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Even the best condoms don’t have a great reputation. They’re sometimes seen as unsexy or just in the way, right? It’s time we laid this idea to rest. Condoms are key to having safer sex with anyone you’re not fluid-bonded with. And safer sex is good sex. There is nothing hotter than a guy who has a plan to get wrapped up when it gets hot and heavy. It says: I care about my sexual health. And I care about your sexual health, too. Let’s have some fun!
But not all condoms are created equal. Fit matters, and some are smaller or larger. Others are eco-friendly or latex-free. And some brands are so thin, you can barely tell they’re there at all. These aren’t the kind of things you can really take into consideration if you’re buying them last-minute—it pays to have your nightstand stocked.
If you’ve had issues with condoms before, it might surprise you to know that the best condoms not only protect you and your partner from STIs and pregnancy, but can actually feel great while doing so. Gone are the days when using a condom meant straining to feel anything through a thick layer of latex. And today’s top-rated condoms are thinner and less obtrusive than ever before, so you can stay safe and feel closer to one another. These are all the best condoms you should keep on hand for when it’s time to get down and busy.
Latex isn’t your only option despite being the most commonly known condom type. If latex bothers you for whatever reason (scent and allergies are common complaints), there are other kinds of condoms to explore. Here’s a breakdown:
Latex condoms: Latex condoms are stretchy and probably the most widely available type of condom around, which is good because they’re also on the cheaper side. Plus, they protect against from STIs and pregnancies. However, some folks have a latex allergy, and latex condoms can’t be used with oils and oil-based lubes. You might also be aware of that distinct latex… aroma.
Polyisoprene condoms: For those with a latex allergy, the move might be to get polyisoprene condoms, which are just as stretchy and good at protecting against STIs and pregnancies, and they’re easier to find than some other non-latex options. These types of condoms are also incompatible with oils and oil-based lubes, plus, they’re thicker than latex, resulting in less heat transfer.
Polyurethane condoms: Another latex condom alternative, polyurethane condoms are thinner than latex, but they’re less stretchy than polyisoprene and latex condoms, though they still prevent STIs and pregnancies. On the bright side, they don’t have any unwanted smells and they can be used with any kind of lubes, including oils. Just be ready to spend a little extra on these.
Lambskin condoms: This type of condom is only good at protecting against pregnancies (so no STI protection), but they have good heat transfer and are compatible to use with all types of lube. (And they’re biodegradable!) Lambskin condoms are not vegan (obviously), have a distinct smell, and require you to manually tighten them around the penis.
Best Overall Condom: Skyn Original
Price Per Condom: $0.47–0.52
These condoms are the best on the market. They’re well-lubricated, durable, and electronically tested for full reliability. If you’re looking for a condom with no frills that will feel extra thin and do its job, Skyn condoms are the ones for you. They are the tried and true classic that’s generally easy to find, too.
Thinnest Condom: Okamoto .04
Price Per Condom: $3.00
Japanese company Okamoto was so proud of this condom’s 0.04-millimeter thinness that they named it after that number. It really is one of the thinnest condoms available, so if you’re hoping to feel like you’re wearing nothing at all, give this condom a shot.
Best Non-Latex Condom: Skyn Elite
Price Per Condom: $0.62
Skyn Elite are the best Skyn condoms for an almost-skin feeling that’s not made of latex, which plenty of people are allergic to. They call the soft, non-latex material SKYNFEEL, and it’s as strong as premium latex brands without feeling too restrictive.
Best Eco-Friendly Condoms: Sustain Ultra-Thin Condoms
Price Per Condom: $0.50
Sexual wellness brand Sustain is specially designed to be vagina-friendly, which in this case means no fragrances, dyes, petrochemicals, or nitrosamines. This is actually pretty rare and decreases the likeliness that a condom will cause disruption to the vaginal biome. Sustain uses fair-trade rubber. And their condoms are completely vegan (most condoms have casein, a diary byproduct). Being the big-hearts they are, the company also donates 10% of their proceeds to organizations that provide access to female reproductive health and family planning services.
Best Real-Feel Condom: Champ Ultra-Thin Condoms
Price Per Condom: $0.75
These condoms offer a barely-there feel and are as close to skin-on-skin as you can get. Champ condoms are made from 100% natural latex and are specially lubricated with non-sticky, natural-feeling medical-grade silicone lube.
Best Textured Condom: Trojan Ultra Ribbed
Price Per Condom: $0.58
Ribbed condoms aren’t for everyone, but if you like a little extra grip, they can be just the thing. Remember to check with your partner before whipping out a textured condom to be sure they’re up for it. But if you and your partner are people who like a little friction, then you should try the these Trojans.
Best Packaging: Lovability
Price Per Condom: $0.80
One of the biggest problems with condoms? The packaging. It’s often corny, yes. But also: the way most condoms are packaged can make it easy to tear them. Lovability has solved this problem with their “buttercup opening” package, which looking like one of these east to open one-off coffee creamers you find in coffee shops.
Best Condoms for Bigger Penises: Trojan Magnum Bareskin Condoms
Price Per Condom: $0.80
The Magnum is a classic for a reason and the Magnum Bareskin builds on the that deserved reputation by making it even thinner.
Best Condoms for Smaller Penises: Okamoto Rilakkuma Honey Condoms
Price Per Condom: $1.19
If you have a smaller penis, what’s important is that you know your body and you feel comfortable enough to own that. Okamoto is perfect if you’ve noticed that most condoms are too long or fit loosely—it will feel much better than a baggy one.
Most Stimulating Condom: One Pleasure Plus
Price Per Condom: $0.55
What if a condom was more like a sex toy than a prophylactic? The head of this condom flares out slightly, so that the latex shifts and moves against your most sensitive spots with every thrust. These could be great for anyone who finds that regular condoms dampen sensation too much.
Best Flavored Condom: Glyde Natural Flavor
Price Per Condom: $1.60
If you’re planning on using a condom when giving or receiving a blowjob, it makes sense to get a flavored one—few people like the taste of latex, after all. Glyde’s flavored latex condoms are well-reviewed and come in fun varieties like vanilla, wildberry, and licorice.
Best Condom for Lasting Longer: Trojan Extended Pleasure
Price Per Condom: $0.61
Struggling with premature ejaculation? These condoms contain a small amount of benzocaine lube, which numbs the area slightly to help you last longer, so that you and your partner can both be satisfied.
Best Condom for Sensitive Skin: Durex Avanti Bare RealFeel
Price Per Condom: $0.46
Unlike a lot of condoms, these have no added fragrance, so they’re great for people with sensitivities to scents and/or chemicals. They’re also made of polyisoprene, making them a safe bet for people with a latex allergy. Basically, if other condoms have given you trouble, try these, because they might be exactly what you need.