It’s an important and popular question that most condom users - both new and veteran
condom users - ask: How to choose condom? Best condom? What size condom do I need?
Condoms are extremely effective at preventing pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections
which condom is the best? There is no best condom for everybody but you can choose the
best condom for yourself. Condoms come in many shapes and styles. They are available in
different lengths, widths, and strengths. With so many kinds of condoms out there, it's tough to
know how to pick the right one. It's important to think about what the condom is made of, if it
comes with lubricant, what size to buy, how to check the quality, etc. To figure out how to
choose read more.
Condoms are made from 3 materials:
Latex: a kind of rubber; the most common and effective type of condom to prevent pregnancy
and STDs. But remember to only use water-based lubes
with these. Unfortunately, some women have sensitivity to latex that causes an unbearable
Polyurethane: a type of plastic; Polyurethane condoms also protect against STIs and prevent
pregnancy, and are great for those with a sensitivity to latex. Durex Avanti and Trojan Supra are
made out of polyurethane. These transmit heat well, and are ultra-thin and strong so they may
feel more comfortable. Both water-based and oil-based lubricants can be
used with these condoms. Polyurethane isn't as elastic as latex, so these condoms may slip
off more easily during sex.
Natural skin: (lambskin). This type can help prevent a pregnancy, but not STDs.
Lambskin condoms are made out of lamb intestines and while the pores of this material are
not large enough to allow sperm through, much smaller bacteria and viruses may easily slip
in and out. So lambskin condoms DO prevent pregnancy,
but DON'T protect against STIs including HIV. Some people noted that these break easily so
Condoms can come “wet” (with lubrication) or dry (non-lubricated). Lubrication can help
prevent condom breakage, and many people prefer lubricated condoms because they may
make sex more comfortable. Keep in mind, only water-based or silicone-based lubrication can
be used with latex condoms. But some lubes on condoms contain the spermicide Nonoxynol-
9. This can also cause irritation, so before declaring that you are allergic to latex, try using a
condom that is free of spermicide first. If the spermicide bothers you, buy a condom without it
and use your own separate personal lube instead.
Studies have shown that almost half of all people who use condoms feel their condom of
choice did not fit properly.
There is no standard length for condoms, but ones made from latex rubber should stretch to fit
the length of a man's erect penis. Condom widths can vary; there is about a 1.5 cm difference
between the smallest and largest condom. A condom that is too small and tight may tear, and
one that is too big may be more likely to slip off. You may have to experiment to find one that
works for you.
Smaller, ‘closer’ fit condoms are typically labeled trim or snug fit. You may find larger condoms
labeled as XL, XXL or Magnum.
How to choose the Right Size Condom for You
Pinch the closed end of the condom when first putting it on, before rolling it. Pinching the
condom in this way leaves room for any air pressure that builds up, helping to prevent the
condom from bursting. Once you’ve done that, roll it down, all the way (otherwise, it might slip
off during intercourse).
Once the condom is on all the way, pay attention NOW (before any sexual activity) to how it
feels. If it’s too loose, with space between the condom and skin, it might slip off… it’s too big.
On the other hand, if it’s too tight, it may break during intercourse - big problem there! The root
cause of condoms breaking is due to the girth of the user’s shaft, not his length. So, in this
case, you need a wider condom than what you’re currently using.
The best tip for getting the correct size condom is to get a variety of condoms and try them all.
Get a variety pack. Get different brands and styles. Try them.
Look at the labeling - make sure to read the condom label to check if it is FDA-approved for
use against unplanned pregnancy and STDs. According to FDA regulations, anything that "sufficiently resembles" a condom must comply with FDA standards - including novelty
Condoms have expiration (Exp) or manufacture (MFG) date on the box and on each condom's
individual package. A condom used after the expiration date is more likely to tear or break.
There should also be a package insert explaining how to use the condom properly, how to
store it, and how to maximize effectiveness.
Condoms come in regular strength and thicker strength. Some people may prefer thicker
condoms (sometimes called extra strong or ultra strong), believing that these are more
effective. Thinner condoms tend to allow for more sensation. As long as the condom is FDA
approved, either strength is equally effective.
Condom Added Pleasure
Some condoms are colored, have ribs or pleasure spots, some are flavored, and some even
tingle. Just be sure to read the labels on these to make sure they say that they're effective in
preventing pregnancy and STIs.
There are many styles of condoms. They may be regular shaped (with straight sides), form-
fitting (indented below the head of the penis), or they may be flared (wider over the head of the
penis). The differences in shape are designed to suit various personal preferences and
enhance pleasure. Condoms can also have different tips, including a reservoir tip, a plain tip,
a spiral tip and an over-sized tip.
Condoms are also available with various textures, such as ribs, bumps/studs, or a
combination of both. The positioning of the ribs and/or bumps is designed to maximize
You can also try out a female condom. This is another option that the woman inserts inside
her vagina instead of the traditional condoms that fit on the man's penis. It's made out of
polyurethane, contains no spermicide, and is 95% effective at preventing pregnancy. They tend
to make noise though, which can kill the mood, and some women find them harder to insert
than male condoms. They're also a little bit more expensive, but they may protect you better
from STIs since they cover up more of your mucous membrane.
These are special condoms usually intended more for fun and sex play, and they do not
usually offer any protection against STDs or pregnancy. These condoms should be labeled
‘FOR NOVELTY USE ONLY.’
Condoms can come in all different colors (even in multi-colors!) and flavors. Generally,
flavored condoms are meant for oral sex as the flavoring may cause infection if the condom is
used for intercourse. However, not all novelty condoms are created equal. Some colored,
flavored, and novelty-type condoms are FDA-approved to be used as contraception. Make sure
you exercise caution while buying novelty condoms. Read the label! If there is not an FDA
approval, or if it says something to the effect of “novelty condom,” make sure that a FDA-
approved condom is worn under the novelty one for sex. Novelty condoms are usually fine for
How to buy condoms
Many online condom retailers will allow you to buy condoms "grab-bag" style where you get
lots of different types to try out (another nice aspect of shopping online (even just browsing) is
that they usually list the dimensions of the condoms, which can be helpful if you are having fit
problems). Or, try buying a new type every time you go to the store (if you get some you don't
like, just toss them out and get something else...they're not that expensive). You could also
ask your partner if he or she has a favorite condom and give those a try! The search for the
perfect condom doesn't have to be lame or boring. It's pretty darn cool to try out different
condoms with a partner and find out what you like. It might be fun to make up a list of the
different condoms you've tried and "rate" or "grade" all of them! Make it an experiment and an
Whatever your choice, make sure the condom is used correctly – following all steps.
Read on next page – How to use condom correctly!