Comparing Sex Toy Materials: PVC, Silicone, TPE, TPR, Glass & More

When buying sex toys or vibrators, looking at motor number and stimulation options is important, yet it's equally essential to examine the material composition, since these items are intended to be applied on your most intimate areas.

A variety of materials are utilized in the fabrication of sex toys, each offering its own distinct characteristics. Consult the guide below for a comprehensive look at the most popular materials used in sex toy construction.

Notable Terms

Before venturing into the realm of sex toy composition, it is essential to understand the fundamental terms employed.

Body-friendly: This material features a body-safe material that is unlikely to elicit an allergic reaction and is simple to clean and care for.
Body-safe: Synonymous term for body-friendly.
Hypoallergenic: Many believe that hypoallergenic materials entirely eliminate the risk of allergies; however, this is not the case. While these materials are not as likely to cause reactions as other materials, they may still provoke allergic responses.
Medical-grade: Adheres to comparable exacting quality control measures and protocols employed in manufacturing medical equipment.
Nonporous: This material is non-absorbent and does not feature any microscopic pores, making it ideal for anal sex toys like butt plugs or prostate vibes that require complete sanitization.
Nontoxic: Constructed from non-toxic, safe materials
Phthalate-free: This material does not contain phthalates.
Porous: This material features tiny pores that make it ultra-absorbent, yet challenging to clean.

ABS Plastic

ABS plastic, also known as Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene, is a hard material commonly seen in affordability-friendly sex toys, as well as high-end vibrators for the base or handle. Furthermore, many common household items are produced from ABS plastic, such as computer keyboards and Lego pieces.

General Health & Safety: ABS plastic has no documented health risks, making it a body-safe and non-toxic material.
Lube: ABS plastic can be used safely with any type of intimate lubricant.
Cleaning: ABS plastic is a nonporous material, rendering it easy to clean. This material can be washed with warm, soapy water or sanitized with a sex toy cleaner.
Storage: Toys constructed with ABS plastic should be stored in cool, dim environments. No additional precautions are necessary.

Zelex Betsy E-Cup Full Silicone Torso Sex Toys


PVC is an omnipresent plastic with a breadth of applications, ranging from water pipes to bottles. It has also become a popular material among sex toy manufacturers for its versatility; PVC toys can be produced to be either pliable or solid.

General Health & Safety: Experts in the sex toy industry suggest using a condom with a PVC toy. It is particularly necessary to use protection if you plan to use a flexible PVC toy for both anal and vaginal penetration or share it with someone else, as the material may be porous.
Lube: PVC is suitable with water- and silicone-based lubricants, however oil-based lubricants such as KY should be avoided.
Cleaning: PVC can have varied structures, making it either nonporous or porous. Hard PVC toys are free from microscopic pockets, making them simpler to clean. Soft PVC items have small holes or cavities, making them more difficult to clean. (If you're uncertain if yours is hard or soft, bend it as a reference). Utilize warm water and anti-bacterial soap or a specifically formulated sex toy cleaner to wash your PVC toys. Then use a lint-free cloth to dry them. For soft PVC toys, make sure to provide additional thoroughness when cleaning before and after each use.
Storage: Store your PVC toys in a cool, dark place such as a drawer in your nightstand. Store soft PVC toys in their own separate bags.


Silicone is a widely-used material in premium sex toys and vibrators, due to its versatility; the density of the silicone can be tailored to be rigid or pliable. In addition to this, silicone is widely employed in baking ware and cooking tools, as well as many medical applications.PopTorso silicone sex doll torso is designed to provide an irresistibly realistic experience. 

General Health & Safety: Silicone is stable at a chemical level, leading to its non-toxic and safe quality. Furthermore, silicone is hypoallergenic, making it unlikely to cause an allergic reaction. Thus, silicone is often referred to as body friendly or body safe.
Lube: Do not use a silicone-based lubricant with a silicone sex toy as this can cause harm. However, water-based lubricants are perfectly suited and safe.
Cleaning: Silicone is a non-absorbent material, making it effortless to tend to and sanitize. Clean silicone toys using warm, sudsy water or an antibacterial sex toy solution. Un-powered silicone toys can even be soaked in boiling water.
Storage: Silicone toys should be kept in lint-free bags in a cool, dark area, separately from one another to prevent damage.


TPEs and TPRs are so interrelated that distinguishing between them requires an advanced degree in chemical engineering. TPE appears similar to silicone but is slightly more resilient. TPR gives off a jelly-like appearance with a rubbery texture. Both materials are malleable and can be found in various sex doll torso, as well as everyday items such as bicycle handles and catheters.

General Health & Safety: Don't be intimidated by the thermoplastic name; it is simply a material that can be heated to high temperatures and molded into various shapes. TPR and TPE sex dolls are non-toxic and safe to use. Due to their porous nature, it is recommended to use a condom when using the same toy for vaginal and anal penetration or sharing it with others.
Lube: Works with both water and silicone-based lubricants.
Cleaning: It is essential to deeply clean TPE and TPR sex toys prior to and following each use, given their porous nature. Mild soap and warm water can be employed for this purpose, or alternatively, a sex toy cleaner may be employed. Then, they should be dried thoroughly with a lint-free cloth.
Storage: Store TPE and TPR sex dolls in a cool, dim location with each toy individually packed to prevent interaction with other toys.


Glass sex toys are renowned for their aesthetic beauty and for their temperature-retaining properties, perfect for hot/cold temperature play.

General Health & Safety: Glass is free of any known health concerns, ensuring it is both safe and pleasant to use. However, some users of sex toys are concerned that their glass products may chip or crack. Generally, these toys are crafted from borosilicate glass, an incredibly durable material found in cookware and resistant to shattering - so no need to worry if you knock it off the bed.
Lube: Glass is compatible with all lube variations, including silicone- and water-based.
Cleaning: Glass is a nonporous material, rendering it effortless to clean. Cleaning can be performed with warm, soapy water or sex toy cleaner and the use of boiling water or a dishwasher is acceptable for un-powered glass toys
Storage: Glass sex toys are highly convenient to store, and may even be showcased as decorative pieces by couples who want to add some spice to their living spaces.


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