Of course there are a number of products I love that extend well into triple-digit territory, but many if not most folks aren't prepared to shell out so much on something that might be good for them. So how do you find a toy that's affordable but doesn't compromise quality while helping you achieve orgasmic bliss? You call in the sexperts. Below, learn the concrete markers of quality in a sex toy, and then highlight some of the best affordable vibrators on the market.
5 factors to look for in a high-quality vibrator, according to sexperts
"When seeking a high-quality toy, you want products that are made with medical-grade silicone—good enough for surgeons to use—body-safe silicone—good enough to be on or in the skin—stainless steel, and borosilicate glass," says Taylor Sparks, erotic educator and founder of online intimacy shop Organic Loven.
She adds that you also want to be mindful of what materials to pass on. "It's important not to use non-acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) plastic and jelly toys, as most of them have harmful phthalates and parabens which, when heated, can leach these chemicals," says Sparks. "The last thing you want to do is put a jelly toy in a 98.6°F body." So, if it looks like a hot-pink vibrator straight out of 1999, you might want to steer clear.
"Toys designed ergonomically [such as] toys that curve are fantastic for those who have difficulty reaching their intimate parts," says Tyomi Morgan, in-house sexologist and pleasure coach for Sweet Vibes. "This type of design allows users to feel comfortable in making a purchase because they know the toy can be used easily. [Also], toys that can fit between two partners are also great buys for people who want to use them to enhance partnered sex."
"A toy that's easy to use with simple button controls and comes with instructions on how to use, clean, and store makes for an amazing buy," says Morgan. "Toys that come with chargers, storage bags, and a booklet for how to use them on the body are also winners."
4. Being waterproof
"Rechargeable toys enable more toys to become water resistant or completely waterproof, depending on the port the charger uses," Morgan says. "This feature makes using toys in the shower or bathtub possible, expanding a user's options for where to play with self-pleasure."
"Toys of the past required the use of batteries that not only ended up in landfills, but had the potential to leak out and damage the toys if left inside for too long," says Morgan. "Toys that are rechargeable are gentle on the environment and allow the user to keep the toy for a much longer lifespan."
In my experience, too, rechargeable vibrators or just easier to deal with. (I, for one, almost never have AAAs in my house.) However, this component is more of a bonus, especially if price is a concern. "Just because a toy is rechargeable doesn’t make it high quality or justify the higher price tag," says Sparks. "It's primarily what the product is made of that counts."
The 8 best affordable vibrators you can snag for under $50
1. Charmed, $45
Charmed is a rumbly, ferociously strong orgasm machine that can summon a climax from the most stubborn of vulvas. To be clear, that doesn't make it ideal for an "o-and-go" (I find it way too intense to use without lube and foreplay) when you don't have time to create a whole sensual experience. Nonetheless, it's a great selection for beginner pleasure-seekers, and the little "nose" allows for a more textured experience than standard massage wands.
Shop Now: Charmed, $45
2. Unbound Puff, $46
If you're unsure if vibrational pleasure is right for you, or if you have a particular fixation on clitoral stimulation, maybe switch things up with a suction sex toy that allows for a more pinpointed sensation.
"Most suction toys are over $50, which makes the Unbound Puff a game-changer," says Kenneth Play, sex educator and creator of the Sex Hacker Pro Series. "I love throwing in a suction toy because it frees up your mouth to stimulate other erogenous zones, especially for those partners who love kissing while being pleasured in other areas."
Shop Now: Unbound Puff, $46
3. Raya Personal Massager, $40
"Customers love the shape of Raya—it's simple with a slight curve for internal pleasure," says Rebecca Alvarez Story, sexologist and founder of Bloomi. "It also comes at an affordable price point and is made with safe materials—a win-win."
Shop Now: Raya Personal Massager, $40
4. Romp Flip Blue Wand Vibrator, $40
"The Romp line of nine toys, including a cock ring, are all under $50," says Sparks. "All but one is waterproof, and the other is splashproof. It's made of a combination of body-safe silicone and ABS plastic."
Feel free to explore which toy might tantalize, but I'm going to go with the Flip here. While the Charmed is a perfect option for pleasure-seekers who want earthquakes in bed, everyone should have a massager that could actually, well, be used as a massager—and this one fits the bill.
Shop Now: Romp Flip Blue Wand Vibrator, $40
"Toys like the Emojibator Eggplant, Chili or Pickle [are] made with medical-grade silicone and are a great introduction toy that won’t break the bank," says Play. "Plus, the humorous design reduces shame for those first-time toy buyers."
Shop Now: Emojibator Chili Pepper Personal Massager, $28
6. Satisfyer Partner Multifun 2, $49
"Lesbian couples who both have vulvas can find joy in the Satisfyer Partner Multifun 2, which is an awesome ergonomic, silicone hand vibrator that's comfortable to hold for high quality design," says Marla Renee Stewart, MA, sexpert for adult wellness retailer Lovers. "For those of us who like our hands to start the foreplay, we can do that first and then add this toy to the mix while keeping in line with our makeout sessions. What's also really great about this toy is that you can place it on your thigh and have your partner ride on your thigh for another type of orgasmic experience."
Stewart also points out that the toy offers over 100 possible vibrational combos, so even if you're solo, it can be a worthy addition to your nightstand that offers some variety to your routine.
Shop Now: Satisfyer Partner Multifun 2, $49
7. VeDO Drive Vibrating Cock Ring, $20
Speaking of playing well with others, a cock ring can be a beautiful way to add buzz into your relationship. "The VeDO Drive Vibrating Cock Ring is made of silicone, is waterproof, and can be used alone or with a partner," says Sparks. "This can turn any dildo into a dual-stimulation vibrator, too, so it’s super-handy to have laying around."
Shop Now: VeDO Drive Vibrating Cockring, $20
8. The Perfect Match, $40
And finally, you can't go wrong with an old-fashioned rabbit that has a sleek, modern design. According to Morgan, the Perfect Match is the most popular offering on Sweet Vibes, and with dual stimulation for full-body blended orgasms and an easy-to-handle marriage of multiple curves, that's not at all surprising.
Shop Now: The Perfect Match, $40
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