Do Condom Sizes Really Matter?

condom sizes
Condom Sizes. artpartner-images/Getty Images

Are You Wondering if Condom Sizes Really Do Matter?

I get it, people are always preaching that condom sizes make a difference, but you may be thinking... is that the truth, or is that just what the condom companies want me to think. Well, I'm here to tell you that condoms are only as effective as the person who uses them, and yes, condom sizes really matter! Just like if you use the wrong type of condom (like lambskin condoms rather than latex condoms) won't protect you against sexually transmitted infections -- relying on the wrong condom sizes can also cause problems.

So please don't believe this common condom myth. There are several ways that condom malfunction could take place, and having the wrong size condom can lead just to that... failure

The Reason Why Condom Sizes Matter:

As mentioned, when it comes to choosing a condom, size matters. There are many condom sizes available -- since not all men are built the same, neither are condoms. Finding the right sized condom will increase your comfort level while wearing it. This can lead to more pleasure and less condom excuses (and who doesn't want more pleasure during sex - right?). When condoms fit properly, they are also most effective. This is because they are less likely to break (from being too tight) or slip off (because they are too loose).

Even though latex condoms are super stretchy, if condom sizes are too small, you may still feel discomfort. Usually, the body of most condoms are roomy enough to accommodate men of almost any size.

Condoms may feel too tight around the tip (where it is not as elastic), especially if you are well-endowed. Condom manufacturers have tried to solve this problem by making types of condoms where the width of the main body is the same as standard condoms, but the size of the condom tip is enlarged. This is the best way to address condom size.

By keeping the body of the condom smaller and widening the reservoir tip, the condom it less likely to slip off during sex. Of course, there are also bigger condom sizes that not only add width but length as well.

Penis Sizes and Condoms:

Research tells us that the length of an erect penis can range from 4 to 9 inches. Penis width, on the other hand, only varies from 1 to 2 inches (sometimes more - but not typically). In one study of 3,000 condom users:

  • 50% of the men felt that standard condoms did not fit properly.
  • 15% said that condoms were "too loose" or "much too loose."
  • 25% reported that condoms were "too tight."
  • 10% claimed that condoms were "much too tight."

The most concerning statistic was that 44% of the men surveyed revealed that they had experienced a condom slipping off or breaking in the past. These results are similar to existing research on condom fit.

Finding the Perfect Condom Size:

Given that condom sizes do affect the fit, comfort, and effectiveness of condoms, you should need to find a condom that is most suited for your body.

To do this, you may have to try out several types of condoms before finding the one that provides you with the best fit and the most comfort.

      What Condom Size Do I Need?

This is not the time to rely upon your friends' opinions because they may be “shaped” differently than you -- so what works for your friends, may not be the best fit for yourself. When experimenting with different brands and condom sizes, it may be a good idea to buy the smallest pack available (check to see if a store sells a certain condom brand individually). This way, you don't waste your money on larger packs of condoms that you will probably not use if the size is wrong. This task, unfortunately, becomes even more difficult because most condom brands have their own definition of what is considered to be standard and large condoms. In general, though, condoms are available in snugger fit sizes, standard sizes, and large (XL or XXL) sizes.

Before you can decide upon what size condom you need, you must first figure out your penis size. This is super simple to do -- just follow these instructions: How to Measure Penis Size.

Once you know the condom size you need, another helpful tool to have is a condom chart. Because condom sizes can range quite a bit, having a place where you can compare condom sizes of various brands and types will make it easier to pick the right condom. With a condom chart, you can begin to eliminate condoms that you don’t think will fit before stepping foot in a store or ordering them online. Here is a Comprehensive Condom Size Chart.


Durex Scientific. (2011) "Penis Size Survey."

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