- How To Use a Vibrator
- Finding the Right Vibrator
- Best Vibrators For Beginners
- Best Bullet Vibrators
- Best Wand Vibrators
- Best G-Spot Vibrators
- Best Clitoral-Stimulating Vibrators
- Best Oral Sex Simulating Vibrators
- Best Dual-Stimulation Vibrators
- Best Vibrators for Partner Play
- Best Remote-Controlled Vibrators
- Best On-The-Go Vibrators
- Best Anal Vibrators
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Whether you're enjoying some much-needed alone time or bonding with a partner, sex toys can make a huge difference in the bedroom. And while there's a myriad of categories within the sex toy world—from dildos to anal toys to kink—the vibrator remains one of the most consistently popular styles of all time.
"One of the main reasons why vibrators feel so good is because of electricity," explains Shamyra Howard, a Lovehoney sexologist and LCSW. "Every vibrator, no matter the size, operates with a motor inside. This explains one reason why there are several different types of vibrators. This allows our bodies to have different response signals to varying speeds, motions, and intensities. It is thought that vibrators feel so good because they transmit frequencies that we as humans are incapable of doing to some of the most sensitive areas of the body."
Personally, I used to think that vibrators were overrated, but when I learned more about the many styles and types of vibrators, I realized that this sex toy is far more versatile than most of us have given it credit for—coming in a variety of shapes, sizes, textures, and vibration options. With that in mind, we've spoken to sexperts to set the record straight about different types of vibrators, choosing the right one for you, and, of course, the very best vibrators on the market today.
How To Use a Vibrator
If you're unsure how to use a vibrator, there are a number of resources available, from the instruction manual that comes with your toy to thorough online guides by brands like Smile Makers (opens in new tab) and Lovehoney (opens in new tab). Howard reminds us that not all vibrators are built the same, and different types have different purposes. Thus, it's important to take note of whether your vibrator is meant to be used on external or internal genitalia, on the anus or on the vagina, and so on.
Plus, one should always be stimulated and properly lubricated before using any toy. Howard points out that vibrators won't feel good if the user isn't already aroused, and explains, "The more aroused you are, the better the vibrator feels." So before you start using your toy, try stimulating yourself with your hands or watching something titillating, and consider adding some lube to the mix to ensure your vibrator experience is safe and comfortable.
There is some room for creativity, though. "They can be used for various reasons and on other body parts," she says. "That’s right: Vibrators are not just for use on the genitals."
So, once you're comfortable with how to use your vibrator the traditional way, see how it feels on other erogenous zones, like the nipples, base of your neck, or back of your knee.
Finding the Right Vibrator
Sexual pleasure is an incredibly personal, subjective experience, so selecting the right vibrator should be one, too. "The materials and shape of the vibrator are often the most influential factors in how vibrators impact everyone differently," says Kris Fretz (opens in new tab), co-founder of sex toy brand Emojibator (opens in new tab). "Personally, I’m more sensitive to the vibrator’s texture vs. intensity, so I look for toys that are made with medical grade silicone so they are safe for bodily insertion."
In that vein, it's important to take note of what toys are made of when buying them. Silicone toys, for instance, should never be used with silicone lube, or they'll break down. And while sex toys can get pricey, Howard says that buying a high-quality option is well worth it.
"Since vibrators are used in one of the body's most sensitive areas, it’s essential to only use body-safe toys," she says.
Fretz also adds that one should consider how and for how long a toy will be used when looking at what it's made of, warning, "A toy can be made with other materials such as metal, and in those cases it’s important to not overuse the toy beyond the recommended usage time and spare your most sensitive areas from burning up."
Once you know what materials you're selecting and the type of stimulation you're going for, Fretz recommends staying open-minded. After all, the world of sex toys is characterized by constant innovation.
"While the vibrator industry began with rabbits and phallic shaped dildos, our society has advanced so much further than these rigid ideas of what vibrators should look like," elaborates Fretz. "I encourage all shoppers to feel confident that they can experience great orgasms from any shaped vibrator that is made with safe materials. This freedom to explore makes sex toys more inclusive to the queer and sexual trauma communities who don’t feel represented in the mainstream sex toy industry."
Keep scrolling for a low-down on the different categories of vibrators meant to cater to all sexual preferences, along with products that are notorious for their good vibes.
Best Vibrators For Beginners
Everybody has to start somewhere, and for those who have never used a vibrator before, it's important to start slow and focus on exploration. The products below have been vetted by sexperts and are wildly popular with customers, so that you can ease your way into vibrator play and learn what works best for you.
Howard specifically recommends this product for people who have never used a vibrator before, adding, "It’s cute, portable, packed with power, and has three different intensities for direct clitoral stimulation."
Best Bullet Vibrators
According to Lovehoney (opens in new tab), "Bullet sex toys are small, handheld vibrators that resemble the size and shape of a spitzer bullet. They’re one of the most popular first sex toys as they’re easy to use and non-invasive, yet offer precise clitoral stimulation." Indeed, Howard often tells beginners to use a bullet as a means of gently exploring vibrational pleasure for the first time, explaining that the model is "easily accessible, inexpensive, and provides fantastic clitoral stimulation. Bullets can also be used on other erogenous areas."
Somatic psychotherapist, sex therapist, and marriage and family therapist Dr. Holly Richmond says, "I tell my clients the FemmeFun Ultra Bullet packs the most bang for the buck and size. It looks like a tiny purple flashlight with a hot pink on/off button, and has 20 different powerful vibration modes. It's perfect for travel, especially if noise is a consideration as well. It’s whisper quiet, so vibe away no matter where you are."
Emojibator's branding aims to make sex toys fun and accessible to all people, regardless of their experience level, culminating in what Fretz calls "a unique orgasm experience." In a review, one customer raves that this is their first sex toy ever, and that they're already "obsessed."
Best Wand Vibrators
Wondering what type of vibrator is best for exploring erogenous zones beyond your clitoris, vagina, and anus? Howard says, "If you’d like a vibe that can be used for clitoral stimulation and to explore erogenous zones such as nipples, behind the knees, ankles, the labia, and more, then a wand will be your toy of choice."
"One tool reigns supreme when it comes to tried-and-true results, and that's the Hitachi Magic Wand," says Dr. Lindsay Byron, a Women's Studies Scholar and the mind behind Dr. Lux ATL. "This personal massager covers a larger surface than your average disco stick, and demands more power than a battery can deliver. If it plugs into the wall, you're gonna have a ball--and that's why I'm in a long-term relationship with this consistent and intense vibrator."
This is a top pick for Christine DeLozier, author of Diet for Great Sex: Food for Male and Female Sexual Health (opens in new tab). She says, "You don’t need to spend hundreds of dollars to get the job done! People love this affordable wand vibrator with many unique vibration patterns. For its small price tag, it’s very powerful. The material is also comfortable, soft and easy to clean."
Best G-Spot Vibrators
Ah, the mysterious g-spot. Women who orgasm from penetrative sex are usually triggered by stimulation to this elusive area—a preference that may call for a g-spot vibrator or other penetrative toy.
Not sure where the g-spot is, exactly? You're not the only one, so Howard is here to explain: "The g-spot is said to be a sensitive area located at least two to three inches inside the vagina," she says. "One way to stimulate the area is by using a finger in the 'come here' motion. New theories suggest that the g-spot is actually a part of the internal clitoris. Some people report intense orgasms when this area is stimulated. A better way to stimulate the g-spot is by using a g-spot vibrator."
Howard recommends this vibrator for those who enjoy g-spot stimulation, saying, "This vibrator provides direct g-spot stimulation for increased arousal and intense orgasms."
Best Clitoral-Stimulating Vibrators
The clitoris is the only known human organ whose sole purpose is physical pleasure, so why not celebrate it? The following toys are designed specifically for women who prefer clitoral stimulation, and use innovative means like rumbling, suction, air puffs, and traditional vibrations.
Polly Rodriguez, (opens in new tab) founder of sexual wellness company Unbound (opens in new tab), says, "This waterproof toy is designed to provide touchless stimulation of the clitoris using pulsating pleasure waves that feel both gentle and powerful. There's really nothing else like it. The interchangeable suction heads are made of soft, hygienic silicone and you can easily switch between 8 levels of intensity. Studies showed that women using this vibrator were able to achieve orgasm, on average, in less than 2 minutes."
This aesthetically pleasing vibrator consistently ranks as a best seller across multiple sex toy sites, providing both rumble vibrations and air/suction settings. It also seems to work efficiently: One reviewer writes, "I was done in under a minute."
Best Oral Sex Simulating Vibrators
Oral sex is an extremely specific sensation, and sometimes the feeling of sucking, blowing, or tongue-like strokes is precisely what one craves when indulging in some sexy time. As a result, a number of vibrators are made to mimic that feeling, and we've uncovered some of the very best.
Sex and relationship therapist Tammy Nelson specifically recommends this product, explaining that "its outer ring rests against your anatomy to create a rhythmic sucking sensation with five intensity settings that allow you to choose the right amount of suction to get you to the place you want to be. It has not failed any users yet, and I recommend it to all of my female bodied clients."
Laurie Mintz, a sexpert and author of Becoming Cliterate (opens in new tab)and A Tired Woman’s Guide to Passionate Sex (opens in new tab), highly recommends this toy. In addition to masterfully mimicking the feeling of oral sex, which she calls "the ultimate pleasure for many women," it also "has a very comfortable, smooth nub that moves up and down, rotates, and vibrates. And you can change the speed and intensity of the 'oral sex' you are giving yourself—all without having to tell a partner to do so!"
Best Dual-Stimulation Vibrators
It is, of course, possible to want both clitoral and g-spot stimulation at the same time, which can be difficult to maneuver if you're stimulating yourself sans partner or if you have a toy geared only for one from of pleasure. But never fear: There are products made specifically for dual stimulation, the best of which we've gathered below. A keyword to look out for when shopping for dual-stimulation toys is "rabbit vibrators," which Howard says are perfect for when you're looking to have it both ways.
I'm a big fan of plusOne's products, and so, evidently, is sex expert Kit Richardson (opens in new tab), who recommends this toy for those who want to be "confident that your purchase will leave you satisfied and won’t make your bank account cry. Rechargeable, waterproof, and silky-smooth body safe silicone ensures your pleasure play is a 5-star experience. With its bulbous and curved internal arm and strong vibrating clitoral arm the plusOne Dual Vibrating Massager is ideal for those looking for a fuller sensation internally while receiving a strong vibration externally."
Richardson highly recommends this product, which won an innovation award in 2019. "The internal arm is an adjustable g-spot massager that replicates the come-hither motion of a finger on the g-zone area while the clitoral stimulator is designed to mimic the sensation of oral sex thru its unique rhythmic thrumming over the clitoris," Richardson describes. "Its unique features and ability to be customizable to your body allow you not only to discover new ways to enhance your pleasure, but also gives you more agency over your orgasms."
Best Vibrators for Partner Play
Just because you have a pal in bed with you, doesn't mean you need to abandon your toys. In fact, there are countless toys made specifically for partner play,
Sex therapist Dr. Shannon Chavez (opens in new tab) says that this product, which is designed to wrap around a penis and also provide clitoral stimulation, if perfect "for any couple who wants to start with a product that is small and simple" She adds that "the vibrator has seven vibration patterns, and its discreet look that will make each person more comfortable introducing toys into their bedroom."
"Take note that this is the *first* hands-free, strap-free, non-intrusive couples vibrator," says Polly Rodriguez. "Eva is made of the smoothest silicone, with flexible wings that fit snugly under a woman's labia majora, making it possible to experience clitoral stimulation during sex or while playing solo."
Best Remote-Controlled Vibrators
Technology really can be a wonderful thing, and in the case of sex toys, it can be a gamechanger, injecting playfulness into a routine or maintaining a sense of intimacy between long-distance partners.
"Remote-controlled vibrators are often made for clitoral stimulation and work really well with a partner controlling the motions," Howard agrees. "Several app-control vibrators work well on dates and for people in long-distance relationships."
Claire Cavanah, (opens in new tab) co-founder of sex toy site Babeland, cites this as one of the platform's most popular couple's vibrator, explaining that it "can be worn during sex, is more flexible and powerful, and can be operated with an app that also works remotely. That means your partner can control your vibrator even when you're far apart."
Ohmibod cofounder and creator of the original Music Vibrator (opens in new tab) Suki Dunham (opens in new tab) stands behind this novel product. She explains, "The wearable Bluetooth App-controlled vibrator is perfect for remote play whether you are across the room or across the country. Esca 2's integrated LED lights up and corresponds to the vibrations – letting your partner see exactly what kind of good vibrations they are sending your way."
Best On-The-Go Vibrators
Sexual pleasure is an important part of many people's lives, and there is nothing wrong with wanting to ensure you have the tools you need to feel good when you're on the go. Here, we've gathered some of the best products for when you have to keep your bag light and your sex toys subtle—because it's not always feasible to carry around a 6-inch silicone toy.
Sexologist Dr. Jordin Wiggins calls this "the vibrator you can take anywhere—discreet, wearable, waterproof," adding that she personally enjoys wearing in on her finger as a form of foreplay: "Wearing your vibrator out to a fancy dinner and no one is any wiser is a great way to build pleasure and desire."
Sexologist Dr. Jill McDevitt (opens in new tab) loves this product. She says, "It easily passes for a lipstick you can keep in your purse or makeup bag. Plus it's powerful and functional, so you can actually use and enjoy it. I like to recommend this one to clients in need of something discreet and private."
Best Anal Vibrators
If you haven't given anal sex toys a chance yet, you could be missing out on a world of pleasure. It is, however, important to educate oneself about anal stimulation, acquire the proper lube, and start slow before jumping in.
"When it comes to anal stimulation, it’s always important to only use vibrators specifically designed for anal stimulation," Howard adds. "Anal vibrators will always have a flared base to prevent them from getting lost in the anus. Beginners would love the Rocks Off Teazer Petite Sensations Vibrating Butt Plug (opens in new tab)."
"For anal stimulation, you can’t go wrong with a vibrating butt plug," says Howard. "Like all vibrators, these also have varying intensities and levels," which is why we recommend this option from We-Vibe, which has 15 vibrating patterns and 6 levels of intensity.
Howard says that beginners "would love" this toy specifically, and reviewers write that the vibrations are powerful, that it's easy to clean, and that it's great even for those who are more experienced with anal play.
For more, visit our Sexual Wellness section, where we unpack topics around consent, kink, sex toys, and more so you can have your safest and very best sexperiences yet.
Gabrielle Ulubay is an E-Commerce Writer at Marie Claire and writes about all things fashion and beauty. She's also written about politics, gender, and sex for publications like Bustle, HuffPost Personal, and The New York Times. As a film school graduate, she loves all things media and can be found making art when she's not busy writing.
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