things we don't talk about

What’s the Best Vibrator?

Good morning! Photo: Bettmann/Bettmann Archive

While we might all be curious about the best plunger or probiotic tampon or cold-sore remedy, it can be difficult to discuss these more personal items. That’s why we’re tackling Things We Don’t Talk About, a series in which we track down the best hygiene-, sex-, and bodily function-related things we all need but might be too embarrassed to ask about. Today (because it’s almost Valentine’s Day), the best vibrators from those who would know.

The search for the right vibrator can be a daunting (and expensive) process. It’s also highly individual. There are those that are finger-like, still others that simulate tongues, even more that approximate penises, plus wand-like versions that are meant only for external stimulation. Just in time to spark ideas for a great Valentine’s Day gift from your partner (or just a gift to yourself), we talked to sex experts, shop owners, and professional reviewers about the 17 best vibrators. (And if you’re searching for the best lube to go with it, look no further.)

Best quiet vibrators

Je Joue Mimi Soft
$95 at Babeland

Discreet, waterproof, and rechargeable, the Je Joue Mimi works for both solo and couple play — without a lot of noise. Archie Bongiovanni, sexual health educator and events coordinator at the Minneapolis store Smitten Kitten, recommends it for anyone looking for a quiet toy. With adjustable vibration patterns and speeds, the Mimi is also ideal if you’re into a more mellow toy. Andrea Barrica, CEO and founder of O.school, says it’s her go-to because “intense vibration from a wand-like toy and suction toys are too intense and feel painful to me.” When we tested a new class of high-design vibrators, one of our testers simply said, “The Mimi, so soft.”

We-Vibe Touch
$99 at Smitten Kitten

Like the Mimi, the Touch is made of supersoft, medical-grade silicone that’s totally waterproof. It’s one of Bongiovanni’s picks for quiet toys, and Olive Moore of Narcisse NYC in Brooklyn says it’s “perfect for people with roommates or if loud buzzing takes you out of the moment.” One of our testers said that compared to other We-Vibe vibrators she’s tried, “the Touch is more contoured to fit in both your hand and around your anatomy, and has deeper rumble power.” The ergonomic, handheld form is perfectly sized for stimulation across the labia and clitoris.

Best vibrator for couples

We-Vibe Sync Remote and App Control Rechargeable Couple’s Vibrator
$200 at Lovehoney

According to Jacq Jones, sex educator and owner of Baltimore’s Sugar shop, the We-Vibe Sync is “the most popular vibe for couples in the world.” She says, “It was the first that was designed to put vibration and pressure on both the G-spot and the clit and also to be worn during sexual intercourse.” Because of its unique u-shape, it can be used during sex with both partners enjoying the vibrations. Bongiovanni says, “With the additional We-Connect app and Bluetooth, this is a great toy to wear out and about while a partner controls the vibration, and a fantastic long-distance toy.” Emmy Williams, manager of Narcisse NYC, loves the Sync because “the fit of the toy and the vibration patterns can be customized for your preferences to a near limitless degree.”

Best-looking vibrator

Crave Vesper Vibrator Necklace
$149 at Goop

When it’s not in use, the Crave Vesper doubles as a minimalist piece of jewelry, in silver, gold, or rose gold. In our guide to the new design-y vibrators, a Strategist tester said, “It’s a sexy object. I love wearing it. Sometimes my partner will pull it out of the bedside table by the chain, and it’s just sexy.” Jones likes that Crave is an ethical company using all body-safe materials, and says “it’s a really pretty necklace and it has way more power than you’d expect.” The Vesper is also compatible with any USB charger, so there’s no need to carry around a separate cord if you’re traveling.

Best suction-sensation vibrators

Satisfyer Penguin Rechargeable Clitoral Stimulator
$75 at Lovehoney

Unlike a traditional vibrator, the Satisfyer uses pulses of air and pressure waves — similar to the sensation of oral sex — on the clitoris. The unique toy can be very enticing: Jones says, “One of my co-workers had to make rules for herself on how often she could use the Satisfyer.” Angela Wells, founder, president and CEO of Vibrant, Planned Parenthood’s sex-toy e-tailer, likes her dapper penguin version because “he’s always dressed and ready for a party,” but it’s available in sleek rose gold as well.

Satisfyer Pro Traveler Clitoral Stimulator
$50 at Babeland

If you’re frequently on the road, try the travel-size version of the Satisfyer. Williams says, “It’s small and has a built-in magnetic case that makes it discreet in any carry-on or purse.” Best of all, it offers the same pressure-wave suction as the original in a compact package.

Best tonguelike vibrator

Clandestine Devices Mimic
$125 at Babeland

Another vibrator that feels similar to receiving oral sex, the ergonomic Mimic can be used externally on the clitoris and labia or even on testicles. The flat surfaces and edges of the Mimic provide different levels of pressure and vibration so you can customize your experience. Wells says, “I can’t say enough about the Mimic. It’s totally waterproof, which I love, and fits perfectly during intercourse or other play with my partner.” Ava Mir-Ausziehen, performer, writer and sex-toy reviewer for Sssh.com, is also a fan of its thin, flexible shape. She says, “I love that it conforms to your body and accommodates your own pleasure zones.”

Best fingerlike vibrator

Dame Products Fin Finger Vibe
$75 at Dame

Best for those seeking the pressure and feel of a fingertip, the Fin from Dame — a newer brand founded and designed by women — has two vibrating patterns and three speeds. Amy Boyajian, owner and founder of Wildflower Sex, likes that it can tether to your hand during solo or couple play so “there’s no dropping it and it almost becomes an extension of your fingers.” Our testers agreed Dame’s vibrators were the softest of the bunch, with silicone that “feels like expensive silk.”

Best thrusting vibrators

Fun Factory Stronic G
$199 at Babeland

If you’re seeking a toy for internal use with a thrusting feel, Fun Factory’s Stronic line of waterproof, silicone toys is an expert favorite because of the toys’ smooth, comfortable insertion and powerful motion. “These toys produce a powerful thrusting motion,” Bongiovanni says. “They actually move in and out instead of around and around or side-to-side. This rhythmic pulsating is smooth and nearly silent.” The shape of this slim model is geared toward G-spot stimulation and offers a choice of seven speeds and three rhythm settings.

Fun Factory Bi Stronic Fusion
$220 at Babeland

The Bi Stronic combines the thrusting power of the Stronic G with a “rabbit style” vibrator for an external, clitoral buzz. Sex expert Lorraine White says, “The unique motor (precision German engineering!) in the shaft can be set to mimic a natural thrusting motion while vibrating. The clitoral section of the vibrator can be controlled separately, allowing you to either focus just on G-spot stimulation or to enjoy blended clitoral and G-spot stimulation.”

Best oscillating vibrator

Zumio X
$140 at Babeland

Jones admits that the Zumio X is “weird-looking — like a rechargeable toothbrush that lost its head,” but also says it’s one of her favorite vibrators to have come out in the past year. The pinpoint tip provides intense clitoral stimulation and it also moves in a unique, oscillating pattern that some may prefer to a traditional buzzing toy. “The Zumio is unlike any other toy I own or have seen on the market,” says Moore. “The tip actually moves instead of just vibrating, which makes for really unique sensations.”

Best wand vibrators

Magic Wand Rechargeable
$125 at Babeland

Originally marketed as a muscle massager, the Magic Wand (formerly the Hitachi Magic Wand) was released in 1968 and quickly took off as a vibrator. It’s been a categorical favorite ever since. Today’s rechargeable version is cordless, lighter, and quieter than the original. Carol Queen, Ph.D., staff sexologist at Good Vibrations in San Francisco and curator of the store’s Antique Vibrator Museum, says it “has a well-deserved reputation for being strong and consistent; many users really love it and make it their go-to sex-toy friend, and so many have had their first orgasms with this power player.” Writer Beca Grimm agrees: “It’s the Maybelline Great Lash of vibrators — the same no-frills shit your mom used (maybe still uses?) that gets the job done.” Bongiovanni calls it “the Cadillac of vibrators,” and points out that it can feel good on a penis, too, along with the clitoris and vulva.

Le Wand Petite
$135 at Babeland

The Le Wand Petite shares the shape and intensity of the Magic Wand, but in a much smaller toy that’s easier to travel with, store, and handle. “Despite the size, it still packs a powerful punch, and the smooth silicone head is perfect for broader external stimulation on any type of body, regardless of gender,” says Lisa Finn, brand manager at Babeland.

O-Want Body Massager
$180 at Amazon

On the other end of the size spectrum is the O-Wand, which Hayley MacMillen, former digital wellness editor at Allure, describes as “absolutely giant (you could hit someone over the head with it and probably knock them out).” This is thanks to the extra-large motor, which is also responsible for the wand’s “really rumbly vibes and really intense clitoral stimulation.”

Best flat-tip vibrator

Lelo Gigi 2 Rechargeable G-Spot Vibrator
$105 at Lovehoney

The flat-tip and curved shaft of the Lelo Gigi are designed to maximize contact with the G-spot, but its fans — and there are many — also like it for clitoral use. One of our testers called it “the yacht rock of vibrators,” for its widespread appeal. “I really like the shape of this one for someone who is a bit weary of penetration,” says Finn. “The shaft isn’t super thick or girth-y.” Queen points out that “because it’s long-ish and slim enough to fit easily between partners,” the Gigi is a great toy for couples.

Best vibrating rings

Screaming O Primo Minx
$14 at Amazon

Along with new designs for clitoral and G-spot vibes, there’s a growing market of vibrating rings for penises that can be used either alone or with a partner. If you’re looking to experiment with one, Samantha Bard, co-owner Shag Brooklyn, calls the Primo Minx “a great starter ring. It’s comfortable, stretchy, and unassuming.” She explains that “wearing this around the shaft and balls so it restricts blood flow [gives the wearer] a very powerful orgasm.”

Hot Octopuss Atom Plus Vibrating Ring
$99 at Babeland

It’s on the more expensive side, but if you know you enjoy rings, this one from Hot Octopuss is worth the investment. Jones says it has “a broad area for clitoral contact, but the top of it goes around the balls and the perineum so it’s also for the partner.” It’s also waterproof and uses a USB charger.

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What’s the Best Vibrator?