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! If you want a penis-like feel in your sex toy—or you want an abstract dildo 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 Dual-Density Dildos section for the unique feel of a two-layered toy, or the Single-Density Dildos section for everything else. 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

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 and the Tantus Flurry and Cush. 

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 and the Ruse Jammy are made up of two materials (silicone + ABS plastic—see details in my Ruse Jammy review) but aren’t labeled as dual-density because the silicone layer is firmer than other duals, almost toward 20A shore. My Silicone Willy’s 6″ has a grabby, skin-like texture that I enjoy, and I think the Jammy is big-dick excellence at an affordable price.
  • Tantus O2: Tantus’ outer layer of O2 silicone4 isn’t VixSkin squishy, but it’s starting to be soft. This is the first option in this dual-density list that’s starting to feel realistic, with the exception of the vibrating Tantus O2 toys—Sam, Duchess, and Alan (review here)—which have thicker, harder cores than other Tantus O2 and so feel less life-like. Tantus O2 realistic dildos, like Uncut #1 (a long-time favorite of mine) 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.
  • 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, solid value, but most people aren’t writing home about them.
  • Uberrime Dildos hand-makes realistic, abstract, and fantasy toys, including the dual-density Splendid here. I love my Splendid, enough to call it the best new G-spotter of 2018. Its outer layer of silicone is a soft (and just slightly sticky) 5-shore Smooth-On premium silicone.5 Overall the firmness isn’t too different from the Doc Johnson toys above; harder than VixSkin, but definitely squishier than Tantus O2.
  • Pleasure Works Firm Core Silicone dildos: Firmer outside than VixSkin (my standard for squish), but getting softer. My Cadet Vibrating (review here) bends more easily than my other dual-density dildos because of the large, wide bullet hole that takes up much of the shaft. 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. IMO it’s really easy to overlook Pleasure Works toys in this sea of dual-density.
  • The BMS Naked Addiction Dual Density Dildo has a lackluster name but an amazing feel. It’s pretty damn lifelike, and the silicone finish is outstanding; I can’t even describe how much nicer it feels than most dual density dildos. I think this dildo feels better in my hand, and in my vag, than VixSkin: it’s not sticky and slick, but instead more realistic. (Also, the suction cup works a helluva lot better.) I do wish this toy came in different colors, shapes, and sizes—I like the silicone so much, I want it to be an entire dildo lineup!
  • NS Novelties—maker of my favorite realistic single-density silicone toys, ColourSoft—now sells two Colours Dual Density Silicone dongs.6 I would hands-down buy these over VixSkin (if I had to choose) because I like the veiny texture and the fact that the coronal ridges have a touch more impact. Colours Dual Density is my top affordable realistic recommendation. Have your lube handy, though—they absorb it! The suction cups are also good (along with Real Nude).
  • New York Toy Collective’s dildos really have some nice squish in the heads especially: just firmer than Blush Real Nude and VixSkin, next. The NYTC packing dildos—Shilo, Mason, Carter, and Leroy—are unique because they have a bendable metal rod inside. This makes them “posable,” so you choose the angle they’re bent at. NYTC also makes one traditional dual-density dildo (with silicone core instead of metal), called Ellis (my review here), whose shaft feels quite realistic—though super grabby. (Now that I own a BMS Naked Addiction dual, I know I’d buy it over Ellis because it’s a slightly better feel for half the price.)
  • Blush Novelties’ Real Nude dildos are the least-expensive dual density silicone dildos I trust. (Check out a few, in tan, for $18 here; one with a pink head for $19, or the big, semi-realistic one for $22.) These have very squishy heads, a lot like the more-expensive VixSkin (below), and an even firmer core; they really don’t bend with thrusting. Plus, they have good suction cups. The Sumo (review here) seems to have a thinner outer layer of squishy silicone than the very popular Ergo (review here). Real Nude toys originally had a very, very sticky finish, but Blush changed the finish to be more glossy in mid-2017; this slick surface glides but requires a lot of lube.
  • VixSkin, by Vixen Creations: The VixSkin Mustang is the single most popular dual on the market—people love its soft realism! The outer layer of VixSkin is very squishy, around the feel of the soft options from many fantasy toy makers. As for the larger VixSkin offerings, I prefer Johnny over Maverick; YMMV. VixSkin dils are sticky, but with lube, the shafts feel incredibly smooth and glide easily. If you like realism but don’t like lots of texture, then VixSkin is really the best.
  • Lust Arts has three horror/fantasy dildos—a Frankenstein-esque monster, a mermaid, and a dragon snout—where can choose your silicone firmness for both layers, an option that no other dildo maker offers.

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.7 Plus floating balls!  

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” toys; Doc 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).

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 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, Vibrant, Good 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. 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.
  5. Just barely harder the “medium” density of most fantasy dildo makers.
  6. Don’t confuse these with Colours 2X dual density TPE, which is porous and shouldn’t be used long-term.
  7. 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.
  8. Plus or minus 2 degrees of shore durometer, to be precise.
  9. 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.)
  10. Plus or minus 2 degrees in shore, again because variation occurs!
  11. Tantus confirmed this to me via email in February 2019.
  12. 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.
  13. 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 theoretically the same shore.
  14. Uberrime now offers “soft n squishy 00-50 as well as “soft” 5A, which are both technically “5 shore” but on different durometer scales.
  15. For Split Peaches, add a note in the extra instructions box at checkout if you want anything other than the standard 20A silicone.
  16. Excluding the Talon and Dragon Claw We-Vibe Tango vibe sleeves, which are harder.
  17. 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.
  18. Though Kudu Voodoo does offer super-soft dildos in the softer 00-20 silicone.

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
  2. Jaim

    October 14, 2018 at 7:35pm

    I love your articles ,they are so helpful and erudite and I like anything that comes with explanations. It’s pertinent to know which dildo materials are safe and non-porous (silicone) and how they can be cleaned and your articles cover that information. I’m glad I came across this site.

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    • Author

      Felicity

      October 16, 2018 at 5:17pm

      Thanks so much! I’m glad you enjoy my style! I do like to give as many details as possible (because I love details!) while still being readable. Please let me know if you have any specific questions!

      Permalink  ⋅ Reply
  3. Stevie

    December 3, 2018 at 4:59pm

    This article was very helpful! However I can’t afford trial and error with such expensive items, unfortunately. I am looking for a toy I can comfortably pack with and also use. One that maybe I can bend to go between my legs and tuck in boxer briefs? I use an underwear harness. If you could help point me in the right direction I would love to hear your suggestions. I don’t know my preference for hardness, usually not too squishy but firm enough for play.

    Permalink  ⋅ Reply
    • Author

      Felicity

      December 4, 2018 at 9:11pm

      Honestly I think there’s only one option that’s multipurpose enough to work well for both penetrative play and comfortable, not-too-bulgy packing, and that’s New York Toy Collective’s dildos with a bendable metal rod as their core, like Shilo here. Those are expensive is the thing. Anything else that bends easily is going to be necessarily be kinda squishy.

      Permalink  ⋅ Reply
  4. Jim ,Erica

    January 19, 2019 at 11:19am

    Thank you for posting all this information. extremely helpful. Just got vixskin 8 in 1.5 inch diameter suction cup . No smell body safe ,it cost 3 x as much as a stinky rubber one. Well worth it… any suggestions we are looking for longer 12 plus 1.75 max body safe of course but something a little softer than the vixskin for oral fun? Had a cyber glow that was real nice don’t know if it was body safe? Very soft and good for oral practice.

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    • Author

      Felicity

      January 22, 2019 at 6:27pm

      Hi there, sorry for the slow response! Yes, Cyberskin isn’t great for prolonged use especially because it’s porous and will allow bacteria to start growing.

      Softer than VixSkin is hard to find: you’re going to want to go for an uncored, soft fantasy dildo, and even then, finding one that’s very long without being too thick is a big challenge. Maybe check out the SquarePeg Slink, or browse Mr. Hankey’s toys. With that length, finding a good, working suction cup is going to be extremely difficult.

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  5. Jim ,

    February 4, 2019 at 8:01pm

    Lots of information to take in. Thanks again!!! Do you have any recommendations for a soft double end dildo ? Body safe.

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  6. Jim ,Erica

    February 5, 2019 at 3:22pm

    Even after we read all of this info. Wow ! Who do you trust ? Found a double ended 16.5 inch Dorcel dildo. on 2 different sites both have different opinions? Bettys toy Box and Early to bed . Neither say body safe. but they say silicone. We don’t want a smell porous one. Now back to the best lube! 🙂

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  7. Jim ,Erica

    February 5, 2019 at 3:23pm

    Even after we read all of this info. Wow ! Who do you trust ? Found a double ended 16.5 inch Dorcel dildo. on 2 different sites both have different opinions? Bettys toy Box and Early to bed . Neither say body safe. but they say silicone. We don’t want a smell porous one. Now back to the best lube! 🙂 Thanks

    Permalink  ⋅ Reply
    • Author

      Felicity

      February 6, 2019 at 5:01pm

      I trust both of those. At any reputable retailer, silicone should be silicone, and all truly silicone sex toys are body-safe. It’s just that sometimes on Amazon or Ebay or Aliexpress or similar, companies will label toys as silicone that are actually TPE. You won’t have that issue at those two shops or at any of my favorite online sex toy sellers.

      Sliquid is really great! I use Sliquid Sassy most of the time.

      My apologies for missing your previous comment! Unfortunately there really aren’t many double dildos that are actually *soft* silicone. If the flexibility is what you’re looking for, then the Blush Ruse double dil is U-shaped (but not particularly soft).

      Permalink  ⋅ Reply

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