LOOKING to switch to more eco-friendly toiletries? Our guide to the best menstrual cups might just be what you're looking for.
Menstrual cups reusable, don't create any unnecessary waste, and they're not filled with toxic ingredients – plus, according to science, they're just as effective in preventing leaks as tampons and pads. Did we mention they're cheaper, too?
In a world filled with different menstrual cup options, it's easy to get lost though – we totally get it.
There are lots of brands offering a wide variety of cups from bell-shaped to flat-fit, and small to large size options – as well as options for complete beginners, who may feel a little nervous.
So to make things easy for you we've prepared our top picks and answered the most common questions about menstrual cups.
How long do menstrual cups last?
According to manufacturers, menstrual cups can last up to 10 years.
However, this may vary depending on the exact type and brand you get – so be sure to read the instructions for your specific cup. For examples, some types of silicones cups are thinner, but more flexible, so they may not last as long as sturdier, larger cups.
And make sure to replace it if you notice any holes, tears or the condition has deteriorated.
Is it safe to sleep with a menstrual cup?
Most brands state that it's safe to wear their menstrual cups to sleep.
An average cup can usually be worn for up to 12 hours, so you don't have to worry about getting up in the middle of the night to empty your cup.
You're also at less of a risk of developing rare bacterial infection, toxic shock syndrome, usually associated with leaving in a tampon for too long.
Which menstrual cup is best for beginners?
If you're new to using menstrual cups, we recommend choosing one that's easy to insert and remove, such as the Intimina Lily Cup One.
It's been cleverly designed with first-time users in mind, and features a pull ring for easy removal.
We've put together a list of the best reusable menstrual cups available on the market right now.
Sit back and get ready for a more eco-forward, carefree and cheaper monthly cycle. Aunt Flo better watch out…!
1. Best menstrual cup for beginners: Intimina Lily Cup
- Intimina Lily Cup One, £14.99 from Amazon – buy here
If you're new to using menstrual cups, we'd suggest starting with the Intimina Lily Cup One.
It is super soft and made of medical-grade silicone that is hypoallergic and contains no nasties – meaning it's eco-friendly too.
The brand state that it is ideal for new bleeders, including for teens – and it includes a hassle-free, subtle storage box that fits your collapsible cup perfectly.
The cup is petite and flexible, but is sturdy enough to keep in place, even during exercise, and will offer protection even on heavy flow days.
It features an anti-spill rim and a pull ring for easy removal. It's impossible for a menstrual cup to get lost inside you but we understand if you're nervous the first few times around, so the ring-pull is especially helpful. Take a deep breath and let the Lily Cup do it's job.
2. Best hypoallergenic menstrual cup: OrganiCup Menstrual Cup
- OrganiCup Menstrual Cup, £12.99 from Amazon – buy here
If you would rather opt for something made from skin and body-sensitive hypoallergenic materials, then look no further.
Made from 100 per cent FDA-approved medical-grade silicone, the OrganiCup is BPA, latex and dye-free.
It's even won awards, too. In 2019, the OrganiCup won the AllergyAward in the category 'Best skin friendly product for body' since it contains absolutely no known allergens.
There are three different sizes to choose from depending on your age, and whether or not you've previously given birth vaginally.
At under £13, it's a budget-friendly cup that is ideal for a wide range of bleeders – with skin or body sensitives in mind.
3. Best menstrual cup for sex: Intimina Ziggy Cup Menstrual Cup
- Intimina Ziggy Cup, £26.99 from Amazon – buy here
The Ziggy Cup is the only reusable menstrual cup that can be worn during sexual intercourse. Yes, we are serious – who says sex has to stop when you're on? Definitely not us.
Ziggy Cup's flat-fit shape has been designed to keep discomfort to a minimum and boasts being one of the most comfortable cups out there.
The cup is hypoallergenic and chemical-free, and will last for up to two years if looked after properly, washed and stored in the included carry case after use.
It features a leak-proof double rim and offers up to 12 hours of protection – at first, it squashes thin on insertion, then sits below the cervix comfortably.
4. Best menstrual cup for women 30+: Mooncup Menstrual Cup
- Mooncup Menstrual Cup Model A, £17.75 from Amazon – buy here
Having been around since 2002, Mooncup is loved by women from all over the world and comes in two different sizes, A and B.
Model A (above) is especially designed with the more mature woman in mind as it is perfect for over 30s.
This menstrual cup is also another great choice for those with skin or body sensitivities, as it's made of medical-grade silicone to minimise discomfort and irritation.
It boasts eight hours worth of protection, and ideal for those who have given birth vaginally – regardless of age.
It's made with the environment in mind, and even comes with a discreet cotton bag for safe storage between uses.
Read this guide to help you to choose which size is the right one for you.
5. Best flexible menstrual cup: Saalt Soft Menstrual Cup
- Saalt Soft Menstrual Cup, £24.99 from Amazon – buy here
The ultra-soft Saalt menstrual cup is made from super-soft silicone and designed for comfort.
If you've tried a firmer cup and it didn't agree with you, don't give up on menstrual cups just yet – you may have just needed a lighter, more flexible alternative, like Saalt's.
The finish of this silicone cup is silky soft like velvet, and rounded with no abrasive ridges, lumps or bumps.
Created from within the minds of US-based experts, it's designed for those with skin or body sensitivities, like cramping or bladder discomfort, in mind.
It even comes with a stylish, cute bag for storage between use, too, and boasts protection for up to 12 hours.
6. Best menstrual cup with easy-access stem: Pixie Cup Menstrual Cup
Pixie Cup, £26.99 from ebay – buy here
The Pixie Cup has converted many a woman from tampons and pads, and the long stem is particularly useful for adjusting and removing.
It is designed with comfort in mind and strives to take away the niggles and annoying headaches that comes with periods, and inserting products vaginally.
Simply grasp the easy-hold stem, fold, insert and enjoy the comfort and freedom that the menstrual cup has to offer you.
They have two models to choose from two – Model 1 is for first-timers, teens or those with a lower cervix, and 2 is for those with a higher cervix or heavier flow.
The product comes with five Pixie Wipes, which are ideal for using your cup on the go, with no nasty accidents.
What's even better is that, with every cup purchased, Pixie donate a cup to a bleeder in need.
7. Best cup for light or heavy periods: Lunette Reusable Menstrual Cup
- Lunette Reusable Menstrual Cup Model 1, £23.80 – buy here
The Lunette menstrual cup comes in a range of gorgeous colours and two different sizes depending on the heaviness of your flow.
Model 1 (above) is designed for light to normal bleeding, easy to use and especially popular with teens or first-time bleeders.
Whereas model 2 is for a heavier flow, and is designed with your comfort in mind – giving you a carefree, protected period.
Regardless of which model you opt for, Lunette cups boast 12 hours of odourless protection once inserted, and is made from silicone that has no hidden nasties like chemical or latex.
For more information on which cup is best for you, take a look at the size guide here.
8. Best value for money menstrual cup: Hey Girls Menstrual Cup
- Hey Girls Menstrual Cup, £9.48 – buy here
Want to try out a menstrual cup but don't want to fork out tons to find out it's not for you? Look no further, Hey Girls has got your back… or periods, we should say.
Priced at under a tenner, the Hey Girls reusable menstrual cup is great for just-starting-out-ers or those who are intrigued to stray from their usual menstrual cup.
It's latex and plastic-free, as well as made from medical-grade silicone and comes in two sizes – S or L.
As well as vowing to help you control your period in a comfy, more sustainable way, they vow to donate a cup to someone in need whenever a menstrual cup is purchased. Sold yet?
9. Best menstrual cup design: &SISTERS Nüdie Period Cup
&SISTERS Nüdie Period Cup, £23.95 from Oliver Bonas – buy here
Okay, so who said that periods couldn't look cute?
Sometimes we all get sick of the boring colours, or funky excessive designs and just want something simple, yet super stylish.
The Pebble pull gives you extra comfort and security, and makes it hassle-free when it comes to removal after a long day.
Check out this on-trend pink Period Cup from &SISTERS, courtesy of Oliver Bonas.
It's designed by women, for women of all ages – from teens to over 30s who haven't given birth vaginally – and boasts a brilliant design that can offer 12 hours of protection.
When stored in the provided cotton bag between uses, and cleaned correctly, it can last up to 10 years and in that time helps you save over 2,000 disposable period products. Go, sister.
10. Best post birth menstrual cup: Boots Menstrual Cup Post Birth
- Boots Menstrual Cup Post Birth, £17 – buy here
Those who have given birth vaginally often need a different type of menstrual cup, but they're not wildly different to others on the market.
Simply put, because your vaginal muscles have expanded during childbirth – they often need a little extra help when it comes to collecting blood from your cycle.
Though this cup may be larger, it's made from a super-soft 100% medical-grade silicone and boasts holding as much as three tampon's worth of blood for up to eight hours. So not only is it effective, it's vowed to be super comfy.
This multi-purpose cup is also safe and ideal for swimming and exercise too – so you can carry on life as normal even when you're on.
If you're worried or need extra advice about what is best for you, speak to your midwife or caregiver.
11. Best menstrual cup for unpredictable periods: Sea & Flo Menstrual Cup Duo Pack
- Sea & Flo Menstrual Cup Duo Pack, £35 – buy here
If you're someone who suffers from totally unpredictable menstrual cycles – then your best bet is to opt for one or two different types of cups.
But instead of forking out for various different styles in the hope that they work, Sea & Flo have got you – and all types of your flow – covered.
Mix up the Mini (best for teens/first-timers), A (ideal for women under 30, unless you've given birth vaginally) and B (slightly bigger cup, for those 30 and over). You can have any combination of cup, so it's ideal for you or both yourself and someone else in your home that wants to try out menstrual cups.
12. Best all-rounder: BeYou Menstrual Cup
- BeYou Menstrual Cup, £14.99 – buy here
What can we say, this menstrual cup from BeYou ticks all the right boxes and will be suitable for most bleeders.
It boasts being able to offer protection for 12 hours, and can collect up to three tampon's worth of blood.
It's super soft as it's made of medical grade silicone with no dye, latex or BPA.
The BeYou cup has a stem for easy removal, and it flexible enough to be folding and gently inserted for total comfort.
It comes in a Medium or Large, depending on age and if you've had a vaginal birth.
It does exactly what it says on the tin, for a great price – and it is very well-reviewed.
How do menstrual cups work
Don't worry, it can seem boggling at first.
Menstrual cups, usually made from super soft medical grade silicone, collect your flow rather than absorbing it like usual sanitary products.
Instead, it sits below your cervix and catches blood from your uterus – and lessens dryness, irritation or odour usually experienced when using single-use products.
How to use a menstrual cup
It may seem scary the first time, but it is actually super simple.
With most menstrual cups, you simply fold it, insert, and it will sit comfortably below your cervix – the passage that flows from the uterus, to your vagina.
It should be painless once you get the hang off, but it can take one or two attempts to get it right – quite like inserting a tampon for the first time!
You don't need to empty or change your cup everytime you go to the loo, as some cups offer up to 12 hours of protection – but it's best to work out what is best for you and your flow.
Once it comes to removing your cup, simply tug gently on the cup's stem – and voila! You can empty what it has collected in the loo, and give it a rinse.
How often should I empty my menstrual cup?
Everyone experiences their periods differently.
It's usually recommended that you empty your menstrual cup every 12 hours, but it will depend on how heavy your flow is – usually, you can sleep in them, too.
Some brands suggest emptying your cup every 4-8 hours if you have a heavier flow, so make sure you read the instructions for your specific cup.
How to clean a menstrual cup
Most cups come with instructions on how to clean them, or even with their own branded wipes, but it's actually pretty simple.
If you're out and about, simply rinse it out with warm, clean water – and a fragrance-free soap, if you have access to one – pat dry, then pop back in.
It's recommended that you sterilise your cup, as such, between periods. This is done by washing your cup with hot water and soap, then placing it in a bath of boiling water for a few hours.
Then, pat dry and store away in a provided storage bag or safe place for your next cycle.
Can a menstrual cup get lost inside you?
It's impossible for a menstrual cup to get lost inside you.
If you're having trouble removing your menstrual cup, here's a step-by-step guide that could help you remove it.
Always make sure to read the instructions included in the packaging, and get in touch with your heathcare giver if you are nervous or worried about a cup.
Is a menstrual cup eco-friendly?
Menstrual cups are regarded as being the most environmentally friendly, in comparison with other period products.
They are said to relieve thousands of single-use period products destined from going to landfill in your lifetime – especially as some can last for up to 10 years.
So if you're looking for a way to be more eco-friendly in your daily life, a switch to using a menstrual cup can be a great start.
Enjoyed our round-up of the best menstrual cups? You might like our pick of the best reusable sanitary pads.
Like to hit the gym? Check out our dedicated health and fitness section here.
If you fancy more recommendations and reviews of all kinds of products, look no further than the Sun Selects home page. We promise it will everything you need – and more!
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