Guide to Sex Toy Materials

Guide to Sex Toy Materials

by Lovehoney

on 2 May 2017

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When choosing a sex toy, the material is just as important as the power, price and function.

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What feels good for one person won’t feel so hot for another, some people have allergies (such as a latex) and others are eager to avoid phthalates. Whatever your reasons for being interested in a certain sex toy material, we try to make it as easy as possible for you to find the right toy for you.

We always list the materials for each sex toy clearly after the product description and state whether it contains latex or phthalates. Check out the ‘How it feels’ section on any of our product pages.

Sex Toy Materials

We also include what is known as the 'supplier material' in the description, where applicable. These branded names refer to specially-made materials which are a closely-guarded trade secret. These are often realistic materials like UR3 or FantaFlesh but can refer to other compositions too. If you find a sex toy you really love, using the supplier material listing will help you find other products that feel the same.


Tracey Cox Supersex Glass Dildo SetGlass sex toys are becoming increasingly popular due to their versatility and beautiful appearance. Glass sex toys have the ability to be heated up or cooled down to enhance your pleasure and have a firm, rigid feel that offers sensual pressure similar to metal.

Made of ultra durable borosilicate glass, sex toys made of this material are exceptionally durable and won't shatter when dropped. They're also very easy to clean with just hot water.

Compatible with: Water-based and silicone lubricants.
Feel: Smooth and rigid.
Smell: Odourless.
Taste: Tasteless.

Jelly Rubber

Lovehoney BASICS Realistic Dildo Vibrator 8 InchJelly rubber is one of the cheapest materials around and can be shaped and coloured to almost any specification. It has been widely used to make sex toys for years but has seen a dip in popularity due to outstanding confusion surrounding phthalates, chemicals which are added to rubber to make it flexible. Not all jelly rubber toys contain phthalates so always check our toy specifications to be sure.

Skin-safe rubber is now often used as a substitute for jelly rubber, offering similar properties but without phthalates. If you're going to use jelly sex toys, make sure you cover them in a condom first and never store them together - the materials will react and they'll melt!

Compatible with: Water-based and silicone lubricants.
Feel: Smooth, rubbery and flexible.
Smell: Strong rubbery smell.
Taste: Slight chemical taste.
May contain phthalates. Contains latex.


Cock Locker Inflatable Medium DildoLatex is a form of rubber that can be made into some amazingly stimulating shapes. Latex is often used in inflatable sex toys due to its amazing flexibility and is also used to make latex rubber clothing.

Latex feels flexible and fun and has a smooth finish that can be polished with silicone lubricant or latex shiner to give it a glossy, wet-look finish.

Latex requires some TLC when it comes to cleaning. Ensure you spray it with an antibacterial sex toy cleaner and dry it thoroughly before sprinkling with a renewer powder. The renewer powder will help the rubber stay soft, supple and flexible.

Compatible with: Water-based and silicone lubricants.
Feel: Smooth, rubbery and flexible.
Smell: Slight rubbery smell.
Taste: Slight rubbery taste.
Does not contain phthalates. Contains latex (surprisingly).


njoy Pure Wand Stainless Steel DildoMetal has all the qualities needed for a brilliant sex toy - it's non-porous, waterproof, skin-safe, compatible with all lubricants and extra durable.

However, being made of solid stainless steel, metal sex toys tend to be quite heavy and the rigid feel is a little too much for some. Fans of firm pressure will love their heavy weight and the effect this has on their sexiest spots.

Compatible with: Water-based and silicone lubricants.
Feel: Smooth, cold and rigid.
Smell: Odourless.
Taste: Tasteless.
Does not contain phthalates. Does not contain latex.


Lovehoney Silencer 2.0 Whisper Quiet Waterproof VibratorHard and hygienic, rigid acrylonitrile butadiene styrene plastic (ABS plastic to me and you) is a favourite material in vibrating bullets and classic vibes. Plastic transfers vibrations extremely well and allows firm, strong stimulation. It's also compatible with all lubes and easy to clean.

If you prefer a velvet touch but want the same firmness, look for smooth coated plastic. This is ABS plastic that has been given a smooth rubber-based or polyurethane coating.

Compatible with: Water-based and silicone lubricants.
Feel: Smooth, hard and strong.
Smell: Odourless.
Taste: Tasteless.
Does not contain phthalates. Does not contain latex.

Realistic Feel

Pink Lady FleshlightRealistic feel is a very broad term for sex toys made with materials that are designed to be natural in both look and feel. CyberSkin, Real Feel Super Skin, Better-Than-Real, Fanta Flesh, Futurotic, Loveclone RX, UR3, Sensafirm – all of these are terms for essentially the same elastomer based material.

Buying a realistic feel sex toy such as a Fleshlight, will give you an ultra life-like experience - it even retains heat to keep it at body-temperature!

Realistic feel materials are porous, so it's important to clean them thoroughly and powder them with cornflour or a renewer powder to keep them soft.

Compatible with: Water-based lubricants only.
Feel: Firm, tactile and life-like.
Smell: Strong rubbery smell.
Taste: Rubbery taste.
Check individual descriptions for latex and phthalates content.


Tantus Silk Large Silicone DildoSilicone is often used in designer sex toys and is championed for its non-porous finish and hypoallergenic properties.

Many sex toy companies are now turning to silicone as their main material choice as it's easy to clean, feels fantastic and lasts a long time. Silicone sex toys such as the beautiful Happy Rabbits or Lelo range, can be firm, flexible or rigid and are so long lasting, you may never need to replace them.

You shouldn't use silicone lubricants with silicone sex toys. Silicone lubricants may degrade the material of your sex toy, so stick to water-based lubricants.

Compatible with: Water-based lubricants only.
Feel: Smooth and beautifully shaped.
Smell: Odourless.
Taste: Tasteless.
Does not contain phthalates. Does not contain latex.

Skin-Safe Rubber

Lovehoney Jessica Rabbit 2.0 Rabbit VibratorUnlike other sex toy materials, skin-safe rubber has not undergone the same softening processes that fill it with phthalates. As well as being free of phthalates, skin-safe rubber is free from latex. By those in the know, it is also called TPE/TPR (thermoplastic elastomer/rubber).

Often used in rabbit vibrators, skin-safe rubber is quite firm and provides the right amount of stimulation needed for G-Spot or P-Spot orgasms.

Compatible with: Water-based lubricants.
Feel: Smooth, rubbery and firm.
Smell: Slight 'nail polish' smell.
Taste: Tasteless.
Does not contain phthalates. Does not contain latex.

Need more help?

You can Contact Customer Care, who will be able to help you find the perfect toy. You can email, telephone or live chat to an experienced advisor 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

The other great place to look for people's advice on sex toys is on the Lovehoney Forum, where our community is on hand to give their opinions and tips.

Contact Lovehoney Customer Care | Visit The Lovehoney Forum

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Originally published on 2 May 2017. Updated on 5 Aug 2020