What’s Your Rabbit Vibrator Made Of?
Best Vibrator Material?
Vibrators are made of a variety of different vibrator materials, each with its advantages and disadvantages.
Sex toy safety has come a long way and vibrators today are increasingly made of completely skin-safe materials. Health concerns mainly centre around two substances – latex and phthalates, and you’ll notice many vibrators advertising themselves as free of these materials – more information on this below.
However, paying attention to the material your vibrator is made of is important not just for health reasons, but also practical concerns, such as:
– how to store it – this is more important than you would think!
Always read the product details online or on the vibrator packaging to make sure you know what it’s made of.
And remember, should you find yourself with a vibrator that you’re not sure is safe for you, just cover it with a condom and off you go.
Read on for more information about what to look for or what to avoid, and why.
Now on to the good stuff. Which are is the best vibrator material? Well, some are more long-lasting than others – and some are more safe than others – but in general, which vibrator material is best for you depends a lot on personal taste.
You might find you prefer some materials for their feeling, smell, taste (if you like to have a good suck…). Some feel more soft to the touch, especially realistic feeling materials like loveskin, and others, like jelly rubber, much more firm. Some – like loveksin and silicone – warm up to your body temperature quickly.
If scent is something you notice, be aware that jelly rubber often has a rubbery chemical smell, and skin-safe rubber has a slight nail-polish-like smell too. Most of the rest don’t smell, or taste, of anything.
Certain materials require certain lubricants, and some combinations have to be avoided – for example, if you use silicone or oil-based lube on a silicone toy, it might degrade the silicone of the toy. For more information, see my guide to lubricating you and your rabbit.
How you store your toys is a factor too. Did you know that if you store two (or more) toys together, the materials cab react with each other and they’ll start to become misshapen or even melt? Jelly rubber, realistic-feel, and silicone are all ones to watch for, but in general, store your sex toys separately.
And think about cleaning. If you use your toy extremely frequently, and time is an issue, you might want to get one that is easy to clean, or even a waterproof one that you can fully immerse in warm water. In general, harder materials are easier to keep clean and hygienic because they’re not porous. Softer ones, like the varoius ‘real-feel’ materials can absorb bacteria, so must be much more carefully cleaned and dried.
More details on cleaning and storing your toys is provided in my guide to looking after your rabbit vibrator but basic details are listed with each material, below.
Rabbit vibrators on this site come in the following materials:
Cheap, cheerful and colourful, jelly rubber is less popular now because it can contain phthalates. However, some people still love it for its firm yet flexible feel. Being the cheapest material, you’ll often get great bargains on jelly vibrators. And you can just put a condom on it, for safety.
(There are other kinds of rubbery vibrators that don’t contain phthalates, so don’t assume that a rubbery feel means a bad chemical deal.)
pros: smooth, rubbery, firm, cheap
cons: rubbery smell, chemical taste, feels clammy if cold
contains: latex, can contain phthalates
lube: water-based or silicone-based
LOVESKIN (‘REALISTIC FEEL’)
One of the ‘real-feel’ materials, Loveskin feels soft and squishy and more like the real thing. It warms to your temperature quickly so is extremely comfortable to insert. As well as ‘Loveksin’ there are several other trademarked ‘realistic feeling’ materials available (e.g, Cyberskin) and they’re generally made of a mixture of rubbers, plastics and silicone, but each one may have slightly different properties, so always check.
Pros: feels fantastic, warms up quickly
Cons: requires special care – see looking after your rabbit vibrator
Contains: no phthalates
Hard, and smooth, and often shiny (same material as lego bricks!) this is commonly found in bullet vibrators. It’s strong and long-lasting, and transfers vibrations very well so it allows for good powerful pressure. It’s easy to keep clean and compatible with any lube. Some vibrators are made with TPE/TPR or silicone sleeves over ABS plastic, to combine all the advantages of ABS plastic with softer textures.
pros: hard and smooth, odourless, tasteless, easy-clean, use any lube
cons: hard and cold
contains: no latex, no phthalates
lube: water-based, silicone-based, oil-based
examples: TPE/TPR over ABS plastic
TPE/ TPR (thermoplastic elastomer/rubber)
A combination of plastics and rubbers and getting the best of both, this can come in a variety of hardnesses and textures. It has high resistance to tearing so can be used to make toys that are soft yet strong. Less porous than jelly rubber so easier to clean.
pros: feels good, versatile, quite easy to clean
contains: may contain latex, no phthalates
A soft-feeling rubber that not only feels super-smooth but is also famed for being hypoallergenic and non-toxic. Considered the safest sex toy material, it’s non-porous so it’s easy to keep clean and can be sterilized/disinfected so you can share toys between partners. It warms up to your body quickly and holds the heat, and is dense which means it transmits vibration very well. It holds lubrication well, so no need to keep slathering it on. Plus It’s extremely hard-wearing and durable, so you can have a seriously long-term relationship with a silicone toy.
It’s also the most expensive material, so tends to feature at the higher-end of the quality and price range. Many ‘luxury’ toys are made of silicone, although you can get great deals on cheaper toys which have a silicone coating over something like ABS plastic – bullet and bullet rabbit vibrators often come with silicone sleeves for example, and you can buy silicone sleeves separately to fit over some kinds of vibrator.
pros: feels smooth, warm, dry, totally safe, long-lasting, odourless, holds lube well
cons: expensive, can tear easily so be careful with nails
contains: no latex, no phthalates
lube: water-based only
PLUS most of the featured Bullet Rabbit Vibrators have silicone sleeves.
An alternative to jelly rubber, it feels pretty similar – i.e., firm and rubbery – but is free from latex and phthalates. It’s non-porous so is easy to clean.
pros: a safe version of jelly rubber, firm feeling
cons: can have a slight chemical smell similar to nail polish
contains: no latex, no phthalates
Latex and Phthalates and If / Why to Avoid Them
Latex is a naturally-occurring plant-based substance, which some people are sensitive to, or allergic to! If you’ve ever had reactions (rash, soreness, tingling) when using condoms or rubber gloves, then you could have a latex allergy, as both of these contain latex. If you’re not sure, get tested and find out before using a sex toy that contains latex, as you really want to avoid itching and swelling in your delicate places!
Many vibrators don’t contain latex at all, so it’s very easy to avoid. Jelly rubber contains latex, so watch out for that. If it’s a concern, then always read the product details online or check the packaging to make sure.
Phthalates (pronounced ‘thall-eights’) are chemical substances which are used to soften plastic, and can be found in a variety of household products, such as hairspray, deodorant, children’s toys, pet toys. They are sometimes used in the making of sex toys, to create a softer texture.
The jury is still out on whether exposure to phthalates is safe, and there is currently no conclusive answer on the risks of exposing your sensitive parts of phthalate-containing sex toys.
Phthalates can react with other materials, including your skin, and also smell quite chemical-ly, and are released into the atmosphere over time. Exposure to phthalates has been linked to skin irritation, breathing difficulties, hormonal imbalance and even internal organ damage. Bear in mind that although, phthalates are found in a variety of everyday objects, you’re not (usually!) sticking these into your most intimate areas, so you might want to be cautious in using phthalate-containing sex toys.
You may choose to avoid phthalates completely or simply limit your exposure to phthalates. Some things to bear in mind:
– look for phthalate-free vibrators – this is increasingly easy, since most vibrators these days – even some jelly rubber ones – are phthalate-free
– check the product details and/or packaging – sex toys made of PVC or jelly rubber are the ones most likely to contain phthalates – although they don’t always – so check the product details on the product page online or on the packaging. Whether the product contains phthalates may not be stated. However, if a product is free from phthalates, it will usually say so, since this is a selling point these days. So if it doesn’t say it’s phthalates-free, especially if it’s made of jelly rubber or PVC, then assume it isn’t.
– pay attention to the quality and quantity of phthalates used – some phthalates are better quality – and therefore safer – than others, and some vibrators contain more phthalates than others
– smell your vibrator! – the best way to assess the amount and quality of phthalates is smell. If you get your vibrator out of the box and are hit by a strong chemical smell, then this is probably phthalates that are off-gassing (being released) from the vibrator. Generally, the stronger the chemical smell, the more phthalates, or the more low-grade phthalates it contains.
At the moment, manufacturers are not required to list the phthalate content (or that of any other substance), so smelling it is the best guide for now
– use a condom – if you’re not sure about whether a vibrator contains phthalates, or how you feel about that, then just put a condom on any phthalate-containing vibrators that you have before you use them
*for more information on cleaning and storing your toy, see looking after your rabbit vibrator*
*for good info and good deals on lubes, see lubricating you and your rabbit*
After all this talk of taking care, don’t forget to enjoy the good vibrations!