This article was originally published on April 2, 2015 and has been updated throughout.
Lube is a little like masturbation. It's a big part of
most people's sex lives, and almost nobody wants to talk about it. And, like masturbation, there are many ways to enjoy it. Even if you think you don't really "need" it, consider that you might really like it. Aside from the obvious uses, the right lube may be the accessory that lets you try something new or take an old favorite to the next level.
Furthermore, if you're struggling with irritation or discomfort, lube could be the answer — or the culprit. There are several types to choose from, and since every body is different, there is no #1 lube for everyone. If the #1 face moisturizer gave you a rash, you'd probably buy something else, right? You'd check the ingredients, do a little research, and find a product that made your skin feel good. Shouldn't your sex life feel good, too?
Here, we've rounded up a slew of the best lubes out there, plus the pros and cons so you can find your personal holy grail. All of them are body-safe and contain genital-friendly ingredients. Happy hunting!
Pros: The word "silicone" may not sound like the kind of thing you want anywhere near your most intimate parts, but the truth is, it's a very body-safe ingredient. Silicone is hypoallergenic and cannot be absorbed into the skin. But, the best part is its unmatched slickness and staying power. Silicone lube will not dry out, period. Plus, it will stay on in water but washes off easily with soap.
Cons: Silicone lubricant cannot be used with a silicone toy (it will cause the material to deteriorate). It can also be tough to wash out of fabric, so, you know, try to be naked when you use it.
Swiss Navy Silicone Lubricant, $17.25, available at Amazon. Photo: Courtesy of Amazon. More
A long-lasting and mess-free formula that keeps you slick without fuss.
Power Glide Silicone Lubricant, $14, available at Amazon. More
This lube is safe for non-silicone sex toys,
and it's great for all skin types. Anjou Silicone Personal Lubricant, $4.99, available at Amazon. More
This lube is actually a mix of three different kinds of silicone, creating a blend that promises to stay silky over long periods of time.
Viamax Premium Lubricant, $22, available at Amazon. More Story Continues
This silicone lube promises to be long-lasting enough to prevent multiple reapplications (though everyone's different, so we suggest you apply as much as you need).
Slip & Slide Silicone Lubricant, $12, available at Amazon. More
A stain-free lube for those of us who really treasure our 1,000 thread-count sheets.
9x6 Pure Silicone Lubricant, $25, available at Amazon. More
Eighty-nine percent of Amazon reviewers couldn't stop raving about this long-lasting lubricant, with one person claiming that it "smells great, feels great,
is great." Good Clean Love Almost Naked Lubricant, $24.99, available at Amazon. More
and waterproof, this silicone lube works well with latex and rubber. Plus, it has some stellar Amazon reviews, if you care about that kind of thing. ID Velvet Silicone Lubricant, $21.21, available on Amazon. More
Made with a non-sticky formula, this lube is compatible with latex, polyisoprene, and polyurethane condoms.
Replens Silky Smooth Personal Lubricant, $16.98, available at Amazon. More
The packaging might say "anal lube," but the label says you can use it as vaginal lube, too.
Pjur Back Door Glide Anal Lube, $23.99, available at Amazon. More
An easy dispenser means way less mess. This hypoallergenic lube is formulated for sensitive skin —
and it's waterproof. Amity Jack Premium Bang Oil, $12.80, available at Amazon. More
This one is condom-compatible — and is also recommended for full-body
massages. Isabel Fay Premium Lubricant, $9.41, available at Amazon. More
Don't let the name put you off — this back-to-basics lubricant is perfectly slick, though as one review notes, it doesn't work with latex.
Boy Butter Personal Lubricant, $12.87, available at Amazon. More
This lube promises not to wash off upon contact with water — making it perfect for
shower play. Bad Boy Premium Silicone Lubricant, $12.32, available at Amazon. More
This anal lube also works well with glass, plastic, or rubber toys.
Turn On Personal Anal Lubricant, $12.99, available at Amazon. More
This non-irritating, waterproof lube comes in a spill-proof tube and is safe to use with most sex toys — that is, any that aren't silicone.
Lush Personal Lubricant, $13.96, available at Amazon. More
Formulated specifically for sensitive skin, this lube is odorless and promises not to stain.
Penchant Premium Silicone Lubricant, $18.95, available at Amazon. More
This oil-free lube is completely safe to use with latex condoms.
Eros Silicone Bodyglide Lubricant, $39.99, available at Walgreens. More
If you have sensitive skin, this is the lube for you. Pjur's formula is extra long-lasting and moisturizing.
Pjur Eros Super Concentrated Silicone Bodyglide, $39.99, available at Walgreens. More
This luxe lube is compatible with most condoms, and even promises to leave your skin silky smooth.
One Move Deluxe Personal Lubricant, $18.99, available at Walgreens. Photo: Courtesy of Amazon. More
The silicone iteration of this cult favorite brand promises to be buttery-smooth without being sticky.
Jo Personal Personal Lubricant, $13.99, available at Walgreens. Photo: Courtesy of Walgreens. More
This one is great to use with sex toys (just not any silicone-based ones).
Lush Personal Lubricant, $13.96, available at Amazon. More
If you or your partner have an allergy to latex condoms, don't worry — this lube is compatible with polyurethane and polyisoprene condoms, too.
Pjur Basic Silicone Lubricant, $10.99, available at Pjur. Photo: Courtesy of Pjur. More
The best part about this long-lasting, ultra slippery lube? It doesn't dissolve in water, making it the perfect accessory for a bath-for-two.
ID Millennium Pure Silicone Lubricant, $19.75, available on Amazon. More
This one is non-sticky and unscented, and is perfect to use with a partner for a bit of massage foreplay or on your own for extra clitoral stimulation.
Trojan Arouses & Intensifies Lubricant, $19.99, available at Walgreens. Photo: Courtesy of Trojan. More
This long-lasting premium lube is naturally smooth, and works perfectly well with multiple types of condoms (latex, polyisoprene, and polyurethane) — so if you’re allergic to latex, don’t fret.
KY True Feel Silicone Lubricant, $9.99, available at Target. Photo: Courtesy of KY. More
This dermatologically tested, skin-friendly formula promises not to dry you out. According to studies performed by the manufacturer, it's supposed to last three times longer than other water-based lubricants.
LifeStyles Luxe Silicone Lubricant, $6.99, available at Walgreens. Photo: Courtesy of LifeStyles Luxe More
This one promises to be long-lasting, meaning you won't have to constantly pause and reapply.
Wet Platinum Premium Silicone Lubricant, $14.29, available at Walgreens Photo: Courtesy of Wet More
This slick formula keeps you moisturized,
and the bottle is spill-proof, making it great for on-the-go action.
Passion Lubes Premium Silicone Lubricant, $14.41, available at Amazon. Photo: Courtesy of Passion. More
In addition to being Vegan-friendly (a.k.a. not tested on animals), Sliquid products don't contain glycerin, which can be a skin irritant for some people.
Sliquid Silver Silicone Intimate Lubricant, $20.79, available at Walgreens. Photo: Courtesy of Sliquid. More
This no-drip formula is also latex-safe and waterproof.
Astroglide Diamond Silicone Gel, $10.39, available at Walgreens. Photo: Courtesy of Astroglide. More
A classic never goes out of style.
Pjur Eros Bodyglide, $22.99, available at Drugstore.com. Photo: Courtesy of Drugstore.com. More
Despite the perfume-bottle styling, this one is both unscented and tasteless.
Pink Silicone Lubricant For Women, $18.49, available at Walgreens. Photo: Courtesy of Walgreens. More
One of the few silicone lubes you can find at the drugstore.
Wet Naturals Silky Supreme, $9.99, available at Drugstore.com. Photo: Courtesy of Drugstore.com. More
Pros: While some might like the invisible slickness of silicone, others prefer water-based lube for its thick, cushion-y feel. This is the go-to type for anal play because it provides a generous, comfortable barrier. It's also safe to use with all toys and is generally less expensive than silicone. If it starts to dry out, water-based lube can be instantly revived with a little water or saliva, and it rinses off easily (no soap needed). It's probably the most readily available lubricant out there, and you can usually find a variety at any drugstore.
Cons: Water-based lube will dry out eventually, so you may need to reapply (meaning you'll go through a bottle faster). And, since it's water-soluble, it won't stay put for shower or bathtub sex. Keep an eye out on those drugstore brands too, since a lot of them contain glycerin, which can trigger yeast infections.
Isabel Fay Natural Water Based Lubricant, $12.95, available at Amazon. Photo: Courtesy of Amazon. More
If you're sensitive to smell, here's a perfectly unscented lube.
Sustain Personal Lubricant, $9.99, available at Target. More
This one's a bit of a hybrid: It's got a water base, but it's also infused with a silicone blend. It's latex-safe, and paraben-free. It's not recommended for use with silicone toys, but feel free to pair with your glass toys.
Turn On Premium Hybrid Lubricant, $9.85, available at Amazon. Photo: Courtesy of Turn On. More
This one combines the silky smoothness of a silicone lube with the thickness of a water-based lube to give you the best of both worlds.
System Jo H20 Water-Based Personal Lubricant, $8.27, available at Amazon. Photo: Courtesy of System Jo. More
This water-based lubricant is designed specifically for anal sex, and has a thick liquid consistency for increased comfort. It has no numbing agents, and doesn’t get sticky — perfect for usage with
sex toys as well.
Lynk Natural Anal Lubricant, $10.09, available at Amazon. Photo: Courtesy of Lynk More
This formula is long-lasting without being sticky or drying out, but it still washes off easily without leaving residue.
Healthy Vibes Personal Lubricant, $15.95, available at Amazon. Photo: Courtesy of Healthy Vibes. More
This vanilla-cream-flavored lubricant washes off easy and has no aftertaste. Win-win.
JO H2O Flavored Vanilla Cream, $7.99, available at Walgreens. More
This hypoallergenic lube promises not to leave behind any stains.
ID Glide Water Based Personal Lubricant, $15.49, available at Walgreens. Photo: Courtesy of ID Glide More
This formula gives you added moisture for even more intimacy.
KY Liquid Personal Water Based Lubricant, $12.99, available at CVS. Photo: Courtesy of KY. More
The Please line was created by the legendary sex-positive toy shop, Good Vibrations.
Please Liquid Lubricant, $8, available at Good Vibrations. Photo: Courtesy of Good Vibrations. More
Don't mind the retro shampoo-bottle look. This one's a winner.
Slippery Stuff Personal Lubricant Gel, $12.49, available at Amazon. Photo: Courtesy of Amazon. More
Lelo is one of the best toy-makers on the market. These folks know what they're doing.
Lelo Personal Moisturizer, $24.90, available at Lelo. Photo: Courtesy of Lelo. More
When it comes to lube, a pump dispenser is your best friend.
Passion Natural Water Based Lubricant, $11.99, available at Walgreens. Photo: Courtesy of Walgreens. More
Pros: Sometimes you can have it all! Hybrid lubes (also known as "silk" lubes) are mostly water-based with just a small amount of silicone. In almost all hybrids, the silicone shows up in such a teeny amount that it won't damage silicone toys, so feel free to use these with all materials. And, as we know, a little silicone goes a long way, so these lubes give you that slippery feeling with a thicker cushion.
Cons: While these lubes are like magic, they're magic with a little compromise. You shouldn't expect them to be as slippery as silicone or thick as water-based. Other than that, there's really no downside.
BabeLube Silk, $16, available at Babeland. Photo: Courtesy of Babeland. More
Okay, so it doesn't have the sexiest name — but this lube promises to be long-lasting.
Elbow Grease Lubricant, $16.99, available at Walgreens. Photo: Courtesy of Walgreens. More
Each product from this line is made with certified-organic botanicals.
Sliquid Organics Natural Lubricating Silk, $10.19. available at Amazon. Photo: Courtesy of Amazon. More
This one's a cult classic for good reason.
Liquid Silk, $17.99, available at CVS. Photo: Courtesy of CVS. More
This one has a 50/50 formula, meaning it's not ideal for silicone toys, but pretty spectacular for body usage.
Jo Hybrid Personal Lubricant, $9.55, available at Amazon. Photo: Courtesy of Amazon. More
Pros: Great for massage, foreplay, and hand jobs. Oil or oil-based lubes are an easy and accessible option for "outercourse" sex. Plus, you can't argue with accessibility. In a pinch, you probably have a bottle of EVOO in the kitchen, right?
Cons: Oil is not recommended for intercourse, primarily because it's not easy to get off you or out of you. That stuff will stick around for a while, keeping bacteria with it and leaving you open to infection. Oil also damages latex, meaning it's not safe for use with most condoms, dental dams, etc. And, remember, that EVOO hasn't been processed or tested for this purpose. Plus, if it's been hanging out in your kitchen for months, it's probably come into contact with unwashed hands, food bacteria, and plenty of other things that don't belong on your genitals.
Ride Rub Stroke Oil, $14.95, available at The Pleasure Chest. Photo: Courtesy of The Pleasure Chest. More
This hypoallergenic lube is actually plant-oil based, and so the makers say you you don't have to wash it off. However, it is
not compatible with condoms.
Yes OB Oil-Based Lube, $21.99, available at Yes. Photo: Courtesy of Yes OB More
Coconut oil-lovers, this one's for you. This is the only USDA-certified organic lube you can buy, and it's — you guessed it — made with coconut oil. It's also cruelty-free
Coconu Organic Personal Lubricant, $19.99, available at Coconu. Photo: Courtesy of Coconu. More
Thick as a hand cream and non-staining.
Gun Oil Stroke 29, $26.99, available at Walgreens. Photo: Courtesy of Walgreens. More
Despite its oil base, Boy Butter washes off with just water (no soap necessary).
Boy Butter Original, $16.99, available at Drugstore.com. Photo: Courtesy of Drugstore.com. More
This one's for all the coconut-oil fiends.
Dr. Pinks Coco Lube, $17.99, available at Lubezilla. Photo: Courtesy of Lubezilla. More
Pros: Everyone's genitals are sensitive, and that's why we like them. But, some are more tender, dry, or prone to infection or tearing. For those folks, there are a growing number of sensitive-skin lubes that won't sting or irritate and will provide superior cushioning. These lubes are also great for everyday use outside the bedroom, as gentle moisturizers for anyone dealing with dryness or irritation. If you're easing back into sex after childbirth, injury, or a medical procedure, these are the way to go.
Cons: Most of these lubes are water-based and therefore prone to the same minor flaws. Some may turn sticky and require reapplication.
Blossom Organics Personal Moisturizing Lubricant, $7, available at Babeland. Photo: Courtesy of Babeland. More
This thicker formula is made without glycerin, parabens, fragrances, and alcohol.
Astroglide Sensitive Skin Gel, $4.77, available at Amazon. Photo: Courtesy of Amazon. More
One of the most ecological and body-friendly products available: edible, vegan, USDA-certified organic, and cruelty-free.
Sinclair Organic Lube, $18.95, available at Adam & Eve. Photo: Courtesy of Adam & Eve. More
Great for anyone dealing with daily dryness or discomfort.
Shibari Intimate Lubricant, $14.51, available at Amazon. Photo: Courtesy of Amazon. More
Probiotics + moisture = happy, healthy sexytimes.
Organic Glide Probiotic Personal Lubricant, $14.70, available at Amazon. Photo: Courtesy of Amazon. More
Made with carrageenan and 100% vegan ingredients.
Sliquid Satin, $15, available at SheBop. Photo: Courtesy of SheBop. More
Pros: Some people really like warming lube.
Con: Some people really don't like warming lube.
This isn't about pros and cons as much as personal preference. While some report that warming lubes significantly increase their pleasure, others find them pointless or uncomfortable. The only way to know is to give one a whirl. Here are some tried-and-true options.
G Female Stimulating Gel, $14.99, available at Drugstore.com. Photo: Courtesy of Drugstore.com. More
This lube promises to warm up with movement, and is made specifically for foreplay and clitoral stimulation.
Trojan Arouses & Releases Personal Lubricant, $19.99, available at Walgreens. Photo: Courtesy of Trojan. More
This one has just a slight warming sensation.
Allation Warming Jelly, $9.99, available at Walgreens. Photo: Courtesy of Walgreens. More
The convenient single hand pump will make your sex life 100% easier.
Swiss Navy Warming Lube, $13.69, available at Walgreens. Photo: Courtesy of Swiss Navy. More
This gentle, non-greasy lube warms on contact and is most compatible with latex condoms.
KY Warming Jelly Lubricant, $19.99, available at Amazon. Photo: Courtesy of KY. More
If you're feeling a little adventurous, this one features small bears that "burst" and give an extra dose of warmth and lubrication.
Climax Bursts Warming Lubricant, $9.24, available at Amazon. Photo: Courtesy of Amazon. More
Warms on contact and when you blow on it.
Please Warming Gel Lube, $12, available at Good Vibrations. Photo: Courtesy of Good Vibrations. More
This fan-favorite is gentle, condom-compatible, and best of all, it's easy to clean up.
Astroglide Warming Liquid, $5.91, available at Amazon. Photo: Courtesy of Astroglide More
Super-tingly and 100% natural.
Sliquid Organics Natural Warming Lubricant, $15, available at Babeland. Photo: Courtesy of Babeland. More
This one heats up with cinnamon.
Emerita OH Warming Lubricant, $4.99, available at Amazon. Photo: Courtesy of Amazon. More
A warming lube for those with sensitive skin.
ID Moments Warming Lubricant, $9.99, available at Lubezilla. Photo: Courtesy of Lubezilla. More
Pros: Flavored lubes have come a long way, so don't write them off as just a silly novelty gift. A lot of brands have honed these products to taste pretty damn good, and if you like to add a little extra sensory experience in your sex life, these are an easy and fun way to accomplish that. Lube is a great addition to oral sex of all kinds, but traditional lube can often taste, um, terrible. Get a good flavored one and the problem is solved.
Cons: But, yeah, sometimes they're gross. With flavored lube, it's a good idea to go to an actual sex shop — a female-friendly, sex-positive sex shop, that is. Take a minute to sample the options (for obvious reasons, flavored lubes are generally water-based and edible) and find the one that suits your palate.
Sliquid Swirl Natural Intimate Lubricant, $14, available at Babeland. Photo: Courtesy of Babeland. More
An all-natural favorite.
Hathor Aphrodisia Lubricant Lickeurs, $22, available at Hathor Aphrodisia. Photo: Courtesy of Hathor Aphrodisia. More
Try the Mojito Peppermint.
BabeLicious Flavored Lubricant, $8, available at Babeland. Photo: Courtesy of Babeland. More
Choose from Salted Caramel, Candy Apple, or Pomegranate.
Wicked Flavored Water Based Intimate Lubricant, $10.46, available at Amazon. Photo: Courtesy of Amazon. More
This one gives you a fruity strawberry flavor.
Wet Flavored Lubricant, $5.66, available at Amazon. Photo: Courtesy of Amazon. More
This water-based lube washes off easily and leaves no aftertaste.
System JO H2O Flavored Lubricant, $12.49, available at Amazon. Photo: Courtesy of Amazon. More
This watermelon-flavored water lube is non-staining and is completely safe to use with latex and sex toys.
ID Luscious Watermelon Juicy Lube, $9.99, available at Amazon. Photo: Courtesy of ID. More
This non-staining water lube is perfect for bubblegum lovers.
ID Juicy Lube Bubblegum Lube, $9.99, available at Walgreens. Courtesy of ID Juicy Lube. More
We'll spare you from the pina colada jokes, but you get the point — this lube is totally edible
and completely delicious.
Aloe Cadabra Pina Colada Lubricant, $10.42, available at Amazon. Photo: Courtesy of Amazon. More
One of the golden rules of anal sex? Picking the
Pjur Back Door Glide, $20.99, available at Walgreens. Photo: Courtesy of Walgreens. More VIDEO Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here? My Ex Was A Fat-Shaming Ninja & It Took Me Months To Catch On When Is The Right Time To Share Secrets With Your Partner? Why Butt Plugs Are The Incredible Sex Toy Too Many Of Us Are Forgetting About