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 really 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” 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.
  • 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.)

  • Fuze Silicone’s Ten series (like the Foreman, Ace, and Nova) is 10A silicone.7 Based on my own dildo experiences, I agree with Mark over at Fuze when he says that this particular density “combin[es] firmness and flexibility. It also feels most lifelike when used in representational toys.”
  • 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 firm (or “hard”) option from Damn Average, New Folklore Silicone, Shapely Toys, and Kudu Voodoo equals 10A, while this is Xenocat Artifacts‘ medium firmness. (But like most fantasy toymongers, these shops offer softer options too.)8 This means that the silicone is starting to feel a little squishy, but isn’t really, really flexible while you’re thrusting it. Again, though, factors like toy size and the temperature where the toy cures can make these dildos feel a lot different, like how my Shapely Toys Binate feels a little softer than my Xenocat Caiman.
  • The hardest firmness of many other fantasy makers9 (like Twin Tail Creations, Exotic Erotics, and Bad Dragon) is 8A shore. See reviews of my ≈8A toys: Damn Average Above Average Alien; and Bad Dragon Nox and Flint. (I’ve found Bad Dragon’s 8A silicone squishier than Damn Average’s and Twin Tail Creations’.)
  • Tantus now has many Super Soft options, like the new Vamp Super Soft (review here), Echo 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.10 
  • Vamp Silicone’s Softskin models, like the Lolita, 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 more flexible 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 usually a little firmer. This firmness is so popular because it has a lovely squish. But it does bend a lot—especially if your toys are, say, 2″ max. diameter or less11—and you’re thrusting 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).12 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 this list are Pleasure Works’ single density (not Firm Core); Happy Valley; Wet for Her; Doc 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.13

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 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 the silicone of each type:

  • Tantus O2: Tantus’ outer layer of O2 silicone14 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). 
  • 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, like 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) at some point earlier this year.
  • 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 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: Doc Johnson’s Truskyn lineDownunder Toys’ Hot Rods; and Silicone Nozzles’ dual-density nozzles. Or, if you want the most realistic dildo possible, check out the RealDoll RealCock 2 and its “Sil-Slide” technology (apparently the softer layer of silicone moves and stretches a little more than your typical dual-density toy. 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, the Vamp Silicone Lolita Softskin (on clearance right now), or Tantus’ Severin Super Soft butt plugs.

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 about of squish for your body. Happy testing!

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. 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. See my Where to Shop post for more info about fantasy toy makers.
  10. 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: they’re split-density.
  11. That is, fantasy-toy “small” or “mini” sizes.
  12. Though Kudu Voodoo does offer super-soft dildos in the softer 00-20 silicone.
  13. Video by Brandie of the mermaid-themed Etsy shop Tails n Portholes, which is now pretty much not operating.
  14. 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.

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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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