Rubber vs Silicone Dildos – The Difference Between Dildo Materials

Our  guide to the difference between rubber and silicone dildos.

Certainly size and shape are important when choosing your perfect dildo, but the sex toy material it’s made from is also an important consideration; the material effects the feel, weightiness and sensations of a dildo, as well as how easy it is to clean and care for.

We produce dildos in silicone & rubber* and they are very different in terms of cost, feel and care…

Silicone Dildos
Silicone is the best sex toy material, but it is quite an investment..

The Difference in Cost: 

Silicone is an expensive raw material and its manufacture process is time-consuming, intensive and sensitive to environmental conditions.  It is the best sex toy material, by a mile, but this does mean that an artisan, ethically-produced silicone dildo is not the cheapest dildo on the block.

Rubber is a much cheaper material and easier to work with, which, of course means a rubber dildo is a lot cheaper. This makes a rubber dildo a good starter dildo  for people just starting out or who would like to make sure they get the right size, before investing in silicone.

*NOTE: We are phasing out our rubber dildos, as more and more peeps are choosing to go straight to silicone. When they’re gone, they’re gone!


The Difference in Feel:  

With a dildo in each hand it is easy to feel the difference between dildo materials – but of course, this is less easy over the internet!

silicone dildo  feels warm, dry, smooth and very strokeable. The material warms to body temperature quickly, and feels soft and pliable (but still firm enough to be fit for purpose!).

Rubber Dildo
A Rubber Dildo feels solid, is non-porous, with a  delicate surface…

It feels solid and quite rigid.

rubber dildo feels much firmer, denser and heavier than silicone.


The Difference in Care & Cleaning:   Silicone is a non-porous material and is really easy to clean – you can even sterilize it,  so it can be shared between lovers or pleasure zones (though, of course, never go from anus to vagina without a condom or sterilizing in between).

To sterilize a silicone dildo, just boil in a pan for a couple of minutes or wash in the top rack of a dishwasher (without soap or dishes!)

Don’t try this with a rubber dildo as it will melt.

Rubber is a porous material which means it will absorb body fluids and is impossible to sterilize. Its surface can also flake or nick, especially if caught with fingernails, so, for both these reasons, we advise it’s best to cover with a condom, even if it is to be used by just one person.

The Difference in Lube-Choice: Using lube with dildos, or any (all!) sex toys for that matter, will enhance the experience, no matter how wet you or your lover get all by yourselves.

Sh! Pure Lube £10 - Lube enhances all rabbit vibrator play, increasing glide, sensuality and intensity...
Lube enhances all play, increasing glide, sensuality and intensity…

Unlike skin-on-skin contact, you can’t tell how slippery and smooth a dildo is feeling to your partner, so its always best to coat the dildo in lots of sensual lubricant before going in!

But which lube, for which dildo material?

For silicone dodos we recommend always using water-based lubricant, as there is a chance that a silicone-based lubricant can effect the smooth surface of the silicone material. 

With rubber you can use any lube you like…

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