Best lube 2020: make sure sex stays smooth with the best lubes

When it comes to sex and masturbation, often wetter is better; these are the best lubes to ease the way

best lube: So Divine
(Image credit: So Divine)

Looking for the best lube? You're in the right place. While you may be thinking, 'Lube is just lube, right? What's the difference?' The answer is, 'Quite a lot!'

Lube is important for comfortable vaginal sex but it's also a key factor in safe anal sex and sex toy play (if you need inspiration on that front, check out our pick of the best sex toys). There are water-based lubes for silicone toys, lubes specifically designed for anal play, lubes with different consistencies, flavoured and coloured lubes, and ones that come with added ingredients to stimulate and increase the pleasure experience.

Anything that is going to be used in and around intimate areas needs to be safe for internal use, so we've chosen lubes that are pH-balanced. Some brands use entirely organic products, some are vegan-friendly and some use only natural ingredients or are formulated for sensitive skin. Let's take a look at the best lubes you can buy for a range of different scenarios…

In our round-up below, you'll find both water-based and silicone-based lubes. Unsure which type to use with your favourite sex toy? Silicone toys need water-based lubricants, while metal or glass sex toys play safely with both water- and silicone-based lubes. Let's take a look at these now...

The best lubes to buy now

best lube: Durex

(Image credit: Durex)

1. Durex Play Feel

Ease the way with a household name; this is the best lube overall right now

Specifications
Size: 60ml
Type: Water-based
Condom-friendly: Yes
Silicone-friendly : Yes
Reasons to buy
+Good price+Long lasting+Leaves no residue
Reasons to avoid
-Only comes in a small bottle

Durex's long-held reputation as a leader in the sexual wellness market gives consumers a certain amount of trust in its products, and when it comes to lubrication that's important. But does Durex live up to its reputation? Durex Play Feel is one of the most popular lubes and there are two good reasons why. The texture is silky, light and natural and there is no sticky residue. It's also completely odourless with no unpleasant smell to put you off your stride. 

Of course, Durex is known for making some of the best condoms, so it makes sense that this lube is condom-friendly, and as it's water-based it can be used with silicone sex toys. This lube comes in a pump-action bottle, which when being used in the heat of the moment is a nice touch.

Best lube: Liquid Silk

(Image credit: Liquid Silk)

2. Liquid Silk Lube

The best lube for using with all of your sex toys

Specifications
Size: 250ml
Type: Water-based
Condom-friendly : Yes
Silicone-friendly : Yes
Reasons to buy
+ Great value + Non-tacky with no residue+A little goes a long way 

Another great, general-use option is this Liquid Silk Lube. This water-based lube comes in a handy pump bottle, making it easy to use – no fumbling around tipping bottles upside down in a crucial, heated moment. We found the texture to be beautifully silk-smooth, leaving no sticky or tacky residue behind on our skin. We were also impressed with how little was needed to lubricate, so a 250ml bottle should prove to be good value. Liquid Silk Lube is suitable for all sex toys, is condom-friendly, and can be used both vaginally and anally (though you may prefer to use a thicker anal lube if you're new to anal play).

Best lube: Durex Naturals Intimate Gel Lube

(Image credit: Durex)

3. Durex Naturals Intimate Gel Lube

A more natural approach to lubrication

Specifications
Size: 100ml
Type: Water-based
Silicone-friendly : Yes
Silicone-friendly : Yes
Reasons to buy
+Moisturises and lubricates+Fragrance free+pH friendly

If you prefer to keep your lubrication free from smells, taste or colour, Durex’s Naturals Intimate Gel ticks all of those boxes and is suitable for use during sex and with sex toys. Durex has formulated this gel lube with prebiotics to help maintain skin balance; the product certainly has a moisturising effect, rather than just pure lubrication. While it may not look as all-singing, all-dancing as some of the lubes in this list, this is a safe option from a trusted brand. The lack of smell and taste is refreshing, and, like the Liquid Silk Lube, it lubricates well without leaving any residue.

Best lube: Pjur Backdoor Lube

(Image credit: Pjur )

4. Pjur Back Door Lube

The best lube for anal sex and play

Specifications
Size: 100ml
Type: Silicone-based
Condom-friendly: Yes
Silicone-friendly: No
Reasons to buy
+ Long-lasting + Super-slippery +Specifically for anal play
Reasons to avoid
-Not for use with silicone sex toys

As suggested by the name, Pjur’s Back Door Lube is formulated for anal use. As this is a silicone-based lube, it’s not suitable for use with silicone sex toys, so reserve this lubrication for glass or metal anal sex toys only.

Lubes made for anal play need to be longer-lasting as, unlike the vagina, the anus isn't a naturally lubricating area. Pjur's Back Door Lube has been designed to stay the distance, and we found that its super-slippery texture lasts... and lasts. Our best lube for anal play comes enhanced with jojoba, a relaxant that can help anal sex toy play go smoothly, so it’s a good choice for beginners.

best lube: Foria

(Image credit: Foria)

5. Floria Awaken

Want to try CBD lube? Here's a good place to start

Specifications
Size: 60ml
Type: Oil-based
Condom friendly: No
Silicon friendly: No
Reasons to buy
+All organic and natural ingredients+Smells good+Great texture
Reasons to avoid
-Not for use with condoms-Pricey

Aimed specifically at "people with vulvas", this US-produced lube contains the wellness ingredient that was on everyone's lips in 2019: CBD. Sold as the world's first intimate massage oil, rather than a lubricant, Awaken contains broad-spectrum CBD alongside botanical and aromatic oils and claims to be aphrodisiac, intensifying orgasms while promoting natural lubrication.

It certainly smells and feels fantastic – but really at this price it should. It's a small bottle for the amount you pay, however, you do only need a tiny spritz each time and it feels luxurious and natural. This is an oil-based lubricant so it shouldn't be used with latex, so keep away from condoms or toys that aren't oil-safe.

best lube: So Divine

(Image credit: So Divine)

6. So Divine Classic Lube

A light, vegan-friendly lube that's suitable for a range of uses

Specifications
Size: 100ml
Type: Water-based
Condom-friendly: Yes
Silicone-friendly: Yes
Reasons to buy
+No odour+Light in texture+Vegan-friendly
Reasons to avoid
-Small bottle

While we appreciate that lubes have been designed to suit specific purposes, it's also pretty handy to find the ones that tick all the boxes too. So Divine's Classic Lube can be used vaginally, orally and anally and it's water-based, so it's suitable for all sex toys and condoms.

The texture of this lube is particularly soft and silky. So Divine says it helps you "glide when you ride", which is something you need to test for yourself but we certainly concur that the feel of this lube is very velvety and pleasant. The lube is free from glycerine and parabens – a manmade preservative – and it's vegan-friendly too, so it's good for those who like their products natural and cruelty-free.

Best lube: Sliquid H2O Original Lube

(Image credit: Sliquid)

7. Sliquid H2O Original Lube

The best lube for those with sensitive skin and allergies

Specifications
Size: 125ml
Type: Water-based
Condom-friendly: Yes
Silicone-friendly: Yes
Reasons to buy
+No parabens or glycerin +Formulated for sensitive skin +Vegan-friendly

Sliquid’s H20 Original has been formulated using plant-based cellulose as a thickening agent instead of glycerin or other sugar derivatives, as used by many other lubes on the market. It’s also made without parabens, so H20 is a good choice for anyone with sensitive skin or a tendency for allergic reactions. Formulated, as Sliquid puts it, "by sensitive women for sensible women". The texture is super slippery and because it’s perfume-free there’s no off-putting smell or taste either. Oh, and it’s 100% vegan.

best lube: System Jo Gelato Lubricant

(Image credit: System Jo)

8. System Jo Gelato Lubricant

The best lube for those with a sweet tooth

Specifications
Size: 120 ml
Type: Water based
Condom-safe: Not specified
Silicone-safe: Yes
Reasons to buy
+Designed for oral sex+Choice of seven flavours+Calorie free+pH balanced

System Jo specialises in exotically-themed lubes, and the Gelato range comes in Hazelnut Expresso, Crème Brulee, Salted Caramel, Tiramisu and Mint Chocolate, White Chocolate Raspberry Truffle and Decadent Double Chocolate flavours. Yes, we can safely say there is a dessert theme to these water-based lubricants. 

Formulated using plant-sourced glycerin, the Gelato range may taste sweet but it’s not tacky or sticky, but rather glides, making it the ideal addition to our best lubes guide for those who don't want to feel like they're covered in tacky residue. If you don’t have a sweet tooth and you’d prefer to keep dessert out of the bedroom, Jo does a large range of non-flavoured lubricants. The company also sells a choice of silicone-based lubricants for anal play.

Best lube: YES Organic Water Based Lube

(Image credit: YES)

9. YES Organic Water Based Lube

A water-based lube that's condom friendly

Specifications
Size: 100ml
Type: Water-based
Condom-friendly: Yes
Silicone-friendly: Yes
Reasons to buy
+ Organic + No smell, taste or colour +pH-balanced

Made with aloe vera, this organic lube is carefully balanced so as not to upset the pH balance in the vagina. It’s compatible with all sex toys and latex condoms. At just 50ml, the bottle felt a little small but we found that only a tiny amount was enough to use during sex toy play and it didn’t get sticky or tacky. Perfumed lubes can be off-putting for many and so it was a relief to find that this lube is fragrance-free, with no smell or taste. An added bonus is that it leaves skin feeling super moisturised.

Best lube: LELO Personal Moisturiser Lube

(Image credit: LELO)

10. LELO Personal Moisturiser

This luxury lubricant doubles as a full-body massage oil

Specifications
Size: 150ml
Type: Water-based
Condom-friendly: Yes
Silicone-friendly: Yes
Reasons to buy
+ Stylish packaging + Good for sensitive skin 

You can always expect a bit of class from Swedish sex toy manufacturer LELO and this lube certainly ticks that box arriving in a stylish bottle that could pass as an expensive moisturiser or perfume. Unscented, and glycerin and paraben-free, this lube is good for those with sensitive skin or allergies. Enriched with aloe vera, LELO’s Personal Moisturiser feels very gentle and as it's pH-balanced there were no concerns about having any reaction or discomfort. We were impressed by the luxurious texture, which is non-greasy. It feels so moisturising, we weren’t surprised to learn that this best lube pick can also be used for full-body massages.

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