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The 12 Best Anal Beads for *Bumping* Up the Pleasure of Your Butt Play

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To the uninitiated, anal beads may sound like a cutesy name for rabbit pellet-esque poops. But actually, anal beads are a type of pleasure product designed to make you moan, groan, or sigh one pop and plop at a time.

Specifically, “anal beads are a series of beads or balls that are connected by a body-safe string usually made out of silicone,” says somatic sex educator Court Vox, founder of intimacy coaching platform The Bodyvox. Designed to go in the butt hole, these beads have a flared base or ring at the tail end, which keeps them firmly planted in your peach (so that they can’t travel up the digestive tract). Both inserting and removing the beads from your body can massage the nerve-dense anal opening and provide a feel-good feeling of release, says Vox.


Experts In This Article

As enjoyable as anal beads can be when used correctly, however, they are an advanced anal tool that requires a little savvy to use properly. And it’s important to know a bit about the different types of anal beads before you purchase some, so that you can choose the best kind for you.

Ahead, sex educators share everything you need to know about using, choosing, and caring for a string of anal beads. Oh, and they share their favorite anal beads on the market (including vibrating, stainless steel, and glass options) for everyone from beginner anal players to advanced bead enthusiasts.

Best anal beads at a glance:

How do anal beads work?

Anal beads are a tool designed to help you lean into the pleasure potential of the anal canal and anal opening. Full of nerve endings, the anal opening is an erogenous zone that can respond favorably to stroking, pressure, and stretch. And with each insertion and removal, anal beads can provide just that, explains certified sexological bodyworker Ron Stewart, co-founder of Back to the Body sensual retreats. “You’ll experience the sensation of your anal sphincter momentarily stretching with the addition of each bead,” he says.

“You’ll experience the sensation of your anal sphincter momentarily stretching with the addition of each bead.” —Ron Stewart, certified sexological bodyworker

The exact length of a string of anal beads varies—most contain at least three beads, but others have six or seven. (Generally, the more beads a string has, the more advanced it is considered). “[Using more beads] creates an increased sensation of fullness, depth, and volume in the anal canal,” says Stewart. This kind of anal play can result in its own brand of orgasm, dubbed an anal orgasm.

In people assigned female at birth (AFAB), anal beads can also indirectly stimulate the G-spot (or G-zone), which is an internal hot spot located along the front vaginal wall, says sexologist and sociologist Carol Queen, PhD, sex educator at Good Vibes and co-author of The Sex & Pleasure Book: Good Vibrations Guide to Great Sex for Everyone

Meanwhile, in most people assigned male at birth (AMAB), the beads may press against the prostate. As a refresher, the prostate is a walnut-sized gland located two to four inches inside the rectum that can respond favorably to stimulation, in some cases leading to a prostate orgasm. “In instances when the anal beads are large or the string that connects them is rigid, the beads can get deep enough to effectively stimulate the prostate,” says Dr. Queen.

The real pleasure of anal beads, however, cums (heh) if you can time their removal with orgasm. “Pulling out the string of anal beads—either quickly or at a fast pop-pop-pop rate—when the user is about to orgasm can bring that orgasm,” says Dr. Queen. “Or, if the orgasm has started, it can intensify and prolong the sensation.”

What’s more, adding anal beads into intercourse or oral sex can bring about the particular magic of a blended orgasm—in this case, an anal orgasm combined with a vaginal or clitoral orgasm.

Anal beads vs. anal dildos vs. butt plugs

From butt plugs to prostate massagers, anal-safe dildos to flared-base thrusters, anal beads to anal vibrators, there are all sorts of sex toys on the market designed with your backdoor in mind. What sets anal beads apart from these other anal sex toys is their shape.

While anal beads essentially look like (very big) pearl necklaces, and are designed to be moved in and out of the butt, butt plugs look vaguely like carrots and are designed to go in and stay in, says Vox. “You also usually get more volume filling the anal canal with anal beads than with butt plugs,” he says, adding that “there is only one point of stretch with a butt plug, while you get a stretch with [the insertion of] each bead when using anal beads.”

Meanwhile, anal-safe dildos are designed to move in and out of the rear with a smooth slide, which means they can usually be thrust in and out at a much faster speed than anal beads, says Vox. Anal dildos can also be used by hand, suction-cupped to a surface for hands-free play, or inserted into a strap-on harness, he adds, while anal beads can only be used by hand.

Prostate massagers, on the other hand, are most similar in shape and function to butt plugs. Both are designed to hang out in your hinny once inserted. However, prostate massagers have a unique C or claw shape that enables them to stimulate the prostate in those who have one, says Stewart. “Beads might stimulate the prostate by chance, through depth and volume, but that is not their primary function.”

Given that AMAB people are the only individuals with a prostate, prostate massagers are also primarily for one group of folks, while anal beads can be enjoyed by people of any sex, gender, or sexual orientation.

How to choose the best anal beads for you

Picking out the perfect anal beads requires intention and attention. Below, you’ll find what to look for (and what to avoid) when it comes to material, bead size, length, vibration, and rigidity when shopping for anal beads.

Material

No matter what type of sex toy you’re investing in, you want to make sure it’s made of non-porous material. (That means that it doesn’t contain any microscopic holes or pores where bacteria could get trapped and fester). But that’s especially important for anal beads, given that they go in where poop does come out!

For most people, medical-grade silicone is the best option, says Stewart. That’s because in addition to being safe, it’s silky smooth to the touch and easy to clean. “It also feels the most like skin, which is appealing to some,” he says.

That said, more advanced anal-sex explorers may opt for an option made from stainless steel or borosilicate glass instead. While anal beads made from these heavier materials are non-porous and therefore safe for anyone’s butt hole, their heft can be overwhelming if not painful for people just dipping their tail into anal play.

Bead size

Most anal-bead strings have beads that get progressively larger in size. However, the size of that first bead can vary, with some being no bigger than a blueberry and others being as juicy as a lime. “If you’re new to anal play, the smaller the first bead, the better,” says Dr. Queen.

If you have some experience with butt stuff, Dr. Queen suggests picking a string where the last (and biggest) bead is equal in diameter to the toys or body parts you have used in the past. And “if you’re a seasoned anal fan with experience with larger toys or anal intercourse, you can shop for bigger beads,” she says.

Length

A nice feature of anal beads is that you don’t have to insert their entire length at once, and just using some of the beads doesn’t require much maneuvering (the way avoiding the full depth of a penis or dildo may, for example).

That said, you want to spend some time thinking about the overall length because it’s easier to remove a string of anal beads mid-orgasm that is as deep inside you as it can be, compared to a string that is not. Why? Because unless your partner is Pippy Long-Arms, if too much length is hanging out your rear, it will be too hard for your partner to grasp the ring or base at the tail end to remove them. Generally speaking, however, shorter is better for beginners.

Vibration

That’s right, some anal beads vibrate! “Vibrating beads allow your bum to experience the popping sensation along with powerful vibration,” explains sex educator Searah Deysach, owner of sexual wellness retailer Early to Bed. Some people report that the sensation of vibration helps their anal sphincter relax, which enhances their overall experience with the beads, she says.

Most anal beads that vibrate are on the bigger side, due to the fact that they have to fit a motor. But the nice thing about vibrating anal beads is that the vibration is simply an option, not a feature you have to use each and every time.

Rigidity

One last factor to keep in mind is the rigidity (or flexibility) of the string. Stainless steel and borosilicate glass beads are going to be very rigid, simply due to the unyielding nature of these materials. Silicone anal beads, however, can be either quite floppy or firm. Stewart recommends opting for a more rigid option, as they will be easier to insert.

How to use anal beads

Anal beads can be used during solo, partnered, or multi-partnered play. Further, everyone has a butt, so even in the circumstance that you and your partner(s) agree to try using anal beads together, you’ll want to make sure you’re on the same page about whose butt they are going into first.

“How you use the anal beads will not change if you are using them during anal masturbation versus in partnered play,” says Dr. Queen. “You’ll just have to figure out the angle and position that feels most comfortable and work out which hand you want to use, since you might be using the other hand to hold a different toy or touch your bits,” she says. Below, the experts share a few tips for getting started.

1. Check your beads before using them

Before getting going, take a minute or two to feel around the edges of the beads, looking for sharp spots where the toy was molded, suggests Dr. Queen.

Given that the toy is going inside the most sensitive hole in your body, she says the extra time is worth it. “You never want to use something rough, sharp, or breakable for penetration, especially anal,” she says. In instances where there are rough spots, you can either return the toy and get a replacement or smooth them out with a nail file, she says.

Similarly, “if you’re using a glass toy, don’t use it if it has been dropped or chipped,” says Dr. Queen. “At that point, it is no longer a sex toy, but instead a very sexy paperweight.” Le sigh.

2. Lube up

Unlike the vaginal canal (which can be self-lubricating), the anal canal is never self-lubricating. Lubricant offers the slippery wetness that enables pleasurable slide-and-glide while reducing friction, says Dr. Queen. Without it, the feeling of skin-on-toy can be irritating, if not painful and damaging to the delicate anal tissues.

The solution? Squeeze some anal lubricant into the mix. It’ll work double-time to enhance pleasure and reduce your risk of an anal sex injury, says Dr. Queen. The best way is to apply some lube to the toy (including the string or stalk) and the opening of the anal canal, and to use a lube shooter or lube applicator to coat the entire anal canal with the good stuff, she says.

“If you’re using anal beads that are made from silicone, be sure to use a water-based lube rather than silicone-based lube, so the product doesn’t degrade,” says Vox. Anything from Good Clean Love will work well here. Meanwhile, if you’re using a steel or glass toy, any kind of lubricant is a-okay.

3. Pull, play, and plop away

Once the beads are coated in as much lube as a cupcake is frosting, and you’re salivating for them the way you would for the aforementioned dessert, you’re good and ready. Here’s exactly how to use them:

  1. Get in position. “Lying on your back in ‘happy baby’ pose gives you or a partner access to your anus and also opens up your body in such a way that you can receive and release the beads more easily,” says Vox. Though, he adds that you can also try kneeling on all fours.
  2. Insert the beads one at a time. Do your best to exhale right as each bead is being inserted, suggests Dr. Queen, as doing so helps relax the body for easier insertion. Oh, and “if you’re using these with a partner, be sure to communicate the entire time,” says Stewart. The inserter should check in on how the receiver is doing, while the receiver should share what feels good (or what sensations they’re feeling), he says.
  3. Leave the beads in place. Vox suggests having the receiver “explore clenching and releasing their sphincter and pelvic floor muscles, seeing how they enjoy the sensation of the balls moving and shifting.” You can also leave them in place while exploring other types of stimulation, including nipple play, oral sex, or intercourse, he says. (Just note: The anal canal and vaginal canal are next-door neighbors, so when the anal canal is filled, it will affect the shape of the vaginal canal, and penetration could feel different as a result.)
  4. Explore pulling out the beads. Dr. Queen suggests aiming to pull the string out as straight as possible. “The beads shouldn’t come out at an angle, which can cause friction and irritate the anal opening,” she says.

4. Practice aftercare

Checking in with yourself and/or your partner(s) after sex is always a good idea. But it’s especially important when you try something new, as doing so is vulnerable, notes Stewart.

Such aftercare can take plenty of different forms. “Some people like being asked questions along the lines of, ‘How was that for you?’ while others prefer a gentle massage or just lying quietly and being present with the afterglow of the experience,” says Stewart.

Oh, and Vox suggests giving your tush a little TLC, too. “Putting an ointment like Preparation H or even plain old vaseline on your hole after play can help heal any micro-tears that might have occurred,” he says.

How to clean anal beads

Hate to break it to you, but when all is stroked and cum, you need to wash your anal beads—no matter how drowsy you might feel once those orgasm endorphins wear off. Why? Well, because cleaning your sex toys after each and every use helps prevent bacteria from collecting on them, sexologist Rebecca Alvarez Story, founder of Bloomi, previously told Well+Good. Given that the anal canal is full of bacteria and viral particles, cleaning anal toys is especially important.

“Toys made from body-safe materials like silicone, metal, and glass can be cleaned with soap and hot water,” says Dr. Queen. “A mild dish soap is okay, but don’t use antibacterial soaps with the antimicrobial ingredient triclosan,” she says, as triclosan has been linked with endocrine disruption1.

You can also invest in a sex toy cleaner designed with body-safe ingredients, like the Cake Toy Cleaner or Afterglow Toy Tissues. “Remember to dry your toys before storing them to prevent any build-up of mildew,” adds Dr. Queen.

12 best anal beads for ultra-pleasurable butt play

Best overall:



Tantus Ripple Small — $31.00

Clap it up for our gold-medal winner: The Ripple, size small, from Tantus. Made from Tantus’s signature silicone, this anal play product is actually the love-child of anal beads and an anal plug. It has a bead-like contour, but offers a rigidity and base that is more like a plug. This crossover ensures that the Ripple is easy to use, even for people who are brand spankin’ new to anal play.

At the narrowest point, the Ripple is as thin as a pinky finger. As such, this toy is a good option for individuals who can comfortably accept a finger in their bum and are interested in switching up their play. The widest bead is just one inch at its thickest point, which is thick enough to provide the pleasurable pop with insertion and removal, but not so big that newbies risk hurting themselves.

Material: Silicone
Dimensions: 4.95 in x 1 in
Vibration: No

Pros:

  • Small size is ideal for beginners
  • Affordable
  • Can be worn in a strap-on harness

Cons:

  • Base does not have suction
  • Not a traditional string design
  • Not compatible with silicone-based lubricant

Runner-up:



Le Wand Swerve — $135.00

The Le Wand Swerve is a cross between a double-ended dildo and a steel anal stimulator. Anal-safe thanks to its S-shape, one end of this toy is double-bulbed, designed with G-spot and prostate stimulation in mind. Meanwhile, the other end is a six-bead anal string, which features beads of increasing size. The smallest bead is even less girth-y than a pinky finger, while the largest bead is half an inch in diameter, making it accessible for people who aren’t size-hungry.

The anal bead portion of the steel wand can be plopped in and pulled out, but the heft of stainless steel means that the beads can be manipulated to provide pressure internally. When the string is inside you or a partner, you can grip onto the end hanging outside of the body and rock it back and forth. Doing so can put pleasurable pressure on the prostate (for those who have one) or indirectly stimulate the G-spot. Trust, it’s all delicious.

Material: Stainless steel
Dimensions: 8.47 in x 1.27 in
Vibration: No

Pros:

  • Wide variety of uses
  • Stainless steel material is great for temperature play
  • Easy to clean
  • Opposite end can be used for other types of anal or vaginal play

Cons:

  • Heavy weight of the toy may make it inaccessible for some

Best budget:



Petite Sensations Bubbles — $35.00

Ringing up at just $30, Petite Sensations Bubbles is a great option for anyone new to anal play, as well as those committed to not breaking the bank in the name of butt stuff. This three-bead anal string can be outfitted with a bullet vibrator (included), which can transmit feel-good vibrations all the way down its length and into your body, explains Dr. Queen.

Best, because the bullet vibrator is detachable, you can also use it for other kinds of sex play, too. Just note that the bullet vibrator does not, itself, have a flared base so it cannot be used anally on its own.

Material: Silicone
Dimensions: 4 in x 1.1 in
Vibration: Yes

Pros:

  • Beginner-friendly
  • Has vibrating capabilities
  • Comes with bullet vibrator that can be used elsewhere

Cons:

  • May not be long enough for prostate stimulation
  • Not compatible with silicone-based lubricant

Best textured:



Satisfyer Love Beads — $30.00

The anal opening is as jam-packed with nerves as Costco is with bargain shoppers on a Sunday. But the anal canal actually doesn’t contain that many nerve endings, which means it requires a little savvy to stimulate it in a pleasurable way. Textured anal beads are a sound solution for individuals interested in stimulating the anal opening and the canal.

One of the best options on the market is Satisfyer’s Love Beads, according to Dr. Queen. “The strings come in a set of two, each with differently-shaped beads, and both have an easy-to-grasp ring at the end,” she says. One of the strings features rounded beads with slight ridges, while the other string is made up of five diamond-shaped beads that are unlike any other string on the market.

Material: Silicone
Dimensions: 8 in x 1.1 in – 1.3 in
Vibration: No

Pros:

  • Affordable
  • Two anal strings for the price of one
  • Texture helps stimulate the anal canal

Cons:

  • Not compatible with silicone-based lubricant
  • Texture may create an uncomfortable stimulation for some

Best stainless steel:



B-Vibe Stainless Steel Anal Beads — $90.00

Hot take: Stainless steel is an under-appreciated sex toy material. Silky smooth toys made from this material, like these b-Vibe anal beads, create less friction when rubbed against the skin compared to silicone, meaning they can slide in and out of your butt more easily.

Stainless steel also conducts heat and cold well (freezer-friendly sex toys, anyone?), so it’s an ideal material for temperature play. Plus, the weight and heft of a stainless steel toy can contribute to a greater feeling of fullness when used internally.

The string of this b-Vibe option also features a slight curve that enables it to naturally stimulate the prostate (in those who have one), and it’s just three beads long making it accessible to newbies.

Material: Stainless steel
Dimensions: 5.08 in x 0.79 in
Vibration: No

Pros:

  • Stainless steel material is great for temperature play
  • Heft can provide greater sensation of fullness
  • Length and width is accessible for beginners
  • Curved shape for prostate stimulation

Cons:

  • Stainless steel has no give

Best glass:



Lovehoney Sensual Glass Iridescent Anal Beads — $40.00

Anal beads made from a body-safe glass called borosilicate glass are a great option for individuals who are craving frictionless play, a new sensation, and non-vibrating pressure.

The Lovehoney Sensual Glass Iridescent Anal Beads are a beautiful, unicorn-esque string featuring seven beads that progress in size. The string has a whopping six inches of insertable length, which means it’s a sound option for advanced anal players. Though, beginners can use it for partial insertion (so long as they don’t take the toy’s length as a challenge).

Material: Glass
Dimensions: 7.5 in x 3.5 in
Vibration: No

Pros:

  • Features six inches of insertable length and seven beads for different kinds of stimulation
  • Ring at the end for easy removal
  • Beautiful design doubles as art

Cons:

  • Rigidity of the toy may be uncomfortable for some

Best remote-controlled:



b-Vibe Triplet — $141.00

Responsible for award-winning anal toys like the Rimming Plug Petite and Snug Plug, b-Vibe is the leading manufacturer of anal toys. So, it should *cum* as no surprise that the brand makes incredibly good anal beads. The b-Vibe Triplet Plug is a silicone, three-bead anal string that has vibrating capabilities. More rigid than some of the non-vibrating options on the list, it may be easier for the body to accept (when combined with water-based lubricant).

Within the toy are two different motors, which means you’ll feel the full force and intensity of the vibration option you choose throughout your anal canal and anal opening. Oh, and don’t think that you have to reach around and press buttons on the toy to change the vibration; it’s remote-controlled for easy adjustment.

Material: Silicone
Dimensions: 6 in x 1.5 in
Vibration: Yes

Pros:

  • Rigid design for easy entry
  • 15 different vibration options
  • Can be controlled by a remote

Cons:

  • Even the smallest bead may be too thick for some
  • Battery life is only an hour
  • Not compatible with silicone-based lubricant

Best for partnered play:



CalExotics Booty Call Booty Beads — $18.00

If you are interested in using anal beads while receiving vaginal penetration, look no further than the CalExotics Booty Call Booty Beads. “The silicone beads on this are firmer than those on most anal-bead strings, which can make getting them in a bit easier,” says Deysach.

Plus, the base is narrow, which means you can lie on your back when the toy is in without feeling like you’re a princess sleeping on a pea. And that also means you can easily do other fun things at the same time, including missionary sex, says Deysach. Indeed, these beads are small enough that they can be used to explore double penetration.

Material: Silicone
Dimensions: 4.75 in x 1.25 in
Vibration: No

Pros:

  • Can be used to explore double penetration
  • Rigid body can make for easier entry
  • Narrow base sits comfortably between cheeks

Cons:

  • Not compatible with silicone-based lubricant

Best short, for beginners:



Romp Amp Booty Beads — $16.00

Bigger may be better when it comes to popcorn buckets, snuggies, and pillows. But when it comes to anal play, you want to opt for a toy that is sized right for you, says Deysach. Go too big, and you won’t be able to use the toy at all, or worse, you’ll hurt yourself trying. Just three beads long and one-inch thick at their most girthy, the Amp Booty Beads are sized just right for beginner butt stuff, says Deysach. And they’re made from a silky-smooth silicone, too, for easy entry and exit.

Material: Silicone
Dimensions: 4.5 in x 1 in
Vibration: No

Pros:

  • Affordable
  • Short length is optimal for beginners
  • Widest bead is just one-inch thick

Cons:

  • Short length may not allow for prostate stimulation
  • Not compatible with silicone-based lubricant

Best long, for beginners:



Cheeky Beads Silicone Anal Beads — $20.00

Don’t hate the messenger, but if you’ve never before had anything in your rear end, even a toy the size of a pinky finger is going to feel like a whole lot of something! So while beads that are just an inch or so thick may not look intimidating, they might feel that way when you’re trying to insert them anally. That’s why Dr. Queen recommends that beginners start with anal beads like Cheeky Beads, which feature eight beads of a very (very!) small size.

This string is also just $20, so you can invest in it as a beginner without feeling like you’re throwing money away should you eventually choose to invest in larger beads, adds Dr. Queen.

Material: Silicone
Dimensions: 8 in x 0.75 in
Vibration: No

Pros:

  • Long length is great for those who enjoy deep stimulation
  • All beads are small in girth for easy entry
  • Affordable

Cons:

  • Additional length may not be needed
  • Not compatible with silicone-based lubricant

Best vibrating, beginner:



Femme Funn Vibrating Anal Beads — $100.00

Usually, vibrating anal beads are on the bigger side. Why? Well, because the motors that enable them to vibrate aren’t microscopic. But Femme Funn’s beads are both relatively small in size and vibrate, making them a great option for anal-play beginners who want to experiment with vibration down the line.

The first bead is about the size of a grape, while the fourth and last bead is about the size of an apricot. With patience, plenty of lubricant, and practice, those dimensions are accessible even to most beginners.

These beads are also incredibly easy to operate. There is just one button, which you press repeatedly to cycle through the 20 different vibration options. Oh, and even the highest intensity vibration option is whisper-quiet, which means people with roommates and kids can use them stress-free.

Material: Silicone
Dimensions: 7.25 in x 4.3 in
Vibration: Yes

Pros:

  • Whisper-quiet vibrations
  • Small size for a vibrating toy (ideal for beginners)
  • 20 different vibration options
  • One button for easy use

Cons:

  • Handle may be difficult to use during solo play
  • Not compatible with silicone-based lubricant

Best vibrating, advanced:



b-Vibe Cinco Vibrating Anal Beads — $153.00

If you’ve been exploring anal play since before 90s shows started doing reboots, you might be ready for the b-Vibe Cinco Vibrating Anal Beads. The string, which features seven inches of insertable length, has five graduated beads, the largest of which is 1.3 inches at its thickest point, which is about the girth of two fingers. “You can go all the way on your first try if you’re advanced, or you can just slide the string in as far as you’re ready for,” says Dr. Queen.

Throughout the string are three different motors, which work together to make the entire string vibrate when on. Plus, there are six different vibration levels and 15 patterns, all of which can be controlled with a remote, so you can explore all kinds of sensations during a single play session.

Material: Silicone
Dimensions: 7.4 in x 1.2 in
Vibration: Yes

Pros:

  • Three different motors allow the entire toy to vibrate
  • Beads graduate in size to the girth of two fingers
  • Vibrations can be controlled with a remote

Cons:

  • Length and girth may not be accessible for everyone
  • Not compatible with silicone-based lubricant

Citations
Well+Good articles reference scientific, reliable, recent, robust studies to back up the information we share. You can trust us along your wellness journey.
  1. Wang, Cai-Feng, and Ying Tian. “Reproductive endocrine-disrupting effects of triclosan: Population exposure, present evidence and potential mechanisms.” Environmental pollution (Barking, Essex : 1987) vol. 206 (2015): 195-201. doi:10.1016/j.envpol.2015.07.001
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