This is everything you need to know about the different types of lube

Searching for the best lube could have you testing out an entire paycheck’s worth of products. But that extra cash is better saved for something more fun like a new rabbit vibe or a sexy necessity like toy cleaner and condoms. Which is what inspired us to pen this great ol’ guide to lube – well, that, and the fact that too many of you are using the wrong lube.

So how do you know which is the best lube for you? The answer lies beneath!

The different types of lube

Before you can find the best lube for your needs, you’ll need to know your options. And like their names suggest, what differentiates each type of lube is its base. There are four types:

  • Water-based
  • Silicone-based
  • Oil-based
  • Hybrid (a combination of the above)

And just like some vibrators are designed with higher-quality materials than others, the same can be said for lube. Some contain chemicals that can wreak havoc on a vagina’s pH, cause irritation, inflammation and even lead to yeast infections. These ingredients being:

  • glycerin
  • nonoxynol-9
  • petroleum
  • propylene glycol
  • chlorhexidine gluconate

Using products made with these components won’t kill you; however, it can lead to A LOT of discomfort. So if have sensitive skin it’s best you avoid these.

It’s also important to note that there really is no specific lube for different types of sex (anal vs. vaginal), it’s all about what feels best to you and, of course, if any toys are involved.  And if you don’t know what I mean, don’t fret – by the time you’re done reading this, it’ll all be crystal clear (kinda like lube itself).


If you’ve got a big toy box, water-based lubes are your friend. They’re completely safe to use with condoms and on all your beloved trinkets – including the silicone ones (YAAAAAASSSSSSSSS!!) and they won’t stain your sheets either. The only downside is they tend to dry up faster than other lubes, so make sure you stock up!

best lube Amazon

Toy-friendly ✓ Condom-friendly ✓

Our recommendations: Slippery Stuff personal lubricant ($8.97 via Amazon), Blossom Organics Natural Lube ($12.17 via Amazon), and Shibari Premium Personal Lubricant ($9.60+ via Amazon


Have you been avoiding lube because of your super sensitive skin? If so, you don’t have to. Just grab something silicone-based (since it’s hypoallergenic) and you’ll be good as gold. Silicone lubes also tend to be thicker since they usually contain one or more of these ingredients: Dimethicone, Dimethiconol, and Cyclomethicone. So not only are they silkier than natural and water-based lubes, but they last longer, too.

best lube Amazon

Condom-friendly ✓

Our recommendations: Penchant Premium personal lube ($14.95, Amazon), Wet Platinum lube ($7+, Amazonand Uberlube Luxury lubricant ($18, Amazon)


If you don’t want to have to stop what you’re doing just to reapply lube, you should consider one that doesn’t break down as easy. Meet your match: oil-based lubricant. You’ll only need to apply this once and you’ll be good to go for as long as you’d like.

best lube Amazon Toy-friendly ✓

Our recommendations: Coconu Organic personal lubricant ($17.99+, Amazon) and YES oil-based lube ($11.45, Amazon

Why we love lube

Solo or shared with a partner, lube is guaranteed to make the experience so much more delightful. And no, you don’t need to be suffering from vaginal dryness to soak in all its sexy benefits. Don’t believe me? Well, how about the 70% of nearly 3,000 women who were surveyed by Indiana University who all agree that using lube leads to better sex. After all, the wetter the better!


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Marisa Losciale

Marisa Losciale

Marisa Losciale specializes in NSFW culture, audio gear, and photography. A former editorial and photo director for Spoon University at SUNY New Paltz, her work has been featured in the Rockwell Center for American Visual Studies, Post-Trash, the New Paltz Oracle, and the Legislative Gazette.