Best lube 2022: Improve your sex life with a little extra glide
The best lubricant is important for a satisfying and safe sex life. Personal lubricant, or “lube” as it is commonly known, is a gel intended to reduce friction and discomfort during sex. It also reduces your risk of injury. If you use a condom, the lubricant also reduces the risk of it tearing or slipping off, increasing your protection against STIs, including HIV.
The vagina naturally produces lubrication that helps facilitate sexual activity. If natural lubrication isn’t enough, which may be due to hormonal fluctuations or menopause, then lube can really help. With anal penetration, this is a must, since the anus is not self-lubricating.
Not only does the lubricant reduce discomfort and potential infections, but it is also very pleasant. Its use can greatly enhance your pleasure and that of your partner. No wonder it’s considered a bedroom staple. Read on for our buying guide and roundup of the best lube to buy.
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How to Choose the Best Lube for You
Basic course in lubricant
Although there are many lubricants on the market, not just any one will do. Indeed, not all lubricants are suitable for all sexual practices. In addition, using the wrong lubricant can have disastrous consequences.
There are a few basic lessons to learn when it comes to lube. They might not have taught you this in sex ed class at school, but luckily we’re here to rectify that.
The basic rules are:
- Do not use oil-based lubricants such as baby oil, coconut oil or petroleum jelly with condoms as this can cause the condom to break.
- Silicone-based lubes last longer and are ideal for anal sex.
- Do not use silicone-based lubricant with silicone sex toys as it can degrade the material of the toy.
- Water-based lube is by far the most versatile option. It can be used with any sex toy material and is condom compatible.
What lubricant should I buy?
Don’t opt for the cheapest options as they will inevitably contain the cheapest ingredients. Most high quality lubes emphasize the fact that they are glycerin free. Glycerin has been linked to a higher risk of yeast infections according to a 2013 study, and many experts advise avoiding it as well if you are prone to frequent yeast infections. If this is your case, don’t worry: all of our suggested lubes are glycerin-free.
If you are fluid bound with your partner – that is, you don’t use barrier methods like condoms during sex and are happy to exchange bodily fluids with your partner – then oil-based lubes might be an option for you. They are suitable for people who want to use a lubricant with 100% natural ingredients. For those who use condoms and also want high-quality natural ingredients, then opt for an organic water-based lubricant. However, in this case, the ingredients will probably not be 100% natural.
If you enjoy anal sex, we recommend choosing a silicone-based lubricant as they tend to last longer. Flavored lubes may smell good, but they may also contain ingredients such as sugars that may not be vagina friendly. Make sure you don’t swallow anything more than an unintended amount unless it’s clearly labeled as an edible lubricant.
For those who are hygiene or discretion conscious, then a lubricant with a pre-filled applicator can be a great idea. The lubricant can be inserted into the vagina without being in contact with your hands. For more stimulating sensations such as a heating or cooling effect, opt for a stimulating lubricant. They can provide a tingling sensation to both partners and they can greatly enhance masturbation with fingers or a sex toy. However, as we mentioned above, avoid using silicone-based lubes with silicone sex toys.
If you want to use lube for a variety of purposes, a water-based lube is the most versatile option. It will serve many sexual scenarios, whether for solo use or with a partner.
How much should I spend?
As we mentioned earlier, don’t go for the cheapest options as their ingredients might not be the best. Many cheaper lubes contain glycerin, which might not be desirable. Another concern is the pH of the product. A healthy vaginal pH is around 3.8 to 4.5. There is concern that if the pH of the personal lubricant does not match this, it could upset the balance of healthy vaginal flora. You can get a decent, high-quality lube for between £6-15. Considering it feels great and you will be using it multiple times, it will be worth it.
Whichever type you choose, our selection includes lubricants from reputable brands that do not contain any harmful products. Read on to find out which one is best for you.
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1. Lovehoney Enjoy Water-Based Lubricant 250ml: The best value for money lubricant
Price: £13 | Buy now on Lovehoney
You can never have too much lube. This highly rated water-based lubricant from Lovehoney has over 600 positive reviews, and it’s not hard to see why. It ticks many essential boxes. For example, its body-friendly formula is glycerin-free and water-based, which means it’s very versatile. It can provide extra glide for masturbation and is compatible with condoms and all sex toy materials. Presented in an easy-to-squeeze 250ml clear bottle, you can see exactly how much is left and know exactly when to replenish – which might not be very often thanks to its generous size. It should be noted that due to availability issues related to the coronavirus pandemic, it may arrive with a pump or cap.
Key Specs – Ingredients: Aqua (water), propylene glycol, hydroxyethylcellulose, benzoic acid, sodium hydroxide; bottle type: Press; Compatible with condoms: Yes; Compatible with sex toys: Yes; Standout Feature: Large bottle
Buy now on Lovehoney
2. Sliquid Organics Natural Sensation Lubricant 60ml: The most stimulating choice
Price: £9 | Buy now on Lovehoney
They say organic is orgasmic and that’s especially true when it comes to this stimulating lubricant from Sliquid. It can provide tingling sensations and increased sensitivity to your clitoris, especially when paired with a clitoris-stimulating sex toy or skillful finger. It cools gently on contact and warms on friction to increase sensation and pleasure.
Sliquid is probably the most popular brand of lubricants in the world. Not only does it produce a top quality lube, but the brand philosophy makes it a favorite in the pleasure industry. Sliquid uses only the finest, most natural ingredients in all of its products. This petroleum-free lubricant has been blended with certified organic botanical extracts that actually support the body’s natural reactions. It’s hypoallergenic, suitable for all skin types and the small 60ml bottle is perfect for going through airport security.
Key Specs – Ingredients: Organic aloe barbadensis bleached leaf juice (reconstituted), vegetable cellulose (from cotton), natural tocopherols (vitamin E), cyamopis gum (guar), organic hibiscus extract, flax, green tea and sunflower seeds, organic sunflower seed extract, food grade menthol, potassium sorbate, citric acid; bottle type: Press; Compatible with condoms: Yes; Compatible with sex toys: Yes; Standout Feature: Stimulating cooling and warming effect
Buy now on Lovehoney
3. Bijoux Indiscrets Coconut Water-Based Lubricant: The Best Flavored Lube
Price: £13 | Buy now at Bijoux Indiscrets
This coconut water-based lube from Bijoux Indiscrets is part of the brand’s Sex Au Naturel range, which features products made with 98% body-safe, vegan, and pH-optimized natural ingredients for match yours. It has a sweet coconut aroma that is fresh and natural without being overpowering, so it’s ideal for those who aren’t quite on board with their own natural pheromones. There’s still a lot of shame and stigma around natural genital flavors, and if a scented lube can help you let go of your inhibitions and enjoy oral sex – both giving and receiving – then it must be a good thing. Or maybe you just enjoy the smell of coconut.
Key Specs – Ingredients: Aqua, sorbitol, hydroxyethylcellulose, sodium lactate, sodium benzoate, aroma, lactic acid; bottle type: Press; Compatible with condoms: Yes; Compatible with sex toys: Yes; Standout Feature: Aroma
Buy now at Bijoux Indiscrets
4. YES Pre-filled applicators: The most hygienic option
Price: £15 | Shop now at Yesyesyes
Made from organic aloe vera, YES WB is one of the best water-based lubricants on the market. Presented in applicators, it offers a convenient, clean and hygienic way to deliver the right amount of lubrication deeper inside the body. And the soft, transparent gel gently adheres to the walls of the vagina, supplying them with moisture. 5ml of YES WB is dispensed in a sleek applicator tube with smooth contours and an easy twist closure.
Its discreet, travel-ready format is perfect for storing in your makeup bag. Once in place, the presence of YES WB is difficult to detect as a lubricant, as it closely simulates natural lubrication. There is also no obvious smell or taste, making it suitable for discreet use.
Key Specs – Ingredients: Organic aloe vera, organic flax extract, guar, carob, xanthan gum, food grade preservatives, citric acid; bottle type: Squeeze the pessaries; Compatible with condoms: Yes; Compatible with sex toys: Yes; Standout Feature: The most hygienic and discreet option
Venus O’Hara is an internationally renowned expert specializing in sex toy reviews, product design, and user education. She has tested over 700 sex toys since 2013 and is on a mission to raise awareness about orgasm. When she’s not writing about sex toys or designing them, she can usually be found on her unmade bed testing out the latest adult novelty. You can follow Venus on Twitter and instagram.