I’ve tested 10 different products in the year 2022. As a menstrual cup and disc expert, it’s my job to try new designs; each period I have is a chance to try something new. Sometimes the tests go well, sometimes they go horribly wrong. To close out this year I decided to walk you through the products I tried in order of the best all the way to the worst (for me.) This list, unlike my usual reviews, is only about how the product worked for me and my body. Some of the products at the bottom of the list are still products I think are great. One of the brands lower on the list is one I tried years ago with success that doesn’t work as well for my body anymore. And while literally no one asked, read to the end for a little personal recap of the year because 2022 has been a great one in large part thanks to all of you.
The Products I Tried in 2022
- Saalt Disc
- Flex Disc
- Hello Disc
- Formoonsa Disc
- Diva Disc
- Lucy Cup
- Coral Cone Cup
- Phia Cup
- Luneale Cup
- KIND Cup
Interesting facts about this year’s tested products.
Of the total 10 products, 50% were brand new to the market in 2022 and all 5 of those products were reusable menstrual discs.
Of the 10 products I tested, I purchased 4 of them myself, 5 were samples supplied by the brands. 1 product was gifted to me by the person who purchased it and mailed it to me (thank you Jaime!) 1 product was purchased by backing it on Kickstarter.
Of the 10 products I tested 3 were US-based brands, 2 were New Zealand-based brands, 1 was Canadian-based, 1 was France-based, 1 was Italian-based, 1 was Taiwain-based, and 1 was Netherlands-based.
How I compiled my list
My rankings are not scientific whatsoever. I went through the list and ordered them based on how they worked (leaks or no leaks), their comfort, reliability, ease of insertion, and ease/messiness of removal. I did not include things like cleanability or my feelings about the brand/quality.
Funny enough, a few cups I thought would be awful ranked higher than products I definitely assumed would have ranked higher because in the end – if a product leaked or wasn’t comfortable or was hard to remove it had to be moved lower on the list. I’d say some of the brands I love and support most didn’t rank as high as other brands but it’s simply because that product/size/style wasn’t a good fit for me. Them ranking low for me isn’t an indication of the product being bad at all. This was just a fun way for me to go through all the products I tried over the year.
My job as a self-described menstrual products expert is to understand and recognize why products work and who they work for. Even if some of the brands I tried this year weren’t perfect for me using them helps me understand who they work for and why. I combine my personal experiences with my understanding of product design, anatomy, and the lived experiences others shared with me that I study. Being a keen observer and making connections is why I’ve become the top expert in this niche. In the past, I’ve used that expertise to help design other products that weren’t ideal for my body but work amazing for others. Most recently I used that experience to co-design what became my top product of 2022.
The Top 5 cups and discs I tried in 2022:
- Hello Disc
- Flex Disc Reusable
- Coral Cone Cup
- Formoonsa Disc
- Saalt Disc
Be sure to watch the full-length YouTube video for the expanded list of all ten products and mini reviews for each.
Most memorable experiences of 2022
The highlight of my 2022 period was certainly getting to try the final version of the Hello Disc out of the beautiful final packaging. I was already happy with the prototypes I had tested the previous year but testing the final version that every Kickstarter backer and future customer would be using this year was thrilling and terrifying. That product personifies my work for nearly a decade distilled into one design; if it weren’t the best product for me that would really be shocking! As the year went on and the first real user reviews came in that joy multiplied. Something I helped design has quickly risen in the ranks as one of the best reusable period products ever designed. It actually even won a few design awards this year! I read every review, good and bad, and thankfully they’re almost all good. I keep a folder of my favorite reviews, comments, and emails about the Hello Disc. They’re little trophies and if I’m ever feeling down about myself or my career (hello imposter syndrome) I give them a read.
Another highlight was helping to launch several new brands – Diva Disc, Saalt Disc, and Hello Disc were all available exclusively at my store, Period.Shop, for their initial launch alongside the brands’ own stores. 2022 was most certainly a career high point. I hope it’s not the peak and bigger things are yet to come *cough verified* but it will definitely be a hard year to beat going forward. I’m grateful that the brands I work with and carry at my store recognize the value of working with someone who can and will be critical of a product personally and still support it for who it works for. I like to think of myself as the Doug DeMuro or the @CharlotteParler of period products. You can point out the flaws of a product for your own needs while showcasing why those things might be of value to another person. For consumers who like to research the products before they buy having a non-brand voice sharing product information is invaluable. It’s a job I’ve loved doing in some way since 2009. Period.Shop makes sure I can do this work and make it a full-time career and not relying on sponsorships/ads means my work can be as authentic as possible.
This was was the year I finished my dream menstrual disc/cup model. I started the design last year that incorporated 3d printed pieces, laser-cut acrylic pieces, and flexible netting. I ran into obstacles with securing my vagina (net) to the 3d uterus. In total exasperation, I made a plea for help on IG and Tiktok and it was answered. Paula saw my vision and had the skills in every area to bring it to life. That model is now my go-to for instructional videos and is helping so many people understand how cups, discs, and tampons work in a more realistic way. I struggle to allow people in to help me and have worked best as a “lone wolf” the last few years. Sometimes you just need to collaborate and this model is certainly evidence of that.
Lastly, this year brought about the opportunity to work with some of my favorite people in this industry face-to-face. I was able to meet with the founder and designer of KIND Cup, Christine Brown, and tour the KIND Cup headquarters. It’s SO much fun to see her process for designing and to see the early prototypes. I didn’t take any photos or videos but it was a special time and KIND CUP is one of my favorite brands. We met again later this year when I was in LA and I just love spending time with someone who is as passionate about this work as I am.
I also traveled to NYC to meet with the Hello Period team. They flew in from New Zealand for a special event and I was invited to tag along. We were all hoping to meet Jacinda Arden, Prime Minister of NZ, who was slated to attend and I was so excited. She had to cancel last minute to attend the Queen’s funeral but it was still incredible to meet Helen Clark, the former Prime Minister of NZ and fun to be an honorary Kiwi for the day. Best of all, after the many hours of Zooms we’ve spent together working on Hello Disc these last 2+ years, we were able to toast to 2022’s great success in person. Robyn McClean is not only the CEO of Hello Period, but she’s also become a great friend. I can’t wait to see the brand continue to thrive as one of the best boutique reusable period brands around. Their brand and ethos made them my top pick to collab with for Hello Disc. It hasn’t been the easiest road for any brand to navigate the challenges of the last few years but I admire so much how Hello has worked through these challenges that the public never gets to see.
If you’ve made it this far this thank you is for you! I couldn’t do the work that I do without the support, patronage, views, and shares from you! In 2018 I told everyone that 2019 was going to be my year. It turned out, in fact, to be the worst year of my life but that struggle paved the way for 2022 even though I didn’t know that at the time.
Every time I start to look down on myself for not reaching millions of followers or not being verified or not making the cut for this or that opportunity I step back to look at what I have accomplished. And most importantly, I look at the impact I’ve had with my “small” footprint online. Just this week someone commented on one of my IG Reels (one with very low views) and they said “…what does it feel like waking up every morning, knowing you’re someone’s hero?” It feels fantastic. While I would love to keep growing and have more people discover my work online that comes at a huge cost in many ways. Even at my size, I get a fair amount of trolls, hateful comments, and online harassment. But what I get a lot more of are meaningful interactions with people. Comments of gratitude for putting myself “out there” online in intimate ways. Private emails and messages of heartfelt thank you’s from people who say my work, or the Hello Disc, have changed their life for the better. 2022 was the first year of true business success (translation=making a profit and paying myself a salary) for Period.Shop and Period Nirvana but they’ve always been successful in the way that matters most to me – helping people have better periods.
When a year comes to a close you can’t help but reflect. It’s also the best time to set intentions for the year to come. I’m already aware that 2023 is starting with significant challenges for my business to overcome but as with every challenge that comes my way I feel confident things will be better for it on the other side.
Cheers to period nirvana in 2023!