When Samuel E. Wright sang “It’s better, down where it’s wetter” in The Little Mermaid’s Under The Sea, he probably wasn’t talking about lube.
But the same rule applies, especially if you’re someone - or sleeping with someone - who’s stressed, dehydrated, struggling with a medical condition, going through menopause or something else. In reality, there are endless different reasons as to why lube may benefit your sex life, even if it’s just to add a little variety into your routine.
There are a few different types of lube out there but most can be split into two categories: water-based or oil-based. The former is the most common and most popular, as it’s safe to use with condoms and most sex toys. Oil-based lube may feel a little more silky smooth but often rubs against condoms causing the wrong type of friction and possibly even rips.
As a rule of thumb, the more sensitive your skin and/or body, the less ingredients you’ll want listed out on the back of your bottle. Choose natural, organic, vegan lubes made from pharma-approved ingredients if you’re playing it safe. If you’re looking to experiment a little more, you’ll find an entire restaurant’s worth of aromas and flavours including fruits, mints, chocolates and even CBD.
We’ve rounded up all of the best lubes.
Smile Makers Generous Gel
"Smile Makers" is a pretty accurate name for this gel: a popular bottle that's renowned for its light, thin consistency and ease of application. Designed with women in mind, this lubricant comes with all the trimmings, like effective yet chic packaging, a luxurious texture and a simple formula.
It's great for those with skin sensitivities, made from only seven pharma-grade ingredients that are skin-regenerating and anti-irritants as well as being fragrance and paraben-free.
Buy now £12.95, Cult Beauty
So Divine Orgasm Gel
So Divine does a little more than your average lube. As well as providing a vegan-friendly gel that’s easy to apply and even easier to enjoy, it comes with a subtle menthol flavour.
The effect? A subtle tingling feeling shortly after application. One to use sparingly or whenever you’re looking to spice things up a little from the norm. Just maybe give your partner a heads up before you apply it too liberally.
Buy now £9.99, lookfantastic
Sliquid Organics Natural Lubricant
You'll immediately feel a little better after using Sliquid and not just as an after effect from its efficiency. This natural aloe-based lubricant comes enhanced with hibiscus, vitamin E and green tea to moisturise the skin and promises plenty of time for friction-free fun. It's also vegan, organic and cruelty free for the epitome of guilt-free pleasure: it really is what's on the inside that counts.
Buy now £14.99, Lovehoney
Hanx Vegan Lubricant
Hanx has a lot to show off about. This popular water-based lubricant is long-lasting, gentle, naturally scented, vegan, free from parabens, and endorsed by medical professionals: it's practically good for you.
Its elegant packaging adds a sophisticated touch to your private adventures, while its subtle scent ensures no unwanted sickly smells as distraction. Offering no tackiness, no overt stickiness, no irritation and no rashes, it's one of the best options for, literally, pleasing everyone.
Buy now £14.99, Boots
Überlube Luxury Lubricant
Überlube may be a little more expensive than your standard bottle of lube but it's one of the most versatile around and also comes with plastic-free refills. As well as being unscented, this transparent lube is water-friendly, which means you're free to use it wherever your heart desires. Latex compatible and vitamin E-enriched, this lube promises to fade into the background to the perfect extent of doing its job without demanding too much attention.
Buy now £19.99, Amazon
WooWoo Pleasure Enhancing Bliss Oil
Like its name suggests, WooWoo's Pleasure Enhancing Bliss Oil is an oil rather than a traditional lube - but it's designed to be applied the same way and offers a different kind of sensual experience. Infused with CBD, this relaxing oil comes with a beautifully soft scent and adds a little, gentle relaxation to your experience. Its versatility means you can use it as a massage oil or apply it to more sensitive areas of the body.
Buy now £9.99, FeelUnique
Durex Play Water Based Feel Lubricant Gel
You can't go wrong with Durex. No matter what scent or style you're after, you'll probably find a bottle of Durex lube that fits the brief. Budget friendly and cheap enough to apply liberally whenever the occasion arrises, this lube is water soluble, easily washed off, and suitable for vaginal, anal and oral sex. Smooth to use with just the right amount of texture, this lube also comes in a whole fruit bowl's assortment of flavours.
Buy now £4.79, Boots
Astroglide Toy ‘N Joy, Toy Safe Personal Lubricant
Astroglide makes one of the most popular lubes around and it's one designed to be enjoyed in all sorts of scenarios. As the brand itself says "it's perfect for all types of play including toy, solo, partner, anal, penile, vaginal, and beyond… we’ll let you decide." A hypoallergenic product, this lube is both compatible for use with many sex toys and is suitably gentle on your intimate parts.
Buy now £15.00, Feel Unique
Sylk Intimate Gel
Sylk is just as silky as its name suggests, a water-soluble, pH friendly lubricating gel that's ideal for sensitive skin. This soft and gentle lube is suitable not just for sexual activity, but also for day to day dryness, adding a quick and efficient dose of hydration that doubles up as beneficial during playtime. It's not an overpowering lube: one that prefers to do its job of comforting and moisturising without going over the top with scents and flavour.
Buy now £9.99, Boots
Doc Johnson Good Head Flavoured Lubricant
Variety really is the spice of life and that's a sentiment that can stretch as far as your lube of choice. This multi-pack switches things up with five different flavours of lube. Choose from Wild Cherry, Mystical Mint, Green Apple, Watermelon and Sweet Strawberry next time you're heading to the bedroom and let each unique flavour add its very own touch to your play sessions.
Perfect for slipping into travel cases, each of these bottles is a handy 28ml, so you can even bring them along in your hand luggage.
Buy now £12.99, Lovehoney
Not all lubes are designed to work with sex toys and it's something to consider when buying your next bottle. If you're looking for a lube that complements your toys rather than complicates them, look no further than Arcwave's Lubricant. This premium pleasure brand takes things one step further with its luxury ingredients, adding an extra special touch to playtime that's especially beneficial if you've got toys involved.
Buy now £14.99, Lovehoney
System JO Gelato White Chocolate Raspberry Truffle Lubricant
Possibly the sweetest way to introduce chocolate into your bedtime routine without your gynaecologist cringing, this White Chocolate Raspberry Truffle Lubricant makes the perfect post-dinner treat.
Don't be put off by its sugar-filled name: this water-based formula contains no artificial sweeteners or sugars and is safe to use with sex toys. Inspired by decadent chocolate truffles, it's one of the best lubes for oral sex and is renowned for its delicious flavour and scent.
Buy now £6.99, Lovehoney
YES INTRO organic water and plant-oil based personal lubricant
Not sure whether you want water-based or oil-based? Why not try both? This YES Intro pack ticks all the boxes with two different lubes for different experiences. The YES OB bottle is oil based: a little more moisturising and luxurious feeling but incompatible with condoms.
Still, if you’re looking for something a little more special, it’s a great option with rich oils and butters that nourish and condition skin. Expect both lasting lubricity and comfort with a few quick daubs of this lube. If you’re using condoms or want something more hydrating and thinner, you’ll love the YES WB.
Buy now £11.51, Amazon
With its sleek design, luxurious texture and condom and sex toy compatible-nature, Smile Makers Generous Gel is our lube of the moment.
What lube stays wet longest? ›
Silicone-based lubricants are designed to last longer than water-based and don't wash or wipe away easily so they're good for longer sessions.What is the slipperiest type of lube? ›
HI-T-LUBE is recognized as the world's “slipperiest” solid by The Guinness Book Of World Records.What is the best personal lubricant to use? ›
- Best Overall: Shibari Aloe-Based Lubricant. ...
- Best Rated: LubeLife Water-Based Personal Lubricant. ...
- Best Organic: Maude Shine Organic Lube. ...
- Best Hypoallergenic: Good Clean Love Almost Naked Personal Lubricant 2-Pack. ...
- Best Water-Based: Aloe Cadabra Natural Personal Lube. ...
- Best Oil-Based: Astroglide O Organic Sensual Lubricant.
These products offer the greatest amount of lubrication, and they will not dry out during sex. They keep working in water, and they will not affect latex condoms like oil-based products can. Silicone-based lubricants are also less likely to irritate you than water-based lubricants.
Since silicone lubricants don't dry out as quickly as water based-lubes, they are also a good option for anal sex, where there is no natural lubrication working in your favor.