How We Test Dildos | Our Work In The Test Lab

laboratory test tube

In this article, you’ll find a complete overview of how we test dildos.

Our Expert Testers

Robert Thomas

Robert Thomas is a sexologist, researcher, sex toy enthusiast, and writer who loves to explore and study everything that is related to bedroom action. He strives to improve couples’ sex lives by challenging the advice given in research papers, books, magazines, and on the internet in general. Robert loves to write about sex life, as well as different tips & tricks on how couples can introduce sex toys to their relationship. 

Robert’s research is all about experimenting to come up with the perfect formula where sex toys bring excitement to and enhance relationships. Robert has been proudly featured in Healthline, Bustle, Cosmopolitan, Self, AskMen, MelMagazine, Outwittrade, Kinkly, JackandJillAdult, and in many other publications. Learn more about Robert here.

Robert Areas of Expertise 

  • Sexuality
  • Sex coaching
  • Sex tips
  • Sex toys

Contact: [email protected]

Oliver K.

Mastubators, sex dolls, fleshlights, etc.. epic sex toys to put your dick in. NO DOUBT ABOUT IT. Hi/hello, I am Oliver and you can think of me as an experienced sex toy tester. Why? Been part of Sextopedia’s team for 2 years now – tested over 100 dick stimulators, so I know what I am talking about. I am not a conservative thinker and I am not afraid to speak my mind. My reviews will always be right to the point and voice my personal experience. Learn more about Oliver here.

Oliver Areas of Expertise

  • Pocket pussies
  • Dildos
  • Prostate toys

Contact: [email protected]

Cathy K.

I love all “things” that can be played with, especially sex toys that are curvey and realistic at the same time. Jokes aside, I have great instincts when it comes to picking out a new dildo or vibrator or any other sex toy that can actually make you orgasm. Sextopedia has been my sweet-sweet home for about 3 years and I absolutely ENJOY TESTING & reviewing new sex toys. In my reviews, I’ll always tell you what I think, and how it feels, and I don’t sugarcoat anything. Learn more about Cathy here.

Cathy Areas of Expertise

  • Sex toy innovation 
  • Dildos
  • Vibrators
  • Sex machines 

Contact: [email protected]

How We Pick Dildos We Test

Our experts test dildo brands that you’ll see in the retailers, both online and offline. Our dildos mostly come from major sex toy brands and resellers like Lovehoney, Adam & Eve, LELO, Fun Factory, Tenga, Doc Johnson, BMS Factory, Aneros, Fleshlight, Tantus, Je Joue, Bad Dragon, Jimmyjane, Crystal Delights, etc. This is not an exhaustive list and will be continuously updated. 

All the brands that we mention in our content are vetted at the beginning of our relationship and once a year after one year of cooperation or whenever we receive a complaint about the brand.

How We Come Up With a List of Top Products

To come up with the initial list of dildos to review, we do market research by scanning through various media channels including but not limited to:

  • Search engines organic search
  • Paid advertising
  • Social media

Once we’ve compiled our initial list of dildos to review, we analyze market sales information of these dildos and prepare a survey. We then distribute this survey via various communication channels in order to learn about customers’ feedback & experience on the dildos listed in the survey. 

We also survey dildo manufacturers & resellers to find out about the best-selling dildo models. 

Then, we contact sex toy experts, who are external to our organization, to get 3rd party opinions on the dildos in our list. Please note, that occasionally, we are not able to get external sex toy experts’ feedback on all products that we review. 

After the aforementioned steps & likely changes in the initial dildo list, we purchase the products, either online or in-store. We purchase these products the same way as the consumer would in order to avoid conflicts of interest with dildo manufacturers and resellers. 

How We Test 

We make sure that the dildo brands and/or products we recommend are considered safe and not harmful in any way. Sex toys are not regulated by the U.S Food and Drug Administration (FDA) nor the Consumer Protection Service Commission (CPSC). We go above and beyond to make sure that despite the lack of regulation, Sextopedia’s readers are only recommended products that won’t cause any harm during use. 

Our experts test and compare dildos’ capabilities and functionalities through various methods and metrics listed below. Based on Sextopedia’s proprietary in-house consumer dildo survey and due diligence, external research, and interviews with sex toy experts – Sextopedia considers the following as the key criteria to assess if a dildo is “oh-so-good” or it lacks in performance. 

  • Please note that we only use the TOP 4 criteria from the list below in our product scoring. You can find out more about product scoring in the “Test Criteria Explained” section. We decided to limit the product scoring to 4 components as it limits the subjectivity and thus makes our scoring more valuable to the end-user. In case we do add or remove any components from the scoring model, we will make the necessary announcement and adjust product scores retrospectively. 

Ability to Induce Orgasms – 30% Weight in Product Scoring

We explore a number of different stimulation preferences including but not limited to deep thrusting, short & shallow, rock it out, G-spot rocking, double penetration, turning & twisting, and a combination of these. Our sex toy testers, play around with motions & movements, pressure settings, positions & techniques to find out how well the dildo can actually deliver an orgasm.

Affordable Quality – 30% Weight in Product Scoring

You can spend anywhere between $10 to several hundred dollars to buy a dildo. Expensive dildos do offer better quality, but the high price tag isn’t always justified. Sextopedia’s sex toy experts test dildos in different price pockets and recommend the most affordable option that doesn’t compromise on quality & safety. 

Our sex toy experts check for quality defects, verify packaging requirements, and check the dildo against specifications. In case of a defect, we record this information and order a new dildo to understand whether this defect was just unique to this specific product or it’s widespread. 

Extensive Warranty – 20% Weight in Product Scoring

Having an extensive warranty states that the seller is confident in the quality of its products. We at Sextopedia, alongside with majority of consumers, appreciate that a lot as it makes dildo manufacturers more trustworthy. Our sex toy testers reach out to customer support of a manufacturer and/or reseller to understand how easy it would be to return or swap the product if it breaks during the warranty period.

Body-safe – 20% Weight in Product Scoring

We disregard all dildos that may cause tissue damage, burning, itching, rashes, and/or any other negative bodily reactions. Sextopedia doesn’t recommend sex toys that contain materials like phthalates, cadmium, carbon disulfide, phenol, toluene, and timethytin chloride.

We don’t like porous materials and dildos made from jelly, rubber, thermoplastic elastomer, thermoplastic rubber, and/or PVC/vinyl but admit that using proper protection, like condoms, makes the use of these toys safe. 

We prefer body-safe dildo materials like silicone, stainless steel, borosilicate glass, ABS plastic, aluminum, titanium, ceramic, stone & wood with certain treatments, and lucite. Our experienced sex toy testers ensure that dildos are made from body-safe materials and report on any kind of bodily reactions after use. In case both body-safe and non-body-safe materials have been used in the making of a specific dildo then this will be discussed in-depth and reflected in the final product rating.

Discreet

We know that most of us value a discreet dildo that gets the job done when you lack privacy, are traveling or the house is crowded. Sextopedia likes dildos that you can hide in plain sight but unfortunately, it’s not entirely possible as dildos are typically representational in design. Our sex toy testers conduct an ad hoc “hide-and-seek” test to learn how well dildos stand out from the surrounding. 

Easy-to-Clean

Taking good care of your dildo is a must if you want to avoid any kind of bacterial infection and/or STI transmission in case you are sharing your dildo with someone and do not use proper protection, like a condom. We like dildos that can be cleaned in multiple ways, so you don’t necessarily need to get a “sex toy cleaning kit”. Our sex toy experts clean dildos with soap, water, a damp washcloth, and special sex toy cleaning kits. We make sure that dildos retain their safe usability if properly cleaned multiple times. 

Ergonomics

An ergonomic dildo isn’t probably what comes to your mind in the first place. However, if you are an avid dildo user, then you most certainly know that you may injure your wrist during masturbation. Our sex toy experts test dildo ergonomics, including weight, during use to make sure that a dildo fully serves its purpose, that’s pleasuring not injuring yourself. 

Texture, Girth & Length

This is what we look for in a dildo texture, girth, and lengthwise:

  • Our dildo testers focus on “insertable length” that doesn’t take into account the base of the dildo. Sextopedia sex toy experts measure the dildo’s length to double-check manufacturers’ claims.
  • Girth is the width or diameter of the dildo. The girth of a dildo depends on the ripples, bulges, and bends on the sex toy. Our sex toy experts measure a dildo’s girth and combine this information with sex toy material (if it’s a softer toy as opposed to a more rigid one, you may consider buying a dildo with a larger diameter) to assess a specific dildo girth and material relationship for best possible use.
  • Our dildo experts focus on the normal wear and tear when it comes to dildo texture. We aim to understand whether the texture of the dildo can withstand a longer-term use without compromising its ability to deliver orgasms. 

Waterproof

There is a difference if a dildo is waterproof or splashproof. We prefer the waterproof version as this means that you can submerge your dildo after each use to quickly clean it with soap and water. We also like waterproof dildos because you may use these underwater, in a bath for example. This comes in handy if you don’t have enough privacy at home. Our sex toy testers take the dildo to a submerged test drive to assess its durability and usability. 

Other

Our sex toy testers also measure, map, and test dildos against criteria like:

  1. How well you can use the specific dildo with a partner;
  2. How easy is it to use the dildo;
  3. How it looks (shape & color).

Test Shortcomings

We are all different in many ways, like how quickly one could achieve an orgasm or what might induce an orgasm, to begin with. Orgasm is a complex biological and psychological experience, which means that different preconditions are required for different people. With that in mind, we cannot assure you with 100% confidence that a specifically recommended dildo helps you achieve a similar duration and magnitude orgasm as described in the article. However, we do our best to give you as accurate information as possible based on multiple testing scenarios. 

Test Criteria Explained 

Recommended

We rate all dildos based on the following: the ability to induce orgasms, body-safe materials, affordable quality, extensive warranty, and whether the dildo can be considered discrete or not in its own category. 

We then compare products to each other on every single metric (ability to induce orgasms, body-safe materials, affordable quality, extensive warranty, discrete) to determine comparison ranges. 

For example, if the compared products’ warranty period ranges from 6 to 12 months then we say so at the beginning of the article. A product with a longer warranty will be scored higher than products with a shorter warranty period. 

We use a rating scale of 1-5 with the following interpretation:

  • 1 – Poor
  • 2 – Needs Improvement
  • 3 – Meets Expectations
  • 4 – Exceeds Expectations
  • 5 – Exceptional

 To be a Recommended product, a dildo must score well for: 

  • Ability to induce orgasms (30% weight)
  • Affordable quality (30% weight)
  • Body-safe (20% weight)
  • Extensive warranty (20% weight)

Dildos having a combined score of at least 4 out of 5 (80%) and above are recommended. 

Not Recommended

We don’t recommend dildos that have a combined score of less than 4 out of 5 (below 80%). 

Dildo Scoring Example

Let’s assume that we are evaluating a dildo “TEST” that scores as follows in our in-house test.

  • Ability to induce an orgasm – 5
  • Affordable quality – 4
  • Body-safe – 5
  • Extensive warranty – 3

The final rating for this product will be calculated as “category rating x weight”. So in our example, the rating would be 5*0.3 + 4*0.3 + 5*0.2 + 3*0.2 = 4.3. Since the combined score is 4.3 out of 5 (maximum score) or 86% out of 100% (4.3 / 5 = 0.86) then we think that dildo “TEST” can be considered as good quality and thus suitable for end-consumers. 

Before Publishing Our Content

We strictly follow the framework of product testing outlined in this document. Our in-house Editors team checks the content before publishing it to make sure that each and every sentence meets our General Review Guidelines and Editorial Standards. Our content has always been and will be impartial, accurate, clearly communicated, backed by research, and vetted by industry professionals. 

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