There are so many different types of vibrators nowadays, it can be difficult to know which kind to choose if you're shopping for the first time or looking to update your collection. Despite the cultural taboos fading around sex toys, many people still don't know the availability out there and what different types of sex toys can be used for.
The vibrator world started out with traditional toys, like G-spot vibrators and bullets, created almost exclusively in pink and purple color ranges and hidden in bedside drawers. Now, there are innovative vibrators like pebble and suction toys, designed to stimulate all areas of body as well as the erogenous zones of the vulva.
So what is the best vibrator for your best-ever orgasm, and how does one decide which of the most common types is the best for their body? We spoke to the experts to help you get the best from your collection and help you learn how to use a vibrator for the first time.
What is a vibrator?
A vibrator, quite simply, is a sex toy that delivers vibrations. This means there are many different styles and types of vibrators and each can offer a different set of sensations, depending on your preference. Some are specifically designed for solo sex and some are created to be used with a partner, some are only meant for external use, and some offer multiple features and stimulate several areas at once.
“There are so many benefits to using a vibrator,” says Lucy Rowlett (opens in new tab), a certified sexologist. “They are often the easiest and most accessible way to have an orgasm, especially if you are somebody who struggles to climax. They are also great if you have any chronic health or mobility issues for experiencing pleasure, and if you are just tired and want an easy climax."
So how do you go about choosing which vibrator is right for you? And more importantly, learning to use the vibe in the best way for you? Knowing your body, your pleasure style, and what kinds of sensations you enjoy is a start. But ultimately, everyone is different so there is an element of trial and error, even if you’re following expert instructions to the letter.
As Dr Amir Marashi (opens in new tab), OB/GYN, explains, "Vibrators are just like partners, the one that's perfect for you may not be perfect for another person. A lot of it is personal preference. But in my professional opinion, I would recommend using something that stimulates the entire clitoris. Anatomically the smallest part of the clitoris, the glans, is external. This usually takes focus for most vibrators on the market."
However, he suggests, "If you can stimulate the external glans and the internal part of the clitoris, this brings about the most pleasure. Not every woman has the same anatomy, so a vibrator that not only touches the internal and external parts of the clitoris, but that is also flexible is often the best choice.”
For some people, penetration can feel uncomfortable, at least right away. And some people with vaginas find it impossible to orgasm from penetration alone. For this reason, some of the most popular vibrators only deliver stimulation to the vulva AKA everything on the outside. These types of vibrators are among the most popular and include bullet vibrators, wand vibrators, and suction vibrators, among many others.
Types of vibrators to try
1. Bullet vibrator
The best bullet vibrators are easy to hold, made from body-safe materials, and deliver powerful yet quiet vibrations. Urologist and sexpert Dr Anika Ackerman (opens in new tab) says, “If you're not sure what you should try, a bullet vibrator is a good start. They tend to be less intimidating, smaller, and usually simpler in design, making them good beginner vibrators."
A bullet is one of the most common types of vibrators for a reason: anyone can use one, which makes them one of the best sex toys for beginners as well. You can use a bullet solo, focusing the tip of the toy on the head and either sides of the clitoris, but you can also incorporate them into partnered sex by using them alongside penetration, or having your partner control the toy.
2. Wand vibrator
For those who want to step things up and opt for more powerful vibrations, one of the best wand vibrators can be ideal. “Wand massagers are great for those who need extra power to orgasm," says Renee Denyer, the resident advisor to all those buying toys at Sh! Women's Store (opens in new tab), the UK's first woman-focused sex toy store. “They can be particularly helpful for women with low libido. The vibration is deep and rumbly, and as a wand vibrator head is so wide, the buzz disperses over a larger area, teasing the internal clitoris as well as the external tip.”
The health benefits of using a vibrator are myriad and a wand is one of the best tools for this. The original wand vibrators were mains-powered massage devices like the Hitachi, which has been recommended by medical professionals and sexologists for many years to ease pain and stimulate muscles across the back and shoulders. Today, all the best models have ergonomic handles, flexible necks, and a soft, large head made from body-safe silicone.
“Wand vibes usually have long handles, making them good options for people who find it difficult to reach or can't hold a buzzing toy for too long,” says Denyer. “You can also place a wand massager on the bed and lay on top of it, if you prefer grinding and humping, or hands-free play.” There are many accessible tools like straps and mounts that make using a wand easy for any kind of body.
The best way to use a wand is very similar to how one might get the most from a bullet, placing the toy over the clitoris. A wand is great for partnered sex too though, especially if you’re able to hold the wand against your clitoris in a way that feels good for you while your partner focuses on stimulating other areas of your body.
“I personally love magic wands as they are so versatile. They can be used all over the body and on penises too," says Rowlett, who is also a sex coach at The Lowdown (opens in new tab). “Try gently holding a wand at the base of your partner’s penis while you kiss and touch each other or have your partner press the head of the wand against their own erogenous zones while you stroke the tip of their penis."
3. Suction vibrator
Suction toys are an innovation that’s taken the sex toy world by storm over the last few years. These devices, which include famous toys like the Satisfyer Pro 2, use air pressure technology in a pinpointed way that feels totally different from the sensations offered by a bullet or wand vibrator.
They normally have a handle, slightly more bulbous at the bottom to allow for an easier grip, and a head on them with a suction mouth. This is the part that goes over the clitoris and emits waves of air stimulation. As Rowlett explains, "These toys perform a sucking style action on your clitoris which more mimics oral sex, and many women find that this is what works best.”
The optimal angle and intensity of an air pressure device being held against your vulva or nipples can be very specific for most people but once you - or your partner - finds the sweet spot, the combination of air pressure and fingers, tongues, other toys, or a penis in other areas can feel incredible.
4. Rabbit vibrator
When it comes to rabbit vibrators vs clitoral stimulators, many women prefer the latter as penetration can be uncomfortable for some. However, if a blended orgasm is your goal, one of the best rabbit vibrators is the perfect option. A blended orgasm is a simultaneous clitoral and G-Spot orgasm – a much more intense type of orgasm that can be achieved through penetration while having the clitoris stimulated.
“Rabbit vibrators are bestsellers for a reason," says Denyer. “Seeing as the majority of women need clitoral stimulation to orgasm, it makes perfect sense that rabbits are the most popular type of vibrator ever. The bunny ears, or clit stimulator, provide the much-needed buzz that gets most of us off while the shaft undulates against the G-Spot inside the vagina.”
The shaft on a rabbit or bunny vibrator varies in width and length and some have additional features like rotating bumps, realistic veins, and soft squishy tips. Some also feature a shaft that moves up and down to put pressure on the G-Spot for more intense sensations. The star of the rabbit vibrator, however, is the bunny ear design intended to massage and deliver vibrations to the clitoris.
There’s no expert way to use a rabbit vibrator. Just ensure you use plenty of the best lube before insertion and make sure you’re in a comfortable position so that you can hold the handle in place to achieve the most pleasure.
5. Pebble vibrator
“Clitoral vibrators like pebble vibrators come in many shapes and sizes, but they all have one thing in common: they deliver toe-curling pleasure. The clitoris is a super-sensitive, albeit stubborn, pleasure zone. It likes what it likes. Figuring out what type of stimulation your clitoris likes can take a bit of trial and error,” says Denyer. “I recommend starting small and choosing a vibrator with a few different pleasure modes. This way, you can explore sensations like steady vibration, quick pulses, or slow waves to find out what works best for you.”
A pebble vibrator or a ‘lay-on’ vibrator is a great option for this. Pebbles usually have more functions than bullets and are larger, designed to be cupped by the hand or placed over the vulva. Some pebbles also feature handles and hooks to enable hands-free play but most are handheld. They tend to cover a larger surface area and therefore can deliver sensation to more nerve endings in one go.
Pebbles are usually waterproof, fairly neutral in their design, and great for sex in the shower or slower, more relaxed pleasure sessions where you’re not racing to the finish line and can take your time. They also have the power to take the best lesbian sex positions to new heights, due to their ergonomic and inclusive design.
Pressing a pebble between your thighs or pressing it on your clitoris or your partner’s can make partnered sex much more enjoyable too. To use a pebble vibrator with a partner, try placing it between you while you kiss and touch each other. Alternatively, you could hold a pebble on your nipples, labia, and clitoris while your partner explores your body with their mouth and fingers.
6. Remote-controlled vibrator
While the best remote vibrators have come along in leaps and bounds thanks to amazing sex tech innovations in recent years, they weren't always the most popular sex toys. They've always been the go-to for long-distance couples and those keen to experiment with risqué kinks like exhibitionism, but now, they're among the most sought-after accessories. This is partially due to a rise in cybersex, the popularity of casual dating and sex apps, and sites like OnlyFans, and also due to just how effective and fun they've become. Depending on your preference, you can find remote-controlled toys that focus on external or internal stimulation.
There are many ways to use a remote-controlled vibrator and various options exist for everyone. The important thing to note is that while these vibes are made for use with a partner, they also make solo hands-free sex much easier and more accessible. Most remote-controlled vibrators pair with an app that can be easily controlled from your phone, making them discreet and straightforward to use.
7. G-spot vibrator
G-spot vibrators are also some of the most common types of vibrators. They produce a unique type of orgasm by delivering a buzz directly to the internal clitoral area and internal vaginal walls. This type of orgasm is different from the kind achieved by rubbing or stimulating your external clitoris and it can feel quite profound the first time it happens. Many people also associate putting extra pressure on the G-spot with squirting, which can occur when the vagina is relaxed and stimulated in a particular way.
This type of vibrator is usually curved to reach the sweet spot inside and close to the front wall of the vagina. By massaging and vibrating against this area, a G-Spot orgasm is possible, but it requires patience and technique.
8. Vibrating dildo
“Vibrators come in all shapes and sizes, and you probably have a few different ones, just like you would have different shoes for different occasions,” says Rowlett. “The shape and size of the vibrator affect how it feels and what parts it stimulates. In recent years, sex toy manufacturers have moved away from making vibrators phallic shaped and have brought them out in lots of different styles, as not everyone wants something phallic shaped.” Some people, however, feel more at home with something that resembles a penis.
A realistic size, shape, and firmness is the ideal for some women and there are plenty of toys that cater to this preference. What’s great about these toys is that they take the classic phallus shape and add the option to increase internal sensitivity with vibrations. A vibrating dildo is a simple sex toy that’s both easy to use and easy to modify. Plus, they're some of the best vibrators on Amazon, with discreet delivery guaranteed.
9. Anal vibrator
While the majority of internal vibes are made for vaginal use, there are plenty that have been designed for use anally. These come in various shapes and sizes, some in the form of vibrating butt plugs, some as slim vibrating dildos and some are curved, shaped for easy insertion, and feature bulbs and nodules that increase pleasurable sensations.
If you enjoy a vibrator that stimulates more than one area, an anal vibrator with two shafts could be perfect for you. These vibes offer anal penetration with vaginal and often clitoral stimulation simultaneously. Vibrations are delivered to your G-spot, clitoris, and nerve endings in and around the anus.
10. Thrusting vibrator
Sex tech has developed a great deal over the last few years and the field of female pleasure offers up innovations every day. One of the most popular types of vibrators to hit the shelves in the last few is the thrusting vibrator. These vibrators used to be huge machines and now, they’re handheld devices that do an amazing job of mimicking a real lover.
The trick with a thrusting sex toy is to find one that suits you in terms of its shape and size. A thrusting toy can feel like a lot, so a smaller size can feel more enjoyable while you’re getting used to the sensation. “If you're just starting out, I recommend going to a sex shop and asking the assistants for help,” says sex coach Rowlett. “Trust me, it's literally their job to help you with this. They are so friendly and helpful, and they deal with this every day. At the end of the day, I will always recommend that you choose a vibrator that you actually like the look of or feel curious to try, that will always be the best vibrator. That said, always check how strong the vibrations are, if it feels good to you, and how loud they are. If a toy has a louder rumble, you may feel uncomfortable using it at home.”
Dildo vs Vibrator: what's the difference?
A dildo is typically a phallic-shaped toy that is made for insertion into the vagina or anus, while a vibrator is a toy that vibrates. Sometimes dildos are modeled on real penises and sometimes they look more like smooth batons. They might be slim, ribbed, and bright blue with a flared base and a suction cup, for example. Classic dildos don't tend to vibrate but you can buy ones that do, whereas most vibrators offer multiple vibrating modes and functions.
If something vibrates, it's classed as a vibrator but of course, so many sex toys these days can be modified. Many toys come with add-ons and features that make them better for solo or partnered sex, make them more accessible, or make them vibrate. You can add a vibrating butt plug or cock ring to a simple strap-on or dildo, turning it into a whole new toy.