To solve this dilemma we have checked several publicly available condom tests and in this article we bring you the results.
Best rated condoms by Consumer ReportsSeveral years ago Consumer Reports tested 20 condoms for their quality and reliability.
All tested condoms got the passing grades but some of them stood out from the others. As
several many years have passed we cannot say if these tests would be the same these days (maybe some of the manufacturers changed their quality standards in the meantime – for better or worse), but I think you’ll still be interested to see the results.
They’ve tested condoms in several categories, rating them by strength, reliability and leakage.
Firstly, testers check the packaging, to see if it’s properly sealed. Openings and holes let air inside that can cause deterioration and increase the risk of failure.
Secondly, they use submersion tests to check if condoms have any holes and leaks by filling them with a fluid.
They also performed the burst test – they would inflate condoms until they burst and record the volume and pressure. This test determines strength and reliability.
So, enough with the theory, lets see the results and ratings.
|Brand & Model
|Price per condom
(click for more
0 - 100
|Lifestyles Ultra Sensitive Lubricated
|Lifestyles Warming Pleasure
|Trojan Her Pleasure Ecstasy
|Trojan Magnum Lubricated
|Trojan Ultra Ribbed Ecstasy
|Trojan Ultra Thin
|Durex Extra Sensitive
|Lifestyles Ultra Thin Lubricated
|Beyond Seven Sheerlon Latex
|One Super Sensitive
|Durex Sensi Thin
|Trojan MagnumTwister (discontinued)
|Trojan Extended Pleasure
|Lifestyles Triple Pleasure
|Night Light Glow in the Dark
*I’ve updated the price per condom with the recent price per condom in a 12-pack (if available) from Undercover condoms online condom store or Amazon.
Source: Consumer Reports
For me results came a bit as a surprise, few of my favorites didn’t make it near the top. I repeat, all condoms met the minimum criteria and you will get the most protection with any condom if you’re using it properly. However, maybe you would feel safer if you used one of those best rated condoms.
So, are there any surprises with these results for you?
Other Condom Tests
Condom Test by Spoon University
Online publication Spoon University decided to test a few condom variants to find out which one is the strongest. According to their website, they used two bottles to measure the length and width capacity of condoms.
One bottle was one inch wide and 7.5 inches long (it was used to measure length), while the other bottle was 2.5 inches wide and 9.5 inches long (it was used to measure width).
They then tested six condoms: Trojan Magnum, Trojan Regular, ONE Glow-in-the-Dark, ONE Regular, Lifestyles Vanilla, and Durex.
Let’s start with the condoms’ length. ONE Regular surprised the testers because it got the highest score at 30 inches of length. Trojan Magnum (which is known for its large size capacity) got the second-highest score with a maximum length of 22.5 inches.
Lifestyles Vanilla followed suit at 21 inches. All three condoms are more than enough for longer-than-average penises — yes, even the longest penis on earth, which measures 18.9 inches in length and belongs to a Mexican man named Roberto Esquivel Cabrera.
The next three condoms are so far behind in terms of length, although they’re certainly more than enough for the average penis length. Both Durex and ONE Glow-in-the-Dark have a maximum length of 12.5 inches, while Trojan Regular brings up the rear at 11 inches.
Of course, let’s not forget condom width! I found this part of the test actually more relevant as in real life scenario condom will more likely be stretched in width than in length. Inadequate condom width is also the most likely reason why a condom might break during intercourse.
Anyhow, according to Spoon University’s test, Lifestyles Vanilla got the top score in terms of condom width. It was able to stretch to double the length of the bigger bottle, meaning it accommodated around 18.5 inches of length with 2.5 inches girth.
Trojan Magnum came in second since it was able to accommodate both the large bottle and small bottle inside it before it broke apart.
ONE Regular and Trojan Regular were able to accommodate the big bottle (2.5 inches in width), while Durex and ONE Glow-in-the-Dark fell apart before they could even be placed on the bottle.
Interpretations and Recommendations
What does this all mean? According to Spoon University’s testers, Trojan Magnum and Lifestyles Vanilla can be considered a must-have for those who have a large penis.
This isn’t really surprising for Trojan Magnum, since this is what it was designed to do, but it’s a surprise for those who didn’t expect Lifestyles Vanilla to accommodate big packages.
ONE Regular, with its surprisingly large length capacity, is a great choice for those whose penises are longer than average.
Trojan Regular is an excellent option for those who have average length and girth and are looking for a dependable condom.
Durex, meanwhile, is fantastic for those who want to wear thin, barely-there condoms and feel like they’re not wearing anything at all.
It will certainly make your partner grin with delight (or roll their eyes in frustration, depending on their mood), but it seems it doesn’t work as well as others. So if safety is your no. 1 concern then there are better options available.
How Did They Do It?
It’s not really clear how the width and length tests were performed, especially when it came to condoms that exceeded the length and width of the two bottles used as measurements.
It would have been better if the testers clearly described their methodology and included pictures of each tested condom as they went along.
The testers also did not specify the exact type of condom they used in the test. Durex, for example, is simply called “Durex,” when the brand has, in fact, many different condom varieties (XXL, Invisible, Intense Sensation, Extra Sensitive, Performax Intense, Tropical Flavors, and RealFeel Non-Latex).
This is also the case with ONE Regular. If you go to the brand’s website, you won’t see any product marked as “regular,” so it’s rather difficult to determine exactly which condom was tested.
How Relevant Are Their Results
There’s a strict procedure for testing condoms and all manufacturers are obliged to test their products accordingly. If you check out our article on how to measure your penis and then pick the right size from the condom size chart (or condom calculator) then you have nothing to worry about.
Still, if condom strength is your number one priority, then Spoon University’s condom test will serve as a good reference about which condoms you should avoid and which you can rely on.
Test by University of Oregon
In the early months of 2014, students at the University of Oregon took part in this groundbreaking test. Over seventy different condoms were tested on a wide range of criteria.
The test was part of a class called “Epic Challenges: Solving Massive Problems through Design Thinking” which focuses on product design. The test comprised a huge amount of documentation and data with over 600 test results being the final product.
The professor that was conducting the testing with her students commented that her desire with the class was to show them how to solve real world problems, problems they may actually encounter in daily life. Since the majority of college students are likely sexually active and might have occasion to use a condom, the test is especially appropriate.
The professor also noted that the class was created in light of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s challenge to create a better condom or the “next generation” condom.
The foundation’s goal with the challenge is to inspire the creation of a condom that is both effective and also enhances the pleasure of sex.
Certainly, creating a condom that actually enhances sexual pleasure would increase the use of condoms, a win-win all around as far as sexually transmitted diseases and unwanted pregnancies are concerned.
One student who signed up for the class had traveled across Africa. She noticed that people were not taking free condoms which were being handed out. Or if they might be taking the condoms, they didn’t use them.
With HIV and AIDS such a critical issue in many African countries, creating a better condom that might be used more is something that would be highly effective in reducing rates of HIV transmission in the developing world, such as in African countries hit hard by the devastating disease.
A number of unusual tests were conducted by the students. Some students took part in testing in darkness or with special glasses that impair the vision. This testing was designed to see how difficult or easy it was to put on a condom without proper lighting. This testing is highly useful since many times a person would use a condom, they may not have the perfect lighting to see exactly what they are doing.
Each student was tasked with testing condoms for things like durability, texture, sensitivity, heat transfer, taste, sound, lubrication and many other criteria. Initially, the professor told the students to create their own methods for testing. In subsequent days, the most successful methods were refined and used for the final testing where extensive data, documentation and notes were taken.
For taste testing, students actually licked the condom to see how it tasted. To test how long lubricants would last, some students rubbed the condom on their wrist. While some students noted that performing the tests looked weird, all agreed that these methods were great ideas for determining the best condoms.
During the testing, students used great care to duplicate the exact testing methods they created on all the different condom styles and brands. Before the testing was commenced, each student was able to consult with an expert in the health field. One student was able to consult with an OB/GYN and she was able to draw upon her consultation for her testing on condom textures.
In particular, the doctor noted that condoms which have ribbing or other textures are more likely a drawback. Quite simply, women would not be able to feel such small textures and it would not enhance sexual pleasure.
In fact, the doctor concluded that textured condoms would actually cause more friction once lubrication runs out. In her testing, the student came to the same conclusion.
Even packaging was tested. Some criteria that were considered were the ease of opening the condom package, as well as the box it might come in. Since many couples buy a box of condoms that may contain 10 or more condoms, this is certainly an important test.
The color of the box and the attractiveness of the packaging overall were also considered. In particular, students tested how easy the condom packaging was to open. Did it have perforation or tabs? Or did it have writing on it? These criteria were all rated. One student noted that you shouldn’t have to use your teeth to open a condom package.
Some students used rollers to roll condoms flat against a sheet of paper. This test was designed to see how well the lubricant was distributed on the condom from top to bottom.
A phallus was used to test the lubrication of condoms. Students placed a condom on a phallus and stroked it to see how long it took to get dry and how dry it became after a certain amount of time.
For durability testing, students used their hands to stretch the condom tightly until it might tear or break. In testing one particular condom, a student was able to lift the entire phallus, which was glued to a table, off the floor. There’s no doubt that that particular brand of condom scored highly on durability!
At the end of the class, the students participated in a condom product design trade show which was held in March of this year, where they were able to display their product test results to top condom brands and manufacturers.
Putting it on
As far as test results are concerned, the best condom for avoiding putting it on inside out was the Trustex Lubricated, which was very easy to see when it was inside out.
The condoms with the best sound were the Night Light and Durex High Sensation brands.
If you’re looking for the best tasting condom, look no further than the Trojan Supra BareSkin Lubricated. Results noted it smelled and tasted good.
The condom brand with the most “feel” or sensation was the Kimono MicroThin, which also had the best texture.
Applied Texture and Texture
Durex High Sensation (these are no longer available) won for best applied texture with its large ribbing feature, while Kimono Thin won in the best texture category.
Durex Extra Sensitive took top marks for how quickly it was able to be put on.