The best condoms in 2020: from Durex to Trojan

Whatever you get up to in the bedroom, stock up on some of the best condoms to help you play safely

Best condoms
(Image credit: Durex)

Choosing protection is a very personal decision. The best condom for you is going to be the that feels good, and if you're the one wearing it, fits well. It also needs to offer strong protection against STIs, and reliably prevent unplanned pregnancy if that's relevant to your relationship. It helps if it's compatible with your favourite lube (check out our guide to the best lube right now). It's a condom which is fun for you and fun for them; something that increases pleasure rather than taking it away. The best condom is one which works with the way you want to use it.

The problem is, that doesn't describe one condom. We're all different; finding the perfect condom for you and for your partner, or the one to take on a fresh date or a night out, isn't easy. The best condom for women might not be the same as the best condom for men. And the best condom for pleasure may not be the one that keeps you safest.

A well-fitting condom might be a good way to prevent slippage, but go too tight and you're increasing the risk of the condom breaking. A thicker condom is great for protection in rougher situations, but only if it doesn't take away all of the sensitivity. To help you find the right product for you, and one which suits your priorities, we've put together this comprehensive guide to the best condoms available right now.

Disclaimer: no condom is 100% effective, and rates vary between brands, so always do your research before buying.

Finding the best condom for both of you

While there's nothing stopping you from using any one condom in all number of situations, selecting the best condom for the job in hand (so to speak) is important. In other words, consider your needs and desires, your partner's, and what you're likely to be getting up to together behind closed doors.

If the condom is there as a simple contraceptive, a thin and ultra-sensitive condom might benefit the individual with a penis more. To make sex and erotic play more of a turn-on for the both of you, experiment with a textured condom or one lubricated to produce a warm or minty-cold tingly feeling.

Anal sex demands a slightly thicker condom and increased lubricant – and do be careful to select something flavour-free to avoid irritating those slightly more sensitive areas.

Sexual health practitioners advise using a condom for oral sex too, especially if you're hooking up with a new partner, and flavoured condoms will serve you best here. They also recommend using condoms if you're planning on sharing sex toys, such as dildos or vibrators.

Some people suffer from a latex allergy, and luckily there are latex-free condoms to opt for instead. And if you've been put off certain brands in the past for ethical reasons, there are a growing number of vegan condoms that don't use casein. These types of more eco-friendly johnnies generally have a lower chemical load too.

 The best condoms to buy now 

Best condoms: Skyn Intense Feel

(Image credit: Skyn)

1. Skyn Intense Feel Condoms

The best condom for feeling (it's close to skin-on-skin)

Reasons to buy
+ Non-latex material + Smooth lubricant + Wave pattern with dots + Straight fit 

Latex condoms are not universal. Some people have a severe allergy to the stretchy stuff, so Skyn's super-thin polyisoprene construction – which retains the same level of protection against STIs and pregnancy without the latex – is a top choice for those who can't use anything else.

Allergy or not, though, that material feels significantly softer and, yes, more skin-like than standard latex, which means these might appeal to those who just don't like the feel of regular condoms. There's a stack of varieties on offer for our best condom top pick, including a Large variant and an Extra Lubricated version. We'd suggest trying the Intense Feel (pictured) to take advantage of that advanced material.

Best condoms: Durex Latex Free

(Image credit: Durex)

2. Durex Latex Free

The best condom for sensitive skin

Reasons to buy
+Snug fit+Allergy-free material+Great feel

Like Skyn's condoms, the Durex Latex Free are made from polyisoprene rather than latex, which means they're fully suitable for anyone with an allergy to tree rubber – if you've ever found condoms burning or rubbing, it may not just be caused by friction. These are a great option whether you're sensitive to latex or not, since many find the synthetic material to feel closer to skin and transfer heat better.

Durex lists a nominal width of 56mm here; as polyisoprene is a touch less stretchy than natural rubber, they may sit a little more snugly on the penis than others of the same girth. Do note, though, that there's a silicon lube applied to these condoms, so if silicon is an irritant you may wish to look elsewhere. If it's not, why not add a little extra lube? Durex offers an Aloe Vera variety that is both compatible with these condoms and great for those who find themselves a little sore after getting down to it.

Best condoms: Hanx condoms

(Image credit: Hanx)

3. Hanx Vegan Condom

A good all-rounder condom that feels good for her too

Reasons to buy
+Vegan latex +No extra additives +Non-pungent scent

Most latex condoms include casein, a cow's milk derivative that helps soften the latex to make it more comfortable against the skin. Hanx switches this out for thistle extract, making this contoured condom certified as vegan.

There's no spermicide or parabens in use here, so the chemical load is much lower, and a clean scent covers up the off-putting smell of latex. As for the feel, they're thin and comfortable, and feel good for the both of you. A good all-rounder if you want a more eco-friendly condom... and one that looks pretty stylish in the wrapper too.

Best condoms: Durex Pleasure Me

(Image credit: Durex)

4. Durex Pleasure Me

The best condom for beginners

Reasons to buy
+Fantastic texture+Easy to apply+Exciting experience

Highly rated for penis-in-vagina sex, with a ribbed and dotted texture which vastly heightens pleasure, the Pleasure Me condoms aren't just great for those with a whole lot of experience – they're the perfect option for first-timers, too.

Why? They're easy to apply, for a start, with a teat-ended design that's straightforward for you or your partner to roll on in seconds. They're great fun – something that might be a real winning factor if you're looking to break the nervous tension a little.

And most importantly, they feel amazing for both parties. The design features strategically placed ribs and dots to increase physical stimulation for the woman. However old you are, whatever your feelings about sex, if it's your first encounter or the latest in a long line, they'll spice up your experience to make sure everyone on either side of the latex has a great time.

Best condoms: TheyFit/MyOne condom

(Image credit: TheyFit/MyOne)

5. TheyFit / MyOne

The best condom for getting a custom fit

Reasons to buy
+ Custom-sized in length and width + Online fitting process + Discrete wrapping+ Very comfortable  

It's estimated that only 12% of people with a penis are using condoms that actually fit properly. TheyFit offers up 66 individual sizes depending on length and width, and will guide you through the fitting process (which doesn't necessarily have to be done solo...) to ensure you find the right size, whether it's bigger, smaller, or somewhere in between.

With the company acquired in 2017 by Karex, the TheyFit branding is now transitioning to that of similar US brand MyONE Perfect Fit – it's the same product. Do note, though, that these use a silicon lubricant, which can be an irritant for some people.

Best condoms: Rough Rider Studded

(Image credit: LifeStyles)

6. Rough Rider Studded

A surprising hit with women

Reasons to buy
+Studded texture+Durable latex+Great for toys

No points for presentation here – the raunchy packaging certainly screams 'gag gift' more than 'classy night between the sheets' – but the Rough Riders are more than a laugh: they're tried-and-tested condoms that score plenty of points for pleasure. Cartoon biker girl or not, these should help those with a vagina have a great time.

They're explicitly designed to increase vaginal sensation, with a heavyweight studded pattern that adds a whole lot of texture and a durable construction that should mean no unhappy accidents if you're, well, riding rough.

One point many purchasers have made, though, is that they tend towards the slimmer size, so they're most suitable for a penis that finds the traditional 56mm condom base width a little baggy. A more exciting (and slightly tougher) alternative to Okamoto's Zero Zero Three? Perhaps – and you could always slap one on a sex toy, too.

Best condoms: Okamoto 003 Smooth

(Image credit: Okamoto)

7. Okamoto Zero Zero Three Smooth

Want a smaller size condom? Here you go

Reasons to buy
+Super-thin latex+Heat transferring properties+Unusual powder lubricant+Lesser girth

A narrower base ring, measured at around 52mm, means these Japanese imports might feel a little tight on some, but for the penis with slightly less girth they’ll be a good fit. That ‘Zero Zero Three’ refers to the super-thin 0.03mm latex, engineered both for softness and for enhanced heat transfer between partners. It’s perfect if you’re looking for a little sensitivity, although while that latex is plenty strong we’d advise not getting too rough with it.

Unusually, these uncontoured condoms use a powder lubricant, which is something you’ll rarely find elsewhere. It’s great for a smooth feel without the sticky and often pungent lubes many other condoms favour. A worthy addition to our best condoms guide.

Best condoms: Durex Mutual Climax

(Image credit: Durex)

8. Durex Mutual Climax

The best condom for evening things up

Reasons to buy
+ Benzocaine lube + Extravagant texturing + A whole lot of fun + Easy to apply 

It is a fact that we can't always stay in sync with our partners, and there's no magic bullet for that. Working together to find that balance is a fun but sometimes frustrating experience. If you're looking to line things up a little better, these easy-on condoms pack a double dose of help: they're ribbed and dotted to help stimulate the vagina, and they pack Durex's Performa, a benzocaine-infused lubricant which can help slightly numb the penis to delay climax. The rest is down to you.

Best condoms: Pasante Unique

(Image credit: Pasante)

9. Pasante Unique Latex Free Condoms

An ultra-thin condom that's safe to use with oil-based lube

Reasons to buy
+Wallet-friendly packaging+Generous width+Heat shrink tech+Latex-free

Compare to the rest of the rubbers in our best condoms guide, Pasante’s Unique condoms are just that: not only are they packaged differently, folded and slid in their threes into a sturdy flat credit-card sized container perfect for keeping stashed in a wallet or purse, but they’re quite unlike any other condom.

Made from a non-latex resin-based synthetic material, which means they can be used with oil-based lubricants, the Unique condoms use body heat to cling to the penis and ensure a comfortable fit. That’s handy, because they have a flared base, and at 60mm wide they’re a little more generous than some. 

Crucially, these are amongst the thinnest condoms around, so if you’re looking for ultra-sensitivity they’re a strong choice. Don't get them too hot while they’re still in the wrapper, though, as we’ve heard reports of them, er, shrinking themselves a tad early.

Best condoms: LELO Hex condom

(Image credit: LELO )

10. Lelo Hex Condom

The best condom for the well-endowed

Reasons to buy
+ Thin, next-gen construction + Water-based lube + Deals with breaks well + Larger option 

Inspired by the super-strong structure of graphene, Swedish brand LELO has produced the water-lubricated Hex as a unique combination of strength and thinness – and if there is a break anywhere in the condom, the hexagonal web will contain it to a single panel. 

Slimmer than most in more than one respect (some report that the standard Hex runs a little tighter than most brands), there's a second option for those with slightly more girth: the Hex Respect XL is 10% larger but still just as thin.

Best condoms: Passante Extra

(Image credit: Passante)

11. Pasante Extra Condom

The one to help you enjoy safer anal sex

Reasons to buy
+ 1mm thick walls + Extra-lubed + Well sized + Hard to break 

When you need a little additional protection and strength, a thicker condom is the best condom for you. Pasante's Extras are average-sized, so you shouldn't have any problem getting them to fit, but they're also a full 1mm thick, meaning they're suitable for extra-vigorous activity and great for worry-free anal sex.

Don't think you'll lose too much sensation; there's extra non-spermicidal silicone lubricant on board for maximum feel – if you need to add more, just make sure it's water-based to avoid degrading the latex.