One of the big factors that held me back from going off hormonal birth control was knowing I’d need to use condoms again. I had nothing but bad memories of them: how they taste and smell, how they dried me out, and how they made intercourse feel different (yup, I said it). I tolerated them for a bit when we first started having sex, but once we went steady, we relied on my hormonal contraception alone.
Ultimately, I decided to go off the Pill. To my pleasant surprise, condoms have come a long way since the last time I used them! Increased consumer awareness around ingredients as well as recognition that they do impact sensation has led to a host of new, often female-led, companies making condoms. From better materials to manufacturing processes that remove harmful ingredients and that latex stank, here are some of the best condoms out there today.
Best Latex Condoms
My ride or die condoms They come in easy to open, hard to tear buttercup packages, have no latex taste or smell, and don’t dry me out. Plus, they’re ultra thin and free of harmful chemicals, spermicide, and fragrance. The only downside is that they currently only come in one size, which runs on the snug side.
Glyde makes a variety of vegan* barrier options including both condoms and dental dams. The brand also has time on their side: they’ve been ethically manufacturing barriers for two decades. With a variety of sizes and flavors, it’s easy to find an option that you love.
Sustain condoms are vegan and nitrosamine-free, and made at a Fair Trader certified rubber plantation and factory. Choose from four options, designed to accommodate a variety of shapes and sizes. Sustain also donates 10 percent of their profits to women’s healthcare organizations and are available at retailers like Target.
Condoms, but make it fashion is the best way to describe Lovability. Their party hats are vegan, free of spermicides, dyes, fragrances, and chemical irritants, and come in the cutest packaging that’ll make you want to carry them around and show them off. Similar to Maude, they come in one size but run on the roomier side.
Best Non-Latex Condoms
Skyn is on a quest to #saveintimacy. Their non-latex condoms are made from SKYNFEEL, a material that’s softer than latex. This makes sex more comfortable and lets you and your beau feel everything. Choose from a variety of options including ribbed, ultra-thin, and extra lubricated.
FC2 is a latex-free condom that’s worn inside the vagina or anus. It can be inserted several hours before sex, meaning you get to experience interruption-free intimacy. Plus, the non-latex material transmits heat and sensation more effectively, helping you feel every stroke and thrust more.
*Unless otherwise noted, latex condoms contain casein, a milk protein that vegans choose to avoid and may cause reactions in people who are sensitive to dairy and dairy proteins.