Are you a menstrual cup skeptic? I certainly was–until I tried the Saalt cup. If you’ve been on the fence about swapping pads and tampons for a zero waste period routine, I hope my Saalt cup review can convince you to make the switch!
This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. For more information click here. This article is my personal experience with the Saalt cup and not to be taken as medical advice.
To be candid, I never thought my zero waste lifestyle would extend to my period. Without getting into all the gory details, I have irregular and heavy cycles that required heaps of super-sized tampons and night pads.
Could a little silicone cup actually keep up with my body?
Well, it turns out the answer was a resounding “YES”!
I’ve been waiting a full year to publish this Saalt menstrual cup review (I purchased mine in April 2020). I wanted to give a fair and thorough evaluation, along with some encouragement for my fellow skeptics.
So here’s what you need to know before buying the Saalt cup, and why zero waste periods are awesome. Spoiler alert: one Saalt cup can save you approximately $1,000 USD during its lifetime.
Saalt Cup Review
The first thing to know about the Saalt cup is that it comes in multiple sizes and firmness levels.
You can choose your best cup depending on your flow, cervix position, and comfort level. Saalt offers a 100% money back guarantee, so you can always request a different size or a refund if you’re not happy after two periods.
- The small Saalt cup comes in regular firmness and soft firmness. It’s recommended for people with lighter periods and a low-medium cervix position.
- The regular Saalt cup also comes in regular firmness and soft firmness. It’s recommended for people with heavier periods, a medium-high cervix position, and those who’ve given birth.
- The Saalt Teen is soft and slightly smaller than the small version, specificially designed for teens who haven’t inserted menstrual products before.
Although I was new to using menstrual cups and have never given birth, I still chose the regular Saalt cup with regular firmness because of my heavy flow.
And I’m glad I did, because I don’t think the small size would have kept up with me during the first few days of my period.
My Saalt cup arrived in a lovely and (mostly) compostable package. It included a small fabric carry bag and a few pamphlets on how to use and care for the cup, as well as information about the company’s sustainability and nonprofit work.
I chose Saalt for my zero waste swap because they’re a Certified B Corporation and Certified Plastic Negative. They also give 2% of their sales profits to provide improved period care and educational opportunities to women and girls in need.
In terms of reducing waste, one Saalt Cup lasts for up to 10 years. That’s more than 120 periods for a single cup, and it replaces over 3,000 tampons on average.
As I mentioned earlier, that comes out to around $1,000 USD!
My Saalt cup arrived about a week before my period was due, so I had plenty of time to research the different ways to insert it. As I mentioned before, this was my first time using a menstrual cup, so I decided to watch some helpful videos in addition to reading the pamphlet inside the package.
Now, you might be tempted to do a “dry run” before your period starts. However, I do not recommend this.
First of all, your cervix changes firmness and position during your cycle, so the cup placement will feel off. Plus, you won’t have the proper… natural lubrication to help the cup glide in.
When the time comes to insert the cup, remember to boil it per the instructions. The Saalt cup does not ship sterile, and you’ll need to boil it in water for a few minutes before you use it each month.
Once it’s nice and sterile (and cooled off), you can use one of the methods below to insert it. After some trial and error, I found the C Fold to be easiest, though it was closer to the 7 Fold in the beginning due to the firmness of the silicone.
As you continue to use your cup, the silicone will soften a bit and make folding it easier.
Different ways to fold a menstrual cup for insertion
A couple notes about insertion:
- Be sure the cup unfolds fully by twisting it around. If it’s not fully open, it will leak and/or travel too high and press on your cervix (which feels like a very uncomfortable pressure in your bottom).
- It may take a few cycles to fully master inserting the cup so that it seals. I wore Thinx period underwear or a panty liner for the first couple periods to catch leaks.
Once the Saalt cup was in, I was shocked as to how comfortable it felt. Or rather not felt, because I literally could not tell anything was there!
The Saalt website says you can wear the cup for up to 12 hours before emptying it.
On the days with my super heavy flow, I had to remove it every 4-5 hours. But on more “normal” days, the 12 hour rule worked for me. I would empty it when I woke up, leave it in all day, and clean it out shortly before bed.
For reference, the cup holds approximately 3-4 tampons’ worth of liquid, so you can do the math for your own body.
For me, it means no more stuffing my purse full of super sized feminine products.
Because I waited a full year to write this Saalt cup review, I had a chance to do all sorts of activities while wearing it. And I’m happy to say that I never experienced any leaks or discomfort, even when doing:
The only times I get leaks are on my heaviest days, when I’m pushing the limit of how much the cup can hold. Once the cup gets too full, the seal comes undone. So just be conscious if you’re one of those people who goes through a super sized tampon in a couple of hours.
One of the best benefits of the Saalt cup for me has been less severe cramping. Many women report fewer and less intense cramps after switching from tampons to menstrual cups, though there haven’t been any official studies to prove it.
Removal and care
Removing the Saalt cup is super simple. All you have to do is pinch the bottom of the cup to break the seal, and slowly pull it down and out.
Even on my first few tries, I never had any issues with spilling or making a mess (one of my biggest fears about using a menstrual cup).
If you’re removing the cup at home, you can simply dump the contents into the toilet and rinse the cup in the sink (always wash your hands first!). I keep a mild, oil-free soap on the countertop for washing before I re-insert it.
Saalt makes their own soap that’s specially formulated to care for the silicone (and maintain your pH balance). It will help make sure you get all 10 years of life out of your cup.
If you’re removing the cup in a public restroom, I suggest taking a small water bottle with you so that you can rinse out the cup in the stall. It’s okay to re-insert the cup after a single rinse–just wash it properly next time you remove it.
You could also keep some menstrual cup wipes with you to clean off the cup after rinsing.
After your period is over, you can thoroughly wash the cup and store it in the fabric bag until your next cycle.
Saalt cup vs DivaCup
I spent a lot of time deciding between the Saalt cup vs DivaCup. DivaCup is a popular brand with Americans (it’s a Canadian company), and it was the first menstrual cup I heard about.
Ultimately, I chose the Saalt cup over the DivaCup for a few reasons:
- The Divacup’s longer V shape is better suited for people with a high cervix
- The Saalt cup has a softer silicone rim for better comfort
- The regular Saalt cup can hold 35ml vs 25ml (the Diva Cup’s largest capacity)
- The DivaCup is about 18% more expensive than the Saalt cup (depending on where you buy it)
Saalt Cup Review: Final Verdict
If you couldn’t tell from my glowing Saalt cup review, I absolutely recommend this menstrual cup for first time users and veterans alike.
To recap, here’s what I love about the Saalt cup:
- It’s super comfortable, even if you’re new to cups and haven’t given birth
- The regular size has a 35ml capacity (about 3-4 tampons’ worth)
- I don’t need to stuff my purse full of super sized feminine products
- The medical-grade silicone lasts for up to 10 years
- You save 3,000 tampons (and their plastic packaging) from landfills
- Fewer cramps and less pain vs. tampons