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Differences Between TPE & Silicone Sex Dolls

4 min read

Different Types of Sex Dolls

When we’re talking about high-quality sex dolls - not the blow-up types you see being dragged along to stag nights - there are two main types to choose from: TPE (or thermoplastic elastomers for those who give a damn) and silicone. Both are different types of rubber which each have unique qualities. Depending on your budget, your visual preferences and how you want your doll to feel will affect the kind of sex doll you go for in the end.

TPE Sex Dolls

TPE Sex Dolls

When sex dolls were first introduced, manufacturers experimented with lots of different materials to achieve a realistic look and feel. Materials such as latex vinyl and textiles were used with little effect - they didn’t achieve a realistic finish and felt little like the real deal. TPE is actually a blend of rubber and plastic which makes it flexible and easier to work with which is why it’s one of the most popular types of sex doll around.

TPE is also softer to the touch which makes it feel more like real skin. As well as love dolls, a lot of everyday household objects such as handles, grips and cushions are made using TPE. Advanced manufacturing techniques such as injection moulding and forming means body parts such as the mouth and the vagina can be made to look and feel authentic.

The material is also tear-resistant and holds up to stress due to its flexibility, elasticity and it’s unique shock absorption properties.

The Benefits of TPE Sex Dolls

  • Value for money. TPE is relatively cheap compared to other materials used in sex doll manufacturing
  • Easy to mould. Advanced manufacturing methods ensure a realistic, life-like appearance
  • Soft to the touch. TPE is a much smoother and softer material - giving a skin-like finish
  • Life-like. The squeezable texture gives the body a realistic feeling
  • Huggable. TPE retains warmth just like a real person and is also odourless (no nasty latex smell!)

Disadvantages of TPE Sex Dolls

  • Prone to staining. TPE is a porous material, part of what makes it soft and flexible. This does increase the likelihood of it getting stained (carefully with the red wine!)
  • Can't be sterilised. Due to the porous nature, it's not possible to fully sterilise a TPE doll.
  • Quality variation. A lot of sex dolls can suffer from quality issues due to the blend of materials being used. Be sure that you're buying your doll from a trusted site.
Silicone sex dolls are made out of silicone rubber, a common material found in everyday goods like bakeware, wristbands and the majority of sex toys.

    Silicone Sex Dolls

    Silicone Sex Dolls

    Silicone can be produced in various stiffnesses - it can either be stiff or flaccid depending on the requirements. Most sex dolls are in between this scale, but oftentimes the firmness relates to specific body parts. The hips and legs are designed to be firmer than say the hands and face.

    Silicone is very versatile and high quality which is why it's even used in implants (you probably know women who have about as much silicone in them as our dolls). It's been around for longer which means more advanced manufacturing techniques are used in production.

    The Benefits of Silicone Sex Dolls

    • Realistic look. Because it's been around longer, silicone sex dolls can be made to look VERY realistic
    • Robust. Silicone keeps its shape and can withstand the weight
    • Stain-resistant. Silicone is non-porous which means it holds up to staining better. This also means it can be sterilised (a concern when buying a second-hand doll)
    • Smoother. The non-porous texture means it feels super smooth (great, no stubble!)
    • Reliable. Silicone sex dolls have been around for a long time - tried and tested
    • Durable: Compared to the TPE sex dolls, silicone ones are extremely durable and last years without experiencing much wear and tear.  
    • Easy to clean & maintain: They are made to retain their youthful looks even after years of rough use. Thanks to their superior quality, silicone dolls last longer and are very easy to maintain. 

    Disadvantages of Silicone Sex Dolls

    • Expensive. Silicone costs more as it is an expensive material to produce. It's made from materials that are rarer than the plastics found in TPE
    • Harder. Although smoother, silicone is generally harder and less flexible than other types of sex dolls
    • Fragile. Because it's more rigid, it's more prone to tearing. It can withstand a lot of weight but certain areas can be ripped if proper care is not taken

    Choosing The Right Type of Sex Doll

    So as you can see, there are pros and cons for both types of the doll. Silicone vs TPE is a debate that's been going on in the sex doll community for years, with neither side showing signs of relinquishing soon.

    The good news is that both types are hypoallergenic, meaning it's very unlikely you’ll be allergic to your new doll. Also, they both retain warmth which adds to the realism. They can both be bathed or showered to warm them up and clean them (although it's easier to use a USB vagina warmer for heating purposes).

    Ultimately if you're on a budget, we'd suggest opting for TPE but if you have a bit more money to spare, go for silicone for a super realistic look. If you have even more money to spare, go for both! They both have unique qualities, but in the end, it's down to personal preference.

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