Watch out for 'generic' and 'cheap' menstrual cups
We’re seeing more and more cheap (like really cheap, like “too good to be true” cheap) menstrual cups being sold, especially on popular sites such as Amazon, and you know what they say about “too good to be true”...it often is.
We want you to have choices but, more importantly, we want people to be informed. Buying a subpar product from an untrustworthy company can lead to very bad experiences, sometimes unsafe ones and, when it comes to your health, this is a subject that really matters to us.
What to look for when buying menstrual cups
What’s important is that you get a high quality, long-lasting product that’s safe to use (and good for the planet while we’re at it!). So, before you spend your hard-earned money, find out:
- What the menstrual cup is made from and whether all the materials are high quality, safe and certified? These might vary depending on the country, but being FDA approved and BPA free is always a good start. Check out our Quality and High Standards page for more. Generic period cups are often made from cheaper silicone and the production process can put the cup in contact with other chemicals. Cheap materials are impure, and may contain traces of latex, phthalates, BPA, heavy metals etc. Your vagina is the most absorbent organ in your body, so anything contaminated could get into your bloodstream. Unfortunately, the only thing you might notice is swelling or irritation and some symptoms may take a while to appear.
- What brand name they’re using – if any. Cheap cups are often bad reproductions of genuine designs. Some manufacturers even go so far as to use texts and pictures from other companies (and even safety certificates and patents), so you don’t exactly know what you’ll get when ordering these products. The cup might be completely different from the one shown in the picture.
- Where the period cup is made and where it’s being shipped from. Be cautious if they’re coming from China.
- What’s your gut feeling about the company? Do they have good values? Do they have a trustworthy looking website (ok ok this is sort of subjective but sometimes you just know)? Do they clearly state all their company information, returns policies, product and production details? Do they make it easy for you to contact them? Is there a customer support number? An address? What about their social media presence? Do they respond to posts?
- What do others say about them? Have they got good reviews outside of their own website and Amazon listings? Have reputable companies and bloggers reviewed their product and written about it? What’s their reputation like online?
Phew! All of the above sounds a lot right? Thankfully the internet can make our lives a bit easier too.
Use independent review sites such as Menstrual Cup Reviews or Put A Cup In It who have kindly done a lot of the leg work for you.
Then it’s helpful to open up the websites of some companies side by side and spend 10 minutes reading through a little more about them and what they’re about.
If you’re looking for options on Amazon or other shopping sites then it’s still advisable you check out the companies’ own websites yourself, via Google, not just relying on the info on their store listing.
Online forums and groups that specialize in discussing period products (oh trust us, there are plenty of them!) are great places to ask questions or other people for recommendations. Did you know there’s a Subreddit dedicated just to menstrual cups? Shoutout r/menstrualcups!
How can I tell if it’s a questionable menstrual cup company?
If you’ve gone through the list above, you should have a pretty good idea, but there are a few giveaways:
- They use very low-quality pictures of the product, or few of them.
- Their store listing, website and other channels are full of spelling errors. Don’t get me wrong we ALL make mistakes, but if they don’t have the time to check it then it’s not a good sign for the product.
- They have a lot of generic reviews or even reviews that sound like they’re not for a menstrual cup! Some shady companies will fill review sections up with fake reviews or ones for other products.
- It’s hard finding more information about them outside of the store listing.
- They’re much cheaper than the others and don’t explain how or why.
- They’re difficult to contact to or have no contact information at all.
- They don’t respond to messages or reviews. If they do, they’re maybe defensive or rude (a good company knows how to take feedback or, even better, welcomes it!)