All condoms, regardless of the brand, are 98 percent effective at preventing pregnancy when they are used correctly. According to the Annual World's Best Condom Awards, the Okamoto Crown Skinless Skin and the Beyond Seven Sheerlon were the highest-rated condoms for 2019.
Overall Top Condom Options
In a consumer review conducted by Condom Depot in 2019, two condoms ranked the highest. Over 40 condoms were tested to figure out the best overall condoms.
Okamoto Crown Skinless Skin Condoms
The Okamoto Crown Skinless Skin condom ranked number one for the 17th year in a row. These condoms are known for being very thin and durable. These are the thinnest condoms available with a thickness of .018 inches. It is also noted that they do not contain spermicide, have virtually eliminated the latex smell that many find off-putting, and are lubricated. This condom was also rated as one of the best according to Ask Men.
Beyond Seven Sheerlon Condoms
The Beyond Seven Sheerlon condom is made from state-of-the art, super-thin latex called 'Sheerlon'. The texture feels natural and silky. The condom provides the same strength and durability as the thick traditional latex condoms. It is lightly lubricated and both partners will see and feel the difference when using these condoms.
Lubricated vs. Non-Lubricated
When you're looking for the best condom brand, one of the primary decisions you'll need to make is whether you prefer lubricated or non-lubricated condoms. Lubricated condoms are coated with a water-based or silicone-based lubricant product to ease penetration and minimize the risk of condom breakage. Some people are sensitive to these products and prefer to purchase non-lubricated condoms and add their own lubricant if needed.
Top Lubricated Options
If you are looking for lubricated condoms, the Crown Skinless Skin and the Beyond Seven Sheerlon noted above are top choices. Consumers also note that SKYN Extra Lube condoms by Lifestyle are excellent if you want 40 percent more lubrication than the average condom and a non-latex option. Amazon users rate these an average of 4.2 out of five stars, commenting on the comfort, lack of odor, and how well-lubricated this condom is.
Recommended Non-Lubricated Condoms
If you are looking for non-lubricated condoms, Trojan ENZ Non-Lubricated is a top choice. Reviewers on Condom Mania give it an average of five stars, praising it for its good cost, reliability, and quality.
Best Condom for Larger Sizes
There is no standard length or width for condoms although most are designed to fit men who measure between four and seven inches when erect. You may need to try several brands to find one that is the best fit. There are also condoms that are made especially for larger men.
- According to testing and reviews on The Wirecutter, Lifestyles SKYN Large is the top choice for a generously sized condom.
- Best Reviews Guide rates the SKYN Selection Condoms as a top pick, with a score of 9.8 out of 10. These condoms were ranked number one on the best list out of 84 large condom options.
Top Flavored Condom
Some condoms are flavored to make oral sex more enjoyable. Some common options include vanilla, strawberry, chocolate, banana, cherry, and spearmint. You can often purchase these types of condoms in a variety pack that includes several flavors in one box.
It is safe to use a flavored condom for penetrative sex as long as it has been stored properly and is not labeled as a novelty product. Many brands now offer vegan and organic flavored condoms. One of the top rated flavored condoms according to Best Reviews is the Durex Fruity Flavor Collection, with their condom sampler reigning supreme out of 16 choices.
Best Non-Latex Condom for Sensitive Skin
Most condoms are made from latex because of its strength, elasticity, and affordability. But if you or your partner have sensitive skin and had a reaction or irritation from latex condoms, you may have a sensitivity to latex or a latex allergy. Symptoms of a latex allergy can range from itching, redness, or hives to anaphylaxis.
If you or your partner suffer from a latex allergy, you will want to look for non-latex condoms made from polyurethane or polyisoprene.
- According to NY Daily, Lifestyles SKYN was rated as a Best-in-Show for non-latex condoms for its natural fit and feel.
- Cosmopolitan also ranked Lifestyles SKYN number one in non-latex condoms. Durex Real Feel came in a close second, noting its natural feel and easy-to-put-on shape.
Highest-Rated Luxury Condom
More choices are available in condoms than ever before, and for consumers willing to spend a bit more, luxury condoms are available. Experts at MEL Magazine rated the Naked Luxury condom as a top choice in high-tech condoms for its specialty lubricant, size range (four sizes available), thinness, and sensitivity.
Effectiveness of Condoms in Preventing Pregnancy
What are the best condoms to prevent pregnancy? Latex and non-latex condoms have about the same percentile range for effectiveness at about 98% if used correctly, so both types are considered safest condoms to prevent pregnancy. However, there are some additional steps you can take to decrease your risk of pregnancy further when using a condom for birth control. When using a condom to prevent pregnancy, you should:
- Not use oil-based lubricants with condoms, the oil will damage the latex and the condom could break. Only use water-based lubricants.
- Keep the condoms away from extreme heat, this could decrease effectiveness.
- Always check the expiration date on the condoms.
- Use another form of birth control with a condom such as the birth control pill, IUD, depo shot, NuvaRing, etc. The withdrawal method and knowledge of your ovulation will also increase the effectiveness of your birth control.
- Look into purchasing the morning after pill if by chance the condom did break.
Popular Condom Brands
Condoms are a popular birth control option because they require no prescription, are relatively inexpensive, and are easily available. They are also the only form of birth control that provides protection against STDs, with lambskin condoms being the exception.
A quick trip to the drugstore or a few clicks online will reveal a number of different brands for you to choose from. Some of the most popular condom brands in the United States and worldwide include:
- Okamoto prides itself on their condoms feeling like nothing and offer both latex and non-latex condom options.
- Trojan offers a wide variety of condoms and lubricants and continues to be one of America's best selling condom brands.
- Durex sells a variety of different condom options, lubricants, and more.
- LifeStyles offers consumers 15 different condom types as well as lubricants and enhancers.
- Kimono provides ultra-thin condom options.
- One sells condoms and lubricants. Consumers can even apply to create the condom packaging art.
- Beyond Seven sells ultra-thin condoms.
Consistency Is Key
Select your condoms based on your individual needs. Many sites offer a sampler pack if you aren't sure which brand or style is right for you. Check out the best rated condoms if you aren't sure where to start. Regardless of what condom brand you prefer, condoms are only effective when they are used consistently and correctly, so be sure to read the instructions before putting a condom on.