Looking to enhance your sex life? Look no further than the Good Housekeeping Institute’s annual sex toy test for advice on what to buy. We reveal the best vibrators voted by our panel of women – from the best G-spot vibrator to the best bullet.
The sex toy market has exploded over the last few years and, if you’ve never bought a vibrator before, it can be difficult to know where to start. That’s why we’ve put together an extensive guide on the five main categories of vibrators, including what they do, how to use them, and what kind of sensations you can expect. This way, you can make an informed decision about your purchase.
Let’s start with vaginal vibrators, which are probably the most well-known version. Sometimes called classic vibrators, these are designed for internal use but can also be used to stimulate the clitoris (although there is a separate category of toys specifically designed for this purpose, as you’ll find out below). Vaginal vibrators tend to be tall and slim with a tapered tip. They can differ in design, with some looking more realistic than others.
For external clitoral contact, most people turn to a bullet or clitoral vibrator. These are very similar, except the latter is often larger in size and has a stronger motor. Bullets make a great choice for first-timers because they’re compact, silent and small. In recent years, clitoral suction vibrators have also become popular – with these products designed to replicate the sensation of oral sex through the use of air and pulsations.
Designed exclusively for external clitoral stimulation, wand vibrators feature a round, vibrating massage head attached to a long shaft (or wand). As they’re bigger than most vibrators, the handles can host larger motors, allowing them to produce deeper vibrations than a bullet. They also cover a greater surface area than the tapered head of a bullet, with some saying this provides more powerful orgasms.
Commonly known as rabbit vibrators, combination vibrators have two key parts: a main shaft for internal use and a separate massager designed to stimulate your clitoris. This is often in the shape of “rabbit” ears, hence the alternative name. While this design remains constant, combination vibrators can come in all shapes and sizes, with an extensive range of sophisticated and petite options now on the market.
These are designed to be used internally and have a curved tip to stimulate your G-spot – this is the term often used to describe the cluster of nerves tinder blog statistics on the front of your vaginal wall. Don’t be alarmed if you do not enjoy stimulation in this area though – everyone is different. In fact, it’s notoriously tricky for women to climax through penetrative sex alone; according to studies, only 18% of vagina-owners are able to, with the majority experiencing sexual pleasure largely through clitoral stimulation.
Dimensions: Check the dimensions to be sure you’re happy with the size – it may be bigger or smaller than you first thought – and make sure you like the way it looks, too.
Settings, speeds and power: Look at the range of settings and speeds on offer, and the way the vibrator is powered. Battery-powered sex toys tend to be the cheapest and most popular, while rechargeable toys are generally more expensive. Rechargeable toys mean you don’t have the ongoing cost of replacing batteries though, or having to run out to the shop when you’re in the mood!
Noise level: This is especially important if you’re worried about being overheard. Look for “whisper-quiet” vibrators, but take any claims with a pinch of salt. You could also check the product description for the decibel level; anything 40db or below is very quiet.
Material: There are three main types: plastic, silicone and skin-safe rubber. Plastic is the most firm, silicone has a velvety feel and skin-safe properties (well-known brands only use medical-grade silicone), while skin-safe rubber is softer and more flexible. Avoid anything containing phthalates (chemicals used to increase flexibility) as these chemicals have been linked to health risks. None of the vibrators in any of our roundups contain phthalates. Silicone often ranks higher on comfort.
Our Good Housekeeping Institute testing panel, consisting of 65 women of all ages, tested a range of vibrators. Every product below has been tested by at least five people, who made sure it lived up to any claims made on the box to deliver a pleasurable experience. This included trying every speed setting, vibration type and even trialling app-specific options offered by the likes of the Lovense Lush 3 App Controlled Rechargeable Love Egg Vibrator.
In the Good Housekeeping Institute Lab, we also assessed each vibrator on ease of use, design, battery life and instructions. See below for the GHI’s top-scoring vibrators across all categories…