It’s well past time to abandon the cliche of hiding your vibrators away in your nightstand. Sex toys these days are stylish, practically indistinguishable from avant-garde works of art — something to display on top of your nightstand rather than tucked away inside of it. And if you’re the owner of a sex toy or two, you’re in good company. A recent survey by the market research firm Statista found that 82 percent of American women own at least one sex toy — not surprising, considering that same company predicts the global sex toy market to reach a value of $80.7 billion by 2030.
If you’re new to the sex toy game — welcome! They’re now easier to find than ever, with mainstream stores like Anthropologie, Nordstrom, and Ulta dedicating digital space to “sexual wellness” in their online shops. Access is more readily available than ever; the problem now is figuring out which one is best for you. We’ve decided to mostly gear this category toward sex toys for people with vulvas — the “orgasm gap” is still a thing, after all. We’re also weighting this category toward beginners: our shy but curious friends who might’ve balked at browsing a sex shop but would happily take a look at what Sephora has to offer in the sexual wellness department. But the most important thing to note is that the winners in this category have been chosen by our team of editors and sexual wellness experts, so you can trust that whichever one you choose, you’ll have a good time. Ahead, Bustle’s best sex toys of the year. Sex Toy
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Sex toys these days are chic, and this year’s winner — the Maude Drop — is no exception. “The first thing I said when I got this sex toy out of its box was, ‘Oh my god, it’s so cute!’” said Sarah Ellis, Elite Daily’s dating editor. If you’re looking for something small and discreet, or something you can pack in your suitcase for travel, this will be your new BFF. Seriously, the TSA agent won’t even realize it’s a sex toy. It’s simple to use, looks super chic, and comes with a matching case. We named this one our winner because it’s a great example of the way sex toys have gone mainstream — it’s a good pick pick for someone who has never tried a vibrator before, as its small size, subtle look and affordable price point (just $49) make it non-intimidating for first-time users.
You know a trend has officially become a thing when a humor site makes fun of it. Earlier this year, the parody website Reductress published the headline, “5 Vibrators That Treat Your Clit Like a Pigeon Getting Sucked Into a Jet Engine.” Suction vibrators are relatively new to the sex toy game, but they’ve grown in popularity in recent years, and The Poet from Smile Makers is our experts’ favorite. The suction action is powerful, but still pleasurable, and our experts loved this one for its design, which makes the toy both easy to hold and easy on the eyes. At $129, it’s pricier than other suction vibrator options on the list, but what sets this one apart is the customization aspect — it comes with three mouths, all different sizes and shapes, that you can swap out depending on what feels best for you. Poetic, indeed.
A classic with a twist, Dame’s Com is a wand-shaped vibrator with curves. Dame introduced this one earlier this year, and like so many new sex toys on the market these days — she’s cute. The Com is light enough to use with one hand, and its angled head means it’s easier on your wrists if you’re lying down to use it. Still, the rumbles pack a punch. And the soft (waterproof) head isn’t the only attraction here — the handle itself vibrates, too, which means you’re only limited by your imagination. (Well, that and the one-hour battery life.) Sex educator Emily M. Depasse thought the toy is “perfect for solo play” while also making “partnered play effortless and, arguably, more intimate, if you’re someone who achieves orgasms through clitoral stimulation.”
A 2-in-1 vibrator? Double the sensation? Um, yes PLEASE. This innovative toy set from Queen V comes with the brand's VIP vibrator which features a water-resistant and compact design, making it both durable and travel-friendly. It also includes The Wingwoman Slip On: As the name suggests, you can slip this baby over the vibrator to experience different stimulation on and around your clitoris and vulva via its flexible flutter tip. Hello, multiple ways to play!
If you’re looking to go from zero to orgasm in approximately 45 seconds, consider this little sucker: the Little Sucker, a pale blue suction vibrator from a cheeky sex toy brand called Cake. This is another one that’s as suited for solo play as it is for partnered play, said Bustle Digital Group’s executive health director Melissa Dahl, and it caught our eye for its accessible price point — at just $30, it’s a great entry-level suction vibrator. It’s gentler than some others on the market, but let’s just say she gets the job done. If you’re curious about suction vibrators but don’t want to shell out a ton of cash, this is a great option.
The wand-shaped vibrator is a total classic — we had to include the O.G. somewhere on the list. With 20 pulsating patterns and ten (!) levels of intensity, Le Wand describes itself as “extra powerful,” and that is more of a polite understatement. (At least one of our experts found it overstimulating, in fact.) This thing is heavy duty. It’s also just plain heavy, and, frankly, while the aesthetics are classic, it’s hard to get excited about a regular old wand when compared to the newer sex toys with innovative designs. Still, if “looks cute” isn’t on your list of top priorities in a vibrator, Le Wand could be for you — this is without a doubt the most powerful vibrator on the list.
The newest toy on our list, Dame released the Dip earlier this month. Priced at just $49, the Dip is both their newest and their most affordable vibrator (they’re calling it their “entry-level” option). It’s a great little toy, as easy to use internally as it is externally. If you’re curious about G-spot stimulation, but find some of the toys on the market confusing or even intimidating, the Dip might be a great option for you, with its intuitive design and accessible price point.
OK, here’s an option for the, shall we say, advanced sex toy user. LELO has been called the Tesla of sex toys, and with just one look at the Enigma, it’s easy to see why. This thing is wellness meets high-tech, and it looks like a time traveler brought it back from some utopian future. It’s the rare product that promises to do multiple different things and then actually delivers — it’s a suction toy and a vibrator; it provides internal and external stimulation. There are two reasons this one isn’t higher on the list: first, the price point. At $199 (on sale for $149 at the time of publishing) it’s one of the pricier toys we reviewed, which leads to the second reason: Its high price and flashy design don’t exactly scream beginner-friendly.
If you’re going to shell out $259 for a vibrator, may we suggest going with one that does the work for you? The LELO Soraya Wave (on sale for $194 at the time of publication) has the look of a classic rabbit vibrator, with an external clitoral stimulator and an internal G-spot stimulator, but what sets this one apart is that the internal bit (What to call it? Is it an arm? A shaft?) moves, adding some extra excitement. The design and packaging is as sleek and impressive as any Lelo product, but the Soraya isn’t as quiet or discreet as others on the list — and it’s not very beginner-friendly.
Maude is a cheeky little brand, an adjective it seems to be courting, as the Cone butt plug comes in a package adorned with cute little butt cheeks. The cone was, as one of Maude’s PR reps told Dahl, the first butt plug to be sold on Nordstrom.com, which is as hilarious as it is truly impressive. The times are changing, and brands like Maude are leading the way. The small version of the Cone is a good entry-level option for the butt-play curious — at $30, it’s affordable enough to justify a little experimentation, without making a big investment.
Thrusters With its cheerful yellow hue and aesthetically pleasing design, it really is hard not to smile before an encounter with the Smile Makers’ Tennis Pro, a G-spot vibrator. If you’re new to exploring G-spot stimulation via a toy, the brand’s friendly packaging makes for a non-intimidating invitation to play. The Tennis Pro is designed to be used internally (but can also be used externally), and let’s just say it gets the job done. Really, though, what we’re most impressed by here is the fact that this brand is so clearly fun — and isn’t that the whole point of what we’re doing here?