How to Choose the Best Condoms

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The Most Comfortable & Most Effective Protection a Man Can Get

How to Choose the Best Condoms

The Most Comfortable & Most Effective Protection a Man Can Get

The AskMen editorial team thoroughly researches & reviews the best gear, services and staples for life. AskMen may get paid if you click a link in this article and buy a product or service.

The most successful form of birth control and STI prevention may be abstinence, but it’s also … not a lot of fun. For those of you who want to have sex without worry, condoms are a great option for ensuring your sexual escapades don’t lead to a pregnancy or to the transmission of an infection. But there’s more to the equation than just knowing that condoms exist; you also have to know how to use them — and just as importantly, you need to have some at your disposal.

But which condoms, exactly? That can be a bit trickier. For starters, penis size can vary wildly between men, depending on all kinds of factors — length, width, and shape, for instance. As well, different people want different things from their condoms. Are you looking for thin-as-can-be condoms? Or studded? Ribbed, colorful, or flavorful? Something that produces a specific sensation? Maybe you’re allergic to latex and need a different material? Or you and your partner want to try a female condom?

All these questions and more are important ones to ask yourself when in the market for condoms. Luckily, we’ve put together this handy guide to help you choose the right condom — or condoms — for you. Keep reading to get an idea of what options are out there, which brands we think are the best, and what the different options are like depending on what you’re looking for.

How to Pick the Right Condom

Now, the question of picking the right condom raises the question: Is it possible to pick the wrong condom? Unfortunately, the answer is yes. If you or your partner should be using non-latex condoms and you don’t, you might be looking at a painful allergic reaction. Choosing a condom that’s the wrong size could lead to the condom breaking (if it’s too small), or slipping off (if it’s too large), too. A condom that’s too thick could leave you feeling, well, underwhelmed, while a condom with special features you’re not crazy about could leave you feeling overwhelmed.

At the end of the day, you want a condom that maximizes your enjoyment of the sex you’re having while doing its best to ensure that you’re having the safest sex you can. It’s certainly possible to have a fine experience with just any old condom, but why settle for second-best? With a little bit of research, you can find the right condom for you — and the great sex you’ll have won’t be something you regret.

So how do you find that condom? Before we get to your options, here are some helpful pointers:

Read Product Reviews

Before you book a hotel room at a luxury resort for your honeymoon or vacation, what’s the first thing you do? Read reviews of other travelers to ensure you’re getting the best experience for your buck. Why not apply the same logic to condom shopping? As sexpert Coleen Singer says, customer comments can be a powerful tool to decide on how a condom feels and performs. She suggests reading through Amazon before adding anything to your cart — or ahem, your penis.

Try the Variety Pack

It’s the spice of life — and, well, the best way to figure out what you like and what doesn’t suit you. Singer says it’s always a smart idea to buy an assortment of options so you can test them and receive feedback from your partner, too. From ribbed and flavored to extra lubrication to thin texture, it can be a fun experience to dive in together and figure out what works best for your sex life.

Only Opt for High-Quality Products

To ensure you keep the best physique, you only choose organic ingredients for your meals at home. And when you’re applying facial cream or any slew of beard products, you pick natural solutions to avoid breakouts. With condoms, the same idea applies. “Only use products that can give you full peace of mind before, during, and after the intercourse. That is the primary reason why many users stay with only the big brands. These brands guarantee that their products passed strict quality controls and that they work fully as designed,” Singer explains.

How do know what you’re using? Certified sex coach and educator Gigi Engle suggests taking a look at the back label and studying up on brands. “Believe it or not, condoms are considered a class 2 medical device by the FDA, and are therefore are more highly regulated than other pleasure products,” she explains. Before you opt into a specific line, decide what you want to use — organic or synthetic products, for example. This is a personal preference, but regardless of what you use, reading up on the effectiveness and FDA-approval of the product is essential. As Engle says, “Some condoms are made with organic materials, which don’t include gross silicone lubes that can contains glycerin, parabens, and other gnarly chemicals.”

Think of Your Partner

Even if you aren’t in a committed, monogamous relationship, it takes two to tango — and to have an exciting, fulfilling sexual experience. This is where communication is important. As Engle says, choosing quality ingredients are better for your partner’s body, which could be sensitive to certain products. And if you’re in doubt? Ask them! This ensures you both are satisfying yourselves to the maximum potential.

Focus on Fit

Bottom line though? You need a condom that fits. “When it comes to condoms, it is of utmost importance to choose ones that are safe and comfortable. The most important factor in choosing the right condom is whether it’s the correct size for the penis: too large and it may slip off, and too small and it can become uncomfortable or even break,” Singer notes.

Before you make a decision and purchase a pack of condoms, you’ll need to think of what purpose you’d like them to fulfill. Here are some of the most common uses:

Condoms for Everyday Use

HEX Condoms

How to Choose the Best Condoms

Ideal for a more sensitive and more intimate sexual sensation, the HEX condom by Lelo boasts a 250 interconnected hexagon structure to allow for body warmth to be transmitted between partners for a closer, more comfortable feel. These ultra-thin yet uber-strong condoms are perfectly smooth on the outside and textured on the inside.
$34.99 for 36 at

Okamoto Crown Skinless Skin

How to Choose the Best Condoms

If anybody knows a thing or two about condoms, it has to be those who have sex professionally. According to online testimonies, these super thin yet strong condoms from Japan are the choice prophylactic among adult actors thanks to its world-renowned “bareback” feel.
$9.77 for 50 at

Durex Ultra Thin Feel Condoms

How to Choose the Best Condoms

Durex is one of the largest condom manufacturers on this planet and has been enjoyed by millions of sex-havers everyday for over 80 years. On average, these ultra thin rubbers are 20 percent thinner than the standard Durex condom, providing the most authentic sensation from a reputable brand.
$11.99 for 16 at

Kimono MicroThin

How to Choose the Best Condoms

If reliability is your main concern, the Kimono MicroThin won’t let you down. At the top of most “best condom” lists, the Japanese-made condom exceeds U.S. and international standards for strength, meaning it won’t tear when you least expect it. An added benefit: they’re vegan-friendly.
$16.44 for pack of 24 at

Condoms That Feel the Best

Lifestyles SKYN Polyisoprene

How to Choose the Best Condoms

If you’re looking for condoms that win on feel, Lifestyles’ SKYN Polyisoprene ones are hard to beat. For starters, they’re made from a sturdy non-latex material, so even those with allergies or sensitivities to latex won’t have an issue. They’re just as sturdy as regular latex condoms, however, while allowing you incredible sensitivity. They don’t feature any exciting bells or whistles, but damn if they’re not a great option for all kinds of guys looking for a simple, comfortable condom that feels great.
$29.99 for 24 at

One Condoms Mixed Pleasures Adventure Pack

How to Choose the Best Condoms

One Condoms are made of Sensatex, marketed as a safer, smoother and clearer form of latex, and come in a slew of textured styles and sizes to fit the widest penile demographic. “Legend” is for larger penises. “Zero” features a 25 percent thinner condom for increased sensation. “Tantric Pleasure” features a roomier base and tip for added comfort. Also, One Condoms donate a percentage of each purchase toward efforts to treat and prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS in Africa.
$23.88 for pack of 24 at

Trojan Sensitivity Bareskin Lubricated

How to Choose the Best Condoms

If you’re looking for the sweet spot between a brand name you can trust and a thinness you can feel, the Trojan Bareskins are a good bet. At 40 percent thinner than Trojan’s standard condom, the brand boasts that the Bareskin is its thinnest ever. Other than that, it’s a pretty standard-issue condom, whether you see that as a positive or negative: It’s made from latex, comes lubricated, features a reservoir tip and is rigorously tested so you know it’s reliable.
$12.98 for 3 at

Condoms to Last Longer

Durex Performax Intense 

How to Choose the Best Condoms

One of the first to create a condom using benzocaine, Durex is definitely an industry leader. Their Performax line contains 5 percent of the numbing agent, which is heat-activated to turn from a cream-like substance within the condom into a liquid substance that applies itself easily in action. With Performax Intense, the goal is to prolong the time to male orgasm time while shortening the time until hers with an added ribbed and dotted texture. Intense also has a slight, added scent rather than the standard, odorless option.
$6.77 for 3 at

Skyn Elite Extra Lube Condoms

How to Choose the Best Condoms

According to reviews, if you’re allergic to latex, Skyn manufactures some of the best non-latex condoms currently on the market. All condoms from Skyn are made with a polyisoprene (non-latex) material, so users don’t have to worry about getting an allergic reaction in the heat of the moment. Skyn’s extra lube condom contains 40 percent more lube than their other models, which means you shouldn’t have to worry about applying anything extra.
$16.99 for 36 at

Condoms Perfect for Your Size

Trojan Bareskin Magnum

How to Choose the Best Condoms

If you are generously endowed, the Magnum Bareskin condom is one of the best products available for the most natural feel. It’s the thinnest condom in the line (20 percent thinner, to be exact) and boasts a new contoured shape as well as premium lubricant for added comfort and sensitivity.
$15.97 for 24 at

Caution Wear Iron Grip Condoms

How to Choose the Best Condoms

If you have a smaller penis, don’t be fooled into thinking you can’t still have great sex. That said, getting a condom that fits you just right is essential to getting comfortable and enjoying every minute of intercourse instead of stressing about your condom falling off. The Iron Grip latex condoms from Caution Wear are designed to fit snug due to their parallel shape and smaller width.
$19.98 for 100 at

Condoms to Spice Things Up

Beyond Seven Studded

How to Choose the Best Condoms

In addition to being one of the thinnest on the market, Beyond Seven studded condoms provide maximum sensation courtesy of three generous inches of raised studs which make for optimal textural stimulation. Most studded rubbers on the market come nowhere close to three inches, meaning with Beyond Seven’s superior stud lengths, you can bet she’ll feel the difference.
$15.30 for 15 at

Glyde Flavored Condoms

How to Choose the Best Condoms

Most flavored condoms are more of a distraction than anything else, but here’s an option that we’ve actually come to enjoy. Glyde condoms are ethically made, vegan, fair trade, and feature 100 percent organic fruit flavors. Essentially, it’s more organic than most fruit juices in supermarkets. Available flavors include blueberry, wildberry, vanilla, black licorice, and strawberry. If oral sex with condoms isn’t quite your thing, Glyde also offers non-flavored condoms, including their ultra, maxi, and slim-fit sizes.
$6.99 for pack of 4 at

All-Natural Condoms

Trojan NaturaLamb

How to Choose the Best Condoms

Never heard of natural skin condoms? Not surprising, although they’re one of the oldest methods for pregnancy prevention. Traditionally made from a thin layer of sheep secum (part of the intestine), it’s thin, malleable and shares a great likeliness to going bareback. Its porous nature, however, means that it doesn’t protect against STIs, so natural skin condoms are not recommended for non-couples. Here, the Trojan NaturaLamb is a latex-free, luxury condom that’s one of the best on the market, which explains its slightly elevated cost. Some advice? Apply water-based lubricant for optimal comfort.
$29.55 for 10 at

Condoms for Anal Sex

Trojan Supra BareSkin

How to Choose the Best Condoms

A friendly option for those with latex allergies, the Trojan Supra condom is America’s thinnest non-latex condom. Made from latex-free, ultra-thin polyurethane, Trojan Supra boasts the rare benefit of hand-in-hand compatibility with oil-based lubricants, which tend to be much longer lasting than water-based, and is actually the recommended lube for anal sex.
$7.99 for 6 at

The Female Condom


How to Choose the Best Condoms

Although equally effective, the female condom could take some getting used to. It’s a different feel and applying it means a bit of a role reversal, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. A nice thing about the FC2 is that size is irrelevant and it’s made from nitrile, which is three times stronger than latex. It can also be used with all lubes.
$52.99 for 12 at

Key Factors to Consider When Choosing a Condom

Size: This is probably the most important element to consider when buying a condom. Shoot too big and it will be likely to slip off, yet too small and it will squeeze in an unpleasant way and could break. Thankfully, there are a lot of models made to suit a variety of sizes, from very small to very big. Snugger fit condoms are great for smaller members, while larger ones can find comfort in king size condoms. Note: If you don’t know your size, pull out a ruler and check out our Giant Guide to Penis Size to see how you measure up.

Material: Most people are OK with the typical latex condom, but now there’s a greater variety of options for those with latex allergies, or for those who simply prefer a different feel. Especially if you have a steady partner, discussing and finding the options that suit both of you is important, and a good act of respect and communication. Alternatives include polyurethane condoms, polyisoprene condoms, natural skin, and FC2 condoms.

Thickness & strength: Some condoms are made thinner to provide more sensitivity (i.e. more sensation), but these are also more fragile and more probable to snapping in action. On the other hand, thicker condoms ensure safer sex, even when it gets rough. In general, condom thickness varies between 0.044 and 0.114 mm, with the average being somewhere around 0.07 mm.

Texture: A lot of condoms out there come in a variety of textures, like studded or ribbed. Although these options could provide some added excitement to your sex life, don’t assume your partner shares the same preference as you — especially since if you’re the one wearing the condom, they’ll be the ones feeling it most.

Flavor: Sometimes paired with a matching flavored lube, flavored condoms should also be treated with similar reservation as textured condoms. If it helps, compare flavored sex paraphernalia to a perfume or cologne — it’s an intimate addition to the senses that could be off putting for someone who prefers going au natural.

Climax control: These are condoms made with a tiny amount of benzocaine, a local anesthetic designed to delay orgasm by slightly numbing the nerve endings on the penis. Usually recommended for those with premature ejaculation anxieties, especially since it’s a discreet and easy-to-use solution that only affects the wearer.

The female condom (FC1 & FC2): Like it sounds, female condoms are like regular condoms, except they’re worn by women. They are just as effective in avoiding pregnancy and in protecting against STIs, fitting inside the vagina like a bag to trap sperm and keep it from entering the baby-making zone (mainly, the uterus). They can also be used for anal sex, and the second generation female condom is made of a latex alternative called nitrile — great for those with latex allergies.

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Source: AskMen


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