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The 10 Very Best Menstrual Cups

Photo-Illustration: The Strategist; Photos: Retailers

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For the many women who prefer menstrual cups to tampons and pads, the payoff is undeniable. Reusable menstrual cups are less wasteful, they don’t have to be changed as often, and they save a lot of money over time. “Menstrual cups are very durable and can last for months, if not years, if you take care of them properly,” says Dr. Lucky Sekhon, a reproductive endocrinologist and board-certified obstetrician and gynecologist who also tells us they’re great for women who want to have sex during their period. You’ve probably heard of the DivaCup — the one so popular women use its name as a catchall, much like Kleenex for tissues — but there are tons of brands these days putting out highly specific period cups in different shapes and sizes in an effort to comfortably fit each of the millions of different vaginas and periods in the world.

If you’ve never used a menstrual cup before or have questions about where to start, Dr. Jennifer Conti, a clinical assistant professor at Stanford’s department of obstetrics and gynecology, recommends consulting the site Put a Cup in It, which offers a quiz asking nine questions about factors like age, activity level, cervix, and whether you’ve had a baby to determine which menstrual cup to use. Dr. Nicole Bullock, an OB/GYN based in Abilene, Texas, is even more relaxed: “The vagina’s pretty elastic and forgiving. It just has to fit comfortably.” Sekhon agrees, saying, “Don’t settle. If you can feel or detect it, it probably isn’t the right cup for you or it’s not positioned right. Try a few different sizes or brands until you’re satisfied.”

I spoke to various professionals, enthusiasts, and gynecological experts about their favorites. While I originally found menstrual cups to be intimidating and messy, after hearing all this praise, I then tested out their top pick for myself (and chatted with several Strategist team members about the ones they’ve personally vetted).

What we’re looking for


The size of the cup is the first and most important metric you should consider before buying. Most cups come in at least two sizes. Generally, if you have a light-to-medium flow, fall into a younger age range, or have yet to give birth, opt for the smaller size. If you have a medium-to-heavy flow, are in the older age ranges, or have given birth, go for the larger.


While menstrual cups should be made from medical-grade silicone (the same material used in body-safe sex toys), the firmness of the silicone varies and will affect how the cup feels when worn, as well as how easy it is to insert. In general, firmer silicone cups are easier to insert since they tend to “snap” back open once inside and form a strong seal, while softer silicone cups pop open more slowly and can be more leak-prone compared to firmer cups. However, soft silicone is a better choice for those who are more sensitive, have sensitive bladders, or experience bad menstrual cramps.

Best overall menstrual cup

Diva Cup 1

Size: Three sizes | Firmness: Medium firmness

The popularity of the DivaCup may have something to do with its availability. Since the company’s beginnings in 2003, it has been one of the only name brands widely available in pharmacies and grocery stores. But it has also built a loyal fan base, which includes Bullock. She says, “It’s the only one I’ve ever worked with, and since I loved it immediately, I never looked to try another one.” While I originally found menstrual cups to be intimidating and messy, after hearing all the praise when reporting this story back in November, I decided to try out our top pick to see what the fuss was about. Admittedly, it took me a few tries to figure out the C-fold insertion, but once I had, I found the DivaCup to be fairly comfortable. While I don’t think it will replace my personal routine of period underwear and tampons, it does have plenty of other superfans, like Gabrielle Moss, a former Bustle editor and the author of Paperback Crush. She says she started using a DivaCup “when you still had to go to a Portlandia-style feminist bookstore to buy one,” adding that she never contemplated trying a different brand because the DivaCup is so reliable. “In my pre-cup life, I was always either dripping blood onto my underpants or pulling out a too-dry tampon,” she explains. “DivaCup introduced me to a life where I don’t have to be uncomfortable or splattering blood everywhere.” Writer Beca Grimm has been using the brand for over a decade. She says, “It’s super-easy to maintain (just boil between periods — ideally at a time when your roommate isn’t home).” And while Grimm notes it takes a little trial and error to master the C-fold insertion tactic, once she did, “it was a piece of cake.” Grimm also loves how much money she saves and how it cuts down on tampon waste. Plus, the DivaCup comes in three sizes, the most out of any on this list.

Best menstrual cup for beginners

Size: Two sizes | Firmness: Soft

The founders of Put a Cup in It, Kim Rosas and Amanda Hearn, have helped thousands of women find the best menstrual cup for their bodies. Their pick for the best place to start is the Lena Cup. It comes in two sizes, making it great for both teens and adults, and is made from 100 percent medical-grade silicone (meaning most people won’t have allergy concerns). “We feel confident in recommending the Lena Sensitive as a great starter cup that should work well for most people.” The shape of the cup makes it super-easy to insert and remove, and the level of firmness makes it extremely comfortable. Jackie Bolen, author of the The Ultimate Guide to Menstrual Cups, is also a fan of the Lena Cup and specifically recommends the “sensitive” model because it doesn’t give her cramps like some of the stiffer cups — and is a breeze to put in.

Best customizable menstrual cup

Size: Four sizes | Firmness: Firm

Of all the menstrual cups on this list, the MeLuna offers the most options to customize your cup to your body. “I appreciate how many options there are with the MeLuna cups, and their guidance is helpful and makes choosing one less overwhelming,” says Strategist senior editor Winnie Yang, who counts herself as a fan of the brand. MeLuna offers four sizes (the most of any cup on this list), three handle options, and two levels of firmness. The company also makes a “Shorty” cup for those with low cervixes.

Best menstrual cup for easy insertion

Size: Two sizes | Firmness: Soft

Yang also uses the Cora Cup, and she’s particularly fond of the indentations on the sides of the cup, which she says help with insertion and placement. The Cora cup comes in two sizes. The brand recommends Size 1 for those who have not given birth, first-time users, and those with light-to-medium flows and who don’t experience bladder leaks. Size 2 is best for those who have given birth, experience bladder leaks, and have a medium-to-heavy flow.

Best menstrual cup for sensitive users

From $21

Size: Two sizes | Firmness: Soft

Former Strategist newsletter editor Mia Leimkuhler went through a lot of cups before finding the Yuuki. For her, the DivaCup was really easy to use but didn’t have the capacity she was looking for to let her go longer between bathroom visits. The next one she tried was the Super Jennie cup, which she says solved the capacity issue but wasn’t quite the right shape for her body. The Intimina Lily Cup was a better fit, but she found it hard to get an easy grip on it while removing because of the smooth sides. “The Yuuki cup ended up being my Goldilocks cup,” says Leimkuhler, who credits its high capacity, long length, and easy-to-pinch rings at the bottom with making up her mind. She has the “soft” silicone Yuuki in clear and is thinking about getting a second one in the rainbow color. And if you’re worried about leaks, Leimkuhler says that it pops open really easily so she’s never had any issues.

Best menstrual cup for heavy flow

Size: Two sizes | Firmness: Soft

It’s been over three years since Strategist writer Tembe Denton-Hurst first tried the Saalt menstrual cup she calls “a perfect fit.” When I first admitted my menstrual-cup ignorance, Denton-Hurst chatted with me for close to an hour about how much she loves the Saalt cup and made such a compelling case I’m considering buying one of my own. For her, the Saalt has saved her from worrying about bleeding through her clothes while working out or laughing too hard and ending up in a pool of her own blood. Plus, it’s sustainable and saves her money on pads. Denton-Hurst describes her periods as heavy and messy with backbreaking cramps. But, as she writes in her ode, the Saalt cup has made having her period much less of a thing. “I sleep better knowing I won’t ruin my clothes and sheets and can do anything during my period, including wearing white pants on day three.”

Best menstrual disc


Size: Two sizes | Firmness: Soft

If you haven’t had luck with menstrual cups, you may want to try menstrual discs, which are much more flexible than menstrual cups and sit differently inside the body, which is why many women find them more comfortable. And because a disc doesn’t rely on suction to stay in place, the way cups do, it’s great for those with sensitive bladders and weak pelvic floors. Menstrual discs are also more comfortable for couples having period sex because they don’t have a stem like menstrual cups do. Saalt, which makes Tembe’s favorite menstrual cup, recently released their version of a disc, which features the same soft materials and includes a finger notch that makes it easy to remove. It comes in two sizes: small, which has a three-to-four-tampon capacity and is recommended for those who typically have a light to average flow, and regular, which has a five to six tampon capacity and is recommended for people with an average to heavy flow.

Best menstrual disc for beginners


Size: One size | Firmness: Medium firmness

Period care brand Cora’s Perfect Fit menstrual disc is a good option for beginners because it has a handy finger notch for easy insertion and removal and a firmer rim. The cup can hold the equivalent of five to seven tampons and can be worn for up to 12 hours. If you have vaginal or bladder sensitivities, Cora recently launched their super squishy Soft Fit Disc which is designed with a soft rim for a gentler fit.

Best disposable disc

Size: One size | Firmness: Soft

Graduate student Ansley Hayes has a DivaCup at home and uses it in addition to Softdisc, pads, and tampons. She says the DivaCup can sometimes put too much pressure on her cervix, however, if it happens to be sitting lower in her body. Whenever that happens, she switches to Softcups, she says. Because they don’t have to last a decade, disposable discs like Softdisc don’t need to be made out of such firm materials.

Best menstrual cup cleaner

Size: N/A | Firmness: N/A

Saalt has just come out with a steamer — news that several Strategist staffers are very excited about (“This is a big deal in my book,” says senior writer Liza Corsillo). Normally, to sanitize a cup or disc, you have to boil it in water, but this portable vessel allows you to clean your accessory quickly without the hassle of pulling out a pot. Just plug in your steamer, add water, and turn it on.

Some more period products we’ve written about

Our experts

• Jackie Bolen, author of the The Ultimate Guide to Menstrual Cups
Dr. Nicole Bullock, OB/GYN
Dr. Jennifer Conti, M.D., a clinical assistant professor at Stanford’s department of obstetrics and gynecology
Tembe Denton-Hurst, Strategist writer
Beca Grimm, writer
• Ansley Hayes, graduate student
• Amanda Hearn, Put a Cup in It co-founder
Mia Leimkuhler, former Strategist newsletter editor
• Gabrielle Moss, a former Bustle editor and the author of Paperback Crush
• Kim Rosas, Put a Cup in It co-founder
Dr. Lucky Sekhon, reproductive endocrinologist and board-certified obstetrician and gynecologist
• Winnie Yang, Strategist senior editor

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The 10 Very Best Menstrual Cups