Almost all condoms are made out of latex, a naturally derived rubber that’s perfectly safe for the vast majority of people. However, for about 1-6% of the population, latex can cause an allergic reaction that ranges in severity from mild rash to life-threatening anaphylaxis, so it’s extremely important to know if you or your partner are at risk before using latex condoms for sexual activity.
If you do require a latex alternative, there are several products worth considering. Our top pick is the SKYN brand from Lifestyles. In the past, non-latex condoms have suffered from intersecting issues of strength and softness- in order to make them strong enough to not break, they’ve been notably thicker and less comfortable than normal latex. But SKYN’s new “SKYNFEEL” material (synthetic polyisoprene) is strong enough to increase the thinness by 20% over the original SKYN material, greatly increasing the sensation and comfort to provide an extremely pleasurable experience. We’d recommend the SKYN SELECTION, a variety pack that includes extra lubricated and studded options for you and your partner’s enjoyment.
Those with or without latex allergies may also be curious about a non-latex option that dates back centuries- condoms made of lambskin, available in brands such as Trojan Naturalamb Natural Skin Condoms. While it’s true that lambskin is extremely thin and can provide intense sensation for both partners, we don’t recommend it without a little research to know what you’re getting into. Not only are lambskin condoms significantly more expensive than regular condoms (generally about 5x the cost!), but they only reliably protect against pregnancy, and not STIs, making them a poor choice for non-monogamous sexual activity. When you factor in additional difficulty in usage (they tend to roll back up) and what can only be described as a distinct and somewhat strange smell, the tradeoffs aren’t necessarily worth the added sensation.