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Sex Toy Materials: The Complete Guide

It may come as a shock to you that the sex toy industry is completely unregulated in terms of what kinds of materials can be used in toys. That’s pretty scary when you’re buying something that is going to spend a fair amount of time in and around your body.

That’s why we go out of our way here at Betty’s to bring you toys that are safe and made of high grade and body safe materials. We also want to give you the low-down on each toy you buy. What it’s made of, how to care for it, and what kinds of lubes work best to keep you safe and your toy in tip top shape.

We also want you to have a variety of options and price ranges to choose from, so we do carry some toys that are phthalate free but more porous and therefore harder to clean and disinfect. If you have any sensitivities, the toy’s material will be listed in its Product Details area and you can see exactly what you’re getting. Now, on to the list of materials we carry…


This is the Cadillac of sex toy materials. Non-porous and easy to clean, you can even boil these toys if you need to and they will last and last. You can disinfect them with a bleach/water solution (1 part bleach to 10 parts water and soak for 10-15 minutes). You can get any type of toy in silicone now – from rabbits to butt plugs - and I would highly recommend you use only silicone, glass, ceramic or metal for your anal play.


Cyberskin, and UR3 and other Realistic Materials:

Commonly found in dildos, these materials are soft and pliable to resemble real flesh, with a firm inner core. Because these materials are porous, we recommend not sharing these toys without using a condom and make sure you clean them thoroughly after every use.  Switching between anal and vaginal is also a huge no no. To maintain the silky texture, dust them with corn starch and store them separately from other toys.

It is crucial to use ONLY WATER BASED LUBRICANTS with these products. We recommend Sliquid H2o Original Water based lubricant with these products.


This material is thermoplastic rubber/thermoplastic elastomer and which is non-toxic, and wonderfully pliable. There are some great dildos made of this material and it is definitely more affordable than silicone. What you need to remember is to keep it clean because it is a porous material (unless it specifically states non-porous TPR). Use an antibacterial cleaning spray or antibacterial soap and water before and after every use. You can’t boil or bleach this material.

Do not use oil based lubes with these toys. Stick with water based or a hybrid of water and silicone such as Sliquid Silk Hybrid Lubricant

Glass and ceramic:

These toys are obviously going to be extremely firm but they are also completely non-porous and so easy to clean. You can pop them in the dishwasher if you really want, bleach them, or just use soap and water

Non-porous means the lube world is your oyster. Experiment with silicone lubes on this toy for long lasting playing power such as Pjur Women Body Glide Silicone Lube.

Jelly and PVC:

If you browse around our site, you will notice that we don’t carry jelly toys. There are several reasons for this. While they tend to be lower in price, jelly material can be fairly low quality and it is extremely porous, making it a breeding ground for bacteria. Also, many jelly toys use phthalates to soften them, leading to a strong odour which is actually the releasing of the chemicals. Many countries have been banning phthalates in food containers and baby bottles because of potentially harmful effects. PVC is similar to jelly in that it is soft and pliable but there are fewer potentially harmful chemicals used in their making. It is important to clean it thoroughly after every use and store it away from your other toys to keep it from getting tacky.

Use water based lubes to maintain the materials of these toys but you can still get creative and try Climax Bursts Cooling Lubricant.


More commonly found in bullets and some clitoral vibes, hard plastic is great because it’s phthalate free and non-porous. Clean it with soap and warm water and you’re good to go again and again.

Plastic toys can take any kind of lube you throw at them, so why not try a lovely silicone lube like Wet Platinum Premium Silicone Based Lube.