What are the best sex toy materials? Why you should care

When it comes to purchasing a sex toy, it can be quite easy to pick the size you would like, shape or color that suits your body and desires.

However, have you ever considered the materials that make the product?

Whether they are body-safe or what lubricants they are compatible with?

This article has pieced together your definitive guide to best sex toy materials, thus helping you on your new-found journey of sex toy professionalism.

This ultimate guide will assist you to become an expert of your pleasure and play safe with a range of information.

One of the most vital thing to keep in mind when choosing a sex toy for you or your partner is that sexual needs differ from one person to another. It can be helpful if you popped into your local sex toy shop and had a feel or smell to see which one turns you on.

Purchasing a variety of sex toys can be important since sometimes you may want the cool hard pressure stimulation while other times you might want to have that real lifelike sensation.

So, here is a compiled list of the best sex toy materials with their information so that you can make a knowledgeable conclusion when purchasing one.

Factors to Consider While Choosing Sex Toys Material

Flexibility or Firmness

Test whether the material can bend into different forms or it remains stuck in its original shape. Most men find flexible sex toys to be more comfortable to use since they can easily bend to fit into your body. However, on the other hand, firm materials are easier to insert and remove. They can also be more stimulating.

Textured or Smooth

Some sex toys have a smooth and sleek surface for easy penetration while others have a textured or rough surface for better stimulation.

Vibration Transmission

The chances are that you’ve ever stuck your head underwater and listened to someone talking and then listened to them in the air. We know how big the voice difference is, and this basic principle applies to vibrations too. Simply, some vibrator sex materials are better at transmitting vibrations than others. Generally, firmer materials transmit vibrations better than flexible materials that a found in most prostage massage toys.

There are two major categories of sex toy materials they include porous and non-porous.

Porous Material

Usually, porous materials are soft. Although this group can also comprise hard plastics, it is good to assume that if a sex toy is not made of ABS hard plastic, it is porous. The main downside of this material though is that they can trap bacteria and dirt if not properly cleaned.

Porous sex toys can cause re-infection from a previous bacterial infection or even cause an outbreak in a pre-existing STI. Therefore, one should always keep their toy clean and truly sterilize them.

Also, all sex toy materials that consist of phthalates (study of phthalates) fall under the porous category. Phthalates are a chemical agent that are used to bind plastics together thus making them flexible. However, this material was banned since it was suspected to cause cancer.

Non-porous Material

Usually, non-porous materials are of higher quality and are more expensive. Also, since they are not porous, they do not harbor bacteria or dirt and can be completely sterilized.

Most of these materials are harder than porous materials, some of them include glass, specially treated wood, and metal. Also, it is quite surprising to learn that silicone is a non-porous material too as much as it is soft.

Meet the Materials


Silicone is one of the safest material used in manufacturing a sex toy. Mostly you will find butt plugs, anal beads, penis rings, sex dolls, fake pussies and vibrators either made from or coated with silicone.

Generally, silicone sex toys attract a higher price than other toys since it is quite expensive to manufacture. Silicone comes in various textures and can be super-soft or extremely firm. It easily warms up to your body temperature.

Therefore, it is a perfect material for use in sex toys. Also, its slight squishy feeling makes it far more comfortable to insert.

Benefits of Silicone Sex Toys

  • It is a non-porous material thus unwelcoming place for bacteria or dirt, so it is super hygienic.
  • 100% silicone sex toys are made out of chemically inert, medical-grade silicone that is safe and hypoallergenic for almost all of your sensitive parts.
  • It is durable hence can last for a long time without any signs of wear.
  • It does not smell, change color or have a funny taste.
  • Toys made from silicone come with an impressive range of different colors, sizes, and
  • It can withstand temperatures of up to 600 degrees.

How to take care of Silicone Sex Toys

  • Clean your toy before and after use.
  • Wash it with a sex toy cleaner or a mild liquid soap. You can also boil it for three minutes that is if it does not have any electrical components.
  • Keep it away from sharp objects that can tear it.


The glass is also a good material used in manufacturing sex toys. Borosilicate glass is the commonly used to manufacture glass sex toys, but there are other types such as soda-lime.

Glass can make beautiful work of arts as well as sex toys which can range from quite cheap to very expensive. While any glass is very likely to break or crack, some glass products are made to a higher quality than others depending on the manufacturing process.

Therefore, be careful when buying your glass toy and go through the reviews first to make sure you are getting the best quality.

Benefits of Glass Sex Toys

  • Glass toys are elegant and not only do they look good but also feel amazing.
  • They are compatible with all lubes.
  • They have a smooth texture hence they easily slip over into your curves.
  • They are non-porous, so they are super hygienic and easily cleaned.

How to Take Care of Glass Sex Toys

  • They are quite sturdy, but in case yours get chipped ensure you replace it immediately.
  • Wash them with soapy water or toy cleaner.

Stainless Steel

If you love firm sensations, then stainless steel sex toys are the most appropriate for you. It is possible to find penis extenders, vibrators and anal plugs made from steel. However, this is still an emerging sex toy material.

These toys are also a great option for fetish foreplay since the steel gives you a medical look and feel.

Benefits of Metal Sex Toys

  • Metal sex toys are compatible with all types of lubes.
  • They are non-porous thus super-hygienic and easy to clean.
  • They have smooth surfaces. Therefore, it easily glides

How to Take Care of Stainless Steel Sex Toys

  • Wash with some soap and water.

Hard ABS Plastic

Hard ABS plastic sex toy is a mixture of hard plastic, rubber, and elastomer. It is very strong and can be recycled. In most cases, it is used to make male masturbators, vibrators and other types of tough toys.

Benefits of Hard ABS Plastic Sex Toys

  • Most sex toys of different shapes, colors and sizes are made of this material at an affordable price.
  • They can transmit powerful vibrations.
  • They are compatible with all types of lubricant.
  • They are non-porous thus super-hygienic.

How to Take Care of Hard ABS Plastic Sex Toys

  • Always keep the electronic parts dry
  • Wash it with soapy water or toy cleaner before and after each subsequent use.
  • Take out your batteries each time when not in use.

Thermoplastic Elastomer

TPE is commonly referred to as flesh-like due to its texture and appearance. This material is a mixture of rubber and plastic.

A toy made from this material is often soft, has a squishy texture that is silky to the touch. The squishy texture comes from the renewal powder that is dusted on the molds to during production.

Benefits of TPE

  • They are phthalate and latex free.
  • They have amazing realistic texture and appearance.

How to Take Care of TPE Sex Toys

  • Before putting away your toy, dust it with some cornstarch to maintain its realistic texture and appearance.
  • Store it in a fabric bag until their next use.
  • Avoid dusting it with talcum powder since talc is potentially harmful.
  • Dry it thoroughly after gently cleaning it.


This is an extremely hard and non-porous material used to make any sex toy. Acrylic looks pretty much like glass, but it is almost indestructible that’s why it’s the ideal material to make penis pumps that require a strong vacuum, to work.

Therefore, this is a good choice for people who like the look and feel of glass, but they feel uncomfortable with the material.

Benefits of Acrylic

  • Can be used with every type of lubricant.
  • It is non-porous thus super-hygienic and easy to clean.

How to Take Care of Acrylic Sex Toys

  • Do not clean your acrylic sex toy using alcohol or any other product that contains alcohol. Acrylic tends to break down over time when exposed to alcohol.
  • Clean using soap and water.

Bottom Line

Depending on your sexual needs and desires, you may be as happy and satisfied with a cheaper sex toy as with a high-end version. Make sure that you know what you are getting when it comes to artistry and materials.

That way you will have realistic expectations about how easy it will be to clean the toy and how it will last. Also, sex toy safety has tremendously improved over time. However, it is still up to you to do your research and ensure that whatever you’re buying is safe.

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