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Thinking of trying a menstrual cup? Start with the best.

At dinner with my grandma last night, somehow it came up that I’m on my period. “Oh,” she replied. “I forgot about those.” If you’re more like me than she is, you have decades of menstruation left to look forward to, and your period products have probably run the gamut from disposable options like pads, liners, and tampons to period underwear. While you may think you’re open to trying anything that can make your period week as hassle and leak-free as possible, there still seems to be some skepticism surrounding one viable product: the menstrual cup.

Last week, The Lancet Public Health journal published results from the first comprehensive study on the safety and effectiveness of reusable menstrual cups. While public opinion has been mixed when it comes to menstrual cups—many have worried they’d be uncomfortable or pose potential health dangers—the new study’s results might sway the tides away from disposable sanitary products and toward washable menstrual cups, especially considering most are safe to leave in for more hours than a tampon and can last up to 10 years. That’s 10 years with one period product rather than 10 years with 82,000 tampons and pads (loose math…).

While further research is needed in the area—and menstrual cups can still cause toxic shock syndrome (though it’s rare)—the researchers concluded that menstrual cups are safe, with no negative effects on the vaginal flora, and are associated with comparable or fewer leaks than pads or tampons. The study also reports that there are a whopping 199 brands of menstrual cups out there, which can definitely make taking the first steps to a new period routine feel intimidating. 

To make the process a little less confusing, we’ve rounded up the four best menstrual cups you can buy on Amazon, according to thousands of customer reviews. Remember to check the size before you order to ensure you get the right one for your needs (sizes vary based on factors like age and whether you’ve given birth), and give yourself some time to get completely used to inserting and wearing the cup—reviews across all menstrual cup brands warn of a learning curve. But don’t give up because once you get the hang of it, menstrual cups can be a great alternative to disposable period products by saving you money and making your periods an overall less stressful experience. 

Here’s to an easier time of month for all of us!

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