UPDATE: Jul. 27, 2023, 5:00 a.m. EDT This guide has been updated to include information from Mashable’s latest hands-on tests and sex toy reviews.
Let’s debunk the sanitized Instagram version of self-care that’s limited to bubble baths, face masks, and daily affirmations (although those can be great, too!). True self-care also involves embracing and owning your pleasure. And for a lot of us, that means keeping a discrete collection of sex toys for women at the ready.
Sexual health is a crucial aspect of self-care that’s often overlooked. While stores like Sephora and Target now proudly display sex toys (farewell to the days of sneaking into seedy sex shops in search of your future orgasm), the shame and stigma surrounding pleasure, particularly for women, continue to persist.
So let’s get real: Pleasure is an essential and completely natural part of our lives. And if you’re looking for a way to explore your sexuality and take pleasure into your own hands (literally), sex toys are a great place to start.
That said, not all sex toys deserve a spot in your nightstand, and finding the best sex toys for women can quickly go from exciting to overwhelming. That’s because new sex toys are being released all the time, and there are so many categories to consider, from oral sex toys to traditional vibrators. That’s why we’re here — to guide you through the exciting world of women’s sex toys, offering expert insights, reviews, and personal recommendations to help you discover new ways to stimulate your body and mind.
To choose the perfect sex toy for women, consider safety, personal preference, and experience level
“If possible, I recommend finding an approachable, feminist sex shop in your area so that you can actually explore your options in person,” says AASECT-certified sex therapist Rachel Zar, LMFT, CST. “What does the toy feel like in your hand? How intense are the vibrations — try it on the inside of your forearm or the tip of your nose in the store since these areas are extra sensitive.”
If you can’t make it to a physical store, don’t panic. There are plenty of ways to shop for sex toys online. Just be sure to research and choose a retailer that prioritizes safety and sells body-safe products (all items on this list fit those criteria).
“When buying a sex toy, you should first make sure the toy is designed from quality materials such as 100% medical-grade silicone and stainless steel,” advises Rebecca Alvarez Story, sexologist and co-founder of BLOOMI. “It’s always good to check whether the brand has industry standards or certificates that prove safety.”
It’s also worth considering whether or not you’re shopping for solo use or partnered play. The answer to this question will determine the shape, size, and functionality of the toys you choose.
“Think about the sensations you tend to like during sex with a partner or masturbation,” suggests Zar. “If you like focused stimulation to your clitoris, a smaller bullet or a wand will do the trick. If you enjoy both vulva stimulation and penetration, a rabbit toy or a vibrating cock ring with a penis or a dildo might be a good way to start.”
There are no right or wrong answers when buying a sex toy (as long as it’s made from safe materials and used consensually and properly). It’s all about finding what feels good for you and getting to know your body on a deeper level.
Whether you’re a sex toy novice or an experienced pro, we’ve rounded up some of the best sex toys for women on the market to help you own your pleasure. And to make sure we’re only recommending the very best toys, we’ve included reviews along with our product picks. Because unlike most sex toy guides, a majority of the products featured here have been hands-on tested by someone on Mashable’s team. (It’s hard work, but someone has to do it.)
Note: This article recommends toys intended for people assigned female at birth (AFAB). This means the toys are recommended for anyone with a vagina, regardless of gender identity.
Related Video: I built my own vibrator at CES
How we tested
We hand-tested a range of top-notch pleasure products when selecting the best sex toys for women. Based on our rigorous (and extremely enjoyable!) testing process, we picked only the best sexual health products so that we could provide our readers with comprehensive insights and recommendations.
Our team dedicated time to thoroughly evaluating each of the following sex toys: maude drop, Unbound Pep, Womanizer Premium, Wild Flower Enby 2, LELO Smart Wand 2, LELO Soraya Wave, Tracy’s Dog OG Sucking Vibrator, VIM by Fun Factory, and the JimmyJane Apex. We selected the Crave Vesper vibrator necklace based on its sterling reputation, which is a pun you’ll appreciate after reading more about the product.
We considered various factors during our evaluations, including performance, functionality, materials used, noise level, and overall user experience. We aimed to provide an unbiased assessment of these pleasure products, so our readers can make informed decisions that align with their desires and preferences. Most importantly, we wanted to make sure each of the products we chose successfully delivered satisfying orgasms.
With all of this in mind, we selected the best sex toys that will suit a wide range of needs.