Condoms 101: The Durex Buying Guide

Lubricated or textured, latex or latex-free? Find the best condom for you


First up, condoms exist to help keep you and you partner(s) safe, and using one shouldn’t feel like an interruption – but can be a part of your playtime. Not only can the use of a condom give you peace of mind, but it can also introduce a whole new world of extra sensations to your up close and personal time.

A condom can be used as part of foreplay, for oral, vaginal and anal sex, and even for masturbation. Just don’t forget to change it every time you’re done with your chosen activity! It’s important to know your way around the condom drawer. Not only do you need to know the best fit for you, you should be aware of things like texture and lubrication too.

Fit matters because when you find your best fit, you’ll feel more comfortable, and there’s a good chance sex will be pleasurable too. This is where our FitLab kit comes in – helping you find the condom that is the best fit for you. So, whether you are shopping online or in-store, our ‘how wide’ navigation icons can help you find the condom that fits you best.

Condoms can be used as part of foreplay, for oral, vaginal and anal sex, and even masturbation

Want to know more about how our condoms measure up? Or maybe you want to know more about the basic types of condoms, or how to use condom properly? Our condom buying guide has got loads of information to help take you from condom novice to seasoned expert, so stick around and let’s get into it!

Why should you wear a condom?

Condoms are the only form of contraception that help protect you and your partner(s) against both STI’s and prevent pregnancy. Historically, a wide range of materials have been used as contraception, ranging from animal intestines to soaked linen. Things have moved on and condoms, as we know today, are vastly evolved from these early materials and methods.

In today’s age, not only do condoms help prevent unwanted pregnancy, but they can also help prevent many sexually transmitted infections such as HIV and Chlamydia.

Additionally, condoms can now bring a real sense of fun and variety into the bedroom. With so many flavours, textures, and types to choose from, there really can be a condom out there for everyone, you just have to find the one that suits you.

Fit matters

Finding a condom that fits correctly can lead to safer and more pleasurable sex.

A condom should feel secure at the base, and comfortably sit over the full length of the penis. If a condom is too loose, you risk the chance of the condom slipping off during sex; a condom that’s too tight can not only cause great discomfort but can increase the risk of the condom breaking during sex.

Using a condom reduces the risk of pregnancy and helps protect against sexually transmitted infections during vaginal, anal, or oral sex but if it’s ill-fitting then there’s an increased risk of breakage or slippage, so that all-important protection might be compromised.

To put it simply – the right fit is key when choosing your condom.

What are the different types of condoms?

So, what are the different types of condoms? Some of the most common types include:

  • Latex condoms
  • Textured condoms
  • Flavoured condoms
  • Lubricated condoms
  • Latex-free condoms
  • Enhanced pleasure condoms

Latex condoms

Latex is a widely used material used for condoms. Many condoms are made from natural rubber latex, so if you do have a known allergy to latex then choose a non-latex condom (Read on!). You can shop our range of latex condoms online or in-store.

Textured condoms

Textured condoms often include a variation of textures on the condom itself to encourage extra stimulation. Our Pleasure Me condoms offer carefully positioned, raised ribs and dots for extra stimulation. Textured condoms, like our Pleasure Me condoms, can stimulate the nerves in the vagina, which can enhance sexual pleasure!

Flavoured condoms

Flavoured condoms offer you the chance to add a little sweetness to your play. If you’re a fan of summer fruits, Durex Strawberry condoms can add a whole new dimension to your sex life. Want to know more about flavoured condoms? You can read all about them in our flavoured condom guide.

Lubricated condoms

All our condoms come pre-lubricated, so as soon as you open your condom pack, it’s ready to be used. And if anal sex is your thing, then using plenty of lube is recommended for that glide and slide action.

Latex-free condoms

For those who may have a latex allergy, there are several latex-free alternatives like polyurethane or polyisoprene condoms, which are less likely to cause an allergic reaction.

Durex Real Feel condoms are made of a technologically advanced non-latex material, polyisoprene. Essentially, they’re made for a natural skin on skin feeling.

Extended pleasure condoms

Sometimes, riding that wave for a little longer is a real pleasure. By delaying the orgasm and moment of ejaculation, some of our condoms help keep those excitement levels high.

Durex Extended Pleasure condoms are made with Performa™ Silicone lubricant containing 5% benzocaine, a local anesthetic to help the penis owner last longer.

How wide is the condom?

So, that’s the type of condom sorted. Now, we’re on to size and fit.

If you do know your fit, then our product discovery tool is a quick way to help find exactly what you want. Not too sure? That’s ok too, because in just a few easy steps you could discover your best match.

And look out for the fit icons online or on any of our condom packs to help you spot your fit every time. Want to know more? Let’s break down ‘How Wide’ into its different sizes:

How wide? | Durex UK


Close fit

Our close fit condoms come in at 52.5mm nominal width and are great for feeling comfortable if you prefer a narrower size . Check out the packs to learn more. Looking for a close-fit condom? You can explore the range close fit range here.

Regular fit

Our regular fit condoms come in at 56mm nominal width. If you’re looking for something that fits you best, we have a great range to choose from – shop regular fit condoms here.

Wide fit

Looking for a bigger girth? Our wide fit condoms are where you need to be, with a nominal width of 57mm, you can explore our wide fit condom range here.

How thin is the condom?

You’ve got the width, now you need to know how thin you want your condom to be. This is where ‘How Thin’ comes in. With four variations of Ultra Thin, Thin, Regular, and Thick, you can choose the option of thinness you want to feel.

Want that feeling of super thinness during sex? Why not look at our ultra thin condom? When it comes to all things under the duvet, a thicker condom might be just what you need. You can play and explore to find out what’s just right for you and your partner(s).

Let’s look at ‘How Thin’ in a little more detail:

How thin? | Durex UK


Ultra thin

Our ultra thin condoms are great for those who want to feel that extra bit of thinness during sex. Explore our ultra thin range now.


Discover the world of thin condoms with our thin condom collection, thin for greater sensitivity. Explore the thin condom range online now.


From our Originals condoms to Durex Strawberry, our standard condom thickness range has plenty to offer.


Made with thicker latex, our Originals Extra Safe and Real Feel condoms offer an easy-on shape and all-round comfort for those who like their condom slightly thicker.

How smooth is the condom?

You’ve got the width, you know your thickness, now you need to consider how smooth your condom needs to be. But what do we mean when we talk about condom smoothness?

All our condoms come pre-lubricated, but not all condoms are born equal – some are more lubricated than others. If you’re looking for a little extra lubrication on your condom, then our look out for ‘How Smooth’ section on our packs.

Let’s take a closer look at our ‘How Smooth’ and what to look for when shopping our condom collections:

How smooth? | Durex UK


Standard lubrication

All our condoms come pre-lubricated, meaning they are ready to use as soon as you open the pack. For anal sex you might want to use some additional lube.

Extra lubricated

Looking for a little extra? Keep an eye out for the extra lubricated icon for a condom that will come prepared with more lubrication. 


Different condoms can completely transform your sexual experience; for more intense or pleasurable sensations, for allowing you to feel more comfortable, or for providing new experiences to bring you and your partner(s) closer.

For your protection

Durex Originals Extra Safe are slightly thicker than standard condoms, giving you the confidence you might need.

For the intimate

For greater sensitivity when it comes to your play time, try our Thin Feel, and Nude range when getting up close and personal.

For the stimulated

Textured condoms can add an incredibly fun sensation when it comes to vaginal or anal sex. The different texture provided by these condoms can add a new dimension to your experience. Check out our Pleasure Me and Intense condoms for a little inspiration.


You’ve got the knowledge, now it’s time to find the best fitting condom. If you still need a little extra help, or you’re curious about the options, simply head on over to our Product Discovery Tool to help you find the condom that fits you best.

Want to know more about all things sex? Head over to our sex hub, where we discuss everything from what to know about anal sex to pubic hair styles.

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