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Best lube for sex: how to choose the right lubricant for you

Forget the idea that lube is only for dryness. The right lube has the power to enhance every intimate moment. Here’s our edit of the best lubes, tried and tested by Mumsnetters.

By Rebecca Roberts | Last updated Sep 20, 2023

Best lubricants

When it comes to penetrative sex and masturbation, using a high-quality lubricant can make a world of difference in pleasure and satisfaction. Gone are the days when lubricants were merely seen as a solution for vaginal dryness. These magical elixirs offer numerous benefits that contribute to better sexual encounters. Lube can intensify connections and sensations during intercourse and masturbation, reduce friction, prevent discomfort and injury, and elevate the enjoyment of intimate moments overall. ensuring a pleasurable time for all parties involved.

The best part is that anyone, regardless of their identity or stage of life, can revolutionise their sex life by incorporating lubricants. "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 lube for you we've scoured our Talk boards for expert advice and knowledge on personal lubricants (although, we’d recommend avoiding this advice). We've left no stone unturned, curating a straightforward and easy guide to the finest lubes out there. Don't forget to pick up a pack of the best condoms, too and for some extra sensations, here's our guide of the best vibrators to try that Mumsnetters swear by. Keep reading for our guide to the best lubricants, according to Mumsnet users.

Top five lubricants for sex: at a glance


Best overall lubricant

What we like
  • Non-greasy formula

  • Washable and stain free

  • Water-based lubricant

What we don't like
  • Expensive for quantity

Key specs

RRP on writing: £13 | Type: Water-based | Quantity: 100ml | Washable: Yes | Use for: Oral, vaginal, anal sex

What Mumsnet users say
bonzo77 · Tried & Tested
We use Durex Play. It's fine. You can get it at Boots etc and supermarkets.
See Post

Our verdict

Durex Play lubricant is one that’s consistently recommended by users on our Talk boards and is designed to take your intimate moments to new heights. This light, water-based formula ensures a seamless, uninterrupted glide, while also providing relief from vaginal dryness for enhanced pleasure. Its non-greasy, washable formula leaves no stains, making it perfect for oral, vaginal, and anal sex.


Best sperm-friendly lube for TTC

What we like
  • Sperm-friendly

  • Mimics natural secretions

  • Specifically designed for couples TTC

What we don't like
  • Dearer than other lubes available

Key specs

RRP on writing: £14 | Type: Water-based | Quantity: 40g tube with nine single-use applicators | Fertility friendly: Yes | Compatible with: Polyurethane or latex condom

What Mumsnet users say
wannabemama0812 · Tried & Tested
We are using Pre-Seed during my FW, and it's lovely! Nice lube, no issues with yeast infections.
See Post

Our verdict

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.


Best tasting lubricant for oral sex

Ann Summers Strawberry Lickable Flavoured Lube, £9

What we like
  • Sugar-free, great tasting

  • 95%+ natural ingredients

  • Free from parabens

What we don't like
  • Little bit on the sticky side

Key specs

RRP on writing: £9 | Type: Water-based | Quantity: 100ml | Vegan friendly: Yes | Compatible with: Toys and condoms

What Mumsnet users say
Thisismysexforumname · Tried & Tested
We really like the Ann Summers ones. They seem to last really well.
See Post

Our verdict

This sugar-free, water-based lubricant is made from over 95% natural ingredients, ensuring a delightful and safe experience. It's vegan-friendly, free from parabens, and completely compatible with toys and condoms. Glide your way to even more pleasurable moments by applying it to yourself, your partner, or your favourite toy. Plus, rest easy knowing it's cruelty-free and not tested on animals.

If strawberry isn’t quite to your taste, there’s a set that offers the different ones available that you can try.


Best natural lubricant

Sliquid H2O Original Water-Based Lubricant, £20

What we like
  • Emulates your body’s own lubrication

  • Hypoallergenic, non-toxin

  • Odourless and flavourless

  • Can be used on the whole body

What we don't like
  • Has citric acid in the ingredients

Key specs

RRP on writing: £20 | Type: Water-based | Quantity: 255ml | Suitable for vegetarians: Yes | Compatible with: Condoms, sex toys and anywhere on the body

What Mumsnet users say
UnsolvedMystery ·
Sliquid is my favourite. I get it from Lovehoney.
See Post

Our verdict

Experience long-lasting, body-friendly lubrication with Sliquid H2O, the best 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.

Read next: Find the best condoms used by Mumsnet users


Best luxury lubricant

What we like
  • A great skin conditioner

  • Touch of silicone to make it last longer

  • Pump bottle for ease of use

What we don't like
  • Creamier than other lubricants available

Key specs

RRP on writing: £9 | Type: Non-tacky, water-based | Quantity: 250ml | Allergens: Contains latex | Compatible with: Condoms, sex toys, massage and intercourse

What Mumsnet users say
Queenbean · Recommended
Liquid Silk is the best lube ever - I have tried quite a lot as my DP is also very large.
See Post
FlankShaftMcWap · Tried & Tested
Liquid Silk is the way to go...
See Post

Our verdict

One lubricant that pops up time and time again on our Talk boards is Liquid Silk. Designed to enhance sexual intercourse, be used during intimate massage and foreplay, Liquid Silk is a non-tacky formula that ensures a smooth and enjoyable glide. It’s also a skin conditioner, which will help leave your skin feeling wonderfully smooth.

With its bio-static properties, Liquid Silk lubrication actively prevents the spread of bacteria, yeast infections, and fungal spores. So, you know it’s safe for you and your health when using it. What are you waiting for? Indulge in a touch-sensitive, skin-loving experience while reducing the risk of irritation or skin breakage.


Best lubricant for menopause

What we like
  • Matches the pH of the vagina

  • Relieves dryness and discomfort

  • Hypoallergenic

What we don't like
  • The acidic pH of the product may not be the most sperm-friendly option

Key specs

RRP on writing: £8 | Type: Organic, water-based | Quantity: 40ml | Allergens: Contains citric acid | Compatible with: Natural rubber, latex, polyisoprene condoms and toys

What Mumsnet users say
MunchyMunchkin · Tried & Tested
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

Our verdict

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. It’s a two-in-one deal as it acts as a personal moisturizer as well.


Best organic lube

What we like
  • An alternative to silicone lubes

  • Contains no parabens, hormones, glycerine or known skin irritants

  • Gynaecologist recommended

What we don't like
  • Not condom compatible

Key specs

RRP on writing: £8 | Type: Organic, plant-oil based | Quantity: 40ml | Compatible with: Silicone toys - NOT compatible with condoms

What Mumsnet users say
DuggeesWoggle · Tried & Tested
I second Yes! Used it for years, feels very natural and doesn't mess with your natural juices etc.
See Post

Our verdict

Another Yes product makes it on the list. This time, it’s the brand’s certified organic plant-oil based lubricant that promises to be long-lasting. It’s also a hypoallergenic moisturiser and massage oil, thanks to soothing, rich emollient that nourishes delicate intimate tissues. This lube from Yes is safe for use with silicone sex toys as it contains no parabens, hormones, glycerine or known skin irritants. However, it's worth noting: avoid using oil-based lubricants like this one when using condoms.


Best lube for finger play

What we like
  • Coconut-scented aroma

  • Gel texture for a gliding effect

  • Hydrating formula

What we don't like
  • Quite expensive for the amount of product

Key specs

RRP on writing: £15 | Type: Water-based | Quantity: 30ml | Compatible with: Toys and masturbation

Our verdict

Ignite clitoral arousal with this finger play gel by Bijoux Indiscrets at Ann Summers. Indulge in the coconut-scented aroma as this water-based gel glides effortlessly, making it ideal for fingering and hand play. Hydrate your intimate moments with this refreshing formula. To experience its magic, generously apply to your fingers or your partner's hands.


Best anal lube

Ann Summers Relaxing Anal Lube, £9

What we like
  • Hybrid lubricant

  • Contains relaxing ingredients for increased comfort

  • Vegan friendly

What we don't like
  • Gives a tingling/warming sensation

Key specs

RRP on writing: £9 | Type: Water-based and silicone based lube | Quantity: 100ml | Compatible with: Toys and condoms

What Mumsnet users say
SimonJT · Recommended
You need silicone based, not oil or water based as they can both be absorbed, it’s also better if you put the lube inside, rather than just on the outside.
See Post

Our verdict

This unique hybrid blend of water and silicone from Ann Summers offers long-lasting glides for heightened pleasure. Specially formulated with relaxing ingredients, it enhances the enjoyment of anal play. Whether applied to yourself, your partner, or a toy, this lube ensures a comfortable and satisfying experience. It’s vegan-friendly, free from parabens, and compatible with both toys and condoms.


Best silicone lube

Überlube Luxury Lubricant, £19

What we like
  • Gynaecologist approved as it doesn’t affect pH levels

  • No sticky residue and won’t stain

  • Added Vitamin E for a moisturised feel

What we don't like
  • Quite expensive for the amount of product

Key specs

RRP on writing: £19 | Type: Silicone | Quantity: 55ml | Compatible with: Condoms, toys, and is water-friendly

Our verdict

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’s also trusted by gynaecologists, as it won't harm healthy bacteria or affect pH levels. Additionally, it is fragrance-free, ensuring a pleasant and odourless experience.

Read next: Find the best vibrators, tried and tested by Mumsnet users


Most hybrid lube

Sliquid Silk Glycerin Free Lubricant, £15

What we like
  • Hybrid blend of silicone and water-based gel

  • Hypoallergenic and non-toxic

  • Long-lasting

What we don't like
  • The consistency is quite thick

Key specs

RRP on writing: £15 | Type: Silicone, water-based hybrid | Quantity: 125ml | Compatible with: Toys and condoms

What Mumsnet users say
fermentedvaper · Recommended
Another vote for Sliquid, it's water based and the flavoured ones are very subtle.
See Post

Our verdict

Our final product is another Sliquid lube. Experience the best of both worlds with the brand’s Silk lubricant - its unique formula combines the benefits of water-based and silicone lubricants, delivering long-lasting pleasure. Hypoallergenic and non-toxic, it's safe for use with condoms. Like all Sliquid products, Silk is glycerin-free, paraben-free, and 100% vegan-friendly. With its super silky water base blended with 12% silicone, Silk offers the longevity of a silicone product while remaining easy to clean up. Enjoy its luxurious creamy texture, perfect for couples or solo use. Formulated by sensitive women for sensible women, Silk ensures a worry-free experience without causing yeast infections or UTIs.

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.

"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 option listed above. 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.

How do I choose the right lube for me?

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).

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."

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.

How we chose our recommendations

Recommendations from real Mumsnet users

Mumsnetters have certainly put 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.

Expert opinions

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.

Authentic consumer reviews

Finally, to bring you our definitive list of the best lubes, we thoroughly investigated genuine, in-depth customer reviews on retailer sites such as Ann Summers, Boots, Lovehoney, and Amazon, and independent sites to get broader consumer experiences regarding the products on our shortlist.

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”.