How to Determine What Condom Size You Need

Wearing a condom that is too big can cause it to slip off, and wearing one that is too small can cause it to break. For the most comfort and protection, condoms should be the proper size.

This article discusses how to find a condom that fits your penis properly. It also covers some design features you may consider, such as condom materials, shapes, and lubrication.

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 find the length and width of your erect penis, you should:

  • For 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 these two measurements, 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 manufacturers use slightly different terms to describe condom size. This can make selecting the right size a challenge.

As is often the case with clothing, one brand may call a condom a large size, while another may label a condom of the same measurements as a standard size.

When comparing condom brands, keep your length and width measurements in mind. You will need both.

Condom Width

Condom width is important to consider because it affects how well the condom stays on. Additionally, a condom that is too tight can be uncomfortable and may easily break.

For condom width, use these general guides:

  • Standard condoms have a width of 1.75 to 2 inches.
  • Snug condoms have a width of under 1.75 inches.
  • Large condoms have a width of over 2 inches.

Condom Length

Length is also important because the condom should cover your whole penis and leave space for your ejaculate.

For condom length, use these general guides:

  • Standard condoms have a length of 7.25 to 7.8 inches.
  • Snug condoms have a length of 7 to 7.8 inches.
  • Large condoms have a length of 7.25 to 8.1 inches.

Condom Types

After you have selected a few condom brands that are suitable for your penis size, you may need to purchase a few to try them on. This will give you a chance to know which condoms 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. You may find it useful to try several condoms made of different materials so that you can select the one that is most comfortable.
  • 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 you and/or your partner.

You can also add a lubricant to your condom to improve the sensation and comfort for your partner. Simply apply a lubricant, like Astroglide or K-Y Jelly, to the outside of the condom after you have put it on.

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

If you are using a latex condom, choose a water- or silicone-based lubricant. Oil-based lubricants can degrade the condom's latex material.

Be careful not to use too much lubricant, as this can cause the condom to slip off.

Summary

Once you know the length and width of your penis, you can select a properly sized condom that is comfortable and offers full protection. Since condom size descriptions can vary from brand to brand, you may want to buy several types of condoms to compare how well they fit.

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 both comfortably and effectively.

It may take some time for you and your partner to select the right condom. 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 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 Jan;11(1):93-101. doi:10.1111/jsm.12244

  3. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Male condom use. Updated June 2, 2021.

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