A Complete Guide to the Best Sex Toy Materials

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A Complete Guide to the Best Sex Toy Materials


Buying adult sex toys doesn’t have to be a complicated process. But when you’re browsing for something particularly sexy for you and your partner, you’ll probably want to know what types of options are out there. 

Many people prefer to shop for sex toys online, and we all know that there are tons of benefits to online shopping. When it comes to buying sex toys from an online sex toy shop, though, sometimes it can be hard to know what a particular toy will feel  like in and around your body. 

Not to worry! PinkCherry’s got your back with a deep dive into the best material for sex toys.


Types of Sex Toy Materials

Let’s start with the basics. There are plenty of various materials used for making sex toys. The question isn’t what can you use. It’s more of what should you use. Keep in mind that the technology for making sex toys has come pretty far (pun intended) in the past five thousand years. Now, we even have long distance sex toys available, while our ancestors had to make do with dildos made from stone and wood. Ouch!

Luckily, we’ve progressed past that stage of history, and sex toy companies can offer you something that won’t injure you or feel horrific. Just imagining wooden dildos makes us shudder, so let’s move on to the latest and greatest sex toy materials.


Jelly Rubber, TPR, TPE

Jelly rubber is a soft, flexible material, as the name implies. It’s also one of the cheapest materials available for sex toy manufacturers to utilize, which means you can get a lot of bang for your buck. Most jelly rubbers are made from TPR (thermoplastic rubber) or TPE (thermoplastic elastomer). These days, fewer jelly toys contain phthalates, which are chemical softeners that may be harmful, but it’s still a good idea to check the label or description of any jelly toy you have your eye on. 



• Highly flexible and works well for reaching specific spots deep inside of you.

• Often inexpensive and great for people on a budget.



• It’s a highly porous material and harder to clean.

• Jelly toys should not be shared 

• It may contain chemicals called phthalates, which can be harmful



Similar to TPR/TPE toys, PVC is a softened plastic polymer that used to be a more popular material for making sex toys. It hasn’t waned in popularity as much as TPR/TPE, but it still isn’t most people’s first choice anymore. Its pros and cons are highly similar to that of TPR/TPE.



• Low maintenance and easy to clean

• Usually quite inexpensive and works well for people on a budget.



• Sometimes contains phthalates - chemicals that may be harmful.

• PVC sex toys should not be shared


ABS Plastic

ABS plastic is a non porous material that can potentially make for a long-lasting sex toy. Many companies turn to ABS plastic to produce sex toys, since they’re easy to take care of and relatively inexpensive.



• Firm, stable, and great for g-spot/prostate stimulating toys that require more pressure to be used.

• Usually quite inexpensive.

• Easy to clean and maintain.



• Some people find it too hard or not flexible enough to meet their needs.

• Plastic sex toys may be noisier than other materials.



A thin, flexible material you’re likely to encounter with condoms. It’s an inexpensive material that provides a decent amount of movement, although it doesn’t feel much like skin. Most people are familiar with latex since we use it in so many other products like gloves and balloons.



• Less expensive and good for budget-conscious shoppers looking for cheap sex toys that can still hit the spot.

• Flexible and soft

• Easy to clean.



• Some people are allergic to latex. You’re likely already aware of any latex allergies, but if in doubt, we strongly recommend that you test it by rubbing a latex glove or balloon on your arm or someplace that isn’t quite so sensitive before you start using a new adult toy in your special spot.

• There is often a somewhat odd smell that can be off-putting for some.


CyberSkin & Real Skin Materials

CyberSkin, Fanta Flesh, and other similar materials are often used in male masturbators. Toys like pocket pussies and fleshlights use it to provide a more realistic feeling. While it does come quite close to replicating real flesh, it comes with some downsides, like being difficult to clean properly. Most ‘real skin’ type materials are made up of a combination of TPR, TPE, and sometimes silicone.



• The closest look and feel to human skin.

• Easily absorbs body heat.

• Soft and velvety. 



• It’s a highly porous material. That means that it’s really difficult to clean toys made of CyberSkin. With all of those tiny holes for bacteria to hide in, you’ll never be able to give the toys a deep clean, which can be hazardous in the long term for your health.

• Often quite expensive



Oh, silicone! This is one of the most sought-out and recommended sex toy materials out there. Toys made from this silky, body safe material are usually fairly firm, but still flexible. That said, there are very soft and plushy silicone toys available, too. 

Important note: don’t use silicone lube with silicone toys. While it might seem like they should work well together, it’s actually the opposite. Silicone lubricants can damage a silicone toy, so choose water-based lubes instead.



• Pure silicone is a hypoallergenic and body safe material.

• Durable and long lasting when cared for properly

• Silicone toys work great for folks who want to experiment with temperature play.

• A silicone sex toy is often dishwasher safe. So they’re super easy to clean. (Just remember to unload the dishwasher before your mom comes to visit!)

• No weird smells or tastes. In fact, silicone doesn’t really smell or taste like anything other than whatever (if any) lubricant you apply.



• Often more expensive than other materials.

• Can not be used with silicone lubes and needs to be stored apart from other toys.

• Silicone toys can vary in quality, so you may need to check the label for any additives.



Wait, metal? What? Yes, you read that right. Steel and aluminum are the two most common types of metallic materials in sex toys. They may look a little intimidating, but they’re easy to clean and less expensive than high-end silicone toys. If you don’t mind a little bit of a chill when it first touches your skin, a metal toy isn’t a bad way to go.



• Easy to clean.

• Can withstand boiling and freezing temperatures without a problem.

• Slick and doesn’t require as much lubricant.

• Dishwasher safe.



• Can be somewhat pricey, depending on the company.

• Often cold when you first get down and dirty, so make sure to spend a minute or two holding the toy to warm it up.



Unlike your expensive glass decorations, you won’t have to worry about glass sex toys shattering from rough sex. However, you do have to worry if that toy somehow hits the floor, but most manufacturers make them thick enough to resist most damage. Great news, right?



• Often features decorative designs.

• Great for firmer massage.

• Doesn’t require as much lubricant as other materials since glass is naturally slick.

• Dishwasher safe.



• Can be a little chilly at first, since glass doesn’t retain heat for long periods of time.

• May be too firm for some people.


Bonus Option: Wood

Okay, we said that the idea of wooden dildos made us shudder near the beginning, but hear us out: there’s a huge difference between unfinished wooden dildos and slick, finished wooden dildos. Whatever way you slice it, wood is never going to be a terribly popular option since the possibility of splinters is on the table, but it’s much more serviceable than it used to be.



• Usually quite inexpensive and works well for people on a budget.

• They look pretty cool.

• You might get away with putting one on display and fooling people who come over into thinking it’s a piece of art.

• Easy to clean.



• Some people find it too hard or not flexible enough to meet their needs.

• In theory, splinters are possible. Companies usually take precautions to prevent those since there are few worse things than splinters during sex, though.


In Summary

Whew! So many options, so little time, right? Now that we’ve taken a good look at your options for sex toy materials, you can choose your toys without worry. You should always test out your toys and learn how to clean them beforehand, but most toys come with clear instructions or an FAQ on the website. If you get a chance, you can also attend a sex toy party to gain more information about the various options and perhaps even pick-up some tips for new sex toy positions to try with your partner! If you want to see what we use, check out our wide selection of sex toys using all kinds of fun materials. We aim to please! After all, we believe when it comes to sex toys, the more, the better!






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