Why you should care about the materials in your sex toy

Sex toy materialsBuying a sex toy is fun and titillating. Finding just the right toy for just the right occasion, whether it is by yourself or with that special someone. But there are factors that you have to take into account, size, price, vibrating, not vibrating etc but it is also vitally important you consider the material that it is made from. Some people prefer hard materials, others prefer soft. The soft silicone is what does it for some, while super cool glass does it for others. Then there are some people who are unsure what they would like to try so in this post we are going to give you the simple guide to understand why this matters.


Now this doesn’t sound like the sexiest topic in the world but being as informed as you can be about all the toys you will be bringing into your sex life will ensure that you have a healthier, happier time. And who doesn’t want that?!

So materials can fall into different categories, hard/soft, porous/non-porous, bodysafe/unsafe and lots in between.

TPR: Or thermoplastic rubber is one of the most popular materials used in the making of sex toys. It has many positive aspects, it is light, durable and long lasting. Even though it is a plastic it is soft and flexible and most importantly phthalate free. (More on phthalates later on)   

It does require some looking after, however. Unlike some of the harder materials, it is porous and care must be taken when cleaning it to make sure no bacteria is left behind. So always clean thoroughly using warm water and unscented soap or a good antibacterial toy cleaner.

TPE: Thermoplastic Elastomer that is blended with silicone. i.e CYBERSKIN This is a very soft material that can develop small tears, but feels soft and sensual and almost life-like.

Like the TPR, take care when cleaning, using warm water and soap. When it is dry, sprinkle it with cornstarch or sex toy refresher, this helps any residue that might occur helping to keep your toy in great condition for longer.

NEVER USE TALC/BABY POWDER! This can be harmful to women and cause irritation.

JELLY RUBBER: Is one of the cheapest materials used in the making of sex toys. They can be found in a wide variety of colours, sizes and textures. They are porous but can be easy on the wallet. However be very careful when buying jelly rubber. Check all the packaging carefully and make sure that it is from a reputable company and that it states that it is 100% phthalate free. If in doubt, don’t be afraid to ask. Of course at PlayBlue all our toys are direct from the manufacturers so you know you are get 100% the genuine article.

ABS: If you are concerned about buying Jelly Rubber but you need to be kind to your bank balance then ABS may be the answer. Like the Jelly Rubber it can cheap, cheerful and comes in a wide range of toys. ABS is a hard plastic and not everybody likes that. Vibrators made from ABS can be loud but the vibrations can be intense!

A huge selling point for ABS is the fact that it is non-porous! So it is hypoallergenic, easy to clean, it can be shared amongst partners and is compatible with all types of lube. Not bad!!

SILICONE: 10% silicone is medical grade silicone and because of this it has many many positives. It is non-porous, completely hypoallergenic and with good care any toy made of silicone can be around for a long time. Unlike most non-porous materials, which tend to be hard, silicone comes in soft forms as well as hard. It has a silky smooth finish which makes handling and penetration, easy.

You cannot use silicone based lubes with this however as silicone bonds with silicone and this can cause premature damage to your toy.   

Cleaning silicone is super easy, using warm water and soap or even boiling it for three minutes in a saucepan. You can even put it in the dishwasher. As long as there are no electric components on the toy, of course!

On the other hand silicone is generally used in higher end and designer products which can be a little pricey but can be worth it for a toy that can last and last.

GLASS: Like silicone, glass toys are made from medical grade tempered glass.It is non porous, easy to clean and hypoallergenic.

They can be heated up or cooled down by placing them in water. You can use any lube with them and clean them by placing them in the dishwasher. While they are hard wearing and durable once a chip appears you must stop using them.

There are lesser known and used materials, such as Acrylic, Wood, Stone Stainless Steel. But like glass, they are non-porous, hard material and hypo-allergenic. They can be hard to find and expensive but they can be a wonderful addition to a toy collection as they can be different and offer different sensations.

So now you are in the know about the different materials that can be available to you but here are just a few more things to bear in mind before you hand over your money.

    • Make sure the toy is coming from a respected and well known company...like PlayBlue ;-)
    • Make sure the packaging is completely intact that it has a list of materials that went into the making of your toy.
    • Make sure that the toy states it is latex free
    • Make sure it states it is PHTHALATE FREE. Phthalates are plasticisers, an additive that makes plastics softer and more flexible and have been linked to health concerns. They have been removed from many plastic items, not just sex toys, nowadays it is very rare to find these in sex toys.
  • If you want to buy a hard plastic toy, make sure it states it is ABS. This is proven to nonporous and hypoallergenic, so best to stick with what has been proven to be the best for your health.
  • And lastly, DON’T BE AFRAID TO ASK. If you have any questions or any concerns about anything you are thinking of purchasing, just ask a member of staff. They are familiar with all the stock and chances are you wouldn’t be asking a question they haven’t already heard.
  • So, there you have it! Fully loaded with the information that matters to make a safe informed sex toy buying decision….with PlayBlue!

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