How to choose menstrual cups

There are so many different menstrual cups available in the market. Various sizes, softness and shapes can be found even in one single brand, and this makes it even harder to choose a suitable one. Although our bodies are unique and we must try before knowing if the cup suits us, understanding the features of cups can help us make better choices. Remember this one simple rule: there is no good or bad feature. One gives you convenience and would bring you certain downsides to adapt to. Be open and give them a try.


Most menstrual cups are made with silicone or plastics, offering various softness. Generally speaking, a softer cup gives you less feeling inside your body, and it would be easier for you to hold your cup while you are folding it. However, a softer cup might be harder to unfold by itself after insertion, and would be easier to leak due to muscle pressure. A firmer cup, in contrast, would be easier to unfold by itself, and could resist more pressure inside your body, so a firmer cup is usually more preferable during sports or exercises. But an overly firm cup could cause discomfort, or may give pressure to the bladder, urethra or intestine, leading to cases like retention in defecation or urine and frequent urination. It would also be harder to hold the cup in shape while you are folding it for insertion.

Such an assortment of softness is a simple and general way as reference. As “softness” is so subjective, we suggest you try one and see what “soft” and “firm” means to you when talking about cups. Once you start getting used to the usage of menstrual cups, you may then consider whether you need a cup in a different softness or a different cup for a different situation.


Menstrual cups normally come in ball shape or cone shape. The inverted-triangular cone-shaped menstrual cups are the most common cups available in the market. They are smaller in size and capacity. The cup rims are usually wider and thicker, so that they can sit firmer in the vaginal canal. Many of them also come with air holes, making your removal easier.

Ball-shaped menstrual cups come in a ball shape with, usually, a thin and narrow rim and also a wide body. Both the capacity and leak-proof efficacy would be better due to the wider body and the air-hole-free design. Nonetheless, the cups might move sideways or turn upside down due to its round-shaped design. Users might also have discomfort from the strong suctions forming inside due to its lack of air-holes.

There are cups with ergonomic designs or in a mixture of ball-shaped and cone-shaped cups offering different conveniences. The way of use is similar, but you might have to adjust to a certain angle and direction to secure your insert, or it may bring you discomfort or cause easy leakage. 

Foldable cups are available for easy carriage and people with different cervix height. Its compact size and convenience makes it a popular choice. However, part of the cup body might have folded up after insertion and cause leakage, so you might want to check if it is fully opened with your finger. Low-cervix-design cups are also available in the market, and they are distinguishable as they are usually shorter in shape.

Air holes

Cone-shaped cups usually come with 2 to 6 air-holes. They allow more air to get through during insertion and removal, helping the “seal” to form and prevent leakage, while removal would also be easier as it helps break the seal. Sometimes users might feel “suction pain” when the “seal” is too strong inside, air-holes allow more air to get in, so that the suction would be weaker than those without air-holes. However, if the cup is almost filled up, the air-holes would be blocked, causing your cup to unseal and leak, or menses might leak out from the air-holes. So the height of the air-holes strictly affect the actual volume of your cup.

Leak protection is better for cups that have no air-holes as there are no air-holes for menses to leak from the cup body, and the capacity would also be higher compared to those with air-holes. Nonetheless, as less air could get through during insertion, there is a higher chance for the cup rim to be not fully opened and to experience “suction pain”. Users might also have to go deeper to reach a higher part of the cup to break the seal during removal. 


Stems are usually attached to the bottom of menstrual cups to aid your removal. Ball, flat stem, cylindric stem and ring are the few common stems available, while some cups also come with no stems. Users may try and find the one fitting their habits and needs. As the whole stem should go inside your vagina, if you find the stem too long and brings you discomfort, usually you may slightly trim it as suggested on the manual. It is important to note that no matter what style the stem is, you should always grip the base of your cup to break the “seal” before pulling the cup out, or you might badly hurt yourself. The stem is only there to help you locate the cup and assist your removal, but not to “unplug” your cup. Never pull your cup out without breaking the “seal”.

Non-slip ridges

Most cups added non-slip ridges at the cup base to help gripping the cup during removal and seal-breaking. The design of ridges significantly affects its anti-slip ability.

Size(cup rim diameter)

There are many sizes available for menstrual cups. As menstrual cups work by pushing the cup rim against the vaginal wall to form a “seal” and collect menses, the diameter of the cup rim is sometimes more significant than the body size alone.

Each brand has its own size recommendation. Some brands may suggest people who had given vaginal birth to use a larger cup, but it is not universal in our experience. Unless you have recently given vaginal birth, a larger cup might not fit you as your vagina will recover over time and may get back to a similar condition before your pregnancy, so you may need a small cup in that case. Also, the body size is different, the recommended sizes might also not fit Asians as most products are designed according to the body size of Americans/Europeans.

So for beginners, we suggest a smaller cup to avoid the stress and discomfort brought by the size of a large cup and to reduce the difficulty during insertion. Keep in mind that our body changes over time, so the size of cup you need might also change.

How to measure cervix height:

The cervix feels like a soft, tiny doughnut at the end of your vagina. The height of the cervix is closely related to the length of your vaginal canal, so it also decides which size of cup you can use. You may measure your cervix height as suggested below:

Put a finger inside the vagina on your first bleeding day to see if you can touch the cervix. You may not be able to touch it if it is high enough. If you can touch it, measure the distance between your finger tip to the vagina orifice, then check the size recommendation from the brand. Be aware that each brand has its own definition of “Low Cervix”, “Normal/Regular Cervix” and “High Cervix”. Check carefully before purchase.


Switching to a menstrual cup might be a completely new experience. It takes time to get used to it, so it is okay for you to have confusions or frustrations. Rather than expecting to find a dream cup or to master it very soon, we believe it is good for you to think you are gonna have a taste of how a menstrual cup works and whether it fits your body and lifestyle. Once you decide to keep using it, you may consider, with reference to the cup you have been using, whether you want another cup in different size, softness or function or for different situations. Don’t need to feel bad if you want to switch to using other products after this trial. 

The usage of menstrual cups is a process of learning to control your muscles, to adjust your habits, and to face your own fear of menses and also body exploration. As you might feel stress, instead of finding a cup with large capacity, we recommend you to start from a smaller one to reduce the stress and discomfort brought by the size of a large cup and to reduce the difficulty during insertion. Once you have successful experience and gain confidence, you may consider if you need something more. So in general, we recommend a small cone-shaped cup with air-holes for new users.

PM us if you need help!

Facebook Message / Instagram DM

Back to blog