Saalt vs Flex cup – which one is the best?
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Congratulations! If you’re seeing this post, that means you’re probably interested in trying a menstrual cup!
I’ve tried a few and have been using one every month for almost two years, so I’m pretty comfortable with them.
Today, we’re discussing a bit about menstrual cups, and comparing the Saalt and Flex cups.
If this is your first venture into the magical world of menstrual cups, or you’re looking for a better one than you’re currently using – keep on reading!
Let’s start with the basics.
You may not have tried a menstrual cup before, and that’s totally okay. I’ll give you a crash course on using one (or check out my YouTube video here where I explain in better detail, complete with PG demonstrations and gesturing haha).
Fair warning: I’m not sugar-coating my language. Bodies and body parts are normal.
Is a cup right for you?
The first thing to ask yourself, quite bluntly, is – are you at least somewhat comfortable with the idea of putting your fingers up your vagina? If the answer is no, and you’ve never even used a tampon, then you may have a little more trouble.
Not trying to dissuade you, obviously, I’m just asking realistically. Because if you use a menstrual cup, you’ll be doing that. A lot. Well, at least a few times a day.
The next thing is – are you okay with blood? Now hear me out. It’s possible to use one and not really look at it. I can remove mine, dump it, and not even see the contents if I don’t want. Plus, the fluid will coagulate so it’s not like fresh blood just chilling there. Just something else to think about.
It’s really not as gross as you’d think – the blood and other fluid don’t touch the outsides of the cup if you’ve inserted it properly. It doesn’t even look like blood to me, to be honest.
However, I do think it has at least some benefit to see how much you’re filling the cup, so you know if you can dump it more or less frequently. I was shocked at how little I bleed, I was certain I’d fill it up but I’ve never gotten more than maybe a quarter full.
It is not recommended to leave a cup in for more than 12 hours. I mean, I can’t say that I have never done that before… but even with 12 hours, I’ve never filled one up. The one I use regularly is so comfortable I almost forget it’s there.
Using a cup properly.
Every menstrual cup company will have instructions on their website, and in the box if you buy it in a store. They’ll show you how to insert and remove their particular cup. Most are the same, except the Flex cup, which I’ll be talking about a little farther down this post.
My number one tip to making a menstrual cup work is to insert it properly and make sure it is completely unfolded.
If you do this, you won’t have any leaks or other surprises…
Sometimes, if you haven’t gotten the cup to unfold or open up all the way, it’ll do it for you – and it’s not pleasant. It’s easy to tell, if you can grab the base of the cup and twist it a little (not the stem – the actual cup), and can slide a finger all the way around it without any bumps, then it’s good.
You’ll also want to make sure your cup is the right size. Most cup makers will have two sizes and will suggest that one is for those who have given birth, and one for those who have not. I’d highly suggest for everyone to choose the smaller of the two, no matter your situation. In my case with trying different sizes, the bigger one is taller and will push up on my cervix. That is not pleasant either.
So, small cup + inserted properly = minimal problems.
And to be completely realistic – cups just don’t work for some people. If you try one or a few and it is very uncomfortable or difficult – don’t feel bad! Everyone is different! Some people may have a very low cervix, or other things that prevent them from using a cup.
I consulted with my gynecologist before trying one because they were a new concept to me and I wanted to know the real tea, if they were good. She said definitely go for it, and if I had any problems removing it I could come back in and they would help. Of course, your gynecologist will know your unique situation and whether you should or shouldn’t use one – especially if you have had surgeries or something else that would cause concern.
The Diva Cup was my first try, and I did not like it at all. The material was too hard and the stem was very uncomfortable. I even cut the excess piece off of the stem, and it would rub and poke on the outside. I know a lot of people love the Diva Cup, though!
It could have been that I didn’t have it inserted far enough, which can be another source of discomfort. Since it was my first attempt, I really wasn’t sure. I got rid of it and didn’t try again until I heard about the Saalt cup.
Now we’re getting to the details.
For a while there, it seemed like the Diva Cup was the only thing around. There were others floating around on Amazon but the Diva Cup was basically the household name.
Then came the Saalt cup. (Fun fact: they launched the brand in 2018!)
The Saalt cup has a softer construction and a thin, flexible stem. They’ve even since released a “Saalt Soft” cup for those with cramps or bladder issues. I’ve only tried the original Saalt in the larger and smaller sizes. It does sound appealing, since a cup can tend to… slow… your urine stream a bit.
I found that the Saalt cup was easy to get inserted properly, as it was so flexible. The stem is not an issue for me at all, I don’t feel it 99.9% of the time. You can cut it off, but it does help with removal since you may need it to pull the cup down within reach. (Note: DO NOT yank your cup out, you must break the suction first by pinching the sides).
Removal of the cup is easy as well. Once again, the flexibility of the material makes the cup squishy and easy to pinch and break the seal.
Overall, I am very happy with the Saalt cup and have not had any issues with it.
The Flex Cup has a different approach to the menstrual cup.
This cup has a pull string that will break the seal for you, instead of having to reach up and pinch the sides. It removes similarly to a tampon.
You’ll still want to make sure the seal is broken before pulling it out. Sometimes I will hold the base with one hand and pull the string with the other.
The Flex Cup is the newest to me, but I have tested it enough to give my thoughts.
While the Flex Cup is easier to remove, I do not feel that it is easy to insert. The pull string comes up through the base of the cup and attaches to the rim on one side. This makes folding the cup a bit more awkward and it doesn’t unfold as easily. For me, it takes a bit of wiggling, pulling and pushing on the pull string to get it to unfold.
As for the stem, the Flex Cup has a loop on the bottom which I was hesitant about at first. It looked like it would be uncomfortable, but it is barely noticeable if you make sure to adjust it to be parallel and not sideways.
Saalt vs. Flex?
Personally, I prefer the Saalt Cup over the Flex, purely because the insertion and fitting is better with the Saalt.
But, I think that if you are concerned with removal, then the Flex may be the choice for you.
I will still keep and use both cups. The Flex Cup is not unusable, just a little more work to insert and form the seal. It’s up to personal preference, the Flex has a bit more of a learning curve with getting it properly inserted if this is your first cup.
I’m glad I started with the Saalt cup and I would suggest the Saalt cup for a first-time user.
If you’re already using a cup and are not 100% happy with it, especially with the removal, I would suggest trying the Flex Cup.
The bottom line is that you want to use a cup that is comfortable while you’re wearing it. You’ll spend more time wearing the cup than inserting and removing, and you’re more likely to continue using one if it’s comfortable.
Don’t give up if you don’t quite like the first one you try! I’m so glad I tried again after not liking the first one. Switching to a menstrual cup (not to be dramatic) was life-changing. No more diaper rash or smells from a pad, forgetting to wash cloth pads, tampons leaking, etc.
Leave any questions in the comments section below, or DM me on Instagram! (P.s. don’t forget to follow!)