The 9 Best Condoms

Updated April 13, 2018 by Brett Dvoretz

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We spent 37 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top choices for this wiki. If you're responsible enough to practice safe sex then you shouldn't be punished by having to use protection that reduces sensations and takes the fun out of the act. We found condoms that will make you forget you're even wearing one, and make your partner think you're the greatest lover around (Well, maybe). When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best condom on Amazon.

9. Durex Performax

Durex Performax are designed for an unforgettable experience and enhance pleasure for men and women. They're ribbed and dotted for a unique sensation that actually helps a man last longer, but they may fall off smaller individuals.
  • become more lubricated with use
  • favorite among women
  • the lube can build up in the tip
Brand Durex
Model 0234085329
Weight 2.4 ounces
Rating 3.5 / 5.0

8. Glyde Standard Fit

If being kind to animals and the environment turns you on, then you'll appreciate that Glyde Standard Fit are PETA-approved, made from sustainably-produced rubber, and support a fair trade business in Australia. Unfortunately, you only get 12 condoms in the box.
  • gentle on the most sensitive wearers
  • triple tested to ensure safety
  • not as thin as others
Model pending
Weight 1.6 ounces
Rating 3.5 / 5.0

7. Shibari Premium

Shibari Premium come in a convenient top-opening box, making them easy to access when you need them. They're long enough for bigger guys, so you'll always feel completely protected when using them, and they won't lose their elasticity after long sessions in the sack.
  • come generously lubricated
  • flexible and comfortable
  • can have a strange odor
Brand Shibari
Model pending
Weight 1.1 pounds
Rating 3.7 / 5.0

6. Sir Richards Ultra Thin

Sir Richards Ultra Thin are the gentleman's condom indeed. For each one you buy, this brand will donate one to somebody else who wants to have sex, doesn't want an STD, but can't afford their own protection. Plus, they're FDA-approved.
  • made in the usa
  • vegan certified product
  • material isn't flexible enough
Brand Sir Richards Condom Com
Model SR12C
Weight 1.6 ounces
Rating 4.4 / 5.0

5. Sagami Original

People are willing to look overseas for a really good condom that truly doesn't detract from the sensations of sex, and that's just what the Japanese-created Sagami Original are known for. Each one is barely as thick as a strand of human hair.
  • don't have an unpleasant latex taste
  • hug your member well
  • even enjoyable with a fleshlight
Brand Sagami
Model JNPL0034
Weight 1 ounces
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

4. Durex Invisible

As their name implies, Durex Invisible are entirely transparent, so they don't take away from the visual experience of sex and will be slightly less conspicuous in your trash can if your mom happens to stop by. They boast a pleasant smell, too.
  • thin while still protective
  • approved by dermatologists
  • very easy to put on
Brand Durex
Model pending
Weight 0.3 ounces
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

3. Trojan Pleasure Pack

You're not in the mood for the same type of sex every night so why should you be limited to identical condoms every day of the week? With the Trojan Pleasure Pack you won't be. It contains five different varieties, boasting a range of sensations.
  • premium latex offers sti protection
  • fit small to large men
  • lubricated inside and out
Brand Trojan
Model pending
Weight 7.8 ounces
Rating 4.8 / 5.0

2. Lifestyles Skyn

Lifestyles Skyn don't have the high price tag of some other brands, but do contain all of the same features to make sex pleasurable and protect against sexually transmitted diseases. Plus, they remain lubricated throughout intercourse.
  • extra soft material
  • highly tear-resistant
  • no loss of heat transfer
Brand LifeStyles
Model 7324
Weight 4 ounces
Rating 4.5 / 5.0

1. Trojan Enz

The Trojan Enz can help prevent unwanted pregnancies in more ways than one. Not only are they made from premium latex but they're also coated with a spermicidal lubricant. If you're firm on your stance against having kids, these are the condoms for you.
  • large reservoir tips
  • provide tremendous peace of mind
  • rarely ever break
Brand Trojan
Model No Model
Weight 0.3 ounces
Rating 4.9 / 5.0

A Brief History Of The Condom

Though they may seem like a relatively modern invention, condoms have actually been around since at least the 16th century. While they're perhaps most frequently thought of as a method of birth control, condoms were actually developed in response to the first documented syphilis outbreak, which began among French soldiers in Italy 1494 and spread quickly across the continent and to Asia, where it became an epidemic. Syphilis is said to have decimated the population in some areas of China by 1505.

An Italian doctor and anatomist by the name of Gabriele Falloppio wrote of a sheath-like protective covering for the penis he believed could control the spread of syphilis in his seminal 1564 work, "The French Disease." Falloppio conducted clinical trials of his proto-condoms with 1,100 men in order to prove his hypothesis. His design consisted of a linen covering soaked in a chemical solution that presumably made it impermeable to fluids. The sheaths were allowed to dry before use and were tied in place with a ribbon, as they only covered the head of the penis. According to Falloppio, none of the men in the trial contracted the dreaded disease.

Penile coverings similar to those described by Falloppio quickly caught on throughout Europe. The first documented indication that they could be used for birth control rather than curtailing disease came in the form of a condemnation from the Catholic church in 1606. Sixty years later, the English Birth Rate Commission attributed a decline in the British fertility rate to the use of 'condons,' the first known use of the term which gave way to the name we know today.

Around this time in the 1600s in England, animal intestines supplanted linen as the material of choice for condom production. These were called "animal skin" and tended to be full-length, more closely resembling the condoms of today, which also reduced the likelihood that they would slip out of place during use.

While condoms increased in popularity throughout the 1700s, many detractors sought to have them banned. Some critics stood on moral and religious ground, while others like the English physician Daniel Turner felt they were emasculating and encouraged unsafe sexual behavior. Still, availability skyrocketed, and condoms in a variety of sizes and materials could be found for sale at pharmacies, bars, and theaters throughout Europe.

Condoms reached American soil in the 1800s, just as linen fell out of fashion due to being more expensive and less comfortable than its animal-based counterparts. Around this time, birth control advocates began traveling the United States and Europe, selling condoms after their lectures. By the 1840s, they were being advertised in British magazines, and 1861 saw the first condom advertisement in the New York Times.

Rubber condoms were developed in 1855, the first of which were reusable, custom fitted, and had to be ordered by a physician. By the end of the 19th century, condoms were the most popular method of birth control in the Western world.

While processes were developed in the early 1900s for making thinner rubber condoms, the advent of latex in 1920 by the American Youngs Rubber Corporation changed the industry forever. Latex condoms were much easier and cheaper to produce than their traditional rubber forbearers, and remain the most popular option to this day.

What To Know About Condom Materials

Today, somewhere between six and nine billion condoms are sold each year. While the vast majority are latex, there are plenty of popular alternatives available. Before you choose the right condoms for you, it's important to understand their various pros and cons.

Latex condoms are by far the cheapest and most widely available type on the market. Latex is actually a liquid solution of rubber suspended in water, and is one of the most elastic natural substances in the world, which is part of what makes it so durable. That being said, is not without its faults. Latex allergies are quite common, though a recently developed latex variant called Vytex has 90 percent of the reaction-causing proteins removed. Latex is also significantly weakened by oil-based lubricants, which include baby oil, skin lotion, and petroleum jelly.

Synthetic plastic condoms were developed largely for those with latex allergies. Most are made of polyurethane, though AT-10 resin and polyisopropene, a synthetic latex, are also used. Plastics tend to be less stretchy than latex and thus more prone to breakage, but they can also be made thinner without compromising their strength.

The third popular category of condoms is often referred to as "lambskin," though they are actually made of sheep intestines. While these are often considered the most comfortable, natural-feeling option, they tend to be expensive enough to be considered a luxury item. They are also not as effective in preventing the transfer of sexually transmitted diseases as other types, though they do work for preventing pregnancy.

Condom Best Practices

It's important to note that, while condoms have come a long way since the linen caps worn in the 1500s, they are not 100 percent effective. Even among those who properly use condoms every time they have sex, a 2 percent pregnancy rate can be expected.

Condoms on their own are also not sufficient for protecting yourself against sexually transmitted diseases. Though they were invented to stop the spread of syphilis, they cannot prevent exposure to diseases like herpes and human papillomavirus when symptoms are present on areas of the skin not covered by a condom. That being said, condoms are generally held responsible for ending the AIDS epidemic, and they do at least decrease your chances of contracting most STDs when used correctly.

For the best rate of success in preventing pregnancy and the spread of disease, it's important to use condoms properly. This includes opening its package carefully to avoid tearing the material as well as ensuring that no air is trapped in its tip, which could cause it to rupture. It's also essential not to reuse condoms, and to ensure that they stay firmly in place until intercourse is complete.

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Last updated on April 13, 2018 by Brett Dvoretz

A wandering writer who spends as much time on the road as behind the computer screen, Brett can either be found hacking furiously away at the keyboard or perhaps enjoying a whiskey and coke on some exotic beach, sometimes both simultaneously, usually with a four-legged companion by his side. He hopes to one day become a modern day renaissance man.

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