Many vital processes go into making condoms, namely, research and testing and then there are the ingredients, supply chain and logistics to consider. Condoms must undergo several tests to ensure they are all flexible, long-lasting, and leak-free, which drives up their cost.

Governmental agencies also conduct these tests to guarantee the quality of the condoms further. Additionally, producers create condoms in various styles, and the number of condoms available globally has dramatically increased to meet the demand.

Supply and demand issues are not unique to the world of contraception, but they are one of the reasons condoms are expensive.

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The Cost of Condoms in the UK is a Result of High Taxes

Condoms are a widely accessible and affordable form of contraception in the UK, but how much do they cost in reality? Taxes directly impact condom prices, and currently, the UK's rate for contraceptives is significantly higher than other countries by approximately 20%.

High prices mean that despite condoms only having a single-use, their prices sometimes reflect those of luxury items. These taxes are not uniform across all localities, and condom affordability can vary greatly depending on where they're purchased. Overall, it's important to remember that condoms remain a readily available form of contraception, despite the high associated costs.

The Cost of Living Directly Effects the Price of Condoms

Living in the UK is expensive, and for many people, the cost of living leaves them without extra money to spend on condoms. Contraceptive protection comes with a wide range of prices - from the cheap bulk packages costing as little as 30p each to 3 or 4 times this amount for luxury, fashionable or branded styles.

But even then, when wages are already stretched thin by food, rent, and bills, how many people have the luxury to spare an extra 30 pence on a necessary monthly purchase of condoms?

Without access to contraceptives like condoms, British citizens risk not having adequate protection against sexually transmitted infections and unplanned pregnancies - making it difficult to remain healthy and financially stable when essential resources are scarce.

Condoms are Much Cheaper Overseas

Condoms are essential for safe sex and should always be accessible; however, the high cost of condoms prevents many people from taking their sexual health seriously. In most modern countries, condoms can cost upwards of £6-15 for a single pack of 3, making it difficult to afford regular protection.

But other countries worldwide have found different strategies that make condoms much cheaper. For instance, in India, condoms are being subsidised and only cost as low as $0.20 per pack. The Indian government recognise how vital condoms are to fight the spread of STDs and unwanted pregnancies.

Condoms are Free to Those Under 16 Years Old

Some people believe that the UK government should subsidise condoms to make them more affordable for everyone. The excellent news is condoms are available free of charge to those 16 and under. For everyone else, the cost of condoms can be prohibitive, ranging from under £6.00 to over £50.00, depending on the pack size and manufacturer.

Accessibility should not determine how well people protect themselves and their sexual partners, which is why some believe that the UK government should subsidise condoms to make them more affordable.

Fortunately, this government has recognised how important it is for the younger generations to have free contraception. Those aged 16 and under can acquire free condoms at pharmacies or clinics. Click the link to read more about condoms for teenagers.

5 Additional Reasons Why Condoms are So Expensive

Rigorous Testing Raises the Cost of Production

Each condom goes through rigorous quality control in the factory, and most testing, such as the airburst and water leakage tests, are carried out using manual random sampling.

The condom tensile and ageing tests are additional procedures that are carried out to ensure every condom meets the European CE mark or the UKCA mark that guarantees the product is fit for purpose. Any manual testing on any product will push up production costs.

The Cost of Raw Materials Effect the Price

The majority of condoms are made of latex. However, there is good news for those allergic to rubber: condoms can also be manufactured from synthetic and natural materials.

Components of natural condoms are often animal intestines (lambskin), whereas natural latex condoms are synthetically replaced by polyurethane and polyisoprene. Because each material is obtained and processed differently, these distinctions give us choices, and choice always impacts the condom's selling price.

Brand Awareness and Suitability Effect Retail Prices

The price of condoms is significantly influenced by brand reputation. For instance, certain brands are best recognised for various types of sex, such as penile-vaginal intercourse, anal sex, and oral sex.

Branding may also be related to quality, fit, material, and environmental friendliness. Of course, some brands are more distinctive than others in particular ways. Your brand choice may cost more than average, depending on your preferences.

A Spike in Demand Increases the Retail Prices

Condom manufacturers are experiencing a spike in demand as an after-effect of Covid-19. As vaccination coverage continues to increase globally, individuals also feel more comfortable disregarding social-distancing conventions.

Like any other item (who remembers the increased toilet roll prices), rising demand for condoms allows manufacturers to start charging significantly higher prices for their products.

Brexit Hasn't Helped

Whether you wanted to stay within the European Union or not is irrelevant because until things settle down, the fact remains that the cost of Brexit on the UK public has been enormous.

The UK no longer has a significant manufacturing base, so we import most things. Manufacturers see their costs rise across the board, meaning the rise in import duty and associated costs are always passed on to the consumer.


Condom manufacturers must purchase premium materials. Condoms must reach the required standards and be put through several tests before retailers can sell them, which drives up the cost of manufacturing. Condoms may come in various forms, and a condom will cost more if they contain additional materials.

Additionally, as COVID-19 constraints are relaxed, condom demand is rising significantly around the globe. The global cost of living crisis and Brexit in the UK have impacted retailers' prices. Because of a combination of these causes, condoms are now more costly than they were, and the likelihood of those costs decreasing is unlikely.

Now we have thoroughly depressed you. The only thing to do is have more sex to cheer yourself up. Click the link to browse our range of reasonably priced condoms and accessories.

Dec 22, 2022
Written by:
Victoria Walsh