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Condom Size Guide: What Size Condom Do I Need?

Kelly Brown MD, MBA

Reviewed by Kelly Brown MD, MBA

Written by Erica Garza

Published 05/24/2024

Updated 05/27/2024

Finding the right condom size may take experimentation — it’s not like you can just waltz into a pharmacy and try some on. Like shoes, fits vary among brands, so the same condom sizes might not be consistent. Your best bet is to try a few condom brands (at home!) until you find the one.

This condom size guide will help you figure out what different condom sizes mean, how to find your perfect fit, and why it’s always better to use a high-quality condom.

Please note: This article will be dealing specifically with external condoms, sometimes referred to as male condoms. Internal condoms usually come in one standard size.

If you paid attention in high school sex ed class, you already know the benefits of wearing a condom. Condoms are a fantastic form of birth control, they protect against sexually transmitted infections (STIs), and they can even be used to prolong erections if you struggle with premature ejaculation (PE).

But using the wrong condom size can undermine these benefits and negatively impact comfort and effectiveness. It can also prevent you from using a condom in the future.

Here are some pitfalls of using the incorrect condom size:

  • It can slip off. Wearing a condom that’s too big can slip off during sex, potentially exposing you to STIs and STDs (sexually transmitted diseases) and increasing your risk of pregnancy.

  • It can rip or break. A too-small condom can tear or break, exposing you to the same risks listed above.

  • It can cut off circulation. Another risk of using a condom that’s too small or tight is that it can restrict blood flow to your penis and possibly cause erectile dysfunction (ED).

  • It can prevent orgasm for you and your partner. Sex is supposed to feel good, but an ill-fitting condom can ruin the show. In one 2010 study of 436 men, poor condom fit wasn’t just associated with a higher risk of breakage, slippage, and erection loss — it also made it more difficult to reach orgasm for both partners and frequently led to removal of the condom before sex ended.

  • It can prevent you from using condoms in the future. According to one 2020 review, a bad fit is associated with lower rates of correct and consistent condom use as well as increased risk of condom failure. If wearing condoms in the past has interfered with your pleasure or failed you due to a poor fit, you may feel hesitant to use them again.

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To find the right condom size, here’s how a condom should fit:

  • Snug, not tight. The perfect fit is snug but not too tight. If you feel discomfort or pain, it’s too small.

  • No slippage. A condom shouldn’t fall off during sex. If you feel it slipping, it’s too loose.

  • Full coverage. The right condom should cover the tip of your penis all the way down to the base, leaving a half-inch of space at the tip to catch sperm.

If you’ve never measured your penis before, there’s no better time than the present. Knowing your penis length and girth can help you figure out your ideal condom size.

This guide on how to measure your penis is a good place to start. But here’s a brief rundown.

Measure Your Penis Length

The average erect penis length is around 5.2 inches (13.12 centimeters). The average penis size without an erection, from base to tip, is roughly 3.6 inches (9.16 centimeters). Being above or below these averages is totally okay too.

Here’s how to take your measurements:

  • Using flexible measuring tape, place the end of the tape where the shaft begins at the pubic bone.

  • Extend the tape measure to the tip of your penis and make note of the measurement. This is your penis length.

  • Don’t have a tape measure? Use a string and compare it against a ruler.

While you can measure your penis while flaccid, it’s not usually a good indicator of your actual penis size. Since you’ll be wearing a condom while erect, it’s probably better to measure your penis when it’s hard to figure out your size.

Measure Your Penis Girth

Penis length is just one piece of the puzzle. When determining your condom size, your penis girth (or circumference) is an even more critical factor.

Here’s how to take this measurement:

  • Wrap a flexible measuring tape one time around the thickest part of the shaft of your erect penis.

  • Take note of where the ends of the tape meet to get your measurement.

  • Don’t have a tape measure? Use a string and compare it against a ruler.

Choose your chew

Just like penises, condoms come in all sizes with varying lengths and widths. Condom brands may use similar terms, like “standard” or “regular,” but they might have different ideas about what these terms mean.

Complicating matters even more, one condom brand may label a condom “large,” while another might call a condom with the same measurements “regular.”

So while a Durex® “regular” might fit you like a glove, this doesn’t guarantee a Lifestyles® “regular” will fit the same way. Knowing your penis size (specifically, your girth) will help you determine which size is right for you.

Here’s how different condom sizes compare when it comes to nominal width, which refers to the condom’s flat width:

  • Small/slim/snug condoms: 49 to 52 millimeters (1.9 to 2.04 inches)

  • Regular/standard condoms: 52 to 56 millimeters (2.04 to 2.2 inches)

  • Large/extra-large (XL) condoms: 56 to 60 millimeters (2.2 to 2.3 inches)

  • Extra-extra-large (XXL) condoms: 60 to 64 millimeters (2.3 to 2.5 inches)

When nominal width is multiplied by two, it should correspond to your penis circumference (aka girth).

Though condoms can also come in different lengths, this is less of a concern because the stretchable designs should accommodate most penis lengths. Latex is the most stretchable material compared to lambskin, polyisoprene, and polyurethane condoms.

Size

Other Terms Used

Width

Small
Slimfit, Snug, Snugger, Close, Closer
49–52 mm (1.9–2.04 in)
Standard
Regular, Classic, Original
52–56 mm (2.04–2.2 in)
Large, Extra-Large, Extra-Extra-Large
XL, XXL, Larger, Max, Magnum
56–64 mm (2.2–2.5 in)

Hims Ultra Thin Condoms are standard-size condoms with a 54-millimeter nominal width (2.12 inches). To ensure they accommodate a variety of lengths, they’re made of premium latex and feature a honeycomb design for more flexibility. They also have a raised inner structure that maximizes sensitivity for an intimate, second-skin feel.

Using the correct size condom is one way to ensure a perfect fit. But you should also consider what your condom is made of and whether you’re using lube.

Condom Design Features

Thin, ultra-thin, ribbed, twisted, studded — numerous design features can affect how a condom fits and feels.

Features like our hexagonal honeycomb texture don’t just mean more flexibility and strength. A condom’s texture can also enhance pleasure for you and your partner while reducing the chance of slippage.

Condom Materials

Latex condoms tend to be stronger than non-latex synthetic condoms, like those made of polyurethane or polyisoprene.

In one 2003 study that compared latex to latex-free condoms, researchers found that synthetic condoms failed more frequently than the latex variety. While polyurethane condoms had a failure rate of over eight percent, latex condoms failed less than two percent of the time.

And although lambskin condoms are often marketed as having a more natural feel, research shows they’re actually less elastic and more prone to slipping off, making them just 64 to 97 percent effective at preventing pregnancy.

If you have a latex allergy and have to use an alternative, it’s recommended to choose a synthetic material like polyurethane over lambskin.

Lubrication

Just as you should use a condom that’s snug but not too snug, you should also use lubrication but not too much lubrication.

Too much lubrication might make a condom slip off, even if you’re wearing the right size. And not using enough lube may lead to ripping and condom breakage.

If you’re using a latex condom, go with a silicone- or water-based lubricant, as oil-based formulas can degrade latex.

Poor Accessibility

Didn’t know there were different condom sizes? You’re not alone.

Many guys don’t use a correctly sized condom either because they don’t know various condom sizes exist or they don’t have access to multiple options.

A 2012 review analyzed condom use among gay and bisexual men. The researchers found a significant association between self-reported penis size and attitude toward the “typical/average” condom, including increased difficulty finding condoms that fit and more instances of condom breakage.

Men who had engaged in recent unprotected sex reported significantly higher values for both penis length and circumference. And they were significantly more likely to report that the average condom was “too tight.”

The study concluded that as HIV and STI prevention providers continue to distribute free condoms to their communities, the need for condom availability in various sizes is crucial. Improving condom fit could improve attitudes toward condoms while also increasing condom use and effectiveness.

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Wearing a condom isn’t just a great form of birth control. It can help you look after your sexual health by protecting against STIs and STDs. And some options like Hims Climax Control Condoms can help prevent premature ejaculation.

In any case, the best condoms are condoms that fit.

To help you find the right size, remember:

  • There’s no such thing as a one-size-fits-all condom. As our condom size chart shows, these contraceptives come in all different sizes, from small condoms for a snugger fit to extra-large condoms if you’re packing heavy.

  • There are many pitfalls to using the wrong condom size. Condoms that don’t fit properly are more likely to slip off during sex or break, increasing your risk of pregnancy and exposure to STIs and STDs. They also may not feel good for you or your partner.

  • Condom design and material may also affect fit. Even if you’ve found your correct size, the fit could be compromised by factors like condom material or design.

Safe sex is fun sex. If you’ve had bad experiences with condoms in the past, don’t be afraid to experiment with different condom sizes and condom brands to find your perfect fit.

Find more products to enhance your sex life in our guide to men’s sexual health, and browse these tips for better sex.

6 Sources

  1. Billow JA. (1992). Choosing condoms. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0160345015310059?via%3Dihub
  2. Cecil M, et al. (2010). If the condom doesn't fit, you must resize it. https://www.contraceptionjournal.org/article/S0010-7824(10)00360-4/abstract
  3. Chadbourne E. (2020). Condom Size Matters: The Importance of Condom Fit in Safe and Pleasurable Penetrative Sex. https://academiccommons.columbia.edu/doi/10.7916/d8-40rs-a773
  4. Grov C, et al. (2013). Self-reported penis size and experiences with condoms among gay and bisexual men. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10508-012-9952-4
  5. Veale D, et al. (2015). Am I normal? A systematic review and construction of nomograms for flaccid and erect penis length and circumference in up to 15 521 men. https://bjui-journals.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/bju.13010
  6. Walsh TL, et al. (2003). Evaluation of the efficacy of a nonlatex condom: results from a randomized, controlled clinical trial. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12729137/
Editorial Standards

Hims & Hers has strict sourcing guidelines to ensure our content is accurate and current. We rely on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical associations. We strive to use primary sources and refrain from using tertiary references. See a mistake? Let us know at [email protected]!

This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. The information contained herein is not a substitute for and should never be relied upon for professional medical advice. Always talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of any treatment. Learn more about our editorial standards here.

Kelly Brown MD, MBA
Kelly Brown MD, MBA

Dr. Kelly Brown is a board certified Urologist and fellowship trained in Andrology. She is an accomplished men’s health expert with a robust background in healthcare innovation, clinical medicine, and academic research. Dr. Brown is a founding member of Posterity Health where she is Medical Director and leads strategy and design of their Digital Health Platform, an innovative education and telehealth model for delivering expert male fertility care.

She completed her undergraduate studies at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (go Heels!) with a Bachelor of Science in Radiologic Science and a Minor in Chemistry. She took a position at University of California Los Angeles as a radiologic technologist in the department of Interventional Cardiology, further solidifying her passion for medicine. She also pursued the unique opportunity to lead departmental design and operational development at the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, sparking her passion for the business of healthcare.

Dr. Brown then went on to obtain her doctorate in medicine from the prestigious Northwestern University - Feinberg School of Medicine and Masters in Business Administration from Northwestern University - Kellogg School of Management, with a concentration in Healthcare Management. During her surgical residency in Urology at University of California San Francisco, she utilized her research year to focus on innovations in telemedicine and then served as chief resident with significant contributions to clinical quality improvement. Dr. Brown then completed her Andrology Fellowship at Medical College of Wisconsin, furthering her expertise in male fertility, microsurgery, and sexual function.

Her dedication to caring for patients with compassion, understanding, as well as a unique ability to make guys instantly comfortable discussing anything from sex to sperm makes her a renowned clinician. In addition, her passion for innovation in healthcare combined with her business acumen makes her a formidable leader in the field of men’s health.

Dr. Brown is an avid adventurer; summiting Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania (twice!) and hiking the incredible Torres del Paine Trek in Patagonia, Chile. She deeply appreciates new challenges and diverse cultures on her travels. She lives in Denver with her husband, two children, and beloved Bernese Mountain Dog. You can find Dr. Brown on LinkedIn for more information.

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