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Tampons vs Menstrual Cups: Which Is the Right Choice for You?

You know it’s coming your way every month. And it doesn’t matter if you’re ready for it or not, your period is going to strike. Anytime, anywhere—and without mercy.

Will you be stocked for tampons? Will you have to break an Olympic record running to the drugstore to get some pads? Will you have to borrow whatever sanitary products Kate from accounts can spare?

We hear you, so we’ve made a guide that explores the advantages and disadvantages of tampons and menstrual cups so that you can make an informed choice and feel great about it. 

Tampons can be uncomfortable, making your period worse than it already is. With Ruby Cup, you can feel happier and freer during that time of the month, every month. For every Ruby Cup purchased, we donate another one to a person without access to safe menstrual products. Get your Ruby Cup now

 

Tampons vs menstrual cups: Which one is best for you?

If you’re reading this, chances are you’re familiar with tampons. You know how uncomfortable they can be, how expensive they’re getting, and how annoying they are to change during those heavy-flow days. 

However, you’ve kept using them because they’re more discreet than a pad, and you weren’t entirely sure what a menstrual cup is and how they work. That’s fine, we’re here to change that.

Menstrual cups are not only a great zero-waste alternative to tampons, they also bring with them greater benefits for you and the environment.

Let’s dig in.

 

Menstrual cups are good for your body

Apart from being good for the environment, menstrual cups are also good for your body. Here are three reasons why:

  • Menstrual cups are made of medical-grade silicone that can last up to 10 years, depending on the maker. This means that cups are environmentally friendly and gentle to your body. Tampons are made of cotton and could contain dangerous chemicals like bleach or dioxins, which can harm your vaginal flora. Menstrual cups also prevent fiber shedding. Fiber shedding occurs when the friction between the tampon and your vaginal walls loosens fibers that get left behind. This can lead to infections and vaginal dryness.
  • Menstrual cups don’t dry out your vagina like tampons do, preserving the right bacteria to prevent vaginal dryness. 

 

Menstrual cups are more convenient

  • You won’t have to make a trip to the bathroom every 2 hours to change a menstrual cup, because they can be left in longer. In fact, you only have to empty them every 8 hours (approximately). This means you won’t have to make any emergency trips to the drugstore when you run out of tampons either!
  • Tampons can still be uncomfortable for people using them regularly, even if they’re used to them. Menstrual cups may not seem convenient at first, but once you get the hang of them you’ll realize they are. Most people claim that once getting used to them, menstrual cups are comfortable, secure, and painless

  • You won’t need to buy tampons and pads every month because menstrual cups are reusable, so they save you money. Instead, a one-time investment in a cup will save you money and time every month. Our Ruby Cup can last you up to 10 years. Imagine all the money you would have spent on tampons in 10 years!

 

Related post: Menstrual Cup Pain: Is It Normal & What Can You Do About It?

 

menstrual cups vs tampons

 

Menstrual cups are more comfortable

  • Some people using the menstrual cup forget that they’re even on their periods because of the freedom, comfort, and convenience of using this method.
  • Some menstrual cup users report experiencing cramps less, although there are no studies to support this claim.

 

Some things to keep in mind about menstrual cups

While menstrual cups are great alternatives to tampons, we understand that you may have some concerns. At the end of the day, your periods are a delicate time of the month, and you need to be 100% sure that whatever product you use is right for you. 

You’ll need to take the following into account before you decide to switch: 

You need to sterilize menstrual cups regularly

  • Menstrual cups need to be cleaned and sterilized. The process is simple, you just need to boil your cup for 3-5 minutes between each cycle. You can use a pan to do this. Ruby Cup offers a sterilizer that allows you to boil your cup in a microwave if you don’t fancy using a stove and pot.  
  • You don’t have to rinse your menstrual cup in a public restroom if you don’t want to, menstrual cups can be as discreet as a tampon when it comes to emptying them. 

 

There’s a learning curve

  • It takes some practice to get used to inserting your menstrual cup correctly. The good news is that there’s no age restriction for people to use the cup, so teenagers can use the cup too. 

 

You need to find the right size/match for you

  • You can easily determine what menstrual cup size you need by checking our menstrual cup sizing guide. Similar to tampons, it’s all about finding the right size and match for you. Your size will vary depending on your age, flow, whether you have a high or low cervix, and whether you have given birth vaginally. 
  • Some people with allergies to certain materials (such as latex) may need to do some research to find out a material that works for them. This is the same in menstrual cups as it is in tampons, as some people may experience discomfort with some of the materials used in tampons, having to do some research to find a type that suits them.

 

Emptying in public requires some practice

We have compiled a very handy guide to show you how to clean your menstrual cup in public.        

  • Menstrual cups can also be discreetly cleaned in public restrooms using a water bottle to rinse them, or just wiping them before re-inserting.
  • Cleaning a menstrual cup in public is not difficult or awkward at all, you just need a bottle of water or some tissue to wipe your cup with.

 

The risk of accidentally pulling out your IUD may be higher

Some limited studies with a couple of hundred participants support this claim.  

However, with the correct technique, using a menstrual cup with an IUD is feasible. All you need to do is be extra careful when removing it, making sure you pinch it and remove it at an angle to avoid suction.

Tampons vs menstrual cups: Which one is right for you?

Every person and every period is different, and only you know what works best for you. 

Comparing menstrual cups and tampons makes the benefits clear:

  • Menstrual cups last longer than tampons, saving you time and money every month. This also means cups are more environmentally friendly than tampons.
  • Tampons are associated with a higher risk of TSS, while the risk is much lower with menstrual cups.
  • Tampons may contain substances that can harm your vaginal flora. Menstrual cups are made using medical-grade silicone, which is gentle with your body. 
  • Menstrual cups can be used for longer periods of time than tampons.
  • Some people still feel uncomfortable when using tampons, even if they have been using them for years. Menstrual cups take some adjusting, but once used to them, they are considered to be much more comfortable and convenient.
  • Menstrual cups can be cleaned as discreetly as getting rid of a tampon.

 

Frequently asked questions about menstrual cups vs tampons 

Will a menstrual cup prevent any infections?

While menstrual cups are careful with your vaginal flora and don’t cause any shedding that can lead to infection, they can cause TSS if left unchanged for too long. The risks of this are smaller than for tampon users.

 

Will a menstrual cup be more uncomfortable than a tampon?

There is a learning curve with menstrual cups before getting used to them. Once people are used to it, menstrual cup users claim that they are very comfortable, making some people even forget they’re on their period. Some tampon users complain about being uncomfortable while using them or while taking them out, despite having used them for years.

 

Is it harder to figure out my size with a menstrual cup than with a tampon?

Not at all! We have put together a menstrual cup sizing guide that you can find a size that’s perfect for you.

 

Is a menstrual cup more environmentally friendly than a tampon?

Absolutely. Menstrual cups can be used for up to 10 years, while tampons need to be discarded after every use, contributing to landfill waste, sewer blockage, and plastic in our oceans. 

 

Is a menstrual cup more economical than tampons?

Of course. Menstrual cups require a one-off investment with your first purchase. After that, you don’t need to spend any more money on tampons or pads, so menstrual cups will save you money in the long run.

 

Is a menstrual cup as discreet as a tampon?

Definitely. Not only while wearing it, but also when you need to empty it. If you’re in a public bathroom, you can easily use a water bottle or a bit of tissue to clean it before reinserting. 

 

We have a very simple guide that shows you how to clean your menstrual cup in a public restroom, where nobody will ever know whether you just cleaned your cup or disposed of your tampon.

 

What is the best menstrual product: tampons or menstrual cups?

We’ve compiled a table to show you the advantages and disadvantages of menstrual cups versus tampons so that you can decide for yourself.

 

  Menstrual Cups Tampons
Sustainable ✔️
Comfortable ✔️
✔️
Economical ✔️
Easy to clean/dispose of ✔️
✔️
Easy to use (once used to) ✔️
✔️
Good leakage protection ✔️
Respectful with your body ✔️
Available for all ages ✔️
✔️
Money Back Guarantee ✔️

 

 

Are menstrual cups safer than tampons?

Menstrual cups are less likely to cause infections than tampons and are gentle with your body. They prevent fiber shedding, which can lead to more serious issues, and they protect your vaginal flora. They are made of medical-grade silicone, which means they are safe for you, and thanks to their long lives, they are also safe for the environment.

 

How can you find the right menstrual cup for you?

You can find the perfect cup for you following our menstrual cup sizing guide. We also offer a money-back guarantee, so even if you order the wrong size, or if you are not 100% convinced, you have 120 days to let us know, and we will refund your order.


Tampons can be uncomfortable, making your period worse than it already is. With Ruby Cup, you can feel happier and freer during that time of the month, every month. For every Ruby Cup purchased, we donate another one to a person without access to safe menstrual products. Get your Ruby Cup now.