The Best Condoms for 2020
An insertive condom
The nitrile FC2 (the “female condom”) is the only internal condom available for sale in the US. If your situation requires a condom, and the partner with a penis hates the sensation of all condoms, period, the FC2 is an option. Inserted in advance of intercourse, it works with any size of penis as well as when the penis is only semierect, so there is no risk of it falling out or leaking if the insertive partner loses their erection, or if the partner stays in after finishing.
Our testers reported that using this condom involves a bit of a learning curve: “Insertion takes some time to get used to, but once you figure out how to insert the condom, they’re amazing. I use a dildo to aid in insertion,” said one tester. The testers either found it very pleasurable (“The condom felt great, so much so my partner had to keep checking to make sure it was still there”) or couldn’t get used to the feeling. “The experience of having plastic inside me as opposed to covering the body part entering me really made me uncomfortable,” one tester said. “My partner felt that the condom felt ‘fake’ and ‘not like human flesh’ … it decreased his arousal,” another reported.
Slim-fit latex condoms
The Caution Wear Iron Grip was our second-favorite slim-fit condom after the Okamoto Zero Zero Four 004. The Iron Grip is the slimmest condom we’ve tested, and testers reported that this model felt thinner and had relatively little odor compared with the other slim-fit condoms they tested. This condom is so slim, it felt too tight for some of our testers, even those with slimmer penises: “The condom’s fit was so tight it actually constricted penile blood flow. It was difficult to take off. Had I used this with a partner, I would have been worried about tearing the material or spilling the contents while taking it off,” said one tester. It’s more than an inch shorter than our slim-fit pick, so people with longer, slimmer penises may find the Okamoto 004 more comfortable.
Our testers liked the Atlas True Fit, saying it “transferred sensation well and fit well, [with] just enough pressure around the base to know it was there but almost ‘invisible’ on the shaft,” but they preferred the thinner Okamoto 004 overall.
Testers said that the LifeStyles Snugger Fit had too much lubrication, leaving a greasy feeling, as well as a strong latex taste and smell. It was also somewhat thicker than other models we tested.
The Glyde Slimfit was the least popular of the slim-fit condoms we tested. One tester complained: “Way too small, and the tip was way too big. We didn’t finish using it because I was afraid it would slip off.” According to another, it “slid off during masturbation.” It is one of the worst-smelling models we tested.
Slim- to average-fit latex condoms
Our testers loved the Okamoto Crown’s sheer pink latex and high-quality lube, but its thinner brandmate, the Okamoto 004, won out by a smidgen. One tester reported: “[A]pplication is easy, packaging is easy to open, and it fits well. The material is thin enough to be very pleasurable.”
In our technical tests, we experienced some issues with the Kimono MicroThin rolling and bunching up during application.
The Beyond Seven worked great for some average-size testers but felt too tight for others. People disliked this condom’s texture, saying that it “definitely had a non-natural ‘latex-y’ feeling to it” and “felt rubbery during sex.”
Average-fit latex condoms
The One Vanish is our second-favorite average-fit condom, after the LifeStyles Skyn. This condom received the highest overall satisfaction score (4.1 out of five) among all of the average-size natural-latex condoms we tested. It is a great condom, and though testers didn’t love it as consistently as they did our pick, they remarked that it “left no smell or taste on my partner” and “work[ed] the most consistently.” One Condoms claims that the Vanish is made from “softer” latex, and our testers reported excellent sensation: “At several points I thought it had fallen off because the sensitivity was so good on this one!” one noted. On the other hand, one unimpressed tester complained that—like other One brand condoms—it was “very hard to open.” This tester added that it “left a really bad taste, [was] much too thick, [and] my partner could not feel through it”—a testament to how truly subjective the experience of using condoms can be.
Testers also liked Okamoto Wink Closer condoms, which come in easier-to-open packages compared with One Vanish and smell and taste less like latex compared with most of the competition. We haven’t tested the Wink Slider, which is an extra-lubricated version of this condom.
Lelo Hex condoms feature fused hexagons of latex, which the company says “flexes and stretches for a supremely secure fit.” It scored as well in our tests are other ultra-thin models, and is near odorless. This condom is more expensive than the One Vanish our testers slightly preferred, and costs about the same as the Okamoto Wink Closer they liked just as much.
Durex Invisible and LifeStyles Zero are two of the most affordable ultra-thin latex condoms available at around 56¢ and 75¢ apiece, respectively. Testers strongly preferred the more-expensive One Vanish, Okamoto Wink Closer, and Lelo Hex condoms, though, because they smell, taste, and feel better. The Durex Invisible packaging feels exceptionally flimsy.
Sustain brand’s primary selling point is that the latex is “fair trade” and “sustainably produced.” Nothing about the Sustain Ultra Thin made it stand out to our testers, who said that it was “definitely thin but pretty average otherwise.” Testers also had some minor issues with opening the package and with application.
The Billy Boy Extra Thin was very popular with our testers. “This one was the best so far,” said one. Other comments: “Worked well for all of my partners” and “Comfortable … and felt very natural.” The primary complaint was about this condom’s smell, which people described as “strong” and “kind of plasticky.”
The One Pleasure Plus features a ribbed pouch toward the head that is supposed to enhance sensation. It received rave reviews from testers: “We both really liked the shape with the pouch. It felt really good for both of us,” said one. “The sensations were great,” noted another. “Super pleased with this condom and the wearer loved that it stayed in place,” said a third. We also found that testers with foreskins really liked that this model wasn’t so snug around the head, with one reporting that it “definitely had a better fit overall.” The main drawbacks: The latex is a bit thicker than on other models, and the circular package can be difficult to open.
Sir Richard’s Ultra Thin didn’t stand out, though one tester “loved it” while another complained that it “rolled a smidge.”
One tester reported that the L Condoms Ultra Thin “fit perfectly,” but others were underwhelmed, describing it as a “run of the mill, general latex condom experience” and having a “very strong unpleasant smell.”
Maude Rise and Lola Ultra Thin condoms can only be ordered online. Neither stood out among the ultra-thin latex condoms we tested in 2020, save for Maude’s unique packaging, which is exceptionally easy to open (no tearing required).
Testers had mixed opinions on the LifeStyles Thyn, with comments ranging from “perfect, it felt really nice” to “[it] felt really thick, not pleasurable.”
The Glyde Ultra was one of the least popular of our average-size options. Testers reported that it was “too tight and broke on two occasions,” caused an “itchy, burning sensation,” and “just smelled bad.”
Testers weren’t crazy about the Durex Extra Sensitive even though it had better consumer reviews than many other drugstore options. They reported that it “dulled sensation,” was difficult to put on (it stuck to itself and didn’t roll down well), and had lubricant that “felt tacky.”
An average- to generous-fit latex condom
Although Kimono MicroThin Large condoms are marketed as generous-size, our testers found them to be too snug and complained that they had a tendency to wrinkle and roll up during application. “I would use these condoms for normal-sized penises that are on the larger side, but not for a truly bigger-sized penis,” one tester said.
Generous-fit latex condoms
One The Legend was our testers’ second-favorite generous-fit condom. Made of natural latex, The Legend is very generously sized: We measured its unstretched length at 9 inches as opposed to our pick’s 8¼ inches, though both models feature a similar width of approximately 2¼ inches. Natural latex offers more stretch and give than polyisoprene, which means One’s model may be more comfortable for penises that are thicker as well as longer. Our testers gave this model 4.25 out of five points for satisfaction (a mere 0.01 behind the LifeStyles Skyn Large’s score), reporting that it was easy to put on and pleasurable to wear, with a nice shape and texture. However, like with other One brand condoms, testers found the packaging attractive but frustrating to use. One tester complained about The Legend’s rubbery smell and said that the condom didn’t offer adequate lubricant for it to be comfortable.
The Trojan Magnum XL—with a 2.2-inch shaft width, a 2.56-inch head width, and an 8.07-inch length—is perhaps the largest condom you’ll find at a drugstore. Testers found it easy to put on and liked the fit and shape but thought it had an unpleasant smell.
The classic drugstore “larger condom,” Trojan’s Magnum BareSkin also works well for men on the larger size of average who prefer a roomier fit. The BareSkin features thinner latex than the XL, and our testers liked it apart from the unpleasant plastic smell.
Testers reported an unpleasant smell, “too much lubricant,” and some challenges with the Glyde Maxi rolling during application. One tester said that he “did not like the shape of the condom at the head of the penis, it was tight and uncomfortable.”
Testers noted that Sir Richard’s Extra Large had an unpleasant smell but was easy to put on.
Made of polyisoprene, the Durex Real Feel Avanti Bare condom is quite similar to the LifeStyles Skyn, our average-fit pick. Our testers reported that it offered great sensitivity, despite an unpleasant smell. Note that this version is quite different from the original Avanti condom, which Durex made from polyurethane, not polyisoprene.
The Unique Pull is best for people with thicker penises, as it is not very elastic and it stays put by clinging to the penis like plastic wrap; it also has a texture that is much thinner and more plasticky than latex. Unlike with traditional latex condoms, its application involves pull tabs, and it comes in a pack of three in a nifty credit-card–shaped case. “I was dubious about the material (it felt like Saran Wrap) but it was very easy to put on compared to a regular condom once it was out of the package,” noted one tester. “The material felt good during sex but slippage was a concern.” Said another tester: “My partner complained that when he rolled it on, it stretched strangely … He also thought the band was too tight. We tried another one due to the bagging issue … [it] went on easier with practice though it broke part of the way through sex.”
The Trojan Supra is made of polyurethane. While the material is very thin and capable of transmitting heat and sensation well, it is not very elastic, and our testers sometimes found this condom to be a bit snug and difficult to put on and take off.
We chose to limit ourselves to the top-rated options among the hundreds of available condoms. Here are some of the others we considered, and why we didn’t include them in testing:
Impulse Bare Pleasure
Although this model is a Condom Depot “best condom” winner, some people find the ribbed and studded texture irritating.
Trustex Extra Large
While this condom made Condom Depot’s best-of list and is reported to be wider as well as longer, some reviewers complain that it feels thick and breaks easily.
LifeStyles Ultra Sensitive
One of our experts recommended this budget condom to us, but we decided to go with the LifeStyles Thyn instead.
Durex Performax and Performax Intense
These condoms are textured and coated with a numbing lube that is supposed to help prevent premature ejaculation. Some reviewers report that the numbing effect is too intense, or that the ribs irritate the receptive partner.
Trojan Ultra Thin
This model was a Consumer Reports pick in 2010, but reviewers say that it’s overrated and sometimes prone to breaking, and that it doesn’t actually feel thinner.
This condom is expensive and there’s concern over the effectiveness of lambskin condoms in preventing STIs. Couples who use condoms only for contraception often swear by it, despite its reportedly weird smell.
Our experts recommend this kind of condom for covering sex toys and for oral sex, but you have better options for vaginal and anal intercourse.
LifeStyles Extra Strength
Because this model is extremely durable, our experts recommend it for anal sex, but it’s thicker than other models and may offer less sensation.
Some people prefer this budget-priced generous-size condom over the Trojan Magnum. We did not test it, as other models had better reviews overall.
Tracy Vence contributed reporting.