Many manufacturers or brands say they are the best. But where is the empirical data? Obviously every condom company wants to claim their condom is the best, but what is the basis for their claims. Has there been a worldwide contest? What were the criteria to be judged? While one man believes his condom is the best the next man may think it is the worst piece of garbage he has ever used.
Some products do have standards that have to be met in order to be considered valuable and elite. If you have ever purchased a diamond you will know that all diamonds are not created equal. You may find one ring at a discount store and what looks to be the same ring at an exclusive jeweler. To the naked eye they look exactly alike and they each have a one carat diamond set in the middle of yellow gold.
The ring at the upscale jeweler has met all the conditions to be considered a valuable stone. It has been judged on color, cut, clarity and carats. This diamond is flawless. In looking through a jeweler’s loop there are no discolorations and no carbon deposits can be seen. It has been expertly cut to be a round brilliant diamond with 56 individual facets – or cuts.
Now take the jeweler’s loop and look at the ring from the discount store. There are faint yellow discolorations throughout the diamond and you can see some dark strands in there as well. It looks like a brilliant cut from the outside but when you begin to count the facets you can see that shortcuts were taken. But it is still the same one carat.
The diamond ring at the elite jeweler costs 10 times the cost of the knock-off at the discount store. And it is worth it.
How are condoms rated and judged?
When it comes to rating condoms as to which are the best, one question is the best in what category? There are surveys sponsored by manufacturers, colleges and universities, magazines and even health departments. Each survey asks different questions. One may cover what is the best small size condom; what is the best large size condom; which condom tastes better; which condom feels the best; which condoms is the thinnest; which condom is the most reliable?
There is no condom made today that is number one in each category. There are no standards set in stone. For sure, there are minimum quality standards that condoms must meet in most developed nations. All condoms that meet these qualifications will proudly display that they meet government benchmarks.
The University of Oregon
Under the guidance of Kiersten Muenchinger, director of the Product Design Program, and John Park, instructor of digital arts, students studied 70 different condoms. The criteria for this study covered 20 qualities that young people believed were important. One surprising result – or maybe not so surprising – is that the condoms that hit good marks made it to the top 10 with good marks on just nine of the 20 attributes.
This may be difficult for a seasoned lover to understand but these students discovered that 30% of men confessed that they had rolled on a condom inside out. So they said that the Trustex Lubricated Condom had the best design that would help a man know he was wearing the condom properly.
Young people did not like condoms that had a bad sound. This sounds funny. The reasoning was that a loud or plastic sounding condom could reduce desire. It was found that the Durex High Sensation Condom and the Night Light condom were whisper quiet.
Another of the not-so-unusual questions was which condom tasted better. The general consensus is that flavored condoms taste better. But among the non-flavored condoms the students found that the Trojan Supra BareSkin Lubricated received the highest marks in the taste test. Not surprising the students discovered that the condoms that smelled the best, tasted the best.
- SIZE – This is personal to each man. What fits one may not fit another. An ill-fitting condom can interfere with both parties’ enjoyment and can also turn out to be a liability when it comes to safety. One size does not fit all.
- CONTENT – What is the best latex condom? What about those individuals with latex sensitivities. Which is the best polyurethane condom, polyisoprene condom or natural skin?
- STRENGTH / THICKNESS – A condom that is top rated for vaginal and oral sex may not be appropriate for anal sex. Condoms for anal intercourse as well as for the vigorous rider need to be thicker and stronger. A super thin vaginal condom may rate way down the list for anal sex.
- TEXTURES – Some people enjoy dots, ribs and studs. Others prefer the smooth feeling of a standard condom. Who can say which is the best?
- DELAYED CLIMAX – What works for one man may not be effective for another. One man may delay his climax while his neighbor loses his erection.
Comments from Those in the Know
One of the magazine surveys asked readers to weigh in on their opinions of the best condoms. The one that received top marks for an everyday, regular use condom was the Durex Ultra-Thin. They are 20% thinner than the standard Durex condom and have the same reliability. It ‘proves’ that just because a condom may cost more does not make it better than all the others.
Porn actors gave their opinions, too. They said that the Okamoto Crown Skinless Skin was as close to natural as a man could get. They said they were super-thin yet very reliable.
If thin is in, the Kimono MicroThin is a best seller. It exceeds US and International standard for strength and is also vegan-friendly. Speaking of vegans, what flavored condom tastes good and is also appropriate for vegan use? Glyde Flavored Condoms came out on top. They feature 100% organic fruit flavors.
In this survey those who wanted to put some pizazz in the bedroom preferred Beyond Seven Studded condoms. They contend that other studded condoms have less than the three inches of studs on these condoms and women can really feel the difference.
There is an old classic film called ‘Some like it Hot.’ Fans of that film will fall for the Trojan Charged Orgasmic Pleasure condoms. They contain traces of ginger, maca and amino acid L-Arginine that promotes blood flow which increases body heat. They are also ribbed along the shaft and again at the head for extra sensation.
Those who had allergies to latex preferred Skyn Polyisoprene condoms. They also have 40% more lube than their latex kin. While we stated that different climax control condoms work differently for individual men, the consensus in this category was the Durex Performax Intense. While the 5% solution in the head of condom delays his satisfaction, hers is advanced thanks to added ribs and dots. Users also commented that this condom has a very nice scent.
Another top rated condom for those with latex sensitivities is the Trojan Supra which happens to be the thinnest non-latex condom in the U.S. This condom is made from ultra-thing polyurethane and can be used with both water-based and oil-based lubes. They are also appropriate for anal sex.
Trojan Naturalamb always comes in at the top of any list. According to users this is as close as you can get to riding bareback because these expensive condoms are made from a thin layer of a sheep’s intestine. This is great for couples who need protection from pregnancy only. These wonderful condoms do not protect from STDs because the sheep’s skin is too porous. It should not be used for anal or oral sex.
For the man who is more generously endowed so condom rates higher than the Trojan Magnum Bareskin condom. It is the thinnest condom in the Trojan line ad features a new contoured shape.
Not all men are average or above. The condom that respondents believed was the best condom for the smaller man is the Iron Grip latex condoms from Caution Wear which are designed to fit snug due to their parallel shape and smaller width.
Other surveys and recommendations cover specific manufacturers and include all of their individual condoms. One magazine article listed these as the top brands:
Okamoto: This maker has been in business for over 80 years. Their specialty is condoms that are soft and thin.
Lifestyles: These come from the Land Down Under and have been manufacturing for over 50 years. They offer different sizes, textures, flavors and shapes.
Trojan. Back in ‘the day’ men called any condom a Trojan. It has been a top brand for over 90 years. Trojan offers 30 different types of condoms and has the top choice for larger men.
Durex: This is another manufacturer that has been taking sexual health seriously for over 90 years. It is the top brand in the U.K. and is dispensed in many healthcare facilities. Durex is sold in over 140 countries and has a 22% share of the global condom market.
U.S. Consumer Reports
This is a really serious publication and will not accept advertising because they do not want anyone to think that they are being biased in any way. This is their current listing of the top condoms:
- 1.Durex Performax
- 2.Lifestyles Ultra Sensitive Lubricated
- 3.Lifestyles Warming Pleasure
- 4.Trojan Her Pleasure Ecstasy
- 5.Trojan Magnum Lubricated
- 6.Trojan Ultra Ribbed Ecstasy
- 7.Trojan Ultra Thin
- 8.Durex Extra Sensitive
- 10.Lifestyles Ultra Thin Lubricated
- 11.Beyond Seven Sheerlon Latex
- 12.Durex Pleasuremax
- 13.One Super Sensitive
- 14.Trojan ThinTensity
- 15.Durex Sensi Thin
- 16.Kimono MicroThin
- 17.Trojan MagnumTwister
- 18.Trojan Extended Pleasure
- 19.Lifestyles Triple Pleasure
- 20.Night Light Glow in the Dark
What do Real Men Say?
Let’s say a few words regarding actual reviews. Can you believe them? There was a television magazine article regarding a college student who made in the six figures annually writing false reviews for companies and posting to their websites. Having said that, if you see a website that gives you the good, the bad and the ugly – and there are a great number of comments, you can believe them.
Let’s see what men write about some of the most popular brands and styles:
Crown Skinless Skin Condoms
Pro: By far the best condom I have ever worn. Have to look down to make sure it’s still on every time I wear one…it’s that sensitive. Truly feels like you’re not even wearing them.
Con: I bought these because of all the great reviews I read. But, as some have said, it’s definitely not a one-size-fits all. Yes, I agree that they’re thin, but they were too tight on me I couldn’t keep them on. Pay close attention to the measurements.
Pro: All the reviews here that say great things about these condoms miss the mark in that they all understate the case. These condoms are simply amazing! You will never use a latex condom again. They easily trump the other non-latex options too.
Con: GOD AWFUL SMELL! Horrendous. It’ll stick to your fingers, skin, and vagina and make it smell for days! The odor is so bad, it permeates and can make your whole house reek. Gross! My experience was very embarrassing, to say the least.
Durex Extra Sensitive
Pro: By far the BEST condoms out there! I remember on a cold winter’s night I forgot to bring these bad boys with me. I was forced to rush to the nearest corner store where the best I could get were Trojan Ultra-Thin’s. No Comparison, after using a few of those I could see why a lot of guys don’t like to wear condoms, no sensation at all! The Durex ES condoms make you not mind wearing the things, and hey, it helps you last longer.
Con: Contrary to what everyone else says, I did not enjoy these condoms. Bought a 3-pack – every time I use them I had major issues with them rolling up in the middle of sex. Also slipped off once – haven’t had that issue with any other condom it just doesn’t grip your shaft well. If you want thin condoms, go skinless
So what is the bottom line? Beauty is all in the eyes of the beholder. What rates number one with you may be on the bottom of the other man’s list.