There are so, so, so many reasons to wear condoms during sex. The best condoms will protect you from sexually transmitted infections and unwanted pregnancy. There are also more existential reasons — the plague, environmental disasters, civil unrest and the general apocalyptic state of the world are enough to make anyone think twice about having babies.
So if you’re still not wrapping it up with the best condoms in 2021? Well, then you’re dancing with the Devil.
We know a lot of guys are condom skeptical, and so we wanted to put together a guide to the best barely-there condoms. Along the way, we spoke to sexual health experts to make sure we’re presenting you with the best condoms in the world.
Why You Should Wear Condoms
For those of you actively participating in hookup culture without using condoms, we simply have one question for you. Why? We’re not dumb, we know condom-less sex feels a lot better, but why risk any of the potential unwanted mishaps that might occur after unsafe sex?
If your response is, “condoms don’t fit my dick” or “don’t worry, she said she’s on the pill,” then please think about that strategy for a moment. First and foremost, the right condoms will 100% fit your penis. We even have an entire guide to finding the right size condoms.
“Condoms aren’t one-size-fits-all, but there’s definitely a condom out there that fits you,” says Dr. Sara C. Flowers, Vice President of Education at Planned Parenthood. So, there goes that excuse. Secondly, regarding the pill, are you 100% positive? Condoms are pretty much the only game in town when it comes to male birth control. Last but not least, you do realize that unwanted pregnancies shouldn’t be your only concern, right? There are a number of STIs men and women alike can receive from unprotected sex including (but not limited at all to) syphilis, gonorrhea, chlamydia and even incurable STIs such as herpes and HIV. “Condoms are the only form of birth control that also protect against sexually transmitted infections,” says Dr. Flowers.
Basically, you better wrap it up if you want to stay safe.
Thankfully, we do live in a world where most STIs can be treated (including HIV, undetectable = untransmittable, folks), but it isn’t worth the life-changing diagnosis. For men on PrEP, a medicine for those at risk of contracting HIV, remember that this preventative drug will not keep you safe from other STIs.
So let’s just get something straight here: if you are participating in hookup culture through the use of the hookup apps or the grand American tradition of meeting another lonely soul at the bar, the best condoms are key for keeping both you and your partner safe during intercourse.
“Condoms are key to a healthy and more enjoyable sex life,” says Dr. Flowers, “you can be more relaxed during sex when you don’t have to worry about STIs or unintended pregnancy. So using condoms can actually help you focus on your partner’s pleasure as well as your own.”
The Best Condoms, According To the Experts
Because it’s 2021, whatever your bullshit excuse is for not wearing condoms, there’s a condom to prove you wrong. Trust us. If you’re looking to participate in safer sex, check out all of the best condoms we’ve found below with further information from sex experts.
1. SKYN Elite Non-Latex Lubricated Condoms
It seems that no matter who you talk to — sexual health experts, sex workers, our informal poll of friends and lovers — one condom brand is the clear winner — SKYN condoms. Simply put, SKYN has the best condoms. When you balance price, materials, thickness, feel and variety, SKYN wins out.
“In my experience, [these condoms] are the most “feels like nothing is there” condom,” says Lovehoney LGBTQ+ Activist Zach Zane. Reviewers on Amazon agree, too, with a majority saying it feels as if they aren’t wearing a condom at all. Heck, “Feel Everything” is even written on the box.
SKYN makes a number of non-latex condoms for the pleasure of both parties including an extra-lubricated version for added fun. Our top recommendation is the SKYN Elite, an ultra-thin non-latex condom. Latex-free condoms are great for anyone with latex allergies, and they also conduct heat more naturally than rubber condoms. Though they’re slightly more expensive than your average drug-store condoms, SKYN Elite condoms are the clear choice if you’re looking for the best condoms for sale in 2021.
SKYN Elite Non-Latex Lubricated Condoms
2. SKYN Original Non-Latex Condoms
Our runner-up pick also comes from SKYN. If you want to save some money on your condoms, then go with the SKYN Original. While it’s not quite as ultra-thin as the Elite style, these condoms still have a barely-there sensation that guys and girls will appreciate. Like the Elites, these condoms also feature long-lasting lubrication that won’t leave your fingers feeling greasy during the act. Best of all, these condoms are easy to find on sale —you can buy these condoms via Amazon Prime right now for a 47% discount.
SKYN Original Non-Latex Condoms
SKYN Original Non-Latex Condoms (40-Pack)
3. TROJAN Bareskin Thin Premium Lubricated Condoms
Essentially, the point of condoms is to wear one but not have it feel like you’re wearing one, right? Just like SKYN’s condoms listed above, TROJAN’s Bareskin Thin Premium Lubricated Condoms will make it feel like you’re barely wearing anything. TROJAN Condoms are the go-to contraceptive for a lot of guys, and the best TROJAN Condoms are the brand’s Bareskin condoms.
These latex condoms have a low latex odor if you can’t stand the smell or taste of condoms. They are TROJAN’s thinnest condoms to date, coming in at a whopping 50% thinner than their Ultra Ribbed Ecstasy Condom, a popular condom designed for her pleasure. Prevent STIs and unwanted pregnancies with these bad boys without sacrificing the sensations you love.
Read More: The Thinnest Condoms for Better, Safer Sex
TROJAN Bareskin Thin Premium Lubricated Condoms
4. PS Condoms
BEST NEW CONDOM
PS Condoms is changing the way we view condoms for the better. These ultra-thin, mega-smooth, non-smelly condoms promise to make sex with condoms feel good again. You can place one-time or recurring orders for discreet delivery straight to your doorstep. Each condom is 100% vegan, because if you didn’t already know, most latex condoms are made with casein, which is a dairy product that normally makes condoms smell the way they do. Whether you’re the type who enjoys gentle sex or more adventurous play, PS Condoms are extra-strong so you don’t have to worry about breakage.
5. TROJAN Pleasures Fire and Ice Dual Action Lubricated Condoms
Come on, you’re not using condoms alone, are you? That would be… just… so sad. If you want to ensure both of you are having the time of your life, you should give TROJAN’s Fire and Ice condoms a shot. These condoms help “spice up the sex with additional sensations in the form of dual-action warming and tingling,” says Daniel Becker from The Enhanced Male. “[T]he condoms are lubricated with a special lubricant that provides these sensations that can be felt by both partners. The sensations can be described as intense and almost rejuvenating like a steam room with menthol in the air.” With these condoms, you and your partner can spice up your love life and reach new sexual heights together.
TROJAN Pleasures Fire and Ice Dual Action Lubricated Condoms
6. TROJAN Magnum Bareskin Large Size Condoms
BEST LARGE CONDOMS
Got yourself a meaty member? We don’t want to hear anything about your anatomy not fitting into a condom when TROJAN’s Magnum Bareskin condoms are right there. (And if you’ve heard that extra-large condoms only exist to stroke men’s egos, then you’ve fallen for one of the most common myths about condom use.) “The Trojan Magnum condom is synonymous with large penises and for good reason, they are well over an inch longer and a quarter-inch wider than a standard condom,” says Daniel Becker from The Enhanced Male, “They are capable of easily fitting a penis over 8 inches.” These Bareskins are the thinnest Magnum condom you can get to ensure sex feels great every time.
TROJAN Magnum Bareskin Large Size Condoms
7. TROJAN Her Pleasure Sensations Lubricated Condoms
BEST FOR WOMEN
Lovehoney Sextech Expert Byrony Cole and Sex Toy Educator Ashley Cobb are both in agreement about the best condoms for female pleasure — TROJAN Her Pleasure Sensations. But why are they the best condoms for her? “They have a textured outer surface [that] adds extra thrills for the receiver,” says Cobb, and “They have silky lubricant for comfort and sensitivity.” Because TROJAN condoms are top performers to begin with, you can expect a comfortable fit for men, premium latex and a silky smooth lubricantt.
TROJAN Her Pleasure Sensations Lubricated Condoms
TROJAN Her Pleasure Sensations Lubricated Condoms
8. Durex Pleasure Pack Assorted Condoms
Value and condoms may not sound like a great combination, but we promise that with the Durex Pleasure Pack, it is. While the best condom will really depend on your own preference, Lovehoney Sextech Expert Byrony Cole told Spy that “Durex offers a ton of variety if you are going for the bells and whistles like different flavors and textures,” all in all, making this variety pack certainly one to try out. Here, you can expect numerous scents, lubrications and exterior ribbing for ultimate pleasure. There are 42 condoms in total and at just over $16, that’s a price you can’t beat.
Durex Pleasure Pack (42-Pack)
Durex Pleasure Pack (12-Pack)
If you’re looking for a condom with a conscience, B-Condoms is the way to go. This is the country’s only Black-owned condom company, and it offers a stellar line of condoms that make sex feel great and stay safe. “They believe in uplifting the Black culture by partnering with non-profits, donate thousands of condoms and work to reduce sexually transmitted infections, unplanned pregnancy, and human trafficking in the Black community,” says Cobb. There are numerous sizes and styles to choose from, too.
Starting at $9.00
10. LELO HEX Original Luxury Condoms
BEST FROM LELO
You know LELO at this point, don’t you? They’re one of the most iconic sex toy brands of the century. From wild sex toys for couples to toys perfect for playing solo, LELO is a dreamlike world for those interested in spicing up their sex life with some premium toys. But did you know that LELO makes condoms too? These luxury condoms are some of the best condoms you can purchase right now due to their extra-thin, super tough material. They use a unique hexagonal structure for flexibility, durability and added fun. The fit? Completely natural. You might even forget you’re wrapped up in the first place. Due to the higher price tag, these latex condoms aren’t our top recommendation for the best condoms, but they’re absolutely worth the splurge, especially when they’re on sale.
ON SALE NOW!
LELO Hex Condoms
Also Consider: Lucky Bloke Ultimate Condom Sampler Pack
Not sure what size condom is right for you? Then don’t just rely on guesswork and trial-and-error. Lucky Bloke is an online condom retailer that offers condoms from all over the world, where condom companies offer a wider variety of sizes to better fit guys of all lengths and girths. The Lucky Bloke Ultimate Condom Sampler provides a wide range of brands and sizes to help guys find their perfect fit. Condom expert Melissa White is the founder and CEO of Lucky Bloke, and she told Spy recently that she believes 35 to 50 percent of guys are wearing the wrong size condoms.
Find My Fit Condom Sampler Pack
Some FAQs About the Best Condoms
We were able to speak with Dr. Sara C. Flowers, Vice President of Education at Planned Parenthood Federation of America to further understand exactly how condoms work. Here is what she had to say:
There are lots of myths about condoms, but here are the facts that you need to know:
Condoms are the only form of birth control that also protect against sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Even if you or your partner are using other forms of birth control, condoms are helpful to add to the mix. They add some extra protection from pregnancy while also helping you relax and enjoy without worrying so much about STIs. You and your partner(s) can choose between external condoms that go over a penis or sex toy, or internal condoms that go inside the vagina or anus..
Condoms are stretchy — really stretchy. Condoms aren’t one-size-fits-all, but there’s definitely a condom out there that fits you. Your condom should be snug at the base of the penis. If your condom is loose, it could slip off, and won’t work as well at preventing STIs or pregnancy.
You only need one condom at a time. Doubling-up on condoms does not double your protection. One is all you need to get the job done.
Condoms are one-time use only. So use a new condom for every sex act, every time. That’s still true if you switch from one kind of sex (like anal sex) to another kind (like vaginal sex).
Condoms expire. So check the date -- the expiration month/year should be later than today.
Condoms are key to a healthy and more enjoyable sex life. You can be more relaxed during sex when you don’t have to worry about STIs or unintended pregnancy. So using condoms can actually help you focus on your partner’s pleasure as well as your own.
It may take a few different tries to find the condom you and your partner(s) like best. Fortunately, there are plenty of options. For example, some folks may prefer a thinner condom, or ones with a particular kind of lube, or with some texture like ribbing or studs. Some people prefer external condoms, while others prefer the feel of internal condoms. Try out a bunch of different options to see what you (and your partner) like!
There are different brands, styles, and even different flavors of condoms. For people with latex allergies, there are latex-free condoms made of plastic or rubber materials like polyurethane, polyisoprene, and nitrile. Internal condoms are also latex-free. And great news: they’re all really good at preventing STIs and pregnancy!
Using lubricant during sex helps keep things smooth, comfortable, and more enjoyable. Lube also prevents small tears in delicate vaginal and rectal tissues that can make folks more vulnerable to STIs. One thing that’s important to remember: some lubes don’t work well with some condoms. For example, oil-based lubes increase the chances that a latex condom will tear. So stick to silicone- or water-based lubes when you’re using condoms..
And avoid animal skin condoms if you want condoms that help prevent STIs. Even though they do help prevent pregnancy, animal skin condoms have tiny holes in them that STI germs can fit through.
External condoms are 98% effective at preventing pregnancy when used correctly, every single time you have sex. But in real life, people aren’t perfect, so condoms are about 85% effective. That means that for every 100 people who are using condoms as their only form of birth control, 15 of them will get pregnant every year.
This breakdown is a little different for internal condoms. They’re 95% effective when used correctly, but in the real world, they work about 79 out of 100 times.