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When it comes to sex, using a high-quality lube can make a world of difference. Particularly if you suffer from vaginal dryness or if you’re trying to conceive - you want to make sure you pick the best lubricant for the job. Whether it’s for PIV, masturbation or foreplay, lubricant can help to intensify connections and sensations during use, reduce friction, prevent discomfort and injury, and more importantly, elevate the enjoyment of intimate moments overall, including the main event. Additionally, using lube can enhance sexual function and arousal, increasing the chances of orgasm by 80% for women, according to studies. And even if you are already naturally wet, using a little bit of lube can still enhance the experience.
"Lube is your best friend", according to Lucy Rowett, Sex Coach at The Lowdown. "Don't be ashamed to need more than you think because hormonal changes result in more vaginal dryness. However, lube isn't just for when you're dry, it enhances everything and can help you keep lubricating naturally, too."
To ease your search for the best lube for you, we've scoured our Talk boards for recommendations from Mumsnet users who have been there, done that when it comes to lubricants. We’ve left no stone unturned, and have created this guide to the finest lubes that they have used themselves. You’ll even find recommendations from members of MNHQ, too.
Top five lubricants for sex: at a glance
1. Best overall: Sliquid H2O Original Water-Based Lubricant
2. Best for sex toys: Lovehoney Enjoy Water-based Lubricant
3. Best for vaginal dryness and menopause: Yes Water Based Intimate Lubricant
4. Best sperm-friendly for TTC: Pre-Seed Fertility Lube
5 Best silicone lube: Überlube Luxury Lubricant
Emulates your body’s own lubrication
Odourless and flavourless
Can be used on the whole body
Has citric acid in the ingredients
Type: Water-based | Quantity: 255ml | Suitable for vegetarians: Yes | Compatible with: Condoms, sex toys and anywhere on the body
Experience long-lasting, body-friendly lubrication with Sliquid H2O, the best lube choice for people with sensitive skin. This water-based vegan lube is your go-to for safe and eco-friendly pleasure. Crafted with natural plant-based ingredients, it emulates your body's own lubrication without any harsh additives. Hypoallergenic, pH balanced, and odourless, it ensures ultimate comfort and peace of mind. Compatible with all toy materials and condoms, it's the perfect choice for any intimate activity, and it’s a Mumsnetter favourite, although it is missing convenient pump bottle packaging.
How we choose our recommendations
What our users say
Mumsnetters have certainly put the best lube brands through their paces when in the bedroom, with many Mumsnet users sharing experiences (both good and bad) of the lubes they’ve personally tried and tested. First up, we sought out the trusted opinions of Mumsnet users to get their feedback on their favourite lubricants, as well as the brands that they have tried, rated, and would recommend to their friends.
We also looked out for any negative reviews, where Mumsetters highlighted products that they felt were poor quality, too sticky, ineffective, or simply failed to do the job.
Experts and online reviews
We then cross-checked our recommendations with the lubes praised by sex experts to ensure we were bringing you the best products that are rated across the board. Next, we compared the reviews of customers on sites like Ann Summers, Boots, Lovehoney, and Amazon, as well as independent sites, to get broader consumer experiences regarding the products on our shortlist, making it easier for beginners to choose the best lube for their needs.
The best lube should match a few criteria to ensure it's safe to use, comfortable and effective. Sex lube, also known as lubricant, should be as natural as possible and it should be suitable to use with sex toys, condoms as well as easy to clean from your bedsheets or sex blanket. As a product that may be used frequently, the best lubricant should be affordable and long-lasting - with a little going a long way during use.
Versatile and silky smooth
Latex condom friendly
Free from glycerin
Too much can get too slippery
Type: Water-based | Quantity: 250ml | Suitable for vegetarians: Yes | Compatible with: Condoms, sex toys and anywhere on the body
This water-based lubricant from Lovehoney should be a staple in your intimate arsenal - and has only been pipped by Sliquid H2O Original Water-Based Lubricant due to a shortfall in recommendations on our Talk boards. However, if we could place it as joint first place for best lube overall we would as this latex- and vegan-friendly lube is very effective.
To quote a well-known phrase, Lovehoney says 'if it ain't broke, don't fix it' and that's true of their popular Enjoy lube. Which is why the only thing they've changed is the size and style of the bottle itself, but not the lubricant inside. Not only does the larger size provide more value for money, but it also eliminates the need for frequent restocking. So, with a 250ml bottle, you can make it last longer as a little most certainly goes a long way.
One thing that isn't explicitly clear is whether it is hypoallergenic, so do take care if you find that you're sensitive to some lubricants. You might need to consider something more natural, like In2Mate's personal lubricant or Yes Water Based Intimate Lubricant.
Read next: Find the best condoms used by Mumsnet users
Matches the pH of the vagina
Relieves dryness and discomfort
The acidic pH of the product may not be the most sperm-friendly option
Type: Organic, water-based | Quantity: 40ml | Allergens: Contains citric acid | Compatible with: Natural rubber, latex, polyisoprene condoms and toys
Yes lube is formulated for the menopause and shouldn’t cause you any bother. It’s what our local menopause specialist recommends to women. In addition you may benefit from some vaginal oestrogen cream. See Post
Another one that’s recommended by our users time and time again is Yes - and it’s easy to see why. The certified organic, water-based gel is designed to enhance your sexual pleasure and sensitivity. It comes with a silky texture, feels just like natural lubrication and matches the pH of the vagina, helping to relieve dryness and discomfort while protecting mucus membranes. There’s no stickiness, odours, or unpleasant tastes. Moreover, Yes’ products are compatible with natural rubber, latex, polyisoprene condoms and toys. So, for a worry-free intimate encounter, choose Yes water-based intimate lubricant, which comes in discreet and convenient packaging. It’s a two-in-one deal as it acts as a personal moisturiser as well.
Mimics natural secretions
Specifically designed for couples TTC
Dearer than other lubes available
Type: Water-based | Quantity: 40g tube with nine single-use applicators | Fertility friendly: Yes | Compatible with: Polyurethane or latex condom
There's one brand of lube that is consistently recommended by Mumsnet users to those TTC. Pre-Seed is a personal lubricant that is fertility friendly and has been designed specifically for couples trying to conceive. It's isotonic and pH-balanced to mimic your natural fertile fluids, and of course, it's safe for sperm. While it comes with nine applicators, a little goes a long way apparently, so you shouldn't need to use too much at once.
Gynaecologist approved as it doesn’t affect pH levels
No sticky residue and won’t stain
Added Vitamin E for a moisturised feel
Quite expensive for the amount of product
Type: Silicone | Quantity: 55ml | Compatible with: Condoms, toys, and is water-friendly
Designed to enhance sensation while reducing friction, this (rather expensive) luxury lube comes with a single-hand measured pump to ensure you get the perfect amount every time - even in the dark. It’s water-friendly, too, so you can enjoy worry-free fun in pools, lakes, and tubs. It’s unscented and completely flavourless, and won’t leave any sticky residue or stains after use thanks to the added Vitamin E. This dissolvable lubrication seamlessly blends into your experience, letting you focus on what truly matters. It’s latex compatible and free from animal products, parabens, alcohol, gluten, glycerine, scents, and flavours. It also contains natural and soothing ingredients such as macadamia oil, Aloe Vera, Japanese honeysuckle, and geranium oil, which can help reduce inflammation and irritation. Additionally, it is trusted by gynaecologists, as it won't harm healthy bacteria or affect pH levels. It’s also fragrance-free, ensuring a pleasant and odourless experience.
Read next: Find the best vibrators, tried and tested by Mumsnet users
How do I choose the right lube for me during intimacy?
When choosing from the different types of lube available, you should consider factors like your preferences, sensitivities, and the type of sexual activity you’ll be engaging in. Water-based lubricants are the most versatile and suitable for most people, while silicone-based ones offer longer-lasting lubrication (making them a good option for anal sex).
Flavoured lube is also a great option for oral sex, while oil-based lube is best for external play only. It is important to note that silicone lube is not compatible with most sex toys, so be sure to double check before using it for that purpose.
According to Lucy, "it’s important to use a lube that you like the feel of more than anything else, otherwise you won’t use it."
The different types of lubes available
1. Water-based lubricants are great for versatility
Water-based lubes are the go-to choice for many individuals due to their versatility. They are compatible with various sexual activities, including vaginal and anal sex, as well as the use of most sex toys. Their easy clean-up and compatibility with condoms make them a popular and user-friendly option.
2. Silicone-based lubricants are long-lasting
If you're looking for prolonged lubrication, silicone-based lubes are an excellent choice. Ideal for activities like anal sex, these lubricants provide a lasting and smooth glide. However, it's crucial to note that silicone lubes are not compatible with most sex toys, so exercise caution and verify compatibility before use.
3. Flavoured lubricants are good for enhanced pleasure
For those indulging in oral sex, flavoured lubes can add a delicious dimension to the experience. Available in an array of enticing flavors, these lubricants are designed to make intimate moments more enjoyable while still providing the necessary lubrication.
4. Oil-based lubricants are great for external play
Oil-based lubes are best reserved for external play, as they can break down latex condoms and may not be suitable for internal use. However, they can be a luxurious option for massage or sensual activities, adding an extra layer of pleasure to external stimulation.
It's essential to be aware of the specific characteristics and compatibility of each type of lube to ensure a safe and satisfying experience. Additionally, consider any potential sensitivities or allergies when making your selection. Always follow the product instructions and, if in doubt, consult GP or sex expert. Ultimately, the best lube for you is the one that aligns with your preferences and enhances your overall intimate experience.
What causes vaginal dryness?
If you're using lube during sex for vaginal dryness, there are several factors that could be causing this discomfort. It's a common issue that many, if not all, women will experience at different stages of their lives. And some of the most common causes include:
Menopause leads to a decrease in oestrogen levels, which can lead to thinning of the vaginal lining and reduced lubrication. Breastfeeding has the same affect for new mothers, due to hormonal changes postpartum.
Certain medications like antihistamines, antidepressants, and even some contraceptives may contribute to vaginal dryness as a side effect.
Autoimmune disorders like Sjögren's syndrome can cause dryness in the vagina, and vaginal atrophy - the thinning, drying and inflammation of the vaginal walls, is often associated with hormonal changes.
Stress and anxiety can affect sexual function and may contribute towards dryness.
Allergies and irritants
Allergic reactions to certain soaps, perfumes, laundry detergents, or other personal care products can lead to irritation and dryness.
Lack of arousal
Insufficient sexual arousal or lack of foreplay can result in inadequate natural lubrication.
Chemotherapy and radiation therapy
Cancer treatments like chemo and radiation can affect hormonal levels and contribute to vaginal dryness.
Overuse of douches or harsh cleansing products can disrupt the natural balance of vaginal flora and lead to dryness.
Of course, if you're experiencing persistent vaginal dryness, it's worth consulting with your GP to discuss if there's any underlying cause and they'll recommend the appropriate treatment options for you. These might include hormonal therapies, moisturisers, lubricants and any other interventions necessary depending on your specific circumstances.
What is the difference between water-based and silicone-based lubes?
Water-based lubes are easily washable, are compatible with most toys and condoms, and provide a natural feel. Although, they may dry out more quickly. Whereas silicone-based lubricants offer longer-lasting glides, and are ideal for activities in water. They’re not, however, easily absorbed by the body and users may experience stickiness with some lubricants. It's important to note that silicone-based lubricants cannot be used with silicone sex toys, as the silicone can stick to the toy and potentially damage its texture and feel.
"Avoid any lube that has glycerine in– which is usually found in cheaper water based lubes– because it turns to sugar on contact with oxygen over a period of time," says Lucy Rowett, "and you do not want to be dealing with a yeast infection, too."
Are lubes safe to use with condoms?
Not all lubricants are compatible with condoms - like the Yes Plant Oil Based lube. If you’re using condoms, make sure you choose lubricants that are specifically labelled as condom- or latex-compatible to ensure they won’t compromise the integrity of the condom.
"Water based lube is great for every kind of sexy play", shares Lucy. "It’s compatible with condoms and all toys, but it does dry out quickly so it’s not best for any kind of anal play.
"Oil based lube is great too, but it isn’t compatible with condoms and can cause them to rupture."
Can lubricants cause allergies or irritations?
Some individuals may have sensitivities to certain ingredients used in lubes. It’s important to choose hypoallergenic and non-toxic lubricants where possible, as they are free from common irritants like parabens, glycerin, or fragrances. A good hypoallergenic option in our roundup that is recommended by Mumsnet users is the Sliquid H20 Original Water-Based Lubricant from Lovehoney.
Is CBD lube safe? How does it work?
CBD lube is basically a lubricant that has a cannabis extract in called cannabidiol (CBD) in it, which when used during sexual intercourse, aim to increase sexual pleasure and increase the length of your session. Benefits include an increase in sensitivity, relaxation, stronger orgasms, and a decrease in pain that can accompany penetrative sex.
A good CBD lube to try would be the Mantric CBD Water-Based Lubricant with Indian Ginseng available at Lovehoney, but stock can vary.
Is aloe lube safe? How does it work?
While the inclusion of aloe might lead you to assume that this type of lubricant is all healthy and natural, take care before you start smothering yourself with oil or creams that include it. Lube with aloe in should be water-based, gentle on your skin and suitable for both vaginal and oral sex. Like this one by Boots.
Can lube be used with sex toys?
Yes, many lubricants are safe to use with sex toys. In fact, using lubrication with sex toys can enhance the overall experience and make it more pleasurable. Lubes reduce friction, provide a smooth glide, and can make insertion or penetration more comfortable.
It's important to choose one that is compatible with the material of your sex toy. Water-based lubes are generally safe to use with all types of sex toys, including those made of silicone, rubber, or other materials. However, it's always a good idea to check the manufacturer's guidelines or instructions for your specific sex toy to ensure compatibility with lubricants.
Why you should trust us
We work hard to provide unbiased, independent advice you can trust. We do sometimes earn revenue through affiliate (click-to-buy) links in our articles. This helps us fund more helpful reviews like this one.
About the expert
Lucy Rowett is a certified sexologist and sex coach who is passionate about helping women let go of sexual shame and hangups. She uses a combination of mind-body tools with evidence-based sexuality education. Her speciality is working with people who come from faith backgrounds who are struggling to let go of sexual shame and enjoy pleasurable relationships again.
About the author
Rebecca Roberts is a writer, editor, and content marketing expert hailing from Leeds. Here at Mumsnet, she commissions, writes, and edits to bring parents content designed to make life easier. After birthing and breastfeeding two babies in two years, Rebecca knows first-hand how hard it can be to reignite intimacy. From condoms, to lubes, to sex toys - she’s on a quest to find the best ones, with the help of Mumsnet user recommendations.
Beyond her role as an editor here at Mumsnet, Rebecca can be found balancing life as a working mum of two toddlers and when she’s not at her desk, you’ll likely find her at a local playgroup, in a nearby coffee shop, walking the dog, or hiding from her neighbour as she attempts to buy condoms during her weekly “Big Food Shop”.