Cheap Menstrual Cups | Everything You Need to Know to Stay Safe
There are a lot of menstrual cups on the market today compared to 8 years ago. That is great, but there are some concerns about cheap "cheapies" menstrual cups. I do not like the perception that cheap means bad quality. I think the opposite is true as well expensive doesn't always mean good quality. Oftentimes we correlate price with quality and that is not always true. There is nothing wrong with getting a product at a great price. Here is everything I believe you need to know about cheap menstrual cups and how to determine if it is a deal or a dud.
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Before we get into the good stuff, I would like to say I understand not all everyone has the same financial means. Everyone should be able to have access to safe AND affordable menstrual products no matter where they live. This is why I wrote this post, I want to try to make it easier for everyone to find a menstrual cup that meets their body AND budget. Just know this post is about helping everyone without shaming them. When I tried to search affordable menstrual cups on Google it felt like they were shaming people for looking for an option affordable for them.
Generic, Cheap, or Knock-Off. What's the Difference?
According to Webster, generic is defined as not being or having a particular brand name. I am sure we can all think of iconic brands such as Nike, Toyota, Barbie, Boeing, and McDonald's. All of these brands are well known by there reputation and through marketing over several years. Brands spend money on marketing, which in turn result in higher prices for packaging, commercials, and research & development.
Generic options provide the same product at a fraction of the price. The reason they can offer a better price is that they do not market their products. They rely on larger brands to spend the money to advertise to us as consumers then offer a comparable product at a better price. Keep in mind this does not mean that the quality is worse, but the packaging will not be as appealing. You can purchase Tylenol at Walmart for $9.99 or buy the generic brand for $5.99, which do you choose? The generic brand works just as good as the name brand with more medicine for half the cost.
Cheap can be defined as charging or obtainable at a low price. This doesn't sound bad to me. Cheap means I get to keep more money in my pocket. This word oftentimes gets a bad reputation, but why? Why isn't saving money and still getting what you need a good thing? I'm not sure I can answer this question as someone who loves sales.
Knock-offs or "cheapie" menstrual cups are a copy or imitation of someone or something popular. The best example of this is clothes, shoes, and purses that are made to look like the original product. There is a substantial difference between the original and the knock-off and oftentimes the quality is not good.
Knock-offs can be potentially harmful and cause not only financial but physical damage. Products such as menstrual cups should be closely scrutinized because of their intimate nature. I do not know about you, but I want to know what is going inside my lady parts.
How to Identify "Knock-Off" Menstrual Cups
There are a lot of different ways to spot suspicious menstrual cups. If you are looking for your perfect menstrual cup you have to be wary of things that seem too good to be true. Many of these cups are sold on Amazon since it is the largest online retailer and allows third-party sellers. Other retailers where you can see knock-off cups that may be unsafe are Walmart, eBay Wish, Alibaba, (AliExpress). All of these outlets allow third-party sellers and are not associated with the companies. Here are some tips on how to spot a "knock-off" or suspicious menstrual cup.
Are you able to locate a website?
Legitimate menstrual cup companies have a website that provides additional information about their products. If you Google the cup brand and are only able to locate it on Amazon, that should send up a few red flags. Just remember, not all websites are created equal, some may be better than others.
Pay close attention to the listing
If the listing hs a lot of grammatical errors that could be a sign of an illegitimate company.
Menstrual cups are a personal product. The reviews should be detailed enough to get a sense that the cups were used.
If there are not a lot of pictures of the menstrual cup in the listing, I'd take a second look. If there are only pictures of women happily swimming and biking that is cause for pause. I am not saying it is impossible to be happy while on your period, but there should be sufficient pictures of the menstrual cup itself.
Doesn't list material used
The menstrual cup must state what material was used. If you cannot find the material used to make the menstrual cup, I recommend avoiding that brand.
Lack of customer service or contact information
This is simial to the lack of a website. If you cannot reach the company, keep looking.
Extremely cheap (too good to be true)
I wouldn't recommend a menstrual cup that costs less than $15, especially if it is not FDA registered. Many cups cost between $25 - $40. Ask yourself how could they sell the same product, made of the same material, at more than half of the cost? Something about that doesn't seem right and you don't want to put your lady parts in jeopardy to save a few extra dollars.
If you decide to purchase a cup please pay attention to the packing when it arrives. A lot of times dishonest companies will send a different cup than advertised. Pay close attention to the name on the box, cup, and instructions. If the names differ, I recommend returning the menstrual cup immediately.
Not FDA registered
The FDA is here to protect us from unsafe products (they aren't perfect, but helpful). See the section below for additional information.
Advertises as FDA approved
If a company is saying they are FDA approved, be suspicious because that is not true. See the section below for further explanation.
I do not like to generalize that all menstrual cups from China are bad for you. I do not believe that is a fair statement, given that many of the things we use daily such as cell phones, laptops, toys, video games, and clothes are made in China. There is nothing wrong with paying a good price for a product. I believe it is more about the company and its mission and quality standards. All of these are different ways to spot potentially unsafe cheap menstrual cups.
Should you Use a "Knock-Off" Cup?
Unlike generic brands, these "cheapies" they may not be made with safe material. Remember, this will be inside your vagina for up to 12 hours at a time. Some of the knock-off "cheapie" menstrual cups may not be made of the same material as the other menstrual cups. It has been reported that some of the menstrual cups are made will fillers or substitute material. Who knows if these materials are safe to have inside of your body. I am not in the habit of telling people what to do, but I do not believe you should use knock-off cups, because they could be dangerous.
"Knock-Off" Cups to Avoid
Here is a list of brands that I found on Amazon that should be avoided. Body Bay, Aneer, Talisi, Croing, FENGHUANG, Happy Cup, Bollovi, BBDINO, InvisiCup, eXuby, Anytime, Freel, Leryeu, Taffy, AIWO, SPEQUIX, EcoBlossom, ZUVIACUP, KORSMALL, Period Mate, Baby Color, Aneercare, Allure, Kutemax, Blyss, TIMKDLE, Melyth, Sileu, Drawzerocup, Fearless, Nezbling, YDKJ, PRIMROSE, MR.A, SASKATE, CaliCup, RUIMING, Intimate Rose, UpBeauty, Edtoy, Exceart, Milisten, MQFORU, Ipro Care, Sizilian, LOPOO, Monzcare, Cigooxm, OitiO, Artibetter, Ameela, DESTINLEE, iCare, Aropey, Scienlodic, RONSHIN, and SASKATE.
I cannot list every possible menstrual cup because oftentimes the same cup is rebranded several times. The list provided is just a starting point to help you distinguish between legitimate and knock-off menstrual cups. There are safe affordable menstrual cups listed below.
The Ethical Dilemma
Some people ask should we be able to use generic items, since they can be seen as a "rip-off" of brand names. Honestly, that is a hard question to answer because we live in a free world. If there weren't generic items available many people would not be able to afford things that they need. For example, I am oftentimes prescribed generic prescriptions from my doctor that are affordable and insurance will pay. Should you go without medically necessary items such as menstrual products because they are unaffordable? I do not believe so. I believe as long as they are safe, there is nothing wrong with generic brands. I keep in mind, not everyone has the financial means to afford name brand items, but they still deserve the option to have what they need to live a comfortable life.
FDA Approved or Registered? What Does it all Mean?
In short, we all know the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is responsible for keeping us safe. They oversee and regulate vaccines, prescriptions, over-the-counter drugs, food, and other products. It is important to keep in mind the FDA only regulates products sold in the United States.
Let me start by saying there is no such thing as FDA approved concerning menstrual cups. If a brand is advertising that their menstrual cup is "FDA approved", they are misleading by being untruthful, in effect lying. Here is exactly what the FDA says in regards to the misrepresentation "Any representation that creates an impression of official approval of a device because of complying with the premarket notification regulations is misleading and constitutes misbranding." The term "approved" leads you to believe the menstrual cup has been thoroughly tested and approved by the FDA, when in fact that is not true. In effect, brands should not be stating their products are "FDA Approved", under any circumstances.
FDA registered, unlike FDA approved is a real thing. All menstrual cups that are distributed or produced in the United States of America are required to be registered with the FDA. This includes companies that may import their menstrual cups from other countries such as China, India, or Australia. A legitimate and legal company must be registered. The registration does not mean that the menstrual cup has been determined as safe, but it does mean the company and distributor are legally allowed to sell in the United States of America.
Please keep in mind, this only applies to menstrual cups sold and distributed in the United States. There are other menstrual cups sold internationally that have approval through other agencies similar to the FDA.
Best Affordable Menstrual Cups
Some people may object to this, but I do not think there is anything wrong with looking for a good deal. Why spend $40 on a menstrual cup if you can find one that fits for $20? Who doesn't want to save money, especially beginner's starting their menstrual cup journey? Diva Cup is one of the most popular menstrual cups on the market, but it comes with a price some cannot afford. Here is a list of the best cheap (affordable) menstrual cups. The affordable menstrual cups provided on this list are available for less than $25. This is a cost-efficient way to try different cups to find the perfect fit for your body and flow.
One of the most popular, highly rated, and affordable menstrual cups on Amazon is Athena Cup. It is no secret that this cup is a generic version of the popular Diva Cup. By comparison, it is a lot softer than the Diva Cup but is more affordable. The different color options make it a fun cup if you like variety. This cup is even available in black, which I love because you will be no visible staining. Although this doesn't have anything to do with the menstrual cup, the patterns on the storage bag are so cute.
Note: This cup may not be good for a high cervix, the short stem may be harder to reach.
The Blossom Cup is another generic version of the Diva Cup, I'm sure due to its popularity. Unlike the Athena Cup, this menstrual cup is more firm making it better for people who are looking for a firmer cup.
The only issue I have with this menstrual cup is the lack of support you receive from customer service. If you have a question or problem customer service is not readily available.
The Dutchess Cup is one of my favorite menstrual cups. This was the first menstrual cup that I used and I love it. It is an affordable option for beginners looking to find the perfect menstrual cup for their bodies. The value pack is available for less than $30, which gives you two cups for the price of one. There are two sizes available from beginners with light flows to experienced cup users with a heavy cycle.
Luna Cup is considered a "cheapie" menstrual cup by other bloggers, but I think it is an affordable menstrual cup for beginners. This menstrual cup is registered with the FDA. Although this shouldn't be a selling point the storage bags are cute, unlike many of the plain storage bags that are included with other menstrual cups. If you need a firm cup this may be the option for you. Other menstrual cups on this list are softer and may not provide the protection you need.
The OrganiCup is one of the most versatile menstrual cups on the market. As you know there is no one size fits all options, but this cup does offer something for everyone. The three sizes are designed for teens just starting their period journey to experienced menstrual cup users. It has been voted the best menstrual cup for sensitive skin and allergies. Honestly, I do not consider this a cheap menstrual cup I think it just an affordable name brand option.
If you are looking for a company that is truly about sustainability and eco-friendly products OrganiCup is for you. I love what this company stands for. They are putting their money where their mouth is by donating menstrual cups, fighting period poverty, providing education, and trying to remove the stigma of periods all over the world. Even better than providing help to young women and girls around the world, they have a 100% money-back guarantee.
Pixie Cup has different affordable models to fit your body and flow. The different models and sizes make it easier to find the best fit for your body, lifestyle, cervix, and flow.
This is another company that I stand by because of their dedication to trying to end period poverty. Along with being an affordable menstrual cup, they have the buy one, give one program. For every cup that is purchased a menstrual cup is given to someone in need. To date, they have given away over 50,000 menstrual cups. They are dedicated to helping you find the best eco-friendly product for your flow, so they have a 100% satisfaction guarantee. If you are not happy with your purchase they will refund your money, no questions asked. How awesome is that?
The Sckoon Cup is advertised as the beginner's menstrual cup. This menstrual cup has one of the longest stems on the list, making it easier if you have a higher cervix. If you do not need the long stem it can be trimmed to fit your needs. The angled suction cups make it easier to suction once it is inserted inside your vagina. The flower grip rings make it easier to remove if you decide to completely remove the stem. This menstrual cup also comes in a variety of fun colors.
Note: Steps onto my soap-box. A pet-peeve of mine is when sustainable products arrive in plastic packaging. I think that is contradictory to their mission of reducing waste by offering an eco-friendly product. I'd love for them to change their packaging to be more eco-friendly like other brands. I will get off of my soap-box now.
The Venus Cup is one of the heavy-duty menstrual cups, with the larger cup holding a capacity of up to 47 ml. There are two sizing options small and large. This affordable option is great for heavy cycles and those who experience blood clots. The starter kit allows you to try both sizes to find your perfect fit, for the same price as one of the other menstrual cup brands. According to the manufacturer this cup is designed to last up to 10 years with proper care and cleaning.
AFFORDABLE MENSTRUAL CUP COMPARISON CHART
I like to use comparison charts because they let you see all of the information together. The chart can be sorted based on the menstrual cup brand, capacity, and measurements. Feel free to contact us if you need additional information added to the table.
|Athena Cup||28 ml (small) 34 ml (large)||1.65" (small) 1.77" (large)||2.01" (small) 2.12"(large)||0.43 (small & large)||2.44" (small) 2.55" (large)||Medium|
|Blossom Cup||28 ml (small) 34 ml (large)||1.65" (small) 1.77" (large)||2.01" (small) 2.12" (large)||0.43" (small & large)||2.44" (small) 2.55" (large)||Medium|
|Dutchess Cup||25 ml (small) 30 ml (large)||1.65" (small) 1.77" (large)||2.05" (small) 2.16" (large)||0.39" (small & large)||2.44" (small) 2.55" (large)||Medium|
|OrganiCup||17 ml (mini) 25 ml (small) 30 ml (large)||1.46" (mini) 1.57" (small) 1.77" (large)||1.73" (mini) 1.96" (small) 2.17"(large)||0.55"(mini) 0.59" (small & large)||2.28" (mini) 2.55" (small) 2.76" (large)||Soft|
|Luna Cup||25 ml (small) 30 ml (large)||1.70" (small) 1.90" (large)||2.50" (small) 2.75" (large)||Medium|
|Sckoon Cup||23 ml (small) 30 ml (large)||1.60" (small) 1.80" (large)||1.60" (small) 2.00" (large)||1.20" (small) 0.80" (large)||2.80" (small & large)||Very Soft|
|Pixie Cup||25 ml (small) 30 ml (large) 35 ml (x-large)||1.68" (small) 1.81" (large) 1.87" (x-large)||1.90" (small) 2.00" (large) 2.10" (x-large)||0.62" (small) 0.68" (large & x-large)||2.52" (small) 2.68" (large) 2.78" (x-large)||Medium|
|Venus Cup||29 ml (small) 47 ml (large)||1.65" (small) 1.85" (large)||1.85" (small) 2.20" (large)||0.94" (small) 0.59" (large)||2.79" (small & large)||Medium|
Should You Roll the Dice on Cheap Menstrual Cups?
Cheap menstrual cups are a hot topic now more than ever, given our current environmental state. Eco-friendly products are at the forefront of many conversations. The problem that often arises is their affordability. As I've stated throughout this post, everyone is entitled to affordable options. I am not a doctor, but I believe cheap menstrual cups are safe with the proper due diligence. The affordable menstrual cups listed above are FDA registered for sale in the United States.
If you are going to purchase a cheap menstrual cup look for the following:
- FDA Registered
- Quality pictures
- Company website with in-depth information
- Customer service available
After doing the proper due diligence if you feel confident about the menstrual cup, go for it. Just remember, if it is too good to be true it probably is.
Do you have experience with a cheap cup? If so, comment below and tell ys about it.