- Menstrual cups are more environmentally friendly than tampons and pads, and often more comfortable and easier to wear, too.
- Our top pick is DivaCup, because it’s easy to find in stores, comes in two sizes, and is made of flexible, healthcare-grade silicone material that holds up well over time.
As someone who’s gotten a period every month for the past 15-plus years, I consider myself a bit of an expert. But truthfully, it’s taken quite a while for me to really get my period routine (it’s a thing and it usually involves nachos) under control. It’s still a work in progress, but at least I’ve finally stopped being surprised and thinking “Hm, what is this strange discomfort in my lower abdomen and lower back” every month.
One of the more helpful things I’ve found for making my period suck a little less is finding a receptacle (for lack of a better word) that I actually enjoy using. There are many options, from pads to tampons to absorbent underwear. These days, more and more people are making the switch from disposable options to a reusable menstrual cup. Cups are both better for the environment and lighter on the wallet.
Of course, menstrual cups take a little getting used to, since you literally need to wedge them inside your body for them to work. Once you get used to the idea and find the right one for you, they significantly cut down on leakage and other uncomfortable side effects of your period.
Here are the best menstrual cups you can buy:
- Best menstrual cup overall: DivaCup Menstrual Cup
- Best disposable menstrual cup: Softcup Disposable Menstrual Discs
- Best budget menstrual cup: Blossom Menstrual Cup
- Best menstrual cup for sensitive skin: Saalt Menstrual Cup
- Best menstrual cup for beginners: Luna Menstrual Cup
Prices and links are current as of 03/13/2020.
The best menstrual cup overall
- The DivaCup
The DivaCup comes in two sizes, stays put, and can be worn for 12 hours, even when you’re active.
If you’ve been researching menstrual cups you’ve probably come across the DivaCup, oh, half a dozen times. It’s an extremely popular choice, in part because it’s easy to find – I ordered one on Amazon but have also seen it at my local drugstore.
DivaCup is available in two sizes. Model 1, “recommended for those under the age of 30 who have never delivered vaginally or by cesarean section” and Model 2, recommended for everyone else. Of course, the size you use will depend more on your own physiology than anything else.
Both are made of BPA-free healthcare-grade silicone and can be worn leak-free for up to 12 hours. Reviewers do note that leakage is possible if the cup is improperly inserted, so it may take a bit of trial-and-error while you’re getting used to using it.
Wirecutter does note that this is a bit of a longer model, so if you have a lower cervix you might want to consider trying a brand that offers shorter cups.
Pros: Healthcare-grade silicone, plastic-, BPA- and dye-free, comes in two sizes, cute storage pouch
Cons: Might be long for some, instructions are a bit confusing, takes trial and error
The best disposable menstrual cup
Softcup Disposable Menstrual Discs are the perfect way to experiment with menstrual cups without the commitment.
I discovered the Softcup Disposable Menstrual Discs on a recent vacation when my period snuck up on me the same day I planned to hit up some salt baths experience in Big Sur. I’ve never been into tampons, but I needed something that would keep the blood from ruining my bathing suit and the good time of the 28 strangers I’d be hanging out with in the water.
Softcup Disposable Menstrual Discs feature a silicone ring that secures at the base of the cervix and a flexible, bag-like piece of material that collects the blood. It claims to hold the equivalent of several tampons. Like reusable menstrual cups, it needs to be removed every 12 hours and replaced with a new disc. One package contains 14 Softcups.
These are more comfortable than tampons, and I actually find them much easier to insert and remove. Leakage is definitely possible if you don’t get the placement exactly right, so I recommend wearing a backup pad on heavier days, at least the first few times.
Pros: Easy to use, latex-free, holds the equivalent of multiple tampons
Cons: Not reusable, can leak if not inserted properly
The best inexpensive menstrual cup
- Blossom Menstrual Cup
The Blossom Menstrual Cup is significantly less expensive than your average reusable cup, but works just as well.
Menstrual cups save you money in the long-term since they don’t need to be replaced often, but they can feel like an investment upfront. If you want to save some cash, the Blossom Menstrual Cup is a cheaper option that many think works just as well (if not better) than some of its pricier counterparts.
It’s only a few dollars more than a box of disposable menstrual discs. Like DivaCup, this one comes in two sizes (Small and Large) and is made of pliable silicone for easy insertion.
The Blossom Menstrual Cup has a bit of a longer stem, which might be uncomfortable for some but also makes for easy removal. The stem is solid instead of hollow, so it doesn’t collect blood and other debris, making for an easy clean.
The material is also softer and more flexible than some other leading menstrual cups. Made of FDA-approved medical-grade silicone, the Blossom Menstrual Cup comes recommended by Women’s Health, Wirecutter, and The Strategist. The brand definitely didn’t skimp on quality to achieve that lower price tag.
Pros: Affordable, solid stem makes cleaning easier, flexible material, two sizes
Cons: Longer stem might be uncomfortable for some
The best menstrual cup for sensitive skin
If other brands have been uncomfortable for you to use, try the gentler Saalt Menstrual Cup.
If the idea of using a menstrual cup made of super firm silicone freaks you out, consider trying the Saalt Menstrual Cup. Designed to be even gentler than the leading brands, it features a proprietary bulb shape and an indented removal stem made without ridges.
The silicone material is hypoallergenic, BPA-free, and non-toxic. The opening of the cup is rounded for a softer, more comfortable feel. If you have sensitive skin and vaginal walls that are prone to irritation, this is a great pick. Like most menstrual cups it comes in two sizes, Small and Large. It claims to last up to 10 years!
Pros: No ridges, smooth stem, hypoallergenic, two sizes
The best menstrual cup for beginners
The petal-shaped Lena Menstrual Cup, with its flexible material and wide opening, is the perfect pick for beginners.
First thing’s first – the Lena Menstrual Cup is really cute. It’s shaped kind of like a tulip and comes in fun, bright colors that telegraph the message that no, you shouldn’t be embarrassed about your period.
This is a great option for beginners because of the soft material and the shape. Made in California, it is Wirecutter’s top pick for people with wider vaginas because of the size of the opening, which cuts down on possible leakage.
There’s even a specific sensitive option if you find the regular one uncomfortable.
Pros: Softer and flexible, two-pack available, unique shape forms to body contours, comes in Sensitive
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