – which is a washing solution for my “intimate parts” (tee hee), and can be used to wash the cups.

clari_boxes

clari_gyna

The cups come with multilingual instruction sheet and a black plastic storage box

clari_box

Interestingly, the instruction sheet says that the Claricup is “the only menstrual cup made of biocompatible  ANTI-MICROBIAL medical grade silicone.” (their bolding) – So I’m not sure what makes theirs antimicrobial (supposedly the addition of silver).  The instructions are more detailed than some of the other cups instructions which is good, but it basically covers all the usual things.

Now I just want to point out that (sadly) this cup is NOT purple, as it will appear to be in most of the photos.  The flash in the photos makes it look purple, but it is definitely a blue colour.  It is a very dark (unusual colour) blue, and does have a purple hint to it, but this colour below is what the colour looks like.

clari_blue

The black storage containers are a cool addition

clari_cups

Claricup softness/squishyness compared with a Sckoon

clari_squish-sckoon

clari_cups1Again, these photos make the cups look purple, but they are actually dark blue, like you can see in the squish photo above.

clari_cups2

The holes aren’t drilled through well, I do have to say…  In the large size some of them look a bit messy on the outside.  The small cup some of the silicone around the holes on the inside is poking out into the cup (which is what is appearing white in the photos).

clari_holes clari_holes2

And interestingly, in the instructions, the second note in the “precautions for use” section says to “make sure the 4 perforations an the top of your Claricup are correctly pierced“.  I’ve never seen a cup company list that before,  so obviously it’s a known defect with this brand.  It doesn’t bother me, as the holes are drilled through, just not as neatly as other cups.

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Using the cup

Now I do frequently say that my favourite stem type is a flat tab (Lunette style), and I don’t tend to like any other stem type….. well I have now found a stem type that I like even more than the flat tab!!!

The stem on these is BRILLIANT!

My main issues with the thin “stick” kind of stems I’ve tried with the Juju and Sckoon are that they are stretchy, so when you go to pull the cup down the cup tends to stay put and you’re stretching the stem, and they are slippery.  This stem is not too stretchy, so works well to pull the cup down, and it has really good grip.  So I find it has just as much grip as a tab stem, but is even more comfortable to wear.  I could not feel this stem at all.  A great stem design!

The cup itself I like the shape of.  No “ridge”.  The silicone has that soft “peach skin” type feeling, it’s a nice soft (“squishy”) silicone.  No writing on it anywhere, so that makes cleaning easier.

The colour is interesting.  It’s not what I would choose, and at first I thought it was a bit unappealing, but it has grown on me and now I find it quite pretty.  There are too many pink and very “girly” coloured cups, so in a way I think it is nice to have a cup that isn’t so pink and girly.  Especially since there are people who menstruate who don’t identify as female.  I’m sure there are a lot of people who appreciate cups that aren’t pastel colours.

This cycle I’ve had 4 cups to test out, so unfortunately I haven’t been able to wear the cup for very long to give it a proper test.  Over the coming months I will try it out more, and update this review if needed.

I tried both the large and small cups.  I wore the large cup for a few hours during the day.   I found it opened up ok, I just needed to press against the vaginal wall  a bit to give it room to open (as I usually have to do with the softer cups). I did have a slight amount of leakage (just a little spotting), and the cup had not got very full, but maybe that was just a once off issue, I also had another cup I was testing that leaked that day when it hadn’t when testing it the previous day.

The small opened up fine.  I wore the small one overnight on a lighter flow day, and had no leakage overnight (the cup didn’t get very full though).

I’ve been using the “Clarigyna” wash to clean the cups before and after use.  Other than being a little too liquid (so if you store it so it’s standing on the cap, it can leak a little), I have found it good – no irritations or anything.  I’ve even put a little into one of those little fish shaped bottles you get soy sauce in, so I can take some with me if I’m camping or out.

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Conclusion

To be honest, I got this cup mostly so that I could review it and see if it was like the Si-Bell, I wasn’t expecting to be as impressed with it as I am – given how I usually prefer the tab stems.  I really like the stem, I do actually like the colour and I find it is nice and comfortable and easy to clean.  While it doesn’t come with a pouch, it does come with a storage container (that can also be used for soaking/steralising), which is really useful.

I think I would have to put this cup up there in my top favourite cups!


See my detailed review & comparisons with other cups here.

February 14, 2015 Posted by | photos, reviews | | 12 Comments

Lily Cup and Lily Compact – Review

Lily_boxesThe Lily Cups come sealed in little pouches, with a little book of multilingual instructions.  The Lily Cups come with a pink (lycra?) drawstring pouch.  The Lily Compact comes with a little plastic storage case.  The instruction book is the same for both cups.

Lily_box Lily-compact_boxopen

Lily_boxopen Lily-compact_boxcontents

To me, the Lily Cup has always seemed very…. “Sophisticated”. perhaps even “elegant”… I guess.  Because of the shape of it.  But then that also makes sense since LELO (the company that makes them) also makes what I’d consider to be more “sophisticated” looking sex toys too.

Lily_cups2

They have an anti-spill lip around the top rim

Lily_cups1

Lily_cups4

They also have, which you can just see in the light coloured cup above, a thicker “spine” that runs up each side of the cup. I assume this is to help it pop open easier and make them stronger when being pushed up into the vagina.

You’ll notice also that the top of the cup is not straight like all the other cups, it is angled.  Presumably this is to conform to the shape of the vagina better.

It seems to me, that a lot of thought and effort went into designing these cups!  Which makes sense, LELO know vaginas 😉

Lily_cups5

I must admit that I’m not a fan of the colour pink, but the darker pink they use I actually find quite nice.  (Sometimes the flash makes the dark pink cup look brighter than it is)

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The Lily Compact is a fantastic and novel idea I think.

Lily-compact_cups

They are designed to collapse down very small, so they can be carried around more conveniently!

Lily-compact_cups5 Lily-compact_cups4

Lily-compact_cupcontainer

I really think that is such a fantastic idea!  They don’t fold down as easily as I’d have expected, but then you wouldn’t want it compacting in your vagina, so I suppose that is for the best.  It just takes a bit of fiddling to get them to fold down.  The compact cups are a smaller capacity (only 20-25mls to the rim), so wouldn’t be ideal for a heavier flow.  But having one to keep in your handbag for emergencies would be very handy, and with the case, it means it’s protected, won’t take up much space and won’t be embarrassing if it falls out of your bag!

Lily-compact_cups2

Lily-compact_cups3

The silicone feels lovely!  While the extra lip of the rim of the Lily Cups, and the more solid base, makes them feel a bit stiffer… the compact is lovely and soft.  The silicone itself feels very soft and almost suede-like. It just as a very good quality feel to it.

Wearing the cups

I was testing out 4 cups this cycle, so I wasn’t able to wear each cup for a full cycle to test it, but here are my results.

I started with the Large Lilycup.  I did a C fold and tried to insert it, but it wouldn’t open up at all, it also seemed to suction against the wall of my vagina and I had a bit of trouble removing it.  But I also had trouble with another cup I tried (a different brand) that day – so I think maybe my vagina was being weird that day 😛

So after not getting the Large to work, I then the small.  That one seemed to open up fine, but I wasn’t able to reach up to the rim to feel if it was fully open, and the shape of the sides meant I couldn’t tell (with the regular bell shaped cups I can tell from how firm the body of the cup is, if the rim has opened fully or not).  But I didn’t have any leaking, so it must have been opened fine.

I wore the Small cup for a few hours, I was aware of the feeling of the stem for a little while, but it wasn’t uncomfortable, and I forgot about it after a while.

When I removed it, it was about half full, and I didn’t seem to get any spillage when I removed it – so I think the anti-spill lip really does work well.

Then I tried the Large size Lily Compact.  It rode up quite high (because it is shorter than other cups), so I found I was just able to reach it (I have short fingers though).  I wasn’t able to feel the stem though while it was being worn, which is a bonus.  It was my heaviest day, so after a couple of hours it did start to leak, but when I removed it, with some spillage, the cup was very full, so it may have filled past the rim and that was probably why it leaked.

The next day I tried the large Compact again, no leakage.  The cup was about 3/4 full when I removed it.

Then I tried the Large Lily Cup again.  With the punchdown fold rather than the C fold.  This time it opened up fine. Again no sign of any spillage when removing the cup, so I am impressed with the lip on the cups.

Lastly, I tried the small Lily Cup again, I did have a small amount of leakage, and the cup was only about 1/4 full when I removed it, so I’m not sure if maybe I’d positioned it wrong or something.  It was only enough leakage to make slight spotting on a pantyliner though, so it wasn’t that bad.

The cups all rinsed clean easily – no airholes to clean on the non-compact versions, but you will have to remember to clean under the lip to make sure nothing stays under there.  The extra bumps of the compact cups may require a little more effort to clean than a completely smooth cup inside, but I didn’t have any issues with just a rinse out.

The stems had a good amount of grip, and the stem portion of the Compact was just long enough to give me enough to hold onto to pull the cup down, without being too long that it has extra to poke you with.  I think the fact that the bottom of the Lily Cup base is quite firm, is why I could feel that.  But it does appear to be able to e trimmed down if needed, and it certainly wasn’t “uncomfortable”, I was just aware that it was there for a little while after inserting it (I personally wouldn’t need to trim any off).

The first 2 times, I kept forgetting which side is supposed to be aligned where, so I had to keep checking the instructions.  The instructions show to do the punchdown fold and to press down on the shorter side, inserting the longer side first (so that the long side is against the tailbone).  Though this is something I’m sure I’d remember the more I use it.  The instructions also show rolling the Lily Cup up to make it as small as a tampon to insert, I wasn’t able to get it to roll up like that.  The punchdown definitely seems to be the best folding method to use.

Conclusion

I quite liked both styles of cup, but I was really impressed with the concept of the Lily Compact.  I personally don’t mind using pads, and I don’t like to use a cup without a liner for backup just in case, so I’m happy to have a cloth pad in my handbag for emergencies, but if you are a person who prefers cups to pads, and wants something to keep on hand for if your period starts while you are out – I would definitely recommend these!  I imagine they would also be really handy for traveling.  Not that a normal cup takes up much room, but these can be folded down really small, in a nice discreet protective case – and I found the cup to be comfortable too.

I did have a couple of issues with the non-compact versions, but I didn’t have the chance to use them enough before writing this review to get the hang of using them, and occasionally with any cup there can be days were they don’t seem to want to work properly.  So I wouldn’t think it would be fair to be turned off a cup based on a couple of hiccups I had.  I do have more cups to review, and only a certain amount of menstruating days to do it – but I will definitely use the Lily again to give it more of a go, and I will update that when I have tested them some more.


See my detailed review & comparisons with other cups here.

February 14, 2015 Posted by | photos, reviews | , | 13 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)
  • Blossom Cup (28mm)
  • Femmycycle (28mm)
  • Lunette (28mm)
  • MenstroCup (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)
  • MenstroCup (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)
  • Blossom Cup (29mm)
  • 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 | | 11 Comments

Nameless moon stem cup – Review

I’ve been wanting one of these cups for a while, because they are purple, and have a cute moon stem – and I wanted to see what these cheap Chinese cups were like.

I tried to buy one in the past, from Aliexpress, but it never arrived – I contacted the seller and they said they would send another – I never got it.  So I decided never to buy from Aliexpress again (no buyer protection), so when I saw one of these cups on ebay, where I could pay with paypal and have some recourse if it never arrived, I figured I’d spent a whopping $3.80 (including postage!) and buy one.

This one actually did arrive!

namelessmoon_bagIn no expense spared packaging 😛 (I know, you can’t expect anything more for $3.80!)

The first thing that struck me.. physically… was the SMELL!  I’d heard people comment on the fact some of these cheap cups have a plastic/chemical small, and now I know what they mean.  It was really strong.  The more the cup has been left out of the bag and allowed to air out, the less smell it has, but it was very offputting!

Which really concerns me…. No other cup I’ve had smelled.  So I don’t know what type of silicone they used, or what additives are used… but something seems not right.  The listing just says it is made from “Silicone” – so it does not specify it is Medical Grade silicone…. which means it might not be.

That aside… it’s a really pretty colour and a really pretty design!

namelessmoon2

namelessmoon3

It is however basically a Lunette with a moon on the stem

namelessmoon-lunette

Same size (maybe a mm smaller), same shape, same size ridge around the top, measuring lines in the same location and the same spacing… Which… (copyright infringement aside) would work well for me since I do love my Lunette, and I love purple!

The silicone is really really soft, with that “peach-skin” (smooth, not sticky or plasticky) feeling.  It does feel really nice.

Surprisingly, I didn’t have too much trouble getting the cup to open, which I often do with softer silicone cups.  It might be because I’ve been wearing other cups all day, not sure.  I did have to press against my vaginal wall to give it enough space to pop open as I normally do, but I didn’t have as much trouble as I expected I would.

Here it is with a squish test, compared to a large Sckoon.

namelessmoon-squish

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There are a few sections where the seams are a little rough, but frankly, I have a couple of cups including a Lunette that have that too…. so that doesn’t really bother me.  The airholes however, haven’t been punched all the way through.  My camera isn’t good enough to show this well, but on the outside they look like they go through, but on the inside there is no hole, just a piece of silicone poking out where the hole should go through (which looks white against the purple cup).  I think I could probably pull on that slug of silicone and I could cut it off which might open the holes, but I won’t use the cup again so there is no point.

namelessmoon4

namelessmoon-hole

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Wearing the cup

As I’m sure you’ll suspect…. sadly, a pointy ended moon shape is not the most comfortable stem design 😦

Normally I am aware of the stem of a cup for a little while after inserting a cup – not uncomfortable, but I can just feel it is there.  This one was more irritating than a regular tab stem.  I could feel the point of the moon stabbing/scratching me as I walked or did anything with my legs squeezed together.  It didn’t “hurt”, but it was annoying and uncomfortable.  It was however not as irritating as I find the long hollow tube stem that the Mooncup UK has.

Maybe it is something I would get used to the longer I wore it, and I am stubborn enough that the cuteness factor could make me put up with it more than I would have if it was clear or something 😀 but the fact the silicone had a funny smell meant I was already a bit wary of the cup, so I didn’t want to wear it for too long.  The main feature of this cup is the moon, so trimming it off would be a shame – although it would still be purple, so that would still be a bonus for me 🙂

— There are however heart shaped stem versions, for the smaller size, which would likely be a lot more comfortable to wear.

I wore the cup for about half an hour, and then removed it.  Now whether or not it was the stem poking/scratching which caused some irritation to my skin, or if there is something in on the material it is made from that has caused some irritation – I don’t know…. but I’ve tested out a lot of cups and I’ve never had any feeling of irritation before, but after using this cup, for about an hour later I had a “warm”, not quite stinging or burning, but almost like a milder version of that type of feeling in my vagina, which I presume was a mild irritation from this cup.  It felt to me that it was irritated more than just where the stem was poking, so I think it was a reaction to the material. So I won’t be wearing it again.

Someone pointed out that it could have been the “mold release” that was what I could smell. (which did lessen after it was washed and aired out, and gone completely now).  I do freely admit that I don’t boil or sanitise the cups before I use them, I give them a good wash with water and that is it – so while I’ve never had any issues with other cups doing this – maybe the “mold release” chemical stayed on the cup enough to cause the reaction and it might not have been the material.  I don’t know.  I did do a burn test to see if it was silicone, and it turned to ash and performed like burning silicone is supposed to do.  Which is not conclusive to show it is any particular form of silicone, but it proves it isn’t plastic.

Now, I am allergic to elastic and most metals – so I have sensitive skin that other people probably don’t have.  But then no other cup has been an issue. So I strongly feel there is was something in the material of this cup (or the mold release) that is not the same as the normal (more expensive) Medical Grade Silicone cups.

Conclusion…… 

I personally don’t trust the safety of a cup that sells for such a low price.  I paid $4.80 for it, including the cost to post it to me…. and ebay fees, paypal fees and postage has to come out of that $3.80.  It wouldn’t be leaving much profit left for the seller.  I do have to wonder how much it cost the manufacturer to make them, and if they took any shortcuts or used inferior materials to make it cheaper.  The fact it smelled very much like “new plastic”, when the other cups don’t, is of concern to me.

That issue aside, the stem design is not very ergonomic.  It might be ok for some people, but then it is easy to cut the moon off if you need to.  Also the holes weren’t punched through, so you would need to punch them out yourself.  But if you’re paying less than $4 for a cup, you really can’t be picky about the quality.

The shape of the cup and feel of the silicone though are very good.  the shape is obviously copied from Lunette, like so many other cheap cups on the market… but legalities of that aside, it is a good shape I think.  The colour is quite pretty.  So other than the pokey stem issue (easily dealt with), the cup itself is a comfortable fit, and it didn’t appear to leak (though I didn’t wear it for long).

I love the look of this cup, but I would be hesitant to recommend it (or any of the other no-name cup brands being sold for less than $10 on ebay and the like) to others, because of the potential safety concerns, and the moon on the stem is uncomfortable.  The heart version would be a better choice.


See my detailed review & comparisons with other cups here.

February 13, 2015 Posted by | photos, reviews | | 9 Comments

Femmycycle – Review

I’d been curious to try one of these cups for a long time.  Such an interesting design for this cup!

femmycycle-box2 femmycycle-boxcd

It comes with a CD – it shows a documentary about the Femmecap (contraceptive device made by the same company) and the Femmycycle menstrual cup – as well as a video about the cup and how to fold, insert and remove it.  Probably not necessary to be honest, but it’s nice that they have the extra touch of the CD to give people a visual instruction on how to fold, for those who can’t look it up online.

femmycycle-boxinside

femmycycle-contents

The pouch is very different to the other cups pouches I’ve seen.  It is made from the type of material that reusable shopping/grocery bags is made from.  It also has a snap closure and a “gusset” – rather than just being a rectangle of cloth with sewn edges and drawstring like the others.

femmycycle-contents2

The cups themselves are surprisingly large. Very soft and squishy.

femmycycles

This cup has a… I don’t know what you’d call it… “anti-spill rim”?

femmycycleIt pops in/out of the top rim of the cup, making it into a sort of funnel type design, so the blood can flow into the cup, but can’t flow back out again when tipped on its side.

That part pops out so that you can properly clean inside.

femmycycles2

Here’s the Regular (large) size Femmycycle compared to the large size Juju (which was just the first large cup I grabbed), so you can see that compared to the conventional shape of menstrual cup, it’s quite a bit wider, and shorter.

femmycycle-juju

femmycycle-juju-sideThough the rim is smaller than the Juju

Here are the “regular” and “Teen” versions compared to a large Lunette for reference of “squishyness”.

femmycycle-lunette-squish femmycycle-lunette-squish2

Wearing the cup…

I’ll be honest, I had 4 menstrual cups to test out this period, so I wasn’t able to wear each cup for a full cycle to be able to test it fully.

I tried the “regular” (large) size first.  While the silicone itself is very soft, the extra “anti-leak” part around the rim makes that part a bit stiffer and thicker, so folding is probably about equal with one of the medium-squishyness cups in terms of the pressure needed to keep it folded.

I tried inserting it using the C fold while on the toilet, and I found I couldn’t get it to open up at all.   But I’d also had trouble earlier in the day with the Lily Cup too, so I think at that time, it was an issue with the contours of my vagina as well as the size/squishyness/shape of the cup.

So I tried the “teen” (small) size.  That seemed to open up ok, but because the base of the cup is so squishy and bulbous, and I couldn’t seem to find where the rim was to feel around there, I wasn’t sure.  Normally I can tell by the way the base of the cup feels, if the rim is fully open or not… and normally I can reach up to the rim to feel there. I suspect this is something that I would find easier the more practice I have using this cup.

I figured I’d know if it wasn’t opened and sealing, if I leaked.  I didn’t have any leaks, so it must have opened fine.

Normally I am aware of the feeling of the stem part of the cups after I first put them in, I was not able to feel the Femmycycle at all.  While the feeling doesn’t normally bother me, not being able to feel it at all, is much nicer!

I wore it for several hours, and I’d checked a few times and no leaking – but after a few hours I could feel the telltale “bubbling” sort of feeling that let me know it was leaking.  I did spill some when removing the cup – because the cup is so squishy, when you hold it to remove it, you’re like to so squish some out if it is too full, and the “anti-leak” guard thing can only do so much….  The cup was still about half full when I took it out to have a look – so it probably started leaking because it got too full.  Either because it overflowed or maybe it got heavier and slipped down a bit?  not sure.

I found it had ridden up quite high – I am used to wearing cups with a long stem – as I have short fingers and I presume a long vagina – so I need to be able to pull the cups down to better reach them,  I was just able to reach the ring to pull it down, and I definitely prefer a ring stem to a ball or narrow stick stem – The ring was the perfect size to get a finger into to grab it, but yet I couldn’t feel it while inside me at all.  So I was very impressed with that aspect.

I decided to try the large size out again, for overnight.  I don’t normally wear cups overnight, but with so many to test – I felt I should wear it overnight.  I didn’t have the same trouble as earlier in the day with getting it to open, it seemed to open up, but I still wasn’t completely sure.  But I had no leaking at all overnight  – the cup only got to about half full and I didn’t spill any when removing it – so I think the anti-spill spout feature does help reduce spillage when removing the cup – if you don’t let the cup get past about half full.

Cleaning was very easy – with no airholes to clean, it is simply a case of flipping up the spout thing, tipping out the blood, rinsing out the cup and you’re all good. Because of that spout part, you can actually give the cup a shake and swirl the water around inside it – which helps to get it clean – you can also stick your finger into the cup to wipe around the inside.  I’m not sure I’d call it “fun” – but because of that ability to swish the water around, it was maybe the most “entertaining” cup to clean 😀  it made me think of how wine people swirl wine around in the goblet….  which made me giggle….  (I’m childish though!)

One aspect I appreciated was that I felt more secure being able to carry the cup around while it was full of blood.  I know what sounds weird, but let me explain 🙂  See, our toilet is in a separate room to the bathroom where the sink is.  I find that just emptying the cup into the toilet lets the blood sink to the bottom of the bowl and needs a second flush or a toilet brush to remove it (or you need to put toilet paper into the bowl first) …. So what I often do if the cup isn’t too full, is slowly put some toilet paper into the cup to soak up the blood, then put the toilet paper into the toilet…… but with this cup, I rested the cup in the end of a toilet roll while I finished up in the toilet (empty toilet paper rolls make perfect cup stands!), then I carried it into the bathroom and tipped the blood down the sink and gave the cup a good rinse.  So I actually found that a more convenient way to empty it.

All in all… I was very impressed with this cup.  It isn’t a cup I would have thought to buy if I was deciding on which cup to buy, since I must admit, it looked a bit weird and I wasn’t sure the anti-spill design was really needed.  But after trying it, I found it to be more comfortable than other cups, easy to remove, easy to clean and less likely to spill.  My only criticism would be the fact that I wasn’t able to tell if it was fully opened, but I think that would be something I would get used to the more I used the cup – whereas I unfortunately didn’t have enough time to spend getting used to the cups before writing this review.

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See my detailed review & comparisons with other cups here.

February 13, 2015 Posted by | photos, reviews | , | 15 Comments

Vcup – Review

I was sent a Vcup to review 🙂

It wasn’t addressed properly, so there was a little hiccup in receiving it, but it arrived the other day and I had a chance to try it out.  Sadly my period ended the day before it arrived, so I haven’t yet had a chance to test it with my period, but I’ve tried it and here are my thoughts….

vcup_box1

The box was a little squished in transit, but that’s to be expected sometimes.  On the box it listed contents, which I was surprised about – I didn’t realise the cup came with extras!  So I was excited to see what was inside.  The box lists no sizes, so I presume the cup is 1 size only, which seems to be a small.  The box does however have boxes to tick for white, pink or green – and one side of the box shows a pale green cup – so it obviously comes in those colours.  I got clear.

vcup_boxgreen

Inside the box, there is a tube (they call it a “pen”) of hand sanitiser, a little packet of soap sheets, 4 little “coin tissues”, the cup, a pouch and instructions.

vcup_box2

I already took the instruction booklet out and forgot to put it back when photographing it… I think it was lying on the top.

The booklet talks about the cup and the benefits of a cup over tampons and pads, gives the measurements of the cup and shows how to do 3 folds (“c”, “punchdown” and “triangle”)  It also gives some helpful tips on insertion and removal.  All in English and quite well written.

vcup_book1 vcup_book2

 vcup_contents

The hand sanitiser is quite cool actually.  It’s a bit like a thick marker in size, and has a spray top so you can spray some onto your hands.  It has a reasonably pleasant smell, dries fast and is not sticky or anything.  I personally don’t feel the need for such products, but I think this is a convenient way to do it (rather than the tubes of sticky-feeling hand sanitiser you get)

vcup_contents_sanitiser

The soap strips are another interesting idea.  I’ve seen this sort of soap before, designed for keeping in your handbag. I notice that they are keeping with the green and white theme for everything!

vcup_contents_soap

The directions say (paraphrasing) to wet your cup and hands then  wash the cup with the soap to get a rich lather.  Rinse the cup and store the rest of the soap sheets in a dry place.  Basically these soap sheets are paper with a thin layer of soap.  They don’t seem to be very soapy, but if you want to wash your cup with a bit of soap while out and about, then this could be a convenient way to do it.

I will say though that I tried one sheet (just rubbing it between my hands), and while the dry soap has a slight pleasant floral smell (frangipanni?), on my hands it left a weird lingering vomit smell I notice from some public restroom soap… I don’t know if you are familiar with what I mean?… The hand sanitiser does counteract that thankfully – I wouldn’t be able to use the soap personally…. but I think (from a bit of googling) that some people seem more affected by the vomit-soap phenomenon than others, so maybe I’m just sensitive to it (I am one of those people who is VERY intolerant to both the sound and smell of vomiting!)… anyhoo….. moving on 😛

vcup_contents_coin  vcup_contents_coincloth

The “coin tissues” are cool – they are those incredibly tightly packed washcloths!  The instructions in the booklet say to put 3 drops of water onto the coin – I needed a bit more than that… But they unfold out to a 23cm/9inch cloth.  A bit like a “chux” cloth – open weave.  Presumably designed to be disposable (I imagine they are not flushable), they seem sturdy enough you could reuse it a few times (though you wouldn’t be able to make it go back into the coin shape)

Now the cup….  it’s quite long, I’d say it’s a medium squishyness silicone – about the same as the Diva I have.  It has a band of frosted silicone around the centre, with clear silicone elsewhere. The centre of the frosted section has a slight line through it, a bit like a seam – though I think this is intended to give extra grip.  The clear section at the bottom of the cup likewise has a line through it, but more pronounced. The ball stem has a grip line around it, to help grip there.  There are 2 tiny airholes just under the ridge.  The ridge is very low profile (not very raised).

vcup_cup1

I didn’t think to wash the cup before taking photos, so there are a few dust particles from storage/manufacture on it which you can see in the photos.

vcup_cup2 vcup_cup3

Here’s a length comparison with some of the other small cups

vcup_cup4

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Using the Cup

I haven’t tested it with my period yet (will update this post when I have), but I’ve tested the cup and I was quite pleased with it.

Now, as I always say, my first preference is for a tab stem, so I don’t tend to like any other stems as much as I do the tab stem.  I didn’t find this one too slippery though, the grip line running through the centre of the ball helps give it a bit more grip I think.  I do find a ball stem less easy to use/grip than a tab or tube stem, but since the cup is so long, I don’t need to use the stem to be able to pull the cup down to grab the body of the cup – as I do with other cups…. and if it had any other kind of stem, that would be too annoying and you’d have to cut it off.

It (like the LunaCup) are longer than I would ideally like in a cup – the ball stem was only just inside my vagina – which does make it easier to remove I suppose.

When I reviewed the LunaCup, I did find the stem slightly irritating, because the cup was so long, but I didn’t find that with this cup  – Maybe I need to try them both more to see how I go with them over several days.

Insertion and removal was easy.  I had no problem getting the cup to open up (though it is equivalent of a small size, and I normally wear the large sizes).  I could not feel the cup while inside me.

—- Edited to add —

I’ve now had a chance to try this cup when I had my period.  I wore it for about 6 hours, the first 4-5 hours I had no leakage, but I had some slight leakage after that, the cup only got to about 1/4 full, so I’m not sure why it started leaking.

Mostly the cup was comfortable and I couldn’t feel it, but there was a few times when I was sitting on the couch, and I leaned forward to get a drink from the table, I could feel the stem poking into me a bit.


See my detailed review & comparisons with other cups here.

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

Review – Ruby Cup

I was lucky enough to be sent a Ruby Cup to review – thank you very much 😀

It came in a pink post envelope, with the cup, pouch and instruction sheet.

The cup is a nice soft silicone.  It’s “squishyness” is about comparable to the Fleurcup.  The stem is about the same size as the tube stems, but the walls of the tube are a lot thicker, giving a very sturdy stem.  It has a series of raised bums on the stem for extra grip.  I found this stem to have a good amount of grip because it felt so solid, yet it’s flexible enough that it was not uncomfortable to wear without the stem trimmed.  If I really thought about it, I was aware of the stem sometimes, but definitely not as much as a Mooncup/Keeper’s stem.  The stem being hollow however, did manage to collect some blood, but that rinsed out without problem.  I find this stem definitely more comfortable and easier to grip than most of the other tube/rounded stems.  My favourite stem design is still the tab stem however.

I’ve tried so many cups now that it’s hard to compare them against each other for things like feel and ease of insertion removal…. but I found this cup inserted without trouble, popped open cleanly without trouble, was removed without trouble and cleaned without trouble 🙂  The airholes on the cup rinsed clean without holding onto any blood, as did the inside writing (the words “Ruby Cup” and measring lines are in raised writing inside the cup)

The cup shape is very similar to the Fleurcup – with the exception being the stem of course.  There are also a few other differences between the cup – the Fleurcup’s base grip lines are different (more pronounced and not complete rings), and the Ruby Cup has a slightly different rim, with there being an extra “bump” (Tiny ridge) where the Fleurcup’s is smooth.

All in all, I was quite happy with this cup.


See my detailed review & comparisons with other cups here.

August 13, 2012 Posted by | reviews | , | 4 Comments

Yuuki – My Thoughts

yuukicup3 yuukicup1

It comes in a tube!

With instruction sheet.  I actually like the tube idea… it’s different and protects the cup from being squashed.  Though the packaging makes me think of a sports supplement or something 🙂

yuukicup2

The stem is about the same width as the tube stems of other brands of cup, but it is solid.  Because the silicone is softer than that of the Mooncup UK or Diva, the stem is more flexible, but not quite as flexible as the thinner tab stems of the Lunette or Miacup.  Which means if you like the tube stems but don’t like that they can collect blood inside them, then this stem would be great.

(Update – they have now changed to a hollow tube stem)

yuukicup4(The cup got a bit of fluff on it, so that’s what the speckles are on the rim, I didn’t realise it would show up 🙂  I need to take another photo)

The measuring lines and name are on the inside of the cup. Along with a number “1”.    There is another line on the inside, where the ridge on other cups pokes out… not sure what that is for…  The holes are on an angle, like the Diva’s holes

I like this cup… not sure why, since it doesn’t have anything that immediately jumps out as being innovative or special… and it has features I don’t particularly like (such as the angular holes and thicker stem)….but I like the degree of flexibility of the silicone, and the lack of ridge around the rim – it feels nice.

Testing it out

I was able to feel the stem for a while… because it is solid, and has lines on it for grip, I was able to feel it while wearing it.  After about 15 mins I was not able to feel it any more (I got used to it I suppose), and I think it pokes less than the hollow tube stems.  Probably because the Yuuki stem has a rounded tip, while the hollow ones have a flat tip (so more pokey).  I found it opened up easily, although they sent me the smaller size.  I had no leaks.

Gear – It came in a tube 🙂 which was different.  It had an instruction sheet, but no pouch.  I don’t know if they normally ship them with a pouch or not, since mine was a freebie.  To be honest, not having a pouch probably wouldn’t make a difference to me, since a lot of people buy a replacement pouch elsewhere anyway (I used the Lunette pouch that came with my first cup for about a week then made my own because I hated it)

Personal Observations – I haven’t had much to do with the company – I e-mailed them to ask some questions and they replied pretty quickly.

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 24, 2009 Posted by | reviews | , | 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.

I have a high cervix, so I need the stems on the cups so that I can reach the cup.  So stem design is very important for me (some people cut the stems off, so stems don’t matter to some people)

In a perfect world – my most ideal cup would be a Lena 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 Lena because it’s a bit smoother (and prettier) on the outside and I love that particular shade of LadyCup purple.

I’m also *VERY* persuaded by colour (PURPLE!).  I’ll accept wearing a cup that isn’t as comfortable, if it looks nicer 🙂  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.  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 and I don’t find it as easy to grip as the tab stems.  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 (purple)
  2. LadyCup (purple)
  3. Lena Cup
  4. Mami Cup
  5. Claricup/Si-bell
  6. OrganiCup
  7. MeLuna
  8. Fleurcup
  9. Lily Compact
  10. Miacup
  11. Luv Ur Body (small)
  12. Lily Cup
  13. Sckoon/ Ruby Cup
  14. Femmecup
  15. Cup Lee
  16. Eco-Cup / Yuuki
  17. Gaia Cup
  18. Blossom Cup
  19. Femmycycle
  20. Luna Cup
  21. Vcup
  22. Juju
  23. Mooncup UK
  24. Divacup
  25. Keeper
  26. Mpower
  1. Lena
  2. Fleurcup / Mami
  3. Lunette
  4. Claricup/ Si-bell / OrganiCup
  5. Miacup / Ladycup
  6. Lily Compact
  7. Luv Ur Body (small)
  8. Lily Cup
  9. MeLuna
  10. Skooncup / Ruby Cup
  11. Femmecup
  12. Cup Lee
  13. Eco-Cup / Yuuki
  14. Gaia Cup
  15. Blossom Cup
  16. Femmycycle
  17. Luna Cup
  18. Vcup
  19. Juju
  20. Mooncup UK
  21. Divacup
  22. Keeper
  23. 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 online chart here)

Rankings:

  1. Lena Cup (13.5)
  2. Sckoon (12.5)
  3. Femmycycle, MeLuna [new, “classic”] (12)
  4. Bassrose (11.5)
  5. Fleurcup, Lady Cup, Lily Cup (11)
  6. Lily Compact (10)
  7. OrganiCup (9.5)
  8. Claricup (9)
  9. Aneer (8.5)
  10. Lunette, Si-bell (8)
  11. Gaia Cup (7.5)
  12. Cup Lee, Luv Ur Body (7)
  13. Blossom Cup, iClean, Yuuki [New style] (6.5)
  14. Juju, Mami Cup, Miacup (6)
  15. Eco-Cup (5.5)
  16. Luna Cup, Vcup, Yuuki [old style]  (4.5)
  17. Ruby Cup (4)
  18. Meluna [old style] (3)
  19. Diva (2.5)
  20. Femmecup [new style], Mooncup UK (2 )
  21. Femmecup [old style] (0)
  22. Keeper [damaged] (-1)
  23. MPower (-1.5)

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 | , | 55 Comments