What Lubricants Can Be Used With Condoms? [2024 Guide]

Yes, you heard that right! For added comfort and sensation, it is best to use lube with condoms. To find out what lubricants can be used with condoms, read on!

what lubricants can be used with condoms

Are you up to date with your knowledge about lubes and condoms? 

If not, then this guide’s for you. 

When it comes to sex, no matter what you’re into, you usually play by the rule: wetter is better. And this is no different when it comes to selecting your trusted lubricant by your bedside. 

However, not all lubes are safe to use with the different types of condoms. You have to be familiar with their base ingredients first. 

So let’s start with some basics. 

What Are Condoms?

Condoms are an effective form of non-hormonal birth control. Using these every time you have sex is the most effective way to prevent STIs and pregnancy.

For some, condoms can help them feel more relaxed and reduce their worries. Some products even have extra features like ribbing or tingling lubrication, making sex more pleasurable for both partners.

If a condom causes discomfort, different sizes and types of condoms can offer a better fit. 

Remember, using the correct size is vital. Condoms that are too tight or small might break. And condoms that are too big might slip off from the penis. 

So take a look at your options carefully. Maybe consider having the correct lubricant with you while you’re at it.

What Are Lubricants?

Speaking of lubricants, what are these in the first place?

A lubricant is a liquid or gel-like substance that people can apply during sex to make the vagina, vulva, or anal area wetter.

You can apply these to a man’s penis or a sex toy to make them more slippery, reducing the friction. Therefore, eliminating chafing, uncomfortable rubbing, and even pain. 

The Common Types Of Lube

Latex and non-latex condoms have specific types of lube associated with them. And this mainly stems from the base ingredients used in the product. 

Different types of lubricants react differently to various kinds of materials. So it’s not all one formula. Reactions can differ.

And the worst-case scenario, side effects can occur. Or your condom will break… and we don’t want that, do we?

However, if you familiarize yourself with the basics, your life behind closed doors can be easy breezy

So what are the common types of lubes out there? 

You have four to keep in mind:

  • Water-based lubricants are the easiest to clean and safe to use for ALL sex toys and condom types. They dry the fastest and are not as slippery as silicone- or oil-based lubes, but they’re quite affordable and easy to find.
  • Silicone-based lubricants feel smooth, silky, and very slippery, with a velvety texture. A little goes a long way for these lubes. However, NEVER use these lubes with silicone sex toys in your arsenal. 
  • Oil-based lubricants are the slickest and thickest of all lube types. That means they’re also the longest-lasting. But unfortunately, they’re not compatible with latex condoms or sex toys.
  • Hybrid lubricants can be a mixture of two other types of lubes. For example, we have oil and silicone or water and silicone. Since it contains enough water to reduce molecular friction from silicone-on-silicone, you may use it on silicone toys – just make sure to do a patch test on your silicone toy.

Condoms And Their Compatibility

Latex Condoms

For latex condoms, silicone and water-based lubes are your best options.

Oil-based lubricants may seem fine at first. But the oil itself can degrade the quality of the material. As a result, the condom has a higher chance of tearing. 

So we don’t want that, right?

In summary:

  • Compatible: Water-based and silicone-based lubricants
  • Incompatible: Oil-based lubricants
  • Situational: Hybrid lubricants (as long as oil is not in the formula)

Polyurethane Condoms

Polyurethane condom is one of the most versatile types there is. You don’t have to worry about having the material degrade with oil-based products. 

These condoms are practically compatible with all four of the basic lube types. 

In summary:

  • Compatible: All four types (water-based, silicone-based, oil-based, and hybrid lubes)

Polyisoprene Condoms

Polyisoprene condoms, on the other hand, use isoprene rubber as their base ingredient. It’s the same material that makes up the majority of rubber products in the market. And to an extent, the latex material. 

So, in other words, these condoms have similar reactions to that of the latex variant. 

And just like latex, water-based and silicone-based lubricants are suited for use. But, oil-based ones can cause unwanted tearing. 

In summary:

  • Compatible: Water-based and silicone-based lubricants
  • Non-compatible: Oil-based lubricants
  • Situational: Hybrid lubricants (as long as oil is not in the formula)

Lambskin Condoms

Want to go au naturel with your options? Then go for lambskin. 

Lambskin condoms are natural condoms that can provide heightened stimulation. 

Users often report having high sensitivity levels and great body heat transference to make things feel more natural. 

However, these products tend to be on the expensive side. Compared to the other three, these are high on the price list. So take that into account. 

Yes, you can use it on all types of lubricants. But is it worth your budget? 

If yes, then great. If no, then there are always alternatives. 

In summary:

  • Compatible: All four types (water-based, silicone-based, oil-based, and hybrid)

What Is The Best Lube For Anal?

Often, thicker lubes are ideal for anal sex. 

The anal walls are more delicate and thinner compared to the vaginal walls. So, a thick lube will keep the area slippery enough to reduce the risks of cuts and tears inside the rectum. 

Overall, doing anal is risky when it comes to STI transmission. So, always keep it on the safe side with condoms. 

The anus absorbs water quickly and can dry out faster with a water-based lubricant. Therefore, silicone-based lubes are often the best for use in anal sex.

Avoid going the natural route like using coconut oil. At times, they’re not compatible. And to some, it can even cause discomfort in the anal area. 

How To Use Condoms

Using a condom as directed on the package increases its effectiveness. However, since the directions are sometimes in fine print, here are a few tips to keep in mind: 

  • Check the expiration date printed on the box or wrapper and make sure the condom is not expired.
  • Open the package carefully. Use only your hands to open it. And don’t use tools or your teeth. Examine the condom further to check if it’s brittle, dried out, or damaged.
  • Look at the condom to see if it rolls correctly. The rim of the condom should form a circle around the dome. If it’s on the inside, then the condom will be inside out and will not roll down properly. If you accidentally put a condom on inside out, don’t turn it around and reuse it. Instead, start over with a new one.
  • Put the condom on before making contact with your partner. Sperm may be present in your pre-ejaculatory fluid.
  • Condoms are not reusable. I repeat. CONDOMS ARE NOT REUSABLE!

    Put on a new condom every time you go for another round. You should also use a new condom if you switch from one kind of sex to another. For example, you went from vaginal to anal. 
  • Lubricants can make sex feel better, and it helps stop condoms from breaking. You can put a few drops of water-based or silicone lubricant inside the tip of the condom before you roll it on. You can also add more lube to the outside of the condom after it’s on your penis.
  • After climaxing, hold the rim of the condom while pulling your penis out of your partner’s body. Make sure to do this before the penis goes flaccid. So, the condom doesn’t get too loose and lets the semen out. Carefully take off the condom to avoid spilling any semen.
  • Throw the condom away in the garbage. Don’t flush it down the toilet. It would only clog your drains.
  • Pinch the tip of the condom and roll it onto an erect penis, leaving a little bit of space at the top to collect semen. Then, roll the condom down the shaft of the penis to the base.
  • Wear the condom the whole time you’re having sex.

Lubricated Vs. Non-Lubricated Condoms

So, let’s move to the topic of lubricated and non-lubricated condoms.

What’s the difference between the two? And which one is better?

Lubrication makes sex easy and more pleasurable for both partners. So, most condoms come with a bit of lube on the exterior of the condom to help make it convenient for couples in the bedroom. These are what you call lubricated condoms.

Non-lubricated condoms do not have that extra bit of lube inside. So instead, these condoms feel dry when you take them out of the package and put them on. But other than that, they’re the same as any other condom.

Who Triumphs?

Most couples prefer lubricated condoms, which is why most condoms are lubricated. But there are some exceptions to this. 

All in all, it’s not hard to understand why lubricated condoms are so popular. Properly lubricated sex, whether vaginal or anal, just feels safe and better.

When your condom comes pre-lubed, you can go straight to all your business in the bedroom. 

Not only that, but you can avoid feeling discomfort with the use of lube. It protects the condom against friction that can cause slips and tears. And you can lessen the chances of having an incident happen. 

Now, as good as all of these sounds, lubricated condoms don’t stay wet. So remember to reapply from time to time as well. 

Maybe add more lube (the compatible one!) to your condom before and during sex to boost your protection and PLEASURE!

Final Thoughts

In the end, it’s not always about the material and compatibility. But you have to consider the sensations you feel as well.

Does the lube or condom cause discomfort on your skin? Or does it cause a reaction on the surface? 

All these have to be considered by you when choosing your final product. 

Dainis Graveris

Dainis Graveris

Over last 4 years Dainis have helped millions of people through his advice on this site (200+ guides and 1M+ visits/monthly). His work & advice has appeared on sites like: Healthline, Vice, Cosmopolitan, Men's Health, WomensHealthMag, MindBodyGreen & more. Read More.

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