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

Silicone dildos make up a growing 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 dildos that don’t have to be hard! 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” heading 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.

Generally, silicone sex toys 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”) for a period of time; the entire mold, with the silicone inside, may be put in a vacuum chamber to remove air bubbles.

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 a list of how specific toys stack up squish-wise, skip down to the next section on this page, “The Squish Lists.”

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 feels like!

Knowing a toy’s shore strength can give you a good idea of how it’ll feel inside you before you buy. However, it’s not an absolute guarantee, because multiple other factors can affect the final hardness of platinum-cure silicone.4

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/or from personal experience). They’re generally listed in order of shore strength, but, as mentioned above, shore isn’t an absolute guarantee of how squishy/flexible a dildo will turn out.

    • 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’s possible it’s only 20A, but it feels as firm as about 30A—firmer than all the toys listed below. See my review of the Tantus Vamp original vs. Vamp Super Soft here.

      Vamp does not like to bend. If you need a G-spot or P-spot curve, straight dildos in Tantus’ firm silicone probably aren’t a good choice.

    • 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.
    • Sedeux dildos by Sportsheets are abstract dildos that claim to be “soft” and “flexible” but good for harness use. I’d call them “not exactly hard” instead. My Flare has some give in the head and is indeed flexible—but it’s also not girthy, which makes it easier to bend. It’s definitely not squishy like the dildos much farther down this list. I’ve listed it as firmer than the typical realistic suction cup dildo and Split Peaches’ 20A silicone, but they’re all similar in firmness.
    • Blush Novelties’ Ruse series (my Magic Stick review here) and more-abstract Luxe series, NS Novelties’ Colours Pleasures and Firefly Pleasures dildos, Bondara’s Mr Realist series (my review here), and the Lovehoney Lifelike Silicone models: Most likely 15A–20A. Not hard, but also not extremely flexible, though they’ll bend about 90 degrees without much difficulty. I do find the Ruse series slightly softer than NS Novelties’ firm silicone (in Colours Pleasures and Firefly dildos), but it’s not a big difference. Most cheaper (under $50), realistic-looking, suction-cup dildos fall in this category: the exception is the ColourSoft series, which is much squishier (see farther down this list).

      Mr Realist here already had a slight bent, but it’s capable of bending to about 90° without too much effort.

    • Split Peaches (see my Rivetor and Screw You reviews hereuses 20A for the majority of their toys, though toys labeled “large” or “extra large” are made from significantly softer 10A silicone.
    • Shapely Toys offers 20A as “extra firm.” (But this seller also includes 00-30, 00-50, and 10A toys, so from super squishy to slightly firm.)
    • Funkit Toys are all 18A, so they have some bend but are pretty firm overall.
    • Godemiche’s standard silicone is 15A. Early reviews say that Adam’s silicone is very firm,5 but Godemiche hinted to me that they’d moved to a softer density for the Adam at some (unspecified) point. And the Ambit is more flexible than the Adam; it does wiggle when you shake it, but definitely isn’t squishy. If you like your toys softer, you can request Godemiche’s softer option (8A shore) in single-color toys (no glitter or pearlescent effects).
    • BS Atelier (a.k.a. BS Is Nice) typically uses 15A silicone. This makes its medium-small, tapered toys, like Alex, feel fairly gentle, but not squishy. BS Atelier’s Nude, though, is a split density: its head is in softer 7A silicone, and its shaft is now 15A.
    • POP by the Semenette, an ejaculating dildo produced by Fun Factory, feels very similar to BS Atelier’s 15A-shore, and to Vixen Creations (next). See my POP review here for details about why I liked this dildo so much more than its twin the Fun Factory Boss.
    •  Vixen Creations’ single-density toys (everything that’s not the dual-density VixSkin or a packer) is firm but still somewhat yielding. To me, it feels firmer than the 10A-shore toys I’ve bought from Damn Average and Shapely Toys, but is just slightly more flexible than the 20A of Split Peaches. See my Large Realistic Bent review for details.
    • The firm (or “hard”) option from Damn Average, New Folklore Silicone, and Kudu Voodoo equals 10A, while this is Xenocat Artifacts‘ medium firmness. (But like most fantasy toymongers, these shops offer softer options too.)6 This means that the silicone definitely bends with force, but isn’t especially flexible while you’re thrusting it. See my Shapely Toys Binate review here. I found my firm Binate a little squisher and more flexible than my Damn Average Jav in the same density, so again, even with the same firmness of the same blend of silicone, variation can occur due to toy size and multiple technical factors.
    • Scifi EroticsZuklat the Dayneb (review here) is 8A silicone, but it feels marginally firmer to me than the Bad Dragon and Damn Average toys I’ve tried in 8A, quite possibly because of Zuklat’s extra-large size and protruding head.
    • The hardest firmness of many other fantasy makers7 (like Twin Tail Creations, Exotic Erotics, and Bad Dragon) is 8A. See reviews of my 8A toys: (medium firmness) Damn Average Above Average Alien and (firm firmness) Bad Dragon Nox. I prefer 8A silicone in my fantasy toys because it gives the dildo some squish in the head, but it doesn’t bend too much (or feel floppy) when it’s thrust quickly.

      Bad Dragon Nox, firm, bent a little over 90 degrees.

      Bad Dragon’s 8A silicone can really bend but doesn’t have the extreme squish of its 00-30.

    • Tantus now has many Super Soft options, like the new Vamp Super Soft (review here) and Adam Super Soft (review here). Tantus says that these toys are “made with a softer version of the 5 shore which is only used for those [Super Soft dildos].” In use, I would say that my Vamp Super Soft (5A shore) feels very similar to the 8A (firm) density used in my Bad Dragon Nox; Tantus’ Super Soft is less flexible than Bad Dragon’s 00-50 (medium) firmness.8
    • Vamp Silicone’s Softskin models are soft but not too flexible when thrusting. I need to try these out myself, but I’ve read reports that their softness is close to Tantus’ Super Soft and Bad Dragon’s medium.
    • NS Novelties’ new ColourSoft line (my review here) is much more flexible than the Colours Pleasures lines, in the same shapes. There are 8″ (2″ diameter) and 5″ (1.5″ diameter) options. I find the silicone slightly more bendy than Tantus’ Super Soft, though they are pretty darn similar firmness-wise.

      Colours Soft dildo bent in half.

      NS Novelties’ ColourSoft line is much more flexible than Colours Pleasures.

    • The most popular hardness for fantasy toys is 00-50 shore. This is Bad Dragon’s “medium” firmness, and Damn Average, Xenocat Artifacts, and Shapely Toys‘ “soft” firmness. The 6A silicone that Twin Tail Creations and Exotic Erotics call “medium” is similar, maybe a little firmer depending on the particular toy. This firmness is so popular because it has a lovely squish, similar to a mostly erect penis. However, it does bend a lot—especially if your toys are, say, 2″ max. diameter or less9—if you thrust quickly. For very large toys and toys with a lot of texture, though, softer is better: see my Xenocat Artifacts Caiman review for more info about a spiky toy I wished I’d ordered in 00-50 shore!
    • The softest (nonpenetrable) fantasy toys are made from the very flexible 00-30 (occasionally 4A, like with Twin Tail Creations).10 These toys are the perfect example of squish! They’re great as stress-relieving squishies, too. I didn’t understand just how soft 00-30 silicone was until I got a super-soft Jav from Damn Average. For me, the flexibility made the toy feel flaccid, but if you’re very sensitive to texture or want to buy an extra-large toy that isn’t painful, this silicone density may be your best option.

Quality silicone toys that aren’t included in the above list are Fuze; Vamp Silicone’s non-Softskin density (like this Carina, this Gianni, this Joplin, and the non-Softskin Talulas here); Pleasure Works’ single density (not Firm Core); Happy Valley; Wet for Her; and Fleshlight’s Fleshlight Freaks and Fleshjack Boys dildos (probably 10–15A silicone).

Dual-Density Dildos

Dual-density dildos attempt to be more realistic by soft outer layer of silicone 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

Here’s my ranking of dual-density toys, starting with the firmest:

  • Tantus O2: 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 5A and 40A. Dildo aficionados who plan on buying Tantus O2 should know that not all O2 models have a similar squish, due to the outer (squishy) layer being especially thin in some toys, like Sam, which is a ramrod. See my reviews of the Uncut #1 (my personal fav!) and Alan.
  • Blush Novelties’ Real Nude line boasts pretty squishy heads (and balls, and other ridges in the case of the Suko). They’re squishier than any Tantus O2 head for sure, about as soft (and sticky) as VixSkin (discussed below). The toys in this line do vary: the Sumo (review here) seems to have a thinner outer layer of squishy silicone than the softer Ergo (review here). Overall, the Sumo’s shaft feels about as firm as the shaft of my Tantus Uncut #1, though the Sumo is more difficult to bend.
  • Pleasure Works dual-density (“firm core silicone”) toys: Squishier than Tantus O2 and the Real Nude line and a lot more flexible; in fact, the Cadet Vibrating (my review here) bends more easily than my VixSkin toys (possibly due to the inner core being made of a lower-shore silicone?, plus the bullet hole). But the outer layer of this toy’s silicone isn’t quite as squishy as the outer layer of VixSkin.
  • VixSkin, by Vixen Creations: The outer layer of VixSkin is very squishy, around the feel of the soft (00-30 Smooth-On) options from many fantasy toy makers. Some VixSkin models (like Maverick: my review here) have a thicker outer layer and an uncored head, which makes their heads feel incredibly squishy. I liked Johnny better because, while still squishy, its head is partially cored.
  • New York Toy Collective’s packing dildos are said to be as soft or possibly even softer than VixSkin, and they’re very bendy (“posable”). 

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

A few other companies do make dual-density toys that I haven’t yet tested to confirm their level of squish, though I’ve read reports that all are at least a bit firmer than VixSkin and New York Toy Collective. These dildos are: Doc Johnson’s Truskyn line, Downunder Toys’ Hot Rods, Silicone Nozzles’ dual-density nozzles, and the quite-expensive RealDoll RealCock 2.

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. But, if you’re in the market for a single-density toy that can be custom-ordered in different firmnesses (like those of many fantasy/indie toy makers), I’d suggest buying a smaller toy or two first, to see which firmness you’re most comfortable with in use. Inexpensive options ($25 or less) 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 Sheep’s Etsy shop in various firmness (00-30, 00-50, 8A, and 10A).

Sampler sets are another avenue to consider, 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:

If you found this guide useful, please consider buying through my affiliate links (and not in incognito mode!) so that I can continue running my site and adding info about new toys! 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 more info.

  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. 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.”
  6. 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.
  7. See my Where to Shop post for more info about fantasy toy makers.
  8. And regarding other Tantus products, Tantus told me that Super-Soft-formula toys are squishier than Tantus’ Pack n Play no. 1 (which is the same shape as the Vamp), though this may be accounted for by the fact that the Pack n Play bases are made of a firmer silicone than the rest of those toys.
  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.

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Professional editor, foodie, and silicone dildo connoisseur! Here to help you find quality toys that best fit your preferred hole(s).

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