Saturday, April 20, 2024

12 Best Lubes 2024 to Make Sex More Enjoyable & Comfortable

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Sometimes a steamy sexual situation can feel…well, drier than usual. That’s where the best lubes come into play. No matter what the unexpected situation may be — like cotton mouth during oral or getting ready for anal play — these lubricants can step in to relieve some friction-induced tension when you need it most. Below, we found some of the best lubes the World Wide Web has to offer.

Our Top Picks

Frequently Asked Questions

Best Overall: Maude Shine Organic

Why It’s Worth It: The aloe- and water-based Maude Shine Organic lubricant has a pH-balanced formula to enjoy anywhere and everywhere on your body. This paraben- and glycerin-free personal lubricant has a hydrating, sensual feel that’s long-lasting without becoming tacky in the process.

Editor Tip: If you want more slip or a water-play-friendly lube, Maude has you covered with the silicone-based iteration of its best-selling formula. Want to turn up the temperature? Maude Heat is a warming water-based lubricant that heats up with motion.

Key Ingredients: Aloe vera leaf juice, oat kernel extract, snow mushroom extract, cannabis sativa seed oil | Compatibility: Latex or polyisoprene condoms, all sex toys, other water-based lubes

Best for Beginners: Unbound Jelly

Why It’s Worth It: Unbound Jelly is ideal for first-time lube buyers. This affordable, water-based formula makes it easy to use with any toy or condom. It’s also gentle on the skin, thanks to ingredients like aloe and a lack of glycerin or parabens. Plus, it has a light lemon and vanilla scent that smells and tastes pleasant.

Editor Tip: It’s made with food-grade flavoring (hello, vanilla and lemon), so you can definitely use this during oral sex safely.

Key Ingredients: Organic aloe, water, natural food-grade flavors | Compatibility: All condoms and sex toys

Best Expert Pick: Pjur Aqua Personal Lubricant

Pjur Aqua Personal Lubricant

Why It’s Worth It: If you’re looking for a reliable water-based lube, Dr. Lincoln says Pjur’s Aqua Personal Lubricant is her top choice. “It tends to be tolerated well and it’s easy to find,” she says. It’s not just gentle — this silky formula leaves skin feeling velvety soft and ready for any and all sexual play, regardless if you’re gearing up for a party of one or with partners.

Editor Tip: We have good news for your bed sheets: since this formula is water-based, cleanup is effortless. Just pop your sheets in the wash as usual, and any lube-related messes will disappear without staining your pricey bedding.

Key Ingredients: Water, glycerin | Compatibility: All condoms and sex toys

Best Silicone-Based Lube: Replens Silky Smooth Personal Lubricant

Replens Silky Smooth Personal Lubricant

Why It’s Worth It: Dr. Langdon recommends trying the Replens Silky Smooth Personal Lubricant. This silicone lubricant lasts as long as you need it to, whether that be a handful of minutes or all night long — plus, it won’t break down rubber latex, polyisoprene, and polyurethane condoms.

Editor Tip: If you’re targeting vaginal dryness caused by menopause or other medical concerns, Replens also has a Long-Lasting Vaginal Moisturizer worth checking out. It contains hydrating ingredients like glycerin and purified water to boost moisture levels for up to three days.

Key Ingredients: Dimethicone | Compatibility: Rubber latex, polyisoprene, and polyurethane condoms, non-silicone sex toys

Best Flavored Lube: Lovehoney Cherry Flavored Lubricant

Lovehoney Cherry Flavored Lubricant

Why It’s Worth It: Fans of fruity flavors will love the Lovehoney Cherry Flavored Lubricant. This water-based lubricant has a tasty cherry flavor that you’ll want to lick up every drop of, plus, it’s safe to use with condoms.

Editor’s Tip: Is cherry not your favorite flavor? No worries, because Lovehoney also offers lubes in strawberry, birthday cake, and bubblegum flavors that’ll satisfy your taste buds and your partner.

Key Ingredients: Water, glycerin, natural flavor | Compatibility: All condoms and sex toys

Best Water-Based Lube: Lola Personal Lubricant

Why It’s Worth It: You probably know Lola for its selection of tampons and menstrual products, but did you know the brand also has lube? This water-based lubricant is meant to feel like the real deal — as in, it has a similar texture to your body’s natural lubrication, and it’s pH-balanced to help support vaginal health.

Editor Tip: The bottle’s pump dispenser is a total game-changer. All you need is one pump to get the party going, but for a slippery fun time, feel free to pile it on.

Key Ingredients: Water | Compatibility: Rubber latex and polyisoprene condoms, all sex toys

Best for Sensitive Skin: Sliquid H2O Intimate Lubricant

Sliquid H2O Intimate Lubricant

Why It’s Worth It: Those with ultra-sensitive erogenous zones should try Sliquid’s unflavored and unscented H2O Intimate Lubricant. Its ingredients list only contains five items (the top one being water, for your information), and the slippery formula is free of additives like gluten, glycerin, parabens, and sulfates. Yes, we know glycerin has moisturizing benefits for skin, but Dr. Lincoln notes that you may not want it in your lubricant. “Some people have sensitivities to glycerin so they will want to avoid those lubricants,” she says.

Editor Tip: This ultra-gentle formula is also safe to use with any of your sex toys (even your silicone ones!), so feel free to get creative with this pick.

Key Ingredients: Water, cotton-derived plant cellulose | Compatibility: All condoms and sex toys

Best Oil-Based Lube: Woo More Play Coconut Love Oil

Woo More Play Coconut Love Oil

Why It’s Worth It: This silky lubricant is oil-based and tastes like vanilla, so it creates an especially smooth, long-lasting, and tasty ride. It’s made with natural ingredients like coconut oil, beeswax, and stevia but what we really love that it doubles as a skin-friendly and pleasantly scented massage oil. Use it to tease your partner’s nipples or other sensitive body parts before moving your attention lower.

Editor Tip: Oil-based lubes can’t be used with latex condoms because it can cause them to break but you’re cleared to use it with silicone, metal, or glass sex toys.

Key Ingredients: Coconut oil, beeswax, stevia, vanilla essence | Compatibility: Silicone, metal, or glass sex toys (no condoms!)

Best for Anal Sex: Cake Silicone Sex Lube

Why It’s Worth It: As for Dr. Langdon, she’s a fan of Cake’s Silicone Sex Lube. This silicone lube was initially made solely for backdoor play, but its glide-enhancing powers are so impressive that the brand reformulated it for head-to-toe action. It’s free of additives like alcohol, parabens, dyes, and sulfates. This silicone-based formula also works underwater, so you and your partner can bring the bedroom fun into your tub.

Editor Tip: Want to start things off with a massage or handjob? Cake also makes a body-safe lotion that’s designed for exactly that. It’s not designed for anal or vaginal use, so keep it on the outside as much as possible.

Key Ingredients: Dimethicone, phenyl trimethicone | Compatibility: Latex, polyisoprene, and polyurethane condoms, non-silicone sex toys (though Cake recommends using its water-based Toy Wonder lube with any toy of your choice)

Best Aloe-Based Lube: Good Clean Love Almost Naked Personal Lubricant

Good Clean Love Almost Naked Personal Lubricant

Why It’s Worth It: Consider the Good Clean Love Almost Naked Personal Lubricant as the middleman between water- and aloe-based lubricants. This pick combines the two to create a silky formula that doesn’t dry up.

Editor Tip: Since this formula doesn’t contain any petrochemicals, glycerin, or parabens, it’s a safe pick for those with sensitivities.

Key Ingredients: Organic aloe vera leaf juice, lactic acid, agar-agar | Compatibility: Latex and polyisoprene condoms, all sex toys

Best Multitasker: Überlube

Why It’s Worth It: One of Dr. Lincoln’s top picks is Überlube, a silicone-based lubricant she says tends to be well-tolerated by most people. No matter how much of it you use, this lubricant also dissipates with ease once you’re finished and leaves skin feeling soft and supple, not sticky or greasy.

Editor Tip: Ever thought you could use your lube as a multitasking beauty product? According to Überlube, this product is 100% safe to use as an oil-free detangler and a vibrance-boosting moisturizer for your healed tattoos.

Key Ingredients: Dimethicone, vitamin E | Compatibility: Latex and polyisoprene condoms, non-silicone sex toys

Best Luxury Lube: LELO Personal Moisturizer

LELO Personal Moisturizer

Why It’s Worth It: The LELO Personal Moisturizer is as indulgent as lubricants come, thanks to its rich, intensely moisturizing feel. This luxurious, water-based lubricant also features aloe vera for moisturizing and soothing benefits for all the pleasure without the pain.

Editor Tip: You can pair this lube with just about any sex toy, but we recommend treating yourself to one of LELO’s gold-standard options, like the clit-sucking Sona 2 Cruise or the Gigi 2 massager for G-spot stimulation.

Key Ingredients: Water, aloe vera extract | Compatibility: All condoms and sex toys

What does lube do?

Portland-based obstetrician-gynecologist Jennifer Lincoln, MD says anyone can benefit from incorporating a personal lubricant into their sex lives. With that being said, Dr. Lincoln also notes that lubes are especially helpful if you have any concerns about vaginal dryness. “People who are in low estrogen states — such as those who are perimenopausal, postmenopausal, or breastfeeding — [can benefit from lubricants] as low estrogen can lead to thinning of the vaginal mucosa and decreased lubrication production,” she says. “It’s also a definite must for anal sex as the rectum does not self-lubricate.”

If you’re a vulva owner who experiences any painful sensations during sex or masturbation, Dr. Lincoln says that adding a lubricant into the mix can provide some much-needed comfort. “If you have thinner vaginal mucosa, it can make issues like tearing or bleeding less likely as it helps to decrease friction,” she says. “It can be really helpful for people who are in pelvic floor physical therapy for pelvic pain or pain with sex and are using vaginal dilators to help these issues.”

What kind of lubes are there?

TL;DR: Personal lubes are pretty freakin’ great. But it’s worth noting that there are different types of lubes to choose from to satisfy your sexual needs. Below, we tapped the “sexperts” to break down every type of lubricant you should know about, and which situations you should use them in — yeah, you’re welcome.

Water-based lubes

By now, you’ve probably noticed that there are tons of lubes to choose from, especially when it comes to water-based formulas. According to Dr. Lincoln, many of the best lubricants on the market are water-based because they’re gentle enough for sensitive skin types to use and they won’t break down latex condoms or silicone sex toys. Though they’re the most versatile form of lube, Ohio-based obstetrician-gynecologist Kim Langdon, MD, says that water-based lubes tend to dry quicker, so expect to reapply as needed.

Flavored lubes

Fans of giving or receiving oral sex will be happy to know that there are quite a few edible, flavored lubes on the market for them to try. Dr. Lincoln says that most water-based flavored lubes are fine to ingest in small amounts, but always be sure never to mix oil-based lubes (which we’ll get to) and ingestion. “Ingesting oil-based lubricant can lead to nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea,” she says. When in doubt, Dr. Lincoln suggests reading the instructions before use on where these can be used.

Aloe-based lubes

Recently, aloe vera-based lubricants have been popping up everywhere, which makes sense, considering the ingredient’s texture. Aloe-based lubes tend to last longer than water-based options, and it’s also worth noting that these lubricants are compatible with silicone toys and latex condoms. “They are in a lot of commercial lubes on the market and if you tolerate them, they are fine to use,” says Dr. Lincoln.

Cosmetic chemist Ron Robinson previously told Allure that this ingredient also has anti-inflammatory and soothing benefits for the skin. “It can also hydrate and provide antioxidant benefits,” he said.

Silicone-based lubes

According to Dr. Lincoln, silicone lubricants are known for their silky formulas that last longer than other personal lubricants. Though they do last longer than water- or aloe-based formulations, Dr. Lincoln notes that silicone lubricants should be avoided with toys or diaphragms since they can damage them.

Oil-based lubes

Though both experts agree that oil-based lubricants do last long, they do come with a few downsides. Dr. Lincoln says that oil-based lubricants can cause condoms to break, so she calls this type of lube a “big no” if you are relying on condoms for sexual health concerns like birth control or STI protection. “Oil-based is not recommended because it creates a biofilm problem and can lead to vaginitis,” adds Dr. Langdon. So, if you have an oil-based lubricant on hand, you may want to use it as an anal lube or even a massage oil to avoid any issues.

Where can I buy a lube, and which one is right for me?

Finding the right lube for you is truly based on your sexual preferences. It’s worth noting that sensitive skin types may want to opt for a fragrance-free formula that doesn’t contain potentially irritating preservatives and additives (which you can find below). Still, other than that, it’s really up to what’s on your sexual menu du jour.

As for where you can find a great lube, we have amazing news: They’re everywhere. Some of the best formulations are available at your local drugstore’s sexual health section and brick-and-mortar sex toy shops, but if you’d rather opt for a discreet shopping experience, there’s a nearly endless amount of online stores you can peruse at your leisure.

Editor’s Note: If you’re unsure which personal lubricant formula is right for you, consult your medical provider before using one.

Stocked up on lube? Then take a look at our favorite sex toys:

Now, watch Victoria Beckman answer your burning beauty questions:

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