Sex Toy Materials Guide

Learn about sex toy materials for maximum pleasure and safe play

So you’ve found a fabulous sex toy that appears to tick all the right boxes: perfect size and shape, good price, great functionality…but is it made from the right material? Choosing the right material is an essential factor in getting the most pleasure from your new playmate.

Sex toys come in a variety of materials, which all have their own feel, characteristics, benefits and limitations. It’s fantastic to have such a great range of choice as everybody has their own penchants and preferences, and what feels right for one person isn’t always the other’s cup of tea.

We’re here to help you make informed decisions when buying your first toy or stocking up your armoury. This guide is designed to tell you all you need to know about the most commonly used materials.

Choose sex toys made of body-safe materials!

You want to have fun and enjoy pleasure with your sex toys, so the first thing is to make sure that they are body-safe! Sadly, the erotic industry, largely in the past but still occasionally today, produces novelties that aren’t healthy for your body. Hence, we want to make you aware of what to look out for!

Nasty ingredients

Some sex toys are made with certain chemicals, typically phthalates, that may cause itching or rashes. Phthalates are a common plasticizer that make plastic more flexible, and are sometimes found in the rubber of lower-priced toys. If you are unsure, check the label, especially when the product declares itself to be a novelty item.

Porosity

The problem with porous materials is that the toys cannot be properly cleaned and sterilised. Due to the many microscopic holes in the material’s surface, impurities and bacteria get trapped, which can lead to irritation and infections.

If you are aware of the deficiencies of your sex toy but by no means want to miss out on the fun, then we recommend to play safe and to only use a porous toy with a condom.

Also, as a general rule, the easier and better a sex toy can be cleaned, the safer and more hygienic it is to use (see sex toy cleaning guide). Keep that in mind when making your choice. Read on to learn about the different materials…

Silicone

For many sex toy connoisseurs, silicone is the gold standard. Silicone is typically used in designer sex toys as this material feels so luxuriously silky, soft and smooth. The fantastic feel makes it a great option for both vaginal and anal use.

Silicone toy designs incorporate all sorts of different densities and textures; the material is incredibly versatile and can be firm, soft or even squishy – it all depends on what you desire. Silicone also carries vibrations well and quickly warms to your body temperature, which adds to its comforting feel.

Silicone, typically medical grade, is one of the body-safest options as the material is non-porous, non-toxic (free of phthalates), easy to clean and hypoallergenic. Silicone toys can be any colour, are durable and often waterproof for fun in the tub or the shower.

Lube: water-based lube

Feel: silky, soft, smooth

Other: durable, hygienic, hypoallergenic, odourless

For a designer vibrator made of high grade silicone – check out the Satisfyer Pro G-Spot Rabbit (see picture).

10% OFF
Satisfyer Pro G-Spot Rabbit | Rabbit Vibrator | Satisfyer | Bodyjoys
Regular price £71.09
Regular price £78.99 Sale price £71.09

The Pro G-Spot Rabbit from Satisfyer combines coveted pressure wave technology with sensual vibrations to give you an incredible take on the classic rabbit sex toy experience. Blend exquisite, touch-free clitoral stimulation with G-spot massage for blissful blended orgasms. Its ergonomic shape is comfortable to hold, and the silky-soft silicone feels amazing on your skin.

Hard plastic (ABS)

Hard plastic, often referred to as ABS (acrylonitrile butadiene styrene), is a very stable and rigid material, commonly used in classic vibrators as it carries vibrations particularly well and allows for pinpointed stimulation.

Hard plastic is incredibly versatile, often cheaper than silicone and with a rubber-based coating, you will enjoy a hard plastic toy with a smooth velvety feel. The material is easy to clean, hygienic and compatible with all lubricants.

Lube: water-based and silicone-based lube

Feel: rigid, smooth

Other: durable, hygienic, hypoallergenic, odourless

Check out the Rocks-Off RO-80mm Bullet Colour Me Orgasmic, a bullet vibrator made of hard plastic (see picture).

50% OFF
Rocks-Off RO-80mm Bullet Colour Me Orgasmic | Bullet Vibrator | Rocks-Off | Bodyjoys
Regular price £7.49
Regular price £14.99 Sale price £7.49

This classic Colour Me Orgasmic vibrator by Rocks-Off may be small and discreet but it is mighty and will give you the most wonderful spine-tingling stimulation.

Metal

Metal sex toys, often made in stunning sculptural designs, are very practical and versatile and enjoy a large following. The firmness of metal toys, their weight and their cool exterior make for fabulous sensations. Metal also easily lends itself to sensual temperature play.

High-quality metals, typically stainless steel but also aluminium and titanium (and, of course, gold and silver), are body-safe materials, are non-porous, waterproof, durable, very hygienic and are compatible with all lubricants – the whole package! However, some of the cheaper metal toys may contain nickel, so please be careful if you have any allergies.

Lube: water-based and silicone-based lube

Feel: hard, smooth, weighty, cold

Other: durable, hygienic, hypoallergenic, odourless

Take a look at the Njoy Fun Wand Stainless Steel Dildo and experience pleasure from both ends (see picture).

5% OFF
Njoy Fun Wand Stainless Steel Dildo | Metal Dildo | Njoy | Bodyjoys
Regular price £128.24
Regular price £134.99 Sale price £128.24

The luxurious Fun Wand is Njoy’s most versatile pleasure tool. Rendered in stainless steel, this gleaming dildo features one end with graduated, bead-shaped contours (0.75-1 inch), and another with a 1-inch curved head for an anal adventure you won’t forget. Light, sleek, and perfect for temperature play, this wand is made of 12 ounces of pure, polished stainless steel that gives a mirror shine.

Glass

Glass sex toys charm with gorgeous designs, versatility and distinctively firm stimulation. These toys are typically made of borosilicate glass, which is much more durable and hard than regular glass, meaning that they are extremely difficult to chip or shatter.

Due to the rigid form, glass sex toys are great for targeted stimulation of the G-spot or P-spot. And like metal, glass is a great material for enjoying sensual temperature play.

Glass toys are a very safe option as they are non-porous and easy to clean and sterilise. Glass can be used with any lube, and the flush surface makes insertion incredibly smooth.

Lube: water-based and silicone-based lube

Feel: rigid, smooth, weighty, (cold)

Other: durable, hygienic, hypoallergenic, odourless

Fancy a beautifully designed glass dildo? Go for the Icicles No. 29 Hand Blown Glass Massager (see picture).

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Icicles No. 29 Hand Blown Glass Massager | Glass Dildo | Pipedream | Bodyjoys
Regular price £44.99
Regular price Sale price £44.99

The Icicles No. 29 hand-blown glass massager will fulfil your fantasies, get your juices flowing and propel your orgasms to new ecstatic heights. The ergonomically shaped, textured shaft and the bulbous head of the dildo will pamper and stimulate your intimate hot spots, giving you the earth-shattering pleasure you deserve. Sleek, elegant, upscale, and hand-crafted with stunning attention to detail, the luxurious line of glass massagers by Icicles will leave you breathless.

Realistic feel (soft plastic, TPE/TPR)

Many sex toys use realistic feel materials to mimic the real deal in terms of natural look and feel, especially in male sex toys such as Fleshlights, masturbation sleeves, and others. The smooth material is versatile and comes in different levels of flexibility and firmness.

Many manufacturers of such ‘real skin’ materials gave them their own names, but essentially the materials will be TPE/TPR (thermoplastic elastomer/rubber) based. As such, these soft plastic materials are porous, and it is of utmost importance to give them an in-depth clean, and typically also to use a renewal powder after cleaning which helps maintain their texture.

As with all sex toys made of porous materials, don’t share them with anybody and you may want to replace them more frequently than you would their non-porous colleagues. Remember, also, not to store these toys together with the rest of your collection, as soft plastic is known to fuse with other toy materials!

Lube: water-based lube

Feel: realistic, tactile, squidgy, smooth

Other: require good care (unless one-time use), typically porous, rubbery smell, check label for latex or phthalates

For a classic among the real-feel-masturbators, have a look at the Fleshlight Alexis Texas Outlaw Lady Masturbator (see picture).

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Fleshlight Alexis Texas Outlaw Lady Masturbator | Fleshlight Stroker | Fleshlight | Bodyjoys
Regular price £69.99
Regular price Sale price £69.99

With the Fleshlight Alexis Texas Outlaw masturbator, you can get up close and personal with your favourite erotic star. Shaped as an exact replica of her intimate anatomy, now is your chance to fuck Alexis and to feel every one of her intimate folds and curves. This skin-coloured, vagina-orifice masturbator features an internal Outlaw texture sleeve designed to surround your cock with incredible stimulation.

Latex (rubber)

When you think of latex, you probably think of shiny fetish clothing, or condoms. But latex is also used for certain sex toys as it is a type of rubber that is smooth, flexible and easy to form. These characteristics make latex the material of choice for inflatable dildos and butt plugs, for example.

Latex products require special care to stay in good shape and last. Only a very small part of sex toys will contain latex, and if does, it will be clearly labelled for people with a known or suspected latex allergy.

Lube: water-based and silicone-based lube

Feel: smooth, silky, rubbery

Other: require good care, rubbery smell

Check out the Mack Tuff Vibrating Inflatable 7.5-Inch Dong made of phthalates-free latex (see picture).

Mack Tuff Vibrating Inflatable 7.5 Inch Dong Black | Dildo Vibrator | Nasstoys | Bodyjoys
Regular price £69.99
Regular price Sale price £69.99

This black Vibrating Inflatable Dong from Nasstoys’ Mack Tuff range gives you various speeds to enjoy, and a sturdy suction-cup base so you can ride hands-free. Use the EZ-squeeze hand pump to inflatable the dong to your desired size. This 7.5-inch latex dildo vibrator is RoHS compliant, phthalate-free, and battery-powered (2 x AA included).

Jelly (rubber)

Jelly rubber has been used in sex toys for decades, as it is one of the cheapest materials and is incredibly flexible. Due to health concerns related to the material, jelly sex toys have seen a strong decline in popularity in recent years.

Jelly sex toys are not body-safe as they are porous and typically contain phthalate chemical softeners to make them bendy and flexible. However, we acknowledge that jelly toys have a big following and if you are part of it, please consider slipping a condom on the toy!

There are substitute materials to jelly that don’t use phthalates, such as soft, skin-safe rubber, which maintains jelly’s adored properties while staying porous.

Lube: water-based and silicone-based lube

Feel: soft, bendy, flexible

Other: porous, require good care, rubbery smell, check label for latex and phthalates

If you fancy a suction cup jelly dong made of skin-safe rubber, take a look at the RealRock 6-Inch Realistic Crystal Clear Dildo (see picture).

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RealRock 6 Inch Realistic Crystal Clear Dildo Pink | Realistic Dildo | Shots Toys | Bodyjoys
Regular price £14.99
Regular price Sale price £14.99

This pink Crystal Clear 6-inch realistic dildo from RealRock comes with balls and bulging glans for enhanced visual and tactile pleasures. Use the sturdy suction cup base to attach this dong to any smooth surface and enjoy a hands-free pleasure ride, or use with a strap-on harness.

You may also be interest in our lubricant and better sex essentials ingredients guide, which gives you the low-down on the body-safety of lubes, stimulants and other aids.