Why are some condoms more expensive than others?

Condoms come in all styles and sizes, and there are several factors that determine their retail price. However, most cheap condoms provide the same quality and protection as the more expensive ones. Here are some of the factors that determine how cheap or expensive a condom is:

Manufacturing costs

Most brands nowadays are manufacturing their condoms overseas – including some of the heavyweight names such as Durex and EXS. However, all condoms made by these brands are manufactured in production facilities according to strict International Standards Organisation guidelines (the ISO 23409:2011 standard, to be specific).

Whilst the labour force isn’t as expensive as it would be in the UK, these condoms are slightly more expensive than unbranded condoms arriving from China or India. At the same time, they are much cheaper than condoms manufactured in European or British facilities.

The cost of materials and the actual manufacturing process also impact the final price of condoms.

Latex condoms are cheaper than non-latex because the materials and manufacturing process is inexpensive. Non-vegan condoms are also cheaper than vegan condoms because thistle extract is more expensive than casein.

Likewise, standard condoms are cheaper than novelty condoms. In the novelty category, we can include coloured, flavoured, textured, and glowing condoms.

Advertising costs

Marketing isn’t cheap, and brands who advertise their products usually make up for these costs by increasing the price per product. That’s why Durex condoms are often more expensive than Mates or EXS.

Product novelty

We mentioned novelty condoms already, but a special mention goes to the newly developed technologies designed to make condoms thinner and more resistant at the same time. Not many brands can say they reinvented the condom, but the ones that do use new technologies usually reflect it in the condom price.

One of the most popular examples is Lelo Hex, manufactured by popular sex toy brand Lelo. Lelo Hex Original and Lelo Hex Respect XL condoms boast the durability of thick condoms from other brands yet are way thinner.

This is possible thanks to their unique structure consisting of interconnected hexagons – a design that enhances elasticity and resistance at the same time.

Quantity and packaging

Another thing that drives costs up is the packaging. It goes without saying that the fancier the box or wrapper, the higher the price. Smaller packets are also more expensive than bulk condoms from the same brand.

For instance, EXS Regular costs around 60p per condom if you’re buying a 12-pack, but the same condoms cost less than 14p per condom if you get a bulk pack containing 144 condoms.

Are cheap condoms safe?

Defining cheap is complex, and not all cheap condoms are safe. It all comes down to how they are made.

Cheap condoms from Asian countries are rarely manufactured according to the strict International Standards Organisation guidelines UK and European brands have to follow. Whilst there are international companies that make perfectly fine condoms (Glyde, for example, is Australian), all condoms manufactured by these reputable companies and sold on the UK market comply with our standards and regulations.

This allows said companies to mark their condoms with the CE mark and BSI Kitemark, two signs that the condoms you buy are tested and safe to use.

However, Asian brands that primarily sell their condoms on the Asian market don’t have to follow these guidelines. Due to less strict regulations, their condoms are not as safe nor as effective as CE and BSI-approved condoms.

Knowing this is important because some retailers import condoms that were not manufactured for the UK market from these countries and sell them on marketplaces like eBay.

Sure, those condoms are much cheaper than condoms manufactured to ISO standards, but they leave you at risk of contracting sexually transmitted infections as well as an elevated risk of unwanted pregnancy. For these reasons, it is important to buy all your condoms from trusted suppliers, such as Condoms.uk.

All cheap condoms you can find on our website comply with the BSI and CE standards and come in packaging bearing at least one of the marks. All the condoms we sell are electronically tested for safety and are effective against pregnancy and STIs.

How to use a condom?

Even the best condoms can’t protect you if you’re not using them correctly. No matter where you buy your condoms or how expensive they are, here are a few rules to follow to guarantee their effectiveness:

Why are the CE and BSI marks important?

CE and BSI marks guarantee that the condoms were manufactured according to strict UK and EU regulations. These marks are usually applied on the main package as well as each individual condom wrapper.

Using condoms that are not marked with any of those symbols could mean that they are not manufactured to standards.

Not only could these condoms be made from lower quality materials that are more likely to break, but they could also contain parabens, glycerine, or other harmful chemicals that could cause a number of health issues.

Who buys cheap condoms?

A cheap condom isn’t necessarily a poor quality one, as proven by many institutions and organisations that use them. In the UK, cheap condoms are usually bought by:

What are the cheapest condoms I can buy in the UK?

The cheapest condom brands in the UK include Mates and EXS, two popular brands with decades of experience in the industry.

Mates Condoms

Product name Nominal width Material Flavour/Colour Texture
Mates Comfort 53mm Latex No Smooth
Mates Protect 53mm Latex No Smooth
Mates Ultra Thin 53mm Latex No Smooth
Mates Orgazmax 53mm Latex No Dotted
Mates Natural 54mm Latex No Smooth
Mates Temptations 53mm Latex Mixed Mixed

 

EXS Condoms

Product name Nominal width Material Flavour/Colour Texture
EXS Air Thin 56mm Latex No Smooth
EXS Delay Endurance 53mm Latex No. Contains Lidocaine 1% Smooth
EXS Extra Safe 55mm Latex No Smooth
EXS Regular 54mm Latex No Smooth
EXS Snug Fit 49mm Latex No Smooth
EXS Magnum 60mm Latex No Smooth
EXS Jumbo 69mm Latex No Smooth
EXS Mixed Flavour 56mm Latex Mixed Smooth
EXS Black 54mm Latex Black colour Smooth
EXS Ribbed and Dotted 56mm Latex No Ribbed/Dotted
EXS Nano Thin 53mm Latex No Smooth
EXS Cooling 54mm Latex No. Cooling effect gel Smooth
EXS Warming 54mm Latex No. Warming effect gel Smooth

 

Besides the popular brands above, Pasante and Vitalis also offer a wide selection of high-quality yet cheap condoms.

Can cheap condoms cause urinary tract infections?

No, cheap condoms specifically can’t cause urinary tract infections. However, some condoms and other intimate products may increase its risk.

According to several studies, spermicide-coated condoms increase the risk of urinary tract infection by 5% and are responsible for over 43% of cases of urinary tract infections in women who use spermicide-coated condoms.

This happens because spermicide facilitates the growth of E. Coli inside the vagina, a gut bacteria responsible for around 90% of urinary tract infections worldwide.

How does E. Coli go from gut to bladder, and how are spermicide-coated condoms responsible? Easy. Since it normally lives in your intestines, E. Coli can make its way to the rectum and even further to the area around your anus, travelling outside of your body with your stool.

Since the anus is located in the proximity of a woman’s vulva, E. Coli can sometimes make its way to the vaginal area. This scenario happens more frequently than believed, even with perfect hygiene, but in healthy women, the vaginal flora neutralises E. Coli. If the vaginal flora is compromised for some reason, the harmful bacteria can thrive and spreads further toward the urethra thanks to vaginal fluids. Once inside the urethra, there is nothing else that stops E. Coli from reaching the bladder and causes a urinary tract infection.

Here’s where spermicide-coated condoms step in, helping the harmful bacteria grow and spread outside of their natural environment by altering vaginal flora and making it easier for E. Coli to adhere to the epithelial cells inside the vagina.

Spermicide-coated condoms aside, you should know that spermicidal lubricants are also responsible for causing urinary tract infections in the same way.

Since there is no scientific evidence that using spermicide-coated condoms or spermicide lube enhances effectiveness and provides more protection against pregnancy, you can safely use standard condoms without spermicide to reduce the risk of urinary tract infection.

Furthermore, all condoms may increase the risk of urinary tract infection if you don’t use a new condom each time you switch from one type of sex to another – especially when you’re switching from anal to vaginal sex. Obviously, the risk of urinary tract infection is also high if you switch from anal to vaginal sex if you’re not wearing a condom and don’t clean your penis before vaginal intercourse.

Where can I buy cheap condoms?

You can buy cheap condoms online, right here at Condoms.uk. We sell exclusively genuine condoms sourced directly from brands or their official suppliers in the UK – a thing that helps us not only ensure quality but also offer competitive prices for the highest quality products. Browse our range now to find the best standard, textured, or flavoured condoms for you.