Bullet vibrators, originally named for their cylindrical shape, are a gateway sex toy. Many people buy them as a first toy because they are small, discreet, and not too intimidating. And though they’re typically thought of as being designed for clitoral stimulation, they are actually highly versatile and can be used to stimulate many different body parts, in solo or couple’s play. “Bullet vibrators are great for travel, and some people like them because they can fit in between bodies more easily than bigger toys,” says Zoe Ligon, owner of Spectrum Boutique in Detroit. Plus, she says, a lot of dildos, cock rings, and harnesses are designed with slots to fit a standard-sized bullet, in case you want to “supercharge” the sex toys you already own. These days, not all bullet vibrators are shaped like bullets, but they’re still quite discreet. And they are made in a host of different materials, from stainless steel to silicone, with added features like multiple vibration patterns, remote controls, rechargeable batteries, and aesthetics so pleasing you won’t want to hide them away in your top drawer.
To find out which bullet vibrators are best to buy your partner this Valentine’s Day (and which one you should pick up for yourself), we spoke to 11 sex therapists, shop owners, and sex educators about the bullet vibrators they love and recommend.
Best bullet vibrator to give as a gift
If you’re looking for something truly discreet that makes a great gift, this skinny bullet vibrator doubles as a necklace. Megan Fleming, a sex therapist, likes how pretty it is and calls it deceptive — while it doesn’t look like it, “it packs a lot of punch.” Jacq Jones, sex educator and owner of Baltimore’s Sugar Shop, agrees that it has way more power than you’d expect and notes that Crave is an ethical company using all body-safe materials. (The Vesper is made of stainless steel and finished with 24-karat gold.) Sid Azmi, owner of Please in Brooklyn, is also a fan of the Vesper’s power and design, and notes that it has four speeds. Unlike a lot of the other rechargeable bullets on this list, the Vesper is compatible with any USB charger, so you don’t have to worry about having another cord to misplace.
Best small-but-powerful vibrator
The Tango is a little larger than the Crave — and a lot more powerful. According to Azmi, We-Vibe made a name for themselves with the Tango because it was the first bullet vibrator to deliver really strong vibrations in such a small package. Dalychia Saah and Rafaella Fiallo, the creators of Afrosexology, an online sex-ed resource for black women and men, agree. “It’s small but powerful and is a great clitoral stimulator,” they say. They recommend the Tango for beginners because it’s easy to travel with or carry around. Carolanne Marcantonio, a licensed master social worker and sex therapist based in Brooklyn, likes that it’s rechargeable, waterproof, and has eight different vibration settings for varying intensity. “If you’re a person who needs a lot of vibration, it’s great for using on your clit during penetration and it’s not big and cumbersome, so it won’t get in the way,” she says.
Best quiet vibrator
Though it’s not cylindrical, the Je Joue Mimi has all of the qualities our experts look for in a great bullet vibrator. It’s small, versatile, waterproof, and rechargeable. According to Archie Bongiovanni, sexual health educator and events coordinator at the Minneapolis store Smitten Kitten, the Mimi is quiet and mellow, which makes it great for people with roommates and thin walls. It also works well on sensitive bodies, says Andrea Barrica, CEO and founder of O.school, who finds the “intense vibrations from wand-like and suction toys too intense and feel painful.” Clémence Polès, founder of Passerbuys, a recommendation website for women, also recommends the Mimi for people who want something that feels soft against their skin. It’s made of supple silicone which feels great and, because it’s almost completely nonporous, it is known to stand up to bacteria better than plastic.
Best inexpensive silicone bullet
Azmi turned us on to this small, silicone bullet vibrator from New York brand NYCT, because it does the same stuff many of the more expensive bullets do — it’s made of body-safe silicone, is rechargeable, comes with 10 vibration settings, and has a lock button so it won’t go off in your bag — but costs less than half as much. “We carry another great silicone rechargeable toy from Fun Factory that’s about $70 to $80 dollars. It’s got a lot of power and vibration settings, but it’s really expensive compared to the NYTC bullet, which has the same amount of power,” she says. At this price, it’s a great choice for anyone looking to add power to a (compatible) non-powered sex toy.
Best (slightly larger) bullet vibrator
If you want your vibrator to feel good and look good too, this design-y silicone vibrator from Brooklyn-based company Maude might work for you. At four inches tall with a cone-like shape, it’s great for folks looking to do more than pinpoint the clitoris or nipples. Polès says, “I absolutely love the Maude vibrator because it’s ergonomic, really smooth, powerful, and pretty.” It’s also on the more affordable side when it comes to silicone vibrators.