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by Katie Peachesa April 19, 2020 7 min read

Sex Toy Materials Guide

By Tatyana Dyachenko

This guide provides detailed information about the materials that our products are made from. Physical characteristics, cleaning and maintenance instructions, and compatible lubricants for each type of material are among the information provided for each type of material.

Hard Plastic

The hard, rigid plastic found in sex toys is rigid, tough and non porous, usually with a smooth surface. This is usually ABS plastic (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene) which is also referred to as acrylic. PVC (Poly Vinyl Carbonate) plastic is also sometimes used instead. PVC is technically a different type of plastic to ABS, but the two materials are physically identical when used to make adult products, so we treat ABS and PVC plastic as the same material.

In adult products it's often used in the classic style of vibrator which is solid and non-flexible. Solid components such as vibrator base caps, control panels and hand controllers are also commonly made from ABS plastic. It can be safely boiled for sterilisation and cleaning. It's chemical stability means it's not likely to cause any allergic reaction, and won't break down when used with any type of lubricant.

An injection moulding process is commonly used to manufacture products out of it. It's actually one of the most commonly used types of plastic, and is used in many every day items such as kitchenware and car interiors, as well as medical equipment, and in powdered form, it's also used as a colourant in some tattoo inks.

It's natural colour is translucent ivory, with pigments usually added to achieve the desired colour.

Jelly Material

Many of our products are described as being made from a soft, jelly-like material. In most cases, especially for the more basic products, this material is usually a mixture of PVC and rubber. The material is often translucent. Products can be made with a jelly consistency quite cheaply using this material, however it's slightly porous and can have a slight odour from the latex. Because of the porous nature of the material, it's best to always use an anti-bacterial soap to clean it with warm water. Also make sure it's completely dry before storage.

We recommend to use a water based lubricant with this material to prevent break-down if it contains latex.

Sometimes this material is made using phthalates to enhance the consistency of the material, although it is being phased out and won't be found in any of the products in our range (many of our products have "phthalates free" marked on the packaging, but if in doubt about the material one of our products is made from, don't hesitate to ask us). Studies in the United States and European Union have found potential health risks with phthalates, mainly in products where it can be consumed by mouth such as food packing and drink bottles. No conclusive studies on the safety of phthalates in sex toys have been conducted, but it's probably best not to use sex toys that contain phthalates or at least avoid oral contact with the material and perhaps use a condom with it if you already have one.

Elastomers are taking over from jelly as they are a superior material, even if slightly more expensive. They don't need to contain latex so are not porous and have no odor, and are also generally much safer in terms of the materials that they contain. More information about Elastomers can be found below.


Also known as Thermoplastic Rubber (TPR) or Thermoplastic Elastonomer (TPE). Thermoplastic simply means it can be moulded so it can easily be used to manufacture products. The name Elastomer is a contraction of the words elastic and polymer. Elastic because the material has elastic properties, and polymer reflects the molecular structure that it has. Although sometimes referred to as thermoplastic rubber, it doesn't actually contain latex rubber. It does, however possess the desirable attributes of both plastic and rubber, without the latex smell or the need to contain phthalates. It's also much less porous than latex or jelly, and therefore much more hygienic and easy to keep clean.

Elastomers can also be manufactured to varying textures and density to mimic the feel of human skin. There are also some highly developed elastomers such as LoveClone or Magic Flesh which use specialised patented manufacturing techniques and formulas. This enabled the creation of sex toys with multiple layers of density and amazingly life-like surface textures. Products are manufactured from elastomer using a process consisting of injection moulding or extrusion. Outside the world of adult products, elastomer are also used to make items ranging from medical catheters to suspension bushings and snowmobile tracks.

Use a water based lubricant with products made from elastomer, and clean after use with a mild anti-bacterial soap and water. Products made from LoveClone should be sprinkled with the talc that is included after cleaning to keep the material in top condition.


The type of silicone used in sex toys is known as silicone rubber. It's a synthetic polymer, made from silicon, carbon, hydrogen and oxygen, and is chemically stable, non reactive and well know as one of the safest materials for the body. It's hypoallergenic properties make it desirable for use in medical implants and equipment as it's the least likely material to trigger an allergic reaction, even in people that are susceptible to them. The only material that adult products can be made from that is less likely to irritate the skin is glass.

We don't recommend that silicone based lubricant be used with sex toys made from silicone, as it may cause the silicone material in the sex toy to break down. In reality, in most cases, the medical grade silicone used in sex toys will probably not have a problem at all, but to be 100% sure, use a good water, or even oil based lubricant.

With good heat resistance (oven trays are sometimes made out of it), it can be boiled for sterilisation. It's not good to leave silicone in direct UV sunlight regularly and for extended periods of time as it can cause it to go cloudy and deteriorate.

It's good thermal conductivity means that it quickly warms up to body temperature which is great on cold nights or when the sex toy has been stored in a cold place.

Latex Rubber

Latex rubber or natural rubber is a polymer that is extracted from the rubber tree (Hevea brasiliensis). It has great strength and flexibility making it perfect for products that are inflatable. Although there are now a lot of alternative materials and synthetic versions of rubber, they can't exactly match it's feel and consistency so it's sometimes still the best material for certain applications. For example, the vast majority of condoms are still made from latex.

The disadvantage of latex is that it can cause a reaction in people who are allergic to latex. It also has a slight odour, although some people don't mind the smell and find it adds to the environment and atmosphere.

Never use an oil based lubricant with latex sex toys or condoms as it causes the latex to break down. Both water and silicone based lubricants are safe to use with latex, with water being the best for the longevity of the material.

Latex sex toys should be cleaned with antibacterial soap and water, wiping down with a soft cloth. The surface of this material is quite porous, so it's important to clean it thoroughly and be careful if sharing with other people.

We also have an entire category of clothing that is made from latex. It has a smooth finish, and can be polished with silicone based lubricant or specially formulated leather shiner to give it a wet, glossy finish. This would especially be a desirable course of action for latex clothing, but can also be done with vibrators and other latex products.


Metal can be a wonderful material for adult products. It's non porous, unlikely to cause problems with allergies and it can be safely used with any type of lubricant. It's also strong and usually has some weight to it, making it feel solid and substantial. Metal also holds it's temperature rather well, so it can be cooled or warmed before use so it's temperature adds another dimension to the experience.

Several types of metal can be used in in sex toys. Stainless steel which is heavy and practically lasts forever. It's the densest and will hold it's temperature for the longest, and also the most chemically inert so the least likely to corrode or cause a reaction.

Aluminium is also used occasionally but is usually painted so can be mistaken for ABS plastic. It's worth noting the difference though as it will retain it's temperature more efficiently then plastic, and there is a subtle sensory difference between the two.


Glass is like no other sex toy material. It's non-reactive, non porous, and can usually be used by people who suffer allergic reactions to all other types of sex toy materials. It has great thermal retention, so much that you have to be careful if using the microwave to warm it up.

Borosilicate glass is the same material as Pyrex and is hardened, making it extremely tough. It won't break with even the most vigorous use, but can crack or chip with extreme force, like if it were thrown onto a concrete floor. For safety, hardened borosilicate glass is the only type of glass used in any of the glass sex toys in our range, and we don't recommend using any kind of penetrating sex toy that is made from regular glass.

Glass is possibly the most expensive material that adult toys can be made from, but they last for ever and are almost always objects of visual beauty. Any type of lubricant is safe to use, and the non-porous surface means it can be totally sterilised. The dishwasher can be a great way to clean sex toys that are made from glass.

Katie Peachesa
Katie Peachesa

Katie Peachesa is a sex and lingerie blogger based out of the urban chic Wapping in the heart of East London, United Kingdom. In her spare time, Katie enjoys photography, yoga and fitness, a bit of boxing, traveling, keeping up with the latest fashion trends and mudlarking and exploring pastoral settings. You are likely to find Katie in an artisan cafe in Brick Lane on a Saturday afternoon furiously typing her next article on her laptop whilst she is sipping on her flat white and drawing inspiration from the hustle and bustle in the heart of creative London. Katie runs the "Fashion Life Mag" and has been featured in Cosmopolitan, Allure, Grazia, Tatler, Evening Standard and other popular media outlets.

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