Finding the right menstrual cup is like playing a dating game. We spend more hours than we'd like to admit trying to find the cup with the perfect features - you know what I mean... the elusive "Goldilocks cup". As I sit here typing I currently own 3 menstrual cups, the Lena, Lunette and Yuuki.
I wouldn't say I've found my perfect cup, but one of the three came pretty close to earning that title.
Best First Impression Straight Out The Box
Lena: 2nd place
Lunette: 3rd place
Of the three cups, the Yuuki surpassed my expectations when it came to quality. The craftsmanship is impeccable, there are no visible seam lines, it has a smooth silicone texture and there was no smell (unlike another cup).
The Lena is also a high quality cup. It's pretty in pink with a nice, soft silicone and like the Yuuki, there was no smell. If you look closely, you can see the seam line where the two halves of the cup were joined together. This isn't a big issue though, the seam is very smooth and can't be felt. In fact, I only noticed it because I was actively looking for differences between the cups.
I must say I was very disappointed with this brand. The first thing I noticed was a plastic, chemical smell... being a popular brand this was very unexpected and caught me by surprise. After cleaning, the smell disappeared, but not what I expected from a top brand. The craftsmanship was also very poor in comparison to the other cups. Excess pieces of silicone were visible by the seam lines, as well as one of the suction hole.
Of course, this is only a cosmetic issue and won't affect the function of the cup.
Lena vs Yuuki
Lunette vs Yuuki
Lunette vs Lena
Once again Yuuki stands out from the rest when it comes to firmness. The Yuuki cup is a Czech product and is made with 2 firmness levels; soft or classic. Believe it or not that's the "soft" Yuuki in the photos above, and as you can see it's the firmest cup of the three.
I absolutely LOVE the firmness and texture of the German medical grade silicone. Some companies make the suggestion of lubricating their cups with water before inserting. Well, this is the only cup I'd attempt this with. The Yuuki is the easiest cup to insert, it's so smooth that it just slides right in. My lady parts would scream in horror if I attempted to insert the Lena or Lunette with water as the lubricant.
Because of it's firmness, the Yuuki is the only cup I can get opened when my cervix is sitting very low or positioned at a strange angle.
2nd place: Lena
The Lena was my go-to cup before the Yuuki. Without another cup to compare it to, I always thought it had the perfect level of firmness. I could always depend on the Lena to fully pop open with each insertion... until the day my cervix decided to get in the way.
If you have a low-medium cervix, you'll understand the dilemma I had. I used the trusty 7-fold to insert the Lena, released it so it unfolded, then checked to make sure the rim of the cup covered my cervix. Well low and behold, this was the day my cervix decided to play hide and seek with Lena's rim.
All I tried, I kept pushing the cup rim past my cervix. After 10+ attempts (ouch!) I finally realized what the problem was; my firm Lena cup wasn't firm enough. Every time I pinched the base of the cup to re-position it, the upper portion of the cup was also being compressed.
When I pinch the base of the Yuuki, it's firm enough that the rim of the cup stays fully opened. So I can easily re-position it until the cup rim covers my cervix.
3rd place: Lunette
Lunette is the softest of the three and in theory I loooove the softness of this cup. I was curious to see if a softer cup would help ease the pain on my heavy, crampy days and the Lunette seemed like it would fit the bill. There was one major problem...
I couldn't get the darned thing opened!
First of all my trusty 7-fold was useless with this cup, I found the C-fold to be a better alternative. I kid you not, it took 20+ attempts before I finally got the Lunette opened, and this was the ONE and ONLY time I was able to do so.
It was a pain (quite literally) trying to get this cup to unfold. It refused to open unless fully inserted and this was a major problem since it was only fully inserted after being pushed past my cervix. Any attempt to pull the cup lower for re-positioning was pointless as the whole cup collapsed onto itself unless it was fully inserted.
Maybe I've been spoiled by the firmer cups, but I don't want to give up on the Lunette quite yet. If you have any tips for getting this cup opened please share them in the comments below!
For the sole time I successfully positioned and wore the Lunette, it won the title of "best shape" hands down. The Lunette is like a hybrid of the Lena and Yuuki. The top portion of the cup is bell-shaped like the Lena, while the bottom of the cup is tapered like the v-shaped Yuuki.
Lena and Lunette
Yuuki and Lunette
Before explaining why I prefer Lunette's shape, let's take a look at the 2nd and 3rd runners up.
2nd place: Yuuki
Yuuki is a classic example of a v-shaped cup. Like the letter 'V', the cup is broadest at the rim then becomes narrow as you get closer to the stem. I always thought the manufacturer's instructions of spinning the menstrual cup after insertion was next to impossible until I tried the Yuuki.
The smoothness of the silicone and the narrowness of the cup makes it impossible NOT to spin this cup. Of the three cups, the Yuuki has the most narrow fit, once inserted I can easily slide my finger to the rim. Sometimes I worry that my cervix will work it's way out of the cup because there is so much wiggle room, but so far so good.
3rd place: Lena
I think of the Lena cup as having an extreme bell shape which creates a very secure fit. It takes a lot more effort to slide a finger to the rim of the cup. I really like the secure fit of the Lena; the one drawback though is when it comes to removal. Because of its balloon shape, I really have to work my fingers around the bottom of the cup before I can get a secure grip to pinch the base and break the suction.
This brings me back to the Lunette which provides the best of both worlds, a secure fit and easy removal. Lunette's upper bell shape keeps the rim of the cup in direct contact with the vaginal walls, hindering spinning (which may or may not be a potential problem). Its lower v-shape then grants easy access to base of the cup for easy removal.
If I could get the Lunette cup opened, it would provide my desired fit.
Best Holding Capacity
The Lena, Lunette and Yuuki are very similar in holding capacity. What really makes them stand apart is the angle of the suction holes.
Winners: Lena and Lunette
Lena and Lunette's suction holes are angled to the side, which never seemed like a big deal until seeing the Yuuki in action. In what seems like a big oversight on the manufacturer's end, Yuuki's suction holes are angled down. Blood does not drop perfectly into the center of the cup, instead it tends to run down the sides of the cup. Can you see where this is going?
As your blood enters the cup, it flows downwards. The suction holes point ... downwards. So if your blood flows over any of the suction holes, you will experience some leakage, especially on heavy flow days. Luckily it's only minor leakage, nothing a panty liner can't handle.
Which Is My Favorite Cup?
As you can see, none of my three cups are "perfect". I'd have to make a Lunette cup with the firmness and top-notch craftsmanship of the Yuuki. And even then I'm sure I'd still find something else that could be improved. The most important thing is that I chose cups suited to the length of my vaginal canal (learn how you can do the same here). Despite their differences, they could all potentially work.
That being said I find myself reaching for the Yuuki every month. The downward suction holes are only a mild inconvenience. It opens 10 times out of 10, is the easiest cup to insert and takes 2 attempts at most before its positioned correctly. The v-shaped base also makes it the fastest and easiest cup to remove.