Silicone Dildo Firmness: Comparing Single- and Dual-Density Squish

Silicone dildos make up a huge part of the sex toy industry: there are more and more body-safe silicone toys every year, and luckily, many of them are now just as affordable as (unsafe) PVC and “realistic-feel” materials. I love silicone dildos because they’re the only body-safe toys that don’t have to be really hard! That’s why I’ve put together this firmness guide: to help you figure out how soft or hard various brands of silicone dildo are. Skip to the “Single-Density Dildos” and “Dual-Density Dildos” headings later in this post for my comparative “squish lists.”

Technical Info and Safety

First, a little background info about silicone. Platinum-cure silicone (not silicon),1 sometimes called just “platinum silicone,” is a synthetic polymer. There are many different kinds of silicone, but platinum-cure is what’s used in the vast majority of body-safe sex toys because some varieties of platinum-cure silicone are certified as being “skin-safe,” meaning that they’re guaranteed not to harm your skin (or any sensitive membranes) even if they’re worn/used for extended periods of time. Silicone is thought to be safe (functionally nonporous) because it’s hydrophobic: its molecules repel water, which bacteria thrive in.2 Also, silicone is sanitizable: it can be boiled (or even baked) to kill any germs; it can also be put through the dishwasher or soaked in a 10%-bleach solution.3

Silicone toys don’t usually have a smell, at least in the strong way that porous PVC toys do; some people with sensitive noses may notice a slight smell even on a new toy (especially if it’s been sitting in its plastic packaging for a while). If there is a smell, it should fade when the toy is sterilized.

The majority of silicone dildos are made by blending two parts of platinum-cure silicone (one of which includes the catalyst, platinum) to form a thick liquid that is then poured into a mold. After this, the silicone sets (“cures” or “vulcanizes”) for a period of time; the entire mold, with the silicone inside, may be put in a vacuum chamber to remove air bubbles. Or, platinum-cure silicone may be injection-molded instead of hand-poured; this is how the silicone coating around vibrators is made.

Squish Matters

In my opinion, the most important thing a new buyer should know about silicone dildos is that they vary in so many ways: not just in size and shape (realistic vs. fantasy vs. abstract), but in firmness. Some are super squishy, while some are extremely hard and will not bend to conform with your body. This is because different silicone blends with different shore durometers (= hardnesses) are used for different toys, even toys by the same dildo manufacturer. For specifics about how various toys stack up squish-wise, skip down to the next section on this page, “The Squish Lists” (and specifically to the end of the “Single-Density” section if you’re looking for really soft silicone dildos).

Smooth-On, the leading US silicone manufacturer, has a helpful graphic on this page that compares three different shore durometer scales, two of which (00 and A) are used in sex toys. Smooth-On tells us that:

  • 00-10 and 00-30 silicone are both super-duper soft. I’ve never seen 00-10 used in a toy, but 0020 is used frequently for masturbators and very rarely for dildos.
  • 00-50 is on the border between extra soft and soft.
  • 8A (or 10A; it’s hard to tell) to 30A, according to Smooth-On, are still considered soft. In internal use, though, many would disagree: I find any silicone over 10A fairly firm for internal use, especially if the toy has protruding ridges.
  • 40A is “medium soft,” as per Smooth-On. But IMO, 40A doesn’t feel any different from glass when it’s pounding your inner walls, even though it may have a slight bit of give when pressed hard with a finger.

Apparently, I like my dildos to feel like Gummy Bears.

I couldn’t help myself: Here’s a 10A-shore Shapely Toys Binate with the Gummy Bears it supposedly feels like!

Knowing a toy’s shore strength can give you some idea of how it’ll feel inside you before you buy. But it’s not an absolute guarantee, because multiple other factors can affect the final hardness of platinum-cure silicone.4 Knowing a toy’s shore is more helpful when you’re dealing with fantasy dildos, for example, because many small makers use Smooth-On’s two-part platinum silicone, so they’re starting with the same silicone blend. This means that there are less variables involved, with heat being the main one that affects a toy’s final level of squish.

The Squish Lists

Single-Density Dildos

Single-density silicone is what it sounds like: one layer of silicone (all the same firmness) makes up the whole toy. Here’s a listing of the toy firmnesses I have accurate information about (from the manufacturers themselves and usually from personal experience). I often give a shore strength when I have that info, but, as mentioned above, a toy’s shore doesn’t always exactly correspond with how squishy/flexible it feels. Also, I find that toys with a shiny, gloss finish tend to feel a little firmer than their matte finish counterparts in the same shore durometer.

First, the firmest toys:

Firm silicone dildos Tantus Flexible, Fun Factory, Fuze Silicone

From firm to not-quite-so-firm: Tantus Vamp; Fun Factory Boss; Fuze Silicone Alpha.

  • Silicone Nozzles offers everything, from the very hard 40A to super-squishy 00-20. (Hint: closed-bore nozzles = normal dildos.)
  • Tantus Vibrating Vamp and most Grab Bag toys (not Mr. Universe): Honestly, I’m not sure how Tantus can call the Vibrating Vamp’s silicone “flexible,” because it’s pretty damn hard when thrusting; it doesn’t bend unless it’s really forced. It may only be 20A shore strength, but it feels firmer than all the toys listed below. See my review of the Tantus Vamp original vs. Vamp Super Soft here.
  • The Maia dildos are hard but velvety silicone that actually has an empty (but fully sealed and watertight) core.
  • Fun Factory’s standard silicone (for its dildos, not the Stronic series) is firm. The head of my Boss (review here) has slightly more squish than that of the Tantus Vamp (pictured above), but the shaft doesn’t bend much at all, and the toy isn’t at all wiggly or soft.
  • Fuze Silicone’s normal dildo collection (including the Velvet, Wilde, Alpha, and Harmony) are 20A silicone5 and feel pretty close to Tantus’ “flexible” dildos: very firm, and not actually flexible in use. Fuze Dildos are unique in that they have angled bases with lots of ridges, to potentially stimulate anyone hearing them in a harness—and these dildos include vibe holes too. Fuze’s Pleasure Plugs nonvibrating butt plugs are in the same shore durometer but feel just slightly squishier than the Alpha and Harmony because they have a matte finish rather than a gloss one. (My butt can’t tell the difference, but my fingers can.)

Next are dildos that I would classify as “medium firm”: You can bend them in half if you’re really trying, but they won’t move around or wiggle while you’re thrusting them. Many are hard to tell apart, firmness-wise:

Now it’s time for my personal favorite category: soft silicone dildos. (Though I do often prefer the firmer end of this soft silicone spectrum.)

Quality silicone toys that aren’t in this list (due to my lack of experience with them) are Pleasure Works’ single density (not Firm Core); Wet for Her; Hole Punch “artisanal” toysDoc Johnson’s Platinum Edition silicone dildos; and Fleshlight’s Fleshlight Freaks and Fleshjack Boys dildos.

Dual-Density Dildos

Dual-density dildos attempt to create a more realistic effect through their two layers of silicone: a soft outer layer over a firm inner core, so that the toy is squishy on the outside (more like flesh) but doesn’t bend backward when you’re really pounding it. Here’s a video of a dual-density toy being made by a small toy maker.11

It’s difficult to rank entire lines of dual-density silicone dildos by firmness alone. There are many factors that make dual-density toys even in the same line (that is, two Tantus O2 toys or two VixSkin toys) feel a bit different: one dildo may have a thicker squishy outer layer of silicone than another, or the firm core will extend further up into one toy’s head than in another’s. That said, I’m listing my general impressions of how firm all the following dual-density silicone dildos are, in my experience, along with my thoughts about silicone finish and drag:

  • Tantus O2: Tantus’ outer layer of O2 silicone12 seems somewhat firmer than most other dual-density formulations. From firmest to softest, the Tantus O2 toys I’ve tried are: SamDuchess, Alan (review here), Uncut #1 (my personal fav: review here), and Gary (review here). Tantus O2 realistic dildos have a grabby matte finish that adds some friction (which I love but you might not). 
  • Doc Johnson Truskyn: I recently got a Tru Super, which is semi-realistic with skin-like lines that add a touch of texture. (Other Truskyn dildos will have more or a little less surface texture.) The dildo’s ridge is soft but doesn’t get squished down as much as the toys later in this list. The firm core also doesn’t seem as hard as VixSkin and Real Nude dildos, meaning that the shaft will bend just a little but definitely isn’t floppy. If you want soft and reasonably lifelike but not super-duper squishy, then the Truskyn toys are a good choice.
  • Pleasure Works Firm Core Silicone dildos: Squishier than Tantus O2, for sure, but firmer than VixSkin (my standard for squish; the last dual-density line in this list). My Cadet Vibrating (review here) bends more easily than my other dual-density dildos, possibly because of the large, wide bullet hole. The Cadet Vibrating has an interesting finish: the head has a lot of grainy texture, but the shaft is both really sticky and really smooth.
  • New York Toy Collective’s dildos really have some nice squish in the heads: soft but not too soft, in my opinion. The NYTC packing dildos (from largest to smallest diameter: LeroyCarter, Shilo, and Mason) are unlike other dual-density silicone dildos because they have a bendable metal rod inside instead of a firm silicone core. This makes them “posable.” One exception is Ellis (my review here), which is a traditional dual-density dildo (it has a silicone core). Ellis is tied with the Tantus Uncut #1 for position of my favorite dual-density dildo, because the shaft feels incredibly realistic. Like the Tantus O2 realistics, the finish is grabby, not smooth, which makes Ellis’ foreskin and veins feel more noticeable.
  • Blush Novelties’ Real Nude dildos have very squishy heads, a lot like the more expensive VixSkin (below). The core of these toys is quite firm, though, which makes sense because they all have built-in suction cups (they need to withstand pressure when stuck to a wall). The Sumo (review here) seems to have a thinner outer layer of squishy silicone than the softer Ergo (review here). Real Nude toys originally had a very, very sticky finish (my Ergo does; I definitely store it in a plastic bag to protect my other toys), but Blush changed the finish to be a little more glossy (like my Sumo) in mid 2017.
  • VixSkin, by Vixen Creations: The outer layer of VixSkin is very squishy, around the feel of the soft options from many fantasy toy makers. Some VixSkin models (like the very large Maverick: my review here) have a thicker outer layer and an uncored head, which makes their heads feel incredibly soft. I prefer Johnny over Maverick because, while still squishy, Johnny’s head is partially cored. VixSkin is also sticky, but when you use lube, the shafts feel very smooth. If like realism but don’t like lots of texture, then VixSkin is probably your best bet!

A VixSkin Maverick (see my review) squished next to a Tantus O2 Duchess, which looks very firm in comparison. Not only is the outer layer of silicone softer to begin with in VixSkin, but that soft layer tends to be thicker in VixSkin than in Tantus O2.

Other dual-density silicone toys that I haven’t yet tested are Downunder Toys’ Hot Rods and Silicone Nozzles’ dual-density nozzles. 

Or, if you want absolutely the most-realistic dildo possible, check out the luxurious RealDoll RealCock 2 (and save 5% off your purchase with code FELICITY). The RealCock is unique in that ts “Sil-Slide” technology allows the softer layer of silicone to move and stretch a little more than your typical dual-density toy.13 Plus floating balls!  

Figuring Out What You Want

Confused yet??? Most large toy companies only offer each toy in one firmness, so “trial and error” is the name of the game. With non-“fantasy” dildos, the cheapest way to get a general idea of whether you like moderately firm or soft is to check out one from #1 and another from #2 here:

  1. Moderately firm (not soft, not hard): Blush Luxe dildos for more abstract; or Colours Pleasures Small, Colours Pleasures Thin, or Blush Ruse dildos for realistic options.
  2. Pretty squishy: ColourSoft 5″ (though the veins can be a bit abrasive if you’re not used to textured toys). For smoother and a little less realistic, check out the Tantus Vamp Super Soft or Tantus’ Severin Super Soft butt plugs. (Or keep an eye on the Super Soft toys on Tantus’ own site, where 30%-off sales happen pretty often, especially around holidays.)

If you’re looking for a fantasy toy that can be custom-ordered in different firmnesses, inexpensive options ($25 or less) that might help you get a feel for firmness include: all of Shapely Toys’ models (customizable in 00-30, 00-50, 10A, and 20A silicone); New Folklore Silicone’s Brewer and sizes A and B of Cybil (customizable in 00-30, 00-50, 10A); and Damn Average’s small toys (Mini Jav, Krampus Kitzler, and Ministang), which occasionally appear in the Etsy shop in various firmness (00-30, 00-50, 8A, and 10A). The small or mini sizes of many Exotic Erotics dildos also go for $35–40 (without custom colors added).

Sampler sets are another avenue to consider if you’re interested in fantasy toys, though poking a small blob of silicone won’t give you a perfect idea of how a larger toy in that firmness will actually feel in your body. Here are a few sampler sets if you’re looking to get a very basic idea:

Thanks for reading! I hope I’ve helped you find a dildo that has just the right amout of squish for your body. Happy testing!

If you found this guide useful, please consider buying through the affiliate links used in this post. You pay the same price as you would normally—or 10% less at some of my affiliates when you use my discount codes—and I earn a few bucks so I can justify all the time I spend trying to write quality sex toy reviews and keeping the Silicone Dildo Guide totally up-to-date.

I strongly recommend Peepshow Toys, SheVibe, VibrantGood Vibrations, and Tantus. Lovehoney also carries a wide range of options, though many are not body-safe. See my Where to Shop post for even more options.

  1. Though silicone does contain silicon atoms, as well as oxygen, carbon, and hydrogen ones. I’ve never been so interested in chemistry!
  2. See Tantus’ page on its “100% premium” silicone. Apparently, silicone’s “low surface energy” is another factor that makes it body-safe.
  3. Tantus has simple guidelines about the multiple possible ways of cleaning a silicone toy.
  4. These factors include the heat and altitude of the location where the toy was poured; the specific catalyst used (some cause curing to occur faster than others); the size of the toy (thicker can mean less flexible); time spent in the vacuum chamber; and other physical properties of the specific silicone blend, including tensile strength, tear strength, viscosity, and specific gravity. Thanks to Godemiche’s Adam (the guy, not the toy!) for details on these factors. Check out the Certificates section of their YouTube channel for a fun overview of the dildo-making process.
  5. Plus or minus 2 degrees of shore durometer, to be precise.
  6. Emmeline Peaches calls Adam’s silicone “incredibly firm. It does have some flexibility to it but it still feel rather dense and unyielding with pretty much no squish.” Girly Juice says it’s “one of the firmer formulations I’ve encountered…I get barely any squish or bend out of it.” My idol Ninja Sexology, commander of a vast dildo army, comments, “Godemiche’s silicone is very firm (no squish, very little give when I try to bend it).” Finally, the Big Gay Review agrees that Adam’s silicone is “very firm. It’s flexible but has little squish…It’s definitely one of the more ‘firmer’ dildos I have tried…That firm silicone can be a bit much after a while, and I only wished it was just a little bit softer.”
  7. Plus or minus 2 degrees in shore, again because variation occurs!
  8. See this Tumblr post from Go-Go-Hachiko for an older categorization of fantasy toys by shore (some sellers are now out of business). Most fantasy toy makers clearly disclose their specific shore strengths on their website or Etsy shop.
  9. That is, fantasy-toy “small” or “mini” sizes.
  10. Though Kudu Voodoo does offer super-soft dildos in the softer 00-20 silicone.
  11. Video by Brandie of the mermaid-themed Etsy shop Tails n Portholes, which is now pretty much not operating.
  12. According to Tantus’ FAQ, “Dual Density O2 toys are made with two layers of silicone in different densities: 5 shore (squishy) on the outside, 40 shore (more dense) on the inside.” I’m going to assume that this means 00-50 and 40A.
  13. Actually, the RealCock2 is made up of three layers of silicone: firm core, squishier outside, and more pigmented silicone on the surface to create all that detailed coloring/veinage.

About

Editor, writer, introvert, hedonist, and lover of all the finer things in life—including lots of high-quality sex toys.

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