Silicone vs TPE: What’s the Best Material for Adult Toys?

As consumers, when using adult toys, we often see different materials mentioned in product descriptions, like silicone, TPE, ABS plastic, glass, metal, etc. The last three are easily distinguishable. In this article, we will discuss the differences between silicone and TPE/TPR materials:

Silicone

Tongue Licking Lay On Vibrator in purple color

This silicon-based synthetic material boasts excellent heat resistance and chemical resilience. Silicone feels great to the touch—soft and elastic—making it a popular choice for adult toys such as vibrators and anal plugs. This material does not react with oil-based lubricants and is easy to clean. Compared to TPE, silicone is more durable and long-lasting. It's also non-porous, preventing bacterial growth. However, due to higher production costs, silicone adult toys are typically more expensive.

TPE

allurbe TPE Dolls

TPE (Thermoplastic Elastomer): TPE is renowned for its flexibility and stretchability. It mimics the feel of human skin and is less expensive to produce, making it a popular choice for larger adult toys like sex dolls. However, TPE is more porous than silicone, making it more susceptible to dust and bacteria. It can also react with certain oil-based lubricants. Moreover, TPE isn't as durable as silicone, typically resulting in a shorter lifespan for these products.

Silicone VS TPE: detailed comparison

  1. Touch Feel Silicone tends to be harder compared to TPE, which is very soft. This is why sex dolls, dildos, or masturbators often use TPE material because it feels closer to human skin.

  2. Stretch Strength Normally, silicone can be stretched three to five times its size. TPE can be stretched six to eight times its size.

  3. Product Odor Generally, newly produced silicone sex toys have no odor, while TPE material sex toys may have a slight smell.

  4. Heat Resistance and Corrosion Resistance Given the same level of corrosion, silicone material is more resistant. Generally, silicone can withstand high temperatures up to 200 degrees Celsius, whereas TPE material may start to melt at 40 degrees Celsius.

  5. Environmental Impact The production waste of TPE material can be 100% recycled. On the other hand, it’s difficult to reuse silicone waste.

  6. Manufacturing Cost The manufacturing cost of silicone is approximately two to three times that of TPE.

When choosing adult toys, one can select the material based on their specific needs. It’s also crucial to remember that the same silicone material can have varying effects on the body, depending on production standards. Most silicone materials in the market are medical-grade and safe for use, causing no adverse reactions or infections. Industrial-grade silicone, however, is not recommended for adult products.

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Picture of Angel Ke

Angel Ke

She has worked for over ten years in a sex toys industry with 8 years of R&D capabilities and now holds the position of director.

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