WARNING: People who are offended by graphic discussion of menstruation should go read something else.
I first tried a reusable menstrual cup in 1997 and reusable cloth menstrual pads in 2001. Over the years, I’ve tried a number of different brands, and I’ve written about why these alternatives are better than disposable pads and tampons and lots more about how great they are, with details about how to use them. This article is about one specific brand whose cup and pad I’ve tried in the past year. This is my new favorite cup, and the pad is very good, too.
Sckoon is primarily an organic-cotton company. They make lots of baby clothes and some other cotton items, including cloth menstrual pads. Recently, they also started making a menstrual cup out of medical-grade silicone (and it comes in an organic cotton storage bag). Their organic cotton is grown and processed in Egypt, but their menstrual cup is made in USA. They use recycled materials in packaging.
What I haven’t been able to find out about Sckoon is how to pronounce their name. They didn’t answer my question, choosing instead to maintain an air of mystery…so I’m going with “Skoon” unless I learn otherwise.
I have joined Sckoon’s affiliate program, so you can click here to get 10% off your order (or manually enter the discount code ER01HG) and I will earn a 10% commission!
Sckoon menstrual cup
This cup was designed to be an improvement over cups already on the market, such as the Diva Cup, which is the other brand I have. I was happy with the Diva after 7 years and only decided to try a new brand as a “treat” for myself when my cycle returned earlier than I expected after the birth of my second child. Now I agree that Sckoon has the better design!
- Soft and smooth, it’s even more comfortable! (Diva has a ridge around the outside, which can be noticeable when inserting.) The underside has a raised design to make the cup easy to grip for removal.
- Flexible stem did not have to be trimmed for my comfort. I do feel it sometimes, especially if I sit leaning forward, and it can be slightly itchy–but it’s not bad.
- Large, smooth, upward-angled holes are easier to clean and less likely to leak. These holes are necessary so that you can break the suction when you remove the cup. I got my Diva Cup to replace a Keeper that didn’t fit well after my first child was born, and one advantage I found is that the Diva’s holes are located higher in the cup than the Keeper’s, so the cup can get closer to completely full before it begins to leak through those holes. (Let me emphasize that even when this does happen, it’s a slight leak–not like the gush when a tampon is saturated–and that it takes a long time to fill any brand of cup, even with heavy flow, because they hold so much.) However, both Diva and Keeper have very tiny holes: cleaning them with a pin will stretch them out a bit, and you do need to clean them to get your cup completely clean; the other way to clean them is to fill the cup with water, press your palm against it, and squish it to force the water through the holes. Sckoon Cup makes all this unnecessary! The holes simply get clean when you run water over the cup to rinse or wash it.
- It comes in pretty colors! I chose red. Of course, the color doesn’t matter because you can’t see it while using it, but still…pretty…
Can you really wear it for 12 hours? Well, for me, at least on the first two days of my period, it’s best to empty it every 3-4 hours when I’m in the bathroom anyway. Even when the cup is not so full that it could leak, it begins to get heavier, which is uncomfortable. However, toward the end of my period or when I’m expecting my period to start, I do wear it for 12 hours at a time.
Is it really leak-free? So far, in my personal experience, yes! However, especially in the first cycle I used it (when I was only 8 months postpartum), it sometimes did not seal well enough to stay in place; it didn’t leak, but it moved downward alarmingly so that I was uncomfortable walking and felt like it might fall out. This probably had to do with my lack of muscle tone. More recently, it’s only moved down if I crouch with my legs apart (for instance, to pick up my toddler…) so I just try to avoid doing that and squeeze my muscles when I do.
Like any other menstrual cup, Sckoon Cup is super-convenient! You don’t have to carry a purseful of products when you go out for the day or a whole box of tampons when you travel–just wear your cup, empty it, and put it back in! Wash it with hot water and mild soap at least every 24 hours, but you don’t have to wash or even rinse it every time you empty it, so there’s no awkwardness in public restrooms. Just wipe the outside of the cup with toilet tissue, and clean yourself below the cup, to remove drops of blood that could get on your clothes.
A reusable menstrual cup is the most environmentally friendly way to manage your period: You don’t throw away anything but your flow. You need to own only one cup. You need very little water to clean it. It lasts for years: I used my Keeper regularly for 7 years and then my Diva regularly for 7 years, and I’m still using that 9-year-old Diva once in a while. This means it’s also the least expensive option: $38.99 would buy only about six months’ worth of tampons.
But sometimes maybe you don’t feel like wearing something internally, or you’ve just given birth or had surgery so you’re not allowed to insert anything, or you have such heavy flow that the cup might fill up overnight–and that’s where cloth pads come in handy.
Sckoon organic cotton no-leak day pad
Sckoon makes a few different styles and sizes of cloth pads. I bought this type. It’s a reasonable, medium size; I actually have used it overnight, and it was long enough for a sedate side-sleeper like me. It has a waterproof layer, which is important for my heavy flow.
Many cloth pads on the market are an “all-in-one” design with no separate parts, just a multi-layered absorbent construction. Those are easy to wear, but they can be hard to wash and dry thoroughly. I like pads that come apart so you can see when they’re clean and spread them out to dry. My Sckoon Pad has a waterproof base section with wings that snap around panties (this section can be used on its own as a pantiliner) and an absorbent cloth that folds in thirds and slips into holders on the front and back ends of the base. It works well and is easy to reassemble. If you like, you can buy extra absorbent liners and change just that part instead of changing the whole pad.
Whatever style and size you buy, Sckoon Pads are well-made from high-quality materials:
- The absorbent fabric that touches your skin is very soft, 100% organic cotton knit. It feels great, it absorbs very well, and it doesn’t hold stains much. (Rinsing or soaking pads in cold water immediately after use helps to reduce staining.) This fabric also is used along the edges of the pad, creating a soft edge that won’t chafe your thigh.
- The outer fabric, on the side that goes against your panties, is a colorful print, also organic cotton. This is a crisp, woven fabric. As with the cups, it doesn’t really matter what color your pad is, and this is the side you don’t see when it’s in use–but I like the pretty colors anyway! It’s fun to have pads in a variety of colors and patterns in my stash, instead of just white.
- The waterproof layer in the “no leak” pads is polyurethane, very thin, barely noticeable. Although the pads without it are called “breathable”, my “no leak” pad does not feel airless even in hot, humid weather. I have some other brands of pads that are backed with polyester fleece, and that does get hot in the summer.
- The snaps are metal–so they’ll probably hold up better than plastic snaps, especially if you dry your pads in the dryer–but they’re nickel-free. Some people are allergic to nickel. If you’re one of them, you don’t want to find out by getting a rash on your inner thigh during your period, do you?
Sckoon Pads are kind of expensive, about twice the price of many other cloth pads. Keep in mind that they are certified organic, protecting your privates from pesticides, keeping genetically modified organisms and dangerous chemicals out of the environment, and creating a safe and fairly-paid working environment for cotton farmers and textile workers. That’s good stuff to support! To put the expense in perspective, remember that you’ll be able to wash your cloth pad and use it every month for years. I still have some of the first ones I bought 14 years ago! I’d say my average cloth pad has lasted at least 5 years. If you spend $15.99 on a pad and use it 60 times, that’s 26c per use–not so expensive. And don’t forget to click here to get 10% off your order!