Silicone vs Double Silicone vs TPE
Posted on July 03 2018
Let’s start with what is silicone and TPE? Mainly because we are sure some of you are going to point out that silicone may belong to the rubber family over plastic.
According to the Life Without Plastic website “… silicone is considered part of the rubber family. But, if you define plastics widely, as we do, silicone is something of a hybrid between a synthetic rubber and a synthetic plastic polymer.” https://goo.gl/WywQF8
And from our greatest resource Wikipedia, “TPE Thermoplastic elastomers (TPE), sometimes referred to as thermoplastic rubbers, are a class of copolymers or a physical mix of polymers (usually a plastic and a rubber) which consist of materials with both thermoplastic and elastomeric properties.” https://goo.gl/6KeLen
(sometimes we like to be nerdy, even when we aren't roleplaying)
Did we find just whatever website fit our narrative?! How dare you accuse us of that… they were just the first search results when typing in “is silicone plastic” and “is TPE plastic”. Lazy yes, persuasive maybe, purposefully misleading never!
But now we know a rough definition of what they are so for this purpose we will use a broad version of the word plastic which will include both Silicone and TPE – deal with it.
“Irregardless” in all reality we just didn’t know how else to fit Gretchen Wiener into our post, and that was a must!
Onto the comparisons!
This is most of today’s rubberized (cough cough*) toys. You’ll see them listed with more often than not, at least most of Honey Adult Play’s toys are, as Medical Grade Silicone, “Medical grade silicones are silicones tested for biocompatibility and are appropriate to be used for medical applications. In the United States, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Center for Devices and Radiological Health (CDRH) regulates devices implanted into the body.” https://goo.gl/T13QTz; we really do love Wikipedia here. Don't get us wrong, there are toys that are rubber that aren’t silicone and some custom made mixed silicone toys that may not be 100% - Everything has it’s pro’s and con’s but for today's article we are going to focus on what we see the most which are 100% Medical Grade Silicone.
Silicone is nonporous, meaning there is nowhere for germs and body excrements to seep into - making it very easy to clean. It is also fairly flexible in comparison to other rubber and can be created with a firm or a softer consistency. Used most often as the outter seamless coating of vibrators to help transfer the vibration without hearing or feeling hard ABS plastic, silicone has an incredible life expectancy even with rigorous use.
Can’t use silicone lubricant as the toy and lube would want to bond to each other - sticky icky. Multiple uses: dildos, vibrators, butt plugs, sex dolls but at a very high price and more.
Pros: Nonporous easy to clean, long lasting, odor-free, hypoallergenic, phthalate free, and body safe.
Cons: lube restrictions, can be more expensive than some other materials,
Sometimes also referred to as a “real feel silicone” although not every “real feel silicone” is double silicone, some are blends of different rubbers to achieve a realistic feel but keep cost down. Double silicone is still 100% Medical Grade Silicone, so all the great stuff from up above and more! Found most frequently in use with dildos, double silicone gives a more realistic feel. With a harder silicone rod inside a softer more malleable silicone on the outside is allowed to move more freely like skin. These toys are a premium in feel and price. With a soft and smooth texture like real skin, they hold their shape and are as firm as regular silicone dildos.
Pros: all the same as regular silicone PLUS soft silky smooth realistic feeling
Cons: all the same as regular silicone PLUS more expensive, mainly only used in dildos.
Thermoplastic elastomers (TPE):
So the same as silicone? Nope, not at all! They are different substances, and for good reason, they are primarily used in different toys. Relatively new in comparison to silicone one main feature of TPE is that it can be stretched repeatedly and it will return to its original shape and size right away. Where Silicone you will find it coating a vibrator, butt plug, or solid as a dildo, you will most likely see TPE in masturbation cups, sex dolls, and other soft body part replicants. Are all sex dolls TPE? No, but more of them are and that is because TPE is a more realistic feeling material. Slap that butt and you will see it jiggle and wobble!
Beyond the material being used for a more realistic skin replicant, it is also more affordable than silicone, softer or plushier, and generally more flexible. But that is not all fun and games, stains like to stay on this material and the overall maintenance on TPE is more extensive. It could even develop mold if you do not properly clean and dry it, as this material is more porous than silicone. TPE isn’t meant for water soaking adventures probably best to keep it out of the bathtub, shower, and pool, this could cause it to become tacky, and definitely, it can’t take the heat like silicone can.
Pros: More Realistic, Cheaper Than Silicone (by a lot), Flexible, Hypoallergenic, use any type of lube.
Cons: Stains Easy, Porous, Not Recommended for Water Soaking Activities, Low Heat Tolerance.
Just for kicks Here is TPE in "action"
Silicone: best for things inside of you.
Double Silicone: best for things inside of you with a premium texture - dildos more than anything else.
TPE: best for things you want to be inside of.
Personally, we love Silicone when it comes to solid pieces like buttplugs and vibrators, Dildos nothing beats that double silicone feel, and TPE when it comes to sex dolls and male masturbators.