How to Determine What Condom Size You Need

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Using the right condom size is important for comfort, prevention of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), and for effective birth control. Wearing a condom that is too big can cause it to slip off, and wearing one that is too small may result in the condom breaking. When you are planning to buy condoms, you should take the time to find options that have the correct fit first.

Taking Your Measurements

Condom sizes are determined by penis width and length. Your condom size is based on the size of your erect penis.

To figure out your size, you need to measure your penis at a time when it is erect:

  • For accurate measurement of erect penis length, hold one side of a ruler or tape measure on your pubic bone and measure to the tip of your penis.
  • For width (girth), use a piece of string or a soft measuring tape and gently wrap it around the thickest part of your erect penis. Measure the length of the string or tape measure.

Once you have your measurements, you check different brands to choose a condom that most closely matches your erect penis size.

How to Measure a Penis
Verywell / JR Bee

Condom Sizes

Condom sizing may be confusing because different condom manufacturers use slightly different measurements and terms to describe the size. Just as is often the case with clothing, one brand may categorize a condom as a large size, while another may classify a condom of the same measurements as a standard size.

Condom width should be used when comparing condom sizes. Your penis girth will affect how a condom fits and stays on. You can use these general guides:

  • Standard condoms have a width of 1.75 to 2 inches (44.45 to 50.8 mm)
  • Snug condoms have a width of under 1.75 inches
  • Large condoms have a width over 2 inches

Condom length should also be taken into consideration because the condom should cover your whole penis and leave space for your ejaculate. You can use the following as a general guide:

  • Standard condoms usually have a length between 7.25 to 7.8 inches (184.15 to 198.12 mm)
  • Snug condoms may have a length of 7 to 7.8 (177.8 to 198.12 mm)
  • Large condoms length ranges from 7.25 to 8.1 inches (184.15 to 205.74 mm).

Condom Types

Once you find the condom brands that come in sizes closest to your measurements, you may need to purchase a few so that you can try them on. This will give you a chance to know which options give you the best mix of fit, comfort, and sensitivity.

Besides size, there are a few other condom features that you might want to consider.

  • Material: Condom materials include latex, polyurethane, polyisoprene, and lambskin. It may be useful for you to try condoms that are made from different materials so that you can select the one that is most comfortable for you.
  • Design: Condoms are available in different textures and shapes, and you may have a preference for one of these more than others.
  • Built-in lubrication: Many condom brands, such as Trojan Double Ecstasy Condoms and LifeStyles Turbo Condoms, use lubricants. These materials may heighten sensitivity and pleasure for either partner.

Adding lubrication to your condom may improve the sensation and comfort for your partner. You can purchase lubricants, like Astroglide and K-Y Jelly, and apply them to your condom.

Silicone-based lubricants usually stay slippery for a longer period of time than other options.

If you are using a latex condom, exclusively use water- or silicone-based products, as oil-based lubricants can degrade the latex. Be careful not to use too much lubricant, as this can cause the condom to slip off.

A Word From Verywell

If you are reluctant to use a condom, there is a chance that you have not used the correct condom size. Figuring out your condom size is an important aspect of using condoms not only comfortably, but effectively.

Selecting the right condom may take some time for you and your partner. If you are not exactly sure how to use a condom, practice placing it on your penis ahead of time so that you will not feel rushed or flustered when you need to use it. If you have a consistent sexual partner, you can practice putting your condom in place together so that you will both be confident and skilled when the need arises.

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Article Sources
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  1. Planned Parenthood. What size condom do I need?

  2. Herbenick D, Reece M, Schick V, Sanders SA. Erect penile length and circumference dimensions of 1,661 sexually active men in the United States. J Sex Med. 2014;11(1):93-101. doi:10.1111/jsm.12244

  3. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Male Condom Use. Reviewed July 6, 2016.

  4. Planned Parenthood. What are the best condoms to get?

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