There isn’t one best brand or kind of condom. It depends on what feels good for you and your personal taste! Every brand-name kind of condom is tested to the same standards. If it fits you, any approved condom will give about the same protection from STIs and pregnancy. This is true if it’s thin or tough, latex or non-latex. They are about 98% effective against pregnancy when used correctly.
What kind of condom is best for me?
Major condom brands include Trojan, Lifestyles, and Durex. Many types of condoms come already lubricated, but some don’t. Either way, adding lube inside the tip and on the outside makes it less likely it will break. It also helps it feel better! Brands like Glyde and Sr. Richards sell vegan condoms if that’s something that you are interested in.
Latex: Latex condoms are the most common and affordable, and they usually won’t rip if you use it with a water- or silicone-based lubricant.
Latex free/ non-latex: For those with latex allergies, the major condom brands make latex free or non-latex condoms made from polyurethane or polyisoprene.
Flavoured: These condoms have a flavoured lube over them, making them taste like strawberry, vanilla, mint etc. Flavoured condoms are great for oral sex with someone who has a penis. But, they may cause yeast infections if you use them for anal or vaginal sex. Some are also just for novelty, and it’s important to only use ones from brands you recognize.
Internal Condoms (for vaginas or anuses): The brand FC2 has internal condoms that go inside the vagina or anus. They’re 95% effective against pregnancy if you use them right.
Some condoms are also listed as “novelty use only”, meaning they haven’t been tested for safer sex and they’re more likely to break or let STIs through. Some flavoured condoms and some that glow in the dark are more likely just for novelty.
It’s also important to check the expiry date before you use any type of condom. Expired condoms will break more easily.
What size of condom is best?
Condoms come in a snug fit, regular, or a larger fit. The difference is usually how wide the ring at the bottom is. If it’s too narrow, it might pinch or be hard to put on. Some people like this, though, and it can make an erection harder, like a cock ring. If the ring is too wide, a condom can slip off. One brand’s regular might be the same size as another’s larger fit, so it helps to try a few brands too.
Condoms can stretch to fit 2 liters of fluid, so it’s very rare for someone to be too long, although they can get uncomfortable for some people. If a condom’s too short, it might also roll up, making STIs more likely.
Each penis is different, so trying out a few brands and sizes can help you find the best fit and what feels best.
Where can I get condoms?
To figure out what condoms suit you best, it helps to try out many kinds of condoms to see which kind you and your partner like best. Most pharmacies and deps have them. You can also pick up free condoms and lube at ACCM or Head and Hands.
Condom Sizing – Ask Alice
Go Ask Alice’s article explains the basics on condom sizing, how to find a condom size that works, and how to prevent breakage. Also tells you how to measure a penis to see what size would work best.
Condom basics – Scarleteen
Scarleteen explains the basics of condom use.
Condom Fact sheet – Scarleteen
Scarleteens’ fact sheet on condoms and the risk for STIs or pregnancy risk.
Going Condom Shopping! – Go Ask Alice
Go Ask Alice talks about the different sizes, textures, and other varieties of condom and how to find what works best for you.