What are latex free condoms?
Latex fee condoms are condoms made of materials other than latex. Those materials can be synthetic latex (polyisoprene), polyurethane (a type of plastic), or lambskin (sheep intestine), or synthetic resin (a type of plastic). Not all latex free condoms are as effective as latex condoms in preventing pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections, but they allow people with latex allergy to enjoy safe sex without any side effects.
What are the latex allergy symptoms?
Latex allergy is a rare disorder affecting less than 1 in 1,000 people in the UK. Despite being so rare, some people may have severe allergic reactions and sometimes, a latex allergy can be life-threatening.
You can develop a latex allergy at any age and regardless of your gender. Some people are more likely than others to develop sensitivity or become allergic to this material. Risk groups include people who come in contact with latex frequently. For instance, healthcare workers and people who wear latex gloves daily as part of their profession are more likely to become allergic to latex. Rubber industry workers are also at risk of developing an allergy, and so are people who have had multiple surgeries (10 or more) in their lifetime.
If you already have other allergies, such as allergy to food or hay fever, you are also more likely to become allergic to latex.
Because latex allergies are rare and its symptoms are often mild, many people may only notice they are allergic when using natural rubber latex condoms.
Mild symptoms include:
- Red skin
All these symptoms are localised, meaning they’ll only interest the area that has been in contact with the latex.
Moderate symptoms include all the symptoms above, plus:
- Generalised hives, rashes, or itchiness on patches of skin that have not been in contact with the allergen
- Runny nose
- Watery eyes
Severe symptoms can include any of the mild and moderate symptoms, plus:
- Breathing difficulty
- Loss of consciousness
A severe reaction to latex can lead to anaphylactic shock and potentially death. Mild symptoms can worsen in time if you continue exposing yourself to latex. To prevent discomfort and complications, you should use only latex free condoms if you or your partner are allergic to latex.
Because latex free condoms have different characteristics based on the material they’re made of, let’s have a look at each type.
Types of latex free condoms
Polyisoprene condoms are largely considered the best alternative to latex condoms. Polyisoprene is a type of synthetic latex. Its properties are very similar to those of latex, but the material is more elastic and has a better tensile strength. These differences allow manufacturers to make polyisoprene condoms thinner than latex.
What are the advantages of polyisoprene condoms?
- Polyisoprene condoms are as effective as latex condoms: Polyisoprene is the only non-latex material that is as effective as latex. With perfect use, these condoms are 98% effective in preventing pregnancy and sexually transmitting infections. As it happens with the latex condoms, their effectiveness drops with normal use, mainly because few people follow all instructions on the packet.
- Polyisoprene is more elastic than latex: These condoms stretch easier than latex condoms and are more resistant. Thanks to this characteristic, most polyisoprene condoms are thinner than 0.06mm, which is the average thickness of latex condoms.
- Polyisoprene is tasteless and odourless: Many latex brands advertise their condoms as odourless and tasteless, but the truth is that latex has a characteristic smell and taste – smell and taste that many people don’t like. You won’t have the same issue with polyisoprene condoms. Despite being basically latex made in a laboratory, polyisoprene has a neutral scent and no taste at all.
- Polyisoprene condoms are clearer than latex condoms: Tired of the yellowish shade? Polyisoprene condoms are more transparent.
- Polyisoprene condoms are cheaper than polyurethane condoms: All condoms are affordable, but if you want a superior product and a few extra quid in your pocket, polyisoprene condoms are the way to go.
What are the disadvantages of polyisoprene condoms?
- Polyisoprene condoms are incompatible with oils and petroleum-based products. Like latex, polyisoprene can be damaged by Vaseline, body creams and lotions, massage oils. You should only use these condoms with condom-friendly lube.
What brands make polyisoprene condoms?
SKYN is the most popular brand of polyisoprene condoms. Striving to cater to everyone’s needs, SKYN condoms come in multiple sizes and types.
The brand’s regular size has a nominal width of 53mm and 180mm of length. In this category, you can find the SKYN Original condoms, SKYN Elite condoms which are ultra thin, as well as textured condoms. A large size with a nominal width of 56mm and a length of 200mm is also available from the brand.
Durex is another brand that makes polyisoprene condoms. However, the choices are limited. Durex Real Feel condoms have a nominal width of 56mm and are 205mm long.
Polyurethane is a type of thin plastic similar to cling wrap. Like latex condoms, polyurethane condoms protect you against pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections, but are slightly less effective due to the characteristics of the material. Polyurethane condoms are thinner than latex and polyisoprene, but are also less elastic. Ultimately, whether or not you’ll like these condoms comes down to preference.
What are the advantages of polyurethane condoms?
- Polyurethane condoms conduct heat better: Compared to latex and polyisoprene condoms, polyurethane condoms are better heat conductors. This translates into more natural sensations and a greater sense of intimacy.
- Polyurethane is thinner than latex and polyisoprene: A thinner condom can also increase the sense of intimacy.
- Polyurethane condoms are not constrictive: If you like a looser fit, polyurethane condoms could be more suitable for you even if you’re not allergic to latex. This material is not as elastic as latex or polyurethane, so the condoms aren’t as tight.
What are the disadvantages of polyurethane condoms?
- Polyurethane condoms are the least elastic and more likely to break compared to polyisoprene or latex condoms. For this reason, it is crucial to size them right.
- Because polyurethane condoms don’t fit as snugly as latex or synthetic latex condoms, they are more likely to slip off during intercourse.
- Polyurethane is a type of plastic similar to cling wrap, and has a similar feel. This material conducts heat better and is very thin, but it has a synthetic feel. The sensation is similar to using a tight female condom.
What brands make polyurethane condoms?
Most brands nowadays make their latex free condoms from polyisoprene or synthetic resin. However, Trojan’s Supra condoms are made of polyurethane. These condoms are very thin (0.047mm), but their nominal width of 58mm makes them suitable for men who need a larger size condom. If you normally wear a regular size, there is a high risk they’ll slip off during intercourse.
Synthetic resin condoms
Synthetic resin is a rather innovative non-latex material used by few brands. The official name of this material is AT-10, and its main advantage is that it has higher strength in thinner sheets than other materials, including polyisoprene, polyurethane, and latex. The material is not stretchable, but it has the ability to cling to the skin in a way similar to polyurethane.
What are the advantages of synthetic resin condoms?
- Synthetic resin condoms are incredibly thin: The AT-10 sheets have a thickness between 0.015mm and 0.030mm – the thinnest synthetic material used for condoms.
- AT-10 is not porous: This material provides the same protection against pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections as polyisoprene and polyurethane condoms. With perfect use, these condoms are 98% effective.
- AT-10 does not degrade when exposed to common oils: These condoms can usually be used with oil-based lubricants. However, remember to always follow the manufacturer’s instructions when choosing an appropriate lube.
- AT-10 allows the body heat to pass through quickly: Like polyurethane condoms, AT-10 condoms are excellent heat conductors and can enhance the feel of intimacy.
What are the disadvantages of synthetic resin condoms?
- Synthetic resin condoms have a poor elasticity and can slip off easier during intercourse.
- Like polyurethane condoms, AT-10 condoms feel like cling wrap on the skin. Some people like how they feel – the only way to tell is trying them.
What brands make synthetic resin condoms?
Pasante is one of the few brands that make synthetic resin condoms. You can pick from a thicker (and smaller) version, as well as a thinner and larger one.
Pasante Sensiva condoms have a nominal width of 58mm and are 180mm long. At 0.028mm thick, these condoms are on the thicker side as far as synthetic resin condoms are concerned. They’re obviously thinner than all other types of condoms. A nice touch is the condom placement in an easy-to-open round pot that minimises the risk of damaging the condom when taking it out of its packet. Pasante Sensiva condoms can be used with all types of personal lubricants and massage oils, as well as silicone or water-based lube.
Pasante Unique condoms are larger and thinner than Sensiva. They have a nominal width of 60mm, a length of 190mm, and are 0.015mm thick. These condoms are resilient and extremely flexible, feeling like nothing at all between you and your partner. Pasante Unique condoms can also be used with all types of intimate lubricant, including oil products. Both AT-10 condoms from Pasante are cruelty-free and vegan friendly.
Lambskin condoms have been around for centuries (if not millennia). Their design has changed over the time, and today’s lambskin condoms are a far cry from what our ancestors use. These condoms have numerous advantages, but also one huge disadvantage – they are not effective against sexually transmitted infections.
What are the advantages of lambskin condoms?
- Lambskin condoms are as effective as latex condoms in preventing pregnancy: If your main concern is preventing pregnancy, lambskin condoms are 98% effective.
- Lambskin condoms are very comfortable: From all condom types, these condoms are the most comfortable. Because the material is natural, lambskin condoms provide the most natural feel and an unrivalled sense of intimacy.
- Lambskin condoms can be used with all lubes: Like AT-10, lambskin isn’t degraded by oils or Vaseline. You can use these condoms with any type of lube.
- Lambskin condoms suit large sizes: These condoms are often larger than their latex or polyisoprene counterpart.
- Lambskin condoms are biodegradable: Made of sheep’s intestine, these condoms degrade faster than all others. However, you should still throw them in the bin.
What are the disadvantages of lambskin condoms?
- Lambskin condoms don’t protect against sexually transmitted infections. The porous material may allow viruses and bacteria to pass through, so it’s recommended to use them only if you’re in a committed, monogamous relationship or with partners that have been tested for STIs.
- Lambskin condoms are less attractive than other condoms. You’ll usually be able to see the details of the sheep’s intestine on the condom.
- Natural lambskin condoms are not as stretchy as latex or polyisoprene condoms. Similar to polyurethane and AT-10 condoms, they’re more likely to slip off during use.
- Lambskin condoms are the most expensive type of condoms. Because they are an animal product, they can’t be mass-produced in the same way the other types of condoms are, so they may not be as readily available as other types of condoms either.
What brands make lambskin condoms?
Trojan Naturalamb is one of the few lambskin condoms available. These condoms have an extra-large size (68mm nominal width) and feature a rounded head with no teat end. This design improves comfort, but could make it challenging to prevent leaks after ejaculation. Nevertheless, these are some of the most comfortable condoms you can find.
Where can I buy latex free condoms?
You can buy latex free condoms right here at Condoms.uk. We stock a variety of polyisoprene and synthetic resin condoms sourced from trusted brands. Browse our range and buy Durex, Pasante, or SKYN latex-free condoms. All orders of £25 or more come with free delivery, and you can rest assured you’ll receive your products in discreet packaging.