Like seatbelts, helmets and other protective equipment, condoms have long suffered from the reputation that they take away from the experience. It just so happens that while the HIV/AIDS crisis of the 1980s underscored the importance of condom use, states began enacting seatbelt laws around the same time. And while nowadays it’d be pretty ridiculous to hear anyone bemoan wearing seatbelts because they “ruin driving,” complaints plague condoms to this day. Condoms still face an uphill battle, even though condom use has been recommended as a preventative measure since the 1500s.
Part of the reason that complaining about condoms is so commonplace, is because, well, let’s face it, the critics are kind of right. And while the benefits wildly outweigh the drawbacks, there’s nothing wrong with trying to minimize those drawbacks. The key is finding a condom that maximizes your and your partner’s pleasure. From freebies at health centers to premium brands, there’s a whole lot of variety in prophylactics, French Letters or whatever your preferred euphemism is.
Beyond just how they feel, there are a host of other considerations to make when buying condoms. One of the biggest factors to consider is the material that the condom is made of. Many people are allergic to latex, so it can be worth investing in alternatives. After all, nothing would kill the mood faster than breaking out in a rash. With that in mind, these are some of the best condoms to buy. Buy them online, and you’ll save yourself the risk of running into your middle school teacher at the pharmacy.
1. Lifestyles SKYN Original Condoms
The best condoms are the ones you can forget you’re wearing, and SKYN’s lubricated condoms are about as close as you can get. This bulk box contains 24 condoms, making for a good value. If you think you might have a latex allergy, these polyisoprene condoms are a good alternative. And since it’s latex-free, there’s no irritating rubber smell. The lubrication is smooth-feeling and free of parabens.
Pros: Non-latex, making it a good option for those with allergies. Thin but durable.
Cons: Lubrication doesn’t always last that long.
2. Trojan Ultra Thin Latex Condoms
Trojan is practically synonymous with condoms, and with good reason. But with tons of offerings, it can be hard to choose between them. Ultra-thin is a good option all-around, because it provides a natural feeling, and, since they’re pre-lubricated, no extra lubrication is needed. These are made from natural latex, so it’s best to ensure you and your partner don’t have latex allergies.
Pros: Bulk option contains 36 condoms. Lubricated, so no extra lubricant is required. Thinner for a more natural feeling.
Cons: Can be prone to breakage during heavy use.
3. Sustain Natural Condoms
There’s no way to completely neutralize the environmental impacts of condoms, but Sustain’s lubricated condoms are the next best thing. These condoms are made from latex, which is more environmentally friendly than plastics. There are no harmful chemicals, animal byproducts or synthetic fragrances. The condoms are lubricated on both sides for maximum comfort, and the ultra-thin material provides a more natural feeling.
Pros: Free of harsh chemicals, nitrosamine, parabens and animal byproducts. Thin but protective. Brand donates 10% of profits to women’s health organizations.
Cons: The ultra-thin can feel somewhat snug.
4. Durex Avanti Bare Real Feel Lubricated Condoms
If you’re looking for a non-latex option, consider this affordable 24-pack from condom brand mainstay Durex. They’re made from a thin material for a more natural feeling, and the polyisoprene material makes them a great option for anyone with latex sensitivities. They’re also designed to be easy to put on, eliminating any awkward fumbling. Plus, they’re not as strong-smelling as some condoms.
Pros: Good option for those with latex allergies. Thin but durable. Not as strong smelling as some options.
Cons: Some options on this list come in larger quantities.
5. LELO HEX Original Luxury Condoms
The Hex condoms from Lelo have the kind of minimalist packaging that would make Jonathan Ive proud, and the condoms themselves are designed in an innovative way, too. The unique hexagonal structure of the condoms allow them to be thinner without sacrificing durability. The hexagonal shape also helps prevent slippage, keeping the condom in place when in use. They’re made from natural latex and are lubricated.
Pros: Unique hexagonal design allows these condoms to be thinner without sacrificing durability for a barely-there feeling. Natural latex without the strong smell.
Cons: More expensive than some other options.