We’re fortunate to have so much choice in condoms today; small ones, large ones, ribbed, ultra-thin and every flavour you can imagine.
However, latex allergy sufferers are not so lucky.
Most male condoms have traditionally been made of latex material due to it’s properties of being easily malleable, safe, strong and affordable to manufacture.
Unfortunately, people with allergies to latex can suffer with itchy rashes when using latex condoms making them less than desirable.
Introduction of Non-Latex Condoms
Major manufacturers, including Durex and Ansell, have been producing ranges of condoms made from alternative materials such as Polyurethane and Polyisoprene for the past 20-30 years.
Before this (and still available today) latex allergy sufferers were left with the sole choice of using natural condoms… made of lambskin. :/
Polyurethane vs Latex Condoms
Manufacturing condoms out of Polyurethane has many advantages over a standard latex condom.
For starters, the material conducts heat better than latex. What does this mean? Well, friction causes heat which can impact sensation. More heat = a more pleasurable experience for both partners.
Secondly, and perhaps most importantly, Polyurethane is a stronger material than latex meaning condoms can be made a lot thinner whilst still retaining the same level of safety.
A thinner condom wall can also increase sensation and a more pleasurable experience. Win win!
Finally, Polyurethane condoms tend to smell less than latex condoms which can be an important factor for a lot of people.
On the flip side, polyurethane doesn’t stretch as much as latex meaning risk of breakage – whilst rare – is technically higher. Polyurethane condoms are also generally more expensive than latex.
Polyisoprene vs Latex Condoms
Perhaps the best known Polyisoprene condoms are Ansell’s SKYN range, introduced in 2008.
Whilst Polyisoprene condoms can’t be produced quite as thin as polyurethane, the material is a stretchier meaning you still get the benefit of a thinner condom with increased security. It also has a softer, more natural feel, providing additional comfort.
Benefits of Latex Free Condoms
- No burning or itching for latex allergy sufferers
- Increased heat transfer
- Thinner than standard latex condoms, offering increased sensation
- Don’t have the common latex odour associated with condoms
Our Pick of the Best Non-Latex Condoms
Made of Polyisoprene, Durex RealFeel condoms are designed, and marketed to, everyone – not just latex allergy sufferers.
Positioned as offering ‘Natural skin on skin feeling. The next generation condoms with Real Feel material’ – the condoms firmly offer increased sensation thanks to the use of polyisoprene.
They are generally only available in a box of 10 and come with a premium price tag of ~$8 per pack.
Made of Polyisoprene, Ansell claim:
Our non-latex condoms are made from SKYNFEEL, a revolutionary material which feels so soft and comfortable, that you’ll find it barely noticeable. Giving you both an incredibly natural feel, full of sensitivity, while being safe and suitable for people with latex allergy.
SKyn condoms are a very popular condom with a uniform straight walled shape and standard length as well as being pre-lubricated.
Again, these are marketed as a premium condom and are priced as such at $8 a box and no bulk options.
If you don’t suffer with a latex allergy, then you have a lot to thank those who do as – without them – we may not be blessed with the advances in modern technology that continually offer new experiences.