Of the thousands of sponge species that exist only a few are apt for menstrual sea sponges and these can only be found in certain areas of the Mediterranean Sea and the Caribbean. The warmer temperatures in the Mediterranean and the colder currents in the Caribbean, along with a whole range of other variables which effect their environment, mean that they end up being very different sponges.
So Which Do We Recommend?
Firstly, both are fit for purpose. They can both be used, rinsed, reused and eventually after their useful life, composted.
But the Mediterranean Silk sponges are superior in smoothness, strength and absorption.
The smoothness you notice the moment that your sponge is damp and although all sponges have this attribute the Mediterranean sponges are really the smoothest you will find. Even if this isn’t a big enough case to choose one type over another, strength and absorption must be.
Strength in a sponge isn’t usually an issue if your in a bath but when you have a menstrual sea sponge, ladened with menses wedged inside your vagina then a good, quick tug is needed to remove it quickly and cleanly. When you have a Mediterranean and a Caribbean sponge, wet, side by side and you pull them from both ends, as if you were removing it from within, you’ll immediately realise that it’s the Caribbean sponge which is most likely to rip or tear first.
With normal, correct use that shouldn’t be an issue for a menstrual sea sponge but after a few months they do get a bit weaker and one day perhaps your left trying to pluck out half a sponge from deep within. In general terms we would say for this reason Caribbean sponges are good for 3-6 months of menstrual care whilst Mediterranean menstrual sponges are good for over 6 months use.
And finally absorption. Lets not pretend that a menstrual sponge will hold 35ml of menstrual blood like a larger menstrual cup might. But they are amazing for lighter flow days or for when you know you have easy access to “remove rinse & reinsert”.
Caribbean sponges are not as dense as their Mediterranean counterparts so they absorb less which isn’t a show stopper but it does mean you might need to “remove rinse & reinsert” that little bit sooner.
Are There Any Advantages To Caribbean Sponges?
Yes. In short, price and availability. Caribbean menstrual sponges are usually sold cheaper than Mediterranean equivalents and due to the geography Caribbean sponges are much more widely available in the USA and Canada.