Guide to Materials

What is the best material for sex toys?

The safety of sex toy materials is very important

Why is the safety of sex toy materials important?

When exploring the realm of sex toys, you may have come across the term "body-safe" frequently. This term is pervasive because it's crucial, but various companies interpret "safe" in diverse ways. Unfortunately, the sex toy industry lacks FDA regulation, which undermines the credibility of the materials often advertised as "body-safe" in sex toys.

Safety is one of the most important considerations. Sex toys come into direct contact with sensitive parts of the body, and using low-quality or unsafe materials can lead to a range of health problems such as irritation, allergic reactions, or even infections.

Many sex toys are made of porous materials, which can absorb bacteria, viruses, and other harmful substances, making them difficult to clean and sanitize. If these materials are not properly cleaned or are used without a condom, they can pose a serious health risk to the user.

We take great care in selecting the materials for our sex toys, ensuring that they meet our strict safety and quality standards. We also test each toy thoroughly to ensure that they are safe and effective for use.

The materials used in our sex toys, such as silicone, TPE, and ABS, are safe for use. In particular, Silicone is non-porous, meaning that sex toys will not absorb liquids, bacteria or other harmful substances. This makes them easy to clean and maintain, reducing the risk of infections or other health concerns. Additionally, these materials are hypoallergenic, meaning that they are less likely to cause allergic reactions or skin irritation.

Have you ever questioned the material from which your sex toy is made? In this article, we explore various materials used in sex toys and what you should consider when purchasing your next vibrator. It is crucial to be mindful of what you insert into your body, not just limited to fingers, penises, and other body parts, but also the sex toys and sexual aids you utilize.

Contrary to what you might expect, there is a significant lack of regulation in the sex toy industry - in most cases, sex toys are considered "novelty items". However, just as we are cautious about the cosmetics we use on our skin, it is essential to extend this caution to our sex toys as well and steer clear of potentially hazardous substances. This article will provide guidance on which sex toy materials are safe to use and which ones should be avoided.

What materials should I avoid when buying a sex toy?

Checking the material from which a sex toy is made before purchasing is of utmost importance. Certain materials used in sex toys are deemed unsafe and can result in various dermatological issues, such as itching, burning, rashes, and even tissue damage.

It's advisable to avoid the following materials:

Rubber: Often used to create dildos, this latex material emits a strong odor and can cause an allergic reaction. Since it is a porous material, it is recommended to use it with a condom.

Jellies: These low-quality, inexpensive sex toys aim to mimic a realistic sensation. However, they contain phthalates

PVC: Inexpensive and used to provide a softer feel to sex toys, PVC also contains phthalates.

Which materials are considered body-safe and good?

There are a whole host of body-safe materials out there - the following materials are considered good when buying a sex toy:

  • Silicone: It is a durable, bendable material that provides a realistic feel to sex toys. Although more expensive than other materials, it is a safer option since it does not contain any harmful chemicals.
  • Stainless steel: Besides looking great, this material is non-porous, making it easy to clean. You can use a dishwasher or boil it in water to sanitize it.
  • Borosilicate glass: This material is non-porous, non-toxic, and can withstand high temperatures, making it ideal for sex toys. You can sanitize it by putting it in the dishwasher alongside your stainless steel toy.

Does your sex toy contain phthalates?

Low quality, cheap sex toys - like single-use bullet vibrators and cock rings, which are often marketed as "novelty items" - are ones to be careful about. These toys often contain phthalates, a chemical used to make plastic more flexible, which can cause various health problems such as male infertility, type II diabetes, and asthma.

Although it may be challenging to determine the exact materials used in a sex toy, one helpful method to identify unsafe materials is to conduct a quick smell test. If a toy has a strong odor, it's likely that cheap, hazardous materials were utilized in its production.

Is your sex toy porous?

It's crucial to note that porous sex toys enable bacteria to flourish as they cannot be thoroughly sterilized. Certain jelly toys, in particular, are porous and challenging to sanitize. When purchasing a porous toy, it's essential to use a condom.

In contrast, non-porous sex toys have a water-resistant surface and are smoother. You can sterilize these toys with a designated sex toy cleanser or soap and water. As a result, these materials do not harbor bacteria if they are adequately sterilized and stored.

How do I keep my sex toy clean?

How you keep your sex toy clean depends on: 

  • what the sex toy is made of
  • if the sex toy uses batteries and has parts that cannot be washed

Make sure you refer to the original instructions for advice on how to clean and store your sex toy. Reusable sex toys should be washed thoroughly with a dedicated sex toy cleanser or with warm water and soap after each use. You should also wash them between:

  • what the sex toy is made of
  • if the sex toy uses batteries and has parts that cannot be washed

Before each use, you should check your sex toy for any scratches or breaks in the surface material where germs could be present and spread - as this can increase the risk of infection.

All kinds of Materials


Silicone is considered one of the safest materials used in sex toys. These toys can be made of either solid silicone or coated with a vibrator motor. With a wide range of colors and shapes available, silicone is a popular material for toys, including dildos, vibrators, butt plugs, and nipple suckers. Due to its density, silicone is an excellent material for powerful vibrations and penetration. Moreover, it slowly retains heat, warming up to the body's natural temperature during use.

Medical grade silicone, commonly used in sex toys, is nonporous, which means bacteria cannot retain and spread on the surface. Additionally, they are easy to clean and maintain. These toys can be washed in warm water with mild soap, placed in the dishwasher's top rack without detergent or boiled in water for a few minutes. It can withstand temperatures up to 300 degrees Celsius, so burning or melting the toy is not a concern.

Using a water-based lubricant is recommended when playing with a silicone toy, as silicone-based lubes can damage the texture and strength of the toy. Due to the surface's attraction to lint and dust, it's best to store silicone toys in a soft, low-lint cloth bag.

Jelly rubber

Jelly rubber was once a commonly used material for sex toys due to its affordability and availability in various colors. However, it was discovered that this material contains phthalates, which are chemicals utilized to soften plastics and can potentially harm the body. Additionally, jelly rubber is often combined with other materials, such as latex, to create a shiny appearance, making it difficult for people with allergies to identify. This material is also porous, meaning that it cannot be completely sterilized. At Candyhub, we do not stock jelly rubber toys. If you do happen to have a toy made from jelly rubber, we recommend using a condom or protective barrier to ensure your safety, as well as a water-based lubricant to protect the texture of the toy.

Synthetic skin 

Also known as cyber skin or soft skin toys, synthetic skin toys are made from a blend of materials, such as plastic, silicone, rubber, and latex. These toys often have a highly realistic appearance, with intricate details and color gradients that can be molded to create lifelike textures. They are ideal for gender play, particularly when used with harness dildos or packers. These toy are usually a little more expensive and require a more detailed upkeep when it comes to cleaning and storing. It’s recommended that you dust synthetic skin toys with cornstarch after each use to maintain likes lifelike appearance and texture.

It's important to note that synthetic skin toys are porous and cannot be completely sterilized, making condoms or protective barriers a necessary precaution during every use. Additionally, the soft material of these toys can be prone to tearing from sharp objects such as nails or teeth.


Elastomer is one of the newer materials to be introduced to the sex toy market. It boasts a luxuriously soft texture that effectively transmits vibrations. Elastomer is made from a combination of plastics in a process that involves molding and dusting the molds with cornstarch to achieve the desired texture. This material is safe for use on the body and is an excellent alternative for those with latex allergies. However, it is still slightly porous, so it is advisable to use barriers when sharing the toy with partners who are not fluid-bonded.

It's important to note that synthetic skin toys are porous and cannot be completely sterilized, making condoms or protective barriers a necessary precaution during every use. Additionally, the soft material of these toys can be prone to tearing from sharp objects such as nails or teeth.

Soft plastic (TPR / TPE)

Soft plastic toys, such as those made of TPR/TPE, are among the most cost-effective options available in the market. Unlike some plastic toys, many TPR/TPE toys are phthalate-free and latex-free, making them safer for the body. However, since these materials are porous, they cannot be cleaned to a sterile level. To ensure safe use, it is recommended that TPR/TPE toys be cleaned before use with warm water and mild soap or a toy cleaner. 


Latex is a highly sought-after material in the world of adult products and sex toys due to its unique feel and texture. It is made from a natural rubber that is extracted from trees and is used to create condoms, gloves, clothing, and toys, all of which can produce a 'second skin' effect. However, it is important to note that many people are allergic to latex.

Caring for and cleaning latex can be tricky, as latex sheet can be relatively weak. Often, talcum powder is used to get garments on, and silicone-based lubricant is used to create a shiny appearance. To clean latex, use warm water and a natural, mild soap, ensuring to dry it thoroughly with a soft, low-lint cloth. Store it flat in a cool, dry area.


Nylon is a popular alternative to leather in BDSM items and fetish clothing due to its durability and versatility. It is the only porous sex toy material that can be safely machine washed, making it easier to care for than its leather counterpart. However, it's important to avoid using a dryer as the high heat may cause the nylon to melt.


Vinyl is another popular alternative to leather for BDSM clothing and items, and it can also be used as a coating on motorized toys. However, it's important to be cautious with heat as it can cause the color of some vinyl items to fade or change.

When cleaning vinyl, use a small amount of liquid detergent with cold water and hang it to dry. Avoid using hot water, as it can damage the material. Additionally, silicone spray can be used to create a shiny, lustrous appearance on the surface of the vinyl.


Leather is a popular and iconic material for BDSM toys and gear, but it can be difficult to clean, particularly on items with stitching and seams. While there are many leather cleaners and conditioners available on the market, it's important to ensure that any products you use on your leather toys are body-safe if they will be in contact with your skin.

It's also important to note that there are different grades of leather, ranging from full-grain leather (the highest quality) to bonded leather (a lower quality leather made from scraps and adhesives). When purchasing leather toys and gear, it's important to consider the quality of the leather and ensure that it meets your desired level of durability and aesthetic appeal.


Suede is often used in BDSM toy, especially floggers and whips, because of it’s grainy texture and, when used with force, sharp penetration. If your items ever become wet during play, hang them to dry and when dry, used a suede brush or stone to bring back the grain. This may remove from dirt however there is now wat to clean your suede items 100%. Avoid using suede shoe sprays as they can be harmful to the skin.

Hard Plastic (ABS)

Hard plastic, specifically Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS), is a commonly used material in sex toys, especially vibrators, due to its ability to transmit vibrations effectively. Additionally, many motorized hard plastic toys come with interchangeable covers to vary the toy's texture and soften the vibrations. ABS toys are easy to clean with soap and water, making them a convenient option for individuals seeking low-maintenance toys. 


Glass sex toys are a popular choice for those seeking hard material toys due to their variety of colors and shapes. They are typically made from medical-grade glass, which is safe for the body, and their non-porous surface can be sterilized after each use. Glass toys are compatible with all types of lube and have a smooth surface that makes insertion comfortable. They can also retain heat or cold, making them ideal for temperature play. However, unlike soft materials, glass toys do not contour to the body. It's important to inspect the toy for cracks or chips before each use to avoid any harm.


Acrylic toys are not too common, however they are usually body safe and non porous. They can be paired with any type of lubricant, but it's important to avoid cleaners that contain alcohol or acrylic, as they may cause changes in the toy's color and texture. Keep in mind that acrylic toys are prone to chipping or shattering if they are accidentally dropped on a hard surface.


Crystal and natural stone toys are growing with popularity in our society with the blend of pleasure and spirituality. Different stones have different energies and properties to help and guide with an array of issues, ailments and areas. Because crystals can only be polished, not sealed, it is recommended to keep crystal toys for solo play or consider using a barrier when sharing with people you're not fluid bonded with.


Although not as prevalent as other materials, ceramic toys are generally considered safe for the body if they are glazed with a non-porous glaze and kiln-fired.


Wood, while not commonly used, can be a versatile material for sex toys. It's important to ensure that any toy made of wood is polished and sealed to prevent splinters and enable easy cleaning with a soft sponge. Keep in mind that the type of wood used will impact the weight of the toy.

Stainless Steel

Stainless steel is a great material for sex toys due to its elegant design and non-porous nature, which makes it incredibly hygienic and easy to clean. The natural weight of stainless steel can also create unique sensations when using insertable toys, and its ability to retain temperature can add to the experience. Additionally, you can use any type of lubricant with stainless steel toys, as their smooth surface allows for easy stimulation. Stainless steel toys are safe to store with other toys and are generally not easily damaged.


Aluminum is another metal that can be used for sex toys, and is typically lighter than stainless steel. Many aluminum toys are powder coated with body-safe coloring.

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