There are so many different kinds of cupping sets on the market...how the heck do you know which ones you should get??
When it comes down to choosing which 'kind' of cupping therapy set to purchase...we have put together a listing of 10 factors to consider when looking at your options. Follow this guide and you will be able to choose a set that will help you make the most of your self care cupping experience!
Consider the exact silicone compound that your cups are made from...some will be made from food-grade silicone and others from medical-grade silicone...some will be platinum-cured and others will be peroxide-cured. Often, the compound that your cups are made from will also have an impact on the price - but don't buy on price alone as you often will be very disappointed! Review our Let's Talk Silicone and Why Hardness Matters articles and ask the questions to be sure you're getting what you expect with your purchase!
2. Consider the Number of Cups
We are the first to say you can never have too many cups!! However, when looking at which sets to purchase, consider what kind of techniques you are going to be using and on what areas of the body so that you can determine how many you actually might need. Keep in mind that some silicone cups are better for one area of the body or one type of technique over another. Review our Which Cups Work Best Where article for a refresher!
3. Cup Size
For the best results, you need to use multiple cups in multiple sizes. Most sets on the market these days feature different sizes within the entire set. Cups of different diameters give you the flexibility to cover various areas of your body. In our opinion, that’s one of the most essential elements of the cupping therapy experience - knowing that your cups will work wherever you want to place them.
4. Consider Facial Cupping
The cupping sets that are used for body therapy should not be used for facial cupping as the amount of suction is going to be too much for your face. If you want to do facial cupping, make sure you buy cups specifically made for the face. If you plan to do body cupping therapy, you buy one set, and if you plan to do facial cupping, you will need another type of cupping set.
5. Cupping Type
Over the years, several styles of cupping sets have been developed. The most popular styles include:
Vacuum cupping (made from hard, polycarbonate plastic)
Fire cupping (made from glass)
Massage cupping (made from silicone)
Even though there are a number of different sets available, not all are recommended for home application! Vacuum Cupping and Fire Cupping are potentially risky and can do more harm than good unless performed by an experienced practitioner. That is why Massage Cupping with silicone sets is recommended for home-usage.
6. Cupping on the Go
These days, people are constantly on the road, and yet they still want to experience the benefits of Cupping Therapy. If that’s the case for you, then you need to purchase a set that comes with a carry travel case or bag. That way, you can have your cups with you wherever you go!
7. Silicone or Plastic
Unlike the harder, polycarbonate plastic cups that need a hand pump (or gun as some like to call it) to create the vacuum, silicone cups create a vacuum on their own with a little help from you. Some people prefer the plastic cups with the hand pump because they tend to have a stronger suction, while others prefer the silicone cups because you just need to press them against the body with your hand...if you prefer the stronger suction from the plastic cups, be sure to receive some additional education on how to use these safely.
The best cups for self care are shaped so that they can be grabbed with one hand and easily placed on your body. Once you start searching for cupping sets online, you will see that they come in all sizes and forms. Earlier, we’ve explained why size matters, but their form is quite important too. Placing a cup on some distant place on your back can be even more challenging if you can’t grab the cup firmly with your fingers.
9. Cleaning & Maintenance
After every use, your cups should be cleaned so take into consideration how easy or difficult a particular set may be to clean. For self care use where you aren't sharing your cups with anyone else, washing them with liquid dish soap and some warm water is usually enough. Afterward, you can leave them to dry on their own, or you can wipe them with a soft towel. If you will be sharing your cups with other family members, learn how to properly disinfect your cups so that you aren't inadvertently cross-contaminating anyone!
Suction is the single most important aspect of your Cupping Therapy set. But the thing with suction is that you need to be able to control it. It should not be too much or too little for the best results. This is why silicone cups are great for self care at home as over time you will learn how to vary the amount of suction to your comfort level. If it's too much...simply remove the cup and reapply with a little less suction.
Buying a cupping set is not rocket science, but at the same time, it isn’t as straightforward as some of us would like it to be. Consider the points mentioned here, but more than that, consider your own personal preferences. That’s the best path to buying a cupping set, perfectly suitable for personal needs.
Up next in our blog post series we will talk about how to properly clean and disinfect your cups!