What to Buy Sexual Health Products & Resources The 11 Best Lubes of 2023 Good Clean Love’s Almost Naked Lube keeps sex healthy and fun with irritant-free ingredients. By Rachael Schultz Updated on November 3, 2022 Share Tweet Pin Email We independently research, test, review, and recommend the best products—learn more about our process. If you buy something through our links, we may earn a commission. Getty Images / Adobe Stock Personal lubricant gets a bad rap, but the reality is pretty much everyone has better sex when using lube. The truth is, some people have a hard time producing natural lubrication as a result of natural biology, hormonal fluctuations, or side effects from medication. And sometimes sex involves body parts that don’t naturally lubricate at all, like the anus. Reviewed & Approved Good Clean Love’s Almost Naked lube is our best overall pick because it’s water-based, non-irritating, and 95% organic. While Coconu is our favorite oil-based lubricant because it’s hypoallergenic and leaves your skin feeling silky smooth. The best lubes can help decrease friction and generally “speed things up” when you aren’t warmed up yet, points out OB-GYN and certified sexuality counselor Debra Wickman, MD, director of Female Sexual Medicine, Vulvar Disorders, and Menopause Health at Banner University Medical Center in Phoenix, AZ. This is incredibly helpful if you’re working through relationship challenges, have gone through menopause, or have a lack of desire or arousal for any number of reasons. While lube isn’t always a necessity for a healthy sex life, it’s been proven to improve sex for many people, whether they’re with a partner or alone by making it more comfortable, less painful, and more pleasurable. But it’s important to choose a lubricant that won’t irritate your skin, won’t dry you out further, and supports the type of sex you’re having. We talked to three sexual health and intimacy experts and evaluated dozens of lubes from the top brands for the type, ingredients, and price. Here are the best lubes for every kind of sexual need. Our Lube Recommendations Best Overall: Almost Naked Best Oil-Based: Coconu Best Silicone-Based: Überlube Best for Sensitive Skin: Shine Organic Best for Use with Sex Toys: Aloe Cadabra Organic Natural Personal Lube Best Organic: Sliquid Organic Natural Gel Best for Anal Sex: Back Door Best for Female Pleasure: Dame Arousal Serum Best for Menopause: LOLA Personal Lubricant Best for Trying to Conceive: Pre-Seed Fertility Lubricant Best for Condoms: LuLu Lube Best Overall: Almost Naked Thrive Market Buy on Target Why We Like It: Almost Naked boasts a clean formula with non-irritating ingredients that are safe for sensitive skin, toys, and condoms. It’s Worth Noting: Its water-based formula may dry up faster than oil or silicone-based products. Good Clean Love’s Almost Naked is the best lube overall thanks to its versatility, non-irritating formula, and accessible price point. The formula mimics the body's own natural lubrication, is free of questionable and irritating ingredients, and is crafted to maintain vaginal pH so it won’t cause infections. In fact, a 2014 study in Environmental Health Perspectives looked at the chemicals in personal lubricants and found Good Clean Love to be one of only two brands of lube with a safe osmolality, meaning it doesn't strip the vagina of its natural moisture or damage cells by adding more moisture. Almost Naked’s gentle formula is unlikely to irritate the vagina or cause any infections. It also has skin-nourishing aloe vera and lasts longer than most water-based lubes. Plus, you can use it with silicone toys and latex condoms, and it's safe to ingest—so you can keep just one bottle in the nightstand and feel confident reaching for it in any situation. Of course, it is water-based, which means it won’t stay slippery as long as an oil- or silicone-based lube might. However, we’d rather reapply the gel mid-moment than risk permanent stains on the sheet from silicone or oil-based formulas. We also love that this brand is easily found, as it’s sold at most major retailers, including Target, Walmart, and Walgreens. Plus, it also comes in a small 1.5-ounce bottle in case you want to try it out before buying the big bottle. Price at time of publication: $12 Product details: Base: Water and aloeScent: VanillaHypoallergenic: YesFeatures: Non-staining Best Oil-Based: Coconu Coconu Buy on Coconu.com Why We Like It: This oil-based lube lasts a long time without drying up, leaves the skin feeling so soft, and has a more discrete package than other products. It’s Worth Noting: As with all oils, this product might stain sheets. Oil-based lubes are great for gliding comfortably through an all-nighter with minimal reapplication, all while leaving your skin feeling hydrated at the end. We absolutely love Coconu, which is women-owned (in part by Dakota Johnson) and formulated with multiple types of natural oils, beeswax, shea butter, and cocoa seed butter. During sex or solo play, this lube feels silky and lush. And instead of evaporating like water, the ingredients slowly soak into your skin while you’re getting busy, which leaves you with butter-soft skin that feels as cared for as, well, other parts of your body. Coconu’s formula is also clean and hypoallergenic, with a 100% natural ingredient list entirely recognizable and free of alcohol, parabens, hormones, dyes, or irritants. It's also safe to ingest and safe to use with toys. Because this lube has the feel of a lush moisturizer, it helps normally dry, sensitive skin feel silky. It smells mildly of almond or vanilla bean, but not enough to offend. A potential downside to this lube, however, is that it may leave stains on your sheets—a risk that comes with all oil-based lubes. Also, Nicole Sparks, MD, a board-certified OB-GYN in Atlanta points out that people who use oil-based lubricants are more likely to end up with a vagina infection such as bacterial vaginosis or a yeast infection. With that in mind, we recommend choosing a water-based product on this list if you’re prone to getting BV or yeast infections often. Price at time of publication: $25 Product details: Base: Sunflower seed oil and coconut oilScent: Almond and vanillaHypoallergenic: YesFeatures: Discreet packaging Best Silicone-Based: Überlube Amazon Buy on Amazon Why We Like It: This lube is free from irritants and compatible with condoms. It’s Worth Noting: It’s not compatible with silicone sex toys. Silicone lube is ideal if you’re looking for one application to get you through a full session, uninterrupted. Silicone doesn’t evaporate with friction like a water-based lube does, and it stays on in the shower. Maria Sophocles, M.D., OB-GYN and medical director at Women’s Healthcare of Princeton, New Jersey likes Überlube—a silicone-based lubricant that’s unscented, flavorless, and free of parabens, alcohol, and glycerin. Plus, it’s latex-safe, meaning it’s compatible with condoms if you're concerned about preganancy and STDs. Überlube also uses vitamin E in its formula, which leaves your skin feeling softer and more moisturized. The sleek and discreet packaging is a plus for any parent who has curious kids running around. And the pump top is great for easy, in-the-moment dispensing. It’s worth noting that this lubricant can’t be used with silicone-sex toys, as it can deteriorate the toy over time. If your favorite toy is silicone, opt for a water-based lube on this list instead. Price at time of publication: $20 Product details: Base: Silicone Scent: NoneHypoallergenic: NoFeatures: Vitamin E Best for Sensitive Skin: Shine Organic Maude Buy on Nordstrom Why We Like It: Shine Organic is hypoallergenic, free of perfumes, and includes a pump top for easy use. It’s Worth Noting: This aloe-based product dries out quicker than other oil-based or silicone-based products. Maude's Shine Organic hypoallergenic lube shines for its simple and clean, 100% natural formula. This lube is great for those who experience dryness as its aloe base will provide hydration in your time of need. And you don’t have to worry about experiencing irritation because Shine Organic omits fragrance, parabens, and sulfate. The lubricant is pH balanced at 4.0–5.0, which is right in the sweet spot of the typical vagina with healthy bacteria levels. The branding on the bottle looks chic on a nightstand, and we absolutely love the convenience of the pump top. The texture of this lube is also lovely—it's not sticky, rinses away easily with warm water, and doesn't leave your skin feeling dry thanks to that aloe. Since it’s aloe-based, it won’t stay slick as long as oil- or silicone-based lubricants, but this is also, in part, what makes it less irritating to the skin. It also makes this lube compatible with sex toys and condoms. Price at time of publication: $10 for 2 oz Product details: Base: AloeScent: NoneHypoallergenic: YesFeatures: Vegan Best for Use with Sex Toys: Aloe Cadabra Amazon Buy on Amazon Why We Like It: Aloe Cadabra has an all-natural formula that moisturizes the vagina. It’s Worth Noting: This lube is a little pricey for the size of the bottle. You can use any water- or oil-based lube on our list with a silicone sex toy, but we love Aloe Cadabra—a brand recommended by Dr. Wickman. This lube has landed in our spot as best with sex toys because it uses 95% food-grade NSF-certified organic aloe vera. This ingredient stays slippery longer than water-based lubes while simultaneously moisturizing your skin so it feels even better than it started. Unlike other lubes that only add moisture in the moment, Aloe Cadabra supports long-term hydration to mitigate chronic dryness—even long after you’re finished using it. Not to mention, this lube won’t stain your bedding like oil-based products, and it’s safe to use with silicone toys, as well as metal, glass, or anything you have in your bedside table. The formula is also pH balanced for a women’s body, 100% vegan, and 100% edible. Just make sure you clean your sex toys shortly after use to avoid any infections or damage to the toy material, Dr. Wickman adds. It’s worth noting that the size of the bottle isn’t particularly big. It may seem overpriced to those who dig into their supply often. But we think the quality and ingredients of this product make it well worth the price. Price at time of publication: $13 Product details: Base: AloeScent: NoneHypoallergenic: NoFeatures: Moisturizing Best Organic: Sliquid Organic Natural Gel Courtesy of Amazon Buy on Amazon Why We Like It: This lube is infused with botanical ingredients like green tea hibiscus and alfalfa. It’s Worth Noting: This product can start to feel sticky after long periods of use. A lot of the lubes on our list are organic, but we particularly love Sliquid Organics Naturals. For starters, the brand makes physiologically compatible lubes that work with your body’s natural mechanisms. Sliquid uses certified organic aloe leaf juice as its base, so it’ll stay slippery longer than a water-based lube. Its formula is entirely organic and contains powerhouse ingredients like green tea hibiscus, which may improve elasticity in the skin. It’s vegan, hypoallergenic, and free of parabens, glycerin, and other artificial ingredients. However, it’s worth noting that because of its gel consistency, it can become sticky after prolonged use. Price at time of publication: $17 Product details: Base: WaterScent: Aloe veraHypoallergenic: YesFeatures: Botanically infused Best for Anal Sex: Pjur Back Door Amazon Buy on Amazon Why We Like It: This lubricant has jojoba extracts that relax your muscles, and it’s dermatologically tested. It’s Worth Noting: Because silicone-based lubes don’t wash off with water, it may take a few showers to feel fully clean. Pjur Back Door is our pick for best anal sex lube because it has a higher concentration of silicone, which lends to longer-lasting, more comfortable intimacy. “Anal lubes need to be thicker and last longer because the anus does not have the ability to self-lubricate like the vagina,” Dr. Sophocles explains. This lube is also a desensitizer, which Dr. Sophocles says can make insertion more comfortable. And that desensitization comes from natural jojoba, not lidocaine, benzocaine, or any anesthetic of concern. Jojoba extract is a natural muscle relaxer, so it can safely help loosen the sphincter and help users avoid strain or injury. This formula is also dermatologically tested and contains ingredients that help moisturize as well as lubricate. Pjur Back Door is on the pricier side, but you can make it last longer by using it first for the desensitization, and then in conjunction with another silicone-based lube if you need to reapply. It’s worth noting that, because this lube is silicone-based, it doesn’t easily wash away with water. While that fact makes it a great lube for shower sex, it also means it may take a few washes to feel fully clean. Price at time of publication: $35 Product details: Base: Silicone Scent: NoneHypoallergenic: NoFeatures: Jojoba extract Best for Female Pleasure: Dame Arousal Serum Sephora Buy on Sephora Why We Like It: Dame is a female-owned business and their lube is pH balanced and provides a warming sensation. It’s Worth Noting: The scent is reminiscent of peppermint and licorice, which may be a turnoff to some. “Masturbation is an intensely personal experience and so the lube choice should be exactly what each [person] likes and needs,” Dr. Sophocles says. There’s no real one-size-fits-all lube for female pleasure. That being said, she highly recommends Dame Arousal Serum for clitoral stimulation. The formula provides a gentle, warm tingle that awakens your clitoris, thanks to small amounts of peppermint oil and ginger oil. It contains aloe leaf juice for natural moisture, mushroom extract to promote blood flow, and cinnamon oil extract to increase circulation to the vulva. All these ingredients might sound overwhelming or too stimulating, but it provides the perfect kiss of sensation that’s simultaneously cooling and warming. Plus, the ginger oil provides antibacterial benefits. The formula is also pH balanced and free of irritants including sulfates, parabens, and synthetic fragrances. We also love that Dame is a woman-owned company and small business. It’s worth noting that this lube has a scent that’s reminiscent of peppermint and licorice. So if those smells don’t tickle your fancy, we recommend you spring for one of the unscented lubes on our list. Price at time of publication: $30 Product details: Base: WaterScent: Peppermint and licorice Hypoallergenic: YesFeatures: Quinoa seed and mushroom extract Best for Menopause: LOLA Personal Lubricant Lola. Buy on Amazon Why We Like It: This affordable lube is irritant-free, pH-balanced, and loved by post-menopausal women who struggle to stay moist. It’s Worth Noting: The thick, water-based formula can start to feel a little sticky after prolonged use. During and after menopause, the vagina has less ability to self-lubricate, Dr. Sophocles explains. Using lube can help make sex more comfortable and enjoyable. While water-based lube can be tricky for menopausal women because it doesn’t last as long as oil- or silicone-based lubes, LOLA’s thick, silky formula gets the job done where competitors can’t. LOLA is a female-owned and operated business that makes products with women in mind. We love their water-based personal lubricant formula for women experiencing menopause because it creates frictionless glide while avoiding irritants. It stays away from problematic ingredients like glycerin, parabens, and synthetic flavor. And it comes in a discreet bottle in case you forget to put it away at the end of the night. Dr. Sophocles also recommends menopausal people dealing with dryness regularly use a vaginal moisturizer, so you should use this lube in tandem with your favorite down-there moisturizer. A potential downside to this lube is that its water-based formula can start to feel sticky after prolonged use. But we believe the hypoallergenic formula, clean ingredients, and affordable pricepoint outweigh any negatives. Price at time of publication: $10 Product details: Base: WaterScent: NoneHypoallergenic: YesFeatures: Discreet bottle Best for Trying to Conceive: Pre-Seed Fertility Lubricant Courtesy of Amazon. Buy on Walmart Why We Like It: Pre-Seed Fertility Lubricant is safe for sperm and doctor-formulated. It’s Worth Noting: This lube contains parabens (chemicals that may mess with hormones), so it’s not recommended for long-term use. It’s not entirely clear how lube affects fertility, but some studies do show lubricants can be harmful to sperm, specifically affecting their motility (ability to swim). However, Dr. Sparks notes that you want to skip silicone-based lubes or any that use petroleum jelly. Instead, look for one with a pH similar to cervical fluid, which will have a minimal impact on sperm mobility. Both Dr. Sparks and Dr. Sophocles recommend Pre-Seed Fertility Lubricant. It's developed by doctors and used by fertility clinics as it's compatible with sperm, oocytes (ovarian cells), and embryos. Studies (albeit by the brand) show that Pre-Seed doesn't interfere with sperm motility, and the formula is isotonic and pH balanced to maintain the natural vaginal environment so that sperm is more likely to survive. It’s a hydroxyethylcellulose-based lubricant, which is best for unaffected sperm motility. It's also scent-free and not sticky. However, it does have parabens in it, which are a group of chemicals used as preservatives. Parabens may be endocrine disruptors, which can mess with people’s hormones. For that reason, we don’t recommend using this lube consistently over a long period of time. Save this one for the moments you’re trying to conceive, and then swap it out for another lube in times of pleasure-only intimacy. One other thing to note: Follow the directions on how to use it and how much to use. Directions suggest using the included syringe (or your hand) to apply it inside the vagina before you have sex, which can be a little tricky and messy. Price at time of publication: $20 Product details: Base: Water and hydroxyethylcelluloseScent: NoneHypoallergenic: NoFeatures: Safe for sperm Price at time of publication: $19.96 Best for Condoms: LuLu Lube Amazon Buy on Amazon Why We Like It: Lulu Lube is a water-based formula that won’t degrade condoms, and has a gel consistency that doesn’t get sticky. It’s Worth Noting: It doesn’t last as long as other types, so you may have to reapply. The whole point of using a condom is for its pregnancy-preventing, STD-preventing barrier—but using an oil-based lube can compromise that security as it can degrade latex condoms. “Only water-based lubes should be used with latex condoms,” Dr. Sophocles advises. Most latex condoms come lubricated in the wrapper, but adding extra water-based lube—either on the penis before rolling the condom on or the outside of the condom when wearing it—can help it work better. Water-based lubes protect the condom from breaking or pulling off during intercourse. LuLu Lube is a water-based lube that's safe for use with condoms and it's glycerin- and paraben-free, making it a great choice for people with sensitive skin. The lube comes in a discreet, attractive bottle with a pump for easy, mess-free application. And because it’s water-based, it won’t stain your sheets or clothing. The gel consistency glides on smooth to prevent pain or friction. But, because it’s water-based, it may dry out more quickly, so keep the bottle handy for adding more when needed. Price at time of publication: $17 Product details: Base: WaterScent: NoneHypoallergenic: YesFeatures: Gel consistency Price at time of publication: $17 How We Selected the Best Lubes To select the best lubes, we sourced input from three experts on what’s important to look for and what to avoid in a personal lubricant. The experts we spoke to include: Debra Wickman, MD, FACOG, an OB-GYN, and certified sexuality counselor. Dr. Wickman is the Director of Female Sexual Medicine, Vulvar Disorders, and Menopause Health at Banner University Medical Center in Phoenix and an Associate Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Arizona.Nicole Sparks, MD, a board-certified OB-GYN in Atlanta. Maria Sophocles, M.D., FACOG, NCMP, a board-certified OB-GYN. Dr. Sophocles is the medical director at Women’s Healthcare of Princeton, New Jersey. Then, we vetted dozens of brands and products based on expert recommendations to ensure they were the best choice for different bodies and different needs. What to Know About Choosing the Best Lube What Types of Lube are Available There are three main types of lube, according to their base ingredient: Water-based lube works well for most situations, except shower sex. It's safe to use with sex toys and with condoms, it won't stain your sheets, and it doesn't irritate most skin. The downside is that the glide of water-based lubes don't last as long as other types, so you have to reapply more often. Oil-based lubes last for a long time, and with coconut oil or olive oil as the typical base, they leave your skin feeling soft and moisturized. However, oil-based lube can degrade latex or polyisoprene condoms, and they can stain your sheets (like any oil). Silicone-based lube lasts the longest and is the slipperiest, which makes it ideal for sex with a partner(s) and for anal sex. It's gentle on most skin as silicone allergies are rare. However, this lube will degrade silicone sex toys and might stain your sheets. Key Ingredients to Look for in Lube Choose a Base That Matches Your Needs If you’re using lube just for the pleasure of bodily contact, you’ll do well with any of the lubes on this list. But when looking for a lube to use with condoms or sex toys, make sure to opt for a water-based lube. Oil- and silicone-based lubes can degrade condoms and toys. While trying to get pregnant, opt for hydroxyethylcellulose-based lubricant, which is best for unaffected sperm motility. Ingredients to Look for The main ingredient you’re looking for will make up the base of your lubricant—water, oil, or silicone, depending on what type of lube you want. The base of the product will determine the ways you can use it. Skin-soothing ingredients like aloe or vitamin E are also nice because they add moisture back into your skin and ease friction. When vaginal use is applicable, look for a lube with a pH balance between 3.5 and 5.0 to maintain healthy bacteria levels. Ingredients to Avoid Most experts recommend steering clear of flavored lubes as the sugar in them can upset the pH balance of a vagina, causing infections. And, if you’re trying to get pregnant, make sure your lube doesn’t contain spermicide. “The vagina should be treated as ‘sensitive’ for all people… which means the fewer ingredients in a lube, usually the better,” Dr. Wickman says. Specifically, avoid strong fragrances and chemicals, which can affect vaginal pH and cause irritation. Chemicals to watch out for include GlycerinNonoxynol-9Petroleum and petroleum-based ingredients Propylene glycolParabensChlorhexidine gluconate How much You Can Expect to Pay for Quality Lube While prices vary depending on quantity and ingredients, you can snag a quality lube for anywhere between $8 to $15. If you’re willing to pay a little more (closer to $25 and above), there are plenty of luxurious personal lubricants that you can indulge in—especially if you have sensitive skin or certain allergies. We don’t recommend going much cheaper than the budget-friendly options listed on this page. “The cheapest lubes are usually not the best ones—it’s important to invest in a lube that will serve you best,” Dr. Wickman explains. How to Use Lube How much lube to use depends on the type of lube you’re using (e.g. you need less silicone lube because it’s slipperier and lasts longer). But a little goes a long way when it comes to lube so start with a dime-size amount. “Lube can be re-applied as needed, but too much can reduce sensation and lessen the ‘grip’ during penetrative sex,” Dr. Wickman explains. She adds that if you use a lot of lube, it can be hard to expel it all out of the vagina afterward, and this creates conditions for infection such as biofilm formation and pH change. Your Questions, Answered Do you need to use lube when masturbating? You don’t need to use lube when masturbating, but it can help reduce friction between skin-on-skin or toys-on-skin contact, and it can help increase pleasure. Just make sure you opt for an oil- or water-based lube when using silicone toys. And, clean your toys promptly after use to avoid infection, Dr. Wickman adds. Does using lube decrease your chance of pregnancy? It might affect your ability to conceive if you’re trying—but it doesn’t affect pregnancy risk enough to be used as a form of birth control. If you’re trying to get pregnant, the thickness of lube might inhibit the ability of sperm to swim, and the lube itself may alter the pH of your vagina so it’s not ideal to conceive, Dr. Sophocles explains. But certain lubricants, like Pre-Seed, are formulated to maintain the optimal pH for conception, she adds. Can you use lube with a lubricated condom? Yes, as long as it’s not an oil-based lube which can degrade latex condoms. In fact, many lubricated condoms don't actually contain enough lube to keep things sliding comfortably the entire time, so using a lube that’s safe for condoms can help. Who We Are Rachael Schultz has been a health and wellness writer for nearly a decade, including women’s health and sexual health, and specializes in translating scientific research and expert insight into digestible, usable, everyday information. She has been a product editor for five years and has extensive knowledge discerning what differentiates a high-quality, reliable product that will not only support the buyer’s needs but is also worth your money. Was this page helpful? Thanks for your feedback! Tell us why! Other Submit Sources Health.com uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy. Kennedy CE, Yeh PT, Li J, Gonsalves L, Narasimhan M. Lubricants for the promotion of sexual health and well-being: a systematic review. Sex Reprod Health Matters. 29(3):2044198. doi:10.1080/26410397.2022.2044198 Lubricant that is helpful for sperm. Mayo Clinic Health System.