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

I *love* silicone dildos. Why? They’re the only body-safe sex toys that don’t have to be really hard! For example, if you want a penis-like feel in your sex toy—or you just want a nonphallic toy that’s soft but not floppy—then a dual-density dildo is the way to go! (But be sure it’s dual-density silicone, because there are also dual density or “dual layer” dildos made from TPE and PVC, which will harbor bacteria.) 

I had a lot of starts and stops along the way of finding my favorite silicone toys, because silicone blends do vary so much. After lots of testing, I wrote this firmness guide to help you figure out how soft or hard various brands of silicone dildos are—and hopefully, which might work best for you.

Feel free to skip ahead to my comparative “squish lists”: the Single-Density Dildos section, or the Dual-Density Dildos section for firm-inside-but-soft outside toys. And if price is a big factor for you, also check out my list of places to find affordable silicone sex toys

Technical Info and Safety

First, a little background info about silicone. Platinum cure silicone (not silicon),1 often 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 it’s the most chemically stable. Specific platinum cure silicone blends can be 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. Assuming it has no mechanical parts, it can be boiled or even baked to kill any germs, while body-safe toys with motors can be soaked in rubbing alcohol or 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, is typically 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.

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  other factors can affect the final hardness of platinum-cure silicone—especially the size of the toy. (The larger a toy in the same shore silicone, the firmer it’ll feel overall.) Knowing a toy’s shore is more helpful when you’re dealing with fantasy dildos, too, 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!

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.

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 yield much while you’re thrusting them. Many are hard to tell apart, firmness-wise; size and texture are the biggest differences.

Now it’s time for my personal favorite category: soft silicone dildos.

Quality silicone toys that aren’t in this list (because I have no experience with them) are Pleasure Works’ single density (not Firm Core); Wet for Her; any of the various densities of Hole Punch “artisanal” toysDoc Johnson’s Platinum Edition single-density (not Truskyn); and Fleshlight’s Fleshlight Freaks (though the latter may use the same silicone as the Fleshjack Boys and Fleshjack Guys).

Dual-Density Dildos

Dual-density dildos attempt to create a more penis-like 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. And if you’re not into realism in your dildos, then there are also less representational two-layered choices, notably the Blush Real Nude dils.

While you’re reading this section, keep in mind that not all dual-density toys by the same maker feel the same. So, if you have two Tantus O2 toys or two VixSkin toys, one might have a thicker squishy outer layer than the other, or one’s firm core will extend farther up into its head. So here I’m describing my general impressions of how firm all the following dual-density silicone dildos are, along with another important factor: silicone finish (and drag).

  • The Player dildo by Rascal glows in the dark! But I’ve been advised by a knowledgeable source that the outer layer of silicone is pretty similar to the core—so it doesn’t feel realistic or squishy like other dual-density dildos do.
  • Similarly, Blush Novelties’ Silicone Willy’s line (the nonvibrating ones) are two-layered (they have an ABS plastic core) but aren’t labeled as dual-density because the  silicone layer is pretty firm, around 15A shore. My 6″ has a grabby, skin-like texture that I enjoy.
  • Tantus O2: Tantus’ outer layer of O2 silicone12 isn’t VixSkin squishy, but it’s starting to be soft. Generally, the vibrating Tantus O2 toys—SamDuchess, and Alan (review here)—feel firmer than all other Tantus O2. Tantus O2 realistic dildos, like Uncut #1 (my personal favorite dual-density dildo) and Gary (review here), have a grabby matte finish that adds some friction—which I love but you might not. The most popular O2 toys are the less-realistic Flurry and Cush, which are smoother than the realistics but still have a fair amount of drag.
  • 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 isn’t hard as those of VixSkin and Real Nude dildos, meaning that the shaft will bend 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 value.
  • Uberrime Handmade Dildos makes artisan dual-density dildos. This is the only place where you can order a dual-density toy in custom colors! I love my dual-density Splendid Gentleman. Its outer layer of silicone is a soft and just slightly sticky 5-shore Smooth-On silicone.13 Overall the firmness isn’t too different from the Doc Johnson toys above and the Pleasure Works Firm Core ones below.
  • Pleasure Works Firm Core Silicone dildos: Squishier than Tantus O2, for sure, but firmer than VixSkin (my standard for squish). 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 slick.
  • 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—Shilo, Mason, Carter, and Leroy—are different from other dual-density silicone dildos because they have a bendable metal rod inside. This makes them “posable,” so the wearer doesn’t have to switch dildos between packing and getting it on. NYTC also makes Ellis (my review here), a traditional dual-density dildo (silicone core instead of metal) whose shaft feels pretty darn realistic. But, like the Tantus O2 realistic dildos, the finish is grabby, not smooth, which makes Ellis’ foreskin and veins more noticeable.
  • Blush Novelties’ Real Nude dildos have very squishy heads, a lot like the more-expensive VixSkin (below). Most of these (except the Dayo, Zullo, and Toro) have strong suction cups. 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, but Blush changed the finish to be a little more glossy in mid-2017. When lubed up, Real Nude toys are super-slick.
  • 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 you like realism but don’t like lots of texture, then VixSkin is your best bet! Lots of folks say their VixSkin toy is the most realistic dildo they’ve ever used.
  • Lust Arts has a Frankenstein-themed dildo that has a thin highlight of an outer layer over the core. You can choose your silicone firmness for both layers, an option that no other dildo maker offers.

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.

Or, if you want luxury in dick-shaped form, check out the RealDoll RealCock 2 (and if you do get one, you can save 5% off your purchase with code FELICITY). The RealCock is unique in that its “Sil-Slide” technology allows the softer layer of silicone to move and stretch a little more than your typical dual-density toy.14 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 or two of the following silicone dildos under $30:

  1. Moderately firm (not rock solid, but definitely not soft): Blush Luxe dildos for more abstract; or Colours Pleasures Small, Colours Pleasures Thin, or Blush Ruse dildos for realistic options.
  2. Medium firmness: Blush Novelties Avant P1 through P3 (review here) and Temptasia Reina are very likely 10A silicone, so just bordering on soft. I love the satiny finish on these toys, and all have good suction cups too.
  3. Pretty squishy: ColourSoft 5″, a soft but veiny suction cup dildo. For smoother and a little less realistic, check out the Tantus Vamp Super Soft (for lowest pricing, buy the Super Soft toys on Tantus’ own site, where 30% to 40%-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 that will help you get a feel for firmness include: Strange Bedfellas’ size small toys; all of Shapely Toys’ models (customizable in 00-30, 00-50, 10A, and 20A silicone); Damn Average’s smaller toys, which randomly appear in the Etsy shop in various firmnesses; and the small or mini sizes of many Exotic Erotics dildos go for $35–40 (without custom colors added).

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. Silicone’s “low surface energy” or viscosity is another factor that makes it safe.
  3. Tantus has simple guidelines about the multiple possible ways of cleaning a silicone toy.
  4. Plus or minus 2 degrees of shore durometer, to be precise.
  5. Also, 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.)
  6. Plus or minus 2 degrees in shore, again because variation occurs!
  7. Add a note in the extra instructions box at checkout if you want this option, or the even softer “Super Squishy”  firmness, from Split Peaches.
  8. Again, though, factors like toy size especially can make these dildos slightly different, like how my Shapely Toys Binate feels softer than my Uberrime Night King and Xenocat Caiman even though they’re the same shore.
  9. For Split Peaches, add a note in the extra instructions box at checkout if you want anything other than the standard 20A silicone.
  10. Especially in fantasy-toy “small” or “mini,” like 2″ max. diameter or less. Toys with heavy heads or long, straight shafts will bend in half more easily than tapered toys.
  11. Though Kudu Voodoo does offer super-soft dildos in the softer 00-20 silicone.
  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. Like the “medium” density of most fantasy dildo makers.
  14. 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.

One thought on “Silicone Dildo Firmness: Comparing Single- and Dual-Density Squish

  1. Kajal

    May 28, 2018 at 6:13am

    Dear,
    I am in search of a good silicone dildo for pegging for first timers. I very much liked your this article on firmness. I found VixSkin line esp. Goodfella very attractive. I was told that it will not work as it should be hard for anal or pegging. Are VixSkin products too soft for pegging? Should I go for Tantus products? Kindly give your valuable advice and guide me. Thanks in advance.

    Permalink  ⋅ Reply
    • Author

      Felicity

      May 28, 2018 at 12:41pm

      I’m not sure who told you that, but tons of people love VixSkin for pegging! Give it a go if you’re interested.

      Permalink  ⋅ Reply

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