The Complete Guide to Sex Toy Materials

If you have ever shopped for a sex toy—and you most likely have—you notice many things about the description of the item. One very important bit of information is sex toy material. There are many different types of materials used to manufacture sex toys and products, and each of them has specific care instructions, restrictions, and lubrication compatibilities. You must understand what the best dildo materials are, what your toy is made from, and how to care for that material so that your items do not break down.

Well-cared-for toys that are properly maintained last longer than toys that are not. For some people, there may be allergy conflicts with certain materials — like those with latex allergies. Take a minute to familiarize yourself with the different types of sex toy materials available before purchasing your next toy!

JELLIES

jelly is a great sex toy material
One of the most common and cost-effective materials for a basic sex toy is jelly. Jelly toys feel soft, squishy, and sometimes slightly sticky. They are very pliable and are one of the best dildo and vibrator materials because you can feel the vibrations through the material. They are made from a mixture of PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride) and rubber. They sometimes have a particular “smell” when you first open the package, but it usually fades quickly. Jelly is a very porous sex toy material—meaning there are tiny, microscopic holes and air pockets within the form. These tiny holes are what make jelly toys not as long-lasting, as they tend to rip and tear after many uses. Also, these pores can gather buildup, so you will want to wash jelly toys thoroughly after each use. The best advice for long-term use is to use condoms when playing with jelly toys.

LUBRICANT CHOICE: You want to only use water-based lubricants with jellies.

STORAGE: Storage of jelly toys is VERY important. You always want to wash and dry your toys after each use. Never store them in any place that is hot or damp. Always separate your toys so that they do not merge together. Also, this sex toy material can be tacky, so always check to make sure nothing is attached to it (hair, dust, lint, dirt) as that would be unpleasant to have inside you.

RUBBER

Latex rubber is one of the best dildo materials for “stiffer” toys like dildos and some vibrators because it is firmer but still bendable. Similar to jellies, rubber-based toys are usually inexpensive. Avoiding tears in the material, cleaning after use, and using a condom are all essential steps for maintaining the quality of a rubber toy. Similar to jelly, latex rubber is a porous material that runs the risk of harboring bacteria if cleaned incorrectly.

ALLERGY INFORMATION: Some people with latex allergies will react to this type of sex toy material (as most rubber toys may contain latex). So pay attention to your body’s reaction to it. If you get itchy, red or any other allergic reactions occur, stop use IMMEDIATELY.

LUBRICANT CHOICE: Use a water-based lubricant with rubber toys.

STORAGE: Storage of rubber toys involves carefully cleaning your toy in warm, soapy water, drying it, and storing in a cool, dry place away from other toys.

ELASTOMER

Elastomers are known as “the safer jelly” sex toy material because they do not have phthalates. Phthalates help soften the PVC in jelly toys, but because elastomers are already soft, they do not require phthalates. Many consider elastomers to be one of the best dildo materials available because they feel similar to a jelly toy without the smell, function like rubber toys, and are cost-effective. Elastomer toys are also less porous but still require care when cleaning.

LUBRICANT CHOICE: For the best results, a water-based lubricant should be used with this sex toy material.

STORAGE: Always wash your toy with warm, soapy water and dry it thoroughly before storing it. Store in a cool, dry place separated from other toys. Elastomer is less likely to merge with other toys, but it is safer to keep them separated.

SILICONE

silicone is one of the best dildo materials

Silicone toys feel realistic, are hypoallergenic, non-porous, and extremely long-lasting. Many toys are being made of silicone now because of the high quality of the material. The non-porous nature of this sex toy material makes it less likely to break down and rip, meaning it won’t collect bacteria in the same way. Silicone is one of the best dildo materials because it adjusts to body temperature as it absorbs heat, creating a more pleasant experience for some sex toy users.

LUBRICANT CHOICE: It is extremely important to NEVER use a silicone lubricant with a silicone toy. Silicone lubricants will react with the toy and cause melting or a breakdown of the material, which could be dangerous. Always use a water-based lubricant.

STORAGE: Silicone toys are very resilient. If you have a toy that does not have a vibrator or any battery or mechanical components, you can actually boil it for sterilization. However, this is not usually necessary for this type of sex toy material, as a good washing with warm, soapy water and a thorough drying will do the trick. Store in a cool, dry place.

CYBERSKIN / ULTRASKIN / UR3 / FUTUROTIC / FANTA FLESH

These are all brand names for essentially the same product. Cyberskin is the best dildo material for mimicking natural, human skin because of its ultra-realistic skin texture. These toys are very porous and longer-lasting than traditional materials. Cyberskin is a sex toy material that needs to be maintained with care, however. Most toys come with detailed care instructions.

LUBRICANT CHOICE: ONLY use water-based lubricants with a Cyberskin (or any type of RealSkin) toy. Silicones or oily lubricants will damage and break down the toy.

STORAGE: The best way to maintain the skin-like feel of Cyberskin is to clean your toy with warm, soapy water and then dry it completely. Before storing a toy made from this sex toy material, dust it with cornstarch or renewing powder before putting it in a cool, dry place. Some sites will say to use talcum powder, but this is not recommended due to some evidence that talcum powders (or baby powders) can be linked to cervical cancer and may break down the material.

TPR (Thermoplastic Rubber)

TPR is the best dildo material for sex toy users who are looking for something smooth to the touch. TPR is a polymer blend that is somewhere between Cyberskin and silicone in texture and flexibility. TPR is hypoallergenic and less porous than jelly or Cyberskin, but more porous than silicone. Overall, it is a soft and pliable sex toy material.

LUBRICANT CHOICE: Water-based lubricants are the lube of choice with a TPR toy.

STORAGE: You want to make sure to wash your TPR toy in warm, soapy water and dry thoroughly. Then, store in a cool, dry place.

ACRYLIC / PLASTICS

acrylic sex toy material

Acrylic toys are EXTREMELY hard. Many standard no-frills vibrators and anal toys are made from acrylic and plastic. Acrylic is non-porous which makes it one of the best low-maintenance dildo materials to care for. The chance of a sex toy material like acrylic or plastic toy breaking or tearing with normal use is zero to none. They are not always very comfortable, as they are rigid, but toys like the bullet work better when they do not bend.

LUBRICANT CHOICE: You can use any type of lubricant with an acrylic or plastic toy. Silicone would be most suggested.

STORAGE: You can wash these toys in warm, soapy water, dry thoroughly, and store pretty much anywhere.

GLASS

Glass has become a very popular sex toy material over the last many years. Glass toys are extremely beautiful as they can be shaped and colored in amazing ways. Some glass dildos even have vibrators. Glass toys are hypoallergenic, non-porous, extremely safe, and solid. The material used to make a glass toy is NOT standard, easily breakable glass. The best dildo material often used in glass toys is called Borosilicate or Pyrex which is a medical-grade glass that can withstand heat, cold, and pressure. This means your toy will not break from normal use or a topple off your bed. MOST glass toys can be boiled or placed in cold water or the refrigerator to change the temperature for a unique play experience, but they should never be microwaved or frozen. Always read your toy’s package to make sure that this sex toy material is appropriate, as some hand-blown glass toys may be damaged by boiling or dishwasher cleaning.

LUBRICANT CHOICE: You can use any type of lubricant with a glass toy.

STORAGE: These toys can be submerged in warm soapy water, and they can be stored anywhere, including the refrigerator for a cool experience later.

STEEL

Stainless steel is a great sex toy material option. Steel toys are extremely hard, non-porous, long-lasting, and hypoallergenic—making it one of the best dildo materials you can shop for. If they do not contain a vibrating or mechanical component, they can be boiled or placed in cold water (or a refrigerator) to change the sensation of play. We do not recommend freezing any toy.

LUBRICANT CHOICE: You can use any type of lubricant with steel, but silicone is recommended.

STORAGE: You can boil or put steel toys without mechanical components in the dishwasher or wash with warm, soapy water. You can store a steel toy anywhere.

ALUMINUM

Similar to steel, aluminum toys are very long-lasting and sturdy. Aluminum is lighter than steel, non-porous, hypoallergenic, and never rusts. Its hard and inflexible nature makes it one of the best dildo and anal plug materials out there. Any aluminum toy without vibration or mechanical components may be placed in hot or cold water for different sensations.

LUBRICANT CHOICE: You can use any type of lubricant with an aluminum toy.

STORAGE: Wash with warm, soapy water, dry, and store anywhere.

WOOD

Hardwoods can be shaped into beautiful and functional toys. Wood used as a sex toy material is sanded down and finished with special, body-safe coatings. Wood toys will last a lifetime with proper care. They are hard and inflexible, making wood ideal for G-Spot toys and one of the best dildo materials available.

LUBRICANT CHOICE: You can use any type of lubricant with a wooden toy.

STORAGE: Clean with warm, soapy water, dry thoroughly, and store wherever you would like.

What Is Your Favorite Toy Material?
Let Us Know!

 

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