How To Choose The Right Vibrator: A Guide For Women & Men

Start with the sensations you prefer, types of functionality you need, and what you can afford, and you’ll have no trouble picking the perfect vibrator.
Collage Of Four Single Hands Each Holding A Vibrator Against Multi-Colored Background Panels

The selection of vibrators available today is almost infinite but it can leave anyone feeling paralyzed with indecision.

Sometimes, having too many options can be worse than not having enough.

If you have no idea how to pick a vibrator, fear not — we’ll guide you through the process and show you what to look for.

Your satisfaction is guaranteed!

In this article, we’ll talk about:

Editor’s Note: This article is part of our How To Use A Vibrator and Everything Vibrators hubs, in-depth and evolving resources that comprehensively explore all aspects of vibrators from the different types and how to use them, to materials and safety — created to help you achieve the sexual pleasure you deserve.

What To Consider When Choosing A Vibrator

There are so many vibrators available that the idea of choosing one can feel overwhelming.

The search might make you long for the golden days when a person’s only option for a sex toy was a smooth rock or a whittled-down oak branch.

If you’re on a mission to choose the right vibrator, the good news is that it’s surprisingly easy to narrow down your search.

To start, all you’ve got to do is consider your personal preferences and your budget.

That’s it.

See? I told you it was easy!

Which factor you’ll want to consider first will depend on your situation entirely.

If you’re working with a limited budget, that’s probably what you should use to begin your search.

Most online websites allow you to filter through products based on a price range you set, or by viewing products in a range from the lowest cost to the highest price tag.

If budget is not a factor for you, the first thing to consider when choosing a vibrator should be your personal preferences and the features it offers.

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Vibrator Features & Specs To Consider

Although it can be hard to know if you will enjoy certain vibrators without actually trying them, looking over any vibrator’s features and specifications is a good place to start.

As we mentioned earlier, vibrators offer a wide range of bells and whistles — some of which may or may not be important to you.

Common vibrator features and specifications to consider include:

  • Nonporous and body-safe materials
  • Quality construction and design
  • Type of stimulation provided
  • Size
  • Power supply (rechargeable, battery, or AC plug)
  • Water resistance (if this matters to you)
  • Sound level (if this matters to you)
  • Strength of vibrations
  • Range of vibration intensity, speed, or patterns
  • Overall functionality
  • Remote or app control (if this matters to you)
  • Wearability (if desired)
  • Warranty (if this matters to you)

We’ll talk more in-depth about how to choose a vibrator for yourself in just a bit, but all of the features and specifications listed above should be considered before buying a vibrator.

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Choosing A Vibrator With Your Budget In Mind

Depending on your personal situation, you might start your vibrator search based on your budget alone and vibrator cost can vary — widely.

Sex toys are a wise investment in your sexual health but let’s be honest — sometimes that investment’s gonna need to be on the small side.

(At least it might be if you want to be able to pay for groceries this month.)

Vibrators at Adam & Eve start as low as $10 or they can be as pricey as this $15,000 luxury vibrator from LELO.

Realistically, how much are you able or willing to spend on your vibrator?

Once you figure that out, you can filter product results based on price.

An inexpensive vibrator can be a great option if you’re not sure what type of stimulation you’d enjoy or if you want to try a particular style to see if you like it before investing in a better version of it.

Cheaper toys can also be great for travel when you don’t want to devote half of your carry-on to vibrators or if you’re worried you might leave an expensive toy behind in a hotel room somewhere.

A vibrator doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg to be made from safe materials or to bring you to orgasm, but you get what you pay for, too.

An expensive vibrator is a good choice when you’re sure of what you want and are ready to invest in something long-lasting and well-made by a reputable brand.

Expensive vibrators often come with more bells and whistles, like numerous vibration and pattern settings, higher-quality materials, and far greater versatility.

In the past, certain styles of vibrators — like clit-suckers or rabbits, for instance — were only available at higher price points due to the technology used in their design.

That said, times are changing and such products are being made available to those working with a more limited budget.

When choosing a vibrator from any website, filter the results based on the highest amount you’re willing to pay for your toy and go from there.

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Are Vibrators Safe?

Yes, they are!

As long as you choose a vibrator made from body-safe materials and use it as intended, a vibrator is safe to use — even during pregnancy.

Some people worry that a vibrator can cause long-term desensitization but it would take something much stronger than a vibrator to cause that kind of nerve damage.

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How To Choose The Right Vibrator

So now that we’ve covered the basics in terms of what to look for when choosing a vibrator, let’s talk about how to actually do it.

In this section, we’ll talk about how to choose a vibrator:

How To Choose A Vibrator For Yourself

When selecting a vibrator for yourself, you’re the best person to ask because you (probably) know what you like!

To begin, consider which sensations feel best to you and then search for a vibrator that provides them — keeping your budget in mind if you have one.

If you can afford it, you might even want to try out the cheapest versions of a few vibrator styles just to see what floats your boat before investing a lot of money into one you’re not 100% sure will work for you.

When choosing a vibrator, ask yourself:

  • What type of stimulation gets you off — clitoral, G-spot, or both?
  • Would you like your vibrator to offer thrusting or sucking sensations?
  • Do you have any mobility issues or physical limitations that necessitate hands-free operation?
  • Do you want a vibrator that offers many settings for vibration and pulsation, or would you prefer something much more simple?
  • Do you want a vibrator that’s large and powerful or small and discreet?
  • Should your vibrator operate quietly or does noise level not matter in your living situation?
  • Would you like a vibrator that offers a heated element or do you prefer your vibes to operate at room temp?
  • Will you be using your vibrator alone or with someone else?
  • If you plan to use your vibrator with a partner, will you need it to provide app-driven use for long-distance play?
  • Do you need a vibrator that is waterproof for play in the bath or shower?

The answers to all of the questions above will make it much easier to begin narrowing down your search when choosing the right vibrator for yourself.

Most sex toy websites — like Adam & Eve — make it easy to filter through their inventory based on your choice of features.

If you plan to buy your vibrator in person, you can always talk to the sales clerk, explain what you’re looking for, and get some helpful guidance that way, too!

Sex forums can be really helpful places to look for information or ask questions, as well. In fact, we’ve got a forum dedicated to talking about sex toys!

Additionally, if you’re not even sure what style of vibrator you need, you can take our vibrator quiz to point you in the right direction.

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​​How To Choose A Vibrator For Your Girlfriend Or Wife

If you’re buying a vibrator for someone with a clitoris and you do not have experience with one yourself, it can be tricky to “guess” what type of vibe might work.

Selecting a vibrator for your wife or girlfriend doesn’t have to be complicated.

When choosing a vibrator, think about her level of vibrator experience, preferred type(s) of stimulation, her physical ability, and whether or not she’ll be using it alone — or with you.

When in doubt, it’s always best to start with something simple like a bullet vibrator or wand massager.

Avoid buying an ultra-specific toy like a panty vibrator or a thrusting vibrator, for instance, because not everyone enjoys those types of vibrators.

On that note, you might even consider just asking her what she would like!

Yes, it may ruin the element of surprise if that was your intention, but she’ll also be able to tell you exactly what she wants — or needs.

When selecting a vibrator for a woman, it’s also a good idea to read through product reviews to make sure you’re purchasing something that people enjoy.

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How To Choose A Vibrator For Your Boyfriend Or Husband

Although they’re not as widely known, there are many vibrators made for those with a penis!

These include cock rings, masturbators (also known as “pocket pussies”), masturbation sleeves, prostate massagers, and vibrating anal toys or butt plugs.

When choosing a vibrator for a man, you’ll want to consider the stimulation type — first and foremost.

The reason?

Many male toys are anus-specific and if your guy isn’t into anal play, you won’t want to surprise him with a pegging dildo.

You’ll also need to consider his overall level of experience with vibrators, his physical ability, or any mobility issues he may have, and whether you’ll be using it with him — or if he’ll be playing alone.

If you’re looking for ideas, a cock ring is a cheap and fun way to buy your boyfriend a vibrator, and it’s also a fun addition to penetrative sex because you’ll be able to enjoy the sensations, too!

They also make more elaborate toys meant to be worn around the entire penis.

John, a participant in our 2022 Sex Toy Challenge, tried seven different types of male sex toys — including vibrators — that might tickle your man’s fancy.

If you’re not sure what your husband or boyfriend might like, it’s a good idea to simply ask him.

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Types Of Vibrators To Choose From

There’s a wide world of vibrators out there to choose from!

Here’s a quick list of your options when deciding how to pick a vibrator:   

  • Clitoral Vibrators: These vibrators are meant to be used externally against the vulva to stimulate your clitoris.
  • Wand Massagers: Wand vibrators are also used externally against your vulva and clitoris and they are some of the most powerful vibes on the market.
  • Clit Sucking Vibrators: As you may have guessed from the name, these vibrators are meant to mimic oral sex using negative air pressure to create a suctioning sensation against the clitoris.
  • Wearable Vibrators: Wearable vibrators can be used hands-free and worn wherever you want to go!
  • Bullet Vibrators: A bullet is a discreet vibrator that’s usually pocket-sized, for use against the clitoris or vulva.
  • Egg Vibrators: Egg vibrators are small and egg-shaped, providing targeted stimulation on the clitoris or vulva. Some can be inserted for vaginal or anal use if they have a retrieval string attached.
  • Finger Vibrators: These small vibes can be worn on your finger or hand and they’re great for use during sex with a partner.
  • Panty Vibrators: Panty vibrators are worn inside your underwear, most often controlled through a remote or app.
  • Butterfly Vibrators: Butterfly vibrators are often shaped like a butterfly, with the “wings” covering your vulva. They are worn in your panties or held in place with a harness.
  • Anal Vibrators: Anal vibrators can be inserted into your anus safely, thanks to their wide base or retrieval string.
  • Penis Vibrators: Most penis-focused vibrators or cock rings are worn around the base or shaft of the penis.
  • DIY Or Homemade Vibrator: These are alternatives to vibrators that you can find around the house if you’re in a pinch or unsure about trying (or buying) a real vibe.

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In Conclusion

Picking the right vibrator can seem like an impossible task, but it doesn’t have to be!

If you take a little time to figure out what sensations you prefer, the types of functionality you need, and what you can afford, you’ll have no trouble finding the perfect vibrator.

If you’re still searching for your ideal vibrator, check out our Everything Vibrators guide to explore all of your options.

If you don’t know what kind of vibrator you should try, take our vibrator quiz to find your best match!