What Kind of Condoms are the Safest?

Edited and published by Wellness Monster Mark

HIV-1 (green) budding

The benefits of using condoms are to prevent unwanted pregnancy when used as a contraceptive and to protect against sexually transmittable infections (STIs), such as Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis which are transmitted through bodily fluids, such as saliva, semen, vaginal fluid, and blood. While condoms cannot eliminate the possibility of contracting Herpes Simplex Virus or genital warts they do help to minimize the risk. Condoms also serve to minimize premature ejaculation, thereby promoting a longer, more enjoyable sexual experience. Condoms are widely available and relatively inexpensive which makes them an extremely affordable type of “health insurance.” But are all condoms created equal? Well, that depends on what they are made out of.

Latex condoms are the most popularly recognized condoms on the market. Latex is made out of rubber. Hence, the common name of “rubbers” that condoms often go by. Latex condoms meet FDA standards and, when used correctly, they prevent pregnancy 98% of the time. According to Consumer Reports, the following latex condoms share the highest ratings for safety and satisfaction.

  • Crown Skinless Skin Condoms are lubricated, pink, and have been rated as #1 condom sold by Condom Depot for over 11 years (CondomDepot.com).
  • Durex Performax Lubricated heats up, has an easy on shape, a reservoir tip and a pleasant smell. Another highly recommended Durex product is Durex Extra Sensitive Lubricated Latex.
  • Lifestyles Classic Collection Ultra-Sensitive Lubricated is about 40% thinner and offers a skin-on-skin feeling, but extremely safe.
  • Trojan Sensitivity Bareskin Lubricated features a reservoir tip that is about 40% thinner than other latex condoms and has been electronically tested for strength and flexibility. Other highly rated Trojan products are Trojan Extended Pleasure Climax Control Lubricant, Trojan ENC, Trojan Her Pleasure, and Trojan Ultra Pleasure Spermicidal Lubricant.

Polyisoprene condoms are non-latex condoms which are a synthetic version of latex which does not include the natural proteins found in rubber that are responsible for latex allergies. They are as safe for preventing pregnancy and STIs as latex condoms. They also have more stretch and, as such, tend not to break or slip. Polyisoprene condoms are a healthy alternative for those who are sensitive or allergic to latex. Lifestyles SKYN and FC2 Female Condom are voted favorites by consumers. SKYN condoms made of polyisoprene have been approved by the FDA.

baby-lambLambskin condoms are the most natural of all condoms. Lambskin condoms, contrary to the name, are not made of lambskin. They are actually made from lamb intestinal membrane. Lambskin condoms are the original “rubber,” and have been used for hundreds of years to prevent pregnancy, which they do very well 98% of the time. The downside is that they are porous and do not prevent STIs. They also have a drawstring that needs to be tied, which may cause some fumbling in the dark. Trojan’s Naturalamb are the only true lambskin condom available in the United States. It is the largest condom on the market and also the most expensive.

Other highly safe condom choices voted as favorites by consumers are Crown Skinless Skin, Kimono Microthin, LifeStyles DoublePlay, and LifeStyles His






Photo Credits:

Condom on Banana. [ID 30799323 © Contrail1 | Dreamstime.com]

A cute baby lamb on the farm. [ID 54783398 © Neil Denize | Dreamstime.com]

Scanning electron micrograph of HIV-1 budding (in green) from cultured lymphocyte. [By C. Goldsmith of the Centers for Disease Control, public domain]